Issuu on Google+

W a t e r LIFE

FREE!

Charlotte Harbor and Lemon Bay

Keeping Boaters and Fishermen Informed Since 1997

Page 8

January 2008

Producers of the

Spot Tournament

Sailing Season

Kids Cup

Applications online NOW

KIDS CUP

Page 16

Page 24

Pull Out 2008 Fishing Calendar

Landscape Rape

Dive Boat Trip

Page 13

Page 3

Page 15 &18

w w w. C H A R L O T T E H A R B O R M A G A Z I N E . C O M

ALWAYS


Page 2

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

January

2008


January

2008

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

Page

3


Water LIFE

Page 4

LETTERS

TO

MAGAZINE

WAT E R L I F E

Still Dragginʼ on the Truth

By Mi chael Hel l er Water LIFE Editor Last month I told you about a questionable photo that depicted a dolphin entangled in a commercial fishermen’s net. The photo was shot in 1987 and was used as a poster to rally support for the gill-net ban. There has recently been a question whether the FWC or the Naples Daily News was responsible for setting-up the p h o t o . According to a report by the commercial fishing group Fishing for Freedom, FWC director Rodney Baretto had said a Naples Daily News photographer who took the picture had signed an affidavit saying the photo was not a set up. It didn’t take much digging for me to find out who the photographer was. The photographer still works at the paper and is now the city editor. I called him. Eric Strachen told me, adamantly, he never signed anything for the FWC and that he remembered the incident well. Strachen, himself a fishermen and boater, said he had noticed the dolphin was stiff and blue and had obviously been dead for several days. Later he sent us copies of two photos and the story that the Naples Daily News ran on July 1, 1987. The picture

that was the ‘poster’ for the movement to ban gill-net fishing ran inside the paper with the story. That was the photo we had previously seen. The other photo ran on the ‘section front.’ That photo showed the officer in his boat, towing the dead animal. This was a particularly interesting image because of the angle. The picture showed the dolphin’s nose, which was important because another FWC officer had reported the dolphin was killed by a boat strike to the animal’s nose. The nose appears intact. I re-contacted Mr. Strachen and asked him to send me any other photos, in particular photos that might show other angles of the animal’s nose. I don’t believe the Naples Daily News had anything to do with setting up the photo. Last month David Grix, who represents the commercial Fishing for Freedom group, went down to Islamorada for the FWC’s December meeting. Grix said he was going to corner chairman Baretto and get his explanation for the inconsistencies. But since the meeting I was unable to

G R E AT N E W Y E A R I D E A !

Have us mail your copy anywhere in the U.S.A. for $20 / Year

Name _______________________________________________

Address _____________________________________________

Zip ____________________

Please watch your mailing label for expiration date

Credit Card _________________________________________ ExpDate_________

You can print out this form online at: www.Charlotteharbormagazine.com

01/08

Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor Magazine

(941) 766-8180

TOTALLY INDEPENDENT Water LIFE is not affiliated with any other publication

© 2007 Vol VII No. 1 Water LIFE

recontact him. It would be extremely disappointing to find out the FWC had a hand in setting up this story. It would be equally disappointing to find out the commercial fishing guys put their own wobbly spin on the story. Why would an FWC officer come forward after 20 years to say the photo was a hoax? Did in fact FWC chairman Baretto say there was an affidavit? As soon as we get this month’s publi-

Now Just $20 for 12 monthly editions Check one:

o Payment included: make check payable to Water LIFE

or Bill my

o Visa o M/C account

City _______________________________ State ____________

2008

Michael and Ellen Heller Publishers

SUBSCRIPTION FORM

SUBSCRIBE to Water LIFE

January

Fill out (please print) and Mail to:

Water LIFE 217 Bangsberg Rd, Port Charlotte, FL, 33952

WRITE US! e-mail (preferred) Waterlife@comcast.net Regular MAIL: 217 Bangsberg Rd. Port Charlotte, FL 33952

No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the written permission of both publishers

Contributing Editors:

Fishing / Environment: Capt. Ron Blago Charlotte Harbor: Capt. Robert Moore Gasparilla: Capt. Chuck Eichner Port Charlotte: Capt Andy Medina Offshore: Capt. Steve Skevington Real Estate: Dave Hofer Sailing Advisor: Bill Dixon Kayaks: David Allen Sea Grant: Betty Staugler Diving: Adam Wilson

on the COVER:

Dirk Peterson of Ft. Myers with a 30 pound black grouper taken in Dec.

on our WEBSITE:

WWW.charlotteharbormagazine.com

Realtors: Links to advertisers

Tide Graphs: For local waters

Weather: Links to all of our favorite sites.

Back editions: Pages of previous editions

Artificial Reefs: Lat. and Long local reefs

Manatee Myths: Read the original plan to create sanctuaries and refuges, as spelled out by the United Nations in 1984 Kids Cup Updates, Fish Tracking and Tournament Information.


January

2008

Water LIFE

Tree Scalping in Charlotte County

Mi chael Hel l er Water LIFE Editor Strange things happen in life. Take my life for instance. One minute I’m fighting the good fight against the tree huggers and the manatee madness and then the next minute, My God! I’ve become one... We’ll sort of, anyway. It doesn’t matter that this particular tree happened to be growing on my street. I’d feel the same no matter where it happened. Mature, stately trees can apparently be dug up, sold for cash and hauled away from residential lots in Charlotte County without any regulation or concern what-so-ever. Now I wasn’t exactly ready to chain myself to the trunk, but I’ve seen this before and it really should stop. Case in point: A house down the block was sold at foreclosure. That’s bad enough for real estate value, but then the new owner, (I’ve not met him and his name is not yet on the county tax rolls or I’D use it) anyway, this guy bought the house and immediately sold off the big tree growing out front. I think there should be a permit required for that. It’s like you have a cash crop. There are so many regulations in our over regulated county I can’t imagine we don’t have some paperwork governing the digging up selling off of trees from residential lots. At the very least it’s rude and unfriendly. At most, it has environmental and psychological impacts on the entire surrounding area. We need more leafy green, not less. We live in a county decimated by Hurricane Charley. This year was the first year we’ve seen trees beginning to grow back, many of them in grotesque twists of short green branches or sprouts emanating directly from the trunk, but at least it was new growth. That is somehow psychologically rewarding. Consider, also, we are not only surviving after Charley we are also surviving the real estate crisis that is blanketing the state – these are two separate and serious impacts. I figure if

MAGAZINE

BEFORE

Page

5

Charlotte County wants to ‘come back’ it needs to make itself as attractive as possible. That means, keeping the empty lots clean and Above & Below: The same house before and after the ʻsell offʼ with the one scrawny presentable, making the tree left to replace the majestic old palm cluster. economic climate favorable and the impact fees affordable so people and businesses want to locate here, and seeing to it that every stitch of greenery, that we AFTER have remains intact. Palms and green landscaping is what people expect from Florida and we ought to be more concerned with keeping it. I think if a tree in a populated area made it through Charley, native or not, we ought to let it grow for a while. Selling off landscaping at this point in time should not be an option. Trees and plants are part of the neighborhood, they provide shade, windbreaks, bird roostings and other natural benefits. Taking away the big trees sets the neighborhood back, makes it look less established, less attractive. When a new house is inspected for a C.O. it is required to have the right number and size trees or a $500 fee must be paid to the county. Planting puny little trees is not an option. So if caliper and trunk size are important to the county when trees are required, then that should come into play when the fine old trees are


Water LIFE

Hot Action

Page 6

OFFSHORE TO INSHORE

By Capt. Chuck Ei chner Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor Warm winter waters, extra salty from a dry summer, was the perfect recipe for a fishing challenge. The goal was to catch a few major offshore species and then finish up with a backcountry slam. Conditions were perfect as we left the dock with an easterly breeze at our back and a forecast of light winds. Easing into a grassbed area near Boca Grande was ‘phase 1’ of our day- catching bait. There is no finer sound then pilchards flipping on the surface after you shut your motor down and that is what we encountered. With a few handfuls of a fishy chum concoction pitched out, the baitfish swam right up to the boat before my fishing partner Mickey even had the net out! Literally in 15 minutes we had a major baitwell full of whitebait and pinfish. Mashing the throttle down at only 7:30 a.m. we raced into the gulf, way ahead of schedule. Just outside Boca Grande, diving birds greeted us for nearly a mile of running. Likely Spanish mackeral and kingfish which Mickey clearly indicated he wanted no part of. I wanted to stop and get a pull, but bottom dwellers like gag grouper and snapper were our focus and Mickey had caught his share of kings for the year. Our first drop was on a reef that had a sunken barge as the fish haven below. Setting up on bottom structure is not as easy as it sounds. First, you locate it on your bottom unit, second you mark it with a float and third you then anchor taking wind and current into consideration so that your stern is positioned upstream so that your chum floats back into the reef. Sounds easy enough but our first attempt put us 50 yards away and chumming produced not a single bite. A second attempt at anchoring was better, but the fishing didn’t improve. Our first hour produced two bitten off we were off to look for another spot. A brief chart review and a few lat/lon coordinates were entered into the lowrance chartplotter. As we neared the area the chartplotter alerted us of being within 500 feet of our target and the bottom lit up with baitfish. A craigly bottom looked promising as we slowly motored about a half mile stretch and marked waypoints as we noticed small bottom uprisings. The chartplotter looked like a nine hole golf course with each spot flagged and automatically numbered as

