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Water LI FE

Charlotte Harbor, Lemon Bay, Venice, Estero, 10,000 Islands and the Gulf

The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association

May 2018

Kids Summer Fishing Tournament Entry Form on page 6

Txt Us Ur FishPix!

Jeremiah Hoyt from Sterling VA with his first legal 30" snook. From the Myakka River. He never gave up after 4 days of hard fishing with little sucsuccess. Congrats Jeremiah!

FISH PIX!

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from Water LIFE magazine

See page 4

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Zoe with a real river monster, a gar caught fishing with Capt. Greyshark and Capt. Gavin.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Jack, 6wt fly rod , PGI canals, Samantha Knapp ,

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6/1/18


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WE WANT YOUR FISH! Txt Us Ur Fish Pix

eMail letters and photos to:

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1) No pictures you have sent to other local publications 2) No Old Fish

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Include anglerʼs name and what kind of fish

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Txt fish Pix to 941-457-1316

Water LIFE inc.

READER WRITES Hi Mike. Just to let you know I really enjoy your mag and related articles. We also support your advertisers as did many of your readers for our business, the Nav-A-Gator and ʻreal old Florida. There is the article about Sunseeker and the building of a dock for a Water Taxi service in the area. I have lived and boated in this area since the 70s and always believed there was a need for fishing charters, tour boats, dinner cruises and water transportation for the general public. I was the first to offer a Water Taxi service in the area in the early 80s. This is when there was still quaint little waterfront restaurants to get to by boat. The routes would join places like the old Holiday Inn, Howard Johnsons, FishVille restaurants, the Elks Club, Laishley Park where the old shrimp boats and tin-can tourists lived, the old River House, (Pepins), the Raw Bar, The Harbour Inn and on up to the Port Charlotte Beach complex. True, in those days business wasnʼt booming, but I had faith that the County and City officials would see the beauty of our waterways and promote this. I still believe this will happen and I do have a bid in to Sunseeker Resort to again set up a Water Taxi service to proudly show off Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River. I would hope that we could welcome a development like this even though it is “Newʼ Florida and not the ʻOld Floridaʼ we all remember. Lets promote, preserve and be proud of our waterfront heritage. Thanks for listening, Capt. Dennis Kirk

waterlife@comcast.net www.WaterlifeMagazine.com

Michael & Ellen Heller Publishers

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FishPix, text only number 941-457-1316

217 Bangsberg Rd. Port Charlotte, FL 33952

Independant - Not affiliated with any other publication! Vol XVII No 5 © 2018

NO PART of this publication (printed or electronic) may be copied, reproduced or re-used without specific written permission from the publishers. (and thatʼs never happened!)

Contributing Editors:

Cassidy Salkeld, -To Water LIFE Kingfish, Caught off Read your article on Sunseekers and the Boca Pier, Boca Grande Pass Hereʼs another ʻHow They Gonna Do that.ʼ. I reside on the Harbor and for two years the DEP hounded us because the terminal point of our dock was 60 sq. ft. too large. The Harbor was designated a National Preserve in 1985 and in the rules, a dock can not be larger than 160 sq. ft. unless documented and approved before 1985. So I had to comply and shrink my dock to meet theyʼre requirements, SO Sunseekers is showing a very large marina, the County wants a Taxi launch and you are saying a private Fishing pier at Boca. HOW THEY GONNA DO THAT? Thought you might be interested, Love Your Magazine. Randy Bowser

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from Water LIFE magazine

Photography: ASA1000.com Senior Editor: Capt. Ron Blago Baitshop: Fishinʼ Frank Peace River: Capt. David Stephens Punta Gorda: Capt. Chuck Eichner Venice: Glen Ballinger Estero: Capt. Joe Angius Everglades City: Capt. Charlie Phillips Kayaking: Bob Fraser Sea Grant: Capt. Betty Staugler Beach Fishing: Mallory Herzog Pier Fishing: Bobby Vitalis Diving: Adam Wilson Office Dog: position open

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Weʼre Giving Away A Boat! MAY 2018

By Michael Heller Water LIFE publisher Donna Ball, widow of the namesake of our Don Ball School of Fishing, has informed me she is ready to experience retirement, spend time with her grand kids and travel more. When I was sick, four years ago, Donna came forward to take over the program from me. I can’t thank her enough for her hard work and her commitment to the students. And we both thank everyone who has supported us. Going forward, Donna will still be a part of our program, just not such an active part. I am healthy again and happy to move ahead with this. There are new things I am excited to be doing. First off, we’re giving away a New Boat! It’s not a flats boat, but it will be a very fine first boat for some lucky young angler. We’re running a four month kids fishing tournament this summer called the Dollar Bill Challenge. A dollar bill with their angler number on it must appear in the pictures they submit. It’s a do-it-yourself, Ethical Angler event where anglers text in two entries monthly, selected from 30 species. Each month, the anglers with the longest (not heaviest) fish in each species win rods and reels, 2nd place get lures, 3rd place get t-shirts. The boat is the Grand Prize. We have included four, short, multiple choice Fish-Quizzes in the event and they are worth extra credit toward winning the boat. We are giving away the boat to (hopefully) drive up tournament entries and correspondingly, to give us a chance to reach and maybe teach our tournament anglers about local fishing and the local environment; Example: What’s the most abundant baitfish in the es-

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The winner of our kids tournament will have to catch good fish and complete our online Fish-Quizzes to win one of these 2018 Tracker Topper 1032 boats.

tuary? Answer: Anchovies, a.k.a. glass minnows. If we are going to keep their interest this has to be fun, so we’re going to keep it light and simple. Over the 17 years we have taught kids in our classes, the one single question I heard the most was “How can MY CHILD participate?” Up to now the answer has been ‘in order to sign up for the program, your child must be in the 6th grade in one of four Charlotte County middle schools,’ I am going to change that. Seventeen years ago, our classes were full and kids were bringing fillet knives to school in their tackle boxes! Today, kids are on their phones, knives in school are no-no’s, and we are competing with after school sports programs for attendance in our classes. We want more students to be able to take the course so we’re going to offer the course online. The tournament and quizzes are the beginning. This fall I am going to consolidate our four, live, six-week middleschool classes into one larger live six-week middle school class and we will video-stream each of the ses-

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sions and save it on a YouTube channel for our online students. We are also putting together a library of local fishing videos for our classes. If you have some cool local fishing action, I’d like to see it. How do we know this works? For the last seven years we have been testing our students on the first night of class and again, six weeks later, on the last night. We give them the exact same test. They start out scoring in the 50 or 60th-percentile and wind up at 90 or more when they graduate. I am confident we can maintain this level online. Our previous school program was more than just six evening classes in the school cafeteria, it was also an offshore fishing trip and a seine net pull with the FWC. We’re keeping those events, in fact I am expanding them and opening them up to more kids. This fall our school students will have two seine net pulls, one at Ponce Park and one at Rookery Bay. We will still have our two offshore fishing trips aboard the Reef Raider head boat out of the Englewood Bait House, and for this summer Capt. Jack has agreed to also allow parents with junior anglers in our tournament, to pay half price to fish his offshore trips, space permitting. Thank You! To make all this happen we solicit donations from the local community and product from tackle manufacturers. We buy the prizes we give away, some of it is discounted, but good equipment doesn’t come free. Sponsors who support our program are the ones who make it work. This summer, from June through September, our Sponsor’s Logos will be featured here, in print each month, along with the winning kids. Now all we need is your support. I put a Sponsor Form on our website at: waterlifemagazine.com. Contact me if you have questions, my number is on the form. Thank you!


