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Rain event was good for fishing

August 7, 2015
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

No wonder folks go off the deep end in the far north with constant darkness, in our case, rain caused. We need some sun and it looks like we may get it this weekend.

I should know better than to predict South-west Florida weather, so please don't blame me for a rain event. Whatever you do don't take longshot gambles that could put you in hotter water than we already have.

The good news is the rain cools and oxygenates the water turning fish on, but sometimes making their locations tough to find as big influxes of fresh water changes not only temperature but salinity levels. These changes may put fish and the bait/forage they live on in very different locations than you're used to.

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Capt. George Tunison

A good example is the canal system I live on that's been flush with beautiful baby tarpon up to 15 pounds for the last few months. When the rains first started they all made their way to the spillways to clean up on easy pickings. As it's continued to rain and dilute the saltwater, now there is no sign of them. Did the forage move because of lowered salt levels? Too much current? Too fresh for the baby tarpon?

Probably not. I'm betting on the food source relocating, but I'm not a biologist and all I'm really sure of is they're gone, for now.

Best advice this time of year is to cast early and late, moving, probing, and covering water looking for active fish. Watch your temp gauge as the few degrees cooler area you've just stumbled on may be a hot spot. Fish deeper than normal. Fish slower than normal especially on the flats. Who wants to do any sprinting in this heat? Fish don't.

Don't feel like working up a sweat casting for hours on end? Put some shrimp or ladyfish steaks on a circle hook and skip it up and under a deep shady green bush. Put a fresh ice cold towel around your neck, and relax.

Look at your map and find a hole, channel, or depression with current in the area you will be targeting. These depressions/cuts, even deep prop scars, sometimes just a few inches deeper than the surrounding area are fish magnets, big fish magnets as in tarpon. Look for clearer water. Fish in areas that are more oxygenated than non-moving, stagnant hot water areas, like creek mouths and passes. Think deep shade with moving water.

Anyone notice the increase of arrested game hogs stealing fish from the public? Boats have been caught with over 100 grouper and numerous other assorted illegal under- and over-sized fish. Makes one wonder if there where no game law enforcement would every last fish be rounded up and every last deer poached?

Yes! Or at least they would give it a good go, no doubt. Sad.

Make the call. Get involved. These are your fish and game and for future generations. Call the FWC to report game violations. You will not be identified. All true sportsmen and women thank you in advance.

The number for the Tampa regional office is 888-404-3922. Make the call with as much info as you can safely gather and they will route you to a local officer or one will call you.

These officers do a great service for all of us in often unpleasant conditions putting their lives on the line daily to protect our fish and game from the real predators. Make the call.

Fall is coming with stable weather and schooling redfish. Hopefully, lots of them.

Since fishing redfish here the last 15 years or so the biggest difference I've noticed is shrinking school size. Years 2000-09 really big schools pushed across the flats, especially around Burnt Store Bar. Not so much anymore. Most say too much fishing pressure.

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



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