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Fish freely feeding, so get going

October 23, 2015
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

What a treat! Hot fishing and cooler weather. Inshore anglers are enjoying a hot snook and redfish bite on lures, flies and bait.

Wednesday's clients caught a nice mix of juvie snook and rat reds with some over-slots mixed in along mangrove shorelines in windy Pine Island Sound.

I prefer an incoming tide for redfishing, but a guide fishes when folks want to catch fish regardless of tide or weather. Several trips this past week and no one went home unhappy. We caught fish on all tide phases even in heavy winds. Simply put, get out there now because the fish are feeding freely.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Snow, rain, heat, often make angling a challenge, but windy days test an angler's skill and patience the most. If staying home is not an option use the many islands, wind protected shorelines, and canals the area offers. Keep right on fishing as we did this past week with each trip being successful.

On the worst days seek shelter in the Cape's nearly 500 miles of residential canals that hold everything from largemouth bass to triple-digit size tarpon. On blown out east to west windy days fishing the east wall of Charlotte Harbor all the way south through Matlacha Pass down to Sword Point provides shelter and great shoreline/back country flats fishing.

Tip: When using islands as a wind break don't always be in a hurry to get to the calm side of the island to cast your lures. The fish don't care about your comfort and often the shoreline that's being pounded with wind is today's island hotspot. Simply put, the wind produced currents trap small baitfish and shrimp offering them up to waiting smaller predators blown into the shorelines, setting up a feeding station and drawing in bigger fish to feed as well.

This past week on the lower tide phases a spoon cast down the length of a straight mangrove lined shoreline produced lots of fish milling about waiting for the tide's return. As the tide started swelling under the brush, skip casting and pitching plastic shrimp/crabs under and into openings was the hot ticket.

For the casting lure angler mastering these two techniques will add significant weight to your stringer in a mangrove shoreline fishery.

The typical angler making his way down a shoreline will hit the obvious targets and open spots along the shoreline and keep moving picking up a fish here or there. The angler raised on bass style pitching and flipping techniques (plus adding skip casting mastery to his arsenal) will take that same stretch of shoreline, fishing right behind the first angler methodically picking apart the cover, will take many more fish and often the trophy residing there.

New area anglers must understand that these fish, often huge snook or reds, will be as far back and under as water allows. Hugging the shorelines for shelter, shade and temperature control and the smorgasbord of small creatures the shoreline provides. Wise old trophy fish know the difference in sound between a Motor Guide and a MinnKota. That's why the 30-pound snook laughing at you from 10 feet back under the sticks is, 30 pounds. These fish will never see your lure as you cast along the outside edges of the shoreline mangroves.

Check out the internet for pitching and skip-casting technique demonstrations. Well worth your time.

Just return from up north and you're pride and joy is spitting and sputtering? First rule is before starting the motor change out your water/fuel separation filter cartridge and inspect the fuel for water accumulation due to dreaded ethanol.

A cheap but vital 10-minute maintenance chore as 50 percent of all local marine engine repair work is ethanol related. These filters are first-line defenders keeping ethanol/water sludge from clogging up your expensive motor and generating trophy class repair bills.

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



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