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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

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July 2021

Period 1 Results page 10-13

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My first redfish Gina Underwood

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Hank Belligan, 4-1/2 yearold Nokomis Florida, Big Spanish mackerel

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JoAnne with a trout, fishing with Capt. Ron

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Rick Francois with two mangrove snapper The bite is on!

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Sunseeker

They are up three or four floors... not even halfway to the planned 9 floors, and there is re-bar (reinforcing steel) sticking out everywhere. Rebar in the salt air rusts rapidly. I have pointed this out before, but now, with the condo that collapsed in Miami last month, allegedly because of rusted rebar, I think Charlotte County might want to consider hiring qualified inspectors to do their own inspections of Sunseeker and to assess the condition of the now rusting rebar before the project resumes. t this at this point in time, it is not prudent to let Sunseeker continue to do their own inspections... which is what has been happening. There have been no County inspections at Sunseeker ... ever!

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

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Independant - Not affiliated with any other publication! Vol XX No. 7 © 2021

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

Contributors:

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

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No Place for Fish to Hide

umn. For instance, pilchards will school closer to the bottom in deep water, and herring will be mid-level. By Capt. David Stephens As electronics evolve, fishermen have Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor to evolve also. I know it can be tough getWell, we have made it ting used to using into our summer months new equipment, but and as our water temperait can also be excittures rise, locating fish in ing and the better I deep water can be a must, get and learn things, to ensure you have a sucthe more excited I cessful day – especially if get. One day fish your looking for tarpon or won’t ever be able bait. to win the big game Over the past few years of hide-and- goour electronics have beseek. come a very valuable Now here’s asset. When I first started what’s going on guiding, things were very with our fishery. simple. I ran a Hewes flats I am blown away boat that was a bare simple about how much fry boat. My tools where simbait is in the Harbor. ple as well. I had a pushThis is a great sign pole and the ambition to that we had a sucshow my clients fish. It Tarpon on the side-scan, above, cessful spawn and was a time when polarized and baitfish on the fish finder, below I’m hoping that if sunglasses were the talk of our baitfish had the the fishing community. great spawn that Over the years we have our game fish did. seen our fishing evolve Over all, the into something that no fishHarbor seems very erman would have ever healthy and the rain imagined. Fish finders we have been gethave morphed into very soting now should phisticated pieces of equiphelp equal some of ment. our brackish areas since the salt content in We now have the ability to scan for fish the north end of the harbor, including our or structure from the side - this is known river mouth, is higher than normal. as side imaging. We can change our viewThe downfall of this could be if the ing options to show detail that would have snook felt comfortable enough to spawn in never been thought of just a few years areas where they didn’t spawn in previous ago. Today the detail is so good I can tell years. Multiple inches of rain will wash if what I’m seeing on my screen is a out what was once a high salt level area. school of tarpon, or a school of jacks. Hopefully our snook population has had When it comes to locating bait, different bait likes to hang in different parts of the water col-

their big spawn cycles and the eggs have taken and hatched. The great thing would be that the small fry can stay where they are and don’t have to make a migration to a brackish environment. It all comes down to Mother Nature and she seems to always come out on top. If you would like to experience some of Charlotte Harbor’s finest fishing, call or send me an email. All of our charters are private and customized to fit your needs.

Capt. Dave Stephens 941-916-5769 www.backbayxtremes.com

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My first jack and my first tarpon. Small, but still a nice fight. Caught in a pond in Lazy River Village. Jerry White

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Austin Rattai and Ryan Larson double snook hook up


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Everglades and 10,000 Islands:

By Capt. Charlie Phillips Water LIFE 10,000 Islands June has been a good month down here in the Everglades and 10,000 Islands. We are ending a darn busy season and we are blessed to say that. Our industry, like so many others, has been challenged the past several years. I was looking back through my records to see the last time we had a full year of trips uninterrupted and it was 2016. Who knows what 2021 will hold? Hurricane season is just getting started, but the spring season is the important portion and we got that out of the way... so bring it on. This is not a business for the weak and so

Jerry Hill with a permit

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Steady Fishing Inshore and Off

we face our future with eagerness and hope!! Fishing has been steady, though the wind has been a challenge that has made it somewhat unusual. Normally, June would be the start of the rainy season and find us really enjoying the offshore fishing and calm days, but we stayed in most days due to bumpy conditions, but that was ok, as the bite was good inshore as well. So far I have run more half-day trips than normal this year as I fished people visiting for the first time and with the areas I fish, the inshore fishing makes this work well. So all in all, the cards lined up exactly where they needed to. Speckled trout fishing around the islands to the south, like Pavil-

