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Plenty of fish despite windy days

April 2, 2009

Capt. Casey of Reel Action Adventures says he has been fighting a lot of recent windy days, but the fish are there and biting. He had plenty of whitebaits, but they are tougher to find now.

He reports tarpon sightings in Pine Island Sound and free jumpers in the "fishing shacks" area. He's catching snook, reds and trout on points and catching early snook out front, along the beaches.

Capt Dick May of Easy Rider Charters reports last week's rain and wind clouded the waters, but fishing for reds and trout remained strong. More whitebait is showing up each week, which should continue to bring the tarpon and sharks in shore. Ladyfish continue to be abundant and there are mackerel in the passes.

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Capt. George Tunison

D&D in Matlacha says, "go fishing!" Start your day at night and be on the Matlacha Bridge in the wee hours on a strong outgoing tide with stout rods to get a picture of a big snook. Large shrimp, live and dead ladyfish, and other cut baits, pinfish, and the variety of techniques used to fish these baits on or near the bottom can put the snook of a lifetime on your line.

Big fish are there and if you pay your dues and put in your time you will connect. Then board your boat just before first light and motor to your favorite trout flat. Start with big topwaters early in the morning, for a shot at a gator trout or feeding reds. Then, back at home for lunch and a nap.

That's what they call "Island Time" in Matlacha, great stuff. They also say to fish the grass beds at the top of Pine Island Sound for trout. Jigs, topwaters, shrimp, fly rods, pick your passion and your color.

If you are really serious about catching that giant snook at the Matlacha Bridge, or any of our fine fishy bridges, then don't fool yourself. You have to prepare with some heavier gear than you usually use. I like 80-100-pound test braided lines and up to a 100-pound test fluorocarbon leaders.

Overkill you say? Pilings, barnacles, snags, all make this combat fishing and 10-pound test mono isn't going to cut it. Best shot at a real monster is to anchor and fish large dead or live baits near or on the bottom. A big one will eat it if it looks and smells right.

If the tides are not really strong I like to freeline a good size ladyfish and see if it can find trouble on its own. Again, this is a put-your-time-in, pay-your-dues type of fishing as is most trophy hunting or fishing.

Tonight there probably is a 40-pound or larger snook waiting for you in Matlacha.

Capt. Rob Modys of SoulMate Charters has been having a really good week despite the wind, wind, and and more wind. Mixed bag fishing in Estero Bay has been very good. Tuesday saw two nice drum, redfish, and two four-pound class permit, not pompano, but permit, in the boat.

Wednesday he fished Matlacha Pass and caught big numbers of trout on shrimp-baited jigs along with redfish, snook, and two cobia, up to 30 inches. The cobias were shadowing a manatee and both immediately took a liking to the shrimp and jig combo.

The Caloosa Catch & Release Tournament is set for June 4-7 at the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Spa on Fort Myers Beach. The 20th anniversary event offers $30,000 in prizes. A good time for all involved.

The tournament itself, weigh-in, auction, dinner, and the awards banquet, all take place over the three days. Tournament check-in opens at 3 p.m. on June 4 with the captains' party and rules meeting that evening. The tournament starts Friday morning.

For more information, call Ron Riley (239) 850-1707.

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



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