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Not much beats a big kingfish fight

May 15, 2015
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

What beats a big kingfish greyhounding away from you at warp speed on light tackle? Not much!

This past week Capt. Roy Bennett and others got offshore and on the kingfish while bottom fishing, using the old standby blue runner for bait. These are kingfish candy and hard to resist for these razor-mouth speedsters.

Put a runner under a balloon or free lined while drifting, casting or bottom fishing for sometimes amazing results. If you get the big bite do not try to stop the fish's powerful long runs or he probably will pull free or break off.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

After catching a big kingfish you will understand the interest in this fish. Big time tournaments and big money, go-fast boats that sometime cover hundreds of miles in a day are the norm.

May 16 is Lionfish Awareness Day. Ready to help? The FWC will be hosting a Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival and Tournament in Pensacola and promoting several other events hosted across the state. Find a lionfish event in your area by visiting and clicking on "Lionfish Derbies and Events."

Can't make any of the organized events? Remove lionfish on your own and report your catch to the Report Florida Lionfish app or online at by clicking "Report Lionfish."

These poisonous critters have become a real threat to reef life and all smaller reef fishes as they eat anything that fits into their greedy mouths. Handle carefully as you can be stung even if the fish is dead.

Redfish have been leaving a lot of folks scratching their heads lately. Aboard Flying Fins rat reds have been the main catch with a few larger fish mixed in. The water is hot so deep under the bushes/docks using live/dead/frozen shrimp on the higher tide phases.

Early AM incoming tides are best for push poled sight casters willing to be up way before dawn.

While poling the flats make extra-long casts with big topwater plugs for lone gator trout/snook on early morning patrol.

Trout bite 24/7 so get out at night for big trout (snook reds) on the flats, around docks, and bridges.

Snook are waiting for your lure or cast netted white-bait. Island points, channels between islands, the passes, and along the beach surf at night and early mornings.

Best surf lure? 3/8-ounce bucktail cast parallel to the beach. Make long cast in knee deep surf zones.

Speaking of long casts, I'm a big spoon casting guy for redfish making long searching casts coverings lots of water. To do this properly and to get max results go to an 8- to 8.5-foot rod designed for light braid and lures like spoons, jigs, and soft plastics.

I just got a Shimano TERAMAR inshore series rod at Capt. Rob's in the Cape. Nearly 8-feet long, lightweight and rated for 8-17 pound test line and 1/4- to 1-ounce lures. Using 10-15 pound braid, this rod sends spoons into another zip code and allows great control of the lure on the retrieve. Long and limber it absorbs shock and sudden dashes by the fish, holding on like a bird's talon. Try one this fall for long casts on our hopefully schooling redfish.

Tarpon are in full swing and available to shore anglers, $90,000 bay boats, tired old skiffs, Jon boats, and yachts.

Use 2-3 inch pass crabs under a float or freelined in the strong pass current. Live and dead baits in the river, especially catfish chunks, shad, ladyfish, mullet and mackerel.

Along the beaches sight cast to pods of tarpon anywhere from 1/4 to a few miles off the surf. Fly anglers score along with casted pinfish, whitebaits, or a big shrimp.

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



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