Page 1

Water LIFE


Charlotte Harbor and Lemon Bay Florida

Keeping Boaters and Fishermen Informed

July 2004

Kids Cup Standings Redfish Cup Behind the Scenes

Page 7

Page 24

To m m y D a v i s Wins the Kids Cup

Photos on pages 16-17

Big Beach Snook Page 14

Couples Page 25

Fishing Report Page 30


Everyone Was Smiling Page 3





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They Were All Smiling


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Commentary By Mi chael Hel l er few fearsome adult nay-sayers had insinuated a competitive Water LIFE Publisher event for children was a recipe fordisappointment, trauma and At last month’s Water LIFE Magazine Kids Cup tears. They knew nothing. Kids are strong resilient and in Tournament there were a lot of smiles. Smiling is good. need of fishing. Competition is what a healthy society is There were 300 people at the Kids Cup competitor’s meet- based on. Grades in school are competition, competition is ing and dinner and it looked like they were all smiling too. what life is all about ... but that doesn’t mean competition As tournament organizers and producers, my wife and I can’t be fun. Fishing is in itself competition - my fish is were smiling because after we covered all the expenses we bigger, I caught mine first - How many fish you got? How were able to donate $12,000 to the Don Ball fishing program many YOU got? There is nothing inherently wrong with for 7th graders in Charlotte County public schools. fishing tournaments as long as we keep the money out of it. The kids fishing were smiling that weekend too, because Money changes the focus for a lot of people. Saturday was a great day with lots of nice fish caught. The Not only did our kids fish their hearts out in the Kids boat captains were smiling as well because it was a day on Cup, but the top five kids and a hand full of other Kids Cupthe water like it was supposed to be with clear skies, calm competitors and friends seas, and grown ups on good behavior all day long. helped in the Redfish Cup We began the day at safe light with a fast-paced start that as fish runners, bag hanreleased all the boats in sequence. The kids got a taste of dlers, and ice-toters. Fun, tournament tactics right off the bat as they found out about helping out, with a good being the first to your favorite spot. attitude. It was contagious Fishing by all reports was excellent. Even the anglers that week. who didn’t weigh in a legal redfish reported a great day with Also on the list of good Above: It only took Capt. Rhett Morris 2 minutes to put lots of snook and big jacks to keep them smiling. things that came with the ESPN broadcast host Tommy Sanders on this nice tarpon, I have heard a number of nice stories about the fishing Kids Cup was the on-call but it took Tommy over an hour to land it. Left: Dakotah and Jackie Yard with their 32 inch fish. in the Kids Cup – how anglers were on good fish and just involvement of a number of waved to other anglers near by and invited them to come local guides who shuffled over and share their good fishing. How kids took turns cast- their schedules around in the last minute so ing on a school so as not to spook them. How manatees and the big shots from ESPN and Oberto could dolphins and even some sharks swam by. get a chance to hook a tarpon during their limJ.B. Bradshaw told me a particularly nice story about ited visit. Imagine being a guide like Rhett Ralph Jones, a local guide who had a commercial charter that Morris and getting a call in the evening askday, and who when he motored up close to J.B. was ready to ing you to meet someone at 9 a.m tomorrow, fish his clients with live whitebait ... until he and his peo- put them on a tarpon ... and then get them ple realized the kids were in the Kids Cup and only allowed back to the tournament site by 11. Rhett to fish with shrimp. The kids would have had to pull-anchor made it happen. Rhett made them smile. and leave if someone started chumming with sardines, so Rhett is one of the young ‘old time local Ralph’s party just reeled in their lines and sat by watching guides’ in Charlotte Harbor, a quiet knowlthe kids fish. “They had a great time just watching for most edgeable fisherman who during the school of the morning,” Bradshaw said. year is also one of the guides who teaches We heard from guides we knew and we heard from guides kids in the Don Ball fishing program. Comes we never met before, about how that day everyone worked around, goes around. That’s what made the together. “It was like the way it is supposed to be all the Kids Cup so great. That’s what kept everyone Tommy Davis (right) the Kids Cup Grand Champion and Tyler Breton, sectime,” one grown up observed, smiling ear to ear. “We did- smiling. ond place finisher, did double duty on Saturday lugging bags of ice n’t even see anyone running the shoreline,” he added. I can around at the Redfish Cup tournament. still see that guy’s smile. In this tournament, the kids signed up and arranged for their own boat and adult captain. We had over 60 commercial guides who gave up their personal time to take kids out fishing on Saturday. That made lots of people smile and while the professional anglers and guides in the Redfish Cup the following week had 53 out of their 125 teams weigh in fish, we had 62 of our 102 junior anglers weigh in legal fish and we only had one oversize fish. All our fish were released alive and no fish Whether itʼs the were required to be put in the resuscitation tank. If Or the Catch of Home of Your Dreams... fish can smile, they were smiling that day and the a Lifetime Watts brothers were smiling too. Last year Greg and Brian Watts were the overall Redfish Cup winners and this year they came to town a few days early to take two kids they had never met before (and two of their own kids) out fishing. Greg put Dakotah and Jackie Yard on a 32 inch redfish. It was too big for the weigh in, but just right for two oversize smiles. A number of other Redfish Cup teams brought their families and kids to fish the Kids Cup as well. More smiles. Far and away, it was the attitude of the kids themselves that made the Kids Cup successful. A

Capt. J.B. Bradshaw ¥ Realtor

Coldwell Banker Morris Realty inc. 634-8512



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SPECIAL THANKS to Bruce and Barbara Laishley for their good deeds, unselfish thinking and all the personel time and money they have donated to the Redfish Cup and to the local community – Frank

Governor signs Manatee bill into Law S taff R eport On June 23, Governor Bush signed Senate Bill 540 (SB 540) into law. The bill was sponsored by Senator Michael S. Bennett, regarding manatee protection and is the combination of manatee protection ideas put forth in several prior bills which were sponsored by Representative Lindsay Harrington and Senators Bennett and Bill Posey during the 2004 Legislative Session. Though not a favorite with Save the Manatee Club or the uninformed ultra liberal local Charlotte press, SB 540 will now bring science to the forefront of manatee protection. In a letter to Secretary of State Glenda E. Hood, Governor Jeb Bush explained: “S B 540 is intended to provide manatee protection and research by allowing the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to develop science-based policies for manatee protections.” SB 540 implements Measurable Biological Goals, previously adopted by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) pursuant to Federal Statute 372.072(6), that defines manatee recovery. The Measurable Biological Goals will now be used by the FWCC in

evaluating the need for additional manatee protection rules. SB 540 further directs that the FWCC develop rules to define how these Measurable Biological Goals will be used by the FWCC in evaluation of the need for additional manatee protection rules. In addition, SB 540 provides that existing state manatee protection rules shall be given ‘great weight’ in determining whether additional rules are necessary in any region where the Measurable Biological Goals have been achieved. Turning the regulatory focus on science will, in the end, create a concrete decision-making process that must be based on science and not bias or political pressures. The recognition achievement of the Measurable Biological Goals does not prevent the FWCC from proposing amendments to existing rules, from adopting new rules, or/and from implementing emergency rules to address risks or circumstances in a particular area or waterbody to protect manatees even if the Measurable Biological Goals are being achieved in that region. SB 540 is also designed to improve the long term manatee protection by commissioning three Enhanced Manatee

Boca Pass

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Michael and Ellen Heller Publishers

(941) 766-8180 CM RT

New FWC map showing the boundaries of Boca Grande Pass. Only 3 fishing lines per boat are allowed in the water in this area.

Protection Studies. The studies are: (1) A Manatee Habitat and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Assessment to be performed by Mote Marine Laboratory; (2) A Signage and Boat Speed Assessment to be performed by the FWCC; and (3) and Implementation of Manatee Genetic Tagging. The language provides, The enhanced study shall be used by the Commission in its mission to provide manatee with maximum protection possible, while also allowing maximum recreational use of the state’s waterways. This language charges FWCC with the responsibility of balancing mana-

tee protection interests with recreational use of the state’s waterways. Finally, SB 540 will authorize vessel operators to travel faster in manatee speed zones, if the activity is reasonably necessary in order to prevent the loss of human life or a vessel in distress due to weather conditions or other reasonably unforeseen circumstances or in order to render emergency assistance to persons or a vessel in distress. This language represents a more restrictive version of similar language that appears in the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act regulations as Section 17.105(c).

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Contributing Editors:

Fishing / Environment: Capt. Ron Blago Charlotte Harbor: Capt. Robert Moore Gasparilla: Capt. Chuck Eichner Port Charlotte: Fishinʼ Frank Offshore: Capt. Steve Skevington Technical Advisor: Mike Panetti Sailing Advisor: Bill Dixon Cartoons: Ron Mills Kayaks:Ben Turpin

on the COVER:

Kids Cup winner Tommy Davis on the ESPN Redfish Cup stage. See Page 16

on our WEBSITE:

Tide Graphs: For Punta Gorda, Shell Point, El Jobean, Pine Island, Matlacha, Redfish Pass, and Lemon Bay.

Weather: Links to all of our favorite weather and radar web-sites. Back editions: Previous edition pages.

Artificial Reefs: Lat. and Long. for 24 local artificial reefs off Charlotte, Sarasota and Lee Counties.

Manatee Myths: Read the original plan for sanctuaries and refuges, as laid out by the United Nations in 1984

Links to Realtors: Connect with advertisers

What Happened?



