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Water LI FE

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

The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association

October 2019

KIDʼS RESULTS!!

$1Bill Challenge

$25 WINNER

Fernando Grajalez caught this Goliath at ElJobean Pier

from Water LIFE magazine

pages 6-9

FISH PIX!

Txt Us Ur FishPix!

Water LIFE magazine

weʼll use ʻem! see page 4

Jacob Florea Grand Champion!

FISH PIX! Water LIFE magazine

Brittany Cortes Matlacha area snook

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11/1/19

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eMail letters and photos to:

WE WANT YOUR FISH! Txt Us Ur Fish Pix txt to: 941- 457- 1316 1) No Pictures Sent to

Other Publications 2) No Old Fish

3) No Blatant Ads

Include anglerʼs name and what kind of fish. Weʼre giving our favorite FISH PIX $25 vouchers good at Fishinʼ Franks

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

This Monthʼs Gold Star $25 Winners

Page 1 - Fernando Grajalez

caught this Goliath at ElJobean Pier

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PGI Alligator Creek Connection

Reader Writes; The far back of this picture is the back canal in PGI, it looks like they are going to dig it out here, to connect it with Alligator Creek. I don't need any credit for the photo, I just hate seeing more mangroves destroyed. To Water LIFE I thought there is a law that states ʻNo removing of caught tarpon from water. Unhook and release in water and photos when in water. Am I right or---?? Thank you Len Tatko, Placida

Hi Michael I follow you column monthly regarding the Sunseeker Resort. In the past you always said your opinion was “flip-flip-flip”. Do you still feel that is the case? I very much enjoy your publication keep up the good work. Tom Amatucci They are building on half the site, the other part could still very well be a flip. It ainʼt over yet! - MH

Water LIFEʼs 1/8 page ad (this size)

still only $105 per month!

4- C O L O R is always FREE

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SUNSEEKER RESORT PROGRESS REPORT

There is now steelwork and concrete rising above the ground. The County Building Department doesnʼt want to talk to me so Iʼll assume they have issued a building permit. I have to assume because they wonʼt show me the permit either. So how is this project going to effect Charlotte County? I read a story last month about central Florida around the Villages at Orlando. The county gave away so many financial incentives they canʼt afford to pave roads ahead of the next expansion, so they are proposing a 26-percent tax hike to cover it. What effect will Sunseeker have on Charlotte County? How will the fire department deal with 9 story buildings? Is there new equipment? Longer ladders, so to speak, they will need to buy? What about all the additional air traffic? When will the safety equipment at Punta Gorda Airport need to be suplemented? And most importantly, how many of these new costs will Sunseeker adopt? – MH

The effective & economical month-long advertising solution!

WE areTHE WAY to reach people who love the WATER!

Water LIFE inc. waterlife@comcast.net www.WaterlifeMagazine.com Ellen Heller Publisher

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FishPix, text only number 941-457-1316

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Independant - Not affiliated with any other publication! Vol XVIII No 10 © 2019

NO PART of this publication (printed or

electronic) may be copied, reproduced or

re-used without specific written permission from the Publisher

Contributing Editors:

Hello Len, Only fish over 40 inches must stay in the water, smaller ones can be brought out for a quick picture. Hereʼs the FWC wording: One fish per vessel limit is created for tarpon harvested with a tag. People are allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water. Tarpon regulations extend into Federal waters.

ADVERTISE HERE! call 941-766-8180

OCTOBER 2019

Photography: ASA1000.com

Senior Editor: Capt. Ron Blago Baitshop: Fishinʼ Frank

Upper Harbor: Cameron Parson

Peace River: Capt. Dave Stephens Punta Gorda: Capt. Chuck Eichner Venice: Glen Ballinger

Estero: Capt. Joe Angius

Everglades: Capt. Charlie Phillips Kayaking: Bob Fraser

Thank you very much from $1Bill Challenge tournament anglers 209 and 210! Looking forward to next year. (Daniel and Julius Acosta) You are Welcome and thank YOU!

Sawfish: Tonya Wiley

Pier Fishing: Bobby Vitalis Diving: Adam Wilson

AD STRATEGY: 1. ADVERTISE BY THE MONTH - NOT BY THE WEEK 2. LOOK AT THE FISH PI X, THOSE ARE OUR READERS 3. THINK COST EFFECTIVE CALL ELLEN AT WATER LIFE 941-766-8180 Spece is always limited in Season!

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TOM AT THE BOAT HOUSE “ADVERTISING WITH YOU IS A NO BRAINER! IT WORKS FOR US”

RENEW AGAIN!! AND BOUGHT ANOTGHER AD FOR OUR OTHER BUSINESS "WE ARE VERY HAPPY WITH THE RESPONSE TO OUR AD IN WATER LIFE"


OCTOBER 2019

It Took Teamwork

$1 Bill Challenge By Michael Heller Water LIFE Editor The wind has been blowing and our adult FishPix count is down a little this month, but the kids have been fishing and sending in pictures for the Water LIFE $1Bill Challenge Tournament. I have come to realize this is not a tournament only for young anglers, this is a tournament for young anglers and their parents, although only the kids can fish. This is a team event and nothing more perfectly demonstrates that than this year’s Grand Champions the team of Jacob Florea... ... and his Dad! Jacob is a 3rd grader at Toledo Blade Elementary, his dad, Brent, is a fireman with the Englewood Fire Department. Lots of kids had fish to enter for this month and I am the judge and jury. As I sorted through the pictures I could see some who had a strategy, going after species that had not been caught, figuring a species not yet entered could become the longest fish in that species.... if no one else catches one. That strategy would ultimately be worth an extra 25 points for Jacob and help him win the Grand Prize, a 10-foot, Tracker aluminum jon boat. Later, when I met them, to present the boat, Brent mentioned they had thought it out together and put together a spread sheet to track all the other entries and decide what fish to enter. He said as they waited for the results, they could only hope Jacob’s gag grouper would be the only gag entered. Luckily for them, it was. Other teams may have seen no ladyfish had been entered either, and those teams apparently targeted them, or maybe they lucked into them, there have been a lot of ladyfish around, A number of teams entered ladyfish. In the end, a list was compiled (see page 6) and I made

