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What’s on your Christmas gift wish list?

December 23, 2016
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

As usual, my Christmas tree is bobbing and weaving under the weight of a couple dozen MirrOlures, lights, Zara Spooks, tinsel, colored balls and even a handful of huge Muskie lures.

I've found using Power Pro green braid instead of mono is a much better choice for helping support an overweight tree to anchor points on the wall or moldings (that I have to patch and paint after the holidays) as the small diameter and dark green color doesn't show up as badly under the lights as mono does.

What's on your Christmas wish list? A second Power Pole for your boat? New side scan satellite positioned electronics that are so advanced they run the boat, catch fish and serve coffee? A new 10mm Glock hog gun with optics? That overpriced rod and reel combo you've been lusting after?

How about pulling the trigger this year and springing for that new flats rig or finally taking possession of your 120-foot custom luxury cruiser with three levels, three hot tubs, Olympic class pool and helicopter that you use only when you happen to be in Europe for a few weeks? Must be nice!

A holiday gift ticket to a remote Pacific island where never-seen-a-fly-before trash can lid-sized permit compete for your fly on miles of uninhabited flats or where 6-pound bonefish are considered just average?

This year I'm hoping for enough money to buy my girlfriend a nice gift, two new tires for my old truck and 50 gold spoons to replace the 47 forever lost to the mangroves this past season by overzealous clients, and a 100-hour maintenance service on my Honda outboard. If I have anything left over I'll use it for a down payment on the previously mentioned 120-footer.

Can't afford that second Power Pole? Most of your fishing done in shallow water? Save money and get a 5 to 8-foot piece of PVC pipe. Hacksaw a point on one end and drill a hole an inch down from the other end and tie 6 feet of thin rope to the hole. (Option: add lead to the pointy end)

When stopping to fish, deploy your rear Power Pole and punch the PVC pipe in the muck in front and tie off. You just saved over 1400 bucks!

As the water cools, the flats fish drop off into deeper water to find thermal comfort. If its 8 a.m. after a cold night, beating the flats might not be your best plan as most of the fish have schooled and moved down in the water column and off the chilly shallows.

Come back late afternoon with an all-day warming sun, these deep schools might break up and fan out over the flats to hunt.

The exception being redfish that aren't as bothered by the cold and will hunt the clear shallow potholes, run-outs and pools left by the tide.

Keep in mind this is not easy early fall red fishing with ravenous reds competing for your lure. This is shallow, very clear water sight fishing, best done by quietly poling.

Light lines and long casts with bait or small lures and quiet stealth tactics are the keys to hooking up with often skittish local winter redfish which sometimes get as spooky as a 15 pound Islamorada bonefish

Find schools of trout in deep channels, basins, marinas, deep creeks and Cape canals.

Fish in an around the passes for a mixed bag of macks, bluefish, trout, ladyfish, pompano, and flounder. Look for diving birds.

Offshore anglers wait for calm winds to fish near and offshore magic GPS numbers.

Mr. Goofy Tooth, the delicious sheepshead, is here on docks, rocks, pilings, waiting to test your skill while they steal your shrimp.

Get the kids out fishing, shooting, camping and hunting this year. Outdoor interest is low.

Give the gift of the outdoors this season.

Merry Christmas!

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



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