Water LIFE January 2022

Page 1

Water

LI FE

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

The Charlotte Harbor Reef Association

January 2022

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Dan with a cobia

FISH PIX! Water LIFE magazine

Fishing memories: Nice jack caught on a charter with Capt. Alan Williams

Txt Us Ur FishPix! weʼll use ʻem!

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Guess who came to dinner? Bud Head

www.waterlifemagazine.com

see page 4

FREE!


PAGE

2

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

JANUARY 2022


Lies For The Public Good JANUARY 2022

By Michael Heller Water LIFE editor Once again the past is returning to haunt fishermen. In Naples a small group of outspoken antagonists-of-fishing have convinced the wishy-washy Naples City Council to ban fishing on the Naples Pier on Sundays. They say it’s just a trial to keep pelicans from being hooked. We have seen this tactic before: Get sympathy for your cause... usually by misstating the facts. In this case, someone said fishermen use too many sharp hooks. It’s the same approach we have seen with the manatee. In the 70s, before all the manatee protection started, Pat Rose was the manatee guy at the DEP (later FWC). Rose set up regulations to protect manatees. Rose then left the FWC and helped organized the Save the Manatee Club... which then hired him as Executive Director and together they sued the State and Federal Government for not adhering to the standards Rose had set up. Then they negotiated an out-of-court settlement so it could not be challenged. There was no public input, yet new strict manatee regulations followed. It was all a set up. All this manatee stuff was put in motion by the United Nations, who, in 1981, developed the Caribbean Environmental Program (CEP). The goal of the CEP was to clean up the environment in the Caribbean, where water quality and pollution were becoming a problem. “Use the manatee to gain public sympathy for the overall goal of environmental protection” was what the UN’s CEP ordered. Now, I’m not saying the goal was bad.

FREE ONLINE

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

Pollution was a problem, but to lie to achieve that goal, to manipulate the public thinking, was a worse kind of pollution. Boaters took the biggest hit because, as the FWCs head manatee guy, Kip Frohlich told me 22 years ago: “Boaters are simply the easiest part of the manatee equation to control.” Win at any cost, was his plan. Boaters were not a big part of the problem, red tide and pollution were, but back then they said there were only 800 manatees left and the public felt sympathy. Twenty five years ago, there were actually thousands of manatees and they were swimming between the Yucatan and the U.S. and between Cuba and the U.S., but the biologists making a living off manatee research didn’t want the public to know about that, so they cooked the books on the manatee population counts. People on the water knew, 20 years ago, there were lots of manatees, in fact there were discussions back then, about whether there was enough food to support a large manatee population. Today, thanks to aquatic weed control, agricultural discharges and other polution, algae now grows in blankets that block light. Without light grass beds die and aquatic weed control kills the rest. With no plants, manatee starve, so now they have started feeding the manatees lettuce. Not just ant lettuce, they are buying truckloads of romaine lettuce for manatees to feed on. Manatees are an invasive species. They are not native to Florida. They came up from the south. For years scientists cited a single tiny bone in the manatees skull to

PAGE 3

The four-day-before-Christmas Storm brought blankets of dry filamentous algae to Bayshore Park. This same stuff blankets much of the Harbor bottom and kills seagrass.

differentiate the Florida manatee from the Caribbean manatee, but we now know they are exactly the same animals because they are interbreeding along the seagrass rich northern coast of Cuba, in an inshore area where, for 25 years, Pat Rose had secretly been doing manatee research. The Florida manatees, identifiable by markings, were breeding in Cuba so the next lie was a lie of omission. No one said a word. In Florida it is illegal to pet manatees, and if you do touch one you can only touch it with one hand. That’s the written code of law. And it’s also illegal to give manatees fresh water from a hose. And so is feeding manatees.... but because manatees are starving, the prohibition on feeding them has been lifted, but your lettuce is no good, only the FWC can feed them. The real problem is there are too many manatees here. Even with 1,000 dead, there are still more than 13,000 manatees alive. With that many animals we should

know the age of each dead manatee since they could be cooking the mortality books and many of those dead mannies might actually have died of old age. There are no checks on the science. So what comes next? There is a push to re classify manatees as endangered. If that happens, boaters will have to stay far away from all areas with seagrass. We already have a no-access ‘resting area’ for manatees in Turtle Bay; expect the whole lower West Wall of Charlotte Harbor to be off limits to boating and fishing. Reclassifying the manatee won’t save them, it will only mean more money for studies. Fixing the algae and pollution problem would work, but that will take time and a lot of money. In the immediate future the population needs to be thinned. Eating them probably won’t be an option, but we could transport a large number of them to Cuba, where there is clear water and abundant seagrass.


PAGE

4

Water LIFE inc. waterlife@comcast.net www.WaterlifeMagazine.com

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

SHARKS STILL TOOTHY They are hanging around late

Ellen Heller Publisher Michael Heller Editor

office: (941) 766-8180

Contributors:

Photography: ASA1000.com Senior Editor: Capt. Ron Blago Baitshop: Fishinʼ Frank Upper Harbor: Cameron Parson Peace River: Capt. Dave Stephens Punta Gorda: Capt. Alan Williams Estero: Capt. Joe Angius Everglades: Capt. Charlie Phillips Sailing: Fran Burstein Pier Fishing: Bobby Vitalis Diving: Adam Wilson Office Dog: Augustus

FISH PIX! W Wa at te er r

L L II F FE E

WE WANT YOUR FISH!

Txt Us Ur

941- 457-1316

Fish Pix txt to:

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

3) No Blatant Ads

Include anglerʼs name and what kind of fish

Capt. John Brossard Shark Chaser Charters 239-777-9279

SAILING CALENDAR Hospice Regatta Raises $20K

PLATINUM POINT YACHT CLUB

January 15 and 16 39th Golden Conch Regatta – Racing Documents at https://ppycbsm.org - All sailboat racers are welcome. Every Monday Racing –

For more information-https://ppycbsm.org ISLES YACHT CLUB – H20 FLEET 6

January 8 – 11:00 am IYC Championship Winter Series – IYC Race Management - #1 January 9 – 1:25 pm PGSC Sunday Spinnaker Winter Series Race #1

January 15 - Golden Conch Regatta PPYC (Jan 16 Make-up date)

January 23 – 1:25 pm PGSC Sunday Spinnaker Winter Series Race #2

January 29 – 11:00 am IYC Championship Winter Series – IYC Race Management - #2 CHARLOTTE HARBOR YACHT CLUB 2.4M RACING January 24-25 – CanAm Series #1

January 27-29 - CanAm Series #2 resume PUNTA GORDA SAILING CLUB

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Linzie with a bass in Lehigh

By Capt. John Brossard

Happy New Year to all my Shark Hunters and catchers in our area. The water has stayed warm the past month therefore keeping most of the sharks here. Most of what I have been catching has been off the beach and on the near shore flats. The water is clearing up so sometimes you see them coming. There are Bonnet-Heads to big Lemons on the flats. One day, you catch 3- or 4-sharks and they are all 6- to 7-footers and then the next day, you get 15 sharks but they are all 2- to 4-footers. That is the good thing about fishing, you never know what bites till you get out there! The best time to fish is when the tides are moving the most - just before or just after the tide change is when the fish eat the most. January, 1, 17 and the end of the month are the best tides due to the moon phase and water movement.

