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Water

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

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January 2021

The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association

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I caught this snook from the beach in Estero, Cole

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Earl Horecky, redfish of 6-pounds on the gold spoon, near Jug Creek, Pine Island

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Ted, red grouper, in the Gulf

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eMail letters and photos to: WaterLIFE@comcast.net

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

(941) 766-8180

FishPix, text only number 941-457-1316

217 Bangsberg Rd.

Port Charlotte, FL 33952

Independant - Not affiliated with any other publication! Vol XX No. 1 Š 2021

NO PART of this publication (printed or

electronic) may be copied, reproduced or re-used in any manner without specific written, witnessed and notarized, permission from the Publisher

Contributing Editors:

Photography: ASA1000.com

Senior Editor: Capt. Ron Blago Baitshop:

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

We are looking for someone to sell ads for Water LIFE email: waterlife@comcast.net

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Sunseeker Resort

JANUARY 2021

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No-Progress Report COMMENTARY BY MICHAEL HELLER

The end is near. It has been disclosed that two months ago Allegiant paid $15 million and walked away from the construction loan that would have allowed them to build Sunseeker. Today, increased material costs, a continued labor shortage and now invalidated mechanical contracts all mean this project is dead. According to Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher, they are now looking for an investor. If they find a buyer, then I bet they will scale it way back and cheapen it up even more. That’s their M-O. I have no faith in Allegiant. I believe, given their cash-poor situation, Allegiant will sell to the first bidder and we, the locals, will be the last ones to know. I just hope that, as far as Charlotte County is concerned, a sale is out in the open and not some Back Room deal. There were special concessions made for this project, like the number of parking spaces was reduced far below the code requirement because they were going to bus in their guests. BeRE SUNSEEKER: Now I have never written an article for publication but.... My wife came home with gossip from the hair salon! It is in all of our best interest that the Sunseeker project gets completed and this article

LOCAL SAILING

There were a few workmen on the site last month

cause of that and other extenuating circumstances, there must be public hearings before any transfer of this project is approved. Last month there was some little activity at the site. There were four or five trucks behind the fence and I observed two men in yellow safety vests working on a lift platform on the top floor. It looked like they were examining the exposed rebar in preparation for a long wait. Two days later, workmen put up a flag and a Christmas Tree on the other building. Thank you, at least, for that!

is nothing more that a smear job. What business is it of ours how they do their projects. Who cares if they strike a DEAL with a supplier! I would tell the author to mind his own business!!! And stop stirring the pot and stop making ill feelings to-

wards the project. Because someday you might have to lick the spoon. Best regards Kurt Schell KLS Construction

photos and text for Water LIFE by Fran Burstein

Sailboat Racing This Month

The 38th Golden Conch Regatta, hosted by the Platinum Point Yacht Club at Burnt Store is open to all area yacht racers. It will be held on January 16 and because of COVID-19, there will not be any social events. Racing will begin 5nm north of the Burnt Store Marina entrance. The exact coordinates of the race-course will be communicated to all racers by email. For more information, a NOR, and other documents : contact PPYC at 941-639-0733. Other January Sailing Events

H20 Racing: 1/2, 1/9, 1/10, 1/16, 1/23 information www.islesyc.com Isles Yacht Club, Punta Gorda Punta Gorda Sailing Club Racing: 1/10, 1/24-for more information www.pgscweb.com/racing.htm

2.4M Racing: Can/Am #1, 1/25 and1/26. Can/Am #2, 1/28,29 and 30. For more information 941-629-5131. Platinum Point Yacht Club racing: 01/4, 1/11, 1/16, 1/26. For more information call 941-639-0733

Scotch Bonnet, a Pearson 39, sailed by Alan Halls, finishing first in the Cruising A class last month

The 5th race of the Punta Gorda Sailing Club Fall Series was held on November 29. Ten boats started the buoy race that went from marker #2 to marker #1 and then back to #2. The wind conditions were variable. There was one start for the three classes racing. Right: Dark and Stormy with Bob Knowles at the helm, coming in first in the H20 class


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Darst Park Could Have Been Redone Better By Michael Heller Water LIFE editor Thank you for all your FISH PIX! I can easily say; this year I have seen more big snook caught from shore and from local piers than ever before... and this month makes 20 years doing this publication. Thank you for that too! Now, last month I received this letter: I have kayak fished Darst Park for years but now, since the college boys have redesigned it, there is no parking. Only two parking spots for boats with trailers and one handicap parking spot. Itʼs a three person park now. The parking in the middle has killed the whole park. Check it out an let the Punta Gorda City Council know it stinks. Dale Haskel

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So I went over to Darst Park to see what was going on. In case you don’t know, Darst Park is off Riverside Drive in Punta Gorda. It’s along the Peace River, east of I-75. It’s not really a Park it’s a Boat Ramp with a picnic table. I know a few guides who Before the improvements like to launch at Darst for fishing the River. I’ve been there before, and as Mr. Haskel said, the place is different. It’s received a make over. That seems to be a trend. A number of boat ramps are being rebuilt. I hear the one at Ainger Creek is up for a makeover next. When I see these kinds of improvements I wonder: Is there grant money involved? It may be from the Americans With Disabilities or from another similar group, because the improvements always include a new handicapped parking space. You may ask: How many handicapped boaters are there, that we need a handicapped space at every ramp, but you know what? I know two disabled veterans with boats and one is a guide. That space is the least we can do for them or others with a disability. But are we doing the redesign

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Now there are only two gravel trailer spaces and one paved handicap trailer space

right? Was there a better way to do this? It seems like the handicapped space at Darst Park could have been on the other side of the ramp, then there would have been room for two more trailers. And there would probably be a space for a car with a kayak, like Mr Haskel’s. I think Dale Haskel was right, not enough thought went into this. The part I don’t get about Darst Park is: How a site with an gravel rock surface is approved for the disabled. The only smooth surface is the handicapped parking space itself. How does that work for a wheelchair? Maybe there is some technicality that makes this OK, but if the City of Punta Gorda is really trying to provide access for special needs boaters, they have missed the boat entirely.

