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Water

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

KIDSʼ FISHING

The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association

June 2021

$1Bill Challenge

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Bob Hoinacki caught this 31-inch African Pompano on a squid head, west of Naples, in deep water

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Ron Smits holding Dave Stewartʼs Tarpon caught on a crab near Boca Grande Pass

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Earl Horeckyʼs Jug Creek sunset top water tarpon

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Brian Burkard with a giant Manasota Key snook

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Hi, this is Dr. James Z. My first triple tail! Caught and released. (Pic courtesy of the deplorable fishing group!!)

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Sitting on the dock, I saw the light! JUNE 2021

By Michael Heller Water LIFE editor I saw a documentary on 60 Minutes last month. The Air Force now says there are ‘things’... unidentified things... flying around the sky in a MOA (Military Operations Area) over the Atlantic, off the east coast... and the Air Force doesn’t know where they came from! One pilot interviewed said he has seen them regularly for the last two years! The pictures they showed, taken from an Air Force jet’s gun camera, showed one of the ‘things’ flying in and out of the ocean. So I was sitting on my dock a few nights after watching that documentary, sipping some mango-jabernaro moonshine when a bright light appeared. Suddenly I felt myself being lifted into the air and then taken into a hovering craft that glowed green in the dark night. The odd thing was, as I stood there in front of two silvery aliens, I still had that little mason jar of ‘shine in my hand, so I took a little sip... just to steady my nerves. “We are here for clean water and since you publish Water LIFE we want your help finding it.” No one actually spoke, but I could sense telepathically, that was what the aliens were asking of me. I took another little sip. Will this water be good? They were pointing down to my canal as we hovered above it. ‘No you don’t want that water.

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There is red tide and green filamentous algae lingering in Charlotte Harbor and there is more red tide along the coast to the south. They both nodded and their grayish white color seemed to flicker. What about up that big river they asked, pointing up the Peace. I thought about the phosphate mining up river and all the tailings they dilute in the river 24/7/365 and their color flickered Thousands of man hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars went into the 2015 River Walk Oyster Bar Restoration Project at darker this time. Punta Gorda. Now, with declining water quality, green algae and Next they wanted to know a cover of mud, the oysters are all dead. Photo at right was taken in September of 2015 about the big lake to the East, and when I visualized the sugar fertilgood water, they wanted to know, but all I fishing habitat... and yet they are still izer and the slimy green algae the Army could think about were the deep injection spraying herbicides and weed killer on Corps of Engineers is getting ready to rewells MOSAIC was digging and with that both lakes and killing fish. Why are hulease toward both coasts they just shook thought they knew, this wasn’t the place. mans doing this, my alien friend asked. their heads again Why are so many humans moving to But my mind was empty for an answer. I don’t think you’ll want that water, or Florida now, if the water is not good? That I handed the bigger of the two aliens water from the Caloosahatchee River was a good question. People come here my mason jar and he had a sip and handed where some algae is already thickening up just like they always have - for the promit to his pal who took a sip and handed it like guacamole, and they wanted to know ise of boating, fishing and swimming. back to me... and I finished it off. about avocados. Please stay on topic I told How can this be? More people only Then suddenly the bright light went out them. And stay away from Piney Point up make it worse. They kept transmitting that and the aliens were gone. It was a sticky north by Tampa where an intentional rethought to me over and over. More make hot evening and I was standing back on lease of a radioactive acid slurry into the it worse, more make it worse. my dock, my rod was in the rod holder Bay is killing everything near by. This What are you humans doing? On Lake and the green underwater fish light part of Florida may not be a good place to Kissimmee, the aliens pointed out, the glowed from under the dock across the look for clean water - I thought-communi- FWC is using a mechanized harvester to canal. “Come on honey,” my wife’s voice cated that to them. remove aquatic plants, and right down the called out from the darkness. “I just Then they looked down at the ground chain, at Lake Istopoga, the FWC is plant- turned off the porch light. Come on back and into the Florida aquifer. Will this be ing aquatic plants to restore shallow water up to the house. It’s getting late,” she said.