Vol XXI No. 1 © 2022

f fr ro om m

JANUARY 2022

For more information https://www.pgscweb.com

January 9 Race 1, Winter Series

January 23 Race 2, Winter Series

Special From Roger Strube The 2021 Hospice Cup Regatta took place on December 4 and 5. The purpose of the Regatta was to raise funds for the Tidewell Hospice in Port Charlotte. Fifteen boats raced from the local one-design Harbor 20 Fleet, representing sailors from both the Charlotte Harbor and Isles Yacht Clubs. Low winds hampered the sailing, but the Regatta was successful in raising more than $20,000. The event was hosted by the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club and members contributed meals for a potluck dinner so that all proceeds would go toward the care of hospice patients. Tidewell is the only not-for-profit hospice organization in Charlotte County. Saturday Racing Winners: FirstWalter Johnson, SecondBernie Coyne, Third-Jim Nuzzo

Sunday Distance Race Winners: FirstScott Schoettley, SecondRoger Strube, Third-Bob Knowles

photo from: Fran Burstein

Dr. Roger Strube is sailing the yellow H20 (TAXI), along with crew members from the Charlotte Harbor Youth Sailing Program and the Florida Southwestern Collegiate High School sailing program.


JANUARY 2022

FREE ONLINE

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

PAGE 5


PAGE

6

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

The Top 10 Stories of 2021

On the Line By Capt. Ron Blago Water LIFE Senior Staff Each new year I look back through my notes to find the top stories that did not get enough media attention. Remember these are my own personal opinions. 10) The State of Florida has 35 million acres of land; 9 million of these are owned by the Federal and State government. This doesn’t include the land owned by local governments and all the non-profits. To me that means the majority of land owners in Florida pay no real estate tax. Remember that when you are trying to scrape up the money to pay your own real estate taxes. 9) It wasn’t all bad news last year. Charlotte County has had free parking at the public boat ramps during the Covid crises. Now they have finally removed the pay stations from the ramps. Technically this doesn’t mean it's free parking; the County still wants you to use your cell phone, call a number, tell them your parking spot number and pay for your parking on your credit card. Like that’s ever going to happen! Paying to park at a public boat ramp was a stupid idea from the very beginning. Of course they could bring back the parking fees at any time. Let’s hope they finally realize that the pay stations cost more to maintain than they make in parking fees. 8) It seems that southwest Florida has been singled out for the most severe fishing regulations than anywhere in the rest of the state. Almost two years ago, because of the red tide outbreak; the FWC prohibited the keeping of snook, redfish and trout in most of the state. Over the last year and a half, these restrictions have been removed from most of the state, but the FWC has doubled down on the restrictions in southwest Florida. Snook and redfish are closed at least till May, 31 2022. They did throw the fishermen in south west Florida a bone by letting us keep three trout a day. To show how unfair that is; consider that from Tampa Bay north, the restrictions have been removed. 7) Here is an interesting factoid for you. Of all the people who filed a tax return in 2020 ; 61% paid no income tax at all. The

top 1% of income earners paid 28%. The folks in the middle paid the remaining 72%. I guess that's the government's way of rewarding failure and penalizing success. 6) The new maintenance dredging of Stump Pass is well under way. The dredging equipment started showing up a few weeks ago. If everything goes as planned, they could be finished by the end of January. Charlotte County is using a new dredg-

provide mosquito nets to the people who need them. Why do the drug companies around the world spend billions on Covid and ignore malaria? Could it be that there is not enough profit to be made off of poor people in Africa? But Covid is a gold mine for them in the rest of the world... 4) Once again the phosphate industry has been able to avoid responsibility for cleaning up the mess they caused in Florida. In March 2021 the HRK Company reported another leak at their Piney Point

The new bandstand at the East Dearborn Street park in Englewood is another news story thatʼs not getting much attention.

ing company; Atlantic and Gulf Dredging Marine located in Indiantown, Fl. The next highest bid for the work was $5 million; their bid was $3 million. 5) The US has a total population of 332,000,000 in 2021; also that year, 3.3 million died of various causes. Since the covid delta and omicron variants have arrived; 815 thousand Americans have died from covid. This has drastically changed the way we live our lives, but let's not forget about the rest of the world that is facing additional problems. Last year in Sub-Saharan Africa, 627,0009 mostly children under 12 died from malaria. That is a 12% increase over the prior year. Malaria is preventable and curable. The UN’s World Health Organization has even cut spending for programs to spray for mosquitoes and

facility at south Tampa Bay, which resulted in over 400 million gallons of phosphate waste being dumped into Tampa Bay. This is not the first time this has happened; these vinyl lined ponds surrounded by walls of gypsum waste are prone to leakage either from holes in the liners or breaches in the gypsum walls; both problems result in waste water running into the Bay. It’s time for the State DEP to live up to their responsibility and close down this facility permanently. 3) South Gulf Cove is a thriving community just north of the Myakka River in Charlotte County. It has many miles of canals with property owners having hundreds of boats. Their only access to Charlotte Harbor is through an old lock that takes you to open water. The old lock is prone to failure and when it is being re-