One fix would be for the City to aquire the vacant lot next door to the ‘Park’ and put in more parking. But I don’t know if that’s feasible, or if it would be popular with the neighbors. Ummmm.... let me take that back. The neighbors don’t want to hear about any part of this. They are fed up with noise and people parking all over and blocking their driveways. And I’m pretty sure they complained to the City about it. So it looks to me like the City has sided with the property owners by limiting the parking. This is nothing new. This is the way it always is. Boaters come last. Boating access has been limited here and now, if history repeats itself, the next thing the City will do is limit the hours of operation at the Darst Park ramp.


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What Happened at Fishinʼ Franks Fishin’ Franks was a unique emporium of all things fishy in Port Charlotte – a local live-bait and tackle shop that was a focal point of quality fishing products and good local information. Frank’s business was destroyed by a drunk driver last summer. If anything good at all comes of this, before you drink and drive, remember this event and know your actions could affect the entire community and change lives forever. Dont Drink and Drive!

By Frank Hommema Special to Water LIFE OK, let’s go back to May 23, 2020. It was a Friday afternoon and we had just met with our landlord and made a deal for more space in our building on Tamiami Trail, in Charlotte Harbor. I had visions of a Fly fishing section, a section for deep water fishing, an area just for bass fishing... everything in its own section. With more space we would finally have room for all of the crazy things I had thought about doing. We would have had the most kick-butt tackle store people had ever seen with seminars out back and all of the coolest toys. Now fast forward a few hours... literally hours. We closed Saturday night after having over 500 people through the store that day. That night I had a bank deposit on my desk (actually under my desk, in a paper bag) to take to the bank. It was about $18-thousand. We were beat tired and when I got home I realized I had forgotten the deposit. Talking to the wife, we decided to just let it go and get it in the morning, after all, we had many alarms and no one was getting in without us knowing.... and the cash was in a non nondescript bag. Seven hours later, at 2-minutes after 2 a.m. I get a call from the alarm company. The voice said you are being robbed, all of the motion sensors are going off. I said call the cops! I jumped into a pair of pants and a shirt, grabbed my wallet and my gun and hauled ass to the store. I show up in front of the store holding my pistol and my life was on fire. A freaking butt-for-brains idiot decided to get stupid drunk and then raced south on US-41. As I understand, he was going stupid fast when he passed a Sheriff and the cop gave chase. In front of the Shell gas station, a few hundred feet from our store, the guy either passed out and floored it or thought he was turning onto another road. His truck entered the ditch, not across it but parallel to the road, until he reached the culvert pipe on the Shell drive way, which acted like a ramp. The truck went up the embankment an through the concrete curbing. The truck was going so fast the culvert angle launched the truck up into the air, high enough to pass over a boat with a T-top and over the SoundWorkz shop. Then after missing several poles and signs, the truck landed nose first on a solid concrete bearing-wall, within the building. The wall was next to the bait room. A little to the right it would have landed in the back parking lot, but it went straight. It hit nose first on the concrete wall which must have ruptured the gas tank. The driver was ejected out through the windshield onto the roof. But the truck kept going, throwing gas all over the roof and doing another 360 in the air. Then it lawn-darted into the far building roof where we had over 1,000 rods and reels. The truck caught the whole back of the building on fire. Two local guys who just happened to be hanging out in front of the Shell station saw the truck fly through the air and ran around to the back. The cop chasing the guy

pulled up and the three of them got the driver off the roof of our bait room. You could tell he was a worthless human being because he was saying ‘I wasn't driving, no not me,” trying to get out of it while he was still on fire. Tough luck, jerk. He did a month in jail for another DUI he had. So I arrived and I saw the fire and made one of the worst phone calls ever, to my wife Terry. “Hi, our store is burning down.” The fire department was there but soon it was too late. We called everyone from the store. We all gathered on the sidewalk and watched our lives burn down. Fishin’ Franks was dying, but at that time, all we could

think about was getting into the rubble to see what was left so we could get started building back. We were thinking it would be like Hurricane Charley, when we jacked the roof back up and fixed everything... it took five months but we were back. Not this time. Nothing left. Finally the flames were out and the cadaver dogs showed up. Remember, the guy said he was not driving, so they had to check for someone else. The dogs started going through the store and I went right to where I had left the 18K. I am digging through the ashes and there, low and behold, and Holy Carp-Fish, there it was, a pile of cash laying under a board and most of it was OK. Then the dogs, which had found nothing so far, entered my office and started barking and I remembered that my Mom and Dad’s ashes were on the shelf above my desk, waiting to be buried at sea over one of their favorite grouper spots in the Gulf. More sadness set in. Finally it was OK to walk through the rest of the building to see what was left. In just one room we had over 38-thousand lures and I could not find one. There were skeletons of rods in the other room and a few reels were left. But all in all, Fishin’ Franks was gone. I had a hard time figuring out where I was. I stood looking at the bait room which I had been in and out of 100’s of thousands of times and I did not recognize anything. I had lost it all. As I walked out, people were asking questions and there were TV cameras and satellite trucks. I was trying to process 36-years of my life gone! I’m sorry if I wasn’t more personable at the time. The ashes cooled and people were coming up to me crying like they had lost a family member and in a real sense they had. This was the Community’s store too. By 5 pm things got quiet and Terry and I left for home. I pulled in the driveway and sat there in my truck and I thought hell no, this is not the end. I called my friend Dr. Joe Spadafora from Community