Greg with a gag

JULY 2021

ion Key, on the high tides with good flow, using popping corks with live shrimp or soft plastics on jigs... has done well. Also, a shrimp tipped jig, or a suspending hard bait has done a great job of finding bigger fish, though the quantity does go down. Both methods in Jacarandas in bloom at the boatramp at Everglades City the same area will also locate jacks, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and big ones are still in the mix too. As you approach your wrecks or rock more. It has also not been unusual for a piles, it is a good idea to stop a half mile guest to hook (though briefly) a tarpon on off and idle in slowly. Really look at the a popping cork and soft plastic as we drift area you are going to fish, to try and spot for trout on a calm morning. A 100-pound a cobia or permit schooling around on the tarpon on a 2500 series spinning reel is surface, if the water is calm. done quick, but wakes a person up for For the cobia, try a large live bait like a sure! blue runner or a soft plastic or big jig. For Moving offshore caught several triplethe permit, a live crab on a 2/0 circle is tail as they are still around and floating my go-to, but a live shrimp will also here and there so keep an eye out. Some work. If there is a school of them, it works to your advantage as they will have to eat quick vs being picky, like a single fish will be. Be very aware of the sharks out there. They are heavy at times. Y’all enjoy and be safe.

Dale with a jack

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


Secret Phone Logs JULY 2021

By Michael Heller Water LIFE editor Last month the Charlotte County Commissioners penned a letter to Mosaic phosphate mining company asking: When is the water being tested? What about the chain of custody of the water sampling? Is it fool proof? Is it being protected? Do we know for sure that Mosaic is testing it properly and honestly? But while that letter was a positive step, in reality only the DeSoto County Commissioners can stop the expansion of Mosaic’s mining plan. Mosaic doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what Charlotte wants or writes in a letter. Mosaic has already bought the land at Horse Creek. Mosaic’s plan is set and the only thing that is stopping them is the DeSoto County Commission’s approval for a zoning change from agricultural to mining and they will do that in two years. In 2006 Charlotte County tried resisting phosphate mining but the company AGRO (same people, different name) won and Charlotte County walked. You would think DeSoto County and the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply folks would be concerned about their water. Both get over 80-percent of their municipal drinking water from the Peace River. Phosphate mining is a terribly wasteful

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process. The mining itself uses five times the volume of ore to produce one-volume of fertilizer. The wasted 5 volumes of mining tailings are low level radioactive so they are just piled up in large ‘stacks’ or small mountains. There is a huge volume of acid involved in mining phosphate. Three months ago we saw one of the ‘stacks’ at Piney Point outside of Tampa, break and poison Tampa Bay. That area is still exhibiting a heavy level of cyano bacteria and red tide from the spill. But that’s not the bad news. The bad news is actually much worse. Mosaic, the mining company is ruthless. They have bought their way into local and state politics and have huge influence with the local media. Years ago, MOSAIC influenced the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to allow them to release some of their pollution into the Peace River. Then this year they requested and were granted additional releases. They are allowed to do this every day, 24/7/365. Most of the time it’s just a small amount - I’m not saying that any amount of spent mining tailing and acid are acceptable in our drinking watershed, none is acceptable, and we must fight for that zero pollution tolerance. But it’s not just a small amount all the time. Sometimes there are (allegedly) un-

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We made this photo of Horse Creek at highway 70 last month. This is a wet area that drains into the Peace River. It is where MOSAIC plans to expand phosphate mining next. Phosphate mining in Florida must change and Horse Creek is where citizens must draw the line.

intended releases... much bigger releases. Actually I shouldn’t say sometimes, I should say often times. What I am going to tell you now has been corroborated by workers at both the Charlotte and the Manasota Regional water plants. When Mosaic has a larger than allowable release of its pollutants into the Peace River, someone from Mosaic calls the Regional or the Charlotte water plant and tells them to stop taking water from the River until the pollution passes down-

stream. This doesn’t just happen some times it happens many times and it has been happening for many years. That’s exactly why Charlotte built a huge Alternative Supply reservoir across from the water plant on Hwy 17, not for dry spells, but in case they have to stop using the River altogether, because of pollution. I have been told there are written records and logs of these calls and times. It’s time for a lawsuit in federal court, with depositions... and disclosure.