MAGAZINE

January

2008

we marked interesting bottom structure. Waypoint No. 5 was the first spot we drifted past with 2 ounces of lead on 60-pound leader with a big pilchard speared onto a 3/0 hook. Peering into the bigscreen fishfinder we eyeballed a bottom rise and a cloud of bait under the boat. Announcing that this has to be a good spot Mickey rears back on a big fish to prove the point! With huge strength and a Offshore these nice cobia came up on the first spot. The boys were off to a good start! dogged fight grouper sandwiches were dancing in our day. heads as I felt a sharp tug and Wham! I Pointing to the am hooked up! Two fish on the first east, Mickey said drop and both are big. Our first glance ‘let's go into the at Mickey's fish tells us it's not a backcountry for redgrouper but a nice cobia of about 22 fish.’ Hard as it was pounds! My fish is fighting the same to leave the gulf, we way and as we both struggle to get our headed inshore. On fish closer to the boat a larger cobia the way we noticed begins to follow Mickeys' fish. huge black spots on Grabbing another rod Mickey dares to the bottom in about cast a bait to the free swimming cobe 11 feet of water just while the hooked one swims only 10 outside the pass. feet below still attached to his line. We Climbing up the 11 figured 3 cobes in the boat at one time and began peeling line. I knew I was foot tower we looked down onto a huge was one two many and the newly baited over powered right from the get go. I bait mass. Looking like a Jacque rod was put down for a gaff and in went am a light tackle guy and Mickey heckCousteau movie we saw huge pilchards a nice box fish! Finally, my 25-pound led me for fishing 'ultralight' as he called swimming in an orchestrated pattern, in class conventional outfit had whipped it. I was palming my spool trying to my fish and with gaff in hand a large sil- a mass about the size of a mack truck, slow this fish down when it bit through ver fish came up. We identified it as an tightly balled up with huge sharks my 25-pound test leader. I hope to get patrolling the perimeter. We guesstimat- over this fish one day because it was a almaco jack which is a deep bodied ed the sharks at 500 pounds perhaps amberjack, a true fighter. Back into the hammer, likely over 20 pounds! more–quite a beautiful sight! No tackle drink he went and a few high fives were Moments later Mickey bows up on a on board to handle these brutes. A quick nice red. He horses it to the boat and a in order! Our next drift took us over throw of the castnet into the bait and we chunky 7 pounder is dedicated to a fish waypoint 7. The easterly breeze had reloaded the well. Several miles inside picked up and we were moving quickly fry. I then hook a big red and get broke the harbor we stopped and fished a few and not making good bottom contact, off. A few more bites for both of us and oyster bars near Bull Bay. Approaching but it didn’t matter - Wham! Fish on! one more 7 pound red came aboard before 3:30 in the afternoon, 3 spots later and and 10 minutes later the ol' captain heading in. only one nice 20 inch speckled trout we bangs a 25 pound cobia into the box. Reminiscing on the day I proclaimed Repeated drifts produced lots of action on settled into our last spot. Handfuls of that it couldn't get much better than this undersize gags, red grouper, more almaco bait were pitched towards a mangrove – incredible offshore fishing and fine jacks, a 25-pound goliath grouper, curios shoreline. Long casts and patience were backcountry fishing. I was then remindneeded as a cold beer dockside was calllarge barracuda and several fish that ed that the huge snook that bit off my ing us. Finally, there was a sign, a big either broke us off on the bottom or bit 'crying line' would have completed a us off. As fishing often does offshore, a sign. A huge snook mashed a freemajor backcountry slam of redfish, swimming bait and we both reeled in slowdown coincided with calming winds snook and trout. frantically and cast towards the residual and the gulf waters became mirror ringlets from the eruption. That's my smooth. For December it was unusual Capt. Chuck Eichner is a local charter to see large pods of barracuda on the sur- fish no that's my fish we quipped! Of captain. For information or to book a course, the fish would have to decide and guided fishing trip call 941-505-0003 or face hovering over 45 feet of water and she did. I feel a tick in my line and huge sea turtles frolicking in the sun. go to his website: www.backcountryThe gulf was a place of great beauty this reared back. A powerful snook exploded charters.com


January

2008

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

Page 7


Page 8

WHAT A D R E A M REDUCED! HOME, 4 BEDRMS POSSIBLE 5 OR BONUS ROOM ON 2ND STORY. 3 1⁄2 BATHS, 3 CAR GARAGE 2,589 SQ FT ALL BRAND NEW POOL/SPA HOME ON HUGE OVERSIZED CORNER LOT WITH UPGRADES GALORE. SOLID HONEY OAK CABINETS, CORIAN COUNTERS THRU OUT. BEAUTIFULLY LANDSCAPED, DONʼT MISS VIEWING THIS HOME, $499,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

REDUCED $100,000 FOR QUICK 2 SALE, CORNER LOTS, HOME PLUS 30X40 DETACHED GARAGE WITH ITʼS OWN DRIVEWAY, GREAT FOR A HOME BUSINESS. BOTH WITH NEW METAL ROOFS. HOME HAS 1,900 SQ FT. 3BEDRMS AND 2 BAS. NEW KITCHEN W/OAK CABINETS, TILE COUNTERS, HARDWOOD AND TILE FLOORS, NEED TO SELL $239,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

LIKE NEW AND COMP L E T E LY FURNISHED. THIS HOME IS READY FOR NEW OWNER. 2/2/1 ON SALTWATER CANAL WITH 2 DOCKS AND SEAWALL. NEW ROOF AND A/C, PORCELAIN TILE FLOORS, WOOD CABINETS, TILE COUNTER TOPS, JETTER TUB, 12X25 LANAI ACROSS BACK, INSIDE LAUNDRY. READY FOR YOU $289,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

HERITAGE OAKS VILLE, B MODEL LOOKING FOR A NEW OWNER. SHOWS LIKE A MODEL, NICE AND CLEAN. 2/2/2 WITH FORMAL DINING OR USE AS DEN/OFFICE. KITCHEN FEATURES BREAKFAST BAR, SIDE BY SIDE REF. GLASS TOP RANGE, MICROWAVE OVER RANGE. PRICED TO SELL AT 179,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

IMMACULATE CORNER HOME

Shows pride of ownership. 1,874 New Listing! sq ft with 3/2/2, living and family/florida room plus lanai. Large kitchen with Bar, nook and built in buffet. This home features central vac. master bedroom with sitting area. Sprinkler sys on well. $174,900 Call Ellen 628-6854

Water LIFE

January

MAGAZINE

BEAUTIFUL PRESTIGIOUS PEPNew Price! P E R T R E E E S TAT E , ONE STREET CODED GATE AT ENTRANCE. NEW BARREL TILE ROOF, SPRINKLER SYS, PAINT IN AND OUT. HOME FEATURES GREAT RM. ROLSAFE SHUTTERS, NEW TILE FLOORS EXCEPT NEW CARPET IN BEDRMS, APPLIANCES, LIGHT FIXTURES, LARGE LANAI, CAGED PATIO W/HOTTUB, PRICED AT $249,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

A MILLION $ SAILBOAT HOME JUST OFF THE HARBOR. LOCATED IN THE PCH BEACH COMPLEX AREA. 2 STORY, 3,734 SQ FT, 5 BEDRMS, 4 1/2 BATHS, 2 CAR GAR.,HEATED POOL, 3 A/C, CIRCULAR STAIRS, TRAVATINE MARBLE AND WOOD FLOORS, WHITE CABINETS, COUNTERS STONE, CROWN MOLDING, MANY OTHER UPGRADES. PRICED RIGHT! $849,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

BEAUTIFUL POOL HOME OVER 2000 SQ FT 3/2/2. SHOWS PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP. HARDWOOD AND TILE FLOORS THRU OUT, KITCHEN IS A COOKʼS DELITE, BIG AND ROOMY WITH 2 BREAKFAST BARS. LIVING AND FAMILY ROOM, PANTRY, SIDE BY SIDE REF. GLASS TOP RANGE, MICOWAVE, PLANT SHELVES, 4 WALK N CLOSETS $218,000 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

New Price!

2 STORY LAKE HEATED POOL HOME WITH COUNTRY LIVING AT ITS BEST. SEVERAL NEW AND NEWER HOMES IN AREA, NICE PRIVATE SETTING IN SOUTH PUNTA GORDA. FISH FROM YOUR BACK YARD OR USE THE ROWBOAT SELLER IS LEAVING WITH HOME.3/2,1/2/2 WITH 2,044 SQ FT $219,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

New Listing! T O TA L LY REMODELED FROM TOP TO BOTTOM, 1,870 SQ FT OF NEW TILE AND LAMINATED FLOORS, DRYWALL, INSULATION, MANABLOC PLUMBING, ROOF, PAINT, HICKORY WOOD CABINETS, GRANITE COUNTER, APPLIANCES, A/C AND THE LIST GOES ON. ABOVE GROUND POOL AND LARGE WORKSHOP AND SHED. $155,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954 LOOKING FOR A GREAT BUY ON WATERFRONT PROPERTY. LOOK NOT MORE. 1,838 SQ FT, 3/2/2 WITH SEAWALL AND DOCK. ENJOY FISHING FROM YOUR BACK YARD OR BOAT. JUST MINUTES TO THE HARBOR BY ELKCAM WATERWAY. GREAT SIZE HOME FOR ENTERTAINING. $254,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

HERITAGE LAKE VILLA, 2/2/2 BRAND NEW WITH OVER $10,000 IN UPGRADES. KITCHEN ALL IN BISQUE COLORS, TILE IN KITCHEN AND BATHS, WOOD CABINETS. DINING ROOM CAN BE DEN OR OFFICE OR 3RD BEDROOM. NICE PRIVATE AREA IN DEEP CREEK AREA. $195,000 CAL ELLEN 628-6954

DEEP CREEK NEW HOME. Itʼs a Quality Builders Home with 2,084 sq ft. with living and family rms. You have to see this one. It features Tri-level Cherry wood finish cabinets, granite counters, stainless steel appliance, tile floors, volume ceilings, beautiful master bath and more. $239,900 call Ellen 628-6954 New Listing!

JUST LISTED CONDO IN HERITAGE OAKS, BEST PRICE IN COMMUNITY. 2/2 WITH CARPORT. JUST WALK OUT YOUR LANAI TO CLUBHOUSE POOL, TENNIS AND LAKE. UPGRADED TILE AND CARPET, KITCHEN SINK, LIGHT FIXTURES, CEILING FANS, WASHER AND DRYER. SECTION 15 BEAUTY. 3/2/2 WITH DONʼT MISS THIS ONE $124,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954 LOOK!! 10 ACRES COVERED WITH PRODUCING ORANGE ON NEWLY REDUCED! GROVE PAVED ROAD NEAR NEW BABCOCK RANCH DEV, OFFERING GOOD POTENTIAL APPREC. YOU CAN HAVE A 10 ACRE HOME SITE AND ROOM FOR HORSES. ACREAGE IS ON A CORNER 330X1320. THIS AREA IS READY TO BOOM. $199,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954

2008

New Listing!

2,036 SQ FT POOL HOME WITH ALL THE UPGRADES. LOVELY TILE IN BATHS, NEW KITCHEN WITH WOOD CABINETS, GRANITE COUNTERS ALSO IN BATHS, LIVING AND FAMILY ROOM. DINING RM, BAR AND BREAKFAST RM. FAM. RM. WITH WOOD FLOOR. SPACIOUS SIZE RMS THRU OUT. A MUST SEE $269,900 CALL ELLEN 628-6954


January

Water LIFE

2008

The Ongoing Battle Between Science and Politics

By Capt. Ron Bl ago Water LIFE Senior Staff The monthly meeting of the FWC in Key Largo on Dec. 6th was to consider once and for all, if it was time to reclassify the Florida manatee from endangered to threatened. It was meant to be a simple matter of reviewing the best available data and following the recommendations of the FWC's scientific staff. The manatee has been on the State endangered species list since 1979 and probably would stay there forever had it not been for the Coastal Conservation Association, who filed a request to reclassify the manatee in 2001. This simple act forced the FWC to review their 25 years of data on manatee population trends and future threats to the manatee’s survival and go on the record by finally answering the question – is the manatee on the verge of extinction or is the manatee population on the road to recovery. Basically they were asked to do the work they should have done back in 1979. The work was done and outside experts were brought in to review the results; and in 2001 the FWC officially recommended the de-listing of the manatee. As quoted in their most recent Manatee Protection Plan ‘ Floridians can be proud of past efforts to protect and conserve manatees and it is

encouraging that manatee numbers are growing in most of the State’. As you would expect, this did not go over well with the private manatee protection people particularly the Save the Manatee Club. You have to remember that this whole mess started because the SMC was threatening to sue the State because they alleged not enough was being done to protect the manatee. Since 2001 the SMC has used every tactic at their disposal to stall and postpone this vote; but at Key Largo it was time to fish or cut bait- at least that’s what most people thought. The battle lines were drawn when the manatee agenda item came up – ‘Purpose and Effect - The purpose of these proposed revised rules to reclassify the Florida Manatee from an endangered species to a threatened species. The FWC has determined that the reclassification is warranted.