JANUARY 2021

Eye Center and asked him if he still had property for sale. Joe and I looked at a couple places. It was starting to get dark when he said a friend of his had a building right down US-41. We went and looked at it. It was perfect, I called Howard Corr the relator and the next morning I called all the people from the store and told them we had work to do and to show up Monday morning. On Monday we all went to look at what I hoped would be the next Fishin’ Franks, a beat up, old, neglected blue building next to Enterprise rent a car; good for our purpose and it could be had. Howard did great helping me and the owner of the property make a deal and before you know it we had a contract and it looked we were going back in business. Here is the thing about the contract: After 45-days I could back out or the owner of the building could back out, keep in mind, the building had sat empty 4- or 5-years. But when the option was up I still did not have the insurance check. I thought no problem, no one wants that old building with the bad roof and A/C, and thousands of dollars in repairs just to move in. I was wrong, a doctor was there with a bid ready and I lost the building. Howard Corr and Centennial bank were heroes. My Insurance company screwed me. To this date (I am writing just before Christmas) they have paid me about half of the policy. The rest could take months... or years. Two days after the fire we found out people were donating money, time and services to help Fishin’ Franks reopen. Guilt trip? Oh yeah! The pressure to reopen was huge and up to that point I was willing to invest close to a million dollars into a store, building and business, but losing that place down the road just took the heart out of me. I asked the guys if anyone wanted to carry on without me in a new store and Robert said he did, so Blind Tarpon Tackle Inc. was born. (Robert’s eyesight is very bad and around the store his-self imposed nickname was Blind Tarpon) So I put all the donation money and some other thousands of my own dollars into the new Blind Tarpon corporation so Robert can use that money to live on, until he finds a store. Now Robert only has one problem; WHERE, not how, but where, to reopen. Think about it. Parking a car is one thing but a pick up with a boat on a trailer that is 50-feet long, where is the store where you can park that? And as Robert is blind, or very close to it, he needs the store to be close to his house, so it’s complicated. This has been the worst stress and crazy depressing time of our lives. It’s almost as if things conspired against me in reopening a store. I kept people on payroll, paid their debts and tried to get them to a point where they could move on on their own and now most have on. So December 31 was the last day of payroll for the people who were with us for years. As for me and Terry, we are learning to relax and I am trying to think about being something besides Fishin’ Frank. We are still dealing with depression and there are still difficult days for us, but we are slowly getting better. Robert is younger than me, he will be the Blind Tarpon just like I was Fishin Frank and I know he will be all right. Next year I can collect Social Security. So for now I am retired and wondering what the future holds. I have a little camper that I’d like to drive to Alaska this summer and have some outdoor time to clear my head. We already miss everyone and I really wish I could still be Fishin’ Frank, but I think he died in the fire. Good bye and thanks! Frank


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When Water Temperatures Drop By Capt. David Stephens Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor Well fellow anglers, it looks like we’ve slid through 2020 scraped, bumped and maybe a little bruised, but the last part of that miserable year was very good for fishing and we managed to put some very nice snook to the boat. Mother Nature was nice enough to keep the water temperatures warm enough to keep our warm-water fish happy, but what happens if our water temperatures drop and our warm water fish decide not to feed? Here are some winter tactics that should help keep the rods bent. Shrimp, that’s the bait we should all be focusing on this time of year. Every fish that swims in South West Florida feeds on these little crustaceans. The way to fish these guys depends on who you ask! I’ll give you some of the ways that I like to fish during this time of year. Without a doubt the most popular way is with a popping cork. This technique has been used longer than most of the people reading this column have been on earth.

The reasoning behind a popping cork is actually very basic. It comes down to the sound the cork makes when you swipe your rod tip to the side. Many fish make a popping sound when they feed on the surface. The reasoning for the popping cork

is to make that same sound. The belief is that feeding fish will attract other feeding fish. Normally I like to fish a jig with a shrimp under my popping cork. The area and bottom plays a big roll in the depth. Normally I’m fishing this way over shallow grass flats, so I focus on floating my bait just above the bottom. If Mother Nature hits us hard, we will have to really slow things down. Fishing on the bottom might get the better

bites. A live shrimp on a jig head fished slow will get sluggish fishes attention. I often get asked what is my favorite color jig. Well folks it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s chartreuse or pink or white or red. I guess what I’m saying is it all depends on what you think will work. If you feel confident in what your doing, more than likely you will catch fish.

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The fish are still here, you just have to adjust your technique and your approach. 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 backbayxtremes.com

The biggest thing about fishing fish during our winter months is to slow down. Our fishery is a warm water fishery. For the next few weeks we have to deal with cooler water temps.

the Happy Seal

the Ultimate Pocket Cruiser/Racer

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This boat is well outfitted with a very comfortable interior that can be enjoyed as a weekender or liveaboard.

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Call 941-740-0171

Sea trial available with down payment. Sailing instruction and assistance no problem


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They Dont All Have To Be Huge – Kids love Sharks

By Capt. John Brossard Water LIFE Sharks Take a kid Shark fishing! As a guide, I see how kids love sharks, especially if you really let them touch, feel, see and fight the fish. By no means does it have to be super large. Most kids just want to see sharks and to a 5- to 12-year old, a 3- foot shark is big... but not too intimidating. Show them how to tell what sex they are by looking for claspers, have them pet the shark forward and backwards to feel the dermal dentical (teeth like) skin they have. Open the shark’s mouth and show them. Now the water has definitely cooled off due to the regular cold fronts coming through. Sharks look for warmer waters, so they will be in the deep holes, deeper channels and also darker bottom areas were the water warms up faster in the middle of the day. Last month came with a few surprises. Like a monster tarpon one day and the next day an 8-foot sawfish - always good bonus fishes when fishing for big fish. Don’t ever think that the fishing is only good during a certain tide or certain time of the day. Always try different times and different tides. I have come to find out as a guide that sometimes, when I think it’s not going to be good, it is very good and sometimes when I think it’s going to be good, it is very slow. Shark fishing, as any fishing, will humble you at times. I will give you an example. I usually don’t fish when it’s cold and the water is cool. But this year the water has been cool and I have been catching more fish than ever. Go figure! Capt John Brossard 239-777-9279 www.SharkChaserCharters.com

JANUARY 2021


Take It Slow JANUARY 2021

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By Cameron Parson Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor

Our local fish seem to favor the tropical weather, just like we do. When it gets cold, they're trying to find warmth and they get a little on the lazy side. Just like we do. And there's not much we want to do or even go very far, to do whatever it is. Fish can be the same way. Lethargic.

Cold weather means you need to slow your presentation, sometimes down to almost nothing. Small lures or bait will literally need to be dragged across the bottom to acquire any attention at all. The fish will get to be lazy, and won't go out of their way to chase anything. Move your bait too fast and you've lost your chance. It may be the

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only way a fish eats for a small while until temperatures start to climb again. If you're into fishing artificials, weedless lures work great on the flats. Most can be dragged through grass without getting hung up. Mirrolure Lil Jon's

and the old faithful Exude stick baits are a great choice. Both can be rigged on a jighead (normal or weedless) and on a weighted worm hook. These baits can also be cut down just a tad if they need to be.

