Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Staff Contacts | Home RSS

Beating the heat without it snowing

July 24, 2015
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Man, I wish it would snow! This past week while poling my skiff with two anglers on deck - along with ice, gear, motor, and gas - I prayed that I wouldn't pass out from the heat and do a shoulder deep head dive into the muck below.

Get out those big hats, sun gloves, good quality polarized glasses, and keep two or three wet neck towels on ice and change them often. Keep pounding water or other workout drinks even if you feel hydrated.

Take extra care with the kids and keep a close eye for dehydration and sunburn. Try and get quality eyewear on the children as soon as they will wear it without protest.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

This heat seems to have driven the bigger reef dwellers, particularly bigger grouper, to deeper numbers along with some monster snook. Cobia, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, permit, and snapper are expected catches along with grouper on your next offshore outing between rain events.

If you're new to the area be advised that our offshore weather can go from hot, sunny and peaceful to severe lighting and rain in a very short time. Never overestimate your boat's ability to take rough seas and your ability as a captain. Bad enough if one makes foolish choices alone and pays the price, but with passengers aboard always play it on the safe side at sea.

On the way to their super secret offshore GPS numbers boaters no doubt will pass pods of tarpon along the beaches and offshore a few miles.

Quietly cruise the beaches before sunrise or station yourself in a proven location and scan for rollers reflecting the rising sun.

If you like fishing the harbor for tarpon then scout for birds busting bait and giant schools of ladyfish. Look for rolling fish, but don't be discouraged if you don't see any. If the food is there the tarpon will be as well.

Toss out a couple ladys under floats and put the rods in the holder while you cast a 1 ounce bucktail or large soft plastic swim bait in front of the boat. Use your trolling motor to correct your drift and keep quiet. Stay off the big engine when you enter the area you suspect hold tarpon.

TIP: Don't handle the rods. Let the rod holder and your circle hook, hook the fish when fishing large live baits, such as mullet or ladyfish under a float or freelined. When the rod doubles over, only then pick it up and go to work fighting the fish.

Most folks that hold the rod will try and set the hook Rowland Martin style at the first attack pulling the bait away from the fish and ruining their chances for a hook-up.

Think deep holes in the harbor (and on the flats) and consult readily available maps for their locations and GPS numbers.

For night anglers, the Caloosahatchee offers tarpon feeding stations at every bridge on the river year-round. Dead baits, live baits, trolling, casting hard and soft baits all work at one time or another around the bridges.

The passes will continue to hold fish till they leave in the fall.

Whatever you do when approaching folks tarpon fishing, especially those poor souls atop poling platforms laboring in the sun to get their clients a shot at a shy fish - leave them alone! Go way around and show courtesy and good sportsmanship. This is a huge area with thousands of fish for all.

Shark anglers are in hog heaven as Jaws of all sizes ply the waters smelling for your offering. Live bait and dead along with a chumsickle puts you in the Jaws zone almost anywhere in this area. For serious sharkers, fishing around a pass is a great way to get a boat puller or if you are beach bound, dig your heels in deep as massive sharks of all species try to pull you out into the Gulf.

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



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web