Affordable Boat Canvas We specialize in repairs Zipper replacement ment Torn canvas

Window -replace Stitching

AND small custom made products Hatch covers Vinyl cushions Anchor covers

Carpet runners Console covers Dash Covers

AT AFFORDABLE PRICES

Office:941-764-7079

Mobile: 941-286-5653

MAGAZINE

The effect of the rule change will be to more accurately classify the imperiled status of the manatee while maintaining protection to conserve the species’. Everybody knew that this was mostly a symbolic gesture and that the laws protecting the manatee were going to remain the same; the manatee would just join the likes of the loggerhead sea turtle, bald eagle, sandhill crane, gopher tortoise and Florida scrub jay which are already on the threatened list. You had the scientists and researchers with their data on one side and the SMC and their friends on the other. The SMC said they had 28,000 messages from people around the country asking that the FWC stop the deleting process. You would think that recommendations from people who live outside of Florida, who probable never saw a manatee in the wild, wouldn’t mean much when compared with scientists who spend their lives on manatee research; but the SMC had an ace up their sleeve that they played brilliantly. The ace was none other than our own Gov. Charlie Crist. In 1999 the people of Florida voted for a constitutional amendment that would merge the old Marine Fisheries Commission with Game and Freshwater Fish commission to form the new Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). One of the main purposes of that amendment was to take politics out of resource management policies. Unfortunately the governor appoints all of the commissioners on the FWC so there is somewhat of a conflict. So for the manatee vote, instead of

Page 9

agreeing with their own scientific staff, the FWC once again voted to not vote. Instead they asked their staff to ‘re-examine the imperiled species listing process and bring back alternatives that are easy for the public to understand’. Excuse me - if the population of manatees is increasing they’re threatened; if the population is going down they’re endangered - how much easier can it get? After the meeting the SMC celebrated a great victory. They gave the best description of what happened at the Key Largo meeting in their press release: Good News for Manatees - ‘Governor Charlie Crist asked the FWC to reject the status change and the Commissioners complied’. Don’t tell me politics didn’t figure into that request. Why would the governor go against the wishes of his staff? Rumor has it that Governor Crist wants to be considered as a vice-president candidate in the upcoming presidential election. Frankly, he might make a pretty good vice president and if that’s what it takes to get him out of Florida I’m ready to start the Charlie for VP committee. Maybe then Florida will get a leader who understands what ‘best available science’ means. Just remember that old saying, “a man who compromises his principles for power – usually winds up with neither.” If you want to express your opinions on the matter, drop old Charlie an e-mail at: Charlie.Crist@My Florida.com

Cap. Ron can be reached for comments, information or to book a guided fishing trip at 941-474-3474


Water LIFE

Page 10

January

MAGAZINE

2008

Seeing

Tournament Ends the Competitive Fishing Season

S t aff R eport

As expected, the ‘Spot” tournament brought out a different set of anglers. A number of the usual suspects, regular participants who like to focus on big fish, opted out in this event. “It’s all about

luck,” one of them pointed out. The idea in this, the last Flatsmaster’s/Classic Tournaments event of the year, was to bring back two legal redfish. The team with the two fish with the most spots would be the winner. Weight meant nothing. Twenty teams entered. The top three went home with cash prizes. First place was ‘right around $1000,” Jerry Cleffi, the tournament weighmaster said. Early on, Clay Rebol and the Banks Engineering team brought in two fish with a total of 9 spots. Nine is a lot , that was the early consensus on the dock. A lot, but not enough. Andrew

Mike McCarty and team Haulin Reds hauled in the most spots and hauled home $1000

Wilson and his Outta Line fishing team topped 9 spots with their 11, then Mike McCarty and Team Haulin’ Reds tied them with their first fish – an 11 spot beauty – and then backed it up with a second fish adding three more spots. Fourteen was the magic number. Is a redfish born with the same spots it has when it is mature? or is a redfish like a

dog, developing new spots over the course of its lifetime? It is a question that is apparently without a specific answer. Like the winner’s strategy. “We had no strategy, no plan – just catch a lot of reds and see how many spots we could tally up. Big fish, small fish, it didn’t matter. It was all luck,” McCarty said.

QUICK FACT: A redfish with over 600 spots was caught last summer near Sanibel.

7040 Manasota Key Road. Spectacular secluded 3 bedroom 3 bath Gulf front home w/caged pool. One of a kind property surrounded by lush vegetation. Each room with incredible views.

Anglers Resort. Updated turnkey furnished 2 bedroom condo w/great view of pool, lovely patio and deeded boat slip. Great rental property. From $299,900

Spectacular 3rd floor NEW bayfront 3 br. 2 1/2 ba. condo on Manasota Key across from the beach. 10' ceilings, 2 car garage, granite tops, gated with boat docks, pool and spa. Other units available.

Gulf Sands. Customized and updated 3 bedroom 2 bath end unit condo w/open floor plan. Partial Gulf and Bay views. Heated pool and deeded boat dock.

8210 Manasota Key Road Island Paradise for sale. Gulf to Bay property w/ large beach house. Swimming pool overlooks the Gulf. Large screened porch, huge galley kitchen and more. $2,100,000

Stunning views of the Gulf from this popular El Galeon condo. Amenities include boat docks, heated pools and a fantastic beach. Great rental property


January

2008

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

P a g e 11


Water LIFE

Page 12

26' Bayliner 2609 Rendezvous Deck Boat, 1995. Powered by single 175hp Mercury outboard. Asking $13,900

36' Sabreline Express Cruiser, 1997. Twin 300hp 3116 Caterpillars. Quality built, turn key cruiser. Reduced to $199,000

MAGAZINE

30' Contender CC .Twin 225 Yamaha Saltwater Series II, less than 300 Hours, T-Top, New trailer included. $57,900

Further

29' Wellcraft Coastal 2004 hard top, twin 225hp Yamaha Four Strokes. Ultimate offshore fishing,well equipped $112,900

36' Stamas 360 EXP 1992, Only 200 hrs on 23' Caravelle 230 CC, 2002. Very well equipped Tarpon Tower boat. 225hp Yamaha twin 375 Merc. inboards new in 2006. Bottom paint, props redone Reduced $69,900 under warranty until 2008! $39,000

38' Bayliner 3870 1985. Twin 135HP mitzubishi deisels. Nice roomy economical cruiser. $59,500

32' Hatteras Flybridge Sportfish, very nice throughout . Twin 350hp Crusaders. High quality sportfisherman. $44,500

30' SeaRay 300 Weekender, 1989. Always been lift stored out of the water. 260HP Mercruiser Inboards. $28,900

Loaded with all your fishing needs & more!

22' Black Jack 224 Bay Boat, 2006. Single 250HP Yamaha 4 stroke, low hours. $47,900

37' Marine Trader Double Cabin Trawler, 1979. A lot of bang for the buck on the Trawler Market Single 120HP Lehman. $49,900

28' Cape Dory, 1985. Highly sought after. Downeast style diesel powered trawler .Single 100HP Westerbeke $55,900

35' Trojan 350 Express. Very nice, well designed boat that is lift stored and ready to cruise. Twin 320HP Crusaders. $67,500

"Sea Breeze" is a spacious, two stateroom cruiser.

34' Catalina 34 MK II, 2001 - sailors' favorite! Performs well and is very easy to handle. 35HP single deisel. $97,900

24' Grady White Offshore. Twin 140HP motors. Fish rigged with tuna tower, outriggers, down riggers, etc. $10,900

26' Shamrock, 2003. Inshore orOffshore fisherman. Full keel tracking and protection. Single 250 Indmar. $29,900

31' Contender Open 2006. Twin 250hp four strokes. The ultimate fishing machine! No expense spared on electronics. $149,500.

Mechanically good express sportfish. Owner will accept trade.

36' Mainship Express Open, 1990. SaltShaker tower with controls. Twin 330HP Meruisers 2000. $32,900

January

20' Pathfinder 2000V 2007. Single 150hp Yamaha v-max. In showroom condition and comes with aluminum trailer. $34,500

22' Pathfinder 2200 V tournament Series, 2005. Single 200hp Yamaha HPI 2004. Very well maintained, includes trailer. $38,500

37' Sea Ray 370 Sundancer, 1995. Twin 315HP Cummins. New Canvas & Berber carpeting, 1000 hour check. $139,500.

28' Scout 280SF CC Fisherman, 2002. Twin 225hp Yamaha 4 strokes. Very nice condition throughout, and lift stored! $79,900

30' Young & Grant Sportfish, 1983. Single 350HP Caterpillar 3116 Turbo, 2000. Asking $34,900 Owner Moving Must Sell

18' Cobia Center Console 1999. Single 115HP Yamaha V-4. Great for fishing or cruising. $10,900

Owner wants her sold now!

25' Parker 2520 Pilot House Fish 2005, like new. 225 HP Yamaha Four Stroke. 5 year transferrable hull warranty. $54,900

31' Slickcraft 310 SC Express Cruiser, 1988. Twin 260hp Mercruisers. Very clean condition only 197 original hours on her. $29,500

30' Proline Express - 2000. Great offshore fishing boat. Twin 225HP Evinrude. $49,900

32' Island Packet Cutter, 1991. Must see if looking for a high quality vessel. We present all offers. Single 27HP Yanmar Deisel. $99,000

"Slip Away" in a spacious Motor Yacht.

42' Uniflite double cabin. Queen berths fore & aft, with a popular sundeck. Twin 300HP Detroit deisels, 8.2L. $114,900

Excellent condition throughout.

