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Water LI FE

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

Txt Us Ur Fish Pix!

The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association

August 2019

Happening Now!

Kids $1Bill Challenge

weĘźll use Ęťem! see page 4

Nadia Dubbaneh and her 42-inch black drum are winners this month!

Take Your Kids Fishing! Online Tournament through Sept 15

Info & Results: page 6-9

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Camdyn Rakow caught a bunch of snapper

FISH PIX! Water LIFE magazine

Bobby Fields with a goliath

Circle of Heros Reef takes shape: page 24

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9/1/19

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eMail letters and photos to:

WE WANT YOUR FISH! Txt Us Ur Fish Pix txt to:

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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

Jeff Verost released this nurse shark off Placida pier page 17

Logan Wernersbach Caught a large catfish page 25

Caught July 20 in Charlotte Harbor. Jason Price, redfish page 27

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SUNSEEKER RESORT PROGRESS REPORT

They must be reading my column because now they have included fishing on the ʻthings to doʼ list at Sunseeker. Unfortunately using a picture of an angler jumping a catfish was a bad choice! You donʼt want catfish! I need to tell them about snook and tarpon. They also want to offer night-time stand up paddleboarding. Guys, please! Give me a call, youʼre making yourself look silly. What gets me is they are focusing on the water and yet they are silent about Mosaicʼs next phosphate mine which could come on line right about the time Sunseeker is finished. Why Sunseeker hasnʼt become our ally in fighting against what will destroy our estuary is beyond me. If our water quality declines Sunseeker will decline. Around these parts we are all tied to the water. And itʼs not if, itʼs just when the next big phosphate spill will happen. Someone also needs to tell Sunseeker the truth about the water quality at the top of Charlotte Harbor. We are polluted with septic runoff. Not just a little, but a lot. The Beach Complex closes regularly for fecal bacteria in the water. How is that water quality going to influence the night-time paddlesport outings? Maybe they know and thatʼs why they chose night time! As we went to press there was a tent set up at the Sunseeker site. I figure they are breaking ground, This is pretty much in line with what they said in May. By the end of July there were 6 cranes and two pile drivers on the site. They were pouring concrete on the seawall and the whole area looked alive. Maybe something concrete will come up out of the ground soon, but that something will be the first piling. The information I have received says there will be over 2000 pilings that will be driven down 40- or 50-feet to the bedrock. Iʼm not sure how loud the pound, pound, pounding of the pile drivers will be at my house, a mile away, but I bet the concussion will affect fishing in that area for a while. There will be a steady stream of trucks delivering all those pilings to the site. The traffic at the base of the US 41 Bridge over the Peace River might be affected. If they come up I-75, I figure they will have to come down Harborview and turn south on 41. If you remember the four trucks with the concrete beams for the Edgewater Drive bridge reconstruction project two years ago, youʼll remember how difficult that delivery was, so now just magnify that exponentially to get an idea of the truck traffic coming. I hope they plan to bring the pilings in at night. There will be two years of truck traffic..... unless we get a hurricane in between in which case it might be longer. Good luck Sunseeker. You will need it! – MH

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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 8 © 2019

NO PART of this publication (printed or

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re-used without specific written permission from the Publisher

Contributing Editors:

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 Sawfish: Tonya Wiley

Pier Fishing: Bobby Vitalis Ths flyer was in a direct e-mail from Sunseeker. July 2019

Diving: Adam Wilson

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Just a few Occasional Catastrophic Releases

By Michael Heller Water LIFE Editor “Decisions will be made regardless of the sufficiency of our knowledge.” That statement was a biologist’s wisdom in a water quality report prepared for Charlotte County in 2016. Many parts of the report harken back to a 1967 FSU study that drew the same conclusions; People are to blame for our decreasing water quality. We never learn. Next to sewage, phosphate mining is the biggest problem we have created. Not just because of the environmental damage the strip mining process causes, but because unearthing phosphates adds to algae growth. The water quality report said: “Changes in not only the amounts but also of relative proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and silicate favor harmful algal blooms, aggravate oxygen depletion, and alter marine food webs.” The Charlotte Harbor watershed has a significant hypoxic zone. Hypoxic (low oxygen) water typically occurs when water temperatures are 27C and surface salinity is 25C. Phosphate mining helps enlarge the zone, which is in the upper Harbor where bottom mud is 10-feet thick. I read in the report that: “The Peace River is naturally enriched with dissolved phosphate from watershed phosphorites in the Bone Valley formation and from phosphate mining activities (originally in the river, and then on land after 1900s), including occasional catastrophic releases.” Is even one more catastrophic release acceptable? Hardly, but toxic releases are part of phosphate mining. I read that: “Phytoplankton growth in the estuary is controlled by the availability of nitrogen, (which comes from our sewage and septic systems -ed) but unlike nearby Tampa, Sarasota, and Lemon Bays, variations in sea grass biomass and productivity in Charlotte Harbor do not seem to correlate with modeled nitrogen loads and there is considerable variability among years.”

I had to wonder, why the variability? I read that: “The organic carbon stored in bottom sediments during previous periods provides a significant dissolved oxygen supply. A modern example of the coupling between changing nitrogen loading and bottom water oxygen concentration is thus established.” Do you think that could have anything to do with our seagrass to dying off? I do. I also read that: “Calculations on oxygen consumption dynamics suggest that hypoxia could be initiated by either (1) the oxygen demand required to decompose plant matter during summer, or (2) the measured sediment oxygen demand in the estuary.” Unfortunately, without bottom sampling we don’t know the proportions of the ‘ingredients’ in the muck, let alone what they do mixed together. The muck on the Harbor and River bottoms figures into this because the nitrogen feeds the phytoplankton (algae) which depletes oxygen and carbon forms CO2, which depletes it more. In essence, nitrogen and phosphates are a 24-hour energy drink for algae and the muck is a time release capsule. So is the sufficiency of our knowledge lacking? Or are we looking the other way? The report also specifically focused up the Peace River: “Changes in estuarine nutrient loading from local urban or agricultural land use, for example, may or may not be as significant as the changes occurring from land use further up the watershed and may be undetectable against a background that includes a substantial natural variability or inadequate monitoring.” The term inadequate monitoring is a mis-nomer. We have UNEXISTENT MONITORING, unexistent where it

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is most important, up river from Charlotte Harbor, at Horse Creek, where they want to put the next mine. The MOSAIC company has fences around the Creek so no one can take samples, but I know some locals are now collecting water and dirt samples using drones. Don’t you wonder why the local municipalities haven’t taken a stand against phosphate mining? Money. Miners have been mining out the center of Florida for 100 years and increasingly bad water is the result today. The more they mine, the more Charlotte Harbor will die. The closer they mine the sooner the Harbor will die. We can not allow any additional phosphates to enter our rivers. We can no longer permit Mosaic to dilute water with their pollutants and then release it back into the aquifer - that’s what they are doing today. We either take action to stop Mosaic or they will kill the living estuary we call home and change our way of life for ever.


