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Use wind to your advantage

January 29, 2011

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate this weekend. The ever-present devil wind will become but a gentle 5 mph breeze, and the skies will be blue with perfect clouds. It just might rain $100 bills as well.

As of this writing, while looking out across the lake, I see the wind building steadily already. Later today (Friday), wind or no wind, I'm hoping to fish some shallow backwater areas to see if I can find a lone bruiser redfish that might just take a liking to my lure or maybe a fly.

Hopefully, the wind gods will be kind as a hard blow makes sight fishing difficult. The trick is to use it to your advantage. I like to stake out on the protected side of a windy point and cast into the windy area on and off the point. Fish use these spots as ambush points especially if they have current and some depth. Expect to catch snook, reds, tarpon, jacks, trout, and ladies, depending on time of year.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Get up on that poling platform and wind drift looking for potholes or big lone fish cruising the flats. Get out very, very early and quietly wind drift or pole a good grassy flat and you sometimes will be amazed at the fish you'll see as well as the bigger trout. If you want a jumbo trout be an early morning fisherman and don't be afraid to throw a jumbo Zara Spook type lure for a trophy flats trout.

Actually, it probably will be a fly for my trip today. Even though it will be breezy, hopefully, flyrodding will be quite effective as it usually is. As I've written before, if you haven't tried flyfishing by all means do so this year. It's fishing at its purest and there is no other angling method that gives the feeling of being one-on-one with the fish, as flyfishing does.

We are blessed with fly friendly shallow waters and almost every species in our waters eat flies with gusto. Trout are abundant right now and love flies. This really is a super time to get started flyfishing. Also there is a ton of ladyfish around as well as lots of rat (small) reds. A large ladyfish on a light flyrod is fine fishing and it really is like fighting a mini tarpon, hence the name "poor man's tarpon."

No. 1 rule - flyfishing is not hard to learn. I can have most pure novices catching long rod fish in 10 to 20 minutes, especially in large schools of trout or ladyfish.

No. 1 rule again - it's a blast!

No. 2 rule - it need not be expensive to get started. Bass Pro and Orvis run specials on complete starter outfits at a cheap price. Better yet go see someone local like Lehr's Economy Tackle in North Fort Myers for some great starter to pro equipment advice and start-up combos. Many local shops cater to flyrod types and can offer good advice. Most guides like me offer all levels of instruction.

Capt. Dick May of Easy Rider Charters told me the weather allowed two charters Monday and Tuesday this week.

On the first trip, trout were caught on the grass flats plus some small flounder. Later in the day they found a pod of undersized redfish. They caught 14 and left them still biting.

On the second trip, it was too windy to fish the flats for trout so he and the single angler went back to the same protected cove as the day before and caught 29 redfish up to 17 1/2 inches, a nice keeper flounder, sheepshead, and ladyfish.

While they could not catch a keeper redfish the action was nonstop. The client was the outdoor editor for the Kansas City Star newspaper.

When fishing for these undersized redfish be sure and use circle hooks for a safe release. All fish were caught on live shrimp.

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



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