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Sanibel pier one serious fish spot

September 1, 2012
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

A really interesting place to fish, especially for the boat-free angler, is the pier, the point, and the beach in front of the Sanibel Lighthouse.

The channel that runs in front of the pier is deep and strong currents trap baitfish and provide a natural highway for moving and feeding fish. Thou-sands of fish moving from Estero Bay and the Gulf use this channel daily as they round the lighthouse point and swim up into or away from Pine Island Sound.

I've been getting lighthouse reports of unstoppable beasts spooling big reels at night. Get out your heavy gear and bug spray and toss out a nice fresh ladyfish to meander around. It won't take long for it to find trouble if the current is moving. Live and dead baits will work and could easily result in a 150 tarpon hookup or a less than cordial shark of true Jaws sized proportions pulling you from the beach and into his world.

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Capt. George Tunison

If you are new to this fishery we really do have some giant sharks patrolling our waters. No great whites, but some really huge hammerheads of over 1,000 pounds that bite 100-pound tarpon in half like snapping toothpicks. An even bigger problem can be the always ready to snap bull shark which there are plenty of.

For a real thrill put on a stand-up big game harness and toss out a small ray or jack while standing on that stretch of beach this weekend. Go at night and always carry a knife or two just in case something goes wrong and you're reel suddenly freezes and refuses to pay out line.

A 500-pound shark can easily snatch you and take you for a one-way bottom tour of the Gulf of Mexico. Go with a buddy and go prepared with plenty of light and proper release tools.

A word of caution, a shark can whip around like a snake and grab whatever is holding it due to it's rubber like skeleton. It's very easy to get bitten trying to release a shark in the surf.

A one-armed man I know told me that while trying to figure out how to disarm a hand grenade brought back from the service that his biggest mistake was first stopping and getting that 12-pack. This is deadly serious business, make sure you know what you are in for and be prepared.

The flats across from Punta Rassa offer great wade fishing which is an odd sentence after shark warnings. Take a drive out to Blind Pass and walk the beaches while casting a white bucktail for big snook.

The pier at Bookelia and walking/wading the edge of Burnt Store Bar (accessible from Burnt Store Road) are all great non-boater spots. Many big fish are caught from the Cape Coral Yacht Club pier as well.

September is officially known as Grandpop Take Me Fishing Month! Kids, please send me a short email explaining why you want to go fishing with your grandfather. Please put "Fishing with Grandpop" as the subject of your email. Grandpa's aren't allowed to write the letter.

I will read them and select one (1). The selected writer will receive a completely free, all inclusive, guided fishing trip for two, from Flying Fins Sportfishing

This contest is for non-boat owners only. Please do not apply if you own a boat! Grandpas must be 69 years young, or older. Kids, 12 & under (boy or girl). Ages must be verifiable.

Contest closes on Sept. 12 at midnight. Winner will be announced here on Sept. 15th. My email contact info appears below.

Let's get the kids on the water! If you are fortunate enough to own a boat, please take a boatless kid fishing at least once this summer and spread the joy.

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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