By Mi chael Hel l er Water LIFE Publisher The day after the Redfish Cup Tournament we got up late and went for a boat ride up the Peace River. Some rain upstate had made the water higher than it had been and by 10 a.m we were throwing Bombers to the alligator gars upstream from the trestle. It was a beautiful morning ... until the cell phone rang. It was my friend Bruce. “Have you seen the picture?” he asked. What picture? “The whole deal with the redfish cup. Don’t tell me you don’t know?” “What deal?” I asked, and he explained that the winning team of Eric Mannino and Joey Lara had been photographed by a kayaker fishing in a No Motor Zone at Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on the final day of the Redfish Cup ... and they were using their electric trolling motor. “Can they do that?” I asked. Mannino and Lara were familiar to me since Eric Mannino fished with Samantha Lara in the Kids Cup and Joey Lara, Eric’s partner in the Redfish Cup was Samantha’s dad. The team they beat out was Robert Moore and Bob Boudreau, two local guides who fished with Tommy Davis and Tyler Breton in the Kids Cup. Tommy Davis won the Kids Cup and Tyler took second. The names were all intertwined. The rest of our peaceful morning on the river was ruined. We tried sitting on the shore, neck deep in water, looking out over the sawgrass on the other bank, but the cell phone rang. We headed down river slaloming through the crab pots and the phone rang again, and then again. I went home and looked at the pictures on the internet, and then looked up the J.N. Ding Darling information on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website. “Paddle or pole only in the no motor zone,” the text clearly said. An accompanying map on the website showed the NMZ. There had been a GPS on the camera

Water LIFE

boat that followed Mannino and Lara that day and I found out it was turned on. We got access to the camera boat and received permission to download the GPS track onto my own handheld GPS. Then we trailered a boat down to the Monroe Canal Marina on Pine Island where we launched and motored across the sound to Ding Darling. We navigated to the track on my GPS and began to follow it like a video game. Fifty yards off the shore the track passed a buoy marked Manatee Zone, an idle area. Then at the shore line we passed big signs posted by the city extending the idle area and prohibiting personal watercraft from entry. The shoreline in this area is all unspoiled mangrove islands with no development in sight. We idled on in, through the islands, retracing Mannino and Lara’s path, and throwing a lure retracing the fishing they did just because we could. We had no luck. We came within 20 feet of signs along along the course that said: No Motorized Boating Beyond This Point, but no signs identifying the area as a Federal Park. I held the GPS against one sign and made a picture showing the track and where we were, then we moved ahead following the course. We followed the line to the approximate point where the picture on the internet looked to have been taken and then made a picture of our own from that same area. Then we headed back. On the way out we asked a local guide who we encountered on the water about the NMZ. “We use electric motors in there all the time,” he said. The authority to regulate use of the waters within the J N Ding Darling Federal Wildlife Refuge stems from the dedication of the submerged lands within the refuge boundaries. The submerged lands were transferred from the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida to the U.S. Federal Government when the Refuge was estab-



Mannino & Lara Internet Photo

Tower Photo

Sign Photo Made Here


Made Here lished. The federal government hence owns all submerged lands within the refuge NMZ boundaries in fee title. Development of the Observation Tower No Motor Zone was seen in both photos based on the authority This map is distributed at the Ding Darling Refuge. We inserted the text. granted through the Tournament officials immediately asked Federal Refuge Administration Act for the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to step protection of wildlife species and habitat. But a long time flats boat fisherman who in and decide, while at the same time they fishes Ding Darling told us he also uses an took the picture of the Mannino and Lara electric trolling motor in the No Motor team holding the trophy down off the Zone all the time. He said eight years ago Redfish Cup website and replaced it with the previous park ranger had spoken before the Kids Cup winner, Tommy Davis holdthe Lee County Guides Association and told ing his redfish. A week later, facing mounting pressure, them trolling motors were permissible in the NMZ. Mannino and Lara maintained Mannino and Lara announced they were that if they were in the NMZ they were withdrawing their fish from the competiwrong and that it was an accidental entry, tion. Then they were disquallified for also but the camera boat driver, a local boy who running their boat on plane in a manatee volunteered for the job, had reportedly said zone. Moore and Boudreau were declared the when they came to the signs Mannino told official winners. They received the $25,00 him it was OK to proceed on the electric first place money and their new tournament trolling motor, that it was a no combustion points standing now puts them in a tie for 6th place overall. On September 3 the top motor zone. Opinions took sides between those who 25 teams will compete for the Oh Boy! say the law is the law and those who say: Oberto Redfish Cup in Titusville. the law is not clear and to start enforcing it now would be discriminatory.


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Kids Cup Tournament

2004 Kids Cup Grand Champion

Results and Final Standings Top 5 Winner

Top 5 Winner

In the Top 5 Shootout Samantha Lara finished fifth with a 2.75 pound redfish,. She was fishing with Capt. Steve Reupke. Samantha, age 13, is from Robstown Texas. She weighed in a 6.95 pound redfish to take first place in the preliminary Kids Cup event. Samantha is an 8th grader at Callallen middle school, she has been fishing for 3 yrs and her favorite species is redfish. Her captain in the Kids Cup was Eric Mannino.

Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51

Angler # Time in 97 3:07 39 12:30 65 2:07 28 11:33 55 2:34 83 2:33 80 1:23 19 2:26 92 1:23 52 2:47 56 2:29 20 1:04 101 12:48 9 10:52 93 12:48 62 3:12 34 2:36 78 2:19 3 1:09 15 2:40 32 2:15 85 1:53 30 11:53 91 1:35 1 2:49 2 2:38 4 2:59 40 1:16 69 10:44 84 2:39 87 2:04 11 1:42 71 1:55 90 1:59 35 3:01 31 12:54 33 2:58 14 2:40 77 2:45 43 1:33 25 1:46 66 1:43 44 2:49 46 2:55 99 3:05 10 2:25 68 12:03 63 2:10 86 1:51 88 2:25 70 2:23

Weight 6.95 6.92 6.67 6.65 6.59 6.48 6.47 6.43 6.38 6.38 6.28 6.25 6.09 5.84 5.70 5.50 5.34 5.23 5.08 5.05 4.81 4.76 4.68 4.44 4.41 4.34 4.29 4.09 4.09 3.86 3.47 3.44 3.28 3.26 3.24 3.19 3.16 3.10 2.97 2.91 2.90 2.88 2.87 2.87 2.85 2.82 2.72 2.68 2.64 2.62 2.51

In the Top 5 Shootout Cody Bollinger finished fourth, with a 2.79 pound redfish caught fishing with Capt. Derrick Jacobsen. Cody, age 11, caught a 6.65 pound redfish to take third place in the preliminary Kids Cup event.. Cody is a 5th grader at Meadow Park school, and has been fishing for 7 years, his favorite species are snook and redfish, Codyʼs Kids Cup Capt was Andrew Medina

Junior Angler Samantha Lara Tommy Davis Ryan Kays Cody Bollinger Tyler Breton Alyssa Latham Matthew Davis Drew Rossi Zack Lee Ricky Stewart Taylor Lugiewicz Joshua Mecke Jordan Davis Raymond D Killian Leighton J Powers Trey Ware Justin Cauffman Crosland Polk Jared Shackelford Lucas Rodgers Jammie Leibman Eric Edward White Logan Totten Bobby Helphenstine Ethan John Young Brandon Tanksley Shane Wumkes Zachary Granger Justin Hudec Dalton Smith Matt DeGaeta Chris Jones Patrick “Cody” Shea Tyler Helphenstine Ricky P Lundgren III Andrew Laugois Dan Lichtenstein Lance Destry Burch Jayda Barton Dillon Fitzgerald Calvin Kujath Matthew A Kunstman Johnathan Reid Eric Fontaime Trevor Richards Mark Pellman, Jr West Doyon Gil Lee Sanford Jessie Daughtry JC Gill Joshua Jansch

Top 5 Winner

In the Top 5 Shootout Ryan Kays placed third, weighing in 2.85 pound redfish caught fishing with Capt. Gary McKenzie. Ryan is 12 years old and from Sarasota. In the preliminary Kids Cup event he weighed in a 6.67 pound redfish for a third place win. He is a 6th grader at Suncoast Middle School and has been fishing for 8 yrs, His favorite species: redfish, snook, trout, and cobia,. Ryanʼs Kids Cup Capt. was J.R. Witt

Boat Captain Eric Robert JR Andrew Robert Dan Brian Blake Brian J. B. Mike Roger Robert Douglas Ray David Ron Bruce Dwayne Burch Evan Bill Jeff Mark “Gritter” Darel Joe Dave Fred Charles Brad Ray Gary Cory Jarrett Fred Philip Don J. Lyn Charlie Michael James Ronald A Darel Mark Pryce s Geoff John Mike Bobbi Ron Mark

Mannino Boudreau Witt Medina Moore Latham Kerrigan Beerbower Kerrigan Bradshaw Mahan Harris Davis Killian Powers Stevens Cauffman Laishley Shackelford J. Lyn Bevis Leibman White Totten Griffen Carter Tanksley JR Wumkes Granger Hudec Opsahl Steck Graef Nydeggar Lombard Winters Laugois Mull Jr Bevis Barton Vasher Willis Kunstman Carter Peters Richards Page Wildeman Blaschum Daughtry Houston Jansch

Top 5 Winner

In the Top 5 Shootout second Place went to Tyler Breton, age 15. with a 4.97 pound redfish caught fishing with Capt. Mike Mahan. Tylerʼs hometown is Port Charlotte. He is an 8th grader at Port Charlotte Middle School. Tyler weighed in a 6.59 pound redfish to take fifth place in the preliminary Kids Cup event. His favorite species are: tarpon and redfish, Tylerʼs Kids Cup Capt. was Robert Moore.

