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Skip casting technique will pay off

January 15, 2016
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

What a difference a few weeks make. Shirtless and warm in the afternoon sun swatting at January (?) no-see-ums while skip casting DOA Shrimp under the brush for hungry, hidden snook looking to wolf down anything that moves.

As of this writing I'm burning the Christmas tree. The house electric heat's not keeping up, although the outside meter is glowing cherry red. I had to cut off the ends of my mittens to type this.

Adding this skip casting delivery to your casting bag of tricks will pay off big time. It's a must learn for the inshore mangrove shoreline/dock angler, yet few seem to use it.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Typically, most anglers will hit the obvious outside targets casting close to the evil mangroves not wanting to lose that new lure. Bad news is in the bright light probably 90 percent or more of the fish are tucked in tight to the shoreline 10 feet back and under the bush.

Bass-fishing flipping and especially pitching techniques are vital to master as well for our angling location, but none of these presentations allows you to get really far back and under docks and the evil mangrove branches like skip casting.

Safe weather permitting, drag some big plugs around any structures near or offshore for a possible grouper or big kingfish bite.

Staggering the plugs in the water column and distance from the back of the boat allows more fish to see your offerings. An example would be dragging a Mann's deep diver closer to the transom and a large Rapala type further back and nearer the surface.

On your way offshore run some crab floats and look for a tasty and hard fighting tripletail lurking under the floats. A live shrimp, plastic shrimp, or shrimp fly is a top choice as well as a small pinfish or white bait.

If you see a tripletail on the way by but he's gone when you quietly motor back to cast to him he's probably only settled further down the rope, deeper in the water column. Drift a hard kicking shrimp back on a small float using a six-foot fluorocarbon leader adding a few split shot if the current is running strong.

Just like a grouper fight getting the trip away from structure (in this case rope) is job #1. Then enjoy the fight and the great taste of this odd fish.

Diving birds lead you to Spanish mac attacks in the passes, offshore, or in Charlotte Harbor. Or safely anchor and chum in an area of feeding fish putting them right off the transom.

Fast paced family fun for all. Silver spoons cast or trolled with short wire leaders or 40-pound fluorocarbon. Shrimp under corks are always deadly.

Using light spinning or fly tackle brings out the best in any Spanish mac attack.

Fly rodder's get in on the action as well. If you can't seem to get a bite and you know the fish are there stick your rod handle in your armpit and use a super-fast two-handed retrieve of the fly line (no reel).

This old speed trick works great at times, especially if you're lucky enough to get on a feeding school of bonito. On a light fly rod it's always a memorable battle, usually taking you deep into your backing more than once before victory.

Pompano spreading out along grass flats and around passes. Small jigs tipped lightly with shrimp on light leaders. Always let the jig tick on the bottom.

As it gets colder, trout will bunch up in deep channels, marinas and canals spreading out in the late sunny afternoons to chase your plastic jig or drifted shrimp and popping cork offering on warming grass flats.

Cold water and delicious sheepshead are at a local bridge waiting to steal your shrimp. Electric fillet knife recommended.

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



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