JANUARY 2022

paired the boats are stuck until repairs are done. About four years ago, a plan was made to install a second lock next to the first one; that way if one lock was broken the other one would still be available for boat traffic. Everything was on schedule plans were drawn up, finance was arranged and permits were applied for; but unfortunately on Oct. 11, 2021 a dead manatee was found by the old lock and it was attributed to death due to flood gates or locks; this is the only manatee to die at a lock in Charlotte County in recorded history. This has caused some of the permitting agencies to pull back their approval until the project can be reviewed again. It is expected to delay the project at least 18 months. 2) I think that the Red Tide was the biggest scam of 2021. It seems that every week there was another Red Tide outbreak. People were warned not to visit southwest Florida because the water is dead and toxic. Local media fed the hysteria by reporting any sighting of dead fish as a major outbreak. That was pure BS. The FWC is already saying that 2021 was an average year as far as red tide is concerned. Some people made out pretty well because of the Red Tide. The State has set aside 50 million dollars for red tide research to be given as grants to various researchers , universities and private labs as well as government agencies. I can honestly say I didn’t learned one new fact about Red Tide in all of 2021. 1) 2021 will be known as the year with the record number of manatee deaths in Florida. So far 1075 manatees have been reported dead. The FWC has come up with a new category of manatee deaths Verified but not recovered. This is now the largest category of manatee deaths; approximately 58% of all deaths. This means you’re not going to get much useful data about manatee deaths this year. We can get some data on where the manatees are dying; Brevard Co. on the Atlantic side, had the most manatee deaths with 351 deaths , that’s 36% of the statewide total. They can’t tell us what killed all those manatee; but as any good ranchers can tell you too many (sea) cows and not enough (sea) grass will do it. Captronblago@gmail.com


JANUARY 2022

FREE ONLINE

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

Everglades & 10,000 Islands Inshore Has Been Very Good

By Capt. Charlie Phillips Water LIFE 10,000 Islands 2021 is now in the history books and being perfectly honest, I am still scratching my head trying to figure out where it went. I hope that Santa was good to you and brought you something new and shiny and even better if it was fishing related. This time of year is special, with cooler weather, beautiful skies and hungry fish. This new year is looking to be a little cooler than years past so I am thinking some big sheepshead will soon be in my future, but enough on predictions. I did a lot of fishing last month, in a variety of places both in my normal waters of the Everglades National Park and 10,000 Islands as well as elsewhere. For the Everglades, the inshore waters were some of the best bites I found. Working the bays around the Wilderness Waterway, we were able to routinely target all the expected species on soft plastics and artificals. Big snook, reds, and some beautiful trout with such yellow coloring they are almost vibrant are something I love to see this time of year. The typical target process is always the same both inshore and, in the back; look for some water flow, a place for a predator to hide or get out of the flow a bit and wait for prey to wash by and then work those areas.

Painter

For my baits, I prefer to throw a weedless rigged soft plastic shad style offering in about a 4-to-5-inch length. Color will typically be white; thought I do like a root beer or something with some flecks of silver in it as well. I keep it simple, and it works well. This is a go to for me, and I throw it in the mangroves working it thru the fingers for snook as well as in the bigger backcountry bays on the bar edges for big trout. Many of the hooks now come weighted or you can add pinch weights too as an option if you need. I fished offshore a few days, but the wind made that a challenge in Decem-

Here’s looking forward to a great 2022. Keep safe, have fun and see you out there.

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

ber. We did find great catches of pompano, some sheepshead and a snapper. Saw some good cobia too, but the sharks made targeting them a challenge, so we opted to let them be, for now. Spent a few days bass fishing Okeechobee last month as well, something I don’t do often. Cold fronts kept the fishing from being what it should of, but I had a blast and caught a pile of smaller bass all on artificals. Friends fishing shiners did well with bass in the 6-to-7pound range daily.

Justin Tanner Houses Trim Doors etc.

PAGE 7

941-249-7178 call for an estimate


Pier Fishing: Sheepshead PAGE

8

EMAIL:

By Bobby Vitalis Water LIFE Pier Fishing This sheepshead was caught at Tom Adams Bridge Pier in Englewood. A good time to go to catch sheepshead is early in the morning or late in the evening. This fish was caught from low to high tide. Sheepshead are a good eating fish. The legal length to keep sheepshead in this area is from 12-inches or more. A good spot to catch sheepshead is under the Pier, under the bridge, or cast out to the pilings at the end of the Pier. Sometimes you will see the sheepshead swimming around the pilings under the Pier. There are only two best ways to catch sheepshead; Either use live shrimp or live fiddler crabs. When catching sheepshead, you want to get close to the bottom, since that is where they are feeding. Sometimes the sheepshead are there and sometimes

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

W Wa at te er r

L L II F FE E

from Water LIFE magazine

they are not. When catching sheepshead. you do not need heavy tackle. All you need is a good spinning reel and a medium action rod. The main line I use is POWER PRO braided line color MOSS GREEN, no less than 10-pound test. I use 20-pound test braided line at this Pier. For my leader line, I suggest you use no less than three feet of 25 pound test SUFIX Invisline 100 percent fluorocarbon leader line due to their protruding teeth. When putting the live shrimp or live fiddler crabs on the hook, I suggest you use hook size 2/0 to 3/0 non-offset nonstainless-steel circle hooks. Shrimp can be used to catch many different species of fish. Live fiddler crabs are most effective when targeting sheepshead. When casting with the shrimp and fiddler crabs, try using the lightest egg sinker weight as you

can. All you need is enough weight to cast out to the area where you want to be. So, if you want to catch sheepshead. This is

JANUARY 2022

the way to go. Good luck and happy fishing!

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

m ma ag ga az z ii n ne e

Jack caught in Myakka River today Konstantine Belgrade

Doris Young from Newfoundland catching some nice trout with Capt. Rick

FISH PIX!

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

Henry and Pop Pop Frankie fishing in Pennsylvania on Henryʼs 5th birthday with his new big boy fishing pole.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

The Butcko's got a nice snook fishing Estero bay with Capt Fred Gowdy.

Michael Bailey of Drummond Island Michigan caught and released this snook in a Port Charlotte canal

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Larry with a 27 inch catch and release red grouper

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ken Mercer had a ball battling Amber Jack “ If they could jump I would take em over tarpon!”