Place 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62

Angler # Time in 37 3:09 53 2:17 79 2:19 41 2:51 45 2:55 24 1:39 76 2:45 13 1:25 29 3:02 72 1:55 5 1:48 6 7 8 12 16 17 18 21 22 23 26 27 36 38 42 47 48 49 50 51 54 57 58 59 60 61 64 67 73 74 75 81 82 89 94 95 96 98 100 102

In the Kids Cup Top 5 Shootout, first place went to TOMMY DAVIS, age 14, from Port Charlotte. Tommy is an 8th grader at Port Charlotte Middle School, Tommy won the Top Five Shootout with a 6.5 pound redfish caught while fishing with Capt. Rick Francois. Tommy Davis, took a second place in the preliminary Kids Cup event, weighing in a 6.93 pound redfish. Tommy has been fishing for 11 years, and says his favorite species is cobia. Tommyʼs Kids Cup captain was Robert Boudreau. This win will allow Tommy to fish in the 2005 IGFA Junior Angler World Championships at Key West.

Weight 2.44 2.38 2.38 2.37 2.29 2.28 2.20 2.10 2.05 2.01 1.49

Junior Angler Travis Riggs Tyler Pastornicky Emory Polk Jordan Holmes John R Sturm Sammy Grasland Cody Lee Barton Cole Calhoun Kelli McKenzie Mitchell Wallace Andreau Audet Cody Bailey Michael McCafferty Nikki Hannon Shalley Graef Justin Beverly Elissa Allen Mike Daughtrey Jr Bryan Greenberg Brandon Parks Jordan Ingman Joey C Gilcher Jeffrey J Gilcher Colton Kirkpatrick Chase Jemison Bryan Watts Weston Del Rio Bryce Del Rio Tyler Cooper Tyler Retino Bryan Hilgar Jake T Smith Dakotah Yard Jacklynne Yard Tyler Hamilton Sara Hamilton Michael Spaniol M. Zachary Johnson Jeremy Jansch James Daughtry Zack Sandrock Danielle M Mull Jilliane Tartaglia Anthony Tartaglia Trey Llewellyn Nicholas La Badie Brandon M Dignam Tyler Lewis Corey Rommel Jacob Jordan Cody L Moran

Boat Captain Don Darryn Bruce Chuck Mark J Charlie Bob Gary Cory Michael Jimmy RoseMaire Tim Gary Joel S Joshua Terry Joel S Jeff Jeff Jeremy Jeremy Don Shawn Bryan William Jerry Larry Steve Jim CA Greg Greg Jamie Jamie Brian JR Kevin Robert Michael Don Paul Paul Jarrett Richy Richy Alex Rose Chuck Joshua

Riggs Mc Gowan Laishley Eiehner Peters Grasland Barton DiMuzio McKenzie Nydeggar Audet Fry McCafferty Johnson Graef Beverly Smith Brantley Beverly Parks Parks Fowler Fowler Riggs Jemison Watts Del Rio Adams Cooper Retino Crawford Richardson Watts Watts Allen Allen Ziegler Witt Jansch Barham Jemison Mull Jr Crecco Crecco Lombard Edwards Edwards Suescum McCafferty Howard Smith

Anglers who did not receive their COMPETITORʼS TROPHY please stop in at Laishley Marine




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On Stage at the Redfish Cup

ESPN commentator Fish Fishburn pokes a little fun at Capt始s Bob Boudreau (left) and Robert Moore while Tournament Director Bob Sealy weighs in their fish. Meanwhile, in the production trailer behind the stage, the crew works to sort out the different video feeds for the big screen Jumbotron.



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Bumpy Flight

S taff R eport The 2004 Punta Gorda leg of the Redfish Cup is finally in the record books and Captains Bob Boudreau and Robert Moore are the champions. The Punta Gorda team of Moore and Boudreau fish under the sponsorship of Forelands at Charlotte Harbor, Action Craft Boats, Laishley Marine and Mercury Marine. The team’s flight to the top Capts. Bob Boudreau (left) and Robert Moore were declared winners, and now thay are smiling all the way to the bank. at Punta Gorda was not without turbulence. On the first day, right out of the box, their motor quit. They switched boats and went on, weighing in two fish on Friday for a respectable 12.4 pounds, then Saturday they only weighed in 7.33 pounds for a 19.73 pound total. There were several teams ahead of them, and the numbers were very close. Then there was a simple mathematical error. For a time it looked like Moore and Boudreau were out of the running This camera man followed the anglers on the final day for Sunday’s Top 5. Still they were adding to the high-stakes pressure for the DeVault team upbeat and professional. “We want to thank Punta Gorda for all the support they have shown us, we want to thank ....” They were gentlemen all the way, content with what they thought was a respectable 6th place finish. Then the announcer called the top five teams to come up on stage and Moore and Boudreau’s names were on the list. “I thought I was dreaming,” Moore later said. The error had been caught and by 3/100 of a pound they were in the top 5. Then came Sunday and Moore and Boudreau weighed in a light 7.67 pounds. Goeff Page hustles his fish to the measurBut the next two competitors, Greg and Bill ing tent. The fish are weighed oin stage. DeVault had no fish and then Dennis Martin and Ken Chambers also had no fish. Then came Geoffrey Page and Ed Zyak with minimal fish that weighed in at 6.82 pounds. Then came Eric Mannino and Joey Lara who weighed in two nice fish for 11.07 pounds. It looked like a second place finish for Moore and Boudreau, but then more turbulence. Mannino and Lara were disquallified for speeding in a manatee zone. Moore and Boudreau became the winners. The Punta New this Year to the Redfish Cup was the Gorda leg of the Redfish Cup will be aired Jumbotron TV that projected video and standon ESPN2 on August 28. ings. Thatʼs Tommy and Tyler on screen here.

Community turn out is what made the Punta Gorda Redfish Cup successful.


Page 9

Page 10

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S t aff R eport The thermostats on an outboard function like those on a car. A predetermined temperature in the cooling system causes the thermostat to open or close. In 2stroke outboards that’s around 140-degrees. The right temperature is important for fuel vaporization, resultant emissions, and wear tolerances within the motor. On the closed cooling systems found in automobiles the thermostat works in antifreeze. Thermostats last a long time in cars. On outboards, thermostats are constantly subjected to the exchanged water from the outside environment. It is usually coarse material in the water that poses problems for a thermostat. River mud or soft bottom circulated through the outboard cooling system are not nearly as damaging as beach sand loaded with hard shell fragments. Hard shells or even hard salt crystals from within the engine are the culprits that most often make a thermostat stick. Usually a thermostat will stick ‘open’ and the motor will run too cool. When they stick ‘closed’ the motor could overheat.

Flushing your motor with fresh water at the end of the day is a good idea, but flushing with cold water, especially when the motor has been shut down, will close your thermostats and the flush will only be a partial one. Always flush a motor running at operating temperature. On our 6-cylinder two-stroke Mercury outboard, the thermostats are at the top of both cylinder banks and are held in place with two small bolts. In the photo above, a 100 hour-old thermostat is being removed. The replacement, available locally from dealers and after market sources like Laishley and West Marine, are sold in packages of two; ours cost under $20. Each thermostat comes with its own rubber gasket and, if there is no corrosion and the bolts come out easily, (and that’s a BIG ‘if’) ... it only takes about 15 minutes to change them. Routine service at 100 hour intervals should include a thermostat change.

Anglerʼs Dream see page 13



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P a g e 11

kitchen with dcs cooking/grilling center, U–Line auto ice maker/refrigerator. Pool closet and hose bib in pool area with great view of lake. A gourmet kitchen to die for, wooden cabinets, solid surface counters, 48 inch sub zero style ref. Vegetable sink in Island and 2 breakfast bars. Double oven, one is convention also. 2 water heaters and 2 A/C units. 17-inch diagonal tile in all rooms except Berber in bedrooms. A lovely master suit with his and hers walk-no closets and roman shower, commode closet, 2 vanity sinks, Sec. sys and intercom, niches and plants shelves every where. well and sprinkler sys for yard. Home features gas and electric. The list goes on and on. $1,200,000 MLS # 415288 Call Ellen McCarthy

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Fishinʼ with the Missinʼ Fishinʼ Frank This year fishing has been great, but it has also proven it is better to be lucky than good. My luck has finally turned. What a great week. Frank III, flew in from Milwaukee (what? you didn’t know about my son, Frank III?) where he is studying to be an art teacher. Bet you wouldn’t have guessed that either, Artist Frank, ... eh? His second day in town Frank III agreed to help me on a charter, the clients (or victims!) were Bruce Bagge and his friend Jeff from the U.K. We left the dock at 5:15 a.m. to go out and catch bait. I had already got shrimp the night before, but one day shrimp is king, the next day bait fish rule, go figure. We stopped at the 41 bridge, threw the net – and nothing. Then I threw at each marker. Finally seeing bait on the fish-finder near the southwest marker of the rubber tire reef, we anchored and started to chum a mixture of dry chum, menhaden oil and cat food. Chumming took 20 minutes, but by 7 a.m. we had plenty of bait and were cleaning the boat trying to get the 30 pounds of jelly fish, seaweeds, and other stuff out. Heading to Ponce Park, Frank and I picked up Bruce and Jeff. If you are wondering what they look like, over the cash register at Fishin’ Franks there is a picture of them, holding a stringer of fish from a trip last winter – 20 or so fish some almost 3 inches long! Yeah, catching was not good that day. However, better people to spend the day fishin’ with, or a bigger pair of jokesters, you will not meet. Just look at the photo. First thing on the agenda was sharks, so we dropped the hook between Marker No. 2 and Marker No. 1, a long time favorite spot. Got the chum slick going, put out the sardines and then we traded jokes as nothing bit or hit. So we sat there waiting for the tide to turn. The tide was low at 8:30 a.m. and at 8:45 we packed up and headed for Hog Island and what I was sure would be a great morning of catching redfish. On the south end of Hog Island there is a creek and at