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Estero Bay: Stress Free at Night EMAIL:

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A 33-inch Jack in Charlotte Harbor broke my Shimano into 4 pieces and I had to pull him in by hand! -Kerri Duffey

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By Capt. Joe Angius Water LIFE Estero Summertime fishing can really test anglers in their ability to focus and be patient. There’s nothing more discouraging than a slow morning bite forcing you to wait quietly in the direct sun. So being prepared for the elements is crucial during the summer months because of how unpredictable they can be. Heat is one of the more obvious elements that anglers will face throughout July, but afternoon thunderstorms, wind, and waves can also be hit or miss. And even in these extreme fishing conditions, producing a bite will be determined by an angler’s persistence. Some of the species that will test these limits this month are tarpon, permit, snook, redfish, and trout. The early morning and late evening bite can be the most productive and this is most likely due to the water temperature fluctuating, but can also be a result of the light source changing. A lot of anglers think that the middle of the afternoon won’t produce quality fish or any fish for that matter. This is simply not true. Believe it or not, the fish are extremely active during certain periods of the day and as long as the tide is moving in your favor at the right location, the fish will be feeding heavy. One of my all time favorite times to fish during the summer months is at night. Night fishing is a great way to

get out of the sun and fish with a new perspective. Dock lights, passes or bridges, and even the mangroves, give anglers the opportunity to hook into some large fish. Shark, tarpon, goliath grouper, and cobia are only a few of the fish one could catch at night. Not only are you “beating the heat” while night fishing, but you’re beating all of the boat traffic too and you’re not competing with other people for fishing spots. Less people on the water at night also makes night fishing so peaceful and less stressful and that translates to a lot less stress on the fish at night, as well. If you plan on fishing during the day, like most anglers do, be well prepared for your time out on the water. One of the first things I do when guests come on board with me is I hand them a

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Jen Perkins and Mike Perkins caught really nice red snappers offshore Venice Marina. it just donʼt get any better than that from Water LIFE magazine

JULY 2021

cold bottle of water. I’ll tell them they can do whatever they want with it, but to at least try and take a few sips. Getting hydrated early is important especially when coffee or energy drinks are our go-to beverage in the morning. Remember to know your limits, as well as your guest’s while fishing out in the Florida sun.

Captain Joe Angius 727-234-3171 speakeasyfishing@gmail.com speakeasyfishing.com


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Sizzlinʼ Summer

By Capt. Alan Williams Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor We've made it into summer. Summer is always a good slap of a reality check. One hundred-percent humdity, daily afternoon storms, thunder, lightning, mosquitos and a keep an eye out for tropical storm / hurricane development on the nightly news..... and we're just getting started. Last month I touched on the subject of a handbook for new residents. I got some positive feedback that it was actually a good idea, so I'm going to expound a little. Here is a sampling of what I think people should know. #1 At the top of the list is DO NOT fertilize your lawns. There are finally bans in place that make it illegal to put fertilizer and herbicides on your lawns during the summer rainy season. As a new resident to Florida your prime concern should be protecting our waters. #2 Be courteous on and off the water, especially on the water. Learn how to properly run a boat in a safe manner. You are responsible for your wake whether you’re in a speed zone or not. A prime example is the I-75 bridge on the Peace River. There are more people on the river than ever before. I've had a few close calls from excessive boat wakes. Slowing down, more times than not, increases your wake by at least double. Thanks

for the sentiment but it's still your wake! Look behind you. #3 Learn to understand summer weather patterns. It's usually nice and calm in the morning with storms building and blowing up in the afternoon. Radar, tide, wind and lightning apps will help keep you informed, but no app can make up for common sense and a good eye. #4 Hurricane season scares the beJesus out of most newly arrived people. I personally would rather deal with a hurricane that a tornado showing up in the middle of the night. Hurricanes give you plenty of warning. Learn to prepare. A must-have is a good running generator and some fuel. They should have made that clear at the state line. The main thing to remember is that you hide from the wind, but you run from the water. Heed the warnings, have a plan and be prepared. You'll be fine....hopefully. #5 Bugs and critters. Yea, we have a wide variety them. Mosquitos, no-seeums and vicious fire ants. Throw in some killer

