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Beware the summer heat

June 7, 2019
By GEORGE TUNISON , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The heat and humidity are obviously back with a vengeance and I've already had causality's aboard my boat. Nothing terminal yet, but when new clients from Connecticut got onboard this past Tuesday morning, the first thing I noticed was their snow white tans and sweat drenched faces. It was only 6:30 in the morning.

By 8:30 it was dead still, humid as a sauna and their pale faces had now become candy cane red and I could see they were obviously suffering. Pulling wet and icy towels from the cooler and placing them around their necks gave them temporary relief but I could see they were still struggling and by 9 a.m. they gave up and asked to head in.

If you've been here for a number of years and your blood, as they say, has "thinned out," it's easy to forget its effect on the unprepared northern visitor.

Article Photos

Photo provided

Roy Bennett with two big grouper caught fishing with Capt. George Tunison.

Stay hydrated, then drink some more. Wet iced towels placed around the neck really do offer relief and if anyone aboard still doesn't feel right, head in as the situation can get worse rather quickly especially with us older types. Don't push it and live to fish another day.

Our machines suffer in the heat as well and pre-summer maintenance is most important. Improperly inflated trailer tires build up heat quickly and can fail as can wheel bearings. Grease them properly and if you trailer a lot into salt water conditions, think about changing out those years old bearings before they fail, especially if you have a personal history of putting off maintenance chores. Not much worse than a wheel bearing failure, miles from home, especially on a mosquito infested hot summer's night without the tools or knowledge to repair such issues.

My Sea-Tow boat breakdown insurance covers me on the water and for a few bucks more, take advantage of their road tow policy for your trailered boat. Money well spent.

Typical boats can carry multiple batteries for starting and deep cycle use and unless they are maintenance free, summer's heat can really strain them. Get out the distilled water (don't use tap water) and fill them properly being careful to not overfill them.

Greatly prolong their life by keeping them on a smart charger 24/7 which keeps them topped off without over-charging.

Humid wet conditions encourage rust and improperly cleaned battery terminals hamper charging. At least once a year take everything apart and clean all battery terminal connectors with a wire brush. Inspect all wire connections going to metal terminal O-rings as they have a tendency to corrode and fail right where they attach to the O-ring. See your dealer for a special grease that coats your terminals after cleaning and provides a barrier to the outside environment.

Last week's article about hand-to-hand, in-boat tarpon battles prompted three readers to email me their battle pics. I'm glad I'm not the only target of these wild fish and the damage (and mess) they create when they decide to "drop in" unexpectedly.

Reported broken windshields and even a small center console broken loose from the floor. Ejected rods, reels, tackle boxes and coolers were all reported. It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's a tarpon experience not soon forgotten.

Local groper guru Roy Bennett and friend Bill Malvesto had a great day offshore off Sanibel Island dropping their baits into the 110-foot-deep Gulf of Mexico and coming up with nice grouper all over 30 inches. We had clean blue water, lots of bait and big schools of mackerel on their successful days outing.

This has been a terrific year so far for redfish and you'll find them early on low incoming tides or later in the day hiding under the bushes waiting for your cut ladyfish or shrimp.

In the north Cape, small canals and ponds are filled with large spawning cichlids. Try worms or bread for freshwater fun.

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



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