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As much as I love working these lures over heavy grass, I mostly do so over sand spots...the lighter areas between the thicker grass. These spot are easier to work and you won't battle snags as much, but they hold fish in general. Deep, broad, potholes can be a huge payout with slow moving, small baits.

Finding the fish can be a little tricky when it's cold. Look for areas that have dark, mudlike bottoms, as this is what holds the most heat and heats up quicker than sandy bottoms. These areas, especially on the flats, can have quite a few fish in them. They can often be seen, laying completely motionless, soaking up some heat. Deep water can also hold a population of fish that may be willing to feed. Canal intersections, channel edges, and

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deep docks are a few examples. Quite a few of these spots may be a little further back than you think. The fish are trying to warm up, so they'll want to be out of the current... looking for stagnant water. Canals in Punta Gorda Isles, Alligator Creek, Burnt Store, and Port Charlotte all offer some sort of relief for these fish. Catch some fish!

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


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

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

I caught this largemouth bass in Estero, Cole

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Margie Hess and her very first redfish

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from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Andy Cox with a nice tripletail, fishing with Capt Fred Gowdy out front of Estero Bay

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from Water LIFE magazine

Jessica Maqueira, 12/6/2020 Boca Pier, with live bait.

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from Water LIFE magazine

Richard Dutson's catch and release of a nice sea trout across from Cabbage Key

Spanish mackerel

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from Water LIFE magazine

Brian Bender (right) caught his first tarpon in Burnt Store Isles!

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

22-inch snook, Iona Shores Mike Perkins

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from Water LIFE magazine

Stephanie Hixon. First ever Bonito, at the Venice Pier


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

FISH PIX!

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Jackie Bender caught this mangrove snapper in Burnt Store Isles!

FISH PIX! FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ed Dingman largemouth, Englewood

from Water LIFE magazine

Donna Willoughby, snook at Placida

Elise Bender caught her first mangrove snapper in Burnt Store Isles. Brian Bender (left) caught this jack in Burnt Store Isles too.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX! FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Nicci Hogeback of Punta Gorda 28-inch gag grouper

from Water LIFE magazine

Cody Hollen, off of the El Jobean bridge this weekend, with live bait

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Susie Peterson visiting from Pasco Washington catches 22 inch Sea Trout on Oct 26 2020

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Julian Ramirez and his dad, caught at Boca Grande pier. Julian is 12 years old


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FISH PIX!

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Jeremy Gassman caught this on on Christmas Eve

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Dalton Rybka (above) and Brittany Cortes (below)

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Ziara Arden of the Charlotte Harbor Derelicts Fishing Club caught a 30 inch snook lovingly netted by Robert Henzler

We are from Derry NH and have had a home here since April 2017. My son was sent home just before Thanksgiving to do remote learning. We arrived here on November 29 and my son Kevin Gassman caught a 40 to 50 pound black drum (at right) a few hours later. He caught the smaller one on 12/10 and another one later, that weighs approximately 25 pounds. We have also caught a substantial amount of sea trout. We are catching the black drum from our dock. What we are doing is scraping the barnacles from the seawall and fishing with a very small hook and a shrimp. We use a small split shot as well. Our fishing rods are Penn Battle II 4000 series ... not heavy duty at all. Thank you! Jeremy Gassman

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FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

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Jen Perkins only a 20-inch skinny snook

Jen Perkins 25 inch snook Punta Rassa

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READERʼS PHOTOS

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Steve with a nice red. Caught and released

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Patrick a beefy tarpon. One of two 33 inch snook, and a 41.5 inch snook

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READERʼS PHOTOS Send us ur fish pix! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 5

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FISHX PIX! from Water LIFE magazine

Jeff Miller showing off his best 2 Lake O black bass while catching with Capt. JoGene Holaway

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Kasie Sheaffer with a Christmas Eve PB trout

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from Water LIFE magazine

Gary Shaw 32” snook caught off Sanibel

Capt. JoGene Holaway and Jason Rundorff, holding their 5 best BIG O largemouth black bass. They were fishing the Roland Martinʼs Marina Center 2 -Day CLASSIC

from Water LIFE magazine

Hunter Chaplin (left) Jason Chaplin (right). 2 Snooks.

FISHX PIX! from Water LIFE magazine

Kasie Sheaffer with a Christmas Eve PB trout

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from Water LIFE magazine

Capt. JoGene Holaway, holding his 2 best largemouth black bass caught during the Untied Bass Anglers Sportsman Series tournament on the Caloosahatchee River

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from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

FISH PIX!

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Father and son , fishing and catching with Capt. JoGene Holaway Jason Rundorff and Sam Rundorff

Capt. JoGene Holaway, with bass caught on his custom colored soft plastic baits .

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All fish were C.P.R. CATCH, PHOTO & RELEASE To be caught another day

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READERʼS PHOTOS Send us ur fish pix! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 5

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Owen Werner & Josh Ask - 8-foot sandbar shark out of Stump Pass with Capt. Paul Fec of Hammertime Saltwater Adventures

Couple of nice spotted sea trout. Triple hook up and release! Caught out on the flats by Max, Tom, and Ken. 12/17/20

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FISH PIX! Alex Fec - redfish out of Stump Pass with Capt. Paul Fec of Hammertime Saltwater Adventures

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New to FL and this is my first Snook. I am Norm Froman and have to thank my fishing teachers John and Bob.

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FISH PIX!

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Joe Barrett aka Smokin Joe 33-inch snook

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FISH PIX!

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Chris Crouch. Thank you!