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Sue Bastin off Stump Pass beach, pompano and snook

tofu-toads, pythons, gators, panthers and bears and Welcome to Florida! Just try and remember you moved into their neighborhood. Plant anti mosquito plants and remove standing water. Our hero insects are Dragon Flys, you'll learn to to cheer when you see them show up. They eat mosquitoes. Since this all actually involves fishing, I'll add some actual fishing information: The Harbor is full of bait, lots of glasseye minnows and white bait. Don't let the amount deceive you into thinking that it's a never-ending supply. It may look that way at times, but it's not The goal is not to throw a net and black out the live well. Take just what you think you may need. Our fishery depends on that bait. Tarpon are showing up in good numbers in the rivers, upper Harbor and along the east wall from Matlacha to the 41Bridge. The canals still have good numbers of juveniles. The snapper bite has been really good with their spawning time around the full moon. Some 12- to 15-

inch snapper are showing up. The trout season opened up on June 1 with some stricter rules. We were catching good size trout before the season opened. We were catching them on everything .... even on bare hooks, with a 1/8th ounce weight, fished fast, over the grass. It’s a good day, when that happens! The first week of trout being open in three years and they immediately had a local snook and trout tournament which put about 20-30 boats on the flats around Pirate Harbor and it's been tough ever since catching trout. I was shocked there was a trout tournament so close to opening day. I scratch my head on that one. I don't think the trout were catch and release, either, but I could be wrong. Get out and enjoy our waters, but please use some common sense. This is not the same fishery of 20 years ago, but it’s still very good. Let's all do our part to protect it and it will remain a world class fishery. Take a kid fishing and pass it on when you can. See you on the water!

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Anthony Branchetti from, PA. Caught these snook at Cayo Costa with KJ Johnson


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Barb an Jamie Fickes, triple cobia action with Capt. George. Great morning!

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James Cabrera with his first snook

Kristine Freeman with her first jack, caught in Charlotte Harbor

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Jerry L White, redfish, biggest fish Iʼve caught since moving to Florida

Barb Fickes tarpon with Capt. George

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Bryant from GA with his first ever snook with Capt Fred Gowdy

Mike Bowers with a nice Charlotte Harbor snook

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Robbie Boydston with a nice peacock bass with Capt Fred Gowdy.

MacKenzie from Wisconsin with a 33inch snook on artificial with Capt Fred Gowdy


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Ryan with a nice Jack on live pinfish

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Nice 23-inch red caught at Venice Beach by Dave Smith

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Mike Bowers with a shark and a nice redfish

I caught the teeniest tiniest tarpon ever and thought he was super cute! Jeannie Ann

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Eddie Lainhart with nice red snapper out of Gasparilla Pass

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Sue Turner of Cape Coral reeled in a 27-inch snook @ Captiva Pass. Great magazine!

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Fred Cowen grouper in the Gulf

Felix Torres catching his first fish. Nile Tilapia, Punta Gorda

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Your T-Shirts & WINNINGS:

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Where To Collect Your Stuff!

JULY 2021

Go to Fishinʼ Franks, (4200 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte - closed tues & weds) tell them your name and angler number. There is a big box in the back filled with manila envelopes that are labeled with each anglerʼs Name and Angler Number. They will give you your ʻstuffʼ - Your t-shirt is also in your envelope. Please leave the envelope for next month! Monthly First Place Wnners: We keep a total of your wins. Each fisrt place win is worth a $25 rod credit at Fishin Franks. Gift Cards will be awarded at the end of the tournament. You must answer all the fish quizzes to collect your Rod Credits! Each month, 2nd and 3rd place prizes (lures and spoons) will be left in your envelope at Fishinʼ Franks

Lacy Hamsher

Ryan Larson

Christopher Perry

Dyln Schaefer

FISH QUIZ #1 - ANSWERS

(first quiz now closed)

1) C not always in same place 2) D none of the above 3) A moving water 4) C fly rod for fish on the surface 5) A it gets the fishʼs attention Extra Credit) B 10- to 15-pound braided line

Alyx Schaefer

Cole Hancock

Gabe Rogers


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period 1 Winners John Bunkley

