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Fish still bite through latest chill

January 17, 2009

After some beautiful warm weather we finally got a small taste of winter chill.

My father called from Maine and said it was 18 degrees below zero with winds up to 45 mph. Please stop complaining that's its cold.

The fishing these past couple of weeks has been good and this week's cold front changed the game a bit, although the fish still are hanging in there and cooperating.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

This fresh, on the water report, came Friday from Capt. Rob Moody of SoulMate Charters via cell phone: "Chilly and windy, but still catching fish."

Capt. Rob says pompano are still doing great off Bunch Beach and being caught by boat fishermen as well as surf and beach walker types. (Capt. Rob always starts with a small, yellow, shrimp-tipped jig for pomps.) Bunch Beach is still giving up lots of trout.

His other fishing has slowed considerably, but after a few days it will settle back into a normal pattern as this cold front has scattered the fish.

Capt. Doug Root of D&D Marina in Matlacha was out Thursday and did very well on the Burnt Store Bar, south of the marina. His clients caught redfish and trout on the outside of the bar in three to five feet of water on jumbo shrimp and cut pinfish.

His now not-so-secret lure has been "Redfish Magic" plastic worms on small silver jigheads. His go-to worm color has been the silver flavor worm with the salt and pepper tops. This is a 4-inch plastic worm.

Friday's charter netted six redfish and 20 trout. Capt. Doug also says to hit the Bookelia Bar for pompano and also is a fan of yellow shrimp-tipped jigs.

Capt. Miles Meredith of CT&T Charters reports his clients caught snook on white baits in the Shell Creek area. He is catching his live baits at the Causeway. He has been having decent luck on redfish, fishing the potholes near Cayo Costa on cut baits on the bottom. Hard to beat cut ladyfish for this type of fishing as this is candy to a redfish and they can smell it from a long way away.

Capt. Miles directs us to the Bookelia Bar for pompano and is finding them just west of Jug Creek.

Capt. Dick May of Easy Rider Charters on Pine Island tells me that on five charters this past week the fish remain scattered due to the warm weather and should get more consistent as it cools down. The cooling also brings in the sheepshead and turn on their bite as well as cause the trout to school up.

Snook will be seeking warmer water and the captain says to hit the back ends of deadend canals. While the season remains closed on these fish, now is the time to catch and carefully release a BIG snook. He also says this coming week should be a good time to go out and catch a bunch of tasty trout.

Dan Weich of Lehr's Economy Tackle in North Fort Myers weighs in with reports of flounder being caught all over the place, inshore and offshore as well. The deep guys are going out of Redfish Pass to 60 feet of water and bottom bouncing for flatties and catching up to 10 per person.

Inshore customers have been telling him that north and south of the Matlacha Bridge has been a flounder hot spot. Lure fishermen casting X-RAP 12 and 14 series Rapala plugs have been catching very nice size night snook at the bases of the Cape Coral Bridge.

Finally, a family trip this week to the Franklin Locks yielded snook at the boat ramp basin on Rapala Shad Raps, one of the all-time modern classic bass crankbaits.

n Watch those filters for ethanol contamination and change them often.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.



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