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the only one that came up was in Georgia. By then it was Thursday evening and on Saturday I was supposed to give away a boat that I didn’t have. I did some online searching and found a 10-foot Alumacraft jon boat that was very similar to the boat I had planned on. Academy Sports handled it, but Academy was up in Kissimmee, near Orlando. Now I know, someone will call me this week and tell me there is a 10-32 jon boat to be had right around the corner from where I live, but I didn’t know about it on Thursday evening and that’s all that mattered. I called Academy and spoke to Cody, an assistant manager, and explained my dilemma. He told me they had one 10-32 in stock and he offered to match the price we had from Bass Pro. Thank you Cody! So on Friday morning, with the wind Jacob Florea and his dad Brent tie down Jacobʼs new boat. Jacob was the Water LIFE magazine, 1Bill Challenge tournament winner this year. blowing a solid 30 and a trailer in tow, my wife Ellen and I drove up to Kissimmee and plans to pick up the boat for Jacob. I had talked to the loaded up a boat. Then on Saturday I cleaned it up in the store earlier and I set it up with Brent that we would all morning and presented it to Jacob as planned, in front of meet at Bass Pro on Saturday afternoon. So on Monday I Fishin’ Franks, in the afternoon. I looked at my wife: called the store to make sure they would have a 10-32 Phew! That was a close one! Tracker boat cleaned and ready for us, just like last year. The guys were happy... as were his Mom and sister. The boat sales manager was busy and he had to call I think you should name this boat ‘Lucky’ I told Jacob me back. He told me he didn’t have a 10-32 boat. (10-32 and then I told him the story of how I almost didn’t have is 10-feet long and 32-inches wide, it’s a standard size). a boat to give him. “Take it out, drag it through the mud, The manager said he had already looked and couldn’t get it scratched up and covered with fish guts and blood, find one at another store either. He said Tracker had dismaybe lose some shrimp heads under the seat,” I said. continued the 10-32 and 10-36 boats to free up producJacob looked up at me and then he giggled. He nodtion line space for another boat that was in high demand. ded his head... “fish guts!” he repeated, smiling. He was polite, helpful and apologetic. He even tried to “He’d fish all the time if we’d let him,” his dad said. find a boat for us outside the Bass Pro network, but alas, Enjoy your boat, Team Jacob, you earned it!


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OCTOBER 2019

2019 Water LIFE, Dollar Bill Challenge - Online Tournament

2019 Point Standings

#226 #211 #222 # 203 #204 #201 #206 #212 #232 #225 #228 #233 #210 #229 #205 #209 #216 #207 #224 #208 #219 #217 #219 #221 #235 #236 #237 #202 #213 #214 #215 #234 #218 #233 #227 #230 #231

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Jacob Florea Luke D'Orazio Matthew Gartner Dylan Shafer Alyx Shaffer Justin Medina Charlie Dubbaneh Leo DĘźOrazio Nathan Richardson Emma Koebel Ryan Larson Sarah Richardson Julius Acosta Jason Peters Christopher Perry Daniel Acosta James Jusisko Nadia Dubbaneh Gavin Medina Jaekwon Pringle Molly Vermeulen Thomas Jurisko Mitchell Vermeulen Camden Rakow Stephen Johr Alan Gilbert Dorie Shawn Nate Thompson Avery Hell Beyar Hill Kingston Boyd Robert Hill Cayden Bisceglia Nicole Nowicki Mateo Gonzalez Lexi Smith Calle Smith

222 points. 172 points 164 points 150 points 128 points 118 points 115 points 113 points 103 points 98 points 89 points 78 points 73 points 64 points 60 points 58 points 47 points 40-points 37 points 24 points 15 points 12 points 12 points 12 points 12 points 9 points 9 points 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Thank you all for participating!

We know you had fun and we hope you learned something!

Next we encourage you to sign up for our online Be The Fish program which consists of six video classes and three fish outings.

sign up at www.waterlifemagazine.com see website for details. Michael Heller Tournament Director

OVERALL LONGEST FISH BY 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 mang snapper lane snapper Spanish mack tripletail pinfish barracuda bass crappie tilapia sunfish catfish gar Mayan cichlid

27-inches 29.5-inches 18.5-inches 42-inches none entered none entered 11-inches none entered 22-inches 31-inches none entered none entered 11-inches 10.5-inches 20-inches 18.5-inches none entered 14-inches 8-inches 22-inches none entered 9.5-inches 7.25-inches 23-inches none entered 17.25-inches 10.25-inches 29.5-inches 49.5-inches 12-inches

Winners: Your rod credits are

in an envelope with your name on it at FishinĘź Franks (4425-D Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33980) Your 2nd place lure or 3rd place tshirts are also at Franks You must collect your winnings before October 31

941-584-4575 Thank You to our Sponsors!

