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Failures to stop oil horrifying

June 5, 2010

While tar balls are washing up on the beaches of Pensacola, I sit horrified watching the latest TV reports praying BP's latest Rube Goldberg contraption - the cap - is a success at gathering the oil erupting from the blown out well.

BP fully admits they were in no way prepared for a disaster of this magnitude. That, coupled with a rather sluggish and disjointed Federal response, has made the residents of Louisiana and the rest of the country boiling mad.

I watched films today of BP workers along a beach cleaning, standing in groups laughing and texting while oil soaked booms that are supposed to be in place offshore were lying on the beaches in front of them. I listened to local officials complain that the equipment they so badly needed and had requested from the Feds had not be approved or found.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Sea birds are weighted down, oil soaked and incapable of feeding or flight. Reports of the chemical dispersant used to treat the oil may be more toxic than the oil it is being used to treat.

If not capped, the massive amount of oil will be caught in the Gulf Loop Currents and be carried down the peninsula, through the coral reefs and shorelines of the Keys, through Miami, around and immediately northward up the east coast. Coupled with the start of hurricane season, it's a heartbreaking scenario.

BP said Friday that the relief wells being drilled may not be ready till the New Year. I can't imagine the amount of devastation if this well is not capped before Christmas. I hope the people who say that man has little to no effect on nature or his environment are watching.

In the meantime, local fishing is hot with everyone showing up for the party. Tarpon, sharks, reds, trout are here and biting. With the heat comes the need to get out early and throw those topwater plugs. Find a big flat and quietly wind drift across it while "walking the dog" with a big topwater plug. If a big trout or red hits your offering and misses keep retrieving the plug. I found that stopping the plug sometimes makes the fish lose interest.

Remember, the underslung mouth of a red makes it sometimes difficult for him to nab your topwater so don't be surprised if the fish makes several attempts before he hooks himself. Force yourself to keep retrieving and don't set any hooks till you feel the weight of the fish.

This is a great time of year to land a real gator trout. Again, getting out early, being stealthy, and tossing a big floating lure may very well put a trophy trout on your line.

June is a great month to try and catch a Southwest Florida Grand Slam - a tarpon, a trout, a snook, and a redfish.

Capt. Dick May of Easy Rider Charters reports the water temperature in the Gulf is 86 degrees and even warmer on the inside, which means you need to get out at first light or late in the evening to find active fish. Try to fish a rising or falling tide for good water movement to activate the fish.

Redfish and trout are hitting topwater baits early before the sun gets up. Trout are still pretty good around the passes in four- to eight-feet of water. White bait is getting scarce, but they are biting small pinfish as are reds fished under a cork.

The harbor and passes are full of sharks that will eat just about anything. Snook are ganging up on the beaches as are some nice trout, Spanish mackerel and blue fish. For Spanish and blues watch for diving birds.

It's a great time to fish for tarpon in the passes. Watch for rolling fish off the beach as well.

Let's all hope that BP's latest efforts to stop the flow of oil is successful.

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



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