38' Egg Harbor Sportfish, 1974. Twin 335 HP Marine Power 5.7 Vortec EFI - NEW 2006. Has had extensive upgrades. $69,500

2008


Diving:

January

2008

By Adam Wi l son Water LIfe Diving My hands are sore, my body is tired and every available square inch of real estate in my garage is covered with dripping scuba gear. That can only mean one thing, the end of a long dive trip. If you are looking for some incredibly different diving and don't want to head overseas you don't have to go any further than our own backyard right here in southwest Florida. Capt. Rick Pitts runs the charter boat Ultimate Getaway from Ft. Myers beach. He specializes in multiday spearfishing and lobster trips to the Dry Tortugas, a tiny island cluster surrounded by miles of coral reefs, 70 miles west of Key West. Our trip began on a Thursday evening as the 100 foot aluminum ship slipped out of San Carlos Bay just after sunset. When we woke up Friday morning we were already anchored over a beautiful tropical reef the likes only found in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. Friday was spent riding the warm gulf currents and exploring ledges, pinnacles and coral heads, some the size of a city block, erupting from the white sandy desert like a giant mushroom,while the boat followed above. Most of the diving done from the Getaway is drift diving where divers are dropped on one end of a reef and just cruise with the flow, usually popping up near the following vessel, eliminating the concern of wandering too far from an anchored boat. This allows divers to see huge sections of reefs in one dive, which is great in the tortugas where ledges can run for miles. That night just after sunset the boat was anchored in shallow water to give everyone a chance at a night dive. Ours was just a couple of days before the full moon and gave us enough light to distinguish the dark silhouette of the ships hull 60 feet above. It's after dark when

Dive

Water LIFE

Boat

MAGAZINE

To r t u g a s

Tr i p

you get to see a completely different side of underwater life. Fish sleeping against sponges, squid darting back and forth overhead, lobsters and crabs out on the prowl and billions of tiny plankton sized creatures wiggling their way to the surface. When Saturday morning arrived we were anchored behind the safety of Ft. Jefferson. A huge brick fort structure built in the mid 1800's. A walk around the fort can be accommodated, but our

working our way back to the north. When we woke up Sunday, Capt. Rick had us moored to the wreck of the Baja California, a 265 foot freighter 70 miles off the coast of Naples. The Baja was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1942. She had a general cargo with tons of glassware, cotton, tobacco and military vehicles and lies in 115 feet. It is still easy to find bottles in and near the cargo holds today. Her tired, collapsed bulkheads also make great habitat for deep

group wanted to get back to diving. "There aren't any lobsters in the fort" was the major consensus. Saturday was spent shooting hogfish and grouper, snaring lobsters and taking lots of pictures, but for me the best part of the trip was yet to come. Saturday night was spent slowly

water shells like lions paws and spiny oysters. Even though there are usually large amberjacks and black groupers around the wreck, I usually just bring my goody bag down to collect treasures. The only cargo off limits for salvage are the large 4 inch munitions littering the sand around the deck gun still on the ship's stern. The final dive of the trip is just a few miles away at an Air Force relay tower. It gives divers a feel of what their larger cousins the oil rigs must be like. The steel structure and cross beams are covered with sponge and soft coral and are home to dozens of barracuda, amberjack, snappers and goliath grouper. With no artifacts to find here, it is a better place to hunt the passing schools of pelagics. We had several out of town divers on our trip that weren't familiar with spearing and the wide eyed looks on their faces as we shot our way down through the thick schools of amberjacks was priceless. The trip finally ended back at the Getaway Marina early Sunday evening. I was sorry the trip was over, but after three full days and a total of 14 dives I was ready for a rest.

Page 13

I have been on other charters to the tortugas, unfortunately almost all leave from Key West (a six hour drive), cost more money and don't stop at any shipwrecks. I have been on the Getaway more than once and would recommend the trip to everyone. For me the cost per dive ratio is unbeatable, and with first class service all the way. Thanks to Capt. Rick, Capt. Matt, Capt. John, Al, Jay and Vick. Charters can be booked at ulti-


Water LIFE

Page 14

Monitoring Mangrove Restoration is Underway By Betty S taugl er Water LIFE / Sea Grant It’s been two months since the mangrove restoration project and we are almost done setting up our monitoring stations and conducting our first set of counts. Because it is still pretty early in the process, it is really too soon to expect much success, but I thought I would share my early observations. Remember we used two different restoration techniques, planting and dispersal. In most cases, we have been able to find our planted propagules and they are still vertical. Most, at this point are not yet truly

established– rooted with new leaves. We have however, had great difficulty in finding the dispersed propagules. At first I thought they floated off, but in looking at our counts, it is highly possible that the paint is wearing off. The reason I say this is that we are finding considerably more propagules in our dispersal test plots than in our planting or control test plots. Remember we dispersed twice as many propagules as were planted. We also dispersed into the deadfall but still within the water. As such, these propagules likely bumped into each other and the deadfall, possibly rubbing the paint

Water Toys, Water Skis, & Floats in stock w w w. a l l f i b e r g l a s s r e p a i r s . c o m Scott Steffe Owner

January

MAGAZINE

Charlotte Harborʼs coastline like this sectiopn just north of Cape Haze, still has a long way to go before red mangrove trees once again drape into the water

off in the process. We also discovered that a propagule which has spent a considerable amount of time floating in that white scum near the shoreline is easily confused with white painted propagules (a lesson learned...pick a color other than white). This white scum/white paint similarity has made finding our propagules, and we have found some, a rather tedious job. The majority of the propagules in the dispersal plots are still lying on the ground (horizontal), but the good news is, they still appear to be viable, so they may yet become established. I have not had the opportunity to crunch the numbers yet, but we have found some established propagules in all but one of our test plots and that in itself is something! Interestingly, we planted some propagules at the spoil island near the Pirate Harbor channel and the island’s crabs completely decimated them. Fortunately, this is the only restoration plot where we have observed such an occurrence. Also, worth mentioning is that the 5th grade class of Good Shepherd School planted and dispersed at three islands on the East Wall. This class chose the mangrove restoration project as their community service learning project for the school year. Roger took them out in early November to conduct their restoration event.

In other S ea Grant News: Another Kids Cup redfish was recaptured and reported to the Redfish Hotline. This fish was originally caught by Brennon Osborne in Pine Island Sound. The fish was recaptured on November 22nd near Pirate Harbor, where it was rereleased with tag intact. Brennon’s fish has traveled the furthest of all of our observed fish to date. Kids Cup 2008 is April 19th and the tagging and tracking crew plan to be in full swing for another year of the redfish tracking project which in year one, produced some rather interesting early observations. Al so of Note Our first Florida Master Naturalist Class graduated on December 19th. Twenty students, including Water LIFE Senior Staff Writer, Capt. Ron Blago, participated in this six week classroom/field experience. All graduates are now recognized as Florida Master Naturalists in the coastal module of this University of Florida program. Roger DeBruler, Sea Grant Program Assistant, who is instructor of the program for Charlotte County has posted the second class offering, which will begin in late February. You can contact him if you would like more information at 7644340. Betty Staugler is the Univ ersity of

Fabrication ¥ Spot Repairs Major Structural Repairs Professional Quality Awl Grip Finishes Gel Coat ¥ Detailing and Brightwork Free Estimates ¥ Mobile Service Complete

Shop 941- 5758914 Home

1726 Steadly Ave

2008

Custom Work is Our


January

Water LIFE

2008

Page 15

MAGAZINE

Red Snapper Closed until April 14

Red Snapper Closed until April 14 Jumbo live shrimp, whitebait (if available), swimming plugs

Snook

Canals, creeks, up river

Sheepshead

Around piers, pilings and rocks in the harbor, on shallow rock ledges in the Gulf

Redfish

Mangrove creeks, mangrove shorelines, flats

Spanish Mackerel

Boca Grande bar, Cape Haze Point, Alligator Creek artificial reef

Live shrimp,sand fleas, fiddler crabs, tube worms

Live shrimp, pinfish, white baits (if available) Live shrimp, white bait (if available), spoons and jigs

Free line live baits in creeks or under docks in canals, troll plugs in canals or up river Drift the flats with live under popping shrimp corks, work shrimp-tipped jigs slow and deep in canals

Fish under the mangroves when the tide's high, on the flats when the tide is low

Free line live baits around the bars and the reef, troll spoons or jigs on the bars or around schools of bait or flocks of sea birds

Gulf waters one to thirty miles offshore

Spanish Mackerel

Boca Grande bar, Cape Haze Point, Alligator Creek artificial reef

Snook

Canals, creeks, mangrove shorelines

Tarpon

Myakka River, center of Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande Pass

Notes: Snook season is closed May, June, July and August

Snook

Potholes on the flats, Gulf passes, beaches

Tarpon

Myakka River, center of Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande Pass Canals, boat basins during cool weather, grass flats during warm weather

Sharks

Live jacks, ladyfish or trout, cut bait

Whitebait , top water plugs, soft plastics

Jumbo live shrimp, pinfish, threadfins, dollar crabs, squirrel fish, jigs

Live jacks, ladyfish or trout, cut bait

Free line live baits on the beach and on the flats, fish deep on the edges of the Gulf passes

Free line baits where fish are seen in the harbor, fish jigs, shrimp, crabs or squirrel fish on the tides in Boca Grande

Daytime or night time fish with chum and wire leader

Mangrove shorelines, flats in the lower harbor

Shrimp, whitebaits, spoons, top water plugs

Fish the mangroves on higher tides, the flats during lower water

Trout

white bait, jigs, various plugs

Drift the flats until fish are located

Redfish

Grass flats

Spoons, swimming plugs, large live baits

King Mackerel

Potholes on the flats, mangrove shorelines, creeks and canals

Snook

Spanish Mackerel

Boca Grande bar, Cape Haze Point, Alligator Creek artificial reef

Free line live baits on the flats and under the mangroves

Live shrimp, white bait, spoons and jigs

Free line live baits around the bars and reef, troll spoons or jigs on the bars or around schools of bait or flocks of birds

Redfish

Shrimp, whitebaits, spoons, top water plugs

King Mackerel

Spoons, swimming plugs, large live baits

Mangrove shorelines, flats in the lower harbor Gulf waters one to thirty miles offshore

Gag Grouper

Rock ledges in 40 to 100 feet of water in the Gulf

Live baits including squirrel fish, pinfish and grunts

Fish the mangroves on higher tides, the flats during lower water, watch for schools of oversized fish on the flats

Troll lures or free line live baits around schools of bait, around wrecks, under diving sea birds Fish next to or on top of ledges with heavy line and a tight drag

Free line live baits around the bars and the reefs, troll spoons or jigs on the bars or around schools of bait or flocks of sea birds

Whitebait , swimming plugs

Free line live baits in creeks or under docks in canals, under overhanging mangroves

Jumbo live shrimp, pinfish, threadfins

Free line baits where fish are seen in the harbor

Whitebait , top water plugs, soft plastics

Potholes on the flats, Gulf passes, beaches

Jumbo live shrimp, pinfish, threadfins

Tarpon

Myakka River, center of Charlotte Harbor

Free line live baits on the beach and on the flats, fish deep on the edges of the Gulf passes Free line baits where fish are seen in the harbor

Sharks

Live jacks, ladyfish or trout, cut bait

Daytime or night time fish with chum and wire leader

Redfish

Shrimp, whitebaits, spoons, top water plugs

Fish the mangroves on higher tides, the flats during lower water, watch for schools of oversized fish on the flats

Boca Grande Pass, deep center of the harbor, outside bar edges, small fish on the flats

Mangrove shorelines, flats in the lower harbor

Live shrimp, white bait, jigs, various plugs

Trout

Notes: Spotted sea trout season is closed in November and December Red Snapper is closed Nov 1 - April 14

Whitebait, top water plugs, soft plastics

Live shrimp, white bait, spoons and jigs

Notes: Snook season is closed May, June, July and August

Grass flats

Snook

Troll lures or free line live baits around schools of bait, around wrecks, under diving sea birds

Snook

Potholes on the flats, mangrove shorelines, creeks and canals, up river

Redfish

Drift the flats until fish are located

Notes: Spotted sea trout season is closed in November and December. Snook season closes December 1 Red Snapper is closed Nov 1 - April 14

Mangrove shorelines, flats in the lower harbor

Whitebait, top water plugs, soft plastics

Free line live baits on the flats and under the mangroves, under docks in canals

Shrimp, whitebaits, spoons, top water plugs

Fish the mangroves on higher tides, the flats during lower water, watch for schools of oversized fish on the flats

Gag Grouper

Live baits including squirrel fish, pinfish and grunts

Fish next to or on top of ledges with heavy line and a tight drag

Trout

Live shrimp, shrimp-tipped jigs

Fish slow and deep during cold weather

Rock ledges in 20 to 60 feet of water in the Gulf Canals, creeks and boat basins

P U L L O U T A N D S AV E E N T I R E 2 - PA G E 1 2 - M O N T H F I S H I N G C A L E N D A R !


