During a move awhile back, I crated up several fish mounts that I've had for years and put them in storage. Yesterday, after a year of not seeing them, I carefully opened the crates one by one. It was like Christmas (are we still allowed to say that?) in July, old friends and old memories still as fresh as if the events had happened yesterday. A 12-pound bonefish, nice muskies, a jumbo bass, a past state record bluegill - all work of art replicas full of wonderful memories collected from Ontario to Key West.
Remembering Canada, on a stormy, lighting-filled afternoon with the cold wind pounding respectable sized waves against our shore and boathouse. We had driven for what seemed like days and nothing was keeping us from the water. Three anglers in two boats, one a Jon-boat type with one angler that, after pulling out of the boathouse, took a big wave over the bow and immedianmtly sank like a stone 10 feet from the boathouse and teetering on the very edge of a steep drop-off. I pulled back and dropped off Cousin Tim at shore, almost swamping in the process, so he could help salvage the now on the bottom boat and motor preparing to slide into the abyss.
I couldn't go back in so I headed across the lake to the other side. I sighted a small island along the way and as I approached it. I saw that the wind was driving the water hard past the end point of the island. Perfect, I thought, as I positioned the boat 30 yards below the island facing into the current ripping around the point. I launched a long cast way past the end and retrieved the giant Mepps Musky Killer spinner back along with the current. Just as it cleared the point, a huge wake appeared and a beautiful muskie smashed the lure. Pictured and released, I hope he's still chasing bait.
This scenario, be it in fresh or salt water, is something the new angler should always look for. Think points! Snook set up on points big time and if I'm casting for snook I'll often do a "milk run" of mangrove islands only hitting the high percentage areas, the ends or points. That muskie was exactly where he should have been if he was anywhere near that island and was hungry. His ancient instincts told him that food was being washed down to him trapped in the current and that's were he should be positioned, and he was.
All predators take advantage of this and if you find an island with a good current flow around either end with deep water on the point or very close by, you may have found a honey hole that could pay off for many years to come. Set up down current and while casting up current cover the point with casts.
Many new anglers don't realize that fish are lazy opportunistic feeders, especially the wise old trophies. They hang out - facing into the current - usually behind a current break or cover if available instead of fighting the tidal flow wasting energy. If a lure is cast behind your 50-inch snook and retrieved from tail to head there's a good chance he will spook. What baitfish sneaks up on a jumbo snook and attacks from behind? Zero.
When approaching your area, don't just run up and start flailing away. Stop, look, watch for tails, birds, baitfish being chased. Observe the current flow and position the boat so your casts flow back naturally with the current not against it. That DOA Shrimp gliding along with the current occasionally ticking the bottom looks very natural and will get eaten.
Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.flyingfinssportfishing,com.