Page 1

Water

LI FE

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

KIDSʼ FISHING

$1Bill Challenge

The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association

September 2021

Period 3 Results pages 10-13

Lucas Bixby, Angler #437, with the $1 Bill Challenge period-3 winning, 7-inch pinfish

Txt Us Ur FishPix! weʼll use ʻem! see page 4

FISH PIX! Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Randy K with a Gasparilla Sound monster Red caught on light tackle and a Z-Man swim bait.

Denes Husty IV, 41, mahi mahi, caught in August in Key Largo

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Debbie Mason catch and release snook off her dock in Burnt Store Isle

www.waterlifemagazine.com

FREE!


PAGE

2

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

SEPTEMBER 2021


SEPTEMBER 2021

9/11

FREE ONLINE

By Michael Heller Water LIFE editor Recent events in the middle east and the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have me reflecting on this encounter. I am a photographer, commercial pilot and flight instructor. In the early 70s I was living in Boca Raton and flying out of the Boca Raton airport. Back then, for student pilots to log their cross country flying proficiency, flight instructors at Boca would often have them fly across the state to the Gulf. Usually the route would be to Pahokee, a quiet farm strip on the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee and then on to Sanibel where there used to be a dirt strip across from the beach or to Venice, a small little airport with wide, mile long runways. For student pilots it was an adventure, a flight across the open Everglades and endless orange groves. Back then I had a Mooney, a high performance single engine airplane, and on my days off sometimes I’d fly to Sanibel to look for shells or over to Venice where I would park my plane at the west end of the airport and walk to the beach to look for shark’s teeth. But by 2000 I had sold my airplane, bought a boat and moved to Port Charlotte. I was still doing a few aerial photographs, so I was renting a plane from the local fight school at Punta Gorda. For shooting aerials, I like the slow flying, two-seat Cessna model 150 airplane, but they only had one old 150 at the place I was renting from... and that plane beercan-rattled and shook when it flew, so I was looking for another plane to rent. One day in the summer of 2000 my wife and I took a car ride to the old familiar airport at Venice to look for a plane to rent. My wife had never been to Sharky’s so we thought we’d also get lunch. Hank, a flight instructor friend had worked at Venice in 1974, before he moved his trailer to the edge of the airport ramp at Boca and hung out his flight instructor shingle there. He had introduced me to Venice, so I knew something about the airport. I knew there were a few flight school buildings on the northwest side of the airport, so we headed over there. Not much had changed. A couple of Cessna 150s sat on the ramp near the main building, so I parked my truck. I liked the Cessna 150 for taking pictures because with a pair of needle nose pliers I could pull one cotter pin on the window support and, in the slipstream of flight, the window would float up against the overhead wing and stay there; this provided a large opening for photography. I got out of my truck, my wife Ellen waited with the dog. There was a flight school sign and an outside staircase going up the side of the building. I walked up and let myself in the door. The room was dark, the windows to the right were draped by curtains. There was a blueish glow from what must have been a video screen at the back of the room to my right, but I couldn’t see it.

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

There was a counter to the right that guided you into the room. The air was heavy, it was Florida in summer, it was stuffy inside. Three men stood in front of me. They must have seen us pulling into the parking lot. They stood side by side. The man in the center was short with a skraggley beard and dark baggy pants. When I asked about renting one of the planes tied down outside, the man standing to my left, a waxy skinned fellow with a yellow complexion, answered. There was an accent in his reply – another one of the many foreign student-pilots in Florida at the time. I didn’t think anything about it.

