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New lure collects big snook

March 27, 2015
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

This particular big snook adventure started in Bass Pro Shops while shopping for a new trolling motor. Being an extreme MirrOlure fan I was excited to see a huge bin of MirrO's on super-sale!

Nine other anglers crowed the bin as I semi-pushed my way to the goodies not to be denied the best colors. I felt like a young lion trying to muscle my way into a good piece of the kill rather than skinny tail meat. I swear I heard growling as now 20 hands rapidly dug through, around, and under the huge pile.

I was elbow deep into the pile when I felt a sharp tug. Instinctively I pulled back and looked up into the face of a man, a really large, serious man across from me. I let go.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Ten new lures in the bag, happy as a clam.

The following day's trip found us casting oyster reefs north of St. James City looking for snook. It was one of those days, dead as a doornail, no birds moving, no fish jumping, nothing. My only hope was some activity later in the day, possibly just after sunset.

My client wanted a snook badly as we relocated to another oyster bar for a final assault. Fish started jumping, birds flew, and the tide was moving as we started getting bites on topwater plugs on this very shallow bar.

His first snook came to the boat. As I prepared to lip it, a fine shark darted from nowhere biting it in half. Disappointed, he continued to cast as I tied on my brand new BPS MirrOMullet XL and made a cast, then another.

On the second cast the bar exploded with a good snook, line peeled from the undersized reel as she went left, right, up in the air, through the weeds, under, and around the boat continuing to pile up grass on the line. I knew from experience that I would never touch this fish, but I was in luck as I finally lipped her big jaw. What a strike in 15 inches of water!

Carefully lifting her and fully supporting the body horizontally, we quickly pictured her and got her back in the water for a rather long but successful revival process.

Never give in, keep casting, put in your time. Big snook are on the prowl in super shallow local waters. Try a MirrOlure on top.

Tarpon! Although I've been catching mini-tarpon in backyard canals for three weeks my first good fish of the season (50-pound+ class) was hooked this week in the river while night fishing for snook.

Fishing docks with live ladyfish, we managed a fat 36-inch snook before my float disappeared then almost instantly reappeared 20 feet away, high in the air attached to a crazed tarpon.

Quite a battle on snook tackle as we did the under the anchor rope-rod pass around as the tarpon crossed in front of the boat and under the anchor rope before jumping again and bouncing off a seawall. Night combat fishing at its finest.

Finally giving, I lipped him at boatside as the hook simply fell from his jaw. Revived and released back into the dark river waters to grow bigger.

Reports of tarpon in Captiva Pass, and free jumpers in Pine Island Sound and the river. Thousands more heading this way.

A beautiful weekend coming up. Offshore fishing should be good for many species on nearshore and far away secret GPS numbered reefs and rock piles. Pray for low winds and calm seas for the offshore fleet.

Secrets to catching your first over six-pound trout in Southwest Florida? No biggie. Be on site way before dawn, remain dead quiet and start throwing your biggest topwater snook lure in your box. Make long casts, put in the time.

You might catch a big snook that way too!

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or, or



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