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North Cape is a hot spot for fishing fun

May 25, 2018
By GEORGE TUNISON , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

On days off from my fishing job or when on vacation, I'm usually fishing, tinkering with lures, doing neverending boat and equipment maintenance chores or exploring new fishing spots close to home in the North Cape area. At times, when I can throw a rod in the truck and fish for an hour or two no boats or crowded ramps, or hassle.

In the past three rainy days, I've spent an hour or two fishing and sometimes just observing the many species of fresh and saltwater fish available to the walking angler throughout the Cape.

Yesterday I sight-casted to a 3-foot- long American alligator gar with a light weight 5 wt. fly rod and homemade yarn flies while trying to blend in with a tree along the road. No, it's not a 150-pound tarpon but 10 minutes from my house on a light fly rod? Amazing fights!

The days before, my friend and I challenged each other in the "Great North Cape Cichlid Fly Rod Only Shootout" - $20 entry and a 2-hour time limit. Any species of cichlid, the most wins. Fly rods only, but nothing larger than a 3 weight. Ever fight a 3-pound, hard charging bull around and through lily pads with a 3 weight? (If you don't know, a 3wt. fly rod is very "ultra-light") It's a challenge and a hoot!

The North Cape hosts many varieties of hard fighting Cichlids, as do most of the waters of Florida including the beautiful peacock bass available in the Miami area and spreading.

Of course, Cichlids are an invasive species from South America and Africa let loose in our waters mostly by aquarists. I do know from my years in the fish import business that Cichlids are an aggressive fish. Light tackle fun for the angler but in some cases bad news for local species, although I've caught largemouth from the same waters on the same trip.

I'm sure that many reading this don't realize that one of their favorite Saturday night restaurant fish, right on the menu next to grouper, flounder or overpriced but delicious sea bass, is the common S. American Cichlid called the tilapia. (Dressed up and promoted as an exotic saltwater food fish). This freshwater aquarium fish is first cousin to that giant Oscar in your uncle's aquarium.

Cichlids bed circles like bass and are highly territorial and pretty easy to find in the many canals and backwaters available to the walking angler. Great fighters (and eaters), on light fly or ultra-light spin tackle.

It's no secret that steady rain jump starts the spillway action in Southwest Florida where the walking angler has access to gar, tarpon, sharks, snook, even largemouth bass.

Sharks in the Northwest Cape? Yes! At a spillway along Burnt Store Road we caught a few snook and gar and watched two small sharks circle and hunt the pool below the spillway keeping the surface schooling mullet there very nervous. Clouds of tiny baitfish also attracted juvenile tarpon that would occasionally lunch themselves into the air chasing these tiny snacks.

The point is, if you aren't out boating, bad weather or time is limited, with a little exploring there are near limitless angling opportunities for the on foot angler throughout all of Cape Coral.

That's the good news; the bad news is that many of our local angling community that frequent these great little spots have grown hoofs and snouts and must sleep in mud.

Yesterday at one location I pulled up to find paper, lure boxes, Mc-Donalds wrappers, cigarette packs, a near dozen beer and pop cans, with two floating in the stream along with a big bonus wad of deadly braided fishing line thrown into the brush.

Bad? Terrible! Especially considering I had just picked after these pigs the week before hauling out a full trash bag of human-pig garbage.

Sadly, seems some things will never change.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-440-1621 or captgeorget3@aol.com.

 
 
 

 

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