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Anglers start to see fall redfish

August 19, 2016
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

I sensed the first change this past Tuesday and it felt good. For the first time in many months there was a slight crispness to the air.

Any change in this steam bath is easily noticeable and welcome, especially if you live here.

Meanwhile, the tarpon obsessed will continue to try and add fall and final numbers to a tough season. Some are finding fish still hunting the passes as well as those still trailing bait schools in the harbor and around the mouth of the Myakka River.

Those that have been waiting for fall and school redfishing here are starting to get in their licks.

This past week a trip north of Burnt Store Marina produced redfish and snook of various sizes around shoals and islands. Long casted gold spoons were a hit with the fish along with DOA Shrimps pitched, flipped, and skip casted in and under the cover.

These three freshwater bass up-close-and-personal fishing techniques will put fish in the boat. The fish you catch are the fish the other anglers pass up because of being afraid to lose tackle, not understanding that the fish, especially the big ones, are often way back and under the gnarly stuff. Or, they are simply lazy instead opting for the easy low danger, but also low percentage outside targets.

If you're not familiar with these techniques by all means go to YOUTUBE. You will find plenty of demonstrations that will help you become a much more proficient angler on the flats of Southwest Florida.

These casting methods will connect you with more trophies. Getting them out of the thick stuff and to the boat is the challenge and the fun.

Practice at home by flipping a lure into a coffee can a boat length away till you can do it every time. Now, transition to the pitching method and double the distance.

Skip casting is easily learned on the water and should definitely be part of your casting arsenal.

These methods can be used by both spin and bait cast anglers. Most will embrace the spinning rod for skip casting.

Largemouth bass anglers have little trouble adapting to our saltwater flats fishing. There has been recent interest and articles about flipping/pitching bass style jig and plastic creature type lures for shallow water redfish and snook holding tight in under the thick stuff.

After reading an article I raided an old bass box and dug out some bass jigs and a rusty bottle of Uncle Josh Pork Rind. Although the outside bottle was time tested, the preserved pig parts held within were still pristine.

I dumped out the old pig juice and trimmed pork parts. After stabbing the tough pork lures several times with a fork I returned them to the jar and refilled it with saltwater GULP, screwed the cap back on and then let it marinate overnight.

The next day I was on the point of the boat in total bass mode, flipping and pitching the toughest cover I could find. It didn't take too long before I was jolted by a 30-inch class redfish that was intent on keeping his newfound and very tasty smelly prize.

Catching redfish by any technique is always great. If you are a fan of the big strike like I am and are looking for a big jolt followed by a drag burning big bruiser intent on remaining in his woodsy hideout then try these fun and productive techniques this fall.

Offshore grouper, sharks, snapper, permit even king macs await you if you are a wise storm predictor. Fifty miles out is a bad place and time to find out that you have made a bad weather decision.

You are the captain and are responsible for the lives and safety of your passengers.

If In doubt? Don't go.

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



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