PAGE 3

angle; several of the attackers had links to Sarasota and there was talk about a connection to the mosque in Port Charlotte, but no proof. I read that one of the hijackers lived in Northport and that they had taken their flight training at a local airport.... Venice. .... I knew immediately. Chills ran across my neck as I read the words on the screen. I just got those chills again, now, as I write this. Mohamed Atta, was the leader of the 9/11 terrorist group. He was the 9/11 terrorist connection to Al Quaida and Osama bin Laden. Mohamed Atta was the waxen skinned man I spoke with at the flight school in Venice. He flew the first plane into the World Trade Center’s north tower. In researching this story I found he also lived in Punta Gorda for a short while and was last seen in Punta Gorda two months before the 9/11 attacks. Marwan al-Shehhi was the short guy in baggy pants. He flew the second plane into the WTC. And the little guy to my right, that day, had to be Ziad Jarrah, the terrorist who flew the plane that passengers forced down in a field in Shanksville Pennsylvania. Jarrah was enrolled at the Florida Flight Training Center, the school I walked into, the other two were enrolled at another flight school on the airfield. The day I showed up, all three were doing something John Eppers, Operations Manager at the Venice Airport, stands in the spot where I encountered Mohamed Atta and two other 9/11 terrorists. together. Clearly, other people here in southwest Florida at the time had crossed paths with I tried to make these killers, but because of their reaction to some pilot-small-talk me when I walked in on them, I have alabout my flying to ways wondered what I walked in on. Venice from Boca, What was on that video screen? Why back in the day, but did all three of them come over to block me they weren’t talkative. from coming any further into the room? I’m “We don’t rent airstill looking for answersr, but I know they planes,” he said. will never come. That was it - cut and Last month I drove up to Venice to look dry. at the building again. John Eppers, the AirIt was unusual that port Operations Manager met me and walked me upstairs. people in a flight school didn’t want to talk aviation to It was like walking into a time capsule of evil. Everyanother pilot, It was also unusual that a flight school didthing was as I remembered it. n’t rent airplanes, but oh well... I left. It turns out that since the upstairs of the building only Back at the truck I relayed the events to my wife and has staircase access, the Americans with Disabilities Act we drove over to the beach and on to Sharky’s for lunch. stopped the airport from renting the space to the public, so the second floor of the building has been left almost When the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001 took place entirely the way it was. It was ominous to be back there. I was working for the Charlotte Sun newspaper in Port The only use for the upstairs today is Eppers’ office in Charlotte. I watched the attacks on the newsroom TV. the front room. I stood at the window there and looked Then, over the following days, there was more and more out on the airplanes parked on the ramp below. information released about what happened. I followed it The ramp area in front of that building used to be all with interest, often reading releases as soon as they where I parked my Mooney, when I flew over from Boca came in from A.P. Raton to look for shark’s teeth. At one time I had fond In the newspaper business, when a major national memories of the airport at Venice, but now it’s different. event takes place, local newspapers always look for a The 9/11 anniversary is 20 years this month. local connection. Never Forget! I will never forget what happened. Not long after 9/11 we got an AP story with our local


PAGE

4

Water LIFE inc. waterlife@comcast.net www.WaterlifeMagazine.com Vol XX No. 9 © 2021

Ellen Heller Publisher Michael Heller Editor

office: (941) 766-8180

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

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m

W Wa at te er r

L L II F FE E

WE WANT YOUR FISH!

Txt Us Ur

941- 457-1316

Fish Pix txt to:

1) No Pictures Sent to Other Mags. 2) No Old Fish

3) No Blatant Ads

Include anglerʼs name and what kind of fish

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

Everglades and 10,000 Islands: By Capt. Charlie Phillips Water LIFE 10,000 Islands Well, this is about the last month of enjoying the ac for us in the Everglades. As we get into September, we should once again start running trips following a slow August. In truth, you can’t blame someone for not wanting to be out in the blazing heat, but the fishing is not too bad if you just start early and end early. Or do like some folks and simply hit it at night. Just depends on what you are comfortable with. I only fished a few times this past month. Instead, I have been focusing on boat maintenance as well as upgrading gear in preparation for the season. While my trip count is slower this time of year, soon enough I will be wide open (knocking on wood) so using my time wisely while I have it, is only good business savvy and I would encourage you to do the same. Take time now to check your boat out, grease the hubs on the axle, replace that burnt out light on the trailer... you know the drill. The fishing I have done has been pretty good though, leaving the dock early and fishing offshore a few days for some dinner fish and inshore for some sport fish. We have arrived on our spots as the sun peaked the horizon. Offshore we found some pretty good boxes of snapper, a few red grouper of keeper size and even a tripletail or three. A cut grunt is always my go-to, bounced on the bottom from a knocker rig of appro-

Leave the Dock Early

priate size for the fish I am targeting. Usually around a 2/0 circle for snapper and 5/0 or bigger for grouper depending what I am fishing. I tend to drift the live bottom areas then when I see good marks on the machine or we get some good bites, I like to use my troller to hold us in place for a bit, to work the spot and see what we can bring up. When the bite slows, I will move on. When the sun gets unbearable and the bite slows down, its time to head back in and enjoy the wind to cool us down before we clean fish at the dock. Inshore, same basic start, early. Be on your spot before the sun. If you are not real comfortable running in the dark, that’s ok, just leave earlier and take your time. Too many folks run too fast in the dark anyway. Turn your electronics as dim as they will go to help with your vision and get to your spot.