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the Dollar Bill Challenge

6

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MAY 2018

an Online Fishing Tournament in Four Parts

For Kids! - May 20 through Sept 20

Every month the angler with the longest fish in each of 30 species wins a Rod & Reel. Lures for 2nd, t-shirts for 3rd!

30 Species!

Summer Fun for Junior Anglers age 7 to 16

Read the following rules prior to signing and mailing the entry form. 1. Tournament Entry Fee: $15 non refundable

2. Angler Numbers: Angler numbers will be assigned by the rules committee based on the day and time of registration and will be texted to the angler within 24 hours of receipt of your entry.

3. Pictures: When you get your angler number, write it big and legibly with a dark marker on the back side of a dollar bill. You and the $1 bill with your angler number on it must appear with, or near, the fish in your picture. Blurry pictures may be rejected by our computer length-verification program. Pictures that appear to have been manipulated in any way will be disqualified. If you lose the bill you can simply make a new one.

4. Measuring Fish: This tournament is based on fish length, not weight. Lay the fish out naturally. Do not spread or compress the tail. Donʼt try to stretch it. Use a ruler or measuring board to measure your fish. Measure down the middleof the fish in a straight line from the tip of the nose to a point aligned with the longest end of the tail. Measure to the closest 1/8 inch.

5. Fish Entries: Fish may be caught anytime during the tournament, but no more than two fish may be submitted for judging during each fishing period. Entries may not be substituted. Your two fish do not have to be submitted at the same time. Misidentified fish will be disqualified.

6. Texting your fish: Text one fish picture at a time to the special phone number we provide when we issue your angler number. Text In this order, include only: fish species, measured length, your name, your angler number (example: redfish, 38inches, John Brown, #143) Thatʼs all we will be looking at. Your pictures must be received in our phone on or before noon of the last day of the Fishing Period. Late entrys will not be notified or returned. 7. Fishing Tournament Periods: There are four tournament Fishing Periods: Period #1 May 21 - June 20 photos due on or before noon June 20

Period #2 June 21 to July 20 photos due on or before noon July 20

Period #3 July 21 to August 20 photos due on or before noon August 20

Period #4 August 21 to Sept 20 photos due on or before noon September 20

8. Acceptable Saltwater Species: redfish, snook, trout, black drum, cobia, red grouper, gag grouper, amberjack, bluefish, jack crevalle, triggerfish, hogfish, Key West grunt, spadefish, sail catfish, ladyfish, pompano, barracuda, mangrove snapper, lane snapper, Spanish mackerel, tripletail, pinfish

8a: Acceptable Freshwater Species: bass, crappie, tilapia, sunfish, catfish, gar, Mayan cichlid 9. Eligibility: Anglers must be at least 7 years old, but not yet 16 years old during the entire course of the tournament.

10. Mandatory Registration: Every angler is an individual contestant and must be individually entered. Anglers may register any time from May 1 to September 19, but only fish caught and photographed after the angler is issued his angler number may be entered. 11. Fishing Time: Anglers may fish at any time, day or night, after receiving their angler number. 12. Bait and Tackle: Any legal bait or legal tackle is allowed.

13. Hook and Line: Only fish taken with a hook and line are permitted. No spearing, no snatching, no gigging and no netting is allowed.

from

Trophys for overall winners!

Win a Boat!

14. Release: Fish must be released alive, unless legal for harvest. Scientists tell us one minute is the safe amount of time for a fish to be kept out of water, more than that and the gills dry out.

15. Tournament Boundaries: From the North Venice Jetty south to Cape Sable and from 50 miles offshore in the Gulf to the easternmost point on Lake Okeechobee. 16. Permitted Fishing Locations: Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters from shore, wading, or by boat, except areas designated as "off limits" or "no fishing" by local, state, Federal officials or by tournament official personnel. No fishing in marinas, boat basins, near cleaning stations, or other places fish congregate unnaturally.

17. Required Practices: The Angler is the only person allowed to catch fish in the competition. The angler must hook the fish and reel it in on his own, but may have help casting or landing a fish, tieing knots and baiting the hook. 18. Monthly Winners: At the conclusion of each fishing period the longest three fish in each species will be posted in Water LIFE magazine. There will be a picture of the angler with the first place fish and the names of the second and third place anglers for each of the 30 species.

19. Prizes: In each fishing period, first place winners for each species receive a rod and reel combo, 2nd place winners receive top water or diving plugs, 3rd place winners receive t-shirts. Winners will be contacted via text at the end of each fishing period with further instructions. Anglers with the longest of each species over all, at the end of the tournament, receive trophys. 20. Grand Prize Winner: A Tracker model 1032 Topper Boat will be awarded to the angler who has accumulated the most points by September 20.

21. Points Scoring: Every month: First Place fish = 10 points. Second place fish = 5 points. Third place fish = 3 points. After 4 fishing periods have been completed: Longest in each species = 25 points. Fish-Quiz points: = 15 points for each completed quiz returned by deadline.

22. Fish Quizzes: Anglers are not required to take the four quizzes to win other prizes, but it will probably be more difficult to win the boat if you donʼt. – At the beginning of each of the four fishing periods we will post a 5 question, multiple choice quiz about local fishing on our website www.waterlifemagazine.com. Print out the quiz, mark the correct answers (answer honestly, donʼt guess. If you donʼt know, mark ʻI Donʼt Knowʼ ) then return it by mail to the address provided. Your quizzes must be postmarked before the end of that current fishing period. (RULE ADDITION*) You can also text your answers. See online registration at www.waterlifemagazine.com for information.

23. Tie Score: In the event of a tie, the angler with the earliest fish picture received, wins.

24. Safety: You are responsible for your own safety. Please do not endanger yourself or others in attempts to reach or catch fish. 25. Federal, State and Local Laws: All contestants are required to follow all applicable Federal, State and Local regulations and laws. Any violation of such will result in your disqualification.

26. Sportsmanship: Be an Ethical Angler and do the right thing even when no one else is watching. All contestants are required to practice courtesy, safety and respect. Anyone displaying poor sportsmanship will be disqualified.