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AUGUST 2019

Dollar Bill Challenge Online Tournament - Still time to enter!

FISH QUIZ # 3

Earn 3 points for each correct answer Points go toward winning the 2019 Tracker Boat! (see rules for full info)

Answers are due before noon August 15. Text answers to the phone number you received when you signed up.

1. During periods of ___________ fish tend to orient themselves more to structure and the availability of food. a.  High Water b.  Low Water c.  Rain d.  Sunshine 2.

The most abundant baitfish in an estuary a.  Anchovy b.  Menhaden c.  Bigeye Scad d.  Thread herring

3. Wy is fluorocarbon line good as a leader? a.

 It is inexpensive

c.

 Fish canʼt see it

b.

 It will never break

d.

 It smells good to fish

4. Fish Activity is often affected by a.  Water Temperature b.  Water Clarity c.  Water Salinity d.  All of the above 5.

from: a. b. c. d.

Aberdeen Hooks are made  Thinner Wire  Thicker Wire  Titanium Wire  Stainless Steel Wire

How to Enter Your Kids

1) Read the Rules and Sign Up online at www.waterlifemagazine.com 2) This is an Online Tournament. Fish any time you want, from Cape Sable to Venice, from eastern Okeechobee to 50 miles out in the Gulf.

3) Every fishing period, text us your longest two fish out of 30 tournament species, freshwater or salt. Make sure the dollar bill with your angler number on it is in each picture.

4) The longest fish in each species wins a Shakespeare rod and reel. If you already have a Shakespeare rod, we will give you ʻrod creditsʼ which you can redeem for a higher-end rod, when the tournament ends. Second Place for every fish, every month, receives MirrOlure MR17 or MirrOlure Top Pup lures Third Place receives a fishing t-shirt.

Each month there is an extra credit 5-question Fish Quiz. Text us your answers for a better chance at winning the 2019 Tracker 1032 Boat. This tournament is produced by the non-profit Charlotte Harbor Reef Association

Prizes: Rods, lures and t-shirts

THERE ARE FOUR FISHING PERIODS EACH PERIOD, ENTER TWO FISH FROM ANY OF THESE 30 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, mangrove snap-

per, lane snapper, Spanish mackerel, tripletail, pinfish, barracuda, bass, crappie, tilapia, sunfish, catfish, gar, Mayan cichlid

Winners: After August 3rd, bring your dollar bill with your angler number on it

to Fishinʼ Franks (4425-D Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33980) Frank will have your rod or lure or t-shirt. You must collect your winnings before August 31

Text your answers like this



Second Fishing Period Quiz Answers: 1B-2C-3C-4B-5A

941-584-4575 Thank You to our Sponsors!

239-935-8575


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PAGE 7

Dollar Bill Challenge 2nd Period WINNERS!

Period #2: June 16 to July 15

Period #3 now fishing: July 16 - August 15

Snook

Gar

First Place Snook: 24-inches Dylan Shaffer #203 2nd: James Jurisko #216, 23-inches 3rd: Leonardo D始Orazio #212, 15-inches Longest snook so far: #206, 29.5-inches

First Place Gar: 37-inches Charlie Dubbaneh #206 This is the longest gar, so far!

Ma ckerel

Gr unt First Place Grunt: 9-inches Julius Acosta #210 This is the longest grunt, so far!

Jac k Creva lle

First Place Jack Crevalle: 18-inches Ryan Larson # 228 2nd: Luke D始Orzio #211, 18-inches Ryan始s fish came in on the 12th, Luke始s came in on the 15th. Longest Jack so far: #216, 31-inches

First Place Mackerel: 19-inches Matthew Gartner #222 This is the longest mackerel, so far!

Thank You to all our Sponsors!


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Dollar Bill Challenge 2nd Period WINNERS!

Period #2: June 16 to July 15

Mangrove Sn apper

First Place Mangrove Snapper: 10.5 inches Daniel Acosta #209 2nd Place: Daniel Acosta # 209 10-inches Longest mang. so far: 14-inches #222

AUGUST 2019

Period #3 now fishing: July 16 - August 15

Black Dr um

First Place Black Drum: 42-inches Nadia Dubbaneh #207 2nd Place: Jaekwon Pringle # 208 41-inches This is the longest drum so far!

C a t fi s h

First Place Catfish: 27-inches Justin Medina #201 2nd Place: Matthew Gartner# 222 17-inches 3rd Place: Alyx Shaffer #204 14-inches This is the longest catfish so far!

S u n fi s h

Trout 941-625-3888

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

First Place Trout: 18.5-inches Charlie Dubbaneh #206 2nd Place: Julius Acosta # 210 14.5-inches This is the longest trout so far!

941-621-6621

941-639-8721

941- 639-2628

Thank You to our Sponsors!

First Place Sunfish: 10.25-inches Jacob Florea #226 This is the longest sunfish so far!


AUGUST 2019

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Dollar Bill Challenge 2nd Period WINNERS!

Period #2: June 16 to July 15

Period #3 now fishing: July 16 - August 15

T ilapia

Sa il cat

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Myan Cichlid

First Place Sailcat 18-inches Alyx Shaffer #204

This is the longest sailcat so far! First Place Tilapia 17.25-inches Jacob Florea #226 This is the longest tilapia so far!

First Place Myan Cichlid: 12-inches Luke DʼOrazio #211 This is the longest cichlid so far!

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

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10,000 ISLANDS PAGE

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By Capt. Charlie Phillips Water LIFE / Everglades City This time of year, traditionally, you find many fishing guides and recreational anglers alike spending more time in the AC than on the water. Vacations and trips are an option that many take as well. It’s not that the fishing is bad, but it’s just so darn hot that an excuse to go to cooler weather or make your own in a coolroom of the house, doesn’t take much urging. On that note, I have been on the road fishing in other states the past few weeks and having a darn good time. I’ve been fishing the local waters of North and South Carolina, and Michigan during the month of July. It’s always fun to fish new places and it makes me pretty happy wearing a coat all day in July, trolling for salmon on Lake Michigan – a first for me btw, and we got skunked, but still nice needing a coat in July, so not a loss in my book. Back home for a few weeks, I will fish the Everglades on a couple of trips before I take off again this month for a trip back to Costa Rica, where I will be fishing for all things that swim. Enough about foreign lands though, let’s talk about fishing the 239-area code. This is an early and late game for the