SEPTEMBER 2021

Nothing better than hearing the snook, tarpon and other predators still active as the tide falls before the sun comes up. If the water is calm, it is hard for me to resist throwing a topwater in these conditions and my heart still skips a beat when a fish explodes on it. Nothing like it! Yall get ready, cause next month it’s time to get back to work!! Capt. Charlie Phillips, President, Florida Guides Assn. Owner/Captain at Hope Fishing Adventures Everglades City, Florida 863-517-1829 hopefishing.com

PHOSPHATE MINING UPDATES - Unless we stop them, they are coming to Horse Creek

Office Space The phosphate mining company MOSAIC is ready to move into its new offices in Arcadia, offices it will share with the County Commissioners. Several of the DeSoto county commissioners who voted against mining have now been replaced in anticipation of stacking the 2023 vote to expand phosphate mining to Horse Creek, Horse Creek is 15 miles from Punta Gorda. The shared office space is seen as political posturing or worse. They will stop at nothing. MOVIE Locals opposing mining in DeSoto County are promoting a new movie by Erik Crown, PHOSFATE. Watch it and fight like hell to stop phosphate mining expansions. https://phosfatemovie.com/streaming/ Recent heavy rains have brought flooding to the proposed Horse Creek mining site. This would have overflowed into the Peace River.

A study at Lake Okeechobee found 55% of the phosphate in the Lake was ʻlegacy phosphateʼ contained in the bottom mud. No one tests the bottom mud in the Peace River or in Charlotte Harbor for legacy phosphates, even though the phosphate industry dilutes its mining waste and releases it into the River... and the river empties into Charlotte Harbor.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Thomas Rafac- Red Grouper

Wa t c h T h e M o v i e - t e l l y o u r f r i e n d s !

h ttp s : // ph o s f a te mo v i e .c o m/ s tr e a min g /


SEPTEMBER 2021

FREE ONLINE

Changes coming with the Fall Season

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

PAGE 5

By Capt. David Stephens Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor As we roll into September, the one fish that tops my list would be redfish. As we get later in summer and fall gets closer we get some changes in the Harbor. We see an influx of bait on the flats like small sardines, shrimp and plenty of pin fish.

tides, reds can be seen pushing wakes in the water. During this time it can be very difficult to catch these guys. Due to pressure, fish can be very weary on these tides. I recommend trying tobe as stealthy as possible, or being patient and letting the fish come to you. The more you push and chase these guys the more your window for success closes. Another fish that can be seen in large schools this time of year is ladyfish. I know these guys are not considered

rocarbon leader so I get a lot of bite offs, however we do manage to get a few hooked just right, and get them boat side. Snook should be starting to move back into the Harbor from out on the beaches and passes. Hopefully we had a good spawn this year. I have been catching a lot of juvenile snook. This is a good sign of last years spawn. It's been several years since I've seen this amount of these little guys around.

We also start seeing large schools of mullet on the local bars. All these put together brings schools of reds looking to fill their stomachs. Locating schools of fish in the open water can be a bit tricky, especially on the higher tides. Looking for schools of mullet can help with this problem - even though mullet are vegetarian they attract predator fish. As these guys forage through the flats feeding on algae they stir up things a bit - things such as small crustaceans and bait fish that predator fish feed on. Not every place that you see a mullet jump is a gold mine, but its a great place to start looking. On the lower

game fish. Well hold on one second, what these guys attract during their feeding frenzy is considered to be the king of game fish. I mean the king his-self – large tarpon love feeding on these oily lady-guys before making their migration. So if you see the water churning and birds going crazy you might want to give it a second look and I recommend you have a big rod as these fish that are pushing are normally on the rather large side. It has also been known that a few bull sharks like to hang around these frenzy's. Most of the ones we catch are in the 4-to 5-foot range. I'm normally fishing with a fluo-

We have also been putting some rather large fish to the boat and I’m starting to see some snook in the mid 30inch range. This should only get better as we move closer to fall. While you’re out enjoying the outdoors remember to keep an eye on the sky.

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


PAGE

6

EMAIL:

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m

W Wa at te er r

L L II F FE E

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

Capt. JoGene Holaway Doing What He Loves To Do; Teaching People How To Catch S.W. Florida Everglades Largemouth Black Bass On Artificial Baits . This Bass Was Released Alive After The Pic To Be Caught Another Day.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Brooke with a nice Estero Bay redfish with Capt Fred Gowdy

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

Estero Bay: You Need to ʻCut itʼ By Capt. Joe Angius Water LIFE Estero Picture it: You’re loading up the boat, it’s 5am, and 15-minutes in you’re already drenched in sweat. This is the reality when it comes to fishing in September. It’s truly difficult dodging the humidity and sun... unless there’s a storm approaching. When there’s weather like this it really creates a challenge for anglers who are impatient or easily distracted. As a guide my primary goals are to keep my clients safe, comfortable, and busy catching fish. To be successful in doing this I have to have a livewell full of bait. Fresh, live bait is key in raising your chances at catching more fish. Though I typically like to start my day with my bait being alive, I’ll tend to start cutting them into chunks halfway through my trip -more specifically; pinfish, mullet and ladyfish are my go to chunk baits for the month of September. Redfish feed using their sense of smell since their eyesight is notoriously known for being subpar. Baits like ladyfish and mullet have a lot of oil that

expels from their flesh when they’re cut into pieces. Another underrated bait that I use is dead pink jumbo shrimp. Yes, you’ll catch some catfish or stingrays with them too, but it’s been proven to catch

large redfish and snook. One of my biggest “secrets” in getting more hook ups is using a large piece of cut bait. Don’t be afraid to use a 5- to 7-inch piece of bait. What this does is it attracts catfish and other smaller fish that can’t fit the bait in their mouth.