27. Protests: The decision of the Tournament Director is final. There will be no protests, there will be no whining and there will be no complaining! We will always do our best to be honest, ethical and fair. Remember at all times, this is supposed to be a FUN event! Michael Heller Tournament Director, Charlotte Harbor Reef Association President 941-766-8180

DOLLAR BILL CHALLENGE – ENTRY FORM, OATH OF ETHICS & LEGAL RELEASE We will text you back with your Official Tournament Angler Number and the Phone Number to text your Entries to

Junior Angler Name __________________________________________ please print clearly

Age________

By signature affixed below, we acknowledge we have read the rules and we agree to abide by all the rules.

Cell phone # (

)_____________________

We further agree to be Ethical Anglers, to represent our fish measurements accurately, to the best of our ability, in all of our submissions. The undersigned singularly and jointly, also hereby waive and release the Dollar Bill Challenge, The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association, WaterLIFE Magazine, and all Tournament Officials, agents, employees and sponsors, and all other contestants in connection with the tournament series, and further agrees to hold each and all of the above harmless from any and all damages on account of any injury the undersigned may suffer as a result of participating in the Dollar Bill Challenge and we expressly agree to indemnify and hold harmless all the above-mentioned from any liability or other claims whatsoever arising from our participation.

Sign here



Parent or Guardian_______________________________________ Junior Angler______________________________________Date________________

 $15 Entry fee enclosed

Mail the completed entry form with your check to:

CHRA, 217 Bangsberg Rd, Port Charlotte, FL 33952

The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association, has been a 501-C(3) Non Profit Corporation teaching kids about fishing since 1998

Phone: 941-788-8180


MAY 2018

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Dollar Bill Challenge WINNERS!

Angler Name Longest Cobia, xx-inches 2nd place cobia Name, length 3rd place cobia Name, length

Longest Cobia so far Your name here! period caught size xx-inches

Angler Name Longest Redfish, xx-inches 2nd place redfish Name, length 3rd place redfish Name, length

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Period #1: May 21 to June 20

Age 7 to 16, sign up at: www.waterlifemagazine.com

Longest Redfish so far Your name here! period caught size xx-inches

Local Businesses and Individual Contributions Make this Program Possible

Angler Name Longest Trout, xx-inches 2nd place trout Name, length 3rd place trout Name, length

Longest Trout so far Your name here! period caught size xx-inches

SponsorĘźs Logos on every page! ... and your logo appears in all 4 editions this summer!

the Englewood Bait House Sponsors make our programs possible! the Charlotte Harbor Reef Assn is a 501 (c) 3 non profit corporation since 1998

To Become A Sponsor call us at 941-766-8180

or download the sponsor form at

Wilson Pools

Angler Name Longest Ladyfish, xx-inches 2nd place ladyfish Name, length 3rd place ladyfish Name, length

Longest Ladyfish so far Your name here! period caught size xx-inches

www.waterlifemagazine.com we appreciate your support!

Angler Name Longest Bass, xx-inches 2nd place bass Name, length 3rd place bass Name, length

Longest Bass so far Your name here! period caught size xx-inches

Angler Name Longest Snook, xx-inches 2nd place snook Name, length 3rd place snook Name, length

Longest Snook so far Your name here! period caught size xx-inches


Sabiki Slaughter PAGE

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By Capt. Chuck Eichner Water LIFE Offshore The arrival of threadfin herring is the official start of Spring for me. This happened in a big way the 3rd week of April. With their arrival come tarpon, kingfish, near shore grouper, sharks and cobia to

mention a few. For most anglers trying to net these 6to 8-inch baitfish is frustrating if not impossible. So the sabiki rig is the answer and if you have fished them you know it’s not as easy as it would appear. In your favorite tackle shop you will find dozens of brands, colors, sizes and shapes. A good bit of tackle on the

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shelves is designed to attract the buyer more than the fish so how do you choose? First, you should have a selection of many sabiki types. Just like any other fish that swims, baitfish like the threadfin can be moody, not feeding, or prefer one style, size or color over another. That’s right just like fly fishing or lure fishing for any fish, some days you have to find the right color combination! Water clarity, sunlight and tides also affect the behavior of the threads. A couple of things to remember: 1) different schools of baitfish have different size fish 2) some schools of threadfins will actively bite and others won’t 3) threads usually avoid the boat, let alone a running outboard or trolling motor 4) the way you jig your rig matters. To be successful you will need to set up a drift to line up and reach the bait, experiment with different sabiki sizes/colors, experiment with different weight sizes and dehook them properly. The sabiki rigs come with a thin wire clip that only allows for a “bass casting” style sinker, which often is not enough weight. I use a pinch-on sinker above

the clip and I use the clip to hook on to my rod keeper or I tie a piece of line to a heavier bottom sinker and tie that to the clip. And, do not touch the baitfish! Fresh baits that don’t have the scales knocked off last longer in the livewell and catch more gamefish. Use a dehooker tool, stretch your line tight and flip them in the well. Lastly, use a medium action spinning rod (6- to 7-feet) which I feel imparts the right action on the sabiki over the true “sabiki rod”. The length matters in swinging the long rig into the boat and longer rods make it very difficult. Monofilament running line is less visible, but braid casts further so that is a personal choice as well. If it sounds a little complicated than you are right, but putting in the effort with experimentation puts baits in the

MAY 2018

livewell. Bigger baits attract big fish and that is my game in May. Capt. Chuck Eichner operates Action Flats Backcountry Charters


MAY 2018

Now It’s All Coming Alive

By Capt. David Stephens Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor A lot of good things have been going on in the Harbor and I’ve seen some stuff that hasn’t seemed to happen here in the past couple years. For one, the schools of thread herring have been good in the north end of the Harbor, not just big guys either, they are the size that most of our migratory fish depend on. During my morning runs I have seen, on a daily basis, Spanish mackerel jumping through the bait schools and I noticed a good number of juvenile kings mixed in . If you plan to keep some for dinner, make sure you keep the correct fish. Spanish have to be 12-inches to the fork and kings are 24. These two fish look very similar when smaller. I normally look at the lateral lines, Spanish have a steady slope and kings drop at a greater angle. The flats fishing has been steadily picking up over the past couple weeks. For the most part, snook have been the main target, but in May snook season is closed. The barrier islands, close to open flats, have been holding good numbers of fish. Most of these fish have been in the 2- to 5-pound range. However we have been getting some fish over 10 pounds. Free-lined live baits have been getting the best action. On the lower tides, look for fish to fall off into

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LOOK AT THE BUSHES Two nice snook, caught on different parts of the tide

pot holes or on bars. While targeting snook on lower tides on bars and pot holes we

have seen some trout action also. The trout we’ve been catching have been 15-to 18-inches with some over 20. Probably the second most targeted or the most targeted is showing up in the Harbor also. If you guessed tarpon, then you are correct. I’ve been seeing good numbers of fish in different areas from the back water to the south end of the Harbor. Sometimes the best way to locate these guys is burning gas. Oh yea, gas is going up! On a calm windless morning these guys can be seen from a good distance. Large herring and small crabs are the best baits. Try flat lining them or under a float. One day one works better than the other, that’s just tarpon fishing. If other boats are in the area, working the same school, be as courteous as possible. The chances are pretty high it’s a guide with clients. For the most

part if you show them respect, I promise you, you will receive it back. With the water temps steadily increasing, our fishery should continue to trend in a positive way. Our next big weather event hopefully will come as our rainy season.