Janice Wiscombe from Nova Scotia, Canada…Sheepshead

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine


JANUARY 2022

FREE ONLINE

By Capt. David Stephens Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor Well, fellow anglers, we have experienced one of the warmest starts to winter that I can remember in a very long time. This is not what I would consider a bad thing, but it makes me wonder what our spring may look like? This year we have a later winter, actually it seems to me our winters have been later the past few years, that or we don't have a winter at all any more. Our fishery requires a cooler winter. What the cold does, is fish like sheepshead have a more successful spawn when we have stronger cold fronts push through. Another fishery that seems to do better with cooler water is sea trout. Often, after we have a major front, these guys school up in large schools in deeper areas. So cooler water is not a bad thing, it’s just about adjusting and switching our gears as anglers. As a mate on one of the KingFisher charter boats out of Fisherman’s Village, I was lucky enough to mate for probably one of the greatest near-shore captains that ever fished SW Florida. We very rarely ran past 18-20

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

PAGE 9

A Warm Start to Winter

miles, but year after year Capt. Jim Smith kept our anglers on fish. January was the

Mike Perkins (rt) caught a 29 inch snook along with his wife on a double up she also caught a 28 inch snook both at Iona shores

month if you looked in our cooler, it was stacked with sheep s. On top of them

would be gag grouper that you didn't think swam so close in. But all of our fish were caught just off the coast of South West Florida. We very rarely fished in depths over 45-feet. Were there more fish because we did not have the boat traffic back then? That is a very good possibility, however I know, back then, it was all about filling up the fish box, and I promise Capt. Jim Smith did that like I've never seen. Maybe as our generations change, us as anglers change. I myself can admit as a guide I have changed! There was a time if I did not return with my full limits it was not a success. Looking back on those days was it really a success? I can say with much happiness, I no longer look at my days with clients on what we have killed. These days my clients count how many fish they caught and released, not if we killed our limit. As we evolve as anglers, hopefully we continue counting the number of fish we release and enjoying the time on the water.

Capt. Dave Stephens 941-9165769 www.backbaytremes.com

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Mark F. with one of many Sea Trout caught with Estero Bay Adventures


Excellent Concepts PAGE

10

By Cameron Parson Water LIFE Spillways and Ponds Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime. Continued education about the outdoors is how we keep each other in check, new anglers and old. Teaching younger generations about the rules of the water and respect for wildlife will last a lifetime. I fondly remember my father and grandfather teaching my siblings and I how to properly catch and handle fish at a young age...and the lessons have carried on throughout the years. "You don't leave fish to find fish. And when you find your fish, you don't ever take more than what you intend to use." My grandfather said this every time we went out. All too often we see anglers keeping more than what is allowed. Some fish are undersized, some over slot. Some don't even seem to know what species of fish they're catching nor what the regulations are. A common misidentification in this

EMAIL:

area are newer anglers mistaking a mangrove snapper for a red snapper simply due to the color. Or pompano and permit. Similar, but different in their own respects. Local bait and tackle shops offer proper advice and regulation books for situations such as these.

Fish can be identified with photos and the differences between fish can be verified. Seasons and harvest limits will also be noted, and are updated quite frequently. It's the educated anglers duty to keep others informed and encourage them to brush up on any updates thereafter. Anglers also need to have the proper tools for removing hooks from a fish. Using your hands twisting the hook in the opposite direction is a win 9/10 times. Learning to utilize a dehooker is a better

F FI IS SH H P PI IX X! ! f fr ro om m

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

W Wa at te er r

L LI IF FE E

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

m ma ag ga az zi in ne e

Andy Allen 38-inch snook, released

option for catfish or simply removing a hook in a hurry with minimally handling a fish. While learning how to properly utilize a dehooker can take some practice, it's very much worth it in the long run. Learning how to properly handle fish is a must. Avoid using rags and gloves as they remove the protective slime coating from the fish (their immune system). Be sure to wet your hands before grabbing any fish, and wet

the boat deck if you're planning to lay the fish down. Removing the slime coating in any amount will greatly decrease the mortality rate of the fish, allowing for a greater chance of disease and parasites. If taking a photo, hold the fish horizontally while supporting the body rather than vertically so their organs don't col-

JANUARY 2022

lapse on one another. This will also keep the weight from pulling directly on the fish's bottom jaw, where most anglers tend to hold. Fish are naturally horizontal in the water, let's keep it that way. If you’re planning to release, be sure your catch is properly revived upon release. Refrain from just tossing them back if possible. Holding a good fish by the tail and supporting the body while in the water with a side to side swimming motion will allow them to work some of the lactic acid buildup out before they're ready to swim away. The fish will let you know when it's ready to go, usually giving you a small payback with a splash of water. We are looking forward to your stories of personal bests and learning from you all as well! This is our resolution for the new year, let's help pass it on. Catch some fish!! Cameron Parson can sometimes be found at Rio Villa Bait & Tackle in Punta Gorda. 941-639-7166

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

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Ryan Allen

Redfish released on fly

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Andy Allen Redfish released Pine Island


JANUARY 2022

Estero Bay:

from Water LIFE magazine

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

Change is a Good Thing

By Capt. Joe Angius Water LIFE Estero The fishing in Southwest Florida has been consistent and extremely productive. With only a few cold fronts and heavy wind events, the water remains fairly clear in most places. One of the biggest changes our water has experienced is a drop in temperature. Now that temperatures are averaging in the low 70’s the fish are on the move and changing their feeding habits. A great thing about fishing in January is that there are countless opportunities to catch a variety of fish. Some days

FISH PIX!

FREE ONLINE

the toughest part of the morning is deciding on where to go based on what fish you want to catch. Anglers can spend the afternoon chasing juvenile tarpon or go offshore to troll for gag grouper. Inshore fishing in Estero Bay has been exceptionally productive with a lot of speckled sea trout, redfish, and snook being caught. If you decide to fish far back in the creeks of Estero you’ll find juvenile redfish and snook with a few chances at some larger fish on the right tide. I found that the bigger reds and snook, that are easily catchable, are out toward the mouths of the rivers and near our major passes. If you continue to fish up in the creeks you’ll find a lot of big crevalle jacks and a few small schools of tarpon. As long as the water temperature is in the 70’s the tarpon should be receptive to lures, purple/black flies, and shrimp. When it comes to trying to catch dinner there are four fish that come to mind:

Kevin Horecky on the West Wall of Charlotte Harbor

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

trout, snapper, sheepshead, and tripletail. The trout fishing has really picked up and catching keepers can be done on a variety of tides and locations. For snapper, I find it best to anchor up on a reef with a chum bag behind the boat. Using live shrimp, pilchards, and squid all work great. Sheepshead have finally showed up in big numbers in the backwater. I’d find large schools of sheepshead that wouldn’t want to eat but now that water temperatures have dropped they’re hungry. My absolute go to for sheepshead is a mangrove crab on a small 1/0 Owner hook. As for tripletail I’m finding that your best chance at a keeper sized fish will be best far out in the Gulf. Though there are days where those bigger fish move in, I’m having the best luck between nine and eleven miles out. Big live shrimp and pilchards will get the job done. Enjoy what our area has to offer through fishing, shelling, or boating while the beautiful weather lasts! Windier days

Horecky and Esposito at a negative tide near Pineland

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

PAGE 11

are ahead of us, so taking advantage of these low to no wind days is a must. Remember to remain current on the everchanging fish regulations and do your part to be the most responsible angler. Also, with increased boat traffic please be sure to stay safe, sober minded, and aware of your surroundings. Have a safe and happy start to the new year. Hopefully I’ll see you on the water or at the boat ramp. Captain Joe Angius 727-234-3171 www.Speakeasyfishing.com Speakeasyfishing@gmail.com

Brian Horeckyʼs 26-inch snook on a gold spoon on the west wall of Charlotte Harbor.