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the first bend of the creek in the deeper hole, redfish sometimes hang out waiting for food to wash in. Bruce, Jeff, and Frank III all started casting, freelining shrimp along the edge as the tide started picking up. I added a #7 split shot to their lines and the hits started. Re-hooking shrimp and trying to get a hook-set was hard to do with the tide coming in faster and the lines drifting into each other. I put Jeff in the bow to cast along the far side of the bend with a free lined bait and Wham! the battle was on. A 30-inch snook was showing off his best jumps and head thrashing abilities. Finally we landed that fish, got pictures and got on with the fishing. Bruce cast into the bend and fish on fish off. the Zen thing about it is you pull, he pulls, who ever pulls the hardest wins. In this case the fish won. All split shots are off the lines now, and Frank casts against the bank. Snook on! Seven pounds of why Florida is the fishing capital of the U.S., fighting its way to the boat. Pictures and a release then back to the fishing. For the next hour and a half we had doubles and triples. The only reason we did not have steady triples was I could not rig the lines fast enough. At one point Frank hooked up and the line started screaming, then within seconds Jeff hooked up and a huge snook reared its head, thrashing water. Frank’s fish does a flip out of the water. It’s a real monster. He lands a 35 inch 9 1/2 pounder. With the fish in the boat, Jeff gets his to the boat and it’s 10 1/2 pounds and 36 inches. After getting pictures, exchanging hand shakes and then reviving the fish and the anglers both we get back in action. The bottom is littered with oyster clumps, branches, and sticks covered with barnacles. The shore is lined with mangrove roots, all designed to cut lines, and test the anglers’ ability. Narrow water to fight fish this size. Frank casts to the shore and wham !! He hooks up. The fish runs the shore back into a cut in the trees. Frank low-

across from Whiskey Creek



Fishinʼ Frank III and Jeff, with two snook (and no hats). How long before Frank III cuts the sleeves off his shirt?

ered his rod tip so the line would not tangle in the branches and kept steady pressure on the fish until it turned and came out of the trees on a line-drive-run up the middle, heading for the mouth of the creek. Tip high and pumping the rod he got him turned. The fish ran back at the boat, then around the back of the boat and to the bow and back to the stern. Finally a yellow flash and a big jack crevalle was getting his picture taken with a tired Fishin’ Frank III. Just back from a year de-fusing roadside bombs in Iraq, Frank III wasn’t giving in to a fight with a fish!

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Water LIFE

Fishing with Capt. Ron Blago

Page 13


Special congratulations On The Line With go to Mike and Ellen Heller , Capt Ron the owners -operators of Fishing is great. Water LIFE for the great job Boca Grande tarpon they did in organizing and fishing is the best its running the Oberto Redfish been the last few year. Kids Cup Tournament. What A lot of big tarpon are a great event. Top notch, first being hooked. Fishing class, super good time. off the beach for tarThey’re already planning next pon is pretty good as year’s event. I have to say a long as the wind is few words about the Oh Boy! slight or coming from Oberto Redfish Cup Pro the east. Being on the Tournament. It’s the talk of water at first light is a the town among the fishing must for beach fishcommunity. The team of ing. Crabs, large Mannino and Lara made sevshrimp or sardines are eral mistakes and it cost them the bait of choice. $25,000. Now it’s time to Trout fishing in move on. Congratulations to Lemon Bay is at its Moore and Boudreau (local peek right now. Every guys) who moved into first pot hole in grass beds place. To Geoff Page and his seems to be hiding at partner Ed Zyad, who moved least a few 20 inch into second place - any day plus trout. This is a you wake up and find you great time to just drift made 10 grand sleeping is a over the flats with good day indeed. Since the either a jig or a spoon. Gold spoons and big trout, it doesnʼt get any better than this. tournament left close to I found the sunken $500,000 here in Charlotte hull of a small wooden County. Lets hope they all boat in about six foot come back to Punta Gorda of water that was covunder my regular docks. These fish next year. ered with mangrove snapper and are so used to boat traffic you can’t small grouper. I had fished this flat a spook them. hundred times over the years and Fishing on the beach from shore never saw it before, but now that the has been productive for snook and water in Lemon Bay is more clear pompano. Early morning is the best the wreak sticks right out. Others time to be there. If you want some have told me about similar sunken action, head off shore a few miles. boats throughout Lemon Bay. I have It’s easy to spot schools of Spanish seen pictures of legal size grouper mackerel and bonito. Catching these caught off these wrecks. Remember fish on light tackle is a real thrill. it doesn’t take much structure to hold Another fun thing to try this time of fish. year is night fishing off shore. A Redfish action is pretty steady. I number of head boats and charter capbet not one of the over 200 redfish tains are offering night time snapper pros stopped to wet a line in Lemon trips around the time of the full Bay during the last tournament. Their moon. It’s a great way to catch some loss. I’ve caught a number of 26 nice fish and stay cool. inch plus redfish the last few weeks

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I Was Ready



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Above: Capt. Mike Mahan. Facing page Top: Randy Pierson, Bottom: Capt. Rob Moore.

By C apt R obert Moore “Hey, what are you doing tonight?” The conversation started between Capt. Mike Mahan and myself. His tone was serious and matter of fact. I replied that I had nothing planned as of yet and asked why. “Tonight is the night” he says. Mike continued on, explaining to me in a very scientific tone that tonight was the perfect night for me to finally catch a monster snook. I wished I would have recorded the call so I could repeat word for word his reasoning on why the ‘monster snook’ of Southwest Florida would be feeding, but all I really remember is outgoing tide, moon phase, and major feed. What he didn’t know is that he could have stopped at catching a monster snook and I was in. This story really begins when Mike and I were sharing fishing stories last May while in Texas fishing the Redfish Cup and I accidentally blurted out that I personally have never landed a Snook over 20lbs. I remember the disbelief on his face when I said it. “Never” he asked? My face turned red and I humbly replied ‘never’. The largest snook I had landed was 16 pounds, that was several years back in a local tournament. Mike grinned ear to ear and sarcastically told me his mission in life was to change that. I wished him the best of luck for I just seem to have a curse that forbids me to land a 20-plus pound snook. As we pulled out of his driveway last week I asked where we were going. He informed me Boca Grande was our destination. On the drive out I picked away at

Mike’s mind on how we were going to be fishing. Although I was somewhat tired from the Tarpon trip I had done earlier in the day I found myself re-energized by the time we reached the toll to Boca Grande. We pulled into the public beach parking lot and proceeded to walk north up the beach. The wind was out of the west and blowing into our face. As we got further and further from the lighthouse it got darker and darker. We reached an area that Mike referred to as the Honey Hole. All I could see when I looked out into the surf was several pilings. Mike set his tackle down and grabbed his rod and into the water he went. I followed and was amazed just how warm the water was. No shock what so ever. It was actually warmer in the water than out. Mike was already casting out and hooked up before I could even get the treble hook off the eye of my rod. “I told you, they’re feeding tonight”. Mike landed about a 10pound snook and seemed disappointed. He explained sometimes you have to weed through the smaller fish to get to the big ones. Smaller fish to me are 4-5 pound fish, not 10-plus pound fish. The grass was very thick along the beach and made it difficult for us to work our plugs without getting all snagged up. What I do know was that when you did make a cast and got no grass on your plug as you retrieved it in, the snook would explode on it. If one piece of grass got on your plug, forget it, no hits. Over the next hour Mike I proceeded to catch a Snook every 10 minutes or so ranging from 5lpounds to 15-pounds and got broke three times. Mike finally hooked something that didnít give. I heard him grunting when he said that this was a good one. Hell, I had been catching good ones all night; I could hardly wait to see what he considered a good one. Well that snook was a good one all right, weighed in at 25 pounds. After several pictures Mike released her back into the dark and said it was my turn. About ten minutes later I hooked something that didn’t feel like the normal hit.

Continued on Facing Page


Water LIFE


An Interesting Observation about

Big Snook

This time of year big snook are found along the beaches preparing to spawn. Randy Pearson is holding one caught off Boca Grande in late June. These fish are the ʻHens,ʼ the egg layers, and there might be a specific pecking order these fish use for shade in the daytime. Perhaps in order to have shade, the fish have been observed in pyramid shaped schools along the beach, with the hens on the bottom and the progressively smaller fish swimming in layers above. On the top layer are the smaller male fish, usually two small males rotate positions at the top. Such underwater ʻstructureʼ provides shade for the hens and since these fish will break up and scatter by evening and different fish will group up the following day, the procedure could alsohelp genetic variation in the spawn. This could also explain why we catch so many small snook when casting along the beach.