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This will be very hard to overcome. With inflation roaring there are no financial metrics they had that will work any more. Transportation, room nights, disposable income... itʼs all gone out the window, and the cost of the windows and all the other ʻsticks and bricksʼ (as they say in the construction business), have just doubled. They will need more money and a clean sheet of paper to move this project ahead. Meanwhile, the cranes are still up and itʼs Hurricane Season again. – MH

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waterlife@comcast.net www.WaterlifeMagazine.com Ellen Heller Publisher Michael Heller Editor

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Yesterday I sent you this picture but forgot my name. Terry Huffman of Englewood

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217 Bangsberg Rd. Port Charlotte, FL 33952

Independant - Not affiliated with any other publication! Vol XX No. 6 © 2021

Izzy Rogner with son Ryland (bottom left) and friends, on fish (and a turtle!) out in the Gulf

NO PART of this publication (printed or electronic) may be copied, reproduced or reused in any manner without the notarized written and witnessed, permission of 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: Alan Williams Estero: Capt. Joe Angius Everglades: Capt. Charlie Phillips Sailing: Fran Burstein Pier Fishing: Bobby Vitalis Diving: Adam Wilson Office Dog: Augustus

A Letter to Water LIFE

To Water LIFE Re April 2021 edition The statement about Florida White butterfly is neither substantiated nor true. Great Southern White, Ascia monuste, is the "tarpon season" butterfly and is incredibly common. A similar butterfly, the Florida White, Appias drucilla, is imperiled. The picture is neither of those species. Sorry, I am a bug nerd as well as fishing enthusiast! Mark DeGrove

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May 13th two red grouper, 1@30”,1@25” 40 miles out in gulf on squid. Wayne Kaleciak

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Lucas Forfar catching some rays around Charlotte Harbor

Dan Kwilinski from Green Bay WI, holding a tarpon caught in Boca Grande Pass


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The Water Has Been Crystal Clear By Capt. David Stephens Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor Rain come out and play - the water is super-clear out on the bay. Some of the toughest conditions to fish on Charlotte Harbor is crystal clear water. If you want to add another level of difficulty to this just toss in some clear blue sky’s with no

wind – that’s what we are going to be dealing with until Mother Nature sends some rain our way. The great thing about fishing clear water conditions is you can see the fish that your fishing. The hard part about fishing clear water conditions? Well the fish that you’re targeting can see you too. It’s very tough as a fisherman not to just take a little peek to see if any fish are in the area. I know from experience that this will normally put those fish on high alert, or just blow them out altogether. I Yesterday was pretty interesting out deep, looking for spots. Started out really slow with finding stuff, but it escalated quickly. The first dive of the day for me was late in the morning, close to noon and I dropped on a really nice red grouper hole, but on the way up it got real interesting when this big mako made an appearance. We werenʼt sure if it was a small white or big mako but after reviewing the video Iʼm quite sure. The rest of the day was filled with red grouper and AJʻs and I also got lucky on a very nice African pompano. We were all cleaned up and ready to head home when Eddy saw a beautiful show on the recorder so we geared back up and dropped in. What a beautiful spot with two very nice blacks on it. We made quick work on them and headed back to the top to round off an awesome trip Jason Bihari

also still make that mistake, because the water’s clear and I like to see the fish too. So do as I say, not do as I do, for clear water fish! Because it’s hard not look and see if fish are in the area your fishing. I recommend setting up a littler further away than normal. Try to make longer cast to the area your targeting. It is always easier to get a little closer, than it is to back away. Also set up with the tide to your back, so you can slowly drift up if needed. Over the years with fish finding technology we have become lazy fishermen. We depend highly on our little gadgets that make things easier for us. Trust me, I am one of those anglers. If you have a push pole or stick it pole use it to make small adjustments. I will also set my power poles half way down to reduce water splash. The little things you do will help to not make spooky fish more nervous. If you don’t have a power pole, tie your anchor off and put it in the water and stand on the rope. When you have your boat in position lift your foot, the anchor sinks...no splash! As more anglers fish our waters we have to evolve too because our fish are

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water. Also contrary to popular belief, high visibility line, is lower visibility in the water. In this clear water, colors like moss green stick out like a sore thumb to fish. Most of our predators like snook feed looking upward where the darker fishing lines can be seen much better. Also, don’t be cheap on your leader. Spend a little extra money and buy fluorocarbon. I hope these little tips will help put a few more fish in your boat. And as we approach our rainy season remember to keep an eye on the sky. If you would like to experience

evolving due to fishing pressure. One often overlooked tactic is downsizing your tackle. Most anglers think they have to have 30-pound braid, and 40-pound leader. Well, you can fish that way if you want, but with a lot less bites. If you down-size your line and leader you will get a lot more strikes. Yes, you probably will lose a few fish due to lighter line, but I just have to think, if you don’t get the bite you’re never going to have a shot at catching that fish to begin with. Dropping down to 10-pound will give longer cast and less visual in the

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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.backbayxtremes.com


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SHARK CHASER. These pictures are with Capt. John Brossard aboard Shark Chaser. Shark fishing has been great this year with no chance of letting up this month!