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Fishing the 239 Area Code

next 60 days. I like leaving the dock early to hit the water before the sun is up and fishing till mid to late morning, then hitting it again in the late afternoon following the storms that most likely passed thru, working till dark. Not to say you can’t fish all day, but I find it much more comfortable to fish during these periods and feel I produce more as well because of one key issue, water temperatures. Night time cools the water down as does the afternoon storms with cloudy

skies dumping cool water through the area. Often you will have very calm conditions as well and that allows awesome opportunities for topwater offerings. Hard to beat that explosion on the surface and I don’t care how many times I see it, my heart always skips a beat. Inshore and offshore have been doing well for the guys that have stayed at it. Lots of big snook inshore on topwater and live baits last month. Also saw quite a few permit being caught as well by captains fishing offshore. Some big red grouper were coming from deeper waters that I run, with limits of fat snapper being caught on the same trips. The fish are there, you just have to sweat a bit to get them. The one benefit that you have this time of year though is

AUGUST 2019

solitude. For the next 60 days it will be very easy to fish the back country or offshore and not see a boat, so take advantage of it as very soon we know that will end. Our snowbirds will be back when the cooler weather arrives, so tough it out and get out to find a few fish. Y’all be safe and I will see you out there

Capt. Charlie Phillips, President, Florida Guides Assn. Owner/Captain, Hope Fishing Adventures Everglades City, Florida hopefishing.com 863-517-1829


Current AUGUST 2019

Cameron Parson Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor It's no doubt that it's hot and we want to be off the water by 10 am or so, at least that's the feeling I get. It's the time of year to beat the heat and get out early or go out later in the evening when there's still a light breeze and the water is a few degree cooler, creating a quick bite before returning to the comfort of the AC. Whether you're on foot or on your boat, there are plenty of places to catch fish, if you know where to look. Areas that have stagnant water or very little flow can have temperatures of 90degrees or a little more. Shade and current can bring the temperature down to 85 or less in some areas. Fish, like us, will eat wherever they feel comfortable. A lot of fish become quite lethargic in the heated water of the day and won't really give chase to anything. The idea is to find those spots where the fish are comfortable enough to bite whatever you toss at them. Some of the land based, bridge and flats areas around here can offer quick action within 10 or 15 minutes from the house or boat ramp. Most any of the bridges or mangrove points – anything with a little light and moving water – will hold fish. Current, to a fish, is like AC to us, it provides some relief from the heat of the day. Mangrove points and bridge areas offer places for fish to stage up. Some will be directly in the flow or just off of it, waiting for bait to flush through. The current offers an easy meal for snook, redfish, tarpon, black drum, trout and tarpon. Gulp Shrimp on jighead, DOA Terroreyz, live pinfish, whitebait and small live ladyfish are all great choices for bait. Use a heavier jighead or add a little more weight if you can't quite get your bait to the bottom. Some of the lures like the Terroreyz can just be drifted through the current and will be picked up fairly quickly. Topwater plugs are great to use in the

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it’s like AC for fish

early morning hours to locate fish quickly and then I usually switch to bait after they're located. While on the flats, look for undercuts along the bushes or feeder creeks on the incoming tides. The water there will naturally be a little deeper, and offer shade. I often utilize cut bait and even frozen shrimp so the scent can wash further into the bushes and creeks. The main goal is to get your bait into the shade because it most likely will not get

an inch or two. Give yourself the edge on the fish and carry a few different sizes. Even drifting-flies such as streamers will out fish most any other lure at certain times. Surrounding canal areas always offer fish to catch at most any time of day. I often find that the closer I fish to a canal mouth the better my success will be. This is due to having a little more flow, particularly on the incoming tides. Jacks, snapper, snook and occasional tarpon are often around the mouths. Live bait seems to be the ticket in the summer months.

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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

Chuck Hepp with a fire truck, 34 miles out Never even kicked his tail! I thought I had a big piece of coral. He was choking on a big crab!

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

picked up if it's not. The late evening hours are great for fishing any place that offers light and attracts bait. Ainger Pier, El Jobean, the 75 bridges and the 41 bridges offer a little bit of everything. Current, structure, drop offs and flushing bait. Bait can often be seen sprinkling on top or skipping in the lights at these spots. Bigger fish won't be far behind or under that bait, occasionally blowing up on whatever bait is there. Bigger swimbaits and plugs will work, but be sure to have a few smaller lures handy to match the hatch. The bait their feeding on might only be

Be sure to hit the water after the afternoon rains...especially if the overcast and a light breeze sticks around. This will cool the water down and create a small window for a quick and good bite. Get out early, beat the heat. Find a pattern and put it all together. Stay hydrated, be safe and catch some fish!

Cameron Parson works at

Rio Villa Bait & Tackle in Punta Gorda 941- 639-7166

Jim Morean with his first AJ of the season. The season was short! Can't wait for them to open again.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Txt Us Ur Fish Pix see page 4


Changing Hooks PAGE

12

By Fishin’ Frank Water LIFE Baitshop Lure and hooks, I have to say they go together. What good would a lure be without the hooks? So what happens when the hooks on a lure go bad or become bent, rusty, or broken? OK you replace them, right “easy peasy”. Really it is as simple as changing a key on a key ring ... If you have the right tools, or very tiny fingers. Start with a trip to the tackle store and make sure you bing the lure with you.... ‘Ahh, I think it is about that big,’ ain’t gonna cut it. TAKE THE LURE! Hooks come in many sizes and a little bit makes a big difference. If you don’t bring the lure, at least bring the old hook. Keep it simple. Now changing hooks can be easy or easier with the correct tools. Hooks are attached to the lure with a split ring - a small version of a key chain ring – a circle of steel with two layers. You remove a hook the same way you remove a key. A split ring pliers the tool to use. It is basically a pliers with a tooth on the end of one of the jaws. For tiny rings the A.F.W. Split ring pliers is the ticket. It is the one with the tiniest end-barb which allows you to split the ring open. I like to have a very small needle nose pliers too, so once I use the split ring

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pliers to open the ring and get the hook eye into the split opening I can then move the ring around allowing the hook to come off. Now if you are really tricky you will place the hook you wish to remove up against the one you are putting on so the same motion that takes one hook off places the new hook on the ring. Today, single hooks are replacing treble hooks on many people’s lures since you can get a better hook set and it is less dangerous for you and the fish. The problem is, you cannot remove the front treble hook, but you can remove the rear one. If the lure has three treble hooks get rid of the middle one and replace the rear with a single hook like one from V.M.C. or Owner who both make hooks for lures that replace the trebles. The reason you cannot often replace the front treble is not a weight issue it is a rudder issue. The