The fish ran hard and fast trying to get back to the safety of the pilings. After a 5 minute battle I brought a 21 pound snook to the beach. As Mike took several pictures I could feel my face beginning to hurt from the ear to ear grin. When I released the fish Mike calmly commented that the next mission was for me to make the 30lb club. I replied not tonight but I do look forward to accomplishing that one soon. As for the bait we were using, a 6-inch Rebel Windcheater Minnow (silver side, black back). Honestly though, we threw a variety of different baits and got the same number of hits. When they are feeding they pretty much will inhale anything you throw at them. Our tackle consisted of the Quantum Boca 60 with 50lb Power Pro Braided Line on an 8 foot Cabo medium heavy rod, a perfect combination for fish-

Offshore Report MAGAZINE

By Capt. S teve S kevi ngton Water LIFE Offshore Contributor As an offshore guide, there’s a certain amount of pressure in producing fish. It seems like every time the boat is untied, there’s a whole new list of demands to try and fill. And that’s fine, because it’s all part of the job. If your wondering why I would bring all of this up, it’s because all thru both June and hopefully July, these demands have been easy to fulfill. The fishing has been so great. It reminds me day in and day out of why I do this for a living. Early in June I had a pretty hard order to fill as a group of gentlemen chartered the boat and proceeded to tell me how they had chartered boats all over the world for a chance at hooking a permit. I told them it was a little late in the year for these fish, so I couldn’t promise anything, but I promised to try. Our trip down Charlotte Harbor provided me the perfect opportunity to talk them into half a day of grouper digging, and a half day of permit hunting. Having been disappointed in past permit trips with other boats, hunting permit all day and getting skunked, they agreed to some bottom fishing without any persuading at all.

ing in heavy cover. It took me 34 years to break the 20pound mark on snook and honestly it was well worth the wait. Many thanks to Capt. Mike Mahan for his determination and hard work in getting me there. You can reach Capt. Robert Moore for information or to book a charter fishing trip at (941) 637-5710 or (941) 628-2650. or via e-mail at Capt. Mike Mahan: 628-0694

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Page 15

With a livewell packed full with small live pinfish and pass crabs, we headed offshore to better than 70 feet of water. We dropped the pinfish down on 5/0 live-bait hooks and 60-pound mono leaders drifting over one hard bottom spot after another. It didn’t take long to box up a half a dozen keeper sized Red grouper. With the first half of our day behind us, we headed for my favorite permit spot. Flatlining live silver-dollar-sized crabs on 20-pound fluorocarbon leader produced 8 hook-ups with some big permit in our last few hours of fishing – and it produced a few very happy customers. That’s how fishing has been all month long; one good story after another. With any luck at all, it will continue through July. I’m anticipating big catches of amberjack, barracuda, red and gag grouper, lane and mangrove snapper, and if your fishing deep, don’t be surprised to see mahi mahi around your boat. This time of year there really is very little one can do wrong other than not go fishing at all. Captain Steve Skevington Kingfisher Fleet, Fishermen’s Village. Punta Gorda (941) 639-2628

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Above: The morning start was at first light. Boats were released in the order they signed up in. Right: A team of anglers works the bushes looking for that one big redfish near Pirate Harbor


It was a beautiful day and the fishing was awesome in Bull Bay

Tommy Davis with the winning fish on the line

The KIDS CUP Tournament

Many kids learned how to handle and release fish properly.

The Competitor始s Meeting dinner served 300

Left: First round winner Samantha Lara with the biggest legal fish of the event. Above: Jordan Holmes and Capt Chuck Eichner had to release this oversize red. Right: Bruce Laishley with Emory Polk and his fish at the weigh in.

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Water LIFE

Left: The top 5 kids wait in the measuring tent before going up on stage

Page 17


Rich Novak Sportsmanship Award

Above and Right: With 102 anglers, the activity at the weigh-in dock was intense.

ESPN commentator Fish Fishburn did interviews on stage with all the kids. T h a t 始 s Samantha Lara (above) and Tyler B r e t o n (below).

We are proud to present the first Rich Novak Sportsmanship Award to tenyear- old Cody Bollinger. Cody stood up to the big guys, wore the shirts and hats we gave him (even though they were much too big) and always had a smile on his face. Cody fished his way into the top 5, helping other kids and sharing fishing spots along the way. Cody worked as a fish runner and bag handler in the big Redfish Cup and through it all he was a first-class gentleman and a pleasure to be around at all times. We congratulate Cody and his parents for their family spirit and sportsmanship.

Above: Careful fish handling resulted in no dead fish and in the end all the fish released swam away. Right: J. Lyn Bevis with Lucas and Lance Birch

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Water LIFE

Page 18



Just a Few More Thank–Yous


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By Mi chael Hel l er Kids Cup Tournament Director The Kids Cup has come and gone, but the stories of support and contribution to The Don Ball School of fishing continue. Because of deadline restrictions the information in the Kids Cup program was printed in late May. Competitors not entered by that date and sponsors not signed up by then missed out on being included in the program, but that didn’t stop them from coming on board anyway. On tournament day we had 102 kids signed up to compete in the Kids Cup. One was out of town on a family emergency and one had a little league championship game that day but all the others went out fishing. On the night of the dinner, our friend Charlie from Discount Tackle walked in and then ran back out to his car to bring us 5 nice 5-bearing Okuma reels. Those reels along with a last minute donation of X-tool’s dehookers, pliers and a brand new $90 digital scale became prizes for the 6th through 10th place competitors the following day. At the Competitor’s Meeting we announced that the money from tournament entry fees will pay for next year’s operating expenses at The Don Ball School of Fishing, which is an extra curricular program in Charlotte County’s middle schools for 7th graders. Two days before the captains meeting Mike Tindal from ICC Capital Management called to say Chief Chuck Reinhart and the Punta Gorda Police Department would like to donate a full day’s fishing trip with the Ranger Boats Professional Team to the overall Kids Cup winner, and they had a beautiful plaque made up for the winner as well. Tom Hansen at Boats Unlimited put a brand new Cape Craft in the water and made it ready for our use as a photo boat. No big signs on it, not even a sticker. Tom wasn’t looking for recognition, he just wanted to help, and he did - Thanks Tom, and Thanks to the Chief and Mike Tindal too. And then there were the local guys who just did what was needed - for the kids - no thanks required, but thanks deserved none the less. Guys like Jim and Mike at Southern Oxygen who set up the oxygen rig and went to Englewood to get the right oxygen stone for the resusatation tank (Thanks to Bucky, too!) And thanks to Barney and Judy and Bruce at Sea Tow for providing a boat to carry the Redfish Cup fish back out to be released into the harbor. And thanks to Lowrance for the donation of FIVE hand-held GPS units for our top five Kids Cup Competitors - those units are over $100 each. And thanks to Falcon Rods for five spinning rods (Tommy and Tyler had to have 7-footers!) and thanks to Bill Nemire at Nemire lures for five different 14-k gold plated Nemire spoons and lures for each of our top-five finalists. Things just seemed to keep coming in. And thanks to Skip Mackie and son at Classic Auto

(they sell and restore Muscle Cars in Punta Gorda) for restoring an old newspaper rack so we could set it up at the front door at Hooters. Thanks guys, and thanks to Chris at Hooters, and thanks to Chris at Harry’s too. Harpoon Harrys was the tournament site for the Kids Cup. They gave us their venue and we gave them plenty of paying customers. Harrry’s let us hang our banners from their rafters, rearrange their seating and generally bring along our own party which took over their place for the better part of Saturday afternoon. It all went smoothly and they even let us put the whole show up on their big screen TVs. Thanks again. Which brings me to Mr. TV, our own video o-FISH-a-nado, Fishin’ Frank. Frank and his wife Terry brought in a wagon full of video equipment, mixers, patch boxes and cameras and sat working it all for the whole afternoon. Every fish on screen had the weight superimposed on the screen. It was a genuinely professional presentation. People in the bar were actually watching! And while I am on Franks subject, let’s just stop here for a minute to thank Robert. Thank you Robert, thank you very much. Robert was the behind-the-scene procurer of much of what was in the Captain’s Bags. If he didn’t get it, he told me where to go and who to talk to to so I could get it. Robert (and Jeff- thanks Jeff) stuffed bags full of lures with us at night and dipped shrimp in the dark so we’d have them ready for the tournament anglers at daybreak. And Robert’s mom Sandi gave us the idea for a sportsmanship award which would honor our departed friend Rich Novak. We have used that idea, thanks a lot. There is a little ‘aside’ to Robert and Frank and that’s the guys at Fishin’ Franks - the local crowd there. The top two kids in the Kids Cup and the two guides who took them fishing on the final day were all Fishin’ Frank regulars and as coincidence would have it they are all on the Quantum Reels angler program. That means in return for good public exposure they get discounts or even free stuff from Quantum. But on the final day of the Kids cup the top 5 Kids got shirts from the ESPN production company (Thanks to JM Productions for the shirts, the trophy and the time on stage for the Kids Cup) and when the kids and the guides came up to the stage we gave them all fresh clean white Kids Cup hats to wear, just like they do like in the winner’s circle at NASCAR. So now we say thanks and hats off to Quantum, and to their fine anglers. Quantum has associated their fine brand with our finest. Here is your logo in print, as our thanks. And last, but really first, thanks to Gene and Sharon, Bruce and Barbara, Ralph and Rebecca and thanks to my wife, Ellen. You all made the Kids Cup happen.


Water LIFE


Theyʼll Eat Anything, but Catfish Still Canʼt Jump

MAGAZINE From: Bill Sturdevant to Bill Kolisar to Water LIFE

Page 19

Via e-mail

These pictures where taken at the pond behind Tom's house. Maybe Richard should try this kind of bait! Our neighbor saw a ball bouncing around kind of strange like and when he went to investigate, it was a flathead catfish with a child's basketball stuck in its mouth and the pictures tell the rest of the story. His wife did have to cut the ball in order to deflate it and release the catfish. Editor notes this is not a local species!

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Water LIFE

Page 20




ScuttleButt Sometimes Unsubstanciated ... but often true

TOURNEY FEE Word is out there that someone in the Charlotte County Government is advocating the idea that the county could charge a fee to tournament organizers and issue a permit for fishing tournaments.

HARRYʼS ROOF Harpoon Harryʼs and the Captainʼs Table share the same roof at the end of the wharf at Fishermenʼs Village. Over the last few weeks the building has had its old shingled roof removed and has now been re-roofed with a tin topping. Not only is the structure now more easily identifiable in the daytime (especially when the sun is shinning on it) but even at night the yellow lights that mark Harryʼs appear even brighter. Perhaps someone should paint the words Fishermenʼs Village on top. Tampa Tarpon Texans Itʼs not clear that these guys are from Texas, Tampa would probably be more like it, but there are tarpon anglers who have moved into Charlotte Harbor from Boca Grande Pass and brought the brash, offensive and downright rude ways of the Pass with them. These anglers, using break away tackle are running and gunning on the fish, motoring onto the schools hard and pushing the fish down and away. Local conversations in the area bait and tackle shops have centered on this behavior for the last few weeks and some of the home spun remedies to the problem are not pretty. They are screwing it up for everyone, one old timer warned.

