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Life’s fishing season short, ever-changing

September 17, 2011
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

After just three hours of casting the other day I started to get sore in my joints and I thought to myself, "wait a minute, it couldn't be the casting, I've casted all day for the last 50 years, must be getting a cold or something."

I picked up the guitar at 8 years old and for the last five decades never put it down other than to fish. I got pretty good, played in a rock band, and could play some pretty fast stuff that nowadays, for some reason, I just can't seem to play.

Maybe I need to take my guitar in for an adjustment.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

I also noticed awhile back that I've been losing my hair slowly over the last three or four years, mostly in the front. Lately, it seems it's really leaving town. I did hear that wearing a baseball cap all the time will lead to hair loss, maybe I need silk pillowcases?

I suppose when it gets too tough to stand and cast then I will sit and become a troller, and when I lose strength in my arms then they will have to tie a line to my rod so I won't lose it to a big fish. Just prop me up in a corner of the transom, lash me down and pull me through a school of bonito off Redfish Pass.

On second thought, find a school of Spanish macs. Bonito are so strong they probably would do me in on the first fish.

Although I could think of many things I'd like to be doing when my time comes, listening to a big bonito making my fly or spinning reel drag scream while sporting a huge grin, wouldn't be a real bad way to go.

I guess after I'm unable to board the boat anymore, and I don't get too damn bitter about it and still want to fish, then I will become a pier or dock guy.

If I lived in the north I would fish from a deluxe ice shanty, probably drink too much orange schnapps and beer, eat brats and watch the games on HD satellite TV from an overstuffed and heated La-Z-boy.

I often wonder how I will handle not being able to get in the boat someday. How many years left on the water will I be granted? As a young man I received my first .22 at 12 and hunted daily for all my young life. Now, I'm still an avid shooter, but don't hunt often any more feeling content to simply observe and think about past hunts and successful impossible shots that still make me smile and shake my head.

When I start skipping around the house and begin asking who my relatives are then maybe they will let me sit out by the pool with a rod and some plastic fish like Al Capone in his final days in Miami. He looked very content in those final pictures.

I take lots of pictures now. I've become obsessive about it I suppose. Feeling like I need to capture as many moments on the water as possible, rushing to fill scrapbooks that need organizing. These will become treasures some day as I lay there weak and failing.

Looking at each one, remembering the exact mood of the moment, the smells, the sounds, the trophies and the camaraderie of good friends, some gone, long ago.

Life truly is a short season, fish hard!

If floating grass in Matlacha Pass is a problem on your favorite redfish flat I feel your pain. In some areas it's impossible to make a cast and not bring in a pound or two of floating grasses with your lure.

Try weedless jerkbaits and flies, and weedless spoons. There are replacement weedless treble hooks as well to replace your old ones.

Best bet in the thick stuff: weedless soft plastic jerk baits, otherwise sit and fish cut bait or 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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