If you would like to experience some of Charlotte Harbor’s finest fishing, give us a call or send an email. All of our charters are private and customized to fit your party’s needs. Capt. Dave Stephens, 941-916-5769 capt.dstephens@comcast.net. www.backbayxtremes.com

CANVAS & UPHOLSTERY


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Estero Bay: I See Red By Capt. Joe Angius Water LIFE Estero The inshore and offshore fishing has been impeccable. From redfish and snook stalking the shallow flats to large tarpon rolling along the beaches, May is one of the best months for big gamefish. This is the time where the wind doesn’t blow as much, bait is plentiful, and the water quality is at its best. Unfortunately, I saw red the last week in April. I saw red for several different reasons (i.e. jet skiers speeding through the ‘Slow Speed’ zones, etc.), but one instance in particular is one that will influence the future fishing forecast. The red that I saw was red tide, the Karenia brevis harmful algae blooms that hold the reputation of festering in Southwest Florida waters. With the last cold front that came through our area, the wind shifted and

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began to push dead fish into the Bay. The wind also agitated the algae cells releasing their toxins leading to respiratory irritation to beach goers and boating enthusiasts. Southwest Florida is my home and I’m not here to sugar-coat anything about the seriousness of red tide. I’m a charter captain that relies on the health of our fisheries and estuaries. It is uncertain when exactly the red tide will clear and water conditions will be stable again. Fishing continues to remain steady regardless of the water conditions. Anglers will find that in the Gulf and large passes, there will be patches of red tide. This will have the largest effect on where you can find bait and its longevity. It’s best to keep an eye on netted bait in the livewell to en-

sure they remain healthy. Bait has been plentiful on our grass flats and along the beaches. This month my bait of choice will be large pilchards and mullet. Having good quality bait this month can really make the difference in your success in trying to catch the larger inshore gamefish. Tarpon off of the beach are feeding heavily on pass crabs, pilchards, and threadfin, where as redfish and snook have been honing in on pilchards and mullet. The best tip that I can give you is that on calm days venture out in the Gulf to search for tarpon, tripletail, and sharks. If you desire to fish inshore, try your best to get deep into the backwaters. Right now the backwaters are teeming with juvenile tarpon, redfish, snook, speckled trout, mangrove snappers, jacks, and sharks. The water quality is great back there with a lot less dead fish and clean air that won’t make you cough. Since those areas are tide-dependent, plan your trip around the tides and have a good understanding of your boats draft. Don’t let red tide discourage you from fishing or enjoying the Southwest Florida waterways. Stay updated with current water conditions by visiting the myfwc.com website. These are issues that need to be discussed and solved. Getting in touch with a local guide is your best bet for advice on taking advantage of what the area has to offer. We are always more than happy to make your time here memorable.

Captain Joe Angius (727)-234-3171 Speak Easy Fishing Charters www.speakeasyfishing.com

MAY 2018


MAY 2018

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Fish APPS and Tech Savy Kids

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phone range. One important consideration with angler apps is that the market is diverse, By Capt. Betty Staugler through telephone surveys. tainty. competitive and unpredictable. When I Water Life / Sea Grant iAngler is mostly popular in southwest Another example of how scientists are searched for apps under the words ‘angler Recently, there’s been and southeast Florida, so the study was using angler app data comes from the log’ I got 23 app returns. If each collect quite a bit of focus on seeing whether confined to those areas. The species in South Atlantic Fishery Management different data in different formats, they crowd-sourced angler data can be used in both the iAngler and MRIP data-sets that Council who developed a MyFishCount can’t be compared. As such, minimum stock assessments. What is crowd sourced contained enough entries for comparison app for the 2017 red snapper mini-season. standards for data collection are needed to angler data? I had the same question. But were snook, redfish, and spotted seatrout. Although not widely used, the information ensure the information colit’s just the term scientists lected by multiple apps can be coined for data that comes compared and integrated to from angler apps. Angler produce large and reliable data apps are gaining a lot of popsets. ularity. Some are designed to Fast forward to the Charlotte be more social like FishBrain Harbor Reef Association’s new and FishHawk, whereas othplan for the Dollar Bill Chalers are designed to function lenge, a summer fishing tournamore as log books. iAngler ment for kids, they are looking and CCA Florida Star Tourinto iAngler status, it may not nament are examples of log happen for this year, but I can book apps. It’s these later log tell you I see a lot of potential book apps that have scienfor some crowd sourcing app tists excited. The iAngler app allows anglers to log data, locations and conditions. iAngler and iAngler lite are free derived data in the future. A few months ago, I was Kids are the future stewards at a conference where an entire session The results were encouraging, however, reported provided the Council with inof our fishery and they’re also tech savvy. was devoted to research that was evaluatthey weren’t perfect. The biggest source sights on number and percent of trips Angler apps have the potential to fundaing the utility of using log book apps for of uncertainty found in the iAngler data completed or abandoned due to weather, mentally change how anglers interact with stock assessment purposes. One study was was zero catches. As anglers, we like to number and percent of fish kept or rethe resource and with management. Hopeconducted in Florida by researchers from report what we catch, but not what we leased by size, reason for releasing snapfully as the utility of using app data imthe University of Florida. In this study, don’t catch. If zero catches aren’t reper, and whether released fish were vented proves, we can have our kids involved and they looked at iAngler data to see how the ported, then it would appear as though or descended. One of the pitfalls of this contributing. data compared to Marine Recreational Inevery time an angler fishes, they catch efforts was that anglers had to use an ofCapt. Betty Staugler, formation Program (MRIP) data. MRIP is fish, which of course means there’s plenty fline form and then transfer information to Fl. Sea Grant Agent. UF/IFAS Extension, the data collected live at boat ramps and of fish…right? Maybe not. That’s uncerMyFishCount later if they were out of cell Charlotte County (941) 764-4346

Spear Fish-Pix

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Jason Bihari. Nice dog snapper and mutton from a full moon trip out 50 miles

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Jason Bihari two snapper

Jason Bihari. This is my seventh black grouper this year all scuba diving in the Gulf.


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Taren Olson, 9 years old. Happy catching fish any fish!

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Adam Wilson, bluefish from the West Wall

Artist Dale Werner caught this healthy snook in Bonita Springs, April 2018

Bob Schrank with first tarpon, just under 40-inches. What a fight and show it put on!