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Fortunately, the man had a cell phone and good reception and was able to direct Officer White to their location. When asked if he was going to return later for his sunken canoe, he reportedly stated that the canoe had been donated to the river. FISH BOXES FOUND Don Thompson of Burnt Store Marina said that two submerged fish boxes were found in Pirate Harbor the day before the Burnt Store Couples Tournament. The boxes had redfish and snapper in them. SECOND SPAWNING Local observations of ʻwhitebaitʼ in the area near Gasparilla Sound have reported a significant amount of small bait right now. Small bait is usually seen in the spring so this observation could indicate a second spawning of baitfish is taking place this year.

FUEL FILTER Last Month we reported

on a Fuel Filter/Water Separator which upon inspection was found to be all rusted inside. We had hoped for a response from the manufacturer by now, but we do not have an official statement yet. Stay tuned.

LAST WORD Anglers and a cameraman working with in cahoots with the Boca Grande Guides Association were behind pictures of the FWC Commissioner on a boat with too many lines in the water at Boca Grande.


Water LIFE


Itʼs Time That Kayakers Pay Their Fair Share

Perspecti ve: By Capt Ron Bl ago Water LIFE Executive Staff If there is one thing you can say about Capt. Marion Schneider, owner of Grande Tours boat and kayak rentals in Placida; she sure can stir up a hornet’s nest. A few years ago she single handedly got campers kicked off of Dog Island in Gasparilla Sound, by complaining that the place had turned into a disgraceful garbage dump. As luck would have it, a year later, she got herself appointed manager of the island, so now if you want to camp there you have to pay Marion. She gets to keep the money as a management fee. Some may recognize Grande Tours from their bi-weekly kayak demonstrations at Englewood beach, put on with the blessings of the Charlotte County Parks and Recreation Department. As a matter of fact, Parks and Rec. is even including the Grande Tours business logo on the flyers they print to promote the events. Pretty sweet deal – why pay for advertising when the County will do it for you for free? I know a few local marina owners who would love to

have a deal like that, but I don’t think you will be seeing any free power boat demonstrations on Englewood beach any time soon. Years ago, Grande Tours was mostly a tour boat operation working out of a little shed in back of the Fishery Restaurant in Placida. Then Capt. Schneider moved her operations to a residential neighborhood on Coral Creek. Back then the status quo on Coral Creek was pretty laid back. There were a few fishing shacks and the only boat traffic on the shallow creek was from local residents going to and from the sound. Marion knew the status quo on the Creek when she set up a commercial business, cut down the mangroves to put in her dock and started to sell and rent kayaks - much to the dismay of many of her neighbors. Tolerance was pretty much the daily policy until Capt. Schneider fired a shot across the bow of her neighbors by writing a letter to the Board of County Commissioners asking that Coral Creek be turned into a slow zone. The reaction of her neighbors was pretty swift. In a matter

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share. Charlotte County cannot force kayaks to register, that is the prerogative of the State of Florida and I’m sure that in good time they will follow other states that have adopted the philosophy of “ if it floats-it pays,” but Charlotte County does have its own ways of squeezing a few extra dollars out of boat owners. If you want to park at the beach or in a boat ramp you need a permit. Now may be the time for a special “Water Use Permit” for canoes and kayaks. If they want special marked trails or additional kayak launch sites I have no problem with using 100percent of the fees they pay to provide additional services for them. Another more practical advantage of a numbered permit is if they find an empty kayak floating in the bay they can contact the owner and find out if there is a missing boater out there. I know that no one likes to pay more money, but as all power boaters already know, if you want to be on the water it’s going to cost you.

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of days they presented a petition with 200 signatures that basically said, Coral Creek is just fine the way it has always been, so leave it alone. Marion may of miscalculated the opinion of her neighbors but she did bring up a good point about the danger of mixing kayaks and power boats. Every time I see a kayak in the middle of the ICW, it reminds me of a tricycle in the middle of the interstate. To help resolve the dispute the Marine Advisory Commission suggested that a separate marked trail be provided for kayakers, which personally I think is a good idea. The real question is, who is going to pay for it? Unlike the over 20,000 watercraft in Charlotte County that must pay a registration fee to use the water, canoes and kayaks get a free ride. Let’s face it, all boats on the water need the same services. You need public access to the water. You need navigational markers and channels and you need emergency rescue services. All these things cost money and it’s about time that non- power boats in the county start paying their fair

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Page 21


Naples July 12 thru 22

Port Charlotte July 26 thru Aug 5

Sailing... On a Wing and a Beer

Water LIFE

Page 22

By Bi l l Di xon Water LIFE Sailing Editor I had a fabulous time at the cardboard boat race part of the Redfish Cup. I was not the only one! Hundreds of people cheered, laughed and behaved silly. The Punta Gorda Sailing club built a cardboard sailboat the Paper Clipper with butcher

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paper sails that was a knock out. It looked like fiberglass or PVC pipe, but it was made from cardboard tubes painted with high gloss enamel. Even though the wind gods rejected our sacrificial efforts and kept the wind away from the race course, we did better than some. I was heartened by the camaraderie and

Staff Report One year ago we bashed X-Plores after sampling a free pair of their plastic floating pliers. We said the plastic was brittle, the lanyard was a sunglass string and that the metal-onplastic cutting surface was as useless as a manatee. The X-Plores company was bought out by X-Tools and the new X-Tools are Totally New. Different plastic, different lanyard, and metal on metal cutting surface that will easily cut any line. These tools have now come of age. They will cut braided line cleanly, they still float effortlessly and I havenʼt been able to break them yet. These are worthy tools and we will use them.




Chuck Taylor, missed out on buying his shirt at the meeting, so I sold him my spare. My only regret about the day was the lack of competition from the Yacht Clubs, Boat Clubs and Cruising Clubs out there. Also missing were the Boy The boat looked great but without wind it wasnʼt a contender Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little laughter shared by the contestants. Cold League, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and othbeer was enjoyed by many as well. One ers of the many youth groups in the area. competitor loaned us a kayak paddle when Surprising competitors to me were the the wind let us down. In turn, we (there Rotary, but no Kiwanis; Coldwell Banker, were dozens of us from PGSC) pushed but no ReMax, Berson or Century 21; and several contestants who had difficulty Edison College, but no high school teams. crossing the starting line, and pulled some The Redfish Cup is the closest thing others who had difficulty finding the finwe have to a waterfront Summerfest. The ish. Bob Anderson, PGSC Commodore, Redfish Cup took a giant step up this year brought 48 T-shirts commemorating the with the addition of Mike and Ellen boat and sold 47 at the club meeting Heller’s Kids Cup tournament, but it could before the race. I got mine FILTHY be even bigger if more of us supported the reconnoitering the race course on foot with other events as well. Be there next year my dog Max and his Frisbee. I made out and be a part of your local waterfront sumthough. Scott Taylor, son of boat designer mer festival.

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Palm Grove Ave.- This two story home has 1,148 sq ft and 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. But more importantly it has a gorgeous view of Lemon Bay, immediate access and protected dockage is available. In 2001 it sold for $153,000 and again in April of 2004 for $300,000.

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Bahia Vista - Built with a spectacular view of Lemon Bay this old Florida style home is also on a canal corner lot with water on two sides. It was built in 1955 with 1521 sq feet and 3 bedrooms & 1 bath. In 1999 it sold for $150,000 and more recently it sold in March 2004 for $585,000.

Brown St - This home on Ainger Creek has direct access to Lemon Bay and the Gulf of Mexico with 2 bridges, so power boats only. It was built in 1969 with 1,512 sq ft. It sold in 1999 for $55,000 and just five years later it sold for almost 4x that amount in April, 2004 for $213,000.

Oakwood Circle - This newer canal front home was built in 1990. It has a pool/spa, 2,312 sq ft and 3 bedrooms & 2 baths. The canal has direct access to the Gulf with one fixed bridge. It also has a walk around dock and a 10,000lb lift. Nine years ago it sold for $250,000 and this past April for $500,000.

Molly Brown our three year old Springer Spaniel takes a hard look at a radio-controled motorized Nemo fish. Outdoor pool temperature are now in the high 80s. Filters need to run all day and Chlorine use could go up a little more in the next hot month

Page 23


Denburn Ave. - Built in 1971 with 1,356 sq ft of space, this 2 bedroom, 2 bath home sits on the end of a canal. The canal is partially seawalled and has direct access to Lemon Bay with only one bridge out. In 1997 it sold for just $85,000 and again in May 2004 for $232,000.

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Page 24

Shark Tourney

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Right: The winning Hammer Below: A stingray that was probably snagged or speared

WINNERS: Shark: 1) Luke Martin, 11.5 foot Hammerhead, $1585 2) John Jones, Lemon, $1053 3) Charles Hepp, Lemon, $521 Stingray: John Clark, 43 5/8 inches, $1100, 2) Ron Huey, 42 1/4 inches, $733 3) Bruce Matheson, 42 inches, $362. SailCat (gutted) : Zach Patchell, 4.48-pounds, $1585 2) David DeYoung, 4.23-pounds, $1053 3) Randy Bates, 4.16 pounds, $521

The morning crowd for the measuring and weigh in is always big.