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angler angler angler angler

# # # #

210 206 206 207

angler #226

angler # 232 angler # 216 angler angler angler angler

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228 203 211 233

angler # 222 angler # 225 angler # 211

angler # 204 angler # 226 angler # 222 angler angler angler angler angler

# # # # #

226 226 201 232 211


OCTOBER 2019

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Dollar Bill Challenge Final Period WINNERS

August 16 to Sept 15

S p a d e fi s h

Gar

Snook

First Place Snook: 18-inches Leonardo DeʼOrazio #212

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First Place Gar: 49.5-inches Nathan Richardson #232 This was the longest gar in the tournament

Ma ckerel

First Place Spanish Mackerel: 22-inches Luke DʼOrazio #211 second place mackerel: 20-inches #205

First Place Spadefish: 10.5-inches Dylan Shaffer #203 This was the longest spadefish in the tournament

R e d fi s h

First Place Redfish 23-inches Justin Medina # 201

This was the longest mackerel in the tournament

Thank You to all our Sponsors!


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Dollar Bill Challenge Final Period WINNERS!

B l u e fi s h

OCTOBER 2019

August 16 to Sept 15

Black Dr um

First Place Bluefish: 22-inches Nathan Richardson #232

Gag Grouper First Place Black Drum: 23-inches Matthew Gartner #222

First Place Gag: 11-inches Jacob Florea #226 This was the longest gag in the tournament

941-743-7435

L a d y fi s h First Place Ladyfish: 18.5-inches Sarah Richardson #233 2nd Place 18-inches Christopher Perry #205 3rd place 18-inches Justin Medina #201 This was the longest ladyfish in the tournament

Englewood Bait House & the REEF RAIDER offshore head boat 941-475-4511

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Dollar Bill Challenge Final Period WINNERS!

Sailcat

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August 16 to Sept 15

Bass First Place Sailcat 20-inches Luke DʼOrazio #211 2nd place: Alex Shaffer #204 16.5-inches

This was the longest sailcat in the tournament

P i n fi s h First Place Bass: 13.5-inches Emma Koebel #225

First Place pinfish 9.5-inches Dylan Shaffer #204 2nd place 7.5-inches Jacob Florea #226 This was the longest pinfish in the tournament

1516 SE 46th St. Cape Coral, FL 33904 (239) 549-2628

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Wade Fishing Cameron Parson Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor Fall fishing is just around the corner. Water temperatures will drop and the water clarity is usually astounding, making for some of the best sight fishing of the year. Snook, trout, redfish, and multiple other species will be cruising the open flats and along prop scars. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year to hop out of the boat, or access a few areas by foot, to utilize the super low tides by wade fishing. Water temperatures anywhere from 68 to 74 degrees will carry a pretty good bite. I usually gravitate towards my 2000 and 2500 size gear with 8-pound or 10pound braid, 7-foot medium or mediumlight rod, and either 20-pound or 25-pound fluorocarbon leader. There isn't much for these fish to break off on out on the open flats and lighter line will give a much further cast. Lighter gear makes for a much better fight too and these fish will fight harder while the water is cool. If you're into light tackle, this is definitely a way to get it done. As I start wading the flat, I'm scanning it just as I would from a boat. Toss at schools of passing mullet, potholes, sand spots, prop scars, and edges of sandbars. Fish will be staging in or moving

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through these areas as the tide drops and rises, and often seem to be "stuck" in some areas if the tide is extremely low. Often times, a good size fish will give itself away by pushing into shallow water for feeding or trying to cross a bar, causing its back to stick out of the water. Weedless jerkbaits such as the Slayer SSB in golden bream or Mirrolure Lil Jon in rootbeer work extremely well in super shallow water. Paddle tails of the same (or color of your choice) are also a good bet due to the action. They can be steadily reeled, putting a bit of vibration in the water, keeping your bait directly in the strike zone of any fish hiding in the grass. Adding a touch of ProCure scent never hurts, but be sure to bring plenty as the puffer fish tend to take everything besides the hook. When I'm cast-

ing in sandy areas - sand spots, or bar edges- I like to pretty much drag my lure across the bottom. Besides the usual suspects of redfish, snook, and trout, there tends to be a few flounder in the same areas. And while most are small, there is usually a keeper fish somewhere on the flat. It will feel like you've hung up on grass, but then you feel your line start moving ever so slowly away from you. Give them a couple seconds to move before setting the hook. They don't always devour the lure and the hookset might be missed. Snook, trout, redfish, and flounder can all be caught out of the same hole or sandspot. Be sure to cast along both sides of the area and work through the middle. If that spot doesn't produce, move to the next. If the tide is dropping, move a little further out onto the flat. Move in a little more if the tide is rising. Prior to obtaining a boat, I predominantly fished from bridges and piers or went wade fishing, with wade fishing being done the most. I had seen an angler use a kids boogie board to carry his small cooler. It was a great idea, so I bought my own to customize it the way I wanted. It carried an extra rod already rigged, enough tackle for 2 or 3 of us for the day, a small lunch bag, and allowed us to re-rig without hav-

OCTOBER 2019

ing to hold a rod in the arm pit. That may not seem like much, but it makes a world of difference while you're in the water. Wading still gives you the option to catch fish in areas where your boat can't access. If you don't have a vessel, there are plenty of areas not far from the house, a small drive anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, that can be accessed by foot from there. It's fun and doable on most any day, even on some of the windier days in fall and winter. A good set of waders and long sleeve shirt is more than enough to get you through the day. Catch some fish!