MAY 2018

Randy McGuirk, sheepshead, 4-pound test on ultralight with jig head/sand flea. What a fight! First attempt at shore fishing ever. Gasparilla Island April 2018

Captain Troy Snyder

Ron Uebbing caught nice Black Fin Tuna aboard King Fisher Charter

Talen Olson, first snook. it was caught with some great instructions from Fishing Frank himself Thanks Frank

Red drum caught in the Myakka River, 5 miles up river from the ElJobean bridge, by Tom Berry

Jerry Berger - black drum, caught and released, Punta Gorda Isles canal


MAY 2018

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FISH PIX! f r o m Wa t e r L I F E m a g a z i n e

John Harrington the 3rd, 4th and 5th. The 5th out fished Dad and Grandfather with a 32inch snook, near Boca Grande.

Bob Schrank, 8-spot Redfish

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Readerʼs Photos

My son Billy Currie V and me, Billy Currie IV caught this red grouper in 110-feet of water, Sunday off the coast of Venice, using cut bait

Jonathan Rubeo, 13 years old, snook 27.5 - inches, caught in Punta Gordon Isles

text us ur fish pix - see page 4

Ladies Day 2018! Nice Redfish caught by Sandy Schon from Englewood.

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Caleb Granger caught this bull jack while on vacation at Tom Mason home in Punta Gorda

Captain Gavin, getting the big boys, back woods fishing

Jack the trickster got me while snookinʼ, but I did get my 32-inch Gap Snook the next day! Ian Roberts Fort Myers

Steve and Deanna Pry with Kingfish caught off of Little Gasparilla 04/13/18


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ReaderĘźs Photos

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MAY 2018

Sheepshead, Big ole Talapia, sailcat, bass and snook, All caught recently. I just moved here from Virginia. The fishing is incredible! I keep catching the big ones. Yum yum!

Big Carlos Bay Florida 37 1/2 inch Cobia with Capt. Paul Parkola, great fishing trip!

John, Bob and Jim with three Redfish! All slot fish

Kristen Shannon caught this hogfish offshore with Sarasota Fishing Adventures

George Haray, with redfish in Charlotte Harbor

Alex Diaz caught this nice Jack Crevalle near Fisherman's Village. Guide was Captain Bill Brickel.

Cole Weitzel, redfish in the Flatsmasters

Amy Bailey from MI with a black Drum.

Cole and Brayden

Brad and Kason

Spinner shark , 100-pounds, live mullet Charlotte Harbor, George and Barry


MAY 2018

FISH PIX! f r o m Wa t e r L I F E m a g a z i n e

John Poyner caught this snook on a Deceiver Fly he tied. The fish was taken in the Peace River

First fishing charter, first (and only) keeper of the day, Emilio Arze-Novak, bonnet head shark

David Rose snook 30 inches caught at Gasperilla

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Jimmy Poyner of New Jersey caught this Snook behind his Grandmother's house in Punta Gorda. He and John Poyner. left, are identical twins

34-inch snook caught by Reece Willis

Gail Roebuck with a 20-inch sheepshead caught on her brand new pink fishing pole!

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Davey Dees Charters was great again!

Nick D from Boston MA caught this Snook in the Peace River April 17

Marc lapp I caught this on a shrimp under the El Jobean bridge

PAGE 15

Jesse Ellis visiting from Wisconsin lands a 26 in snook!

Al DiMartino - Talapia - April, Venice Coastal Waterway

Sheepshead caught by 7 yr old Joey Parker Stump Pass


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Bigger Fish Moving In

By Mallory Herzog Water LIFE Fishing WE started out April with a BANG and our inshore fishing has been GREAT. Charter guests fished in and around the grass flats of Gasparilla Sound and Charlotte Harbor and there were plenty of snook and trout being hooked by anglers on light tackle. Biggest snook of the month measured in at 41inches! The best bite for this species has been on live green backs or white bait on a 3/0 circle hook. Shrimp just don't catch their attention as much right now. You can also catch this species from the beach this time of year. Grab your cast net, polarized sunglasses (to cut the glare) and head to the shoreline. This is how I fell in love with snook fishing. Mornings and evenings tend to produce the best beach bite. Snook often hang out in the wave break, you know, where you usually walk into the water and stand? These fish are cruising the shallows, looking for a quick meal, right there. Tarpon are beginning to show up in Boca Grande Pass. They are now hanging out in our local passes, bringing anglers from around the country, hoping for a chance to hook into a silver king.

These early season fish are hungry and ready for action. Live bait options include crabs, squirrel fish, and occasionally JUMBO shrimp. Capt Andrew’s first few tarpon trips have been action packed. Dave hooked and landed his fish at sunrise. What a scene! The tarpon anglers are using Penn Slammer and Spinfisher 6500 reels with 50-pound braid and 8-foot Star Steller Light rods. These set ups are the perfect match for a powerful tarpon. With the tarpon come the sharks so shark fishing is BEST during the months of April, May and June as well. Common species are blacktip, spinner, bull, tiger and the greater hammerhead, the shark

MAY 2018

that lives on as a legend in Boca Grande . These sharks follow the tarpon migration in search of an easy meal. Already, the sharks have begun to chase the hooked tarpon in the Pass. You can join Captain Andrew on a shark fishing adventure to get up close and personal with the ocean’s TOP predator. Our anglers have the option to name, tag and release their catch for marine research. If you tag a shark you are mailed a certificate in the mail and will be notified if your fish is ever recaptured!

To book a trip call Capt Andrew Herzog at 941-661-0304 http://bigbullyoutdoors.com


Shore Sharkinʼ MAY 2018

By Fishin’ Frank Water LIFE Baitshop Shark fishing is a challenge and to make it even more challenging, you should try it from land. It is a misconception that you need bigger, larger reels in a boat, when the truth is I use much smaller reels and rods fishing from a boat than I do for land based fishing. Why? And how could that be? Well, it is simple. My boat can travel at 50+ M.P.H. I can follow that fish where ever it wants to run to. OK, most of the time the boat is at idle, but one day I hope to have that 20 M.P.H. chase out though the Gulf. So, in other words, I can use the boat to follow the fish, so I do not need as much line on my reel. But look as I might, I have never found the starter button for the pier the pier just stays put, right there. I can't even get it in gear! The pier doesn’t move, so in order to land a big fish from the pier or from shore, you need to have two to three times as much power and three times as much line in order to slow down and stop a big fish. One of the biggest mistakes people make, fishing from land or pier, is to

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use very heavy line on a small reel. A smaller reel does not have the drag pressure to stop a big fish quickly so all you do is run out of line quickly. Then, once you are out of line, the fish either jerks the rod out of your hand or breaks off. For most pier/land based fishing, I would like to have about 300 hundred yards of line, for fish over 4 feet long add 100 yards for each extra foot of fish. The line will help you tire out the fish, the friction of the line being pulled through the water is tremendous, line friction is what people used before reels had so much drag pressure. Even a 14/0 Penn reel, which is as big as a paint can, only had maybe 25 pounds of drag pressure. That was back when drag washers were made from leather. There is a secret bit of information which most people don't know and that is that when using a conventional reel and a fish takes out half of the line, the smaller diameter of line remaining on the spool increases the drag pressure to about double, so a 14/0 half full has around 50 pounds of drag. And that increases as even more line is pulled from the reel. So today, with reels that can have 40-pounds or more of drag pressure to start, once the line is half out, that could be 80+ pounds of drag... and

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you wonder why the hooks pull out or break so often on big fish. I think you get it now. We all want that once in a life time fight with a monster fish, maybe a big shark, where we almost get dragged off the beach and pulled into the water. The pulling and dragging part is not really bad and really will not hurt the fish. What causes damage to the fish is how long the fight lasts. So how long should you fight a fish, let’s say a shark? You can fight a bull sharks almost twice as long as a hammerhead before you risk killing them. With a hammerhead on the line, 45 minutes is the longest you can fight or the mortality rate will climb. As high as 75-percent of hammers caught die after an hour fight, They just put too much into it. The true definition of catch and release is to use heavy enough tackle to land the fish in a reasonable amount of time. But what is reasonable? That be the question. Tune in same fish-time same fishplace for more on how to catch big fish from land. I’ll be talking hook rigs and tackle next month.