Bloody-mouthed bull



S t aff R Eport “We were really hoping for a hammer, that was our objective,” Luke Martin said. “We hooked up in the middle of Boca Grande Pass at 11:30 p.m. and we didn’t land him until after 1 a.m. The tide was coming in and he dragged us both into the harbor.” Both, meaning both boats, the one Luke Martin was on and the other boat that came alongside during the fight. “He took a 20-pound barracuda,” Martin said, recounting the night as best he could, but maybe it was a bonita ... maybe it was a tarpon. The fish hit the bait 5-feet off the bottom. It was rigged on 400-pound wire, nothing fancy, but seriously stout. Martin recounted, “It took everything the three of us had (Martin, Pat Hill and Allan Beraquit) to manage that fish. Once we had him bellied up alongside the boat we gaffed him and tied him up, then we idled back in to Placida. It took 2 and a half hours. We weren’t back at the ramp until 3:30 a.m. Then we gutted the fish in the water and three guys at the ramp helped us load the fish into the boat.” There were 396 fishermen entered in the event who accounted for only about a dozen sharks, seven sting rays and a load of big summer catfish at the weigh in. Everyone thought there would be more sharks.

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S t aff R eport Now in its sixth year, the Burnt Store Couples Tournament has become one of the ‘looked-forwardto’ events in the circle of fun local fishing. The 100 couple field fished for two snappers and one redfish on Saturday June 19. Even the lightest snapper was awarded a 3 pound weight, but the other snapper and the redfish were weighed on the scale. Betty Thrift and Jeff Moding weighed in the biggest redfish at 7.96 pounds and a three fish total of 11.75 pounds. Ernie Tambasco had the biggest snapper at 2.16 pounds. Capt. Derrick Jacobson topped the leader board overall with a 12.02 pound total. The teams that weighed in fish accounted for 105 snapper and 44 redfish. Live bait was permitted. A good time appeared to have been had by all .... or at least all that attended. Absent from the weigh in and showing uncharacteristic goose-eggs on the leader board were local top tournament fishermen: JR Witt, Gary McKenzie, Scott Rush Junior, Scott Rush Senior, Roger Harris, Rhett Morris, Miles Merideth and Bob Boudreau.

Water LIFE


Couples Tournament at Burnt Store







By Capt. Chuck Ei chner WaterLIFE Gasparilla Editor A phone call from a couple of old fishing buddies started the whole thing out. Most fishing trips start with a phone call and these two guys were coming in from Baltimore expecting world-class fishing and that they had! There was really no pressure on this captain to perform except for dozens of fishing stories over the past several years of how great Charlotte Harbor fishing is. Now it was time to back the stories up and of course, this is typically when the fish go into hibernation but not this time. Off and running at 6 a.m. the first day of this two day extravaganza, we ran to Bookelia and managed a good livewell full of bait. These anglers had never seen so much bait and wondered why we needed so much. We’re gonna need them all, I proclaimed as they rolled their eyes back in disbelief! Fishing is a game of confidence and at this point I was doing my best to psyche the fish into biting. Fishing within sight of the bait-catching hole, I pulled up to a shallow bar and chummed live pilchards in a foot of water.

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This was a redfish spot on the incoming tide and Johnny’s first cast met up with a snook of about 23 inches. Ok, Capt. Chuck, he chuckled, I wanted a redfish but this will do. After an hour we boated 2 reds and 3 snook and had a couple of breakoffs. These Baltimore boys were happy and couldn’t believe the quality of the fish. The tide edged in a little higher and I announced we were heading out. You see the bite is just about over and we need to be on a higher water spot. At this point they believed me but conceded that spot looked the same and was working just fine. Heading towards Matlacha, we eased into a basin with a shallow oyster bar and dropped the hook. Fishing in the middle of nowhere makes a newcomer scratch his head. How in the world do you find this kind of spot, they asked. The answer- lots of hours and plenty of petroleum. Dipping a couple dozen pilchards from the well and pitching them in an arc around the boat, 3 lines hit the water. Two snook immediately ate and the fight was on. Both fish measured close to 25 inches and were released. Long story short, the tide rose higher and we eased closer to the mangroves in back of the oyster bar. Here we found the mother-load of snook. Interestingly, back where the boat was anchored a school of super-sized reds moved in. So we sat for 4 hours- snook to the front and reds to the rear (of the boat). Perhaps 50 fish made it to the boat that day. Often we had 3 reds on at one time. Nothing short of incredible and we only fished 2 spots. The plan for the next day was to run my 22’ Grady White offshore for whatever wanted to bite. They wanted to flats fish and forget the offshore thing, but we stuck with the game plan. Launching from Placida we ran to Devilfish Key and chummed for pilchards. Throwing a castnet from this boat is a little trickier than a flats boat but 2 hours later we were running to a spot 10 miles off of Boca Grande. Dicing up fresh pilchards for


chum was Jeff’s job and by the time we dropped anchor we had a gallon of fresh chunks to get started with. At first the fishing was slow, particularly compared to yesterday. Each of us stared into the deep blue gulf waters as gentle rollers moved the chunks away from the boat. It wasn’t long and ‘Otis’ appeared. That is, a curious barracuda that brought the whole family to lurk within casting range of the boat. Then, the first hook-up and it turned out to be a bluerunner probably weighing in at 1.5 pounds. You usually think of these as bait, but they are hard fighters when they get this big. This seemed to start things up because shortly thereafter a school of fish flashed under the boat and then it was off to the races! Two rods lite up, drags burning and we’re yeehaaaing like yokels because the big ones have showed. Ten minutes later one fish is still on and turns out to be a little tunny or bonita. Into the box he went for shark bait later on. Next rod to buckle met with a different fish and turned out to be the dinner callgrouper! This rascal went 15 pounds and the ol’ captain Chuck was thanking the fish gods...I mean how lucky can I get. A few more grouper came aboard with another pushing 8 pounds and then the monster hit. Johnny was fishing a stout conventional outfit with 30 pound mono and the line was peeling off with a tough downward struggle. It was obvious we were underpowered for this fish. The rod suddenly went limp and then while reeling in the slack a smaller fish climbed on. A 5 pound grouper came boatside – go figure that! Then we noticed that the grouper had chomp marks around its entire body so we figured a monster grouper might have tried to eat him the moment he got hooked and thus the huge battle and battle scars. One never knows what is chewing in the ocean. The barracuda persisted to hang around the boat and finally Otis succumbed to a free-lined pilchard- about 5 feet in



length and chunky. Cuda’s make a terrific first run with some great jumps and then give up pretty quick. Next event involved a shark. We saw him coming from way off. A yellowy color approached well back in the chum line and zigg-zagged its way to a bait under a float. A quick decision and 10 minute fight led this fish to boatside measuring around 5 feet. It seemed every fish in the ocean was gonna pass by the boat today and that it did. Later in the day, we again saw some quick flashes bolt under the boat. It was my turn and my rod went off and the drag was singing! My 15-pound class spinning outfit was bent double and I couldn’t pull it off the gunnels as the fish dumped 100 yards while running under the hull of the boat. I looked down at the reel to see if there was any line left and noticed my mono was literally sawing through the black rub rail almost into the fiberglass. Imagine that – line peeling off so fast it was sawing my boat! To make a short story shorter- my line went suddenly limp and I reeled in dead weight only to find a half of kingfish on the hook! Bad day for this kingfish as if getting caught on my line and thrown in the cooler wasn’t bad enough but a cuda saw fit to attack – I have no idea how a cuda could have chased down that kingfish but he did! Fishing did finally slow down so we sat back and put out the heavy stuff. A 5/0 Penn Senator wide on a broomstick of a rod with 100-pound mono, steel leader and a huge hook. A fillet of bonita was dropped overboard for a denison of the deep. It didn’t take long and we were strapping a fighting belt and shoulder harness on Jeff as a huge, and I mean HUGE, fish was stripping line off the reel. This reel has 2 drag levels- normal and maximum. Set on maximum it was almost impossible to put the brakes on this dude. But, after a half hour struggle and tug of war a monster grouper came boatside. Measured at 61/2 feet long and a girth of 5 feet we all sat in awe of this magnificent creature. Somewhere in the 350-pound class we figured. Jeff is now planning on moving to Charlotte County within the year and Johnny is investigating work options in the area. I wonder why! No doubt, the waters were very generous that day. We released all but a couple of grouper and that half of a kingfish. That was 2 days of fishing I will never forget! Cap t . Ch uck Ei ch n er o p erat es A ct i o n

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Tarpon in the Pass

Water LIFE



Tarpon action in the pass slowed signignificantly in late June and July could mark the dawn of a new era of tarpon fishing. For the last month authorities have been informing anglers that no more than three lines are allowed in the water in the pass (see the map on page 4). This month, break away tackle becomes illegal. “They came up with break away tackle so the anglers donʼt get hurt when the fish spits the hook and it comes zinging back at you,” one old time guide observed. “It could get interesting in July.,” he added. And the vessel of choice for the independant tarpon guide seems to be changing as well. Larger heavier 20- to 24- foot center console boats have replaced the smaller flats skiffs in the pass . The fishing window also appears to have been adjusted with the local traditional guides fishing more of the night tides and the modern jig fishermen taking over the daytime.