PAGE

12

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

W Wa at te er r

Paul Stebing catch and release cuda from Water LIFE magazine

from Water LIFE magazine

m ma ag ga az zi in ne e

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

Bob Valenti with catch and release cuda

FISH PIX!

FISH PIX!

L LI IF FE E

Julian Neal with a large catch and release cuda

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Brian Hawley's catch and release kingfish

Julian Neal with catch and release amberjack

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

JANUARY 2022

John Wolowicz with catch and release amberjack

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Michael Bailey of Drummond Island Michigan caught this 33” cobia in Charlotte Harbor

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Brian Hawley with beautiful catch and release grouper

Chip and Ryan Allen 30-pound permit released off Naples

Big cuda, John Post off Nokomis

Here's my fish, a 1971 Barracuda!

Brian Hawley with cobia caught over a near-shore wreck


JANUARY 2022

FREE ONLINE

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

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

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

FISH PIX! FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

from Water LIFE magazine

Barb F with a nice snook another fun day w Capt. Evan

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Logan Holley (11) Max & Kaiya Miller (13,9) trolling for ladyfish.

FISH PIX!

Noah caught a 47-Inch snook off of El Jobean Pier Dec. 26th 2021 took a photo then released.

Mike Perkins caught this new personal best 33 inch snook at Iona shores

PAGE 13

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Dennis Cannizzaro, snook

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Max Miller catching Irish twin Snooks @ Ponce 33 & 32.

Daddy/Daughter time on Englewood Beach

Lucky Rob of Englewood does it again!


PAGE

14

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

Tragic Day on the Water - 60 years ago this month By Daryl C. McClary, United States Coast Guard At approximately 4:15 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 12, 1961, Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment, at the mouth of the Columbia River, received a radio call from Roy Gunnari, skipper of the fishing vessel Jana Jo. Gunnari advised that he was relaying a mayday call from the fishing vessel Mermaid, a 34-foot crab-fishing boat from Ilwaco, Wash., owned and operated by brothers Bert and Stanley Bergman. While approaching the mouth of the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean, the Mermaid lost its rudder near the treacherous Peacock Spit. The strong ocean current and relentless southerly winds were drifting the Mermaid into waves breaking over the shallow spit and, without steerage, the vessel was helpless and doomed to capsize. To make matters worse, that afternoon the U.S. Weather Bureau issued gale warnings for the Washington and Oregon coasts. For winter, barometric conditions were not particularly bad at the time, but winds as high as 60 miles-per-hour were predicted. Speed was of the essence if the small crabfishing boat was to be saved from almost certain destruction. The Cape Disappointment Lifeboat Station immediately dispatched two search and rescue vessels: a 40-foot utility boat and a smaller, slower 36-foot motor lifeboat. It took a while, but the crew of the utility boat eventually located the Mermaid and took it into tow. The motor lifeboat crew remained close in proximity in case of an emergency. Meanwhile, the weather was rapidly deteriorating, as were surf conditions across the Columbia River Bar. Neither Coast Guard rescue boat had enough horsepower to haul the rudderless Mermaid through the line of heavy rollers over the bar and into the riverʼs estuary. In addition, the 40-foot utility boat was designed for operations in protected waters, not extreme surf conditions. If capsized, the steel-hulled boat had no compartmentalization and would sink like a stone. On the other hand, the motor lifeboat was selfbailing and self-righting and could withstand the rigors of heavy surf-rescue conditions. Due to the extremely hazardous sea conditions, the coxswain of the utility boat, Darrell Murray, radioed Oregonʼs Point Adams Lifeboat Station for assistance. The Coast Guard motor lifeboat Triumph, a powerful 52-foot wooden lifeboat, rendezvoused with Murrayʼs utility boat at approximately 7:00 p.m., and took up the tow. Relieved of the burden, Murrayʼs utility boat followed at a distance with the motor lifeboat and began heading inland across the Columbia River Bar. While crossing the bar, however, a series of extremely large breakers capsized and sank Murrayʼs utility boat. Murray and crew of two others successfully abandoned ship, but were adrift at the mercy of breakers. The motor lifeboat was also capsized by a series of heavy breakers, but stayed afloat. The 36-footerʼs three-man crew located and rescued Murray and his crew of the 40-foot utility boat, came about and headed directly for the Coast Guard Lightship Columbia, which was anchored approximately seven miles west of the mouth of the Columbia River. During the rescue, the 36-foot lifeboat had developed a leak and its stern compartment was slowly filling with water. In addition, it had

The 52-foot wooden motor lifeboat Triumph (MLB-52301). (U.S. Coast Guard)

inadvertently collided with the capsized 40-foot utility boat, further damaging the 36-footerʼs hull and exacerbating flooding in the stern compartment. Larry Edwards, coxswain of the 36-foot motor lifeboat, radioed the Point Adams Lifeboat Station. He advised the officer-in-charge, Chief Petty Officer Warren Berto, that Murrayʼs 40foot utility boat, the crew was safely aboard his lifeboat and, due to hull damage, they were heading directly for Lightship Columbia. Berto immediately dispatched two 36-foot motor lifeboats to the bar to lend assistance to the Triumph. Aboard the Triumph, First Class Petty Officer John Culp, a boatswainʼs mate, and his fiveman crew were having serious difficulties. At 7:30 p.m., shortly after taking the Mermaid in tow, the four-inch towing hawser parted. The crew passed another towline to the fishing vessel, but after 15 minutes, that line also parted. Shortly after 8:00 p.m., Culp radioed Point Adams Lifeboat Station that the Mermaid was drifting into the breakers on Peacock Spit and that the Triumph was going to attempt another rescue. At 8:13 p.m., local Coast Guard stations received a distress call from the Mermaid advising that the Triumph had capsized and the fishing vessel was drifting into the line of mountainous breakers on Peacock Spit. The Mermaid managed to rescue only one of the Triumphʼs crew, Engineman Joseph Petrin. Built of wood in 1935, the Triumph was not a self-bailing/self-righting design and had disappeared in the heavy surf. Berto called the 13th Coast Guard District headquarters in Seattle, briefing the Rescue Control Center (RCC) of the dire situation. Seattle RCC ordered Coast Guard Cutters Yocona, moored at Astoria, Ore., and Modoc, moored at Coos Bay, Ore., to get underway to the Columbia River Bar. Meantime, the 36-foot motor lifeboats Culp dispatched from Point Adams arrived on-scene in an attempt to rescue the two foundering ves-