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Everglades and 10,000 Islands:

By Capt. Charlie Phillips Water LIFE 10,000 Islands

May was another good one down here in the Glades; lots of great fishing, plenty of customers to keep myself and all the other local guides busy and good weather overall, though the wind sure keept the offshore options limited. That’s ok though, getting kind of used to it after the past 90 days, and the blessing of our area is the 10,000 Islands and Everglades National Park provide so many different places to shelter from the wind and still find productive fishing, you just can’t beat it.

On the inshore side, we have been doing pretty good on trout down south in the grass areas using jigs tipped with shrimp, popping corks and either live shrimp or soft plastics and suspending hard baits, like Mirrodines. The cork is often the easiest and fastest way to locate fish, but after we do I will often switch some of my better casters to the other options as I find they tend to be how the larger fish are caught. Red fishing has been pretty good as well, with some nice fish coming from the middle island’s areas for us with good oyster bottoms. Setting up on the incoming tides, usually the bottom half being preferable, with a large live shrimp, or a fresh chunk of ladyfish on a 2/0 circle hook we have done well on slot reds and black drum also with the blacks averaging in the 18- to 30-inch range. I have seen a few of my friends starting to find the oversize

JUNE 2021

Always some place out of the wind

black drums thru the area this past week so don’t be surprised to hook into a fish weighing up to 30-pounds when you are dead sticking that chunk of ladyfish. Also, consider using a half a crab as a good option if you would like to try and target one. While not as famous as their rockstar redfish cousins, they are hard fighters and the smaller ones make good table fare.

Snook fishing has been decent for us, but nothing to get too excited about this past month. The fish are in transition, they moved from the back to the front as they began spawning. For me I just don’t think they eat until after the business at hand is done, but once it is, the bite picks up good in June. Lots

of little males usually equal some big females being around so don’t get complacent or you will get a wake-up call when big momma comes a calling, spanks ya and then leaves you wondering what just happened.

If the wind will lay down a bit in June, look for some good shallow water wreck fishing as you have opportunities to target cobia and permit. I have a bunch of locals itching to get out, and as we get days, I plan to do some hunting out there. Should be a tripletail around too. Keep your eyes open. Be safe and see you next month.

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


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Estero Bay: Reacting or Responding? By Capt. Joe Angius Water LIFE Estero Planning a fishing trip as a full time guide is a lot different than when I used to gear up to hit the water. Time, location, who I was going to fish with, bait, and weather were all factors that I was able to manipulate to an extent. As a guide, we typically don’t have this luxury of choosing optimal fishing

the first few casts you hook up. With a reaction bite one of two things will happen: you end up catching some fish and the bite dies down or by catching some fish you attract other reactive fish in the area that allows the bite to continue for a while longer. Responsive fishing, another term I like to use, is where there are fish in an area but they take some coercing to get hooked

conditions. Instead we’re faced with an ever changing environment, factors we can’t control, and the task of catching fish in the midst of chaos and chance. The one thing I’ve learned about cooperative fish is that they’re constantly on the move and may take more patience than one might think. Reactive fishing, a term that I made up, is where you get to an area and on

up. This type of fishing is where leader weight, hook size, type of bait presentation, and good boat anchoring is key to successfully catch fish. Of course I prefer reactive fishing as opposed to responsive fishing, but in my experience the bigger fish tend to be responsive fish. Knowing what type of fish are around will help you decide to stay on

the move by poling or trolling or spend more time on a flat, oyster bar, or mangrove edge. A great example of this type of fishing is when I was poling for redfish on a mud flat. Redfish were tailing everywhere and seemed to be feeding heavily. My friend and I tried just about everything to get them to turn onto our baits, but every time our baits got in front of them they turned away and kept moving. Knowing that they weren’t reactive, we decided to throw some cut baits out about ten yards from where they were feeding. After about twenty minutes of patiently waiting, we finally were able to hook up on several fish. Not all days are like what’s seen on television. Okay, it might be if you’re fishing in Louisiana. In all seriousness don’t take what you can catch for granted. Being a responsible angler who follows the rules and regulations is what it will take for all of our waterways to remain healthy. Going above and beyond by prolonged catch-and-release efforts is the key to sustaining the fish population. Enjoy what Southwest Florida has to offer through fishing and protect our fisheries for the future generations to come. Captain Joe Angius 727-234-3171 speakeasyfishing@gmail.com speakeasyfishing.com

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Above and below: Evan Larson - Bass

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Ralph had a great day fishing with friends. 36" snook.