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Bill Maicle - Goliath grouper out of Stump Pass with Capt. Paul Fec of Hammertime Saltwater Adventures

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Ethan age 10 on his first gag and king 40 miles west of Venice

My son, 3 year old Leo Cangiano with his first fish ever, a sheepshead, and later he caught his first snook


JANUARY 2021

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Estero Bay: Rooted in the Tide By Capt. Joe Angius Water LIFE Estero What better way to enjoy the love of your family then to take them out on the water to fish and experience all of the sights and sounds of nature. Estero continues to have some of the best fishing and eco-centric adventures, despite the red tide conditions. Reports of red tide along Fort Myers Beach, Lovers Key, and Bonita Beach began a few weeks ago but may have subsided by the time you read this. While netting bait out in the Gulf, the majority of my bait began to go belly up and as I made my way back to safer waters, I could feel the irritation in my chest and tickle in my throat from the red tide. Luckily there hasn’t been a lot of dead gamefish washing up on shore, yet, and there’s still fish activity along the beaches. What worries me the most is how bad the concentration of red tide could get. Given

the right conditions of nutrients and sunlight, this phenomena has the potential to pose a serious threat to our wildlife. The saving grace of Estero Bay is that those higher concentrations of red tide rarely make it toward the backwaters. I find that red tide has a hard time making it past the beaches, main channels, and Passes. So it seems like I can always find a safe haven from these water conditions while fishing Estero Bay and the inshore gamefish don’t seem to mind. Right now we’re catching a great number of snook, redfish, jack, speckled sea trout, and sheepshead. Live pilchards and shrimp have been my go-to bait of choice this month. A common question I get asked is, “how do you keep your bait alive when there’s red tide?” My answer is not complicated, but one method requires having a recirculating pump in your baitwell. Then, before you start netting any bait, you must go to an area that has good-healthy water. Fill up all of your livewells with this water, shut your pumps off, and close off any valves that might allow water into

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your wells. Now you can start netting bait. As you load your livewells with bait be sure you’re not overcrowding them. Use your recirculating pump at this time, if you have one. If not, be mindful of your bait’s health. Only turn your livewell pumps back on when you’re in an area without water contaminated by red tide. This will ensure your bait stays alive and give anglers the best chance at catching quality fish. Don’t be discouraged, but definitely take necessary precautions before heading

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out to the local beaches. Local fishing, shelling, and eco-tour guides are well aware of what’s happening. They are a great resource to have. Hiring them is your best bet at having a memorable, safe, and comfortable outdoor experience. Southwest Florida has a lot to offer on and off of the water. Have a safe and happy New Year! Captain Joe Angius 727-234-3171 speakeasyfishing@gmail.com www.speakeasyfishing.com


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Matt Odea with Earl Horecky and a near 5 foot Blacktip on cut mackerel near north. Captiva

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FISH PIX!

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Brian Gatzki 28 inch redfish Fort Myers

Ritchie Esposito 7-1/4 lb red on Zara Spook in the Bokeelia backcountry. Dec 19

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JANUARY 2021

Everglades and 10,000 Islands: non-stop Trout

By Capt. Charlie Phillips Water LIFE 10,000 Islands As you read this we are into a fresh and shiny new year. 2021 is here and many are ready to only think of 2020 as a bad memory that couldn’t be gone soon enough. The business side of me would agree, but the fisherman side of me is glad to have this space to talk about the good fishing we have had the final month of the last calendar year. Last month we had quite a few charters to run and a few personal days as well as our first Everglades camping trip of the season and I can tell you, overall the fishing is strong. Let’s get started with a few places you might check out on your next trip.

Inshore, the speckled trout action has been strong everywhere. Focusing on the incoming tides, we have done well working the deep cuts with shrimp tipped bucktail jigs in brown and white with chartreuse heads. Drifting with the current, using the trolling motor to slow us down as needed, we have had nonstop trout action as the baits get to the deep areas just off the mangrove edge. Some of these fish have been well over 20-inchers, but the majority are running 16- to 19-inches or so with lots of shorts as well. Good to see though, and these fish have fed many an angler after a day in the Everglades. These same drifts have also found us some solid catches of decent black drum. When we pick one up, often I will switch from a small tip of shrimp

on the jig to a deheaded whole shrimp worked up the jig. Throwing this out then working it very slow back to the boat will often find you the school of drum that tend to stay together. Smaller fish are decent to eat, and I don’t keep any above the slot or the larger fish in the slot size. Sheepshead have been active as well since the water cooled down. Working the rocks, both inshore and offshore, we have found some slabs using live shrimp on fish finder rigs as well as that same shrimp tipped bucktails used for the drum and trout. I would recommend using a smaller hook like a 1/0 owner circle vs the 2/0s I normally use as the teeth in the sheepshead mouth can be a bit trickey and their tenacity is to nibble and nip vs strike. The smaller hook has the fish

more focused and allows you to send it home when you feel the rod load up. One final note on sheepshead, if you are fishing in areas where the goliaths live, reel fast as you can, these fish love to predate on a struggling sheepshead. Not sure if it’s because they can see them so well or what, but we have lost a pile of sheepshead to goliaths over the years. Some of them were monsters too, lost to a bigger monster of the deep. Y’all be well out there, I wish you a happy start to your 2021.

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


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READERʼS PHOTOS Send us ur fish pix! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 5

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Allan Kenney big redfish, south jetty Venice

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Join Team

Give A Crap

Capt. Alan Williams Water LIFE Upper Harbor If you're reading this you can be thankful that we've put 2020 behind the boat. The new year should put new hopes and dreams on our horizons for the future. One of the things that comes with a new year is a list of resolutions for the upcoming one. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that 2020 was a year of massive changes to our lives, so for this year we need to focus on the positive. I've made my list and always try to steer towards the goals. I may not make it, but I truly do try. This year especially, I want to focus on making our waters and habitat better by trying to get each person I spend time with an understanding of what is at stake. The waters and it's surrounding environment are my church. So I guess I'm becoming a preacher for our waters. A water Holy Roller if you will. One thing I've noticed, especially in the last few years, is there are two types of people. Those that give a crap and those that don't. I spend a great deal of my life on the water and have gotten neck cramps from shaking my head at what I see. We can all agree that on the present course our waters are at a crossroads for disaster. I know a lot of people would disagree, but overall, things are not healthy. We dump our trash and runoff in these waters, everything from septic tanks to parking lot and lawn run off. This is not just our problem, but the problem for the entire state and beyond. Ft. Lauderdale and Miami have had their waters pretty much destroyed by constant building and ignoring their aging infrastructure. Sewer leaks are a constant problem over there. Repair one spot and it blows out somewhere else. The lush grass beds and crystal clear waters on the other coast are gone, just as ours are disappearing. We all have to become aware and join Team Give a Crap for our future and the

from Water LIFE magazine

Earl Horecky 8-pound 27-inch red on green/white heavydine mirrolure November 28, Charlotte Harbor

future generations. The ball is in our hands. I don't have the space in this article to go over everything in detail so I'm going to list a few of my pet peeve that everyone has "SOME" control over. #1 If you are a homeowner, and especially if you live on a canal, stop fertilizing your yard so it stays green in the winter. Green lawns in the cold winter months are about as unnatural as you can get in Florida. If you hire a lawn service, it's your responsibility to make sure they don't blow the clippings into the water. This is a big source of nitrogen that feeds algae. Some cities and counties are banning herbicides and fertilizers. I agree with them. #2 Fishermen, do your part in removing your lures and line when you get hung up in the mangroves, docks and bridges. I get a lot of lures from these areas, sometimes I get some new high dollar ones. Thanks for that, but I'd rather not. If I can get them, so can you. Join Team Give a Crap. Retrieve your lures, get your feet wet if you have to. The birds especially, will thank you. #3 If you see debris or litter floating pick it up. It’s so simple. Water bottles, plastic bags, balloons, beer cans, anything