Cameron Parson can sometimes be found at Rio Villa Bait and Tackle in Punta Gorda: 941 639-7166


OCTOBER 2019

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By Fishin’ Frank Water LIFE Baitshop

Boy-O-Boy how you want to catch a snook, but just going fishing is not really going to get you that dream fish. You need to go snook fishing! Going where a snook is likely to be and using a bait the a snook likes is critical; fishing a style bait that entices snook to bite improves your odds of catching one.... big time! Snook is a heavy cover fish and is not normally found in open water, while snook are in the gulf of Mexico in huge numbers they will be found hanging out at one of the reefs. Snook in the Gulf tend to like high relief or structure that comes up off the bottom a few feet and if it has an overhang to get

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under, that is snook heaven. While on the flats snook will most often be found up by the mangrove shore lines. They like to lay up and wait for their food to come to them and in the tangle of mangrove roots they have much better protection from larger predators. And snook do not really like being in the open with a clear sky above them as ever since they were babies birds have been trying to eat them and birds attack from above. During parts of the year snook will be in schools out on the open flats, but when they are there it is almost always in an open area with potholes – a pothole which to you or me would be nothing. How can a six inch depression be called a pot hole? Well think of it this way: if you

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were 6 inches tall and laying in a 6 inch hole you would be invisible to predators looking across the flat, and if there was dark grass in the bottom of that pothole your black back would blend right in, making it hard for birds to see you. So now you see why a 6-inch deep pothole is a great place for a snook to hide. Snook like to eat shrimp, baitfish and crabs. Often dead bait is better than live, as snook is a really a rather lazy fish, laying in wait as an ambush predator. As far as lures, I don’t know one that will not catch a snook, but size is important. Keep in mind; a big fish will eat a little tiny snack, but a smaller fish cannot eat a big bait. Rule of thumb is: smaller lures for activity and big bait for big fish. Fishin’ Frank 941-625-3888

open to ALL 6th grade Charlotte County Students

6th Grade Fishing Club starts Oct 16 Sign Up Now space is limited!

Six live classes with Capt. Cayle One evening a week, on Wednesdays, starting Oct 16 at Punta Gorda Middle School, from 6:15 to 7:45pm

Evening classes, parents welcome!

or........ take the classes online, at home!

Graduates receive rod and reel, tackle box, lures, hooks, pliers, baits, a graduation T shirt and more!

PLUS: come along for our wading trip at Ponce deLeon Park, a morning offshore fishing trip from Englewood and an inshore trip on Charlotte Harbor

$15 class fee

Entry forms are now at the 6th grade office in Punta Gorda, Murdock, Port Charlotte and LA Ainger middle schools

This is our 19th year!

Wading trip

or....... sign up online at www.waterlifemagazine.com

space is limited! Sign up NOW!

Produced by Charlotte Harbor Reef Association and Water LIFE magazine

Offshore trip


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OCTOBER 2019

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

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Dustin Eby, 30-inch redfish

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Michael Ryck, El jobean

Capt. Bill

Humberto, with keeper red

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Leonard doing some lunch break Friday fishing. Venice

FISH PIX

from Water LIFE magazi

FISH PIX!

Al with a 21-inch black drum caught in Englewood. One of the fish you can eat.

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Cigarfish caught in Englewood Jenna M.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

An Englewood snook caught by Al.

Brittany Cortes The three fishing pics are from the Sanibel and Matlacha FL area and the guy in the photo is my boyfriend Dalton Rybka, he is the man behind the fish!


X!

ine

OCTOBER 2019

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Ladies Day aboard the Miss Kim in Marathon! Nice mahis Angie Ormond, Bobbi Dulac, Ashlee Hencye, Cathy Lozier

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX! 10-foot sawfish Justin Medina

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from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

A nice pair! Great day out with Groupa Tim;)!!! Gettinʼ some

Mike Preston with a nice snook caught on a hand picked shrimp from Eldreds Marina and released

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ryan and Owen with their first tarpon with Crooked Rod Charters

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Chris Tully snook South Gulf Cove Port Charlotte 9/6

Matthew Gartner black drum

Lou O'Quinn, East wall

Back in the saddle Slim Jim sportin some nice red groupers!!!SW FL BABY!!!;)


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FALLing temps PAGE

By Capt. David Stephens Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor The past few mornings, heading out the creek, going for bait, I have noticed a change in the air. Instead of feeling the humid heat of summer, it’s been a little crisp. I know it’s not sweater weather, but the fish feel the change. The water temps are dropping a few degrees also, so things are going to start

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moving. For one, the mullet have been schooling up heavier. On the lower tides the bars have been alive with schools of mullet. Predator fish such as reds, snook and trout will all be hanging close to these guys for an easy meal. They don’t necessarily feed on the mullet, they feed on what they stir up. As these schools move along the bar and flats, all the little crustaceans and bait gets stirred up. So it becomes a partnership between the two. The cooler water temps should also start bringing some of our pelagic fish back into the Harbor. I have noticed the ladyfish have been schooling up in large numbers outside the bars in 5-to 7-feet of water. If you have a junior angler that wants to catch a lot of fish, these are the fish for you! You don’t need any fancy tackle, or live bait. You just need something with a hook that wiggles. However if you’re looking for something that pulls a bit harder, this is the time of year large tarpon will be lurking around these guys looking for a quick

meal. So I recommend keeping a big rod handy just in case. This is also the time of year when a lot of great things begin to happen on Charlotte Harbor. As we continue to move into our fall pattern our local fishery will only get better. The fish are getting hungry, so go enjoy some of what our beautiful Harbor has to enjoy. Weather has been a little crazy for us here in South West Florida. We have had some close calls with hurricanes, and we still have several weeks of Hurricane Season left. Unfortunately the people of the Bahamas were not as fortunate. Dorian decided to park on top of some of the islands and destroy what it could so I highly recommend if you are able to donate any supplies that you do. I have seen first hand from hurricane Charlie what the devastation from these storms can bring. Also, the Bahamas is a large chain of islands, some of which did-

OCTOBER 2019

n’t get effected. If you were planning trips for fishing or vacation, check to see if that area is still operating and if it is, support them! As a fishing guide that depends on tourism, I understand the effect of major storms.