Kristen Morrow from Pa snook with Capt. George

Larry and Capt. Rick Kelley catching snook and jackʼs

Dennis Stazer Jr. Big cuda caught at Citrus Reef

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Scott and Colton with a bowfin

Hey itʼs Spencer Gant! (Spencer was the $1Bill Champion in 2019-ed) Iʼm sending in two bass the one I am holding is a 6-pound bass and the one my grandma is holding is a 8-10 pounder


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Rainy Season Gottaʼ Be Near

By Cameron Parson Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor The rainy season is just around the corner. Daily thunderstorms will be normal for a few months and the water color will change from clear to teastained or even as dark as coffee, it seems. Most of our fish are tropical fish. They thrive in high salinity. But, they'll also take to areas of freshwater if you know where to find them. Some of my favorite areas to fish are spillways. High water levels will enable freshwater to spill over into saltwater, tossing minnows, bream, and other baitfish into the salt. The water essentially turns into brackish water. This simply creates easy meals for predatory fish (snook, tarpon, redfish, and even bass that get washed over). Most spots are usually looked over or don't look very fishy, but they are if you put in the time. Freshwater ponds and lakes often have drainage pipes that feed the body of water from retention ditches or other smaller ponds. The ditches that connect them are

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Dalton Rybek and Brittany Cortes - two beautiful snook

usually either bone dry or contain very little water during the drought season. Consistent storms will allow water flow from one spot to another, flushing minnows and other small fish through these pipes and into the bigger body of water. With enough rain, you can see the current flow coming out. There’s a good bet that bigger fish aren't too far away or even hiding just inside the culverts. Just remember- the more rain we get, the better the fishing will be. An area with a small flow will hold some fish. But the harder the water flows and spills over, the better the bite will be. Most specifically on the high tide. The saltwater predatory fish will be able to move up closer to the wash. And, higher water will lessen your chances of getting snagged up on the bottom. Most any lure you choose will work when the time is right. Storm 3-inch and 4-inch swimbaits in bunker or mullet patterns work extremely well. DOA and Z-Man paddles and jerkbaits on

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1/8- or 1/4-ounce jigheads will also do the job. Topwaters such as Storm Chug Bugs and Rapala Skitterwalks are always a good bet. And if you're a fly angler, streamers or clousers in brown or black do very well. The best time to fish the drains and spillways seems to be right after it rains. Early morning and late evening is always a good bet. But the rain and over cast will drop the water temperature just enough create a small window for a decent bite. Catch some fish!!

Cameron Parson can sometimes be found at Rio Villa Bait & Tackle in Punta Gorda (941) 639-7166


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ANGLERS: These are the 2021 $1 Bill Challenge anglers who were signed up as of May 24 .... there will be more! The Challenge is a quest to win an aluminum Jon Boat! Anglers catch fish, text in their catch, and answer questions about local fishing and the local environment in a monthly Fish Quiz. Each month we award rods and reels lures and spoons for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest fish in 30 tournament species. Winners appear in WaterLIFE through the summer. Prizes will be left for pick up at Fishin Franks. Sign up online @ waterlifemagazine.com The summer is just beginning! This is fun!

Lacy Hamsher

Ryan Larson

Juliana Florea

Emma Koebel

Christopher Perry

Ben Koebel

Robert Johr

Justin Medina

Dyln Schaefer

Blaine Wilson

Alyx Schaefer

Camryn Nummerdor

Cole Hancock

Taylor Baker

Bobby Hoffman

Jaxson Varney

Jaydon Davis

Morgan Davis

Luke DʼOrazio

Leonardo DʼOrazio

Gabriel Setser

Trey Setser

Jake DʼOrazio

Matthew Dixon

Mitchell Vermeulen

Molly Vermeulen

Chase Hathaway

John Bunkley

Maya Haag

Lucas Bixby

Anthony Rice

Jack Stacey

Ty Baker

Nichole Cotte

Theodore Winter

Jacob Florea

Addison Baker

Hillary Phoebus

Zachery Morgani

Reef Iman


JUNE 2021

Kidsʼ 5-15, Summer Tournament FREE ONLINE

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Sign your kids Up... write their number on a $1Bill and take them fishing!

ANGLERS is If y o u r n a m e ur h e re a n d y o .. . p h o to is n o t. us p le a s e te x t p ic y o u r $ 1 B il l tu re N O W ! and Yo u ʼr e p a id u t th e re g is te re d , b ru le is : e your we must hav $ 1 B il l p ic tu re an b e fo re y o u c g s ta rt fi s h in !