AUGUST 2019

front treble hook on a lure keeps it balanced in the water and often, when you replace it, the lure swims off balance and it ruins the action. Now the rear treble on any lure may be replaced without any bad effects. How do you pick the correct size in-line single hook? Well the in-line tells you the eye of the hook is 90 degrees different than the hook you use for bait. With a regular single hook, when put it on a lure, the point of the hook sticks out the side. This is no good. With the in-line single you need only to make sure the opining (or point) is pointed up to get a hook set, never down. Now as to the size; it is a formula I came up with which really seems to work. Lay the treble hook on a table and look to make sure the single hook is the same gap as between the two barbed points of the treble hook. (see photo) If you are replacing treble for treble make sure they are the same size as well. Check out the label on the hook package. Lures come with a single X strength hook, which can bend or break, most tackle shops should have 4 X which, as you would guess, are 4 times stronger. But that also makes them heavier which can mess up the action. So try different things and if you need help stop by.

frank@fishinfranks 941-625-3888


AUGUST 2019

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Rain and the Relationship it has with Fishing By Capt. David Stephens Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor It looks like our summer rains are slowly doing their job to transform the water clarity of the northern Harbor. During the summer months the clear waters of the Harbor turn to a darker tea color. With everything that we’ve been through last summer, I would like to tell folks this is normal. We have two main rivers and many creeks that flow into the upper Harbor.

The Myakka River flows into the north west corner of the Harbor, bringing in water from Sarasota and Manatee County’s. The larger of the two main rivers is the Peace, which flows in from the north east. The Peace River flows through several counties making its way from the center of the state. So as the rains continue to fall through out southwest and central Florida those waters eventually make their way to our Harbor. The darker waters are not pollution, they get colors from the dead foliage as the rivers flow south. Our delicate ecosystem very much needs these yearly rains to thrive. Many of our game fish and aquatic vegetation

thrive on a balance of salt and freshwater. Too much of one or the other is not a good thing. The darker waters can actually help when it comes to fishing. Our main gamefish which are targeted the most can tolerate high levels of freshwater: they are snook, redfish and tarpon. Another bonus is fish that tend to be spooky in the clear water become a lot easier to approach when the water is darker. If you like to do a lot of sight fishing, the darker waters make that difficult. Although some of our local fish thrive in the summer run off, we have a few species that tend to leave areas that are intruded by the summer rains. Trout are one of the species that prefer higher levels of salt and will migrate to areas that have a higher salinity level. Also, fish that migrate from the Gulf into the Harbor will follow the saltwater. Over the end of July, while crossing the Harbor, I have noticed a high abundance of bait. Around these schools of bait have been loads of big jacks and I have also seen Spanish mackerel. Locating these areas will be easy if you just look for the feeding birds. I have been fishing the outside edges of the bait schools with great success. If you’re not into catching bait, gold spoons will also get bit. I recommend using a small piece of single strand wire leader for the macks. Unless we get a large storm system that dumps a heavy amount of rain on us, things should continue in the same pattern. Just remember, after midday be vigilant of the sky. The summer rain storms can blow up fast, and will usually contain lightening.

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. Capt. Dave Stephens, 941-916-5769 www.bayxtremes.com

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Thoughts on Snapper

I'm no biologist, but I think there might be a better time to open red snapper season than when every fish is bursting with fat sacks of roe and milt. Our tax and other dollars have been allocated to NMFS/SAFMC/Dept. of Commerce/FWRI and the fishery has been closed for TEN YEARS for them to STUDY RED SNAPPER BIOLOGY. You would think they'd have a teensy liʼl bit of in-

sight into spawn timing? 100% of fish I gutted this week were ready to blow. Commercial and recreational season is wide open the full breadth of a waxing and full moon phase...of course these fish will be fornicating. I don't understand the logic. There are way more big fish now, which is great. But this is quite an oversight that just doesn't bode well for the credibility of the resource managers or the health of the fish they are RESPONSIBLE for protecting. Just an FYI, this is not an argument about rec vs commercial. This is about harvesting mass numbers at the wrong time of year. If they're spawning now, which regulators SHOULD KNOW BY NOW, then harvest by EVERYONE should be delayed until they've had a chance to release gametes for the year. This is BASIC FISHERIES BIOLOGY. This is management sleeping on the job. This is not a sustainable management strategy. Please pardon me for expecting more out of PhD fisheries biologists and statisticians being paid by We the People. – via facebook


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AUGUST 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

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

from Water LIFE magazine

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

from Water LIFE magazine

Cynthia from Ohio catches snook

from Water LIFE magazine

This is my brother Don from Ohio with Capt Fred at Burnt Store!

Seth Kalmes, blacktip shark.

FISH PIX!

FISH PIX!

Andrea from Ohio catches her first snook!

FISH PIX!

FISH PIX!

Amie Head to the left and Brittany Nail to the right!! Caught in Boca.

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Slim Jim with a decent gag grouper SW Florida is getting hott !!!

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Two were mine and the one on my lap was my buddy's - Slim Jim

Jared Kalmes, blacktip shark

Great catch with pops, African pompano out of Mayport on the Majestic

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Chase Harrop, 8 yrs old. Caught tarpon on 4th of July in BSI canal.

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Ed Pangburn Suffield, Ct. visiting Rotonda West. Caught in canal behind Bunker Rd.

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The day we donʼt have a net! stingray cut free at El Joebean ~ Greg M


AUGUST 2019

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Jim Morean with a 24-inch mangrove. What a beautiful fish from about 56 miles out

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Brenden Wernersbach Caught a large catfish in Charlotte Harbor on Grandpaʼs boat.

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Erika Noack with her first red fish

Luna , Red fish, Cape Coral

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PAGE 15

Jack Coffee. Back yard bass

Jesse Swann age 5 his first Peacock Bass

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Madeline Davis Free lining a shrimp off PGI

Max Foglesong w Chad Rowland in Boca Grande with a mangrove snapper, redfish, tilapia, bass slam while vacationing from Festus, Missouri!


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FISH PIX! W Wa at te er r L L II F FE E m ma ag ga az z ii n ne e

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Capt. Kristina Voigt, to the right is me, her sister Courtney Gogliormella 29 1/2 -inch American red snapper. We were recently in a Naples Fishing Tournament and won!

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Barb Fickes Charlotte harbor. Captain Walter. Redfish catch n releas

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Sean kane triple tail alligator bay Charlotte harbor

Joe Sheaffer with a nice snook in Gasparilla 7/13/19

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Secret spot in Charlotte County had the juice. Reece Willis

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Calib Boggs

Kristopher with his catch of barracuda and vermillion snapper, out of Mayport with his dad Jerry

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Jim Morean with his first AJ of the season it was short can't wait for them to open again Aiden, Age 9, from Las Vegas, NV with a hammerhead shark Catch N Release at CapeRomano / Goodland. It was beginners luck: caught during the first 30-mins. First time ever fishing!