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that floats. It will only take a minute, but it could help the environment by years. #4 Respect our grass flats while we still have some. Use your trolling motor to get to an area where you can get up on plane. If your not sure, don't do it: Every blade of grass is crucial at this stage of the game. A Filamentous algae has become a year round problem and is getting worse in a lot of areas. The flats need us to protect them and not decimate what we have

Capt. Alan Williams, snook

left. Respect the grass. The fish will thank you. This list could go on forever, but the bottom line is for each and everyone of us to get in the habit of doing our part. It's really not that hard when your on the right team. On a non soap box note, the fishing is transforming into it's winter time patterns. A lot of fish are heading into the canals in search of some deeper and warmer waters. Trout have been good from the flats and canals all the way past the I-75 Bridge. The main focus for a lot of people wanting to bring home dinner are sheepshead. As the water clears the fun of sight casting them comes into play. Mangrove snapper are plentiful in the same habitat. Some nice cobia have been showing up around Alligator Reef. Decent catch of redfish are still being caught on the East and West walls and up in the Myakka and Peace River. Snook are making their way back to the backcountry spots. It's been slow for any big girls but they’re around – right place, right time comes to mind. Get out and enjoy our waters but be respectful to other people. Take a kid fishing whenever you can, teach them whenever you can, the torch is headed their way. Good luck and see you on the water. Capt. Alan Williams 954 -347-5275 awilli9412@aol.com


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JANUARY 2021

SCUTTLEBUTT

Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True

Christmas gift of the year I was on my other line

PUMP IT UNDERGROUND? The Manatee Board of County Commissioners voted to declare the former Piney Point phosphate processing plant at Tampa as their most important legislative priority in. The move stresses the urgency of safe disposal of the process water in the ponds. The ponds are in danger of overflowing due to heavy rainfall and a slow treatment process. When the ponds overflow the material can reach Tampa Bay. “Weʼve been trying to solve it for 20 years and nothing has happened,” said representative Will Robinson, who spoke in support of clearing the water, instead of permitting a deepwater injection well. Deepwater wells run the risk of contaminating underwater springs that empty into the Gulf. Process water is a byproduct of phosphate mining that contains certain chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. There are 750 million gallons of process water on the site. The facility is using spray evaporation to clear water from the ponds, but that process has been nullified by heavy rainfall this year. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has suggested a short-term solution that would allow Piney Point to send 50,000 gallons of partially treated water per day through the countyʼs wastewater system.

AW SHUKS At its December meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved changes to help with restoration and recovery of oysters in the Apalachicola Bay system. These changes include the temporary suspension of all wild oyster harvest and the prohibition of on-the-water possession of wild oyster harvesting equipment (tongs) in Apalachicola Bay through Dec. 31, 2025. The FWC will continue to monitor recovery of oysters and can re-evaluate whether limited harvest opportunities may be available earlier than anticipated. The FWC received a $20 million commitment from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundationʼs Gulf Environmental Benefits Fund to conduct large-scale restoration of oyster habitat in the Bay, including cultching (the spreading of old shells to restore oyster habitat) on 1,000 acres of oyster reef.

A BREAKOUT OF BARGES A construction barge that broke away from its mooring and went aground in Gulf Breeze, Florida appears to have been intentionally cut free by a malicious individual. In an earlier breakaway incident, which occurred when Hurricane Sally made landfall in nearby Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16, 27 barges broke free from a staging area and drifted away. Many went aground on private shoreline, one struck Naval Air Station Pensacola's main gate bridge, one went through an oyster farm, and four lodged underneath the new eastbound span of the Pensacola Bay Bridge. The damage has closed that bridge section until March. Some lines may have been cut. NOT DOING HARD TIME U.S. Customs and Canadian Border Protection officers re-

Filamentous algae piled up on the shore in front of Bayshore Pier last month. The algae continues to spread, choking out sea grasses and other vegetation. This is a relatively new problem over the last few years, apparently growing worse after the post Hurricane Irma environmental meltdown and massive fish kill.

BEEN FIRED Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a distress call at about 1845 hours Monday from the commercial fishing boat Alexandria Pearl, which reported that it was

on fire and in need of assistance at a position just south of Fort Morgan. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people.

Looks like this is off Captiva or Sanibel

port a surge in counterfeit Viagra pills. A recent seizures had an estimated retail value of more than $1 million. In an unrelated or maybe a related story, births are up significantly since the pandemic began.

FROZEN The Russian vessel Sparta III has gotten stuck in the ice in the Arctic waters of Yenisey Gulf, an inlet on the Kara Sea. The vessel became caught in the ice on December 13. She ran low on food and water as the crew attempted to break out but the crew's effort to free the vessel has not shown signs of success. With the Siberian winter setting in, the operator, Oboronlogistics, has called for heavy icebreaker assistance. According to the Russian Government; "In the coming days, a nuclear icebreaker will be dispatched to escort the vessel to a safe area for navigation.”

Twin 300s on a local Pontoon Boat

A NOAA Fisheries research team recently discovered Duobrachium sparksae, a new species of ctenophore, or comb jellyfish. The discovery was made during an underwater expedition led by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.