Gabe Rogers

$15 entry!

SIGN U P NOW! Fishing continu es through Sept 15 !

EVERY MONTH... Biggest fish in 30 species wins a rod & reel, 2nd place Mirrolure plug, 3rd place Gold Spoon and the Grand Champion will WIN A BOAT! sign up @ waterLIFEmagazine.com

Presented by Water LIFE magazine & Fishinʼ Franks Zander Larson

produced by The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association

A 501 (c) 3 Non Profit Corporation educating young anglers since 1998


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Chris Petrillo of Levittown PA and daughter Abbie checking his redfish caught and released in South Gulf Cove

Jen Perkins caught this 33 inch redfish at Iona shores

29.5-inch African pompano and 14-inch vermilion west of Ffort Myers fishing off the Beericuda! Keith Knerr

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30-inch snook caught at Iona shores by Mike Perkins

Jay Wiley from South Holland, Ill. with a sea trout caught south of Picnic Island.

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Dominic age 7, large mouth bass, freshwater lake inside of Island Walk, Venice

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Michael Mulvihill Crosby, PA first permit with Captain Dave Hutcherson!

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Ron and Rachel Smits from Bokeelia with Rachelʼs tarpon caught in Boca Grande Pass .

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Jaxson Worden 5 years old Mullock Creek Marina snook

Jackson Bright/Kerrigan with his first cubera snapper


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Boating Accident Statistics On the Line By Capt. Ron Blago Water LIFE Senior Staff Each year both the US Coast Guard and the Florida FWC publish separate annual reports of Boater Accident Statistics. Since the 2020 Florida report has just been released, I read through that mountain of data and charts to try to learn something new about boating accidents and fatalities. I have to give credit to the FWC for being so thorough, they do have it down to a science. The average boating fatality is a male about 35 years old, in a boat about 21 ft. long, boating in inshore waters. He has been drinking alcohol, falls overboard, is not wearing a life preserver, it all happens between 4 pm and 6 pm. His death is due to drowning. Sound familiar ? According to the US Coast Guard, in 2019, there were 11.8 million registered boats in the United States; with Florida having the largest number (in 2020) 961,266; beating out Minnesota with 813,955 registered vessels. Unfortunately having the most boats means we also have the most fatalities 79 ( in 2019) with Texas coming in second with 38; this is one race you really don’t want to win. Each year the FWC publishes a list of the top 10 counties with the most boating

accidents. A reportable accident is one where there is an injury or has over $2,000 in property damage. Monroe County is once again #1 . Our neighbors to the south and north of us have made it

on the list, with Lee County being #5 with 48 accidents and 49,611 registered boats, and Manatee County is #9 with 22 accidents and 21,404 registered boats and Sarasota Co. #10 with 22 accidents and 22,895 registered boats. Charlotte County looks pretty good by comparison being #20 on the list with 14 accidents with 23,542 registered boats. Here are a few things I learned from reading the reports. The growth of registered vessels in Florida is slowing down; it’s been about 10 years since we had over a million registered boats in Florida. Charlotte County is following along with that trend. I just hope politicians remember that, before they start raising Registration Fees on vessels again. They may not have killed the golden goose, but the goose is definitely injured. Now for a few words about canoes

and kayaks. The US Coast Guard reports there are about 500,000 registered canoes and kayaks in the United States. Since Florida does not require registration (only if you use a motor; and yes that includes electric trolling motors) we have no accurate way to count how many kayaks and canoes are in Florida. Now, some people argue that it's too hard to register them, but I don’t buy that argument because we also have an annual Saltwater Shoreline Fishing Licence and an annual State Reef

Fish permit; both of which are free of charge; but help count the number of people involved in those activities. Surely we can use the same techniques to count canoes and kayaks. My big concern is the rising number of fatalities in this boating segment. Last year in Florida, canoes and kayaks accounted for 14 fatalities, that is only 1 less than the number caused by Personal Watercraft. (15). Nationwide the US Coast Guard reported 246 fatalities in canoes and kayaks. That number should not be ignored. They should be under some sort of control, but first you have to be able to count them.

Captronb@juno.com


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SCUTTLEBUTT

JUNE 2021

Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True TROUT are back open, but snook and redfish remain closed from SR 64 south. What?

8,800 biodegradable pots containing more than 35,000 Illinois pondweed (also known as pepper-grass) plants, a submersed native species, throughout the shallow edges of the lakeʼs marsh.

