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Offshore hot spots pay off big

July 8, 2016
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Traveling to your offshore hot spots might pay off big with a great variety of fish to be caught and introduced to the fish box for trip home and a nice bed of charcoal.

Snapper, grouper, tarpon, permit, sharks of all sizes, even oversized redfish and snook may show up on the hook. Sharks a-plenty for those inclined as well as kings and Spanish macs.

Cobia are bound to show up so have a rod ready to blast a colorful jig, pinfish, crab, or better an eel, at these powerful sport and great grilling fish.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Summer storm events are not limited to just the afternoons this time of year. They can pop up anytime and anywhere. Early Thursday morning we had quite a rocker that lasted 45 minutes and was quite intense with severe lighting and heavy gusts.

Get the most accurate info before heading off and leave a game plan with someone with your intended general fishing area as well as a projected time of return.

After getting a very big bill for an ethanol related engine repair first-time boat owners usually want to know more to help prevent future visits to the repair shop.

New boaters stopping to fill up while standing next to their fuel tank vent on the hull as they pump the gas often call the dealer complaining about a "terrible gas smell" when fueling.

Fuel tanks breathe through their fuel vents. Even expand and contract somewhat with temperature variations. While "inhaling" they pull in wet Florida humidity/moisture which is food for ethanol.

Fuel tank filled about a quarter? Been too hot to fish and the boat's been sitting for a bit? No fuel additive in the tank? Changed the fuel/water separator in the last couple of years? Didn't know you had one? What is it?

In-line fuel water separating filters collect and help hold the trapped water and ethanol sludge contaminants that's been collecting in your fuel tank from entering the engine causing poor starting, performance, and eventually a ruined trip resulting in a call to SeaTow, then a bonus trip to your ever welcoming repair shop.

Check your boat for your water separating filter and change it. Looks just like an in-line oil filter. For basic outboard setups put a large bowl/bucket under the filter to collect gas as you slowly unscrew a few turns draining a little excess into the bucket.

Be sure the flow from the tank stops before completely unscrewing and removing the filter.

When you're sure the flow of fuel has stopped, remove it into the bowl. Fill the new filter with fresh fuel remembering to rub a little motor oil onto the rubber gasket on top of the filter before screwing it back on, hand tight. Do not, for any reason, add fuel from the old filter to the new one and do not overtighten it.

Use a permanent marker and put the date on the filter in big numbers where it's easily seen in its final position.

Tidy up, run the engine with a hose and inspect for fuel leaks.

Typical flats boat size filters run $6 to $20, hopefully changed out at least three times a year. A 20-minute home maintenance chore potentially saves hundreds of dollars in ethanol related repairs, down time, and being stranded a long way from home, possibly in bad weather.

Boat in the water and you're heading to a well-deserved summer vacation? Check all auto bilge pump systems before heading out or dream about it while on vacation.

Black water woes continue despite more lip service from politicians, corps of engineers and water management overlords. US taxpayer subsidized Daddy Sugar sings its own praises and innocence as the polluted water continues to flow East-West.

Anxious to read Gov. Scott's latest proposal for action.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-440-1621 or, or



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