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Ready for a fishing marathon?

October 6, 2017
By GEORGE TUNISON , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Let's see, a full moon, prolonged rain, high winds and muddy water. Just one of these conditions will often hinder a successful trip. With all the down time with Irma and October here and slipping quickly, I'm ready for a fishing marathon.

When we do get a break, the water inshore will still be brown so think scent, noise and color. Load those lures with scent and keep re-applying. I'm not a big fan of rattling lures in clear water, but if it's stained brown, fish need all the help they can get finding your offering.

Lure colors for brown water is an endless subject with no real clear definitive answers till today. With over 20 years fishing inshore Southwest Florida, the two most successful stained water colors aboard my boats are gold and pink, with chartreuse a distant third place. Pink really does work for several species of fish and well worth a shot.

When you are finally able to get out, there will be no shortage of species available for you to pursue.

Inshore, snook are nearly everywhere a snook should be and hungry as any time of the year. Live/dead baits, topwater plugs, gold spoons, rattling sub-surface plugs - all will all do the trick.

If you are the sit-and-wait type looking for a trophy snook, throw out half a mullet with a surprise 7/0 hook imbedded in it and let it lay on bottom. Load the other rod the same way and double your chances. Like the magnificent tarpon, snook are scavengers and will feed on bottom fare anytime.

Actually trophy fish learned long ago it's best to consume one huge meal then chase down 10 little baitfish. Eat big - save energy. Over the years big numbers of trophy-sized snook have fallen prey to this time- honored tactic.

What's the worst that could happen while you wait? A bonus tarpon, shark or cobia?

Some snook are still beach-bound but most are moving inshore for winter and are ready to eat.

Some tarpon left in the harbor and passes but many smaller ones are showing on the flats and residential canals.

Punta Gorda has great tarpon fishing for 5 to 20-pound fish in their canal systems right now and the Peace River Bridge is one of the most consistent producers of tarpon in Southwest Florida.

October is redfish month so get out there and find those tails waving in the morning sun. Push-pole, wind drift or troll motor on slow speed and once found, cast to the edges of the school.

There is no finer search lure for redfish then the spoon. Casts far and covers water. Retrieve fast enough to wobble and flash but never fast enough to make the spoon spin.

Use a tiny SPRO swivel between line and leader to cut down on line twist and subsequent line issues.

For the wait-em-out gang, get that shrimp, mullet or ladyfish steak up and under the bushes.

For those looking for a bruiser southwest redfish, spend time in the passes with large baits on bottom like mullet or crabs, or if you like travelling, try Jacksonville for a 50 pounder.

When the wind slows and the offshore crews head off, they will be greeted by plenty of action from grouper and snapper bottom fishing to throwing jigs for mackerel or bonus cobia.

Fall is hunting season and for those inclined to hunt porkers with a pistol, Glock, Sig, Ruger and Remington have all entered the market with new 10mm autos that will fill the bill. Ed Brown has also put in his 10mm offering with his 6-inch hunter if you don't mind spending big bucks for a super quality custom auto.

I'm a big fan of single-shot pistols for hogs and whitetails and Thompson Center has its new stainless 15-inch barreled Encore Pro Hunter in .308 caliber which is sure to be a big problem for Ms. Piggy this year.

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



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