TAKE IT OUT The FWC, in cooperation with the South Florida Water Management District, is mechanically removing invasive floating plants and floating tussocks from the south end of Lake Kissimmee. The project is scheduled to continue through June. Mechanical harvesters are being used to remove heavy mats that are encroaching on the Highway 60 bridge and S-65 lock. The harvesters are

working near the bridge and will move north, removing invasive floating plants that could move toward the structures.

TUBE SAILING Norsepower announced it has installed two 35-meter rotor sails for SEACARGO, a shipowner in the North Sea market. The installation is the worldʼs first with a tiltable Flettner rotor which greatly reduces the air

PUT IT IN The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has begun a major aquatic habitat restoration effort on Lake Istokpoga. The FWC is transplanting more than 150,000 aquatic plants to the lake, a 28,000-acre natural lake in Highlands County, to help restore shallow sportfishing. FWC con-

tractors will be planting 35,000 jointed spikerush, 35,000 “Kissimmee grass,” 35,000 duck-potato, and 10,000 bulrush plants along the lakeʼs eastern, western and northern shorelines. The FWC is also planting over

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draft impact of the system. The installation should achieve a fuel and carbon emissions reduction of up to 25 percent. In good wind conditions the company says the vessel can maintain her regular service speed by sail alone. The rotor sail is a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus Effect to harness wind power to generate forward thrust - functionally similar to a sail, but self-tending and more compact. P.C. BEACH COMPLEXITY Intermittent boat ramp closures to replace boarding piers are occurring through July 1 at Port Charlotte Beach Park. One boat ramp will remain open at a time while the work is being completed.

SEAGRASS DEATHS Between 2018 and 2020, Sarasota Bay lost 18-percent of its seagrass, which equates to roughly 2,313 acres, according to preliminary research by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. “In 2018, we saw the second of two really wicked red tides," said David Tomasko, executive director of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program. "And that ride tide gave us the biggest single seagrass loss in 30 years." GAG GROUPER opened June 1, and will re-

main open through Dec. 31. The minimum size limit for gag grouper is 24 inches and the daily bag limit is two fish per person within the four grouper per vessel aggregate limit. NOTE ** If you plan to fish for gag grouper anywhere in Florida state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel, you must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal is required). Sign up at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. HEAVY FINE Danzig (a rich guy) and four other individuals were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard outside of Tavernier, Florida in May 2020 while returning from Bahamian waters. They determined that Danzig and company were in possession of 167 reef fish. They harvested the fish in Bahamian waters without a valid Bahamian sportfishing license, and without first clearing Bahamian Customs. Even if Danzig had followed the rules, his catch was still nearly eight times over the legal Bahamian bag limit. OLE special agents later seized two GPS units from Danzigʼs 39-foot Contender fishing vessel. Danzig was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, trafficking 529 pounds of illegally harvested fish from the Bahamas back to the United States. Danzigʼs plea agreement outlined a restitution payment to the Bahaman Government in the form of a New 2021 30-foot Contender boat!. HIGHLY REGULATED HARVEST The FWC directed staff to promote stock rebuilding while allowing access to goliath grouper through catch-and-release, ecotourism and dive viewing opportunities and to build on existing access opportunities for goliath by considering a limited, highly regulated harvest.

ROOFING & INSURANCE

An Observation from Water LIFE I was talking to my friend George who owns a roofing business. George told me the Governor just signed a bill that prohibits roofing contractors from going door to door. Supposedly a number of shady contractors who came up here after Charlie have been working a scam. Contractors would go door to door telling homeowners they could get them a new roof for the cost of their insurance deductible. Right now the insurance market in Florida is shrinking and Insurance companies are scared of this coming hurricane season so they are approving almost all new roof claims. The roofers inflate the price, insurance still pays and the homeowner gets a new roof. Only problem is the inflated cost, sometimes triple, means there is an expensive permit filed with the county. That becomes an expensive improvement on the property and an expensive and permanent tax increase. Today, many roofers are scheduled months out and many jobs are left unfinished. The roofing materials industry is run by a few big companies so prices are fixed high. And now, insurance companies are pulling out of Florida because they canʼt insure all the risk...and still make a huge profit. Four companies have pulled out so far, leaving 50,000 homeowners uninsured.. so far, and there will be more. Companies that are still here are raising their rates. Our insurance went from $1600 to $3100 this year with Tower Hill and that doesnʼt include flood insurance which is another $850. I tried to get competitive bids but the new companies wouldnʼt insure me without a new roof. Now couple all that with the fact that construction materials are through the roof (pun intended!) Plywood was $90 a sheet last week. A 2x4 stud... one stud.. was $10! So if a hurricane comes and you have damage to your house, do you have enough insurance, now, to cover repairs? If you ask me, whatʼs happening is a crime.