Ladyfish

#427 Trey Setser. 21-inches

Spanish Mackerel

#403 Christopher Perry. 25.25-inches 2nd #406 Alyx Schaefer. 15.5-inches

Lane Snapper

#411. Emma Koebel. 8-inches

Maya Haag

Lucas Bixby

Bass

#408. Jacob Floria. 19.5-inches 2nd #418 Ty Baker. 17-inches 3rd. #427 Trey Setser. 16.25-inches

Spadefish

#406 Alyx Schafer. 12.75-inches 2nd. #428. Jake DʼOrazio 8.75-inches

Mangrove Snapper

#412. Ben Koebel. 20-inches 2nd #402. Ryan Larson. 11.25-inches

Anthony Rice

Hunter Cotte

Sailcat

#423. Chase Hathaway. 23.75-inches

Redfish.

# 425 AnabellCampbell. 30.5-inches 2nd #425 AnabellCampbell 28-inches 3rd. #443 Zender Larson. 27-inches

Tilapia

#409 Juliana Floria 18-inches 2nd #411 Emma Koebel. 13-inches

Jacob Florea


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JULY 2021

$1 Bill Challenge period 1 Winners

Ben Koebel Juliana Florea

Emma Koebel

Camryn Nummerdor Justin Medina

Blaine Wilson

Jaxson Varney

Morgan Davis

Annabelle Campbell

Addison Baker

Key West Grunt

#409 Juliana Floria. 9.75

Pompano

#405. Dylan Schaefer 16.5

Ty Baker Taylor Baker

Jaydon Davis

Sunfish

#408 Jacob Florea. 10

Pinfish

#432. Chase Hathaway. 8.5 2nd #437. Lucas Bixby. 7.25

Leonardo DʼOrazio

Luke DʼOrazio

Gabriel Setser

Reef Iman

Myan Cichlid

#438. Anthony Rice. 12.5 2nd. #426. Gabriel Setser. 8.5

Red Grouper

#412. Ben Koebel. 12

Trey Setser


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$1 Bill Challenge

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period 1 Winners Jake DʼOrazio

Matthew Dixon

Molly Vermeulen

Snook

#422. Reef Inman 26 2nd. #426 Gabriel Setser. 23 3rd. #413. Justin Medina. 22

Mitchell Vermeulen

Black Drum

#405 Dylan Schafer. 43.5

Chase Hathaway

Zander Larson

Sawyer Bowser

Trout

#413. Justin Medina. 16.5

Jack Buczynski

Theodore Winter

Barracuda

#403. Christopher Perry. 50

Zachery Morgani

Gar

#442 Reef Inman. 29 2nd. #440Hunter Cotte. 20

LATE ENTRIES: Isaac Garcia Isabella Garcia Nickalus Luciano Laken Pendelton

Daniel Acosta

Kendall Mann

Julius Acosta

Drew Buczynski

Jack Stacey


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A few of many sharks caught in June with Capt. John Brossard and Shark Chaser Charters. Shark action is expected to remain good through this month.

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FWC Playing Politics On the Line By Capt. Ron Blago Water LIFE Senior Staff It’s been a tough year for those of us that like to be on the water and enjoy Mother Nature. First comes the massive manatee die off on the East Coast especially Brevard County. So far 309 dead manatees have been reported in that county in just the first half of the year. Then there is the ever-present Red Tide; if you go by the local TV and newspaper reports, you would think we were in the middle of a vast red tide epidemic. As a guy who reads the FWC’s daily red tide sampling reports, it seems to me that this year has been a rather mild red tide season, as compared to past outbreaks. After 40 years of living in Florida and studying red tide I have come up with some universal truths that people should remember: 1) Red Tide at small levels is always in our waters 2) Red Tide can not live in freshwater 3) at high concentrations, red tide will kill manatees, fish and anything else that lives in the water. With all the research and millions of dollars in government grants not much more has been learned about red tide.

As a saltwater fishing person in Southwest Florida you may be wondering why you can’t bring a redfish or snook home for dinner when everyone else in the State can. I will now try to answer that question. In late 2017 through 2019 we had a major red tide outbreak. During those three years, the FWC reported 447 manatee deaths due to red tide, so far in 2021 they report only 18. There were also reports of fish kills throughout the State; SW Florida got a lot of bad publicity. In an effort to appease the public’s demand that something be FISH PIX! done, the commissioners of the FWC issued an executive order to close down fishing for snook, redfish and trout from early 2019 until May 31, 2021. Most fishermen being conservationists and environmentalists went along with the closed season under the assumption that these fish were in trouble, but that may

from Water LIFE magazine

JULY 2021

have been a false assumption. “ There’s not a dramatic decline in these stocks when compared to historic levels “ Gil McRae, Director of the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute said in February of 2020. Most people thought the FWC would remove the closed season May 31, 2021 and we could all go back to

Cooperʼs first snook on live bait

fishing as normal; but then came the FWC commissioners meeting on May 12 - 13 of this year. This was not a normal meeting but a virtual meeting where everyone talked to each other over their computers. The subject of the executive order came up on the second day during

the afternoon session; pretty close to the end of the meeting when everyone was tired and wanted to call it a day. The FWC staff, who are the scientists and experts in the field, showed their presentation to the Commissioners. They wrote: “FWC’s monitoring data indicate snook abundance in Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor were minimally affected by the 2017 - 2019 red tide and remain above long term averages. “ As for redfish, they said they had not detected any significant impact on redfish due to red tide. For sea trout, they indicate there was a noticeable decline prior to the 2017 red tide outbreak, but the latest data shows abundance in spotted seatrout. The FWC commissioners pushed aside the scientific data their staff gave them and decided to extend their executive order to keep snook and redfish closed another year in SW Florida. So here is where we stand now. Snook and redfish season closed until May 31, 2022 Trout limited opening now. Slot limit 15 - to 19inches. Bag limit 3 fish per angler. Boat limit is 6 fish total per boat. Each fisherman can have only one fish over 19 inches. Captronb@juno.com


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Captain JD and Will Spurlin

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Dylan Larson - Bass

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Jim Partyka. Bonita Springs. Caught out of Burnt Store Marina on live bait

Janet LoGalbo, Awesome fish!

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Anglers- Big E and Little E with a spotted sea trout on the Caloosahatchee River

FISH PIX!

Cameron Smith, Gulf Baracuda

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

W Wa at te er r

Lauren Zobrist. Two fish on one hook. Boca Pass

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Sisters went shopping brother-in-laws Terry Huffman from Rotonda West and Michael Titmuss from Cape Coral went fishing with Capt. Bob on the Serenity

from Water LIFE magazine


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SCUTTLEBUTT

JULY 2021

Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True

LONESTAR TICS? No lie! There is a new (to me) tic that first feeds on cows and then feeds on humans. Once bitten by this tic, antibodies your body produces make you violently allergic to meat. It takes about a year and a half for this allergy to clear up. No lie! Look it up!

SAYING NO TO PHOSPHATE Charlotte County has gone on record, in a letter opposing any further expansion of MOSAIC phosphate mining operations. The County has now said it wants to review how phosphate mining affects our water and how it conforms to DEP regulations. DeSoto County, however, is still leaving the door open to permitting mining operations at Horse Creek where large settlement ponds for toxic sludge are planned, just 12 miles up the Peace River from Punta Gorda. If DeSoto says yes, it really doesnʼt matter what Charlotte County says. FWC OFFICERS responded to assist the Lee County Sheriffʼs Department with a vessel that had people on board who were supposedly shooting at dolphins. Officers were able to locate the vessel with several people on board and the two agencies worked together to secure the scene. Several firearms were located

campsite containing various dead animal species. The subject confirmed the animals were his and consented to a search through the containers. The subject stated he brought the animals with him and that he sells dead animals on Facebook. Off to jail he went!

A pirateʼs boat ramp, near Mogadishu, Somalia, where trailer parking is not a problem. on board. The subjects were separated and interviewed, but not enough evidence was found to determine if they were shooting at dolphins and the people were released. The information will be passed along to federal officers who will probably do nothing.

OTHER FWC OFFICERS responded to a domestic disturbance in the Long Pine Key Campground in Everglades National Park. Officers observed containers in plain view at the

Catching the Snook

By Bobby Vitalis Water LIFE Pier Fishing One of my most favorite fish to catch is the snook. This snook was caught on the south side of the Venice Jetty, however you cannot keep the snook right now. It is catch and release only. But they are a fun fish to catch. This snook was caught early in the morning hours and was caught from low to high tide. At the Venice Jetty, the majority of the snook I caught in the past is from the month of May up till September. The snook at the Venice Jetty can get up to 40-inches in length. This snook I caught was 34-inches long. At the Venice Jetty, when the water is clear, sometimes you will see the smaller snook swimming around near the top of the water. The snook sometimes are going after the green backs that are swimming at the surface. When fishing at the Venice Jetty, I like using artificial lures. The lure I am using is made by D.O.A lures. The color is Teal Ice, Model number 444 which is a 4-inch jerk bait. With this jerk bait I was using a D.O.A jig head, color white and weight is 3/8 ounce. With the jerk bait, bounce it along the bottom of the water as you’re reeling it in.

CAN YOU EMU? Captive Wildlife Investigator Fernandez responded to a loose emu in a residential area in Dade County. The officer was able to coordinate a multi-agency response and the emu was captured without incident. No one knows where the emu came from.

ALGAE BLOOM IN BIGGEST LAKE There is global concern over the occurrences of harmful algal blooms and their effects on human health. Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, has suffered from an increase of bloom-forming cyano bacteria. So a cross-sectional study was conducted on 432 subjects and water samples for cyano bacteria species identification were collected at the shores. The results revealed that concentrations of cyano bacteria cells are beyond (WHO) acceptable limits. Vomiting and throat irritation was highly reported by lake water users as compared to wells and pipe water. Gastrointestinal illness

Now, for those people who just use bait, a good choice of bait to use to catch snook is live shrimp, live threadfins, live mullet, live pinfish and live green backs.

When putting shrimp on the hook, try hook size 2/0 to 3/0, non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hook. For a fullsize pinfish and threadfins, try hook size 4/0, non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks. For the mullet, if it is small (finger mullet), try hook size 2/0 to 3/0, non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks. The hook size to use for a full-size mullet is 7/0, non-offset, non-stainless steel

Four Panamax Cranes, standing 316 feet high, with a 240-foot outreach booms, arrived at the port of Seattle aboard a heavy lift vessel from Shanghai China where they were built. Each crane can lift 100 tons.

was significantly elevated among lake water users as compared to pipe and well water users. Visible blooms in lake water were associated with skin irritation and vomiting as compared to water without visible blooms. They said concentrations of cyano bacteria blooms poses great risks when water is used without treatment. This study was done 10 years ago and yet we are still studying these same issues.

circle hooks. For the green backs, try hook size 1/0 to 2/0, non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks. When using these baits, you can try using a weight or try free lining, which means no bobber or weight. One way to catch threadfins and pinfish is to use sabiki rigs which are made by Marathon or R and R tackle. Sabiki rigs come in many different hook sizes and colors. Take your pick. Another way to catch pinfish is to use a number-6 small size hook with a cut piece of shrimp no bigger than the size of the hook and with a small weight. To catch the greenbacks and mullet, try using a casting net. A good size casting net to use is from a 3-foot to a 5-foot net. The mesh size for the net to use is from 1/4 to 3/8 inch. But of course you need the bigger net to catch the mullet. When casting your net, look out for rocks in the water. When fishing with artificial lures and bait at the Jetty, for my main line, I am using 50-pound test to 65pound test Power Pro braided line, color moss green. And, for my leader line, I am using 3-feet of 40-pound test, 100-percent fluorocarbon line. Heavy tackle is necessary at the Jetty because the fish can get big. As the days go by through summer more bait fish should show up. So, have a great time fishing!


JULY 2021

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READERʼS PHOTOS Send us ur FISH PIX! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 2

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

PAGE 17

FISH PIX!

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

Mason Izquierdo snook, Cole Wilson snook Cousins Fishing

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ian Kerr snook sunset at El Jobean (above) and Ian snook 40 inches (below)

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Julio and Mason Izquierdo father & son snook Fishing

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ed Stepensky caught this Red from beach on Boca Grande.

Hank Belligan , 4 1/2 year-old Nokomis Florida, large mouth bass

Dale B 40-inch cobia caught in Charlotte Harbor, June 4

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Emerson, Henry and Pop Pop Molly Erin had a great first starting off fishing season time inshore fishing with in Pennsylvania. Capt. Scotty Roe. Including a Great day out great tarpon hookup and this nice snook

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Steve Grone, jr, mangrove snapper at Boca Grande Pass June 18

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ryder Cumberland 7yrs old, with a very fine jack!