Water LIFE

Page 16

January

MAGAZINE

2008

Yet Another Kids Cup Tagged Fish Turns Up This one might have been headed ʻhomeʼ

Betty Staugler told us “We have had another dart tag return. This fish was originally caught by Brennon Osborne near Cabbage Key. Once again the angler who recaptured the fish released it with tag intact.” See details below.

Tag #:19925 Date Caught: 22 Nov 07 Site Caught: CH - Pirate Harbor Date Tagged:28 Apr 07 Site Tagged: Fishermans Village Distance Traveled (nm): 7.78 Tagged Length (mm): 514 Reported Length (mm): 571.50 Species Reported: Sci. ocellatus (Red Drum) Days-at-large: 208

F l o ri d a F l a t z Fi s h i n ’

full & half day charters

Kids Always Welcome! Capt. John C. Morrison (239) 289-3653

www. floridaflatzfishin.com


January

2008

Water LIFE

Kids Cup off and Running Sponsors make it all happen Application forms for the 2008 Kids Cup tournament are now available online at www.kidscuptournament.com. By mid February they will be available in local bait and tackle shops, at Laishley Marine, West Marine and a host of other boating and fishing locations. We are once again pleased to announce that Palm Chevrolet and Laishley Marine are the Host sponsors of the Kids Cup. Through their dedication and commitment we are once again able to start the ball rolling for a fun tournament and for the 2008 Don Ball School of fishing. The whole idea of the Kids Cup tourna-

ment is to introduce kids age 10 through 16 to tournament fishing and to introduce them to hands on science directly related to the eco system that is Charlotte harbor. It is our belief that learning by doing, by being out on the water and watching what is going on, out kids will grow up to be responsible stewards of the environment. Once again this year Betty Staugler our Sea Grant agent from the University of Florida and Carole Neidig and the fish biologists at Mote Marine Laboratory will be tagging and studying the fish we catch and release.

MAGAZINE

Last year was the first year of surgically implanting sonic tags in our tournament fish. Watching what the fish did last year I think we learned that when released the fish venture out from the release point and then return. Then they go out a little further, then they return again. That took about a month. Then the batteries on the receivers ran out and the study ended. This year I think we will put out more receivers and keep them in a closer radius of the release site. This year we will again be looking for tagging sponsors and for tournament sponsors to help make all this happen. Sponsors receive special Kids Cup Sponsor hats or shirts and get an ad in the Kids Cup Program, which is part of our April edition and distributed around

Page 17

town for free at various locations. Sponsors also get their names printed in the upcoming edition and tournament report of this publication. The Don Ball School of Fishing program I mentioned earlier is an 8 week course in five of our local County Middle schools where local fishing guides teach 7th graders about local fishing and the local environment. It’s a win win situation. There are no cash prizes but we have great trophies and the event itself is a fun filled weekend. The top five kids who weigh in the heaviest five redfish then go on the following weekend to fish on the final day of the Oh Boy Oberto Redfish Cup at Punta Gorda and weigh in on the ESPN2 TV stage. Call (941) 766-8180 for more information


Water LIFE

Page 18

Spotted trout season opens January 1. Snook season is closed all of January and February Red Snapper Closed through April 14

January Redfish

Canals, mangrove creeks in cooler weather, flats during warm spells

Pompano

Stump Pass to Lemon Bay In and around Gulf inlets

Gag Grouper

Ledges in 30 to 50 feet of water in the Gulf

Sheepshead

Around piers, pilings and rocks in the harbor, on shallow rock ledges in the Gulf

Live shrimp, jigs, soft plastic baits

tiny piece of shrimp on a bucktail or a sand flea on a jig Live baits including squirrel fish, pinfish and grunts Live shrimp,sand fleas, fiddler crabs, tube worms

Spanish Mackerel Boca Grande bar, Cape Haze Point, Alligator Creek artificial reef

Snook

Canals, creeks, mangrove shorelines, Gulf passes

Tarpon

Myakka River, center of Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande Pass

Sharks

Boca Grande Pass, deep center of the harbor, outside bar edges

Redfish

Mangrove shorelines, flats in the lower harbor

Live shrimp, white bait, spoons and jigs

Free line live baits in creeks or under docks in canals, under overhanging mangroves, edges of the Gulf passes

Jumbo live shrimp, pinfish, threadfins, dollar crabs, squirrel fish, jigs

Free line baits where fish are seen in the harbor, fish jigs, shrimp, crabs or squirrel fish on the tides in Boca Grande Pass

Live jacks, ladyfish or trout, cut bait

Daytime or night time fish with chum and wire leader

Fish the mangroves on higher tides, the flats during lower water

Notes: Snook season opens September first

September Snook

Potholes on the flats, Gulf beaches

Spanish Mackerel

Boca Grande bar, Cape Haze Point, Alligator Creek artificial reef

Whitebait, top water plugs, soft plastics Live shrimp, white bait, spoons and jigs

Free line live baits on the beach and on the flats Free line live baits around the bars and the reef, troll spoons or jigs on the bars or around schools of bait or flocks of sea birds

Fish the mangroves on higher tides, the flats during lower water, watch for schools of oversized fish on the flats

Redfish

Shrimp, whitebaits, spoons, top water plugs

Trout

Live shrimp, white bait, jigs, various plugs

Drift the flats until fish are located

Mangrove Snapper

Live shrimp, white bait

Drift baits just above the bottom in the passes

Mangrove shorelines, flats in the lower harbor

Grass flats

Gulf passes

Live shrimp, jigs, soft plastic baits

Spotted Trout

Live shrimp, shrimp-tipped jigs

Mangrove Snapper

Ledges in 30 to 90 feet of water in the Gulf

Sheepshead

Pier anglers fish alongside pilings, Gulf anglers fish right on rock ledges

Free line live baits around the bars and the reef, troll spoons or jigs on the bars or around schools of bait or flocks of sea birds

Canals, mangrove creeks in cooler weather, flats during warm spells

Canals, boat basins during cool weather, grass flats during warm weather

Anchor just off ledges and fish near the bottom

Whitebait , swimming plugs

Shrimp, whitebaits, spoons, top water plugs

Redfish

Fish the moving water by the inlets or in the surf along the beaches

2008

Notes: Snook season Closed thru Feb Red Snapper Closed through April 14

February

Toss live shrimp under overhanging mangroves in the creeks, sight fish on shallow, clear flats making long casts with soft plastics

Snook season is closed May, June, July, August

May

January

MAGAZINE

Around piers, pilings and rocks in the harbor, on shallow rock ledges in the Gulf

Live shrimp

Live shrimp,sand fleas, fiddler crabs, tube worms

Toss live shrimp under overhanging mangroves in the creeks, sight fish on shallow, clear flats making long casts with soft plastics

Drift the flats with live shrimp under popping corks, work shrimp-tipped jigs slow and deep in canals Anchor on top of ledges and fish near the bottom or chum the fish to the surface Pier anglers fish alongside pilings, Gulf anglers fish right on rock ledges

Notes: Snook season is closed May, June, July and August

June Snook

Whitebait , top water plugs, soft plastics

Free line live baits under overhanging mangroves, edges of the Gulf passes

Tarpon

Jumbo live shrimp, pinfish, threadfins, dollar crabs, squirrel fish, jigs

Free line baits where fish are seen in the harbor, fish jigs, shrimp, crabs or squirrel fish on the tides in Boca Grande Pass

Mangrove shorelines, Gulf passes, beaches

Myakka River, center of Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande Pass

Sharks

Boca Grande Pass, deep center of the harbor, outside bar edges, small fish on the flats

Redfish

Mangrove shorelines, flats in the lower harbor

Live jacks, ladyfish or trout, cut bait

Daytime or night time fish with chum and wire leader

Shrimp, whitebaits, spoons, top water plugs

Fish the mangroves on higher tides, the flats during lower water

Whitebait , top water plugs, soft plastics

Free line live baits on the flats and under the mangroves

Live shrimp, white bait, spoons and jigs

Free line live baits around the bars and the reef, troll spoons or jigs on the bars or around schools of bait or flocks of sea birds

OCTOBER Snook

Potholes on the flats, mangrove shorelines

Spanish Mackerel

Boca Grande bar, Cape Haze Point, Alligator Creek artificial reef

Redfish

Mangrove shorelines, flats in the lower harbor

Shrimp, whitebaits, spoons, top water plugs

Fish the mangroves on higher tides, the flats during lower water, watch for schools of oversized fish on the flats

Trout

Grass flats

Live shrimp, white bait, jigs, various plugs

Drift the flats until fish are located

Mangrove Snapper

Live shrimp, white bait

Drift baits just above the bottom in the passes

Barracuda

Various live fish, tube lures

Troll or cast on the surface

Gulf passes

Offshore wrecks and artificial reefs

P U L L O U T A N D S AV E E N T I R E 2 - PA G E 1 2 - M O N T H F I S H I N G C A L E N D A R !