READERʼS PHOTOS Send us ur FISH PIX! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 4

My step son, Anthony, caught both of these snook in Charlotte Harbor in April 2021

Capt. James Spillane caught and released this trout in Lemon Bay on live shrimp

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Mike Cox # Redfish # LoversKeyStatePark # BrokenRodPennPrevailll # NoLiveBaitNeeded # DOAFisingLures # CatchandRelease # LivingtheDream

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JUNE 2021

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READERʼS PHOTOS Send us ur FISH PIX! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 3

Mike Perkins with my personal best snook 34 inch monster

Ryan Lackey from Maryland with a nice Jack and John Ross with his first snook. 39 inches Thanks Capt. Steve

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

Above and Below: Kevin Gassman

FISH PIX!

Kevin Gassman and Jeremy Gassman

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

Kerry with large sheepshead caught in Charlotte harbor.

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Scott and Colton fishing

from Water LIFE magazine

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

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Left and Above: Tim Ruble Placida catch and release blacktip shark and stingray

from Water LIFE magazine


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READERʼS PHOTOS Send us ur FISH PIX! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 4

Jane Hanewinkel caught this big redfish in Turtle Bay!

Phyllis Marlar with a nice trout caught off Cape Haze with Capt. Phil Dugger.

Mike Bowers with a nice redfish, caught in Charlotte harbor.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Andrew Hanewinkel caught this hefty jack in Turtle Bay!

Andy Linthicum got inshore Slam including this 29 inch 9lb redfish fishing with Capt. Scotty Roe near Gasparilla sound.

FISH PIX!

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FISH PIX!

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Sue Flanagan from Concuit, MA with Capt. Dave. Her first Cobia 37”!

FISH PIX!

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Eric Hanewinkel caught this nice redfish in Turtle Bay!

Sandra Marlar, Danville IN, caught this black tip shark off Cape Haze. She also brought in her first snook and a nice trout. An excellent day for this fishing novice.

Sarah Marie from KY on vacation in a Port Charlotte canal caught this snook while 8 months pregnant, 3 year old Charlie and her first ever fish a baby jack crevalle

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Shark Defense & Black Grouper Extraction By Joe Delinks Water LIFE Free Diving So there we were, seven freedivers out of the anchored boat, taking slow but deep breathes through our snorkels as we peered down into the gin-clear Key West water. The visibility was so good that you could make out the ledges and coral heads 75 feet below. From the surface, we could see clouds of silt, kicked up from the broom-like tail of the large black grouper, which had been speared by Tom and had rocked itself deep within a coral head. Six bull sharks circled ominously around the coral head in hopes of another easy meal. Just minutes before they had found one, taking and eating a 30-pound black grouper right from the hands of our dive leader, CJ.

FISH PIX!

Having lost our first battle to the sharks, our team developed a plan to safely and successfully extract the second fish from its cave. We would dive simultaneously to the bottom where CJ would try his luck again at extracting this monstrosity of a fish. Despite the recent excitement and the sharks circling below, our group was able to lower our heart rates by breathing up together on the surface for several minutes. Just as CJ made his duck-dive, so did Tom and myself; Blake, Jamie, Pete and Dan followed seconds after. Our squadron dropped in a protective formation around CJ. The drop down felt like an eternity and not to my surprise, upon reaching the bottom we were greeted by the not so friendly

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sharks. I was to the right of CJ and Tom was to his left. Within seconds of reaching the bottom, Tom and I each poked a large bull shark in the nose to steer them in the opposite direction. The coast was now clear and CJ made his move! He reached into the cave and pulled the grouper out by the spear and then hugged the fish to his chest. The group of divers now swam tightly together to the surface in victory formation, fist bumping on the ride up. Upon reaching the surface we celebrated our harvest. We all learned a valuable lesson that day: diving as a team is far superior to diving alone. The comradery, brotherhood, and unforgettable friendships made on dive trips are what I’ll always cherish the most. Tom Davis with the black grouper.

READERʼS PHOTOS Send us ur FISH PIX! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 4

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

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Bill Morrow snook with Capt. George

Hereʼs an incredible picture Rachel Smits of Bokeelia took of a battling tarpon in Boca Grande Pass

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

Gabriel Setser caught this 30-inch red drum while fishing in Venice

from Water LIFE magazine

38-inch snook- John, the Snook King, Slattery, on live mullet. Love your Magazine!