SEPTEMBER 2021

They’ll pick it up and drop it, over and over again. This creates activity and disturbance in the water that starts to attract the larger gamefish. Once they see the food the other fish can’t eat, they swoop in and hammer it. Sometimes having the bait or the right spot isn’t the issue, and yet anglers will still find themselves getting skunked. When I start asking them questions about their tackle and technique in bait presentation it’s usually completely wrong. Be sure to have a large enough hook to fit the bait and the fishes mouth. Anywhere from a 4/0 to a 6/0 will suffice. If you’re on an open flat, try to use 20-to 30-pound fluorocarbon leader and 40-to 60-pound when fishing under the bushes. Experience what Southwest Florida has to offer through fishing. Remember to be equipped with a well packed cooler and have a little more patience than usual when fishing the backwaters. If you’re fishing with livebait and can’t produce a bite, you need to cut it. Let the cut bait permeate through the water and bring the fish to you.

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


SHARK BIT SEPTEMBER 2021

By Capt. John Brossard Water LIFE Sharking As careful as I am when handling a shark - and with 11 years of Captain experience - there is still a time when it’s going to happen. I finally really got bit. Yes, I have had small nicks here and there trying to take the hook out or when just taking pictures with small sharks. This time it was a big one and it was a pretty serious mistake. Believe it or not, I was at the tail end of the shark when this lemon shark turned around and bit me in the leg, ripping my bathing suit and leaving huge gashes in my thigh and knee. It was just another typical charter. Fishing from 7 till 11. The first fish is a nice big tarpon. The second fish is a nice size bull shark. We tagged and released this one and the third fish is a 6 foot lemon shark. It is pretty thin, but has a big head and we decide to tag this shark as I tag pretty much every shark over 5 feet long. The lemon shark is not normally allowed to be on a boat, but I tag sharks for NOAA, so sometimes I have to put them on the boat to tag them. I got him on the boat with the help of my clients. My client tries to stick the probe in the shark’s side, by his first dorsal fin, in order to tag him. The shark decided he did not like that and within a millisecond turned around and grabbed my leg. Thank God he let go right away and he fell back in the boat. Looking at my leg, I decided it was time to go.... my clients did as well!

FREE ONLINE

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

I took the shark and grabbed him by both sides of the gills and gently dropped him into the water to swim again. It just goes to show you, be very very careful around sharks. I have been dealing with them for 11 years, thinking I’m a professional and nothing like this would ever happen. This was a lesson learned. I believe I’m going to start tagging them on the side of the boat while they are in the water. Still being careful as sometimes they turn around and try to bite me from that position as well. I hope you learn from this: Be very careful when handling larger fish. Whether it’s a 2-foot or 8-foot they are just as dangerous. Especially lemon and hammerhead sharks which can turn around and bite their own tails. Yes, they are that flexible. I have seen it many times. As with anyone that works with fish. You have to respect them, that’s for sure. Until next time keep catching them and be careful.

Capt. John Brossard Shark Chaser Charters Goodland, FL 239-434-6781

PAGE 7

‘The shark

decided he did not like that and within a millisecond he turned around and grabbed my leg.’

healing nicely


PAGE

8

EMAIL:

FISH PIX!

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

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

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Dave with a jack crevalle on light tackle, Burnt Store Marina

Thomas Rafac- Amberjack

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

Too Much Poop in the Water!