Inshore Fishing

January

2008

Screaming Reels

By Capt. Andrew Medi na Water LIFE Staff The end of December was an interesting time. With a full moon, and the first of a string of cold fronts, fishing proved to be less than cooperative. But we still managed to take a few fish – trout being my number one trip saver. A shrimp under a cork on any grass flat seemed to attract the attention of a winter trout. We also noticed while running the bar a number of bull sharks and cobia. The cobia were pretty eager to eat, caught a couple on top water while searching for redfish, but what really surprised me was the amount of bait. Not just threadfins, they’re here every winter, it was greenbacks in December that shocked me. Two throws and we were done. They weren’t everywhere, but with a little searching we could find them. As January roles in, the moon will settle and fish will continue there regular winter habits. There have been reports of tarpon still in the pass mixed in with kings and spanish. These fish are being caught either trolling or fishing live bait. The snook bite is on. There have been some big girls roaming around in the back creeks of the Myakka cutoff on the incoming tide. These fish are catch and release only, since snook season closed on Dec. 1st . With that note, last month I made a mistake. I wrote that Snook season closed on Dec. 15th. That was my bad. That was the old date. With all the changing slot limits and seasons, it’s hard to keep up. Here’s where the confusion comes from: snook season is closed Dec 15 on the east coast and closded Dec1 west coast. Why do they get 14

Water LIFE

more days of fishing than we do? Their slot limit is an inch tighter than ours also. Why? Statewide regulations would be a lot less confusing. The redfish action has been great on the low water bite. A lot of tailing fish on the west wall. Shrimp seems to be the ticket for these fish, rigged with a circle hook and a split-shot, or hung on a jig head, has been pretty effective. The trout fishing is hot in the deeper pot holes. A live shrimp under a popping cork is a good bet. And on the artificial side Culprit/Riptides root beer shrimp under a cork has been also worked real well. Now is the time to start looking for grouper on the inshore reefs. Pinfish or cut baits will work on reefs such as Alligator or Novak so long as you can get a bait to them before a goliath grabs it. It seems the goliath grouper has just about inhabited every rock pile or structure in the Gulf. For you fly guys, shrimp patterns cast to cruising redfish on the bar has produced a few nice fish. And for the trout it seems a red and white clauser would be doing real good. Fish never seem to learn that red and white is not the best food source for them. Fresh water fishing is also doing really well. Bass should be going into their pre-spawning dwellings soon. And spec fishing is turning on. Specs in most of the Charlotte area canals are feeding NOW, with large numbers being caught primarily on minnows.

Capt. Andrew Medina can be reached for charter information by calling (941) 456-1540 or on the web at: www.BentRods4u.com

MAGAZINE

Page

19

This parranah-looking fish is actually a Tambaqui ( Colossoma Macropomum also know as Black Pacu) Native to the Amazon and Orinoco River Basin. They have been found in Florida, Hawaii, California and Texas. This one was caught in a Charlotte County Canal probably released out of someone's fish tank.


Page 20

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

R Re ea all E Es st ta at te e N Ne ew ws s PROVIDED BY: Dave & Marl ene Hofer RE/MAX Harbor Realty

(941) 575-3777 dhofer@remax.net Recent area news i tems:

Staff Report So far, the downtown Sunloft Center (shown above), the crown jewel of the downtown reconstruction, hasnʼt received much attention. Save for the one time it made the papers when a young couple were apprehended while in the cab of the construction crane 100 feet in the air, being ʻintimateʼ, there hasnʼt been much to report. Then in late December I was getting a flat fixed at a local tire shop and the guy there told me what he had just heard from one of the construction crew at Sunloft. So I fired off an e-mail to a realtor friend. Our correspondence went like this:

Hi Friend FYI: I heard a rumor that they are not going to finish the interior of the Sunloft building. They plan to complete the exterior only, because THEY HAVE NO TENNANTS. Have you heard this? It would stand to reason that if they had a major 'anchor' they'd be promoting it by now. Michael

Friend Replies: Yes VERY disturbing. A couple of months ago I went to their website to see what they were up to. They touted sunloft as being in "SOUTH Punta Gorda"! They had condo floor plans, but no pricing. I called the agent as a potential selling agent who had prospects for it. He said they were looking for 1 large restaurant operator and two smaller resraurant/retail operators but all spots were still available. He quoted me prices of $600 /sf for the condos, all of which were still available. I have been searching for high profile hi rise sites in downtown Boston, Chicago, Washington, and New York. Not one of the penthouse units in those prospective buildings can bring $600 today! But, Itʼs really none of my business how a private party chooses to invest hs money. What is REALLY disturbing is that City Council is now trying to invest more than $10 Mil in a parking garage with 15,000 sf of retail space to compete with Sunloft, City Marketplace and all the existing space on restaurant row. If they weren't using taxpayer's $$ to do it, I wouldn't be as angry as I am. What is really appalling is that they are now trying to circumvent the state constitution to avoid bringing this decision to the ballott! Friend.

1. The Charlotte County Conservation Program agreed to pay $11.3 Mil to acquire 370 acres adjacent to Hathaway Park on Shell Creek. The committee is trying to create a wildlife protected connection to Babcock Ranch and, at the same time, improve water conservation by eliminating the current agricultural uses on the property. 2. Sarasota County is spending $51 Mil to acquire the 12,376 acre Mabry Carlton Ranch. This will insure that the ranch will stay a ranch rather than be converted to their feared "urban sprawl". 3. The City of Punta Gorda has agreed to swap its 16.5 acre public works site for a more convenient 19 acre parcel near the airport. The Laishley Group will develop the Henry Street property into mixed use residential and retail planned development. 4. Charlotte County Commissioners are balking at the planned use of bonding capability by the CRA to build the parking garage in downtown Punta Gorda. Since taxpayers outside of Punta Gorda will be shouldering a significant portion of the bond repayment obligation, they are concerned that the repayment schedule will extend beyond the planned termination of the CRA in 2019. Both sides are apparently assuming that they will find a way around the required submission of the issue to Charlotte County voters.

January

2008

5. The former Mercury Marine Test Center was sold in November for $34 Mil. A private developer of the site on Placida Road will likely apply for development rights for a mixed use waterfront community. 6. Maltese Development is well on its way to obtaining permission to build a 585 home boating oriented subdivision in the Hunter Creek area. The project, which will include 390 dry boat slips, will not start development before 2009. 7. Sarasota County joined Charlotte County in delaying the imposition of huge increases in impact fees to help stimulate demand for new houses. Every little bit helps. 8. In other news, EJ Fishbones opened a new restaurant in Englewood. Punta Gorda City Council is struggling with the costs associated with its planned interactive fountain at its Laishley Park development.

Sales Statistics:

Lot sales numbered only 36 for the month vs 91 a year ago. Median prices have slipped 35% below those levels, also. Home sales slid to 117 for the month, also down 35% from a year ago with median prices down 16%.

These statistics are intended to assist in analyzing trends in supply and demand and not to indicate specific market values. Ending inventory is not always beginning inventory plus listings minus sales since many pending listings are held over from month to month, some listings expire and are withdrawn and, therefore, do not appear as sales and new listings includes price changes.Please visit us at www.harborparadise.com to view any available properties from Venice to Burnt Store Marina


Snook Predictor January

2008

Water LIFE

*Editor notes: Capt. Dave Jackson gave us this tide by tide, day by day look at the coming year of snook fishing in the Charlotte Harbor area. S nook S eason i s open: March, April, September, October and November Size slot: Not less than 28-inches nor more then 33-inches measured with the tail pinched.

March (Can be iffy - depending on bait, especially in early March) Good tides Mar 9-17; full moon 18-23 not so good; Good tides Mar 25-30

April (Usually some of the best fishing)

Good tides Apr 5 -15 pretty good AM tides; better PM tides full moon Apr 18-23 usually not as good bite, but some good tides Good tides Apr 20-27

May (season closed)

Good tides May 2-11 crappy tides May 12-15 full moon May 19 Good tides May 18-23; crappy tides May 24-28 Ok tides May 30-31

June (season closed)

Good tides June 1-7; crappy tides 8-14; good tides June 15- 23 with full moon on June 18. good tides June 28-30

July (season closed) Good tides July 1-5; July 15-19; July 27-31 full moon on July 18.

TARPON TIDES

Best Tides and Dates for Tarpon

April 5-12; May 4-10; May 18-23; June 1-7; June 15-21; June 29-Jul 5; July 1519 Book early!

Here's to Hot Fish and Cold Beer! Capt. Dave Jackson

MAGAZINE

Page

21


WAT E R WAY

On The Line

Water LIFE

Page 22

BOAT LIFT COVERS

PROTECT YOUR BOAT FROM NATUREʼS MOST DAMAGING ELEMENTS

MAGAZINE

January

Fishing withCapt Ron

By Capt Ron Bl ago Water LIFE Senior Staff It’s a New Year and time to review last year’s resolutions and think about replacing them with new ones. Last year I promised myself I would do more fly-fishing and I did more of it than ever before. This year I want to catch more fish while fly-fishing. I find fly fishing very frustrating. I know I have the right equipment and the right flies; and my casting is acceptable, but I just don’t seem to get the number of hook-ups I think I deserve. The other day I was at my favorite grass flat trying my best, and all I

Dine on the dock ~ Million $$ View!

got were a few small gag grouper to eat my fly. What really killed me were all the fish that followed the fly right up to the boat with out striking it. This year I promise I’ll get professional help from my fly fishing guru, Bill Lowe. Another thing I failed miserably at was taking care of my fishing equipment. I should have my entire boat re-wired. After 10 years, all that factory-installed wiring on the Action Craft is old and brittle, just like me. I’ve patched up more corroded wires that go to my bilge pumps, live well pumps and accessories last year that it’s

Patented Double Rail for Ultimate Strength & Safety Mold and Mildew Resistant • UV Protected Fire Resistant • Maintenance Free Quick Release System for Easy Removal

941 - 505-0237

toll free 877-201-3606

www.waterwayboatliftcovers.com

Live Entertainment

Live entertainment Dock Party every Sunday 3-7 every weekend 4271 Pine Island Rd. 282-3232 www.bertsbar.com

Extremely nice 3/2/2, new tile floors, beautiful view, split floorplan, updated, new interior paint, quiet street

$195,000 Immediate Open Water Access Pirate Harbor, 100ʼ Seawall, cleared, 25 minutes to the Gulf. Lowest price in years!

Incredible Open Water Views Nautical tropical keys style stilt home In Pirate Harbor, 25 minutes to gulf, over 3000sf total, immaculate with 4 car parking and RV pad, Boat Lift & davits. $449,900

The Ultimate Deep Creek Home - Luxury appointed 3/2/2 pool home, over 2000sfAir, designer kitchen, metal roof, Simply The Best Home! $229,900

Friday Fish Fry 5 – 9 pm

$189,900 Saltwater Pool Home Nearly 1700sf Air

$166,900 Nearly New Home Over 1600sf under air, 3/2/2 built in 2004. Beautiful lot, high ceilings, Deep Creek

Boaters Welcome

N 26 38.040 W 082 03.958 Near Marker 55 On the Matlacha Pass Dockage Available

CUSTOM BUILT TO YOUR BOAT LIFT • • • •

2008

25 Minutes To Gulf! Incredible stilt home with RV Parking, over 3000sfAir, 150ft seawall, Luxury Appointed $899,000

Fantastic Country Home- 2.5 AcresOversize luxury 5 bedroom custom pool home, built in 2002, pond shed, circular drive No deed restrictions $499,950

! LD O S

Bucanneer LotSunsets at your back door. Premier Pirate Harbor deepwater lot 100ft. of seawall, amongst absolutely gorgeous homes! $309,000

Keys Stilt Home with Boat Ramp Picture window views,deep water canal, recently remodeled, elevator. 5 minutes to Charlotte Harbor, over 3000sf $439,000

North Port Luxury with Huge Detached Garage- 4 Acres Incredible new home with million dollar features. Over 3800sfAir, Guest Suite and 2000sf Outbuilding! $599,900

