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You can still fish if it’s windy

November 4, 2016
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

I'll take rain, no-see-ums, heat, cold, even ice in the rod guides, but wind always makes it tough. Big waves, tough boat control, hard to anchor, fish, and dock.

Usually, being wet in a flats boat traveling from A to B is a real buzzkill for those waiting all week for a Saturday offshore trip or those waiting for a shot at a sight-fished fly rod snook or red. An extra added curse for those prone to seasickness.

If you just have to have your fishing fix anyway the many islands, creeks and backwaters in our locale usually provide shelter from the wind if you can get to them safely.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

It's Saturday, you've worked all week, and you're determined to get your redfish. Never mind it's 5 a.m. and the palm trees are already bending. The boat's ready. You're going. Period.

After a wet trip in a small boat not designed for waves you approach your target island. First instincts tell you to go around to the calm side. Stop where you are. Power pole down or better, toss out an anchor from the bow. This is not about your personal comfort, the fish don't care. Let it blow.

More times than not, the predators will be on the windy shoreline taking easy advantage of small baitfish and crustaceans blown in from the open bay next to the island. The calm side often will be dead, but comfortable.

For the bait guy, set up right there and put out two or three baits downwind. Use your superior casting ability to drop in your dead or live baits precisely under the bush's edge at 35 to 40 yards (kidding) without snagging. Try using a float for even better control.

With a float you can use the wind to help you probe a stretch of shoreline from an anchored boat, especially if the tide is moving along the shoreline as well.

If the tide is moving left to right cast down and crosswind to the left to reach the shoreline. As the tide moves the float along to the right let out and mend line to probe pockets without snagging. Be ready as the float and redfish could disappear way back under the bushes at any moment.

For those that like to cast and keep moving regardless of wind conditions use a good search lure. You will be busy fighting wind, waves, your hull and trolling motor as you move along the shoreline. You will want an easy-to-cast heavy lure that fights wind, works in shallow water, and requires a straight simple retrieve to be effective.

The spoon fills the bill on all counts. Another bonus is the spoon is without question one of the top redfish lures in the world that has also caught boatloads of snook.

Spoons can be cast a mile for distant targets or pitched and flipped for close-in work.

Spoon choices are numerous so take your pick, but adding a small strong swivel between your leader (24-inch minimum) and line is always a good plan.

Rule number one about spoon retrieval: don't reel too fast. If you observe your spoon spinning on the retrieve you are reeling too fast. Retrieve the spoon steadily, just fast enough to make it wobble and flash side to side.

SPRO swivels are incredibly small, amazingly strong, and don't stick out like a sore thumb. Their tiny 35-pound test rated swivel is ideal for your redfish spoon rig. Local dealers carry these ultra-small and super strong swivels and are highly recommended any time a swivel is necessary.

New to the area? Never forget that local tide charts are an estimate, not gospel. In a shallow water area as this, wind greatly affects tide height estimates making it easy to run aground or become stranded.

The fish are hungry here's hoping the wind takes a break.

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



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