If you would like to experience some of Charlotte Harbor’s finest fishing, call or send me an email. All of our charters are private and customized to fit your needs.


OCTOBER 2019

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SHARKS and Kids By Capt. John Brossard Water LIFE Shark Fishing Through the years as a shark guide I have had the opportunity to take some great kids out fishing, both girls and boys. Many I remember because they make their parents or grandparents bring them back fishing every time they come back to Florida. Adults tell me the kids have been talking about the trip all year. Some, I have taken for 5- to 10years in a row. They have become both regulars and friends. There is London from Georgia who I have had on my boat with his grandpa and grandma for more that 8 years now, at least 2-times a year. Steve, Ginger and London have had some great times on the boat, from crying because he could not handle the size of the shark to happy tears after the landing of the fish. Then here was Belle and her father that repeat coming back to catch the big one once a year. We too have great times together. And there’s Grampa Rick who wants to make memories with his grandchild Jor-

I donĘźt remember his name, lol!

either. Look at some of the pictures from lately, of happy families on the don from Naples. boat. I also get the occasional text from a This is why guides love their job! parent or grandparent that all the kid talks As far as the fishing report, thank about is sharking during Summer break. I God we dodged the bullet with Hurrimust be doing something right. cane Dorian last month. I hope we are The fish do not have to be big to a kid lucky this month as well. The sharking has been good all around, from offshore with people getting their fish stolen off their rods halfway up from the bottom, to lots of smaller sharks, such as blacktips, close-in by the beach and there have been sharpnose and bonnethead sharks cruising in shallow waters as well. While the water is still warm, this is a good time to tie up to a biggie just off the beach in the evening. It is always better to fish in low evening or early morning light this time of year to get a faster bite. Jordon Hull with his Gramps Rick Hull On the Shark Chaser boat I am still catching all types of sharks on the near shore reefs with numerous hammerheads, still coming up. Clear water is best, but if there is none you will still hook up in murkier waters it might just take longer. Bait of choice this time of year is bluerunners (if you can get them) or a whole mackerel. This time of year the by-catch is always fun too. From Gramps Rick, With Daughter Logan and Grandson Jordan goliath grouper to tarpon and even the occasional sawfish have been had lately. A little education: When a storm is coming, such as Dorian, the sharks seem to know it and go out of the estuar-

Sean and Logan Wells from Naples

Gramps Steve Wigington, Ginger and London

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cushions canvas covers

London Wigington from Ball Ground , GA

ies like Lemon Bay in Englewood and Rookery Bay in South Naples. This is known because they have tagged sharks in these areas and kept track of them during a bad storm. They go out into the Gulf of Mexico during the storm and come back to the same areas they roam in the shallows, hours after the storm goes by. Somehow they know, maybe by the barometric pressure or something inside that alerts them.

Belle from Estero, FL

Capt John Brossard 239-777-9279 sharkchaserfl@gmail.com sharkchasercharters.com


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OCTOBER 2019

Backwater snook Estero Bay and a juvenile Goliath on 20lb test Capt Fred Gowdy

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L LI IF FE E

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Curtis Sawyer. 39" Snook. Cape Coral

FISH PIX!

This big snook went about 39 inches! Could have gone 40 or a bit more, but she was much bigger than the CCA FL Star Tournament Ruler I measured her on and entered in the tournament! She ate a 4-inch Got-Cha - Seastriker curly-tailed grub with a 1/8 oz VMC White Swimbait jighead in the surf along Manasota Key near Englewood. Released in great shape! The bull redfish sightfished along Manasota Key crushed a DOA 3-inch CAL Shad in the new #381 moleʼ color. Works well in darker or off-colored water. Tons of glass minnows and small scaled sardines along the beach. Ken Taylor - Lodge Lead / Pro-Staff Angler Dickʼs Sporting Goods - North Port. from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ever catch an oyster with a shrimp? Austin Meyers from Indianapolis, IN did during a visit with grandparents. Caught and released from the El Jobean Pier.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

22-inch tripletail, caught while snook fishing, Max Riesbeck

Austin Meyersʼ very first catch (red drum I believe), of course released immediately. El Jobean Pier.


OCTOBER 2019

FROM

10,000 ISLANDS

By Capt. Charlie Phillips Water LIFE / Everglades City I love this time of year. It’s still hot as Hades, but as I write this, we have had our first “cold front” which really means low humidity. Whatever, we will take it. The fish are feeding, the weather is more predictable as rainy season slows down, and our northern friends haven’t made it down en masse yet. Yep, life is pretty good! For those of us in Everglades City, we don’t run many trips until late this month. I try to use the time to get an idea of what the fish are doing again, following the hot summer. I prefer to be offshore on the wrecks if I can, but the past several weeks have had some heavy winds come in and churn things up slowing me down a bit. The blessing of the Glades though is when the wind is howling, I have 10,000 places to find some shelter inshore. Some big snook have been caught this

The Herd is Coming! BACK ISSUES @

past month as the fish are out and feeding heavy before they move into the backcountry. Looking around the passes and mangrove points on the outside islands is a great starting place. Live bait will work of course, but so will soft plastics and if

you get a slick day, topwater is my go-to. I had a snook last week scare me to death when he slammed my plug unexpectedly. I believe it’s a scare I will never grow tired of. Redfish will get in some good numbers over the next 30 days or so as they start to school. Those shorts that I have

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been seeing the past 18 months are now pretty close to the lower slot limit and I imagine many will head to the fryer this season. Shrimp tipped bucktails have been working for me in the

deeper cuts on the lower tide stages. Redfish are such a hard fighter and beautiful fish when they come out of our waters. Light colored, almost white when we catch them offshore and copper beauties when pulled from the back. Hard to beat. Speckled trout action has been good