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Nancy Golden 30-inch redfish stud


SHARKS AUGUST 2019

By Capt. John Brossard Water LIFE Shark Fishing The water has been warm, the rains have come and the sharks are hungry – if you are a shark fisherman you love this time of the year in Southwest Florida. Bull sharks are being caught from Port Charlotte to the Everglades in the back water all the way up into fresh water. The beaches from Ft Myers to Naples have black-tip and bonnet-head sharks cruising for a meal in the morning and late afternoons. The hammerheads and tigers are at the nearshore wrecks and some beaches, ready to take a fresh bait off your hook anytime you are out there. On my boat Shark Chaser I have been spooled twice

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As Good as it Gets!

Jeff Verost caught and released this nurse shark off Placida Pier last month

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this month with 400 yards of 50-pound braided line. Spooled before I could even react with the boat to chase the fish. In 5-feet of water, in a location off Goodland, there have been bigger fish than where I fish offshore and they are in the deeper holes in the backwaters too, so don’t always assume that the sharks are in the deeper water offshore. And this was in the middle of the day... plus water clarity is not the best in that area either. And they were biting. Lemon, spinner and nurse sharks are all biting around the passes near you. Like I have said in my previous columns: try catfish for bait - either a whole one or one cut in half. You can not go wrong with a catfish right now. A word of advice: fresh bait... it doesn’t matter if it’s ladyfish, jack or catfish... is always much, I repeat much, better than frozen bait. I tell you this from experience. Check your bait every half hour or so. Crabs love fresh fish also! You can not catch a shark on a empty hook. I also always use a variety of baits. If I have four different type of bait in my arsenal, I will start out using a different bait on each rod to see what they will eat that day. Believe me, it is different every trip I go out on. One day last month I had about 10 small blacktip sharks swimming behind my chum on an a.m. trip. So I go back

out on my afternoon trip and tell my customers we should have sharks swimming behind the boat today......HA! Not a one showed up behind the chum line that afternoon. Every trip is different and that is what makes sharking so interesting. The fish made a liar out of me that day. Good luck and be sure to practice CTR: Catch, Tag and Release. Don’t forget about the new angler education rules for sharking. You can take your class online. It's simple, so just get it done.

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

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Katie Goodwin with a reef shark

Caught this nice bonnethead shark on Boca Grande Beach on a pompano rig James M. Guimond


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REBUILD

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1974 Aquasport 22-2

Capt. Joe Angius Water LIFE Estero Last year I decided I should start looking for a boat that can accommodate more people. We have a lot of families that want to experience fishing or the wildlife that

I purchased a 1974 Aquasport 22-2

makes Southwest Florida so special. So after extensive research, I began looking for a reliable west coast style hull I could rebuild. In November I purchased a 1974 Aquasport 22-2. It’s an iconic west coast style boat that was designed to take the everyday angler and their family from Miami to the Bahamas, known for its impressive shallow draft of 10-inches and the ability to run offshore. Now that I’m rebuilding this boat, my fishing life seems to be in limbo. A part of me wants to sell my existing boat to finish the Aquasport sooner, but for now it’s best that I continue to run charters with the Ranger. When I first got the boat I couldn’t wait to start tearing into it, removing all of the wood, hardware, and fiberglass that once held it together. I’ve learned that demolition is a labor intensive task, but

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probably one of the best ways to think that you are making exponential progress. after months of sawing and grinding and vacuuming and itching the boat was stripped down to a bare hull with absolutely nothing inside. The best part about a boat tear-down is that it’s essentially free of any cost. The only tools I needed for the demolition were a sawzall, a circular saw, an angler grinder, a hammer, an oscillator, and a crowbar. After the hull was stripped down it was time to build it back up and drop some money on a few big purchases. At that time our fishing season had

The boat stripped down to the bare hull and hollowed out stringers

The first step in rebuilding the boat transom by glassing in a new transom skin.

come to close and my primary focus for the Aquapsort was building the transom back up. In this rebuild I didn’t want to use any wood, so composite materials, epoxy, and structural fiberglass was my first investment. I found a great deal on a composite

AUGUST 2019

material called Coosa board and bought one sheet at a 1.5-inch thickness. Then I was lucky enough to come across a half of a roll of 1708 knitted biaxial fiberglass. This is a structural fiberglass used in the majority of boat building to provide strength and cosmetic finish. Epoxy, rollers, and many other miscellaneous items were purchased, but finally I had enough supplies to start on the transom. The process was intensive. To make the rebuild of the transom seem simple here’s what had to happen. I removed the old hull transom skin, but left an inch or so around the edges so I could tie the glass back into it. A total of five layers of 1708 fiberglass was used to build a new transom skin. The 1.5-inch Coosa board was cut with a “half-moon” shape and epoxied to the new transom skin. After the epoxy was cured, I removed the extra fiberglass with an oscil-

lating tool and made sure everything was flush. Then I finally tied three more layers of fiberglass to the Coosa board and the hull sides to ensure a strong and long lasting bond. Now that the transom has been completed I’m on to working on the stringers and their foam, the transom knees and the hull supports. Everything that has been done, and will be done, is a learning process and no matter what hurdles I run into, I make sure that every step is done properly and as professionally as possible. My hope is to have the boat completed by this time next year, but with work and family only time will tell. The goal of this project is not only to give me a better tool to catch fish, but to provide the best platform for my clients to experience fishing and the Southwest Florida waterways.

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

Big Water View!

Mariners Condo

Punta Gorda Isles

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Floor Plan! Secluded location 3/2/2 with granite counters, high ceilings and large treed yard. Sold $151,000

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Call the Captain! 100 Feet of Waterfront! Five minutes to the Harbor, over size lot, deep water, no bridges and with a seawall. Sold $109,000

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Remodeled! Fancy kitchen and baths, gorgeous pool. Designer home like no other! Under Contract! $524,900

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Here the composite has been epoxied to the transom skin. Next will be to fiberglass it into the hull

179 Feet of Seawall on Deepwater Basin! Ready to build at end of quiet cul-de-sac. A 25 minute boat ride to the Gulf! List $396,500

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Punta Gorda Isles

Call the Captain! Arthur Rutenburg

Designer Home Amazing Water Views! High end appointments, 4 bedroom, 3 car garage is 2 minutes to open water! $958,000


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Gecos, a redneck rub to their belly to hypnotize them

Large mangrove snapper from the Boca Grande fishing pier, large tilapia caught in the Rotonda West canals on Fathers Day w Chad Rowland & his Father in law Mr Joe Medlin, laid back chillin lizards on our back porch, Army Ranger Chad Rowland w a bass, Chad in his Kayak on Boca where he's a local kayak fishing guide, a cool pic of a small sheephead, & the beautiful Tanya Medlin w a yellow jack off one of the fishing piers off of US1 as u head south in the FL Keys.