SEPTEMBER 2021

along the already challenged beaches of Sarasota, but don’t feel sorry for Sarasota because they just received $3.5 improvement in that number. Do you million from the State for red tide pubOn the Line need a booster shoot? We tried closing lic beach clean-up. By Capt. Ron Blago down private business, we tried lockWater LIFE Senior Staff So Sarasota has bought special meJust when you thought it was safe to downs and wearing masks and nothing chanical equipment that rakes up the go back in the water another thing has seems to change, but don’t worry, our dead fish and deposits them in special popped up to worry about. plastic lined dumpsters On Aug. 6 Sarasota and then transports County issued a no-swim them to the county advisory for all of their dump where they are beaches due to high levels treated as toxic waste. of enterococcus bacteria. In the old days we just In the old days we called it raked the dead fish by fecal coliform bacteria and hand and buried them that’s just plain poop. in a deep hole. That Everything in and seemed to get the job around the beaches poops; done. manatees, fish, birds and I guess it’s time to humans; and when it rains worry about manatees. all the poop that’s on land 2021 is going to be a gets washed down to the record year for manatee Gulf. So people: Please deaths; so far 920 dead don’t add any more poop manatees have been to the water. That way I verified . can go back to worrying Some people still about what I normally believe that watercraft worry about: Hurricanes, are the leading cause of Sarasota beaches last month. The problem is poop! alligators, pythons and manatee deaths; nothsharks. ing can be further from I’m going to call 2021 government officials will be giving us the truth. This year it seems that starvathe year of fear and with so much bad good advice. tion will be the greatest cause of mananews in the media it’s hard to keep a Then there is Red Tide. In Novem- tee deaths. People have been predicting positive attitude about what's going on ber 2000 a small patch of red tide was this problem for a long time, thanks to in the world today. found in Collier County, in southwest the massive increase in the manatee Even in Florida there is no shortage Florida. It stuck around for a few population in recent years. of things to worry about. First off there months then it went away all by itself. In 2002 , aerial surveys found a is the Covid virus- Delta variant. In In April 2021 there was another population of 1758 manatees in Florida, Floridia, during the week of Aug-20 to phosphate spill at Piney Point on the in 2017 they found 6620 manatees. Aug-26 there were 389 deaths due to south side of Tampa Bay; as we have That’s a huge increase in population in covid and that number keeps on rising. seen before a red tide bloom started and just 15 years. Some people are saying What is a person to do? With 70-per- left Tampa Bay expanding south down that we have reached the limit of mancent of the people in Charlotte County the Gulf coast. atees that Florida can support. already vaccinated there won’t be much The red tide now seems to be located ronblago@gmail.com


SEPTEMBER 2021

FREE ONLINE

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

What to expect in the coming days By Cameron Parson Water LIFE Spillways and Ponds This summer was nothing short of hot, and hot may be an understatement! But fishing was still good, despite the heat.

September will still be killer hot or hotter but then the next few months we have something to look forward to. Our first cold front usually comes around the middle of October. Though it may not be much, it's enough to kick off a feeding frenzy of migratory and local species, inshore and offshore. Redfish have already started to school

up in some areas along the West Wall and in Pine Island Sound in preparation for their spawn. They'll give themselves away with tailing on low tides and pushing water on the flats, moving from place to place to feed. Some can even be spotted blowing up on bait along the bars. Topwater plugs, twitchbaits, and spoons will often work extremely well. Tarpon will be around until the first major cold front. They can be found anywhere from the Nav-AGator to Boca Pass, but the holes in the Harbor are a sure fire bet if you're slow trolling or drifting live mullet. The 41 bridges will be holding fish just about year-round. Swimbaits from 4- to 6inches work well. Live mullet and ladyfish will surely get bit. As the water cools, snook will also turn on. They'll gradually make their way from

the beaches and up into the canals and local rivers, taking to most any structure that's present. Live chumming works well and they will be more apt to chase artificials. Fish them the same as you would a tarpon when around the structure... swimbaits, big plugs, etc. We will also have another run of Spanish and king mackerel just offshore. Look for structure or live hard bottom and troll No.3 and No.4 spoons on No.2 planers to get some depth. You don't need very much line out, and don't set the hook while using a planer. Let the fish hook itself. They can also be chummed up with live whitebait and chunked baits. Drifting over the areas mentioned above will have success. Don't be surprised if a few cobia are still hanging around the same structure offshore. They'll often be curious and

PAGE 9

swim right to the boat, offering a good chance to sight cast. Keep a fake eel or live pinfish ready to throw. And some will hang around the Harbor and local bridges. Pompano can be caught in the surf on live sand fleas and silly jigs. They'll also be riding under pods of manatees that are making their way back to the rivers for the

winter. Often times, they'll give themselves away with turning on their side and shining under the manatees. Catch some fish!

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

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

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Chris Stephens, mahi mahi caught in August on a Spook jr, off Key Largo.

Cameron Stephens, age 7, 21-inch sea trout caught near upper Captiva. We enjoy seeing all the smiling faces in the Water LIFE magazine.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Chloe Stephens, 11 from Fort Myers vacationing in the Keys when she caught this mahi mahi in Key Largo

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

W Wa at te er r

L LI IF FE E

Stefanie with a trout


PAGE

10

EMAIL:

SPONSORS

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

$1 Bill Challenge

Notes from the Tournament Director Way to Go!

This month you submitted 22 out of 30 different eligible species! The final fishing period is shaping up to be epic! Good Luck, everyone!