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2020 Stories that needed more coverage JANUARY 2021

On the Line Opinion By Capt. Ron Blago Water LIFE Senior Staff 2020 has been a rough year for a lot of people and I’m sure most of us are glad to see it gone. Let us all hope 2021 will bring us a little more peace-on-earth and good-will-to-men. At the end of each year I go through my notes looking for ten stories that I thought didn’t get enough coverage from the main street media. Here they are: 10) Mote Marine broke ground in September for their new Science - Education-Aquarium-Research Center, but the big news of coming and going in 2020 was the huge fire that burned Fishin’ Franks in Port Charlotte. The store, run by two generations of the Hommema family, was destroyed after a drunk driver crashed onto the roof and his truck caught fire. 9) Boat Ramp vs. Park There seems to be a difference of opinion as to the purpose of a public boat ramp. One school of thought thinks that boat ramps are nothing more than parking lots for vehicles and trailers. The other camp feels that boat ramps are public parks and should be paved and landscaped and maintained to be aesthetically pleasing. The real difference is how much are you willing to spend to achieve your goal. That brings up the next topic:

8) Boat Ramp Improvement Spending. - Ainger Creek Boat Ramp is scheduled to have a $1,476,000 makeover in 2021. What tax payers get for that money is undetermined. Let's hope we at least get a real restroom. I have it from a reliable source that we may get as many as seven new parking spaces. The Placida Boat Ramp is also scheduled for some improvements. Indoor restrooms are on the list along with 75 additional shelled parking spaces also a new kayak launch area. All this for a mere $ 6,900,000. The work should be done in 2022. 7) The 2020 Waterfest Powerboat Races at Englewood were cancelled due to covid. In 2018 the race brought in $296,131 in revenue and had expenses of $294,069.00. That doesn’t leave much left over to help the event grow. This brought up the question: Can the races survive on their own without tax payers money.

6) Invasive Species 2020 started with

a cold snap in our area. On Jan. 20, temperatures dropped to 41 F , a 10 year record low. It was so cold that iguanas were falling out of trees. As interesting as iguanas are, we should remember that they are an invasive species that cause a lot of property damage by digging in yards and under sea walls. South Florida seems to be the home of the invasive species like lionfish, green mussels, Australian Pine, Brazilian Pepper Melaleuca. Now we have a few new ones; the Tegu, another lizard that is much bigger than the iguanas with a bad habit of eating the eggs of our native species. And we have everyone's favorite, the python, which

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that the FWC is cutting back on manatee staff or changing priorities to the next great environmental crises.

2) Red Tide- I thought we could make it through the whole year without any red tide events; but no such luck. There has been a red tide event in 57 out of the last 68 years and it looks like we may have another outbreak on the way. Back in Sept. small patches of red tide were found offshore west of Ft. Myers. Since then the red tide has moved inshore in Collier County which reports high levels moving north to Lee County which reports low levels. Charlotte County reports no red tide as of yet. The media has already started the red tide hysteria with reports of dead fish on the beach and people coughing and eye irritation. Last year there was a symposium of researchers and scientist involved in red FISH PIX! tide; they pubDonna lished a report Willoughby called State of caught this the Science of redfishon NoHarmful Algal vember 6 but it didnʼt make Blooms in it into the Florida. It turns December out they really edition. don’t know Is that the new Harbor Walkway much about red they are on? tide but they are willing to keep looking for the causes of red tide as long as the grant money keeps rolling in.

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has now been found north of Naples.

5) Sun Seeker Resort Looks like Charlotte County has another white elephant on their hands. Just as the memory of the Murdock Village fiasco was beginning to fade, along comes another developer's dream that seems to turn sour, potentially leaving the County holding the bag.

4) Covid - Nothing in 2020 has changed our lives more than the Covid Virus; It has affected us financially, physically and emotionally. I’m sure that future history books will have a whole chapter for 2020 - the year when everything changed. I will leave it to the historians to determine who were the heroes and the villains in this sad affair, but in the meantime we all have to make the best of a bad situation.

3) Manatees- It’s been a pretty good year for manatees, as of December 11 there were 562 manatee mortalities which is lower than the 2019 total of 606. Once again the largest number of manatee deaths were listed as Undetermined. Watercraft related mortalities were also low with 88 in 2020 below the 2019 number of 136. Red Tide accounted for 9 manatee deaths in 2020 below the 2019 number of 91 and way below the 2018 number of 177. The FWC has included a new category in their list of manatee mortalities Manatees Not Necropsied with 182 listed for 2020. To me this means

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Above and Below: Brothers Corey and Kyle Zumstein fishing the Marco Bridge

1) Closed Season - Back in 2018 we had a large red tide outbreak and a lot of fish died so the FWC decided to close fishing for snook, redfish and trout until further notice. I understood the situation and had no problem not targeting these species until the scientist could get a handle on the health of these species even though these were the most popular species targeted by inshore fishermen.

Then the FWC extended the closed season for all of 2020 but only for Southwest Florida. I started to feel like we were being scammed; you could still go to Sabastian or Juniper Inlets and catch snook, or the Indian River to catch redfish or go to Northwest Florida and catch trout, but not Southwest Florida. Then the FWC went too far and extended the closure until the end of May 2021. This is just unfair to the thousands of recreational fishermen in our area. I propose the FWC pass an emergency measure that I call The Right to Take One Fish for Dinner. Every fisherman will have the right to catch and keep one fish per day of their choice of snook, redfish or trout. If the FWC doesn’t remove the closed season by June 2021, then it’s time to take to the streets in protest. Remember that “Fisherman’s Lives Matter” especially if he’s hungry for a snook diner. Captronb@juno.com

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Mathew Volt


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Derelict Fishing Gear Removed from Areaʼs Artificial Reefs