Kid s Cup Tourname nt April 19, 2008 Punta Gorda


January

2008

best to rip it all out and replace it with new stuff. With all the talk of pole and troll zones, I think I will finally install my new 24-volt trolling motor that has been in my shed for over a year. Another thing I really have to do is clean up my fishing lures. I must have at least 50 fishing lures that need the hooks changed. The other day I was out in my canoe and I retrieved two original Zara Spooks and a MirroLure Catch-2000 stuck in the mangroves. Clean them up and put new hooks on them and they’re good to go. I also found a few new spots to fish: after all, the plugs didn’t get in those trees by themselves – somebody must of

Water LIFE

thought there were fish there. Trout are finally back in season and there are plenty around. Remember your limit is 4 per day with a size limit of 15 to 20 inches. You are allowed to keep one trout over 20 inches as part of your 4 fish bag limit. There are a few other fish that are available this time of year that also have regulations. Sheepshead have a minimum size limit of 12 inches and a daily bag limit of 15 fish. Tripletail has a minimum size limit of 15 inches and a daily bag limit of only 2. Most of our local bait shop have the fishing regulations available or you can find them at www.MyFwc.com, look under fishing, then regulations. Also, for our out of town guests, remember the cost of a non-resident fishing license has increased. And remember too, that the cost of the license is a lot cheaper than the cost of the ticket you might get if you are caught fishing without one. The Placida and the Port Charlotte Beach Complex boat ramps are still closed for renovations. They are scheduled to be available for use again by Feb 1. If you are coming from out of town to fish in Charlotte County you might want to call a local bait shop to see what ramps are available. Capt. Ron can be reached at: captronb@juno.com for fishing information

MAGAZINE

Page

23


Page 24

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

January

2008

So far in front it looked like Bama Slammer wasnʼt even in the same race. December Winter Series race from the Punta Gorda Sailing Club

By Bi l l Di x o n Water LIFE Sailing PGSC had one of two annual reverse start races this past December. The

annual Santa Sail was a great success by any measure. Beautiful weather, 32 boats entered, great decorations, and a livelyparty afterwards. Reverse start races are great for novice racers. Each boat gets a starting time of its own, so there is no congestion or yelling at the start. Slowest boats start first and if every thing is equal, you all finish at the same time. Everything is never equal, so you don’t

all finish at the same time, but because the slow boats start first, they finish much closer to the fast boats, and are ‘in the pack’ for most if not all of the race. Bob Knowles’ Bamma Sl ammer was the top spinnaker boat. Jerry Poquette’s Fancy Free was the top non spinnaker boat. Roger Rommel’s Desert Fox II was the top cruising boat. But everyone won by being out on the

harbor on such a great day. Next month, sailing action kicks off with the Golden Conch regatta put on by Platinum Point YC at Burnt Store Marina Jan 12, 13. The first PGSC spring series race will be Jan 27. Notices of Race and Entries for both are available on the PGSC web site pgscweb.com Go! Sail! Enjoy! Bill Dix on 941-637-2694 or


January

2008

Triple Lakes -- Always an Interesting Paddle

By Davi d Al l en Water LIFE Kayaking The Triple Lakes area is one of the best, yet probably one of the least known, paddles in Charlotte County. Why this is, I’m not quite sure. The north entrance is only a mile or two from Port Charlotte Beach Park, an easy paddle across Alligator Bay to Muddy Bay, then into the mangrove channel south of Lewis Creek, one of the main boat channels to the Bay. The south entrance (or exit) on the north side of the Myakka Cutoff is a little more difficult to locate, but a couple of prominent landmarks, and/or GPS coordinates, can help identify the opening. ‘What makes the Triple Lakes such an interesting paddle?’, you may ask. Well, the variety of the scenery, and the paddling experience for a couple of things. On this single paddle you first get to experience the broad, open expanse of the Peace River, often choppy and rough. Then a quick transition to the relative quiet of the mangrove area on the southwest side of Alligator Bay. The mangrove channel opens into a fairly wide, shallow pond, but staying right of center gets you through without touching bottom – most of the time. The mangrove channel makes still another transition, at the south end of Midway Boulevard, into the Manchester Waterway, with beautiful homes, lawns and boats on the right and more mangroves on the left. After a mile or so on

Water LIFE

the Manchester, a hard left turn takes you into the Triple Lakes Channel, 20-30 feet wide, and usually with an abundance of wildlife. As you continue on a generally southern course, you will pass through, in rapid succession, the three wide, open ponds called the Triple Lakes. Better make sure that the tide is reasonably high for this transit, or you may have to drag your kayak through some of the very shallow spots in the ponds and channels. As you exit the Triple Lakes channel, suddenly you find yourself in the relatively open water of the Myakka Cutoff. The Myakka Cutoff is fairly wide at this point, with Hog Island directly south of the channel opening. A hard turn to the left, a mile and a half paddle, and voila, the Peace River (Charlotte Harbor) once again. The remainder of the paddle north, back to Port Charlotte Beach, can be quite a challenge, depending upon the direction and force of the wind. Still, the 2 + mile paddle along the beaches and mangroves is interesting and there is always something unusual to see. A series of beaches along

MAGAZINE

shore of the mangroves is about the only place on this entire route to stop for a break and a snack. But pick your spots to approach the beach carefully, as the water close to shore can be quite shallow! In general, stay several hundred yards east of the beaches on the northbound trek, to avoid the shoals. Overall, the Triple Lakes paddle covers about 9 miles, so allow about 3 hours for the outing including the break. One of our club members, John Keaveny, has explored other routes from the Manchester Waterway to the Myakka Cutoff, and has found an excellent variation to the route described above. The route John has found adds some variety to the paddle, as our club does the Triple

Page 25

Lakes several times a year. And, there may be still other undiscovered ways to complete the paddle. Aerial maps, such as Google Earth and others aerial charts, help identify potential, new routes. Then, GPS coordinates can be used to locate entry and exit points for the routes. If you are looking for an interesting, sometimes challenging paddle, try the Triple Lake route. You won’t be disappointed.

The Port Charlotte Kay ak ers meet each Wednesday ev ening at 5:30 PM, at the Port Charlotte Beach Complex . All paddlers, or potential paddlers interested in finding out more about the sport and our club, are welcome. For more information, contact Dav e Allen at 941-235-2588 or: dlaa@comcast.net


Offshore Report Page 26

By Capt. S teve S kevi ngton Water LIFE Offshore The fishing last month has been nothing short of spectacular and this month should be more of the same. The grouper have been doing their best to tear our arms off and that's whenever they can get past the mangrove snapper that have been all but chewing the bottom of the boat out. If you don't want to mess with the snapper, just troll, the grouper are hitting deep diving plugs with a passion. The mangrove snapper have been hitting live sardines and large live shrimp, fished on a small hook and light leader. Kingfish have been just about everywhere for the past month. We are finding them tight up on the beach as well as on wrecks as far out as 50 miles or more. Almost every method of fishing for them has been working; trolling, live baiting, kite fishing, at the moment they’re everywhere and they’re hitting everything. My favorite way to fish these guys is to anchor-up

Water LIFE

and live chum them. This means getting a lot of live sardines and tossing hand fulls of them overboard to get the fish crashing bait right behind the boat; once they start that..... it's all over but the crying. You can catch them on just about anything they can fit in there mouths at that point.A bottle cap on a hook would probably work! Now is a really great time to bust out with the fly-rod. If you fish the same way over the deep offshore wrecks this month you’ll have the amberjack feeding the same way too. Right on top & right behind the

Two Lots on Corner of Fleming & David 60ʼ ON THE WATER with seawall in and dock being installed. Lots cleared with water and sewer available.

Gulf Cove Lot CHILCOTE TERRACE Cleared, filled, with seawall and dock. 3rd from Myakka in area of upscale homes. 98'X125' $499,000

2008

Hereʼs a healthy AJ caught late last month.

$329,000

Doug & Judy Kaff

January

MAGAZINE

Great New Bayside Complex. Gated with private

elevators and coded entry . Turnkey furnished 2bed 2bath. nice views – unit has private garages, community dock, workout room, pool with spa. $799,000

boat, it's some of the most exciting fishing you can imagine.

Capt Stev e can be reached for charter information at, (941) 575-3528 or at www.paradisefishingcharters.com

$675,000 $599,000 $399,900 $359,000 SURF CLUB - MANASOTA KEY CONDO Gulf View 3 BR, Nice beach and pool, beautifully decorated, sold furnished. Ready to enjoy or offer for rental

$299,000!

DUPLEX, On Manasota Key, short walk to beaches Convenient parking in front, each unit with its own lanai Live in one side and rent the other ! Unit 1: 2 bedrooms, one bath Unit 2: 1 bedroom, one bath

New Const. Direct Gulf Front New Condos: 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath. Two Pools, elevators, under building parking ON THE BEACH! a. $999,000 "The Palms " full gulf views SOLD! $769,000 "Barefoot Beach" Bldg 1 Turnkey furnished, generated b.SOLD! over $31,000 in rental income last year...full gulf views c. $499,000 "Barefoot Beach" ...Bldg 2 entire floor no common walls d. $1,199,000 "Boulder Pointe" direct gulf front, 2 pools and tennis court

Judy Kaff

(941) 830-0502

(941) 474-9534

Judykaff@earthlink.net


SCUTTLEBUTT

January

2008

Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True

Whi te Chri stmas - We (the publishers) drove to Denver to see out daughter for the holidays. On the way up through St Louis and Kansas City we had beautiful weather. In Denver the weatherman predicted a slight chance of snow flurries for Christmas : We got 8 inches and another foot two days later. “We didn’t expect that!,” the weatherman said – he must have been related to the weather guys here. The southern route was supposed to be clear for the trip home, but there was snow and slush down to New Mexico. Amarillo was supposed to be nice, but the wind was blowing 40-plus, which kept the horizontal snow from sticking. Temperatures were in the teens and 20’s until we hit I-10 in Louisiana where the rain pitted ABS cars against non-ABS cars in 7 different three-car- wrecks on one two-mile stretch. Traffic on the Florida Interstate was the heaviest across the nation. The lowest overpass on the interstate from Denver to Port Charlotte was 15-feet 3 inches, and gas prices everywhere (except in Florida) were between 2.65 and 2.85 per gallon. Glad to be home! Hats Off to Doug Buuck (in the white shirt) for putting together another wonderful lighted boat parade. Residents on both siders of the river and boaters anchored in between were thrilled by the show and the crowds along the shore seemed like the biggest yet.

Charlotte Harbor FISHING GUIDES Water LIFE

Charters

20–50 mile trips We help you put charters together • Grouper • Snapper • Kingfish • Shark • Tarpon and more!

Capt Jim OʼBrien

USCG 50 ton license since 1985 Bus: 941-475-5538 Res: 941-473-2150 visit us at www.captjimsbigfish.com

Capt. Bart Marx, USCG Licensed & Insured Light Tackle Fishing Charlotte Harbor & SW Florida

(941) 255-3551

www.alphaomegacharters.com email:captbart@alphaomegacharters.com Half Day & Full Day trips.