sels. Wind and rain made for extremely limited visibility and there was no sign of the Triumph or its crew. At 9:10 p.m., one 36-foot motor lifeboat located the Mermaid, managed to take the fishing boat under tow and proceeded toward the lightship Columbia to wait out the storm. Because of the high seas, however, the vessels made minimal progress. At 9:45 p.m., a giant wave broke over the fishing boat, parting the towline. Still aboard were the Bergman brothers, who owned the vessel, and survivor Petrin, whom they had rescued. The other 36-foot motor lifeboat and the outbound freighter SS Diaz de Solis scanned the area with searchlights for 15 minutes, but the Mermaid had vanished in the heavy surf. Soon thereafter, the cutter Yocona arrived on-scene and, together with the two 36-foot lifeboats from Point Adams, continued to search for survivors. A Coast Guard Grumman UF-2G Albatross was dispatched from San Francisco to Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles and it also joined in the search effort for a time, dropping illumination flares. Additional Coast Guard fixed-wing aircraft deployed from Port Angeles and continued dropping flares, but no survivors or bodies were seen. After struggling through heavy seas for over an hour, the 36-foot motor lifeboat with all six crewmembers aboard arrived at the Columbia. With its after deck nearly awash, the motor lifeboat was moored to the lightshipʼs stern. However, on Friday at 5:45 a.m., the deck watch reported the 36-foot motor lifeboat had foundered and disappeared beneath the waves. After the loss of the Triumph, Cape Disappointment Lifeboat Stationʼs commanding officer, Chief Petty Officer Doyle Porter, organized foot patrols along the Long Beach Peninsula, including state and local law enforcement agencies and civilian volunteers. At 10:45 p.m., on Thursday, Coast Guardsmen found Engineman Gordon Huggins struggling in the surf at Benson Beach, three quarters-of-a-mile north of the Columbia Riverʼs north jetty. Huggins was trans-

JANUARY 2022

ported to the Ilwaco Hospital for medical attention. At 2:30 a.m., on Friday, Jan. 13, 1961, Point Adamsʼ two 35-foot motor lifeboats returned. The cutter Yocona continued to patrol along the outer reaches of Peacock Spit until well after daybreak before returning to Astoria, but saw nothing. At the Ilwaco Hospital, Huggins recounted his amazing tale of his survival. He was in the aft compartment below decks with a severe nosebleed when the Triumph capsized. The lifeboat made a hard roll to starboard (to the right side of the vessel) and Huggins flipped onto the compartment overhead with gear from the bosun locker falling around him. He attempted to open the watertight hatch, but it was jammed shut. Huggins recounted, “For about 15 minutes, I hung onto fixtures while the water continued to rise around me. Then the Triumph suddenly righted [it]self and I made my way amidships. I found [it] had shipped three or four feet of water and was wallowing in breakers 20 to 30 feet high. I checked the boat and found no sign of anyone aboard. The door to the forward compartment was warped fast and couldnʼt be opened, but there was no sign of anybody inside. I just hung on and prayed as the ship filled with water." Huggins determined to remain aboard the powerless Triumph as long as possible. Triumph wallowed in the giant waves for about an hour and then made a steep roll, pitching Huggins into the water, and it vanished beneath the waves. Huggins was wearing his “Mae West” lifejacket but was thrown about in the heavy surf. “I donʼt remember much about the next 20 minutes,” Huggins said. “I was tossed and tumbled in the breakers and finally washed ashore on the sand somewhere. It felt good to be alive, but I couldnʼt help thinking about the other men.” Coast Guardsmen Meyer and Dillard heard Hugginsʼ cries for help, ran into the surf and hauled him onto the beach. Although battered and bruised, and suffering from hypothermia, Huggins survived the ordeal in relatively good condition. His boat, the waterlogged Triumph, eventually re-righted itself and washed ashore on the Long Beach Peninsula days after it capsized. At 12:15 a.m., on Friday, a beach patrol found Culpʼs body below North Head Lighthouse, not far from where Huggins had washed ashore. Culp was the last victim found by the patrol. The bow of the wrecked Mermaid as well as pieces of the Coast Guard boats were found washed up on Benson Beach, north of the North Head Lighthouse. However, no missing crewmen were among the wreckage. Searchers reported that 60 mile-per-hour southerly winds were creating breakers 30-feet high along the beach, making even the foot patrol hazardous. The Coast Guardʼs search for missing crewmembers continued for days. On Thursday, January 19th, the body of Bert Bergman was discovered washed up on the beach 100 yards north of Oysterville, approximately 18 miles north of the Columbia Riverʼs north jetty. The search operation was finally discontinued on January 26. A plaque honoring the crew of the Triumph is affixed to a cement monument outside the Cape Disappointment Coast Guard Station.


JANUARY 2022

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FREE ONLINE

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

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

Sherry Riley on Always Tight fishing

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

PAGE 15

FISH PIX! f fr ro om m

from Water LIFE magazine

from Water LIFE magazine

Charlee from South Carolina on Xmas break caught this sail catfish north of Nokomis bridge.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Hi fish pix! This is 9 year old Moses Suon visiting from the Dominican Republic with a shark he proudly caught in Charlotte Harbor today. He smiled for hours!

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Dan snook

John M with a good snook. Capt. Evan put us on the fish immediately !

L LI IF FE E

m ma ag ga az zi in ne e

Kevin and Jeremy Gassman Derry New Hampshire large black drums

FISH PIX! FISH PIX!

W Wa at te er r

Craig Anderson catching his first jack with Capt. Dan in the Imperial River.