TACKLE BAGS!

We still have some free Tackle Bags. They are at Fishinʼ Franks. If you want one, Just ask when you pick up your ʻstuff.ʼ First come first served!

Your T-Shirts & WINNINGS:

Where to Collect Your Stuff!

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 receives one 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.

SEPTEMBER 2021

FINAL RESULTS and standings will be published in the October edition of Water LIFE

FISH QUIZ #3 - ANSWERS

1) C 2) C 3) C 4) B 5) D Extra Credit) B


SEPTEMBER 2021

FREE ONLINE

@

Lane Snapper

#403 Christopher Perry, 15-inches 2nd #454 Blake Moyer 12-inches

#409 Juliana Florea

Jack Crevalle

PAGE 11

$1 Bill Challenge Winners - period 3

Triggerfish

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

9.25-inches

#420 Jaxson Varney 16-inches 2nd #401 Lacy Hamsher 9-inches

Mangrove Snapper #412. Ben Koebel

Gag Grouper

#409 Juliana Florea

Ladyfish

# 425 Annabelle Campbell

July 16 - August 15

Crappie

#406 Alyx Schaefer 9-inches

14-inches

12-inches

17.5-inches

Trout

#413 Justin Medina 25.5-inches 2nd #442. Reef Inman 20-inches

Gar

#427 Trey Setser 22.5-inches 2nd #437. Lucas Bixby 19.75-inches

Grunt

#408 Jacob Florea 12.5-inches 2nd #411 Emma Koebel 10-inches

Bass

#413 Justin Medina 15-inches 2nd #426. Gabriel Setser 14-inches 3rd #440. Hunter Cote 12-inches

Snook

#448 Kandall Mann 30-inches 2nd #425 Annabelle Campbell 22.5-inches 3rd #401 Lacy Hamsher 19-inches


PAGE

12

EMAIL:

Jaxson Varney

Jaydon Davis

Addison Baker

Morgan Davis

Luke DʼOrazio

Taylor Baker

Annabelle Campbell

Juliana Florea

Emma Koebel

Molly Vermeulen

Justin Medina

Zander Larson

Blaine Wilson

Lacy Hamsher

SEPTEMBER 2021

2021 $1 Bill Challenge ANGLERS

Matthew Dixon

Sawyer Bowser

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

Jack Buczynski

Ryan Larson

Daniel Acosta

Christopher Perry

Julius Acosta

Dyln Schaefer

CGabriel Setser

Cole Hancock

Alyx Schaefer

Ben Koebel

Camryn Nummerdor

Ty Baker

Gabe Rogers

Laken Pendelton

Jake DʼOrazio

Mitchell Vermeulen

Chase Hathaway

Zachery Morgani

Drew Buczynski

Always Room For 1 More!

Isaac Garcia

Nickalus Luciano

Kendall Mann

Reef Iman

Leonardo DʼOrazio

Trey Setser

Fishing and prizes through Sept 15 You!


SEPTEMBER 2021

ANGLERS

$1 Bill Challenge FREE ONLINE

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

period 3 Winners

July 16 - August 15

John Bunkley

Sunfish

#432 Chase Hathaway 8-inches 2nd #405 Dylan Schaefer 7-inches Maya Haag

Tilapia Amberjack

#403 Christopher Perry

Spadefish

#428 Jake DʼOrazio

36.75-inches

#440 Hunter Cite. 19-inches 2nd #406 Alyx Shaefer. 15-inches 3re #426 Gabriel Setser. 12-inches

12-inches

Lucas Bixby

Myan Cichlid Both 13-inches 1st #427 Trey Setser Sat 4:32 2nd #432 Chase Hathaway Sun 11:30 Catfish

#444 Laken Pendelton

Anthony Rice

12-inches

445 Daniel Acosta Cuda. 11-inches

Hunter Cotte

Red Grouper.

Jacob Florea

Sailcat

#451 Isaac Garcia

27-inches

Redfish

#442 Reef Inman

27.5-inches

#454 Blake Moyer 24.5-inches 2nd #408. Jacob Florea 17-inches 3rd #411 Emma Koebel 12-inches

PAGE 13


PAGE

14

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m

W Wa at te er r

L LI IF FE E

m ma ag ga az zi in ne e

SEPTEMBER 2021

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

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Kevin Gassman with a snook and a tarpon

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

John Davies, Punta Gorda FL

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Jeremy Gassman

Shannon Byrne from Punta Gorda releases a beautiful snook

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Little Ryan caught a Big snook and a big Estero Bay redfish, with Capt Fred Gowdy

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Nathan from Missouri with a beautiful 28-inch redfish at Tarpon Bay with Capt. Paul

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Scott Lenart, Gasparilla Sound redfish