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all month. I love throwing the old tried and true popping cork, because, well it works. Long cast with a soft plastic on a jighead does the trick. Using plastics that mimic baitfish vs shrimp yields me larger fish, I believe, as it better follows the diet of the larger fish. Using shrimp tipped jigs in the troughs around the islands also nets me the larger solitary fish, quite often as well, when redfishing. Offshore will be hot if you can find a window to get there. Spanish macks are everywhere, permit on the structure and cobia passing thru as they migrate south. Watch the weather up in Panama City and when you see them get some cold weather, make plans to hit the water cause the herd is coming! Y’all be safe and see you on the water. Capt. Charlie Phillips, President, Florida Guides Assn. Owner/Captain, Hope Fishing Adventures Everglades City, Florida hopefishing.com 863-517-1829


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My Three Wishes On the Line

By Capt. Ron Blago Water LIFE Senior Staff I've been fishing these waters around Englewood for close to 30 years now and I've seen a lot of improvements that help boaters and fishermen who use our local waters. I’ve seen water quality improvements and increased sea grass growth, a plan to keep Stump Pass open, additional boat ramps and fishing piers, additional artificial reefs and I’ve seen the manatee no longer being endangered. I'm proud to say that I had a small part in making these improvements and even though I've retired from charter fishing, I'm still active and trying to make thing better. If I had just three wishes to make more improvements; here is what I would wish for:

1 A kayak launch site with access to the Gulf of Mexico. Offshore kayak fishing is the hot new thing. Just one mile from the beach, you have access to tarpon, kingfish and cobia. If you get a chance, go to You-TUBE and look at Key West Kayak Fishing.

2 How about a snorkeling reef at Englewood Beach? With all the talk of putting in hard bottom as mitigation for the upcoming Manasota beach renourishment project; why not make a reef at about 10ft in depth off the beach that can be used by snorkelers. You can use limestone boulders, reef balls even pieces of art. This would be a unique tourist attraction too. 3 Here is the big one. How about a Gulf side fishing pier? I've always been envious of the City of Venice's jetty and 750 foot long fishing pier. I ask myself, why not a pier for Englewood? ... a bigger one, a 1,000-foot-plus T pier with a small bait shop and a snack bar. Maybe even a cafe where you could sit and watch the nightly sunset. Maybe dreams can come true, but until then, I'll keep wishing on a star. Captronb@juno.com

EMAIL:

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OCTOBER 2019

Local Bayronto Reef Connection

By Jim Joseph Water LIFE Diving On September 11, 1919, the 400foot freighter Bayronto was engulfed by a major hurricane while traveling from Galveston Bay to Marseille, France. The ship was taking on water and the Captain ordered abandon ship. Two lifeboats were dispatched, but a third was badly damaged in the storm and the Captain and part of the crew remained on the ship. They were rescued by the schooner part of the crew and was on the lifeboat that Fanny and Fay before the Baymade it into Tampa. ronto foundered and sank. Trevor made the trip to Florida and we went The first of the two lifeboats out to dive on the wreck, coincidentally on Sepwere rescued 28 hours later by the tember 11, that year. steamer Calno. The second lifeboat Trevor drifted for over six days before also had being spotted by the fishing smack original picIda out of Tampa. tures and The Bayronto rolled and sank A porthole from the corresponon September 13, 100 years ago Bayronto, salvaged by dence with last month. the author him. But that's not the end of this The Bayronto tale. Several years ago I was contacted by Trevor Saunders, now a good friend from England, about the lies 34 miles due West of Boca Bayronto. Grande in 110 fet Trevor had discovered that his Grandfather was of water. It has been a favorite for fishermen and divers alike. More information about the Bayronto can be found in SHIPWRECKS OF THE SUNSHINE STATE by Michael Barnette.


OCTOBER 2019

Looking for the Right One

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FISH PIX!

Editor Notes** We are constantly getting bass pictures from Nicholas. Last summer we had him on the cover with one of his bass. Nicholas often sends us a little commentary about his recent catches and his methods. We are working with him to develop a regular bass column. Here is a compilation of his text offerings and his fish this month. from Water LIFE magazine

By Nicholas J Bass Class I keep marine rations in my fishing survial pack so I can fish for days! But the truth of the matter is, the trophy bass I catch and release are still not Here's a successful tip for you who pond fish for bass like me off the the ones I have my banks, when the bite is pretty much shut down. Right now Bass are staying goal set on. There deep, you will definitely find them 18-20ft. Deep. The bite won't b aggressive, I are way bigger Locam using Sticko Worms or a bottom crawl or missile bait on a jig and slowly gliding the bait along the bottom of the ponds where they are ness Largemouth staying tight and thats were I am getting a majority of my strikes lately Lunkers in these with success, besides my top water frog action! ponds I fish, fish that I have lost, trying to get on the bank. So that's what keeps me going out almost day after day. And when I get the one I am after, finally on the bank and in hand, that's when I will definitely slowdown for sure, but until then I am going to keep on the endless grind. In the spring of 2020, when the spawn is in full swing and the bite is on for Pond Monsters, I’ll be fishing here where I live I got to hang out with Scott Martin at Bass Pro Shop earlier this year for about 20-minutes and we had great conversation and he really enjoyed my pics. I am pretty good at constantly hooking trophy bass especially, with the frog, but I asked him still how I could improve my frog hook set to make sure I don't lose hard fighting monster bass. He gave me some great advice and because of him I definitely got better and have had great results reeling in monster bass without losing them. It is amazing that spending a little time with the gracious and kind bass pro Captain like Scott M. Changed my life forever when it comes to hooking trophy bass on a frog. He deserves credit for my phenomenal success and now I enjoy sharing my experiences and knowledge with Waterlife and your readers. Thank you for giving me that opportunity and I am very grateful and appreciative for all you do for me and your readers. Get out and hook one today!