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L LI IF FE E

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Nicholas J. with a 6/15 Pond Monster Largemouth hooked on a Berkeley Swimbait Ft. Myers and Nicholas J. With a 6/16 Birthday Bucketmouth Pond Monster, hooked on a frog in Ft. Myers.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Erich Philson caught this speckled trout from a dock in Lemon Bay

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Alyssa Ribas with a nice redfish out of Port Charlotte

Mike from New Jersey with his first ever FL fish... a 4-pound peacock with Capt. Fred Gowdy

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Cobia, caught trolling the sandbars Burnt Store, fisherman Wayne Powell

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Kaden Gregory with his first red 18 1/2 inches

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Mike and Michelle with a couple of nice red grouper caught out of Venice inlet.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Amy Hanneman fishing by the docks in Estero Bay redfish, with Capt. Dan


JULY 2021

Explore!

Fish with one of our Guides

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The BIG-4 TARPON Big Harbor holes and up into the rivers

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 still in the passes

July

REDFISH Many offshore, some by Bull and Turtle

Charlotte Harbor, Lemon Bay, Placida, Gasparilla Sound

SNOOK Big fish at the passes and trestles at night

like to be in +/- 4-feet of water. Not much deeper, so work the bottom. Not hearing a lot of redfish stories Frank @ Fishin’ Franks until you get out to the closer in reefs 4200 Tamiami Trail 941-625-3888 where there have been a lot of redfish. closed tues & weds ... for now This might coincide with the last of There is a phenomenom that hapthe shrimp migration out, which is finpens every year and I don’t know why. ishing up now. July is the beginning of There are bull sharks that come up pee-wee shrimp season. That could be into the mouth of the Peace River, up what the redfish are eating. We will to Harbour Heights. It starts around start seeing bigger numbers of reds the beginning of June evey year when coming back inshore late this month. we get a whole bunch of bull sharks Pee-wee shrimp are the babies of the from 2- to 4shrimp that were feet or even migrating out on 5-feet and the last run. there could In Bull, Turbe dozens or tle, and the Gashundreds of parilla Sound them. The redfishing is commercial fair. guys used to Snook fishcome up here ing is really for sharks in pretty good. early sumThey just mer. A lot of wrapped up a people who biggest overall grew up here fish, photo- tourknow about nament and they this. People were catching who fish the snook in the 40River know to 50-inch and I’m John Ripa after a long range. going to try FISH PIX! drought gets back in the The best fishgame with nice 39-inch and 35 and figure ing for snook is 1/2-inch snook out why this in the middle of happens and the night when you will be waiting for why now? the big ones to move around. Stump It could be a spawn of some other creature, but it’s mostly young smaller Pass, the Placida drawbridge and up in sharks showing up. Just another one of Englewood, guys are soaking great big baits, waiting for a big girl to hit... and those weird things! there are a lot of them out there! There are still some larger bull On the beaches, the smaller males sharks in front of Bull and Turtle Bay are chasing a few females around. in close to 8- to 10-feet of water early Standing there, just watch for a cloud morning but during the day it’s better of snook to go by, these will be 18-to fishing for them in Boca or one of the 24-inch fish. Snook fishing is good. other passes. The mangrove snappers are wrapTarpon are up in the middle holes ping up their spawn in the Harbor. A in the Harbor and at the mouth of the lot of nice mangs have been at Cape Myakka. Mid day they might be at Haze, Boca and in the passes, but the Cape Haze on the way out to the ones that come out of the rivers and beaches. They like to cut the corner canals are the big 14-to 16-inch fish. there. Boats going from the Hill to the The bass have been 2to 4-pounds. Pass have been following the fish. Lot of tarpon from Venice to Estero on the With the drizzly rain and clouds, the freshwater canals have had more topbeaches. Tarpon are moving around. water action, but it has to be light rain. Trout fishing is OK, it’s not the greatest time for numbers but there are You want a lure like a popper or something with big blades that makes noise more bigger ones now. Bigger trout since you are competing with the rain.

PAGE 19

There has been more rain. The water nearshore is in the low to mid 80s salinity is changing

95˚ 90˚ 85˚ 80˚

75˚ 72˚ 70˚ 68˚

from Water LIFE magazine

50˚ 45˚

FISHING RIGHT NOW:

PRETTY GOOD!


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JULY 2021

Profile for Water LIFE magazine

Water LIFE July 2021  

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

Water LIFE July 2021  

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

Profile for waterlife

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