Fishin’ Franks Bait & Tackle Port Charlotte: 941- 625-3888 Fort Myers: 239-634-1043

Great online source for high quality drag washers: http://smoothdrag.com

PAGE 17

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Niki Riedel and Brandon Gasiorowski. Manasota Key, middle beach, April blacktips.


Boaters No Longer Manateeʼs Greatest Threat PAGE

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By Capt. Ron Blago Water LIFE Senior Staff It's time to look in on our manatee friends and see how they are doing so far in 2018. This is the first year they are off the Endangered Species list. So far it’s been a pretty good year for our sea cow buddies. The annual population survey done in January found 6138 manatees; that's four years in a row the population has been over 6000. On the negative side of the equation, it’s been a tough winter for manatees. As of April 13 there had been 66 manatee deaths due to cold snaps, a lot higher than the 27 they had this time last year. Still, it could have been a lot worse. In 2010 there were 244 deaths due to cold stress. Red Tide is still around this year with 31 manatee deaths counted so far due to Red Tide. That’s still far lower than the 277 that died from Red Tide in 2013. On the state front, the FWC has officially announced that Charlotte County has become the 16th county in Florida to have a Manatee Protection Plan. They were able to get that plan approved just weeks before the manatee was removed from the endangered

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species list. The FWC has already sent out notices to the Federal DEP, the Army Corp of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife, US Coast Guard, the water management districts and the Florida DOT, announcing that any permits or projects must now also get the ap-

proval of FWC before work can begin. Just what we need, another level of bureaucracy that has to sign off on everything from dredging to dock building before any work can start. Also; I just scanned through the Save The Manatee Trust’ Annual Report for 2017-2018, this is the State report on all things manatee. It's a pretty boring read for the most part, with the state taking in about $3.5 million and spending about $4.2 million. One thing in the report caught my attention; for the first time in my memory, the have removed watercraft as the

biggest threat to the long term survival of the manatee and replaced it with the threat of the loss of warm water discharges from industrial sources, that is to say: warm water discharges from power plants. As Florida electric power plants switch from oil to natural gas they no longer produce the warm water that attracts large numbers of manatees each winter. Where will the manatees go now? On the local front, the Charlotte Board of County Commissioners (BCC) has dissolved the Manatee Advisory Committee; it took this group 8 years before it approved adopting the state's manatee protection plan while it only took the BCC 90 days to rubber stamp it and dissolve the board. It amazes me how a good idea ( like fixing Stump Pass) can take over 10 years to get approval but a bad idea (like this MPP) can slide right through. Here's something else I find interesting; researchers for the US Geological Service in Gainsville have come up with the first lab test for detecting manatee DNA from manatee poop in the water. It is hoped that this new scientific breakthrough will help answer the question, if a bear poops in the woods-does a manatee poop in the water? Your tax dollars at work. captronb@juno.com

MAY 2018

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Corby LeSeige caught this Jack Crevalle on Alligator Creek.

Tammy Capps and Wendy Midget with a couple 25-inch redfish caught in Bull Bay 4/21


MAY 2018

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Last Stop was a Whopper FISHING

AT

10,000 ISLANDS

By Capt. Charlie Phillips Water LIFE / Everglades City Been a solid few weeks fishing the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands lately with my guest aboard the Laura Ann. Lots of variety available and some trends I hope to see continuing into the future. But one thing I don’t want to see anymore of is this wind. March and April are historically always windy months, but these past few weeks it’s been killer down here. Seems like every trip I run we are battling near small craft conditions, but

my go-to during stone crab season and I have not been disappointed recently with over slot fish coming routinely. Everybody has their tricks, some say don’t let them see the boat, or its shadow, others use their trolling motors to sneak up, and some even take it further and drift with no motor or noise. Me personally, I don’t overthink it too much, The observation tower still stands behind Kids fish at Floridaʼs usually I’m running Lake X. Back in the day, this was Mercury Marineʼs top-secret test site. People in the tower had to stop what they were doing and get on past the fish the tail number of any plane that passed within binocular range of when I spot them, the Lake and then track down who it was. circling back with my stern into the wind putting my bow like all things, this too shall pass. towards the float and giving my anglers When the wind has laid down we the wind advantage to cast a live have found some great catches of shrimp in the strike zone. tripletail. Running trap lines is always The accurate cast is, in my opinion,

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the most critical part as I can only do so much and ultimately you gotta put the offering where they can see it, but when you do, more often than not, they will hook up. Lots of fun and remember the trap lines will be gone mid May so take advantage while you can, soon enough it’s back to free floating fish which are much harder to locate and often require height, good eyes and some luck. Inshore, I have seen some of the biggest trout in years. We always catch several over-20-inch fish each year, but like everyone else the bulk of speckled trout caught are 15- to 17-inches or so with a lot of shorts thrown in. Recently though we have caught more over 20s

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Call the Captain! Fast Harbor Access Home is in Immaculate Condition! Beautifully updated waterfront home, large lanai, tile floors, updated kitchen, new dock. Move in condition! Exceptionally priced at $215,000!

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per day than I have ever seen and it’s a welcome thing in my view as these are the breeders that keep us supplied with trout for years to come. I try to always let these big fish go quickly and in good health, but when we have not been able to, due to a foul hook or other misfortune, on the cleaning table they have proven my point as they are full of eggs. Treat them good, folks, and let them live. Big trout are hard to come by and so very important for the future. Gonna close this month with a special catch my anglers got a few days ago. It was a slow day in the Glades, working hard to keep us busy and made one final stop on the way to the dock. Big bite followed by an hour long fight revealed the biggest small tooth sawfish I have seen. Couldn’t do much with it boat side as it was way to big and way to mad at me to handle without either myself or my boat coming out unscathed, so a quick release and it was gone. My anglers were able to get one single photograph that made the day though. When I reported the fish to FWC they estimated the length to be around 12-feet. That in itself is a special thing, but to add to that, this catch was on the week I was honored to be invited to sit as a member of the NOAA sponsored council for Saw Fish recovery!! Capt. Charlie Phillips 863-517-1829 e-mail: hopefishing@hotmail.com Web: hopefishing.com

80' Waterfront!