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SCUTTLEBUTT EMAIL:

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OCTOBER 2019

Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True jects confessed that the person in the social media hit the deer late at night with a vehicle and brought it back to a residence to process. They said the subject buried the deer because he knew it was not deer season.

At Placida, the mullet barn, the Fishery Restaurant and all the other little buildings have been demolished. New construction is near. It is not clear where the mullet will be collected, locally, this season.

BASYSHORE PIER According to Tina Powell, with Charlotte County Parks and Recreation, some unnamed engineer has determined the Bayshore Fishing Pier is 始structurally unsound始 and will have to be demolished. There is apparently no plan for its replacement. We始re calling B.S.on that excuse and we are going to ask to see the engineering report. DEER SLAYER FWC officers received information about persons intentionally hitting deer with vehicles and keeping them. There was a picture posted on social media of a subject posing with a six-point buck still in velvet. Officers identified multiple suspects, and the sub-

BASS TOURNAMENT SCRUTINY The FWC is seeking angler input for an economic study of fishing tournaments. The information provided will be used to better understand the economic impacts of tournaments at both the local and statewide level.... and to take informative lake management actions. Editor notes* It始s not only the tournament but the pre-fishing that is involved. Tieing management decisions to tournaments will certainly be controversial for the FWC. We hope redfish tournaments are next.

PLIERS TO DIE FOR County officers were in the area of the ICW and the St. Johns River when they saw a person in the water struggling to swim towards a nearby vessel at anchor against the strong current. The person made no headway against the outgoing current and quickly became distressed. They navigated their patrol vessel near the distressed swimmer and pulled him onboard. The swimmer was extremely exhausted and said he had jumped off his vessel after dropping a pair of pliers overboard. He recovered and was safely transported back to his vessel. MISSED A GEAR Using data from 68 studies published between 1975 and 2017, an esti-

mate of commercial fishing gear lost in the world's oceans has been compiled. Researchers estimates that six percent of all fishing nets, nine percent of all traps and 29 percent of all lines are lost or discarded into our oceans each year. Fishing gear loss due to bad weather was the most commonly reported cause of loss (69 percent). Gear conflict was the second most common cause of loss (57 percent). Editor notes**: Wait! that totals 126-percent!

MY SPOT... BOOM! FWC officers responded to a call off-shore of the St. Lucie Inlet where a subject was said to have discharged a shotgun towards another vessel after a verbal dispute over a fishing location.

SHRIMP SNATCHERS Officers participated in a Targeted Enforcement Action at the Palatka City Docks in response to numerous complaints of persons taking over the limit of shrimp. A group of five subjects were observed throwing cast nets and making several trips to their vehicles with shrimp. The subjects were stopped for a fisheries inspection and had 40 gallons of shrimp (15 gallons over the limit), three black crappie, and a black bass. CORAL DISEASE An outbreak of stony coral tissue loss disease in the Florida Keys began in 2014 and continues to spread. It is highly active off Key West, and appears to be expanding to the Caribbean region. The Lower Florida Keys are in the epidemic zone with the

highest concentration of active disease. This event is unique due to its large geographic range, extended duration, rapid progression, high rates of mortality, and the number of species affected. Stony coral tissue loss disease affects at least 22 species of reefbuilding corals. Once infected, coral colonies typically die within weeks to months. The disease is thought to be caused by bacteria and can be transmitted to other corals through direct contact and water circulation. Researchers are working to identify potential pathogens and relationships with environmental factors, developing strategies to treat diseased colonies. Scientists are treating coral with antibiotics, tagging them with notices asking divers to photograph them and send in photos and a report. How this will work is not yet clear.


ESTERO BAYʼs OCTOBER 2019

Mound Key

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Capt. Joe Angius Water LIFE Estero Estero Bay is an estuary bordered by various barrier islands, fed by five major rivers and four outlets to the Gulf of Mexico. This fifteen square-mile state park and preserve is home to the biodiversity Southwest Florida is praised for. The wildlife inhabits the lush mangrove shorelines, unforgiving oyster beds, and unique islands found throughout the bay. Mound Key Archaeological State Park, located at the mouth of the Estero River, is one of the most significant and iconic islands known for its rich history and dynamic ecosystem. Over 2,000 years ago the Calusa Indians, who were hunter-gatherers, conquered the island and built the mound. It is strategically constructed from the Calusa’s broken tools, fish and animal bones, shells, and pottery. Mound Key was also a ceremonial center for their Kingdom. Unfortunately, the arrival of the Spaniards, bringing with them diseases and advanced weaponry, is what ended the Calusa Indian’s reign over Mound Key and the surrounding areas. Today you will find a one-mile hiking trail through the state park and a dock, located on the Southwest side of the island with a “For Sale” sign. The land “For Sale” is a 9.6 acre plot fenced with barbed wire, holding goats and a small covered structure. It has been for sale for several years, but recently it was purchased by Lee County through their Conservation 20/20 land acquisition program for $860,000. Since this is a recent purchase, it’s still unclear what plans they have in store for the State Parks expansion and preservation. By far, if anyone were to purchase this land I’m happy to see that it’s in the hands of the state and local government.