Fi shi ng Hal l of S HAME Maverick hull number 2, the first flats boat on the water sits rot t i ng, chained to a dumpster out back of the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame in Dania. The boat has been there for five months now.

New Manatee Pl ate Rel eased With the following words, the FWC released this newly designed manatee license plate in late December “This is an exciting day for the FWC and the Florida manatee. With the sales from this plate, we hope to generate revenues that will sustain valuable manatee research and conservation for years to come.” Revenue is key the Governor’s motivation for instructing the FWC not to reclassify the manatee from endangered to threatened as the state’s own scientists had recommended. After all, the manatee staying endangered means job security for a whole lot of people.

MAGAZINE

Now Booking for 2008

Page 27


Page 28

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

January

2008

The Water Water LIFE LIFE Distributor始s Club

Cooks Sportland

4419 So. Tamiami Trail S. Venice 493-0025

Pick up a copy of Water LIFE at any of these and 120+ other locations. Water LIFE is not affiliated with any newspaper or other publication and is distributed at select locations around the state. These free ads to our loyal distributors rotate on a monthly basis. If you would like this publication for distribution at your business please call us at 941-766-8180


January

2008

Water LIFE

Fish Farming vs Fresh Caught

The Commercial Perspective

By Kel l y Beal Peace Ri ver S eafood Water LIFE Punta Gorda As you can imagine I eat a lot of fish. Besides being too poor to eat anything else, I eat it because I love it! I love the texture, the freshness, and the fact that it's the healthiest thing I can put in my body. I also love the Workers at this catfish farm in southern China prepare to feed fact that eating fish is the fish.The fish are being raised, however, in a country whose waterways are an ongoing environmental problem, tainted by job security for the sewage, pesticides, heavy metals and other pollutants. Many of working fisherman. the "Southern-style" catfish fillets on U.S. grocery shelves these I will eat almost days are indeed from the south of China. anything out of the color. Farm raised salmon lack the healthy water, but there is one thing I will not eat wild diet and therefore don't have the same and that is farm raised fish. amount of Omega 3 oils or the orange The concept of fish farming seems color flesh. good, but the reality is frightening. The There are two red food dyes used to usual fish that are farm raised are salmon, color the flesh of farm raised salmon. They catfish, tilapia, cod, carp and trout. The most talked about is farm raised salmon. I are canthaxanthin and astaxanthin. Swiss chemical giant Hoffman LaRoche makes eat salmon three to four times a week, both from petrochemicals and provides mind you it's wild caught. This fish is salmon farmers with a ‘salmofan’ - much extremely good for you – fish oil helps like an artist’s color wheel but all in varifight the number one killer; heart disease. ous shades of pink - this helps salmon In addition it makes your skin look marfarmers balance the chemicals to find the velous! best color so the fish sell well. Nice huh? There are a multitude of reasons I won't Politically, I don't condone fish farming eat farm raised fish. Three reasons are because I believe in supporting the wild health, political and spiritual. caught fishing industry. Too many jobs Let’s go over the health reasons are outsourced as it is. Right here in our first. Eating farmed fish increases your hometown Punta Gorda we have working chance of cancer. Farm raised salmon for American commercial fishermen bringing example contains 13 pollutants including dioxins and PCB's which are stored in their in some great wild caught fish. The easiest way to get fresh fish is to buy local. fat. To be fair, the farm raised industry Some examples of healthy local fish are points out that they are well within the mullet, pompano, sheepshead, sand brim, FDA legal limits of pollutant levels snapper, grouper and of course all the local allowed and that other foods eaten more shellfish. Farm raised clams from Florida often than fish such as beef have greater are fine. They are grown in mesh bags in sources of exposure to pollutants. designated waters offshore, they are safe Farm raised fish are kept in concentraand absolutely delicious! tions never seen in the wild. Some farms Spiritually I don't like to eat anyhave as many as 50,000 fish in a two acre thing that wasn't active. I believe you are area. With so many fish in one area many what you eat. The energy you get from a are injured and prone to disease. This forces the farmer to dump huge amounts of fish that worked for its food has to be better than that from a fish with low activity antibiotics into the water to keep the fish living in stagnant water. alive. Such large numbers of fish in one Make it a point to eat wild caught area also means a lot of fish ‘ca-ca’ in one fish from Florida at least once this week. area. Nasty stuff to be leaking into the Support your local fishermen, be healthy local waterways. In the wild, salmon feed on colorful crustaceans, plankton and algae and be happy! Enjoy seafood - thank a commercial fisherman! which gives their flesh a beautiful orange

Page 29

MAGAZINE

Charlotte Countyʼs Complete Swimming Pool Supplys Pool Repair and Maintenance Store

Specializing in Heaters and Pumps

575-2525

Located in the Punta Gorda Crossing Shopping Center Next to Publix

Mon-Fri 9AM-5:30PM Sat 9AM-3PM

“Green Pool” Clean Up & Maintenance


Page 30

Januar Fishing Report

Charlotte Harbor:

Robert at Fishin' Franks Port Charlotte: 625-3888

January, hopefully, will be a year that adheres to fishing tradition. With more cold fronts, the sheepshead should move into the upper part of the harbor soon. It’s been so warm, so far, they have been staying down south and offshore. Sand fleas and fiddler

Water LIFE

crabs are the best bait when fishing for ‘convicts’ around structure. When it does cool off, El Jobean will be a phenomenal place for sheepies. There are already a few fish there now. Speckled trout opens Jan 1 and that’s always a good fish. They are a little more concentrated now and found more towards the southern end of the harbor, but that too will change when the water cools off. There are a lot of little fish up here now but the bigger ones will follow soon...I hope. Drifting is always a good way of finding sizable trout. Try the east wall and in Turtle Bay. The smaller fish tend to

MAGAZINE

January

2008

These are my friends (l-r) Dana Blewett, Ludvik Kacirek and myself (Lester Kuhn) after a fishing trip out in the Gulf in late December. They live down the street from me in Harbour Heights. We were crying because we caught at least 18 more keeper reds and had to throw them back. Also a couple of big fish that broke us off. Probably sharks. We couldn't find a gag grouper all day.

be the schooling fish whereas the larger ones tend to swim alone or in doubles. A rattle float with a live shrimp or an artificial will work very well, long about January. Redfish are abundant but small. It’s usually harder to find the bigger fish here in the harbor. This is the time to use circle hooks when targeting redfish because there are so many smaller fish around now. Live or frozen shrimp are the best choices for bait, especially when fishing the creeks that come out on the sides of the harbor. January is a good time to practice with artificials– 3-to 4-inch soft plastics on a jig head and small top water plugs like the Zara Spook or the Mirror Minnow. Pompano are along the surf and along the beaches. Up in Lemon Bay and down to Little Gasparilla Pass are the traditional places for pompano. Another place really good for them is the Myakka side of Hog Island on the big mud flat there. That’s a good spot for pompano that not many people talk about. A tiny piece of shrimp on a tiny bucktail or a sand flea on a jig head will serve you very well. That’s the only way I know how to fish for them! Offshore, the mangrove snapper and the yellowtail snapper are still happening. Grouper are doing fair, mostly red grouper, but you have to go out to 40 or 50 feet of water to get to them. A key is to use lighter tackle

on grouper. It seems like a lot of those bigger fish are ‘leader shy.’ Spanish mackerel and kingfish are still offshore along with some bonita. If the water stays the same they will stick around: they like 74-to 76-degrees, so unless it really cools off suddenly they will be here for a little longer. When you think about it we have had April fishing conditions here, now, since the middle of November!

This is Chris Park with the 47-pound AJ he got spearfishing on one of the M reefs in the Gulf last month!! WOW!!!


January

2008

The near shore reefs are still producing some nice flounder, bigger ones, around 22- to 22-inches. There are a few flounder on the edges of the intracoastal and on the edges of the nicer grass flats.

Lemon Bay:

Jim at Fishermen’s Edge, Englewood: 697-7595

Fishing has been good. There are a lot of redfish around. All the guides and recreational anglers are catching them on live shrimp, DOA shrimp, spoons .... overall it’s been good redfishing. The bigger ones, around 15 to 20 a day are no problem. The tides were low so lately you had to know where you were going, but if you did, there were a lot of snook around - a lot were small snook, but there were some bigger ones too. A friend got a 40

BIG-4 BIG-4

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

Januaryʼs Target Species Species Januaryʼs Target

Page 31

KIDS CUP April 19

POMPANO are in the Gulf passes and along the surf

REDFISH and a slew of rat reds are in the Harbor

incher on a hand picked shrimp, last weekend. There are also a lot of pompano around. Lemon Bay has been over run by pompano. Any slough, pothole or depression north of Stump Pass has pompano. Jigs like the Silly Willy the Key Largo, the Nylure pompano jig with a gold head, or the one with a chrome head... that all work. Laydyfish, trout or pompano Try the 1/2 or 3/8 ounce jig. The Spec right is a fish hair body tied on to a love lure head - Try that one! Trout are scattered around the

n Jan. 4-6: Key Largo S ai l fi sh Chal l enge Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at (305) 852-9337. n January 10th: Andrew Medina, Cast Net

S emi nar, Port Charlotte West Marine. Free and the public is welcome. Call for time 625-2700.

n Jan. 11-13: 23rd Annual Hol i day Isl e S ai l fi sh Tournament. Contact Ed Kinkelaar at(305) 664-2321. n Jan 13-14: Bartender's S ai l fi sh Open.

Contact Jack McCormick at (305) 664-8400.

TROUT are all over and many are of good size

whole area, guys are getting good number of fish into the mid 20 inch range Sheepshead are around but the water is still a little warm for them some have been caught already on on tube worms and Angel Torrez and Kayle Wills with nice red snappers fiddler crabs but not the number we out. Some guys have had should have. grouper up to 50 or 60 pounds. And there are still some king Offshore it’s been really good mackerel and tarpon around. too, anywhere from 40 feet on

Calendar

n Jan 17-20 Charl otte County Boat S how,

Charlotte County Fairgrounds (954) 570-7785. n Feb 14-18: Mi ami Boat S how. West

Marine accepting reservations for the annual bus trip to Miami on February 15th. 625-2700. n April 19: Water LIFE Magazine

Kids Cup Tournament at Punta Gorda.

Applications online NOW! at www.kidscuptournament.com. Limited to 120 jr anglers age 10 through 16. $100 entry fee sup-

THE ALL NEW 2008 F-450 KING RANCH SUPER DUTY

SHEEPSHEAD are right at the edge of the near shore reefs

of

Events

ports the Don Ball School of Fishing program. (941) 766-8180

n April 25-27:

Oh Boy! Oberto Redfi sh Cup at Punta Gorda. $50,000 1st place prize $3,000 entry fee.

MIAMI BOAT SHOW

West Marine is now accepting reservations for the annual bus trip to the Miami Boat Show, February 15th. 625-2700

Fishing

RIGHT NOW: weather permitting

Excellent!


January

2008

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

Page 32


Water LIFE Jan 2008