SEPTEMBER 2021

FREE ONLINE

READERʼS PHOTOS FISH PIX! Send us ur FISH PIX! Weʼll use ʻem!! see page 4 f fr ro om m

W Wa at te er r

L LI IF FE E

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

PAGE 15

m ma ag ga az zi in ne e

Bucket list permit caught by carl Cucco with his wife Beth Costa of Punta Gorda, trying to knock off my bucket list fish since moving to Florida last year

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Mason and Grandpa Richard with a nice pair of 24” reds fishing with Capt. Pauly

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Mason and Grandpa Richard with a nice pair of 24” reds fishing with Capt. Pauly

Adam Hall from Ft Myers managed to catch 3 fish on a single slow pitch jig in 120ft off Fort Myers. Impressive!

FISH PIX!

Dr. Jim Cuda with a 22” snook caught on Sanibel Island

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Franklin Sullivan Holding Up One Of The Many S.W. Florida Everglades Largemouth Black Bass That He Caught On Artificial Baits . He Also Caught His Fresh Water Everglades Grand Slam While Catching With Capt. JoGene Holaway . ALL The Fish Were Released Alive .

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Parker Worden 8 years old, sail cat fish Mullock Creek Marina.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Matthew from Englewood with a nice tilapia.


PAGE

16

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

SCUTTLEBUTT

SEPTEMBER 2021

Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True

4-YEAR-OLD GIRL LANDS POTENTIAL WORLD-RECORD GOLDEN TROUT Caroline May Evans, 4, was all smiles after landing a 2-pound golden trout recently in Wyoming, Her catch is now up for world-record consideration

Oyster growth has been prolific this year. This is the Severin Canal in Port Charlotte. Someone needs to tell Charlotte County Utilities they had better get busy cleaning this out or we will have flooded streets again.

YAK DRIVERS TAKE NOTE** Regulation of Human-Powered Vessels. SB1086, creates new Section 327.371 bringing with it a new vessel definition to the Florida Statutes—“human-powered vessel”—for the purposes of restricting the use of these vessels within the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). “Human-powered vessel” is defined as “a vessel powered only by its occupant or occupants, including, but not limited to, a vessel powered only by the SUNSEEKER Workmen were busy installing new wooden safety railings on the occupantsʼ hands or feet, oars, or padhighest level of the main building last month. The project is now picking up dles.” Essentially, human powered vessels speed again. There are cranes moving material and concrete trucks on site. cannot use the ICW except to “expeditiously cross the waterway to reach other owner and operator of the Southern Seas and Alaskan Star, navigable waters, and in the case of emergencies. pled guilty to falsely labeling fish. A violation is a noncriminal infraction. Stevens falsely reported 903,208 pounds of Pacific halibut and sablefish. Stevensʼ illegal harvest had a value of $13,566,630. TOO MANY PEOPLE People living in Libya's capital of Tripoli call their home "a summer prison," where all of the city's APRIL 5 NEWS RELEASE FROM USA TODAY HEADLINE: sewage is dumped into the sea, which used to be their only Florida crews pump wastewater into Tampa Bay to avoid full respite from the heat. reservoir breach. Florida environmental officials last week approved the pumping of wastewater from a reservoir into Tampa FISHY FISH On August 5, 2021, James Aaron Stevens of KoBay in hopes of avoiding a major collapse. The Red Tides diak, Alaska, was sentenced to 6 months in federal prison and a began within a month and havenʼt let up since. THIS IS PHOS$1 million fine. He must also make a public service announcePHATE MININGʼS FAULT, ENTIRELY! ment acknowledging his crime and complete 80 hours of community service. Stevens, a commercial fisherman and the

Private Dock FOR RENT off Edgewater, Port Charlotte. Elect & Water available, $250/mo. Sailboat Water, Great Harbor Access! 941-769-4220

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Dan Urquhart, red grouper

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

W Wa at te er r

L L II F FE E

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

m ma ag ga az z ii n ne e

Yam Urquhart, red snapper

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Yam Urquhart, red grouper

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Dave on Always Tight with a 25-inch gag


SEPTEMBER 2021

FREE ONLINE

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

PAGE 17

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

FISH PIX!

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

First fish for Jack Scollon, age 6, mangrove snapper, caught near the Boca Grande old train track bridge

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Black drum. Caught by Lucas Seelinger, Neptune city, NJ in a PGI canal, returned to the canal

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Tim with 44-inch mahi

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

30-inch redfish caught on the shoreline August 8 by Wendy Reed, Englewood

FISH PIX! FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Nancy GoldenAmerican Red Snapper

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Nancy Golden- Jack

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Thomas RafacAmerican Red Snapper

from Water LIFE magazine

Nancy Golden Red Grouper


PAGE

18

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

SEPTEMBER 2021

closed Tues & Weds.... for now

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m W Wa at te er r L LI IF FE E m az zi in ne e ma ag ga

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ryan Larson mahi-mahi Key Largo

Great day grouper & snapper fishing. Dave Smith and his grandson Gage are all smiles.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

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

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Evan Larson, baby bass in Wisconsin

Ben Koebel, snook. Went to Jensen Beach for his sisterʼs softball tournament and we stopped at the Fort Pierce Jetty while we were there and got that!!

