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A promising weekend for local anglers

March 8, 2019
By GEORGE TUNISON , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

With the cold front passing us, this weekend looks promising. For the inshore angler that likes to fish the incoming tides but not fight weekend early morning ramp madness after a long work week, sleep in on Saturday then later catch the incoming starting at 11 a.m. High tide in Matlacha will be at 4 p.m., giving you a before dark shot at the fish that didn't bite on the incoming. There will be good water movement both days while the afternoon sun warms the water. Hopefully the fish will respond.

Lots of snapper offshore and quite a few fish along the shorelines inshore where skip-casters score on those fish back and under the mangroves, the fish other anglers never see.

A good skipper can easily hit the water and skip his lure the length of the boat mere inches off the water, getting way back under docks and mangrove tangles to wary fish.

Try to learn to skip cast both ways. Think tennis, a forward stroke and a backhand stroke. Your boat won't always be in perfect position for your comfortable forward skip cast. Learning the backhand move ups your game.

Using a shorter rod, I've had great success skip casting DOA Cal plastics on 1/8 - 1/4 oz. jig heads. The harder plastic DOA body skips like a stone.

When backing down a ramp to pick up or launch your boat, it's a good idea to unplug your trailer lights especially if you use incandescent bulbs.

Another item worth re-mentioning is when backing down a dark ramp, turn off your headlights and use your parking lights. With your headlights pointed up at that angle, it blinds everyone but you and makes it dangerous as well as nearly impossible for others to back down when in a multi-lane ramp. It's not only impossible to see to back up but dangerous for the foot traffic always present around ramps getting hit by blinded drivers trying to access the ramp.

With season here and limited time, especially for the weekend angler, ramp etiquette goes a long way in making everyone's trip more enjoyable.

The actual boat ramp is not the place to park and load or unload beach blankets, beach balls, beagles and your crew while seven very frustrated boat owners sit in line waiting, losing precious time, tide and often tempers.

Always try to load or stage the boat far away from the ramp area. After the plug and way too much equipment is finally in the boat, then and only then get in the ramp and launch.

Obviously, tie off to the dock. If the dock is large enough, try not parking in the middle, leave room for someone else to dock while you're parking your trailer.

If you're new to boating and your new boat, try practicing backing and launching maneuvers in the middle of the day when ramps aren't busy. It will make the ramp experience more efficient and pleasant for you and others when the pressure is on and trucks are lined up dying to launch.

Add wire cutters to your onboard toolbox. What toolbox? Whoops. This week I came upon a boat that had hit a crab float, instantly tangling the float rope around the prop as well as turning the trap into a completely mangled wire cage tightly encasing the prop. This happened to me years ago and it's easy to do especially while running early or late, as many traps are often near or sometimes in marked channels.

Make sure you have a sharp knife to cut the rope away from the prop and wire cutters for the metal work. Never leave the dock without insurance and reliable communications otherwise you might find yourself drifting alone, with you struggling in the black water knife in teeth and no flashlight trying to cut wire and rope without being cut, or eaten.

Always have tow insurance.

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



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