FISH PIX! FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

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Victor's Peace River snook

Kevin Gassman Stingray

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Mike Simone, his first snook, Peace River

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Audrey, mangrove snapper.


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READERʼS PHOTOS Send us ur FISH PIX! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 4

Barbara Thompson proudly stands with her first SNOOK catch ever! Caught out of Charlotte Harbor Peace River.

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Boone Stewart redfish out of Bokeelia

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Ron Lester. small snook Charlotte side 41 south. 1/2 oz. gold spoon

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Nicci Hogeback from south Punta Gorda, caught beautiful 34-inch cobia! On Mother's Day!

A successful fishing trip to the Keys, providing plenty of fish for our mahi-mahi Reuben sandwiches! Louise and Terry Huffman, Rotonda West

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from Water LIFE magazine

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JUNE 2021

Todd with his large pompano in Charlotte Harbor

FISH PIX!

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FISH PIX! FISH PIX!

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Paige Balsinger with a nice pompano caught in Charlotte Harbor

from Water LIFE magazine

Went out of town to Key West for fishing trip right from Schooners warf w captain Mike Mutton snapper24" keeper 65 pound amber jack and black grouper released. Mandy AJ, Barb snapper

Kerri Duffey 135- 140-pounds Caught near Captiva Pass

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32-inch 12-pound snook on a Top Dog jr. for Earl Horecky in Jug Creek at sunset.


JUNE 2021

Explore!

Fish with one of our Guides

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The BIG-4 TARPON Some in the passes, most are up toward Sarasota

BackBay Xtremes Capt Dave Stephens www.backbayxtremes.com

941-916-5769

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Fish you can expect in

SHARKS On the reefs and near the tarpon

June

CREVALLE JACK STILL in and out of the canals

Charlotte Harbor, Lemon Bay, Placida, Gasparilla Sound

MANGROVE SNAPPER most everywhere in the Gulf

south, trying to get away from it. That could be happening again, but this is not the same material so it could be atFrank @ Fishin’ Franks tracting bait or it could be what we saw 4200 Tamiami Trail, behind ABC 15 years ago. It’s just really weird and BREAKING NEWS! We just 90-percent of the tarpon usually in this passed the County inspection and area are now up there. the new store will be open Trout is opening again with new Thursday June 10 @ 6:30 a.m.!! sizes and boat restrictions. The Pine IsThere are still quite a bit of sharks land Sound to Useppa still have decent out there, from the lower Harbor out to trout, not a lot, but bigger ones. Up tomost of the gulf reefs, sharks 2- to 12- wards Placida and Lemon Bay you will still find trout feet are comtoo. If you find mon. a school of Something small trout try strange is an old 52-18 going on with Mirrolure or a the tarpon. All Strike King the stuff they rage tail that’s were pumping 4-5 inches out of Piney long. You want Point is now to get it below offshore at the school, Sarasota and about 6-inches all the tarpon off the bottom. seem to be Bring it in bunched in that slowly for the area. It could bigger fish. be they don’t Redfish are want to hang still around. with the red One guy gets tide in and skunked and around the another has a Harbor or it “Hey can you put me and 30 fish day. It’s could be the FISH PIX! my fiancésʼ picture in the magall about Do spill is attractazine? My name is Sara and my fiancéʼs you feel Lucky. ing a lot of difname is Joseph. Joe caught a snook 35-inch The vast ferent kinds of and 15- pound and I caught a cobia 42-inch.” majority of bait, so the snook are out spill could be along the Barenticing the rier islands in tarpon to be Gasparilla there to eat. Or Sound, PI the spill could Sound and be pushing live right off the stuff in front of beaches. Peoit as it is trying ple wading are to escape. Eiseeing snook ther way we swimming up think that’s the beach. why the tarpon They are are not in the mostly under Harbor and 26 inch males most of them looking for females. are up in Sarasota. In freshwaster, panfish is pretty There are not nearly as many in the good, bass slowed down a bit. Look pass either. When they did the phosfor heavy cover and fish deep for the phate dump a number of years ago we bass. had reports of all the fish pushing from Water LIFE magazine

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There has been a lot of wind. The water is back at 80 deg. Fish are moving around

95˚ 90˚ 85˚ 80˚

75˚ 72˚ 70˚ 68˚ 50˚ 45˚

FISHING RIGHT NOW:

DEPENDS WHERE


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JUNE 2021

Profile for Water LIFE magazine

Water LIFE June 2021  

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

Water LIFE June 2021  

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

Profile for waterlife

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