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Umberto with keeper red and a keeper gag

Advertise here! call Ellen at Water LIFE 941-457-1316


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AUGUST 2019

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Barbara Brock catching and releasing some nice redfish around Gasparilla Island..A shout out to Eldreds Marine for the excellent bait, Thanks guys!

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Jackson Matthewson of Petersburg, Indiana 24-inch red grouper caught in 65-feet of water out of the Venice Jetty on 6/29 /19

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Dylan Trimmer , 14 , catches a giant black drum in the canal. Defiantly a keeper.

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Brady Hall, caught this on my GoPro for my YouTube channel FullSend Fishing, 5 pound largemouth!

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Left: Terren Civitella and another bass

Capt Dan with his first peacock...Capt Fred Gowdy Slim jim gettin down on some of dat summer red grouper action;) !!!SW Florida Baby!

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My son Ty Webb with his first Trigger and African pompano. So proud big man!!


AUGUST 2019

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Manatee and Red Tide Update On the Line

By Capt. Ron Blago Water LIFE Senior Staff Special Note - In last month's article about the Kids Fishing Camp at Cedar Point in Englewood there was a small technical glitch that I would like to fix. In the names of the people who helped with the camp; the name of the one guy who helped the most was inadvertently left out. Jim MacKay, the owner of Fishermen's Edge on Pacida Road was the guy who kept all the kids in bait for all the camps. He also performed emergency reel repairs so each day the kids had fishing equipment that was in good working order. To some of my fishing guides and charter captain-associates (and you know who you are!) Don’t be a dead beat, pay off your bills at Fishermen's Edge. Remember that Jim has bills to pay too! – Capt Ron First there was Junk Science then there was Fake News and now we have Manatee Mis-Information. Recently a local TV station did a piece on a record number of manatee death due to watercraft strikes: 93 so far this year. Now the loss of any manatee is a shame; but considering the population of manatees in Florida has increased from 1,267 in 1991 to 6,131 in 2018 , that's a 384% increase, it's hard to get too worked up about the plight of the manatee. (Editor notes: Capt. Ron presents the synoptic survey number. A synoptic survey method provides a minimum count of manatees in the survey area, but because the number of manatees missed during the survey is not known, it does not provide us with a total population estimate.)

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cushions canvas covers

lazy or dumb to do any of their own research, but being retired I have I can always tell when there is a new plenty of time for rereporter on the manatee beat: The first search and I know where thing they do is get quotes from the usual to look; the FWC website suspects at the Save the Manatee Club, the under manatee mortality. FWC and Mote Marine. The one thing In 2018 with the red these three groups have in common is tide, there were a total they all make money off of manatees so it 824 manatee mortalities is in their best interest to keep the manatee with 123 due to watercrisis going as long as the money keeps craft, that's less than 15% rolling in. of the total mortalities. Some manatee reporters are just too The FWC now shows a 5 year running average of In jest, we once suggested in order to make manatees more manatee mor- visible to boaters that they paint all the manatees orange! Kayakers following them around with signs is just as silly! tality, the average is 532 from volunteers who live or work on the deaths per year with 89 due to coast and compare them to people who watercraft or 18%. The data live inland and look for any differences in shows that we have more manbrain chemistry. The fact that there has atees, more dead manatees and been no red tide this year will not slow the percentage of those caused down this project at all. We all know that by watercraft is really shrinksomeday there will be another red tide ing. outbreak and when it happens, they will be ready. The only question I have is supLast week at a press conferpose they do find that red tide does have ence at Sarasota Memorial an effect on brain chemistry; what can Hospital they announced a they do about it? Will they order people federal grant of $6.25 million off the water or close down the beaches to study the long term heath or maybe evacuate people off the shoreeffects of red tide. They inline? Remember that we still don't know tend to take blood samples what causes red tide or where it starts or how to control it. We can't even figure out how to clean up the dead fish off the beach in a timely manor. It seems to me that all the money and research spent on red tide has only resulted in even more money and research Above is the first Manatee Sticker given out by the FWC in 1994. They are still producing stickers every year. This spent on red tide. yearʼs sticker is shown to the right. If warm water saves manatees we should have plenty .... and we do!

Captronb@juno.com


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Here is a nice bass caught at my buddies sisters pond in Punta Gorda angler. Name logan

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Mark stryde Cape coral 37in. 15 pound bull redfish caught on a first light salt water assassins paddle tail at the east wall beating the bushes.

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AUGUST 2019

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Mike Hodgson with a nice redfish from Gasparilla Sound 7/1

TJ and Katie with a double up on bass

Brady from P.A. with Capt. George in Charlotte Harbor - redfish

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The Canyon Kid living the dream with this sweet cobia!!! SW FL Action

On a delayed father's Day trip out of Jacksonville Kristopher nailed his first ever Barracuda on the Majestic, in Mayport, he's still on cloud nine ...

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Early morning rock hind for"Brownie"Great way to start the day!!:) SW Florida


AUGUST 2019

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Walking the Beach at Siesta Key

Capt. Chuck Eichner Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor One of the purest forms of fishing starts at the edge of the ocean. Since the beginning of time, man has cast a line from the surf. In Florida it’s pretty easy to get to a beach and recently I took a trip to Siesta Key Beach and got back to the basics. Beach fishing requires no boat control and not a lot of fancy equipment. You may choose to stand on the beach or wade into the surf and wait for the fish to come to you or you can keep moving. My approach to beach fishing is the same as fishing a new area in a boat, cover lots of water. Placing a few lures in my pocket and one on my line I walk the beach looking for signs. I generally don’t like to walk up and just start casting because a lot of the water you can reach from the beach will not hold too many fish. As I walk I look for current changes, sand bars, dimples on the surface, surface swirls or disturbance, fins, splashes and of course, leaping baitfish. When I see something that’s just a bit different I

make a long cast and retrieve. On this particular beach trip I started with a 4-inch white swim-bait on a jig head. I covered close to a half mile and made shots at surface disruptions that never produced. Then, I saw a group of fins sticking out of the water. My lure hit

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the water and a minute later a small jack came to shore. The fins I saw out of the water were huge fish, not a jack! Just then another angler followed behind me with a large Zara spook and woosh, a large jack. As we both cast away, a 200 pound tarpon passed by which made it a little interesting. This adventure started at 6:30 am. By 8:00 am the surface activity ended and so did the fishing. Around 8:00 am is also about the time the bathers come out so this actually worked out pretty well. The next day I walked the beach throwing plugs and reached the same place that I got bit before just in time for a group of dolphins to roll in. Needless to say I was not too happy, but they put on a show breaching like whales so that pretty much made the morning. After they moved on I cast till my arms hurt. It was nearing 8:00 am and in a last ditch effort I cut off the diving plug and tied on a silly willy jig in pink. I was hoping for a pompano at this point. One cast bounced off the bottom met with a thump and a fish started ripping out across the surf! The high speed fish burned off 150 yards of 15-pound line and I was suddenly down into the backing!

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Being truly out-gunned was an understatement; then one more surge and the line broke. Wow! What could it have been? I went through the list of “beach fish” in my mind which went something like this: monster snook or redfish, kingfish, or perhaps a huge black drum. I ruled out the other possibilities of fish you can catch like trout, flounder, bluefish and ladyfish to name a few. Of course, a tarpon would have come skyward and that didn’t happen. Maybe it was a shark. To walk the beach with a fishing rod in hand is so simple! Of course, it’s great exercise too, but somehow you connect with the water and sounds of the waves. When a fish hits it is pure bliss regardless of size. You never know what is going to hit your lure and that is pure magic!

Capt. Chuck Eichner operates Action Flats Backcountry Charters. He can be reached at 941-628-8040


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SCUTTLEBUTT

AUGUST 2019

Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True GIVING SHRIMPERS A BAD NAME FWC Officers stopped a small shrimping vessel in “nearshore” waters and inspected its turtle excluder device (TED). They found the opening tied shut. They also found a vehicle battery lying on the cull board with shrimp directly touching the battery. An inspection of the vesselʼs catch located in the coolers found shrimp and fish not iced or refrigerated. You know what happened next.

The FWC is the second largest maritime enforcement force in the world, second only to the Hong Kong Police

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT 2.0 Captive Wildlife Investigator Toby was on patrol when he saw a subject on the side of the road cutting the head off an alligator. The subject loaded the alligator head into his vehicle and tried to leave. You know what happened next.

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Speed Boat rides and Dolphin Sightings combined on Sea Racer at Fort Myers Beach.

SACKA SHROOMS An FWC officer saw a subject walking across a cow pasture carrying a sack and watched the subject conceal the sack behind some brush. The officer confronted the subject, who denied carrying anything. The sack contained a basket full of mushrooms. The officerʼs car later contained the subject.

ZARA NOT SPOOKED K9 officers received a call about a teenage male subject who was missing at the Blackwater State Park. The teenager had been missing for over 24 hours after wrecking his truck on the previous day. Officers established the teens last known location, which was a parking lot inside the Park. Officers deployed the K9 Zara and conducted an area search. After searchThe first 12 statues of an underwater dive memorial honoring U.S. veterans were lowered ing for approximately 45 minutes in a 40-feet into the Gulf late last month. Called the thick swamp, K9 Zara located the Circle of Heroes, the site is located 10 miles off teenager down an embankment sitting in Pinellas County. In the center will be a single the water and wedged between a tree monument featuring bronze emblems repreand the river bank. When Officers consenting the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and tacted him he was unable to speak Coast Guard.

clearly and showed signs of severe dehydration. An officer provided him fresh drinking water and stabilized him to keep him from passing out in the river. Other officers assisting with the search were notified that the teen was located. They retrieved a canoe from the state park and paddled to the location. The teen was unable to stand or move so the officers put him in the canoe and maneuvered it upriver. The teen was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital. DOUBLE WHAMMY While on patrol near the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Officers saw two individuals spearfishing. When the individuals exited the water the two men stated they did not spear any fish. A quick search of the area revealed a black bag hidden in the rocks. The men admitted the bag belonged to them. A search of the bag revealed four speared snook. The men then admitted to spearing the snook and were cited for illegal method of take of a snook by spear gun and possession of snook during a closed season.

CHAIN GANG An FWC officer was dispatched to a report of two turtles found chained together in the Miami River. The complainants were removing trash from the river when they discovered the tethered reptiles. They gave the yellow-bellied sliders to the officer who transported them to the Miami field office where they used bolt cutters to safely break the lock and chain. The turtles were freed to a freshwater canal

MOMMA DONT LIKE THAT Officers received information from FWCʼs Internet Crimes Unit of a subject in possession of an alligator. The subject had posted on

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Christian, his first Bass

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Judyand son 26-inch trout at Chokoloskee, 7-21-2019

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Snap Chat the capture and footage of himself playing with the alligator in his momʼs pool. Officers located the motherʼs residence at Flagler Beach and conducted an interview. The subject said he had been staying at his motherʼs home while she was gone. He said he caught the five-foot gator with the help of a couple of friends, taped its mouth shut, took it to the home and threw it into the pool. The subject lives in North Carolina, but after a conversation with the State Attorneyʼs Office, charges were filed against him.

BARELY FROZEN Officers received information that a subject was in possession of a black bear in a freezer. The officers located where the subject was living and made contact. The subject denied knowing anything about a black bear in his freezer but allowed the officers to look inside the freezers on the property. Inside one freezer, the officers located a black bear hidden in a garbage bag. The male and female residents denied knowing the bear was in the freezer but admitted that the freezer belonged to them. The male subject was a convicted felon and he was found to be in possession of ammunition and methamphetamine. It all went downhill after that. The man was booked into the Marion County Jail for possession of a black bear, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and possession of methamphetamine. The female was issued a notice to appear for possession of a black bear.

see page 4

Nice red grouper caught by Joan off Stump Pass

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Nicholas J with another Sunset Frog Crushing Fatback Largemouth Pond Monster off the Green Ft. Myers


AUGUST 2019

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19”and a half inch bass on Ratl Trap caught by Reuben

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Logan Wernersbach Caught a large catfish

Exporting Sawfish Conservation Success Water LIFE Environment By guest author Sonja Fordham In recent months, U.S. conservationists, scientists, and government officials have made important strides in international cooperation toward saving critically endangered sawfishes. Because the U.S. is one of only a few bright spots for sawfish in the world, proactively sharing lessons from our research and conservation successes can be key to inspiring other countries to take meaningful action and bring their populations back from the brink. In early June, at a meeting in Honduras, conservationists from Shark Advocates International and SeaLife Law welcomed the listing of the Largetooth Sawfish (Pristis pristis) under Annex II of the Cartagena Convention Protocol for Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol). Through this action, Caribbean countries commit to strictly protect the species and cooperate regionally to recover populations. The Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata) was listed in 2017. Both listings were proposed by the Dutch government and sup-

ported by the U.S. The success of the listing depends, of course, on immediate follow-up actions by a variety of players. Recently, researchers from Havenworth Coastal Conservation and Florida State University, with help from fishing guides and students, spotted and tagged a 328 cm (10'9") female Smalltooth Sawfish in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas -- the first sawfish tagging event in this island group. While awaiting information about the animal’s movement and DNA make-up, the team warns that this population is very small and vulnerable. Fishing guides with long histories in the region report only seeing a few over the years. At the same time, the word of the tagging quickly spread across the island and prompted more reports of sawfish encounters in the Abacos. While additional sawfish expeditions are being planned for the Bahamas as well as Cuba, it is important to stress that sawfish remain at serious risk in both of these nations and beyond. Specifically, these and other range countries urgently need clear prohibitions on fishing, retaining, and killing of sawfish, along with educational programs to raise awareness

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Myla and Uncle Ian with another nice Jack on the Caloosahatchee!! All artificial, all the time!!