PAGE

16

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

SCUTTLEBUTT

JANUARY 2022

Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True DRIVE BY A hunting accident occurred while a ject denied that he was trying to sell the group of individuals were unlawfully hunting iguana and stated that he was just showing it deer throughout the south end of the county. off to people. The possession of a live green The individuals, who were hunting from a vehiiguana is prohibited by law and a query cle equipped with a sunroof, began to fire mul- FWCʼs Sarasota report was redacted this month through dispatch revealed the subject had tiple times at a deer standing at the shoulder of a prior charge relating to the illegal capthe road. One shooter was firing a firearm out ture and attempted sale of migratory birds. the driverʼs side window while two other subKITE POWER The first installation of an auThey let him go with a notice to appear. jects fired multiple rounds from the sunroof and tomated kite system for wind-assisted propulrear window of the vehicle. One person standing sion on commercial vessels was recently SHE WONʼT FORGET THIS FWC in the sunroof somehow suffered a gunshot completed and will begin trials early in the officers responded to a single veswound to the hand. new year. The project, which is being undersel boating accident in Islamorada taken by Airseas, a company developed by where a 37-foot triple-outboardAQUACULTURE AND MARINE RANCHING the aviation industryʼs Airbus, will see a halfmotor vessel missed Cow Pens Marine Aquaculture involves farming sea life size demonstration version of the “Seawing” Cut and ran outside of the ICW in enclosures. Marine Ranching, involves wind sail operating on transatlantic voyages. into the Mangrove shoreline. The creating outdoor environments to raise susThe concept calls for the Seawing, a 1000m2 female operator said she had tainable food. New thinking will combine wind parafoil, to fly at altitudes of nearly 1,000 feet handed her seven-month-old infant power with aquaculture or marine ranching capturing the stable higher altitude winds to over to her husband just prior to and could allow aquaculture firms to use the assist vessel propulsion. accidently running their vessel 50 turbine column to anchor fish cages or ropefeet up into the mangroves. The and-raft systems for growing shellfish and MEANWHILE, IN CHARLOTTE COUNTY operator was cited for numerous kelp. The base itself could be turned into a Officers responded to a call late at night from violations of navigation rules and reef with a marine ranch for fish, oysters or the Charlotte County Sheriffʼs office about a was also federally cited by the US kelp. Power would be drawn from the wind possible boating accident. The officers were Coast Guard for negligence, a vioturbines. told a vessel had driven over a female swimlation with associated fines starting mer multiple times, but didnʼt have information at $2,500. A JAB IN THE STERN The 32-year-old Beabout where it took place. The officers deterlize-registered product tanker M/T Tropic mined the female had been transported to a NO WARNING A Gale Warning was issued Breeze departed New Providence Island in local hospital. During their investigation, they by the National Weather Service before the the Bahamas on December 24 and was also learned the woman had taken a boat ride December storm, but no TV stations or other with a male subject and at some point, the bound for Great Stirrup Cay. The tanker was media services mentioned it. male subject began hitting the woman and carrying a cargo of “non-persistent materipossibly causing her to lose consciousness. als,.” BOOK THROWN AT THEM The officers were able to determine that this The 160-foot tanker was reportedly traveling A resource officer responded to a call referwas not a boating accident. on its proper watch when it was rear-ended ence to a report of two divers in the water by Utopia IV, a 206-foot high-power yacht near the Fisher Island Ferry Terminal in EYES RIGHT Boaters and fishermen in the designed and built in Italy in 2018. “The catMiami Beach, spearing spiny lobsters. The Atlantic this winter, are advised to be on the astrophic force of the collision pierced the officer waited until the divers got out of the lookout for North water to conduct a resource inspection. OffiAtlantic Right cers located a bucket containing two snook Whales. Collihidden in the rocks. Both snook had puncture sions have wounds through their sides indicating they caused costly had been speared. At this time both subjects damage to were handcuffed and read their rights. The boats, put passubjects were charged with taking snook by sengers and illegal method, simultaneous possession of crew at risk, and snook and posession of prohibited gear, poskilled whales. session of over slot sized snook, and interference of a FWC Officer. Both subjects also SHOW AND received citations for taking snook while not SELL An FWC in possession of a snook permit, no saltwater officer refishing license, and diving without a diver sponded to a call from dispatch in reference stern of the tanker causing the tanker to sink down flag displayed. to an anonymous reporting party stating that to the ocean floor at an estimated depth of a man was attempting to sell a large green 2,000 feet. The Utopia IV (shown above) is THEY LIKE IT WARM An FWC lieutenant reiguana that he had in a cage outside of a sufitted with four light Rolls Royce engines as sponded to a residence to remove a python permarket in Miami. Upon arrival the officer well as four hydro jets, that provide it with a from their kitchen in West Palm Beach. Upon observed an approximate four-foot-long top speed of 34 knots and an average cruisarrival, the lieutenant located the tail of the green iguana in a small metal cage sitting on ing speed of 28 knots. It is unclear what the snake on the kitchen counter top. The rethe tailgate of a pickup truck in the parking lot speed of the yacht was travelling at, at the mainder of the body was behind the oven. of the supermarket. The officer located the time of the collision. The Utopia IV returned The python was captured without incident owner of the truck nearby and asked him to the dock after the accident with visible and transported to Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. what he was doing with the iguana. The subdamage to its bow.

SUNSEEKER RESORT, PROGRESS REPORT US 41 and the southbound Peace River Bridge was closed when 4x8 sheets of plywood and other loose material from the Sunseeker site blew across the roadway during the Four-Days-Before-Christmas storm, last month. But I still have to give credit where credit is due.

There is exterior metal framing going up and if you look carefully, (photo above) the plumbing is being hung and electric will follow. It looks like the big main building has topped out while the other two are rising steadily. Landscaping is underway along Main Street.

ON A RELATED NOTE A spill at the proposed phosphate mining operation 12-miles up River could drastically affect the Sunseeker projectʼs financial viability in the future. In a November public workshop, Mosaicʼs engineer stated “the design elements for the Desoto operation will withstand winds up to 127mph.” Thatʼs hardly enough and Sunseeker should think about that, and speak up.

SHAKE MY HEAD The three fishermen were arrested and transported to the jail in Key West by Officers of the FWC. Each was charged with 129 misdemeanor counts of wrung spiny lobster tails on the water, 135 misdemeanor counts of undersized lobster, and one felony count each for possession of 100 or more undersized spiny Florida lobster. The captain of the vessel was also issued a citation for a life jacket violation. I-75 southbound. Weʼre Glad You Are Here! (sort of...)


JANUARY 2022

FREE ONLINE

@

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

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

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

Jenn, redfish

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

PAGE 17

D. J. Burgess with one of many tripletail off Nokomis

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Alex Moore caught a 4 lb sheepshead

Bennett Lucas Moore, Age 4 Mangrove snapper

Vincent Citta caught this nice Mangrove Snapper on his dock in Charlotte Harbor

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Brianna Burnett caught her first sea trout and brother Bryce jigged up a 19-inch trout while fishing Estero Bay

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Mike Bowers with a nice jack outside Boca Grande.