SOLD!

PAGE 19

Port Charlotte

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quiet cul-de-sac location, sailboat waterfront with no bridges, seawall and close to town. Golf course community as well! Only $199,000!


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SCUTTLEBUTT

MAY 2018

Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True

MANY BADS Officers on land patrol around Canal Point observed two subjects, one carrying a cast net and the other carrying a large basket of fish, walking towards a parked truck. A resource inspection revealed 20 black crappie, 15 of which were undersized. During the inspection, noises were heard coming from one of the coolers in the bed of the truck. Upon checking the cooler, the officer discovered an alligator tail, other alligator meat and 4 softshell turtles that were still alive. An additional 61 black crappie were soon discovered, 51 of them being undersized. Multiple firearms were also located (one reported as stolen), drug paraphernalia and a bag of 100 pills which later tested positive for methamphetamine MDMA. The subjects had multiple warrants and were transported and booked into jail. The softshell turtles were released back to the water alive. TRUST US, WE KNOW The National Hurri-

The Crackers Have Crumbled, it was probably the Yankeeʼs fault! - either way, itʼs closed and they are gone!

cane Center is making changes to one of its most iconic forecast maps. Starting this hurricane season, they plan on shrinking their “cone of uncertainty,” since they say their forecast record is improving, and that storms usually

stay inside the cone 70 percent of the time. But 30 percent of the time they end up outside of the cone. Hang on!

CRAP Officers conducted a marine sanitation device (MSD) inspection on a floating bait shop at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. The previous owner had been cited several months prior for MSD violations. It was discovered that the marine head was still plumbed directly overboard. The new owner was cited accordingly.

DONT FEED FLIPPER FWC officers participated in a joint-agency operation with NOAA to target illegal feeding of dolphins in the Pine Island area. The officers observed boaters in various locations and will be following up with federal charges on individuals found in violation of intentionally feeding the mammals. SAME OLD KICKER BOAT TRICK The officer encountered a commercial fisherman who had just finished pulling in and clearing his nets. There were four seine nets in the boat, with two of them inside his small "kicker" boat. This arrangement of nets is used for getting around state law prohibiting the use of more than two nets from one boat. The officer returned to the same area 45 minutes later and observed the same subject deploy his four nets and "kicker" boat from his main boat around a school of fish. He then retrieved all four nets back into his main boat. At no point did he use the "kicker" boat to deploy or re-

Amberjack Attack

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Dan Foley released this nice Amberjack

Re-Surfacing of Neptune

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

John Wolowicz with catch and release Amberjack

This is Ed with his scaffolded statue of Neptune, which stood over a fountain outside a Fort Lauderdale law firm for many years. Then one day a car ran into the fountain and toppled the statue. And at the same time along came Edʼs sister who ran into the head lawyer from the law firm. “You want it? Take it,” he said, so Neptune moved to Port Charlotte and sat alongside Edʼs house for 12 years. “Heʼs missing an arm,” Ed told us when we were out for a walk on Small Street last month. Ed is restoring the statue. “Everyone wants to know the story. Weʼre going to have a big party when I unveil it,” Ed told us.

trieve the two nets that were carried in it. His main boat, "kicker" boat, nets, and fish were all seized. YELLOW BRICK ROAD The current project under construction, a walkway and piers below the US 41 Bridges, will cost $ 4.5 Million HAPPY ENDING Last month an FWC officer got into a bucket truck with a city utility employee and raised the bucket to a nest pole where they discovered an adult ospry and a

The QE2 has been moved to Dubai where she is now a floating hotel and restaurant attraction

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

No hat Tom Valenti with his AJ

hatchling. The FWC officer carefully freed the adult osprey, and cleared the nest of the plastic material which had caused the entanglement. The osprey flew several circles around the nest and once everyone had cleared the scene, returned to the nest and its hatchling.

FROM NOAA “There is a pattern of cooling in the North Atlantic Oceanʼs subpolar gyre and a warming in the Gulf Stream region due to reduced northward heat transport and an associated northward shift in the Gulf Stream. In other words, there is warming along the Northeast U.S. Shelf and Gulf Stream region, and at the same time a cooling in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre.” Editor notes* Hot is coming. WEʼRE WATCHING YOU The Charlotte County Community Development Department scheduled a meeting to discuss proposed relaxing of land development regulations, surface water and wetlands-related policies. Might this have something to do with Allegiantʼs Sunseeker project? Probably just a coincidence!

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Jim Mullus, catch and release amberjack


KAYAKING: Teaching a 12-Year-Old How to Catch Seatrout MAY 2018

By Bob Fraser Water LIFE Kayaking I had a repeat kayak fishing client hire me out for a 4-hour trip today. Ged has been a client several times in the past along with his buddies from New Hampshire. This time he brought his 12-year-old son with him for the trip. His son, Keagan, was new at saltwater fishing and had only used a push button rod and reel. I just happened to have this type of rod and reel in my garage just for this type of occasion. I asked Keagan if he wanted to learn how to use a spinning reel, but he wanted to use the push button type, which he had a little experience using. We fished for trout in Gasparilla Sound... for trout and anything else that would bite. After showing him how to cast better with the push button and when to let go of the button, he caught on quickly. I fished with a popping cork and live shrimp, but using a popping cork and shrimp was new to Keagan. Sometimes with a push button reel and a small rod, the weighted cork can be

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a challenge for a young boy to cast with any distance, but Keagan did very well. Keagan and his father managed a catch a few trout, ladyfish, catfish and the always pesky pinfish, which are always around unless you are trying to catch them for bait, then you can’t find them. Keagan enjoyed catching the pinfish. We caught most of the fish in 3- to 5-feet of water on the grass flats. All the trout were released safely. Keagan was concerned about keeping the trout out of the water too long; he was afraid they might not survive, so we took our pictures as quickly as we could. I was glad to hear a young boy so concerned about the safety of the undersized fish. A lesson some adults can learn.