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Julianna an Jacob, bluegil for both

With the aid of local bonefish guides scientists spotted and tagged this 328 cm (10'9") female Smalltooth Sawfish in The Marls of Great Abaco Island. Credit: Enie Hensel.

about the species’ status, demonstrate protocols for safe release, and ensure the reporting of encounters. To that end the government is teaming up with conservationists and the Frost Museum of Science to showcase U.S. activities in hopes of sparking greater regional collaboration toward saving the species.

Author Sonja Fordham is president of Shark Ad-

vocates International, a project of The Ocean Foundation. You can follow her work to secure sciencebased policies for sawfish and related species through Twitter (@SharkAdvocates), Facebook, and www.sharkadvocates.org. For more information visit www.SawfishRecovery.org or call 1-844-4SAWFISH. or visit: http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/fish/sawfish/ or https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/smalltoothsawfish, or local contact: tonya@havenworth.org 941-201-2685


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AUGUST 2019

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

BackBay Xtremes Capt Dave Stephens www.backbayxtremes.com

941-916-5769

Explore!

Fish with one of our Guides

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Jason DeVane -redfish out near the Gulf

Youʼll learn something and youʼll catch some fish!

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from Water LIFE magazine

Jerry Pirillo caught this grouper 20 miles out of Stump Pass with Cap'n Tom Towne

Snook is the No.1 thing going on right now, especially along the beaches and shorelines. All the passes have a lot of snook. Early and late is obviously best. Bull and Turtle Bay have more mid- size snook, then as you come up the Harbor what you find are highteens to low 40-inch snook. It’s movement time for the snook. Most of the spawn is done, so they are moving back up the Harbor toward the 41-Bridge. A lot of people are catching snook right now. In the Harbor we have a splattering of Spanish mackerel... not great, but in good numbers. Mkr No.2, the Alligator Creek Reef and the Cape Haze Reef are all good. But the best mackerel fishing is in the shipping lane just outside of Boca Grandewhere the mackerel go marker to marker. Not many good offshore reports because the weather has sucked. We know permit and snapper are there, but so few people are getting out the reports have been sketchy. In the good news, redfish are coming back from whereever they went. From the Pine Island Sound they are moving toward the Myakka. Up in the Harbor, redfish are a dead bait thing right now, taking chunks of crab and chunks of fish. The weather at the end of July brought a lot of clouds that cooled off the water so the redfish bite is good. There are a ton of tarpon in the Harbor. The tricky part is they are not rolling and showing themselves very much. You’d think you could just drift around the 20-foot hole, with your bait close to the bottom and get one. The problem with that is there are some monster catfish down there, Bring some extra baits – the catfish are on their game right now! In the Myakka River, tarpon is also good. With all the rains the Peace up and rising again and that’s flushing the tilapia and cichlids out of the rivers... that brings the tarpon. Weather service says more and longer rains coming this month. I expect that will bring

out more black drum, snook and tarpon. The top predators will hit the 41 bridge for their meals. Black Drum is also still good in the canals. The 14- to 24-inch drum is popular now. Freshwater fishing is attracting more and more people. The Price and Hillsboro canals all have good moving water and those areas are showing almost spring time bass fishing conditions. Guys are switching from worms back to crank baits. Lures with a lip are good because the bass aren’t as deep since the water cooled off.

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

People have had pretty good luck in the Bay, catching a lot of redfish and snook. Mangrove snapper have been really good. They are closer to the edge, going to the Gulf as they mature. Catching 14-to 15-inch fish right now is pretty easy. Spanish have been good on the tide change. There are some bluefish around, 4-to 5-pounders! Guys throwing lures caught them. Drum have been around at El Jobean - big ones.... along with snook and plenty of tarpon around in the upper Harbor. Still some tarpon coming and going in Boca Pass. Guys tell me they got into them in Lemon Bay, north of the bridge. They jumped a couple there. They go to their spot and watch the stage of the tide. Guys at the Tom Adams Pier have been catching snapper. The Placida Pier is good too, but it’s a longer hike - the Tom Adams is shorter. The offshore is good, but when it’s inclement in the morning with lightening the guys don’t like to go. Lane, mangs, AJs, banded rudder fish, and nice grouper are around... if you can get to them. Still some bass around. Guys doing OK on bass in the Rotonda canals, throughout South Gulf Cove and at the Sportsmans Park. The fish are smaller 2-pounders. The frog bite is pretty much what’s going on around here now.

Englewood Bait House live shrimp etc.

Head-Boat Trips Offshore Fishing 941- 475-4511


AUGUST 2019

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The BIG-4 SHARK ALL OVER, In the Pass, up in the Harbor

August

WWW.WATERLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

Fish you can expect in

TARPON Still here. Pass, Beaches, Bay and Harbor

RED SNAPPER Nice fish from 30- to 50-miles out

SNOOK Big near the ICW Bull and Turtle Bay area

PAGE 27

Nearshore water temps are high 80s. There are nice fish around. Slow your fishing down!

95˚ 90˚ 85˚ 80˚

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

75˚ Capt. Dave Patton, from N. Fort Myers, with a beautiful Cobia! Tight Lines!!!

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

72˚

David Boggs, swimming with da fishies!

Dylan Harrison, snook off the dock in PGI caught with a small dead shrimp on the bottom.

70

“Mike The Director" sporting a slob 7-pound yellowtail, way to go kid!!!

FISH PIX!

68˚

from Water LIFE magazine

50˚ 45˚

$25 WINNER from Water LIFE magazine

Caught July 20 in Charlotte Harbor. Jason Price, redfish

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Juvi tarpon, caught with Capt. Joe Angius

Text Us Ur Fish Pix! see page 4

FISH PIX!

LAST CAST

FISHING RIGHT NOW: STILL GOOD!

This is the last picture we received before going to print this month from Water LIFE magazine

Max Riesbeck and Josh Haberle with a bullshark

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Nicholas J with an afternoon frog slammer largemouth Ft. Myers

First pic is 20 lb triple tail second picture limit triple tail 22” landed near Crystal River Fla the third picture - red fishing out of St James City, catch and release. Tommy Tucker and brother T-Bone

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine


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28

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AUGUST 2019

Profile for Water LIFE magazine

Water LIFE August 2019