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Don’t take chances with SWF storms

August 28, 2015
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Great offshore reports of grouper, cobia, Spanish macs, and snapper from nearshore to deep offshore numbers as high temps cause many fish to drop deeper in the water column.

Live and dead baits or deep jigging will do the trick. Always keep a live blue runner out on a leash for a big old kingfish attack.

As always, don't overestimate your boat and your ability when it comes to Southwest Florida's intense storms. Lighting here is plain bad. If the air turns green and your girl's hair is standing straight out in all directions, you might have a big problem sailor! What to do?

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Capt. George Tunison

If religious quickly pray as you hit the deck as far from metal as possible which is nearly impossible in a T-topped boat under 25 feet with eight hi-tech graphite lighting rods standing tall begging for high powered trouble, while your lady guest is screaming, sobbing, crying out hysterically over the lightning, I hate you! Why did I ever do this?! We're gonna die out here! Thanks Captain Idiot!"

Your 230-pound frame, try as you might, won't squeeze into your biggest livewell as you try to get away from the now really seasick, hysterical, once very attractive passenger holding the razor sharp fillet knife high in the electric green air. What to do?

Don't be that guy! Check as many reports as you can trust before heading off. IF there is any question or doubt, stay in port and live to fish another day especially if you are responsible for the lives of others.

Redfish info coming in as tarpon fever winds down for many. Don't put away your tarpon gear just yet. There are plenty here to play with and they will remain here with the high water temps along with sharks in big numbers.

A basic redfish tackle selection for the novice should include a couple of spoons, a few topwater plugs, and a pack of soft plastic jerk baits and matching hooks. Finally, a pack of soft plastic grubs and matching jigheads.

Try a 7.5 spinning rod or longer. Medium action with a quality matched reel with 15-pound braid line and a roll of 20-pound test fluorocarbon leader material.

Use a small (SPRO brand) swivel with the spoons (only) to lessen line twist. The rest of the lures should be tied to a leader that connects to the main line with a back-to-back uni-knot. Shun any additional hardware.

Never use wire bass snaps/clips to attach your lures to leader. You'll find out the hard way that an eight-pound redfish will outpull a much larger largemouth bass and these clips will fail.

Congrats to 15-year-old Matt Milton for a 39-inch snook caught on his homemade, oddball, largemouth bass lure. This "long time" hardcore largemouth bass angler and lure carving young man's dream was to someday come and fish the shallow salt flats of Florida. For his 15th birthday his grand pop made his wish come true by flying him here.

Dodging rain we fished hard looking for inshore action catching a variety of fish, including rat reds with one over-slot fish which put a sizable burn on Mark's baitcaster thumb as he learned the hard way to, "Let 'em run!"

A near four-foot shark and his end of day beautiful Pine Island snook put a huge smile on his face that lasted till we shook hands as he left to catch the plane.

This past week I received a picture of Mark at a friend's garage sale in Ohio. In front of him was a table full of every prized largemouth bass lure in his possession with a big half-off sign. Next to that pile was a dozen, shiny new, handmade, "Florida Snook Killers" for sale and in larger print, Help Send a Kid to Florida!

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



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