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Conservation 20/20 is a program designed to acquire and preserve at least 20-percent of Lee County’s land by 2020. They reached their goal well before this purchase with 2020 still months away. It’s a great program putting conservation first, but I wonder how tax payers, the people, will respond to renewing and restructuring the program in the future. The reality of Mound Key is that it’s only accessible by watercraft and it attracts many visitors every year. To some it may be an island in the middle of the Bay, but to Estero Bay it’s a monument that showcases the resilience of life. In October Mound Key is one of my go-to fishing spots for sheepshead and redfish. It’s also a great place to have a picnic lunch and a quaint walk over the historical mounds. Impeccable weather and fishing should be upon us this month, but it’s up to you to take advantage of what Southwest Florida has to offer.

Capt. Joe Angius (727)-234-3171 www.speakeasyfishing.com speakeasyfishing@gmail.com

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EMAIL:

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OCTOBER 2019

October – Predictions and Suggestions

BackBay Xtremes Capt Dave Stephens www.backbayxtremes.com

941-916-5769

LEFT: Capt. JoGene Holaway holding up his big bass honors, fishing with Florida Cracker Bass Club on Lake Trafford. Capt. JoGene caught the large mouth black bass on his custom colored Bass Addiction Gear Fatso Stick. RIGHT: Bill Pfaff and Billy Pfaff Jr. holding up their big bass honors in the United Bass Anglers Sportsman Series open tournament on Lake Trafford. They released the 6.3-pounder alive.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Explore!

Fish with one of our Guides

Youʼll learn something and youʼll catch some fish!

Charlotte Harbor Frank at Fishin’ Franks 941-625-3888

There are tons of big redfish five feet off the beach, around Cayo Costa and Boca Grande. From Sanibel up to Stump Pass, these schools are working the beaches. These are averaging 35-inch fish that will bite on anything in your tackle box! Up in the Harbor fish are tailing right after first light, maybe the lack of boats gave them some breathing room. We have a few reds on the east side, not schools, but bunches of fish. In the mornings they are out by the sandbars, but as the day warms up they move closer to the mangroves. We have some schools of ladyfish in Gasparilla Sound and over by the Intracoastal. Nice Spanish mackerel are moving around Alligator Creek and at Boca and Cape Haze. Snook fishing is open in Desoto County now. A couple of guys I know, fishing at the 760 bridge up there, got a nice legal snook. Snook are good in the Myakka, but up around 41-Bridges and down around Port Charlotte, they are scattered in the canals. Down around Stump Pass and north of there, there seem to be quite a few snook on the beaches. Blacktip and bull sharks are still here in good numbers, but the number one gamefish this summer has been the black drum. There are still some drum at the 41-bridges and a few at the I-75 bridge. The Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte canals that face the Harbor or the River and the Ackerman Waterway all have nice black drum now. There are some smaller tarpon around, but a few of the normal size are still here too, in the holes in the Harbor. The little ones are in the Myakka and Peace Rivers, anything up to 4-foot pretty common in both rivers right now.

We have just OK trout fishing. Down around Two Pine and Burnt Store... they seem to be in the southern end of the Harbor. Bass fishing has been pretty good, mostly the fish are lower in the water in the mornings. Bass seem to be pretty good on the edge, by any grass they can get into. I don’t have a lot of good reports from the Gulf because of the wind.

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

Fishing has picked up dramatically. Everybody is doing well in the back country on snook and redfish. Out along north Englewood Beach there have been bigger redfish cruising the shore, these are fish way above the slot. A guy I know was just in the store and he was telling me about catching tarpon on dead ladyfish along the beach where he lives at Manasota Key. He said he was having a good time with tarpon. All the beaches have quite a few fish on them now: whiting, snook, pompano, black drum and some big Spanish mackerel down by Boca Grande. There has been a big variety because there is a lot of baitfish around, even in the back country, which is really good. In South Gulf Cove and in the Englewood area off 771, at the sands, there are a lot of bass the guys have been catching. There are snapper in Boca Grande Pass mangrove up to 5 pounds, along with smaller grouper and big goliath. Over there you’ll have all that you want to pull on. Offshore is just starting to pick up now that the winds have lay down...for the time being.

Englewood Bait House live shrimp etc.

Head-Boat Trips Offshore Fishing 941- 475-4511


OCTOBER 2019

BACK ISSUES @

The BIG-4 LADYFISH Nice schools in Charlotte Harbor

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m

W Wa at te er r

L LI IF FE E

October

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Fish you can expect in

SPAN MACK In the passes and to the south

REDFISH Schools along the beaches and in Harbor

SNOOK At the spillways moving to the canals

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Nearshore water temps have cooled to the low 80s Fishing has turned on!

Readerʼs Photos Text Us Ur Fish Pix! see page 4

95˚ 90˚

m ma ag ga az zi in ne e

85˚ 80˚

75˚ 72˚

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Dad, Jack and Brendan Cronin with 75-pound cobia, off Naples.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

10 year old grandson Austin Meyers Happy to catch and release this snook at Blind Pass Beach, Englewood

70

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

68˚

Logan Carey, age 8

50˚ 45˚

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Brittany Cortes, red tail

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Scott Larsen, snakehead, caught on a Booyah frog, Miami

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Jordan Sutphin blacktip shark

FISHING RIGHT NOW: VERY GOOD! LAST CAST

Thus us the last picture we received before going to print this month

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Judy Mueller

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Capt. Jerry Hill, permit

Jackson Matthewson of Petersburg, Indiana...24 inch red grouper caught in 65 ft. of water out off the Venice Jetty.


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OCTOBER 2019

Profile for Water LIFE magazine

Water LIFE Oct. 2019  

Boating, Fishing (lots of Fishing) and living on the Water in the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve

Water LIFE Oct. 2019  

Boating, Fishing (lots of Fishing) and living on the Water in the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve

Profile for waterlife