PAGE

18

EMAIL:

New Year, New Hope By Capt. Alan Williams Water LIFE Charlotte Harbor Well here we are once again at the door step of a new year with new hopes for the future. We've come a long way since this time last year. The only true constant in life is change and we've witnessed a lot of it, some for the good and a lot for the bad. We've had to make some monumental adjustments to our ways of life. Our waters are no different in their changes either. The more people we have pouring into Florida the more critical it gets to protect our resources. One of our main focus points should and has to be the conditions of our Harbor and Rivers.

This is the time of year we all try to make resolutions for a better life. Besides the usual ones of eating better, working out, losing weight and saving more money, we need to make resolutions to do more to help our waters. Some good ones would be: no fertilizing your yards, pick up trash and debris from and around the

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

Closed on Wednesday ... until we find more help

waters. Take the time to retrieve lures and line from the trees and bridges - the birds will thank you and the waters will thank you. It only takes a minute to pick up that ice bag, balloon, beer can or plastic water bottle. All it takes is a desire to make a difference. This is the time of year for dropping water temps and cold fronts. We experienced a doozy of a front that came through in the latter part of December. We had winds of over 70 MPH which is equivalent to a CAT 1 hurricane. I counted at least 6 boats that were sunk in the Harbor and River. There's probably a lot

more. The No.2 marker outside the Fishermans Village channel lost its light, battery and day marker in the storm. Be careful in your travels, surprises can happen fast. The winds really churned up the waters but they will be getting back to their normal clarity soon – every tide change helps clear it up. The storm also changed the location of a lot of fish, but they too will be getting back to there comfort

Foster Rhynders 43" snook Capt.Justin High Tide Fishing Charters

JANUARY 2022

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

zones. Before the storm, fishing had been good with the main wintertime focus on sheepshead and trout. More and more, big sheepshead are showing up everyday. I truly believe there is an art to fooling sheepshead. They’re notorious for stealing baits with their double rows of teeth. The subtle small sweep of the rod usually puts the circle hook or jig in the corner of their mouth before they realize what's happening. I love to fool 'em and not feed 'em... which is usually a hard thing not to do. There’s definitely a learning curve on consistent hook ups. Cobia have been showing up in ever increasing numbers. Trolling spoons or plastics along the shoals and bars have been getting their attention. Alligator Reef is a hot spot for both sheepshead and cobia. I always try to have a Voo Doo shrimp tied on and ready to make a long cast anytime they show up around the boat. They are one of my favorite fish to catch when you can sight cast them and they eat it. Screaming drags equal racing hearts. There are still good numbers of decent redfish around. The larger snook should be headed up the rivers and around the bridges. Big schools of jacks are also on

Melinda Wilson with mangrove snapper, released

the increase. If you want to test out that new gear you got for Christmas, hook up to a big Jack. It'll let you know right away if it was worth the money. Enjoy this time of year. Just be prepared for some cold, possible wet rides. Dress accordingly – you will defiantly appreciate it if you find yourself on the water after dark. Take a kid fishing when you can. Pass it on, educate them when you can. Good luck with the resolutions. See you on the water.

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Capt. Alan Williams 954 -347-5275 awilli9412@aol.com

Angie Mobley, redfish,


JANUARY 2022

Best Bets

SHEEPSHEAD Coming in from the Gulf spawn

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

from Water LIFE magazine

Rob caught in his back yard almost broke the reel

@

WWW.W ATERLIFE M AGAZINE . COM

Fish you can expect in Local Waters in

SNOOK Moving into the creeks and canals

FISH PIX!

FISH PIX!

FREE ONLINE

COBIA Near shore reefs, Cape Haze, Alligator Reef

REDFISH Still a few giants around the Harbor

January TROUT In the deeper holes in the Sounds

Charlotte Harbor, Lemon Bay, Placida, Gasparilla Sound

Power Pole or any structure close to shore. Redfish... seen a bunch around the Harbor in most of the usual spots. They are Frank @ Fishin’ Franks going for cut ladyfish, cut mullet and dead 4200 Tamiami Trail 941-625-3888 shrimp. Only closed Wednesday ... for now Bonnet sharks are throughout the flats Snook fishing in the rivers is picking at Bull and Turtle and on the east side of up. The chillier temps. have brought a lot the Pine Island sound, still in the shallower of big snook into water. There the protected water. are a few inThe canals are side of the loaded up too. New bars, but people trying to around the catch snook in their Harbor there snook lights: We were also still have said for years; some over by you have to use tiny the middle baits in the lights. hole, last Nothing more than week. 2 inches - look for Black tiny lures like the 06 drum are Rapalla or the Hystill active. perlastic. Guys are fishSea trout have ing at El been pretty good on Jobean Pier the east side, but and in the smaller. They are P.G.I. canals. larger around the Cobia are north side of Matstill hitting lacha around Two baits and Pine and the Indian everyone has Fields in the deeper an idea of water. On the other what they are side of Pine Island going to hit, in the Pine Island Jeff Vermeulen with a dolphin but a 1- or a FISH PIX! for dinner, caught off the coast Sound and in the 1 1/4 ounce of Costa Rica, last month. Gasparilla Sound, jig with a there are a lot of long soft plastic seems to be the most popnice trout on the open flats. ular cobia treat this year. Bounce it off the There have actually also been some bottom. It’s getting your rod tip as low as legal gag grouper in the Pine Island sound you can and then lifting the tip as high as holes - over toward Captiva and the Big you can. The key is don’t reel, just drop Pass. and lift and do it again. For sheepshead, which everyone is inAs I write this we are out of the 6-inch terested in, the best bet is Placida and the curly tails, but I have more coming in. Tom Adams Bridge and also at Marys or from Water LIFE magazine

PAGE 19

The water nearshore is in the high 60s

Temps have been cold and warm Fall fishing prevails

95˚ 90˚ 85˚ 80˚

75˚ 72˚ 70˚ 68˚ 50˚ 45˚

FISHING RIGHT NOW: FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Jessica with a bass in Lehigh Acres

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Kim, snook

FISH PIX!

from Water LIFE magazine

Debbie Masonʼs 34-inch cobia

STILL GOOD!


PAGE

20

EMAIL:

WATERLIFE@COMCAST.NET

JANUARY 2022