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With Dorian approaching, play it safe and be prepared

August 30, 2019
By GEORGE TUNISON , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Oh, no! We were doing so well. I saw it this morning while shopping. It's something in the eyes of the shoppers and it's down right scary as hurricane stress sets in. Hopefully the east coast will break it down enough to minimize damage here or better, turn northward and spare Florida a direct hit.

Since no one really knows anymore than you do, play the safe game and prepare. Boat insurance up to date? Secure at the dock? Tied tight to your trailer?

During Hurricane Charlie I had two boats on trailers next to the house. I flattened the tires and drove anchors into the ground anchoring each boat at three points. The rain became so strong both boats flooded with water and all the extra water weight.

During the worst part of the storm I watched through a crack in the storm shutters as both boats pulled their anchors. I watched in horror as the wind skidded both boats (on trailers) round and round across an open field, never flipping them over. When it stopped, both boats where 75 yards from my home pointed at each other and the field full of ruts and skid marks where the boats had travelled round and round for hours.

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would have never believed it possible. Be prepared as you can and hope for the best.

For those wanting to put venison or wild turkey on the table the old fashioned way, it's time to get your muzzleloaders oiled up and hopefully sighted in, ready for the zone A opener on Sept. 7-20.

Bow hunters hopefully get a shot Sept. 14-18 at The Webb.

Hunting game with the bow in many ways is similar to stalking flats fish with a fly rod. Both require stealth and patience but the personal rewards are often greater. Both offer a closer one-on-one connection with the intended quarry not available with heavier tackle or a firearm.

If you don't go and catch just one more visiting tarpon you'll probably regret it four or five months from now. Charlotte Harbor is usually late summer/fall tarpon central till the falling water temps hit a certain number signaling it's time for the gang to pack up and head south to Miami and beyond as they've done for thousands, millions of years. River fish congregate around bridges and river mouths so the Sanibel Causeway is a good bet.

The Peace River Bridges at Punta Gorda will still hold tarpon year-round but the migratory fish are best hunted at the mouth of the Myakka River this time of year.

Just moved here with tarpon fever and the fish are all soon leaving?! Well don't panic as they don't all leave, that's right we do have a huge group that comes and goes but another group that apparently just loves it here and stays year round.

I hooked and fought to the boat my very first Cape Coral Bridge tarpon years ago, 2:30 in the afternoon on a cloudy and breezy February day on snook tackle.

Most resident fish will be a golden darker color stained from the tannins in our river instead of the bright chrome of migratory fish swimming in the Gulf.

These resident fish will winter over in the Cape's many miles of canals and in different areas of our river all the way up to the Franklin Locks where a live or even dead catfish still may be the best bait.

The offshore fleet will be in port till things settle down, then will resume catching tasty snapper offshore or smaller boats can catch them in the passes.

Snook fishing is hot with snook returning from the beaches and schooling redfish time soon starting.

This year try a Southwest Florida Super Slam! A tarpon, a trout, redfish, a snook and a bow harvested deer or turkey!

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or



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