By Mindy Brown Special to Water LIFE from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves Using a National grant, the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves (CHAP) and several partners removed more than 2 tons of marine debris from the area’s artificial reefs, including Old Tire Reef, Charlotte’s Reef, Cape Haze Reef and Danger Reef. Cleaning up the reefs benefits surrounding communities and the environment. The Fishing-for-Energy grant was awarded to CHAP by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program and others. The NFWF grant focuses on removing derelict fishing gear from more than 177,000 acres of submerged lands and waters, and includes five aquatic preserves (AP) in southwest Florida, from Englewood to Pine Island. CHAP is made up of Lemon Bay, Cape Haze, Gasparilla Sound-Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass aquatic preserves. The Aquatic Preserve Act of 1975 serves to protect Florida’s living waters to ensure they will always be home for bird rookeries and fish nurseries, freshwater springs and salt marshes, and seagrass meadows and mangrove forests. Today, Florida has 42 aquatic preserves, including 38 saltwater along the coastline, and four inland, freshwater APs. CHAP’s artificial reefs – built at various times starting in the 1970s – are manmade structures placed in state waters to serve as additional habitat and to attract fish. There are four main reefs within CHAP’s boundaries:Old Tire Reef, Charlotte’s Reef,Cape Haze Reef and Danger Reef. They are made up of concrete materials (culverts, modules), along with old bridge beams and reef balls. Danger Reef is a 40-foot tug boat on its side. The artificial reefs are all placed in relatively shallow water – 10 to 15 feet deep – and marked with pilings or buoys, making them accessible to recreational fishers. Over the past few years, CHAP staff and dive volunteers have found nets, fishing line, anchors and other debris on the artificial reefs. They have seen stone crabs with monofilament fishing line wrapped around their bodies and claws; fortunately, staff were able to untangle them. So far, CHAP has recorded 412 hours for volunteer divers for pre- and post-removal monitoring efforts. Divers will check the reefs in April 2021 to assess further removal needs and prevention efforts.

Grant Partners Assisted CHAP with the Project included the Lee County Volunteer Scientific Research Dive Team assessed the reef structure and debris before and after removal efforts. Charlotte County

JANUARY 2021

and West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND) assisted with diver assessments by providing boat transportation and acting as boat captains. SCUBA Quest Dive Shop provided dive gear. Contracted divers – Florida Marine Works and Fantasea Watersports – conducted debris removal work. They catalogued debris items by type and weight at each reef, so CHAP can work on future prevention efforts. DEP removed 257 anchors, 32 fishing poles, over 2,000 feet of rope, hundreds of feet of fishing line and numerous hooks, lures and tackle, and about 30 nets that totaled 1,185 pounds. DEP and its partners also removed cans and bottles, boat bumpers, sheet metal and clothing items. In all, 4,262 pounds of debris was removed from the CHAP artificial reefs. While marine debris is a global issue, your everyday actions can improve the

waters for wildlife that make their home in CHAP’s aquatic preserves if you follow these suggestions:  Carry out what you carry in. Keep the waters clean.  Avoid fishing and throwing cast nests near wildlife.  Retrieve all line. If you have extra line, recycle it using the white tube receptacles often found near fishing piers, boat ramps and other water-access points.  While fishing on artificial reefs, avoid dropping your anchor or casting nets on the reefs – they could entangle wildlife. Instead, anchor to the side in the sand and cast in, use a trolling motor or drift over the reef to fish.  Even if you don’t fish or boat, pick up trash when you’re at the beach, a park or even around your neighborhood. Everything left on the ground eventually makes its way to our waterways.  Reduce your use of plastics.

Additional Resources Boating guide for Charlotte Harbor: https://ocean.floridamarine.org/boating_guides /Charlotte_Harbor/pages/about_this_guide.ht ml Wildlife Entanglement Prevention: https://myfwc.com/conservation/special-initiatives/cwci/entanglement/ Project information: https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/removal/removal-derelict-fishing-gear-artificial-reefscharlotte-harbor-aquatic-preserves NFWF Project Outreach Video: https://youtu.be/npQjykFc7Y8


JANUARY 2021

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The BIG-4

SHEEPSHEAD Showing up good coming from the Gulf

BackBay Xtremes Capt Dave Stephens www.backbayxtremes.com

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January

REDFISH A lot of redfish around, many are decent

TROUT on the bars and in the potholes

January – Predictions and Suggestions

Gag grouper went out of season the first Charlotte Harbor, Lemon Bay, of the year which is a bummer with the Placida, Gasparilla Sound amount of gags around right now! PorCapt. Kaelin Olayer gies and lane snapper have been fired up Flyin’ Hawaiian Fishing Charters as well. Grunts and sheepshead have We have had cold front after cold been starting to show up on the nearshore front and our water temperatures have wrecks and ledges. Some big amberdropped significantly in the last couple jacks and cobia are still lingering around weeks. Now we should begin to see a the wrecks, mixed in with some sharks. good push of sheepshead and flounder Shrimp, pinfish and cut sardines have in the bay. Docks, piers, and bridges been the should be hot ticket offspots in the shore. colder water. Be sure Mangrove snapto support per, black drum your local and the occatackle shops sional pompano for all your are a to-be-exlive bait and pected bycatch tackle needs! while targeting Check out sheepshead. Stump Pass Our best Marina and back county fishEnglewood ing has been Bait House if great on the you’re fishing lower tides. out of EngleTrout fishing has wood or been phenomenal Placida. If Matt Odea with 26-inch, 4-pound in the potholes FISH PIX! you’re in the Spainish on the Mirrodine, and bars around near Jug Creek Shoal. Port Charlotte Charlotte Harbor. or Punta Shrimp and a Gorda areas, there is Rio Villa Bait and popping cork or shrimp on a jig head will Tackle and Downtown Bait and Tackle be the ticket for trout in the cooler water. and Capt Ted’s. In Northport it’s Fine Redfish and the occasional snook will Bait and Tackle and in Matlacha D&D surprise you while trout fishing this time Bait & Tackle. Crazy Lures, Snook of year. Redfish have been quite prevaHut, Big Boys, and Robs Bait and lent this winter as well. Oyster bars, potTackle all in Cape Coral. They need your holes on low tides... and grass flats on the business! medium tides, have been their stomping Capt. Kaelin Olayer grounds. Flyinʼ Hawaiian Fishing Charters Captkaefishing.com Cell: 941-716-1425 Offshore fishing has been great FH Offshore Charters still, with some of the best mangrove Fhoffshorecharters.com snapper fishing I have seen in years!

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The water is cold. Nearshore water temps are now high 60s slow down your retrieve!

95˚ 90˚ 85˚ 80˚

75˚ 72˚ 70˚ 68˚

from Water LIFE magazine

Englewood Bait House

Head-Boat Offshore Fishing 941- 475-4511

50˚ 45˚

FISHING RIGHT NOW:

GOOD!


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WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

JANUARY 2021

Profile for Water LIFE magazine

Water LIFE January 2021  

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

Water LIFE January 2021  

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

Profile for waterlife