Call me for a fun day of kayak fishing in our beautiful backwaters of Charlotte Harbor. All skill levels are welcome. For more information about kayak fishing charters with me, visit my website: www.kayakfishingwithbob.com Bob Fraser, 941-916-8303

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PAGE 21

Harbor Sailing

By Peter Welch Water LIFE /Sailing While some racers morn the loss of the Leukemia Cup Regatta for medium to large boats, others are getting ready for short and long haul cruises before hurricane season and youth sailing organizations are planning and promoting “learn to sail” camps (Info below). The water temperature rise now makes small boats wetness a comfortable tanning event. Southwest Florida is a four season water park. New to the area? Check out the sailing clubs and learn how to make the most of our local bounty and look up “how to” protect your boat from hurricanes info. This “winter” has been so mild that you may not know when spring started ? Watch for Canadian license plates, when they become rare it is spring. Spring is the time to decide the best boat haven for hurricanes. We tethered a 37-foot sailboat in the middle of a PGI channel during hurricane Charley. A larger boat sheared one line and our mast bent, hitting the dock. But many had worse. Boats on lifts must NOT be able to fill with water. Lifts will break and boats slide under water at the transom causing great damage. This was common in hurricane Charley. Canadian sailors have found good sailing and value here for the 2.4 Meter single place racer. Boat modifications are allowed to compensate for physical disability and the racing is very close between the top two or three skippers. This was the case for Regatta Three of their

2.4 Meter photos by Fran Burstein

winter series at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, March 28 - 30. There were three races per day and the worst single result not included “low point wins” calculation (first place 1 point , second 2 points etc.) Winds varied from 20- to 6- MPH for the three days. Nineteen boats competed with scores from 11 to 145 points. Boat USA 7 with Dee Smith as skipper finished first with 11 points. Canada 8, Allan Leibel skipper, took second at 17 points and Canada 39, Bruce Millar, third at 20 points. The 2.4 meter boat tooling was fourth at 43 points in USA 3.

Learn to sail camps teach more than sailing. They build self confidence, and develop safety sense on the water and new friendships. We have three experienced camp providers on the Punta Gorda / Charlotte Harbor waterfront. Contact them and decide if they meet your time and content objectives. All providers should get the student confident to sail alone. Some will teach rigging and advanced maneuvers. Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center 941-773-6326 Learn to Sail 941- 999-1102, Charlotte Harbor Youth Sailing 941-204-0855. As racing diminishes and cruising activity increases please suggest sailing topics or “how to” tech subjects to waterlife@comcast.net. or be co- writer with me on your summer events and travels.


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MAY 2018

May – Predictions and Suggestions Charlotte Harbor Frank at Fishin’ Franks 941-625-3888

BackBay Xtremes Capt Dave Stephens www.backbayxtremes.com

941-916-5769

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Fish with a Guide

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ryan Kreusch catching a puffer fish

Hugh Kesler from Georgia with a large catch and release Kingfish

Youʼll learn something and youʼll catch more fish!

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

John Denver had it wrong, Charlotte Harbor is almost Heaven. Last rod bender for a while, gotta go North for a bit. Thanks Water LIFE! Bud Crihfield

It’s May so it’s tarpon time. A lot of fish are moving in and out at Boca where there have been a lot of fish first thing in the morning, then they split up. In the Harbor’s deep holes a live ladyfish or dead ladyfish will get their attention. I still like the DOA Bait Buster rigged 4-feet under a bobber, that or drift the bait. Ta r p o n are along the beaches down to K n a p p ’s Point. I think the eddy in the shore current there at Sanibel is what moves the red tide and the fish around. Shark fishing is the thing in May. We’re hearing about 2- to 10-foot sharks bonnets to bulls, and a lot of hammers in the Harbor and near Gulf... a bunch of them already. Trout fishing still OK, little here and there. Just OK. The best redfish are south of Matlacha and on the West Side of the Harbor. Cut bait is the secret weapon for reds this year. Spanish mackerel are all around the area - schools throughout the Harbor now. Bluefish are the new: How did this happen? They went from a month-a-year local fishery in the old Akkerman area to suddenly

being all around the Harbor. How? We’re finding them mixed in with mackerel and ladyfish. Cobia, good fish, have been outside the bars at the Alligator Creek Reef and in the deep Harbor holes. Spadefish are at Alligator and Cape Haze Reefs. Snook are in Shell Creek but there are more in the Myakka Cut Off and down at Cape Haze where they are in front of Bull and Turtle Bays. The beaches are getting snook too. Anywhere around the passes should have good snook now. Grouper, permit, barracuda ..... offshore is good and grouper will be great if guys are brave enough to get out there 35 miles.

Lemon Bay, Placida, Gasparilla Sound Jim at the Fishermen’s Edge 941-697-7595

Fishing has been pretty good. The king mackerel have taken off in the last week or two and the numbers are up for Spanish mackerel too. There have been a lot of cobia coming in and out of the Harbor, they are at all the locations around: Venice, Novak, Trembly or Power Pole Reefs, there are a lot of those guys around. And guys have been telling me they are getting into permit offshore, closer in, spots like the Shrimp Boat and Power Pole, spots that are 7to 10- miles out. Lot of ‘cuda on Trembly and big jacks too. I have some customers who really like fish-

Guide Card Space available $40/mo call 941-766-8180

continued


MAY 2018

BACK ISSUES @

The BIG-4 TARPON Big fish are in the passes and Harbor holes

ing the big ‘cudas. Snapper has been good too. Lane, mangrove and yellowtail, they are at spots like the Boxcars and the Bayronto, but you gotta go around the goliath grouper that are there too. There are a lot of tarpon being caught in the Pass now and guys are gettin’ them all around the neighborhood Silver mullet was what they wanted last week, in the Harbor. You couldn’t make but one cast and you had one. In the Pass they are catching 5 to 6 fish on a 3-hour trip now. Inshore, snook, fish over 40-inches, are being caught inshore in a variety of spots, with live bait, dead bait on the bottom and mullet chunks or whitebait being the most affective. There is plenty of bait around, but around the dock, at night, a lot of guys still drift a big shrimp. And there is still some sheepshead and whiting and the pompano are still cooperating too.

AMBERJACK Trembly Novak Palm Island Ferry reefs

MACKEREL Spanish are here, everywhere

FISH PIX!

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Todd Ruff - amberjack offshore of Venice

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from Water LIFE magazine

80˚

75˚

Mike Lahn, snook, caught in the Mayakka River on a Carolina rigged Whiting

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50˚ 45˚

Snook, 34 inches, Samantha Knapp

FISHING RIGHT NOW:

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Samantha Knapp, tarpon on a livebait, in the PGI canals

72˚ 70˚ 68˚

21-inch speckled sea trout caught in Sanibel by Angler Mike Lahn from a kayak and released for another day

from Water LIFE magazine

from Water LIFE magazine

85˚

Captain Troy Snyder, kingfish caught last month

FISH PIX!

FISH PIX!

SHARKS More and bigger, lots of hammers

Nearshore water temps are almost 80 Fish are hungry

90˚

from Water LIFE magazine

from Water LIFE magazine

Fish you can expect in

PAGE 23

95˚

FISH PIX!

FISH PIX!

May

WWW.WATERLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

Thirty inch gag grouper caught by Craig Stein off Fort Myers Beach

Karen Chambers, visiting from Italy caught this trout off the dock on Mannasota Key in Lemon Bay

LAST CAST

This is the last picture we received before going to print:

Rick Deitz Retention pond bass in Venice

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from Water LIFE magazine

Itʼs ON!


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MAY 2018

Water LIFE May 2018  

Fishing, boating and other water related subjects in the pristine environs of Charlotte Harbor Florida and the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Pres...

Water LIFE May 2018  

Fishing, boating and other water related subjects in the pristine environs of Charlotte Harbor Florida and the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Pres...