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Colton Hall caught his first redfish (27-inch) in Estero Bay

Dave Smith with a nice pair of grouper caught 20 miles off Venice.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Jessica with a snook in the Everglades

Michael Kusmierek, Sanibel, permit


SEPTEMBER 2021

Explore!

Fish with one of our Guides

FREE ONLINE

The BIG-4 LADYFISH Large schools around Charlotte Harbor

BackBay Xtremes Capt Dave Stephens www.backbayxtremes.com

941-916-5769

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

Fish you can expect in

SNOOK Working their way back from the Gulf

September

COBIA Moving around the upper Harbor

Charlotte Harbor, Lemon Bay, Placida, Gasparilla Sound

PAGE 19

TARPON In the Harbor holes and the rivers

And there are still a bunch of tarpon in the area. Like I said last month, the Rapalla subwalk and the DOA Bait Frank @ Fishin’ Franks Buster are the easy ones for tarpon. 4200 Tamiami Trail 941-625-3888 Cast the Bait Buster, count 10 after it closed tues & weds ... for now splashes, and then start slow cranking. Let’s start with redfish; the adult You want a slow steady retrieve within migration has begun and we’re seeing a few feet of the bottom. Cape Haze in big bull reds in the Harbor. The best the late morning seems to be the best bait right now is mostly dead bait. Cut spot. 1/4 to 1/2 mile north of the trees up ladyfish, mullet, blue crabs, or and 1/3 mile off... tarpon are there or frozen shrimp, but with the shrimp you want to peel the shell off. You will between the middle hole and Alligator. Cobia are playing hide-and-go-seek see better hits with the reds - you around the Harbor. I had three cuswouldn’t think so, but it is so. tomers tell me As far as of cobia after lures, shad cobia on the tails seem to north half of be working the 41-bridge really well, and around the but because walkway. They of the hot are smaller fish water, but in good downsize numbers. the jigs to There are also 1/8- or even cobia in the 1/16-ounce Myakka beso you can tween the reel slower mouth and the and not trestle. Up have the from Marker bait sink so No. 8, there is fast. You a 10-to 14-foot Early morning kayaking Redfish can throw a FISH PIX! on Jig, Aug 14, 2021, East side deep hole and 1/4- or 3/8Charlotte Harbor, Scott H. the cobia have ounce jig to been hanging cast further, out over that hole. but the bait will sink faster, so you Normally we’d be preparing for have to reel too fast. snook season right now, but that not As for lures, the go-to gold spoon is going to happen. That said, there are simple. Just look for the widest spoon fish moving up the Harbor, but they are you can find - the length doesn’t matone by one. The don’t seem to bunch ter, you want the wider spoon so you up when they are coming back up the can reel slower. If it’s rolling or spinHarbor. It’s not a migration, just one ning over, you are going way too fast. here and one there. The west side is Soft plastics like jerk baits are OK, but pretty good, but because of all the this isn’t the prime time for them. changing the weather and the red tide There are huge schools of ladyfish the snook are hauling ass. around the Harbor now. These fish are Freshwater is all about deep and ‘teaching age’ because they will hit shady. Over 4-foot with shade will be right away. So if you have a boat you pretty good on bass. Before daybreak can find these schools and practice to about 9 am is the window where you fishing different lures. You will learn see the bass. Fish the coolest part of by changing the retrieve speed for difthe day and stay deep and slow. ferent lures. They will hit almost anyNote** The Peace River is running thing. There has been a school of 800 fps (feet per second) it should be ladyfish south of Pirate Harbor, more 1800 fps and if we don’t get some inbetween Mangrove Point and Alligator land rain soon the Harbor could lose its Creek Reef, and some off Cape Haze. veiled protection for red tide.

Storms moving by. The water nearshore is in the high 80s Keep an eye on the sky

95˚ 90˚ 85˚ 80˚

75˚ 72˚ 70˚ 68˚

from Water LIFE magazine

50˚ 45˚

FISHING RIGHT NOW:

STILL GOOD!


PAGE

20

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

SEPTEMBER 2021

Profile for Water LIFE magazine

WaterLIFE Sept 2021  

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

WaterLIFE Sept 2021  

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

Profile for waterlife

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded