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Spinnerbaits prove to be quite a jolt

March 31, 2012
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Like many northern anglers I grew up fishing lakes, rivers, streams and millponds for bass and chain pickerel. In little old Delaware they were plentiful.

Later getting into club bass fishing, a spinnerbait was a bread and butter tournament and recreational lure. Ex-tremely versatile, from buzzing it across the surface to slow rolling near bottom, and with the ability to cover water quickly, the spinnerbait, as most bass guys know, remains a high percentage lure.

As my fishing horizons expanded I learned that giant muskies and pike from Kentucky to Canada eat them and found myself with aching arms from hours and hours of casting comically large spinnerbaits in the freezing cold, made with coat hanger-size wire with gravy spoon sized blades.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

A good day for a muskie addict, after 12 hours of casting huge plugs and spinners, is to get a follow. For those who don't know what a follow is, it's when a 45-pound muskie stays one-half inch behind your lure, tracking it all the way back to the boat without biting. Muskie nuts know how to pay dues.

Whether it's a three-pound bass or a hog musky, a spinnerbait hit is usually quite a jolt which always puts a smile on my mug.

If you haven't tried it yet and you love that great spinnerbait hit, then get out your old dusty spinnerbait box from back home, tie one on your favorite baitcaster setup and start casting the mangroves and salt flats.

Be ready because Mr. Red can honestly rip the rod from your hand when he "takes out" your blade bait. Twice this year I almost lost rods as I was daydreaming, sky watching the jets descend into Fort Myers.

Yes, old news to some, new to others, reds crush spinnerbaits as well as snook. The strike is awesome, guaranteed to make you grunt, grin, and say, Fish On!

Thursday was a perfect lesson in tidal movements and fish feeding activity. As we casted a shoreline during dead high tide, both reds and snook briefly followed the lures then turned away.

I told my partner to let the tide start falling out and we'll return and re-fish the same stretch. We did and after a few casts my client's spoon was slammed by a fat red. Twenty yards later my spinnerbait was blasted by another red and then shortly, another. Moving water.

If you don't understand tide tables, learn them and plan your trips around moving tides rather than sitting ones. Also know the heights of the tides and how far they are dropping or rising.

If the tide is taking all day to rise or fall fishing generally will be slower than a tide that goes from high to low in say five hours.

If you don't know what tide is best for the species you want to catch, be on the water and fish the incoming and stay to fish the outgoing till you find the most productive tides at your favorite fishing locations. It varies from spot to spot and time of year.

With the high water now under the mangroves, accurate skip casting soft plastics like DOA Shrimps way back and under will pull out those big reds and snook that guys fishing the edges will never see.

Now is the time to nail a trophy snook and I prefer fishing at night to make it happen. The big girls come out to play in the dark and if you are willing to put in the time, the snook of a lifetime is waiting for you. Go with a guide your first time.

Don't overlook the hundreds of snook light docks in our canal systems. When fishing docks at night basically you are a guest, please act accordingly. Nothing like bouncing plugs off docks, and the family cruiser's gel coat, to make quick enemies.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or, or www.flyingfinssportfishing,com.



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