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Permit go for live crab hungrily

July 14, 2017
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Going offshore don't be surprised to see permit, large permit over or around your favorite reef. Sometimes encountered on the surface over deep water or suspended deeper in the water column around structure.

Permit will take a fly or live shrimp, but the go-to bait is a small live crab.

On the flats of the Florida Keys the permit is typically more skittish than the average always-nervous bonefish. Catching one wading or poling, especially using the fly rod, is quite an angling accomplishment.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Offshore, schooled up, when in a feeding mood, a live crab won't last long in the hungry competitive school.

Once hooked, the permit will turn its broad flat body and fight long and hard with long drag-burning runs.

If you love night tarpon fishing with bait, flies, or lures and are tired of the same scenery try a night at the twin 41 bridges of Punta Gorda.

Just a short ride from the Cape this is yet another summer tarpon and big snook bridge destination for the exploring angler.

Top producers for tarpon there have been 7-inch black Hogy baits on 1 oz. heavy duty jigheads. Four-inch DOA shrimp, Bomber Long A hard baits, MirrOlures converted to single hooks and Coastal Series Rapala's with the single hooks.

With the internet and giant chains, local tackle stores face steep competition. It's very expensive to stock every brand in every color and size unless you have a corporation behind you.

With one exception, if you are heading north to Punta Gorda and want to shop at what I call "The Bass Pro Shops of the North," stop in at Fishin' Frank's Tackle Store on the southbound lane before the bridge on Highway 41.

This is the most complete tackle store in the area stocking an incredible amount of lures, baits, and tackle, into a relatively small store.

Select from offshore, inshore and freshwater fishing equipment, a huge selection of lures, fresh live bait and friendly service with up-to-the-minute info. Open 6 a.m. 365 days a year. 941-625-3888. 4425 Tamiami Trail and now on Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers as well.

The new Coastal Series X-Rap Twitchin' Mullet #8 is a snook go-to bait giving the instant classic MirrOlure MirrOdine a run for its money in the snook and redfish twitch bait department.

I've been using the white/silver color and catching snook that are inhaling this great new lure by the design masters at Rapala.

As we travel down the highways we all take for granted that our trailer holding our heavy hull, motor, fuel and 500 pounds of ice and tackle is not going to fail.

Many don't realize that most axles holding your heavyweight pride and joy are held onto the actual trailer frame by simple U bolts using nuts that are under constant heavy vibration, torque and stress.

If you trailer your boat at least once a year, dock the boat and get out the socket set. Go over any and all nuts and bolts. You may be surprised at what you find, and if you do find a couple loose ones, be happy.

While you're down there look at those springs. If rotted with corrosion replace them. Inspect all welds and mounting points and areas around them for cracks.

Since you're already there, grease those bearings. When was the last time you actually put on a new set? If your answer is, years ago and you are getting ready to trailer the boat back north for the summer, I wish you well.

Sun rotted, cracked, under-inflated trailer tires? Bad news. Carry a spare with actual air in it? Everything needed to change a tire safely?

Boat towing companies offer trailer breakdown road insurance as a cheap addition to your watercraft policy.

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



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