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Mom, Iʼm Bored

By Don Cessna Water Life Englewood Summertime in Florida, the snowbirds have gone home and it’s really hot outside. The kids are out of school and most likely they are becoming bored. Recent psychological studies have shown that the bright light of the outdoors is important in avoiding depression. So if you are looking for some other avenue of entertainment for the kids, why not take them to the water’s edge and get them fishing? Kids love to get out and poke around the shoreline. Exploring is what life is all about for kids. Talk about

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continuing education, topics of conversation can range from basic fishing technique to the the environment and the creatures in it. If you can keep their interest and make it fun they will just soak up learning like a sponge. Forget about favoritism, both boys and girls love fishing. It seems like the boys are always up for it, but you will find the girls will also enjoy it when given the chance. Kids do not need the best of rod and reel as long as it works. I’ve seen many trophy size fish which any adult fisherman would be proud of, caught by 4 or 5 year old kids on their Mickey Mouse fishing rods. The size of the fish is of no consequence, it’s your approval and pat on the back that is important. If it is difficult to get larger fish let them catch a mess of pin fish – you can use them for bait later. Once they have a rod and reel the only expense is for a bag of bait. Certainly that is cheaper than about anything else you could get to entertain them. Some days the neighbor’s kids arrive at my shop by bicycle, skateboard, rollerblades, scooter, or on foot, ready to go fishing. What a menagerie. It brings to mind Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer off for a day on their raft. Sometimes we share knot tying lessons and tell fishing stories in the shade of the big oak tree in front of the store. Sometimes one of the adults asks me to show him how to tie a particular knot. I let one of the kids help out and tell them the kid is more of an expert, so let him help. Kids, like adults always have stories of their last fishing trip and the big one that got away. Don’t forget that they won’t be kids forever. With fishing, parents have the opportunity to shape lifetime memories. This is the stuff the kids will remember into adulthood. Even if you can’t get to the water’s edge you can try some casting with a practice plug in the yard or on a quiet street. Pinch down the barbs and give them some room, let them get comfortable with the rod. You don’t have to go to



the water to begin learning to fish. This time of year, on any outing, make sure to bring plenty for the kids to drink. In the heat we all need water, this is very important. If your kids like to root around on their own, save a pair of their old stinky tennis shoes to protect their feet when wading. Bottom shells can easily cut skin, especially when the skin is wet and softened with mud. Wash those wading shoes out occasionally so fungus doesn’t take up residence in them, and explain ‘shuffling your feet’ rather than stepping down to avoid stingrays. Stingrays are not much of a danger, but should be discussed. Ignorance is much more dangerous for sure. Just as there are rules to keep safe on land there are lessons one should know to be safe on or in the water. It’s up to you to pass them on. Lastly make sure they thoroughly wash the salt water off their skin and have them wash their rod and reel and other ‘equipment’ thoroughly every time they are done. We are fortunate to have hundreds of miles of shoreline and it’s only a couple blocks to the water in many places so it’s easy to get kids fishing. ‘Gone Fishin’ is an age old excuse and everyone understands the lure of that great day of fun. Try not to fence the kids in. Give them room to explore and think on their own, room to figure out one of the great mysteries; the outdoors. Ever watch a baby bird hatch? Find a prehistoric fossil? Catch a fish? There are so many really interesting happening everyday. Make sure your kids get to see them. Don@Ray’s Bait & Tackle 480 W. Dearborn St. Englewood, FL. 34223 (941) 473-1591 Two blocks north of the Indian Mound Boat Ramp


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If one net is good two nets must be better, especially when you are trying to get a frisky snapper out of a big deep livewell, as seen here in the Burne Store Couples Tournament


July Fishing Forecast

Charlotte Harbor

Robert at Fi shi n' Franks Port Charl otte: 625-3888

July will be a very hot month, literally. From a catch and release perspective this is a great month for snook. They are easy to catch, especially for shore-bound fisher-

men. Guys with their wives and kids going to the beaches can take a rod along and sit there and surf fish. Englewood beach is good. Night fishing will produce the biggest of the snook, but you can catch the 2030 inchers all day long. Just take the time to revive the fish since the water is hot and they will exert a lot of energy. Small whi ti ng that you can



catch right in the surf with a cast net are good bait and they are plentiful. Artificials have been working well at night. Inshore, sharks will still be number two target this month. Smaller sharks are very plentiful in the harbor and on light tackle they can be a lot of fun. If you are going to fish from shore for sharks Continued on facing page



Fishing Report Continued from facing page

plan on using a little heavier tackle. Laishley pier and El Jobean are good shark spots, as is the pier at Placida. Most people use 3 rods, one with a sinker, one rod freelined and the other one with the bait under a bobber. They will find your bait, don’t worry. Redfi sh can be a good target in July, but they are harder to find in the heat of the day. Early in the morning and at night is the best fishing for them. You’ll find them along the beach and under the trestle, especially at night. The fish are becoming lazy in the heat and they like something that is an easy target. Baits of choice are cut bait frozen shrimp, sardines, or ladyfish will all work well up under the bushes. Pinfish are still a little small right now but they will come into play for redfishing next month. Tarpon will still be around for a month or two. They just got done spawning at the end of June and will be migrating back into the harbor this month. They will really start to thin out in the passes this month. With all the rain, the manhaden should start showing up any day and when they are here thick, the tarpon will start moving up the river. There are tons of schools of big threadfi ns right now and that’s what the tarpon are hanging around. Early in the morning, along the beach, is the time for them. If you can find crabs they will work, but this might be the time to start

Water LIFE

B BIIG G-4 4 SNOOK catch and release only this month

J Ju ully yʼs ʼs b be es st t b be et ts s

SHARKS are still here in big numbers right now

throwing some of the artificials that are five to six inches long, like the DOA bait buster. There have been a ton of really, really nice mangrove snapper all over the harbor and in the PGI canals. We are catching them on shrimp and on whitebait. At the artificial reef the baitfish like the sugar trout and the whi ti ng will pretty much keep the snapper around the whole summer. This summer, the guys who want to fish offshore and don’t want to run 30 miles because of the afternoon storms, are targeting boni ta. You can slow troll for them or you can sight-fish them when you find them chasing the big balls of bait. The fly fishermen and light tackle guys are loving it and a nice bycatch of that kind of fishing would be S pani sh mackerel . There have been some nice ‘macks’ around offshore and in the passes recently. Also offshore there have still been some small ki ngs. If you go further out there are small dol phi n small sai l fi sh and even the possibility of a wahoo as the temperature patterns in the Gulf start to change. On the beach whi ti ng and pompano are still local residents and the

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n July 4: Fireworks on the Water. Popular event for area boaters with displays in Englewood along the ICW and at Punta Gorda, just east of the US 41 Bridge. Fireworks start at dark.

n July 10th: Redfish Tournament, Benefit for Charlotte High School sports, at Harpoon Harrys, Punta Gorda

n July 17th: Backcountry Classic, second leg of the Caloosa Classic



TARPON are moving into the harbor after spawning

oddball permi t will be there as well. Permit are also on the close in reefs offshore.

Lemon Bay

Ji m at Fi shermen’s Edge Engl ewood: 679-7595 It’s pretty hot, but fishing will be decent. Fishing along the shore will still be pretty good: snook on the beach, snook down by the trestle, snook in all the places where the fish hang out before they make their migration. There have been reports of trout, big trout along the beach as well. We have had quite a few permi t stories in the last week so I’d think they are here now along with barracuda and amberjack. July is indicative of the summer months when the pelagic fish; bl ackfi n tuna, dol phi n and even some bi l l fi sh will be crashing baits offshore. Trolling will be good, look for weedlines and frigate birds. Tarpon will still be good in the harbor along with the more scattered fish in the pass. I’ve had guys tell me they have hooked a cobi a or two mixed in with the tarpon. And there are still plenty of sharks around too, a lot of bl ackti ps, hammerheads OF

n July 24th: Redfish Tournament, Benefit for the Trent & Mindy Lewis family, Punta Gorda, (941) 637-5502

n August 14th: Redfish Tournament, Benefit for the PopWarner sports program, Punta Gorda. n Sept 11: Flatsmasters Red & Snook Tournament, third round of the series Punta Gorda, 629-9948 n October 23-24: Flatsmasters Championship, Punta


REDFISH will be in the back country this month

and bul l sharks are still hanging around. We have also had some good reports of offshore grouper and snapper. Some guys are going 18to 20 miles out, but one guy went 50 miles and got some really nice gags. Bigger fish are still found further out, especially the big grouper and snapper. There have been a lot of S pani sh mackerel in the passes and in Boca Grande some guys I know are limiting out on snapper in the channel as well. Redfi shi ng usually stays good in the back country under the trees in July. Try floating a bait up under the bushes or drifting the potholes. Shrimp or pinfish are the baits for that. Guys like shrimp because they are easier to keep alive in the hot summer water. On the outgoing tide of the next moon there will be a pretty big crab flush again. That should turn the redfish on around the phosphate dock. Be ready with big tackle. Freshwater fishing has seen a lot of bl uegi l l action in the South Gulf Cove canals. Little crappi e, and maybe even tal api a are all making a show in the freshwater canals around the


Incredible! RIGHT NOW:

Redfish Tournament to Benefit Mindy Lewis Friends, family and a host of community organizations are joining together to support a family benefit for Trent & Mindy Lewis.

Trent & Mindy are both long time Punta Gorda residents. Mindy was formerly Mindy MacDonald before she married Trent in March of 2003. Seven weeks after their wedding, she was diagnosed with cancer. During 2003, Mindy underwent numerous surgeries and treatments. In February 2004, Mindy found out she was pregnant. She was also diagnosed with additional tumors and her pregnancy has eliminated the use of the more aggressive cancer treatments available. Their child was scheduled to be delivered in late June as the critical stage passes around the 30-week point.

We, as members of a community, are hosting a benefit for their well being. July 10th – Golf tournament July 24th – Redfish tournament Sunday, August 1st. Barbecue/raffle/picnic

We would greatly appreciate your support and would welcome your attendance and/or contribution to any of our activities. Donations can be mailed to:

Trent & Mindy Lewis Family Benefit P.O Box 512132 Punta Gorda, Florida 33951-2132 Sincerely, The Trent & Mindy Lewis Benefit Committee Phone: (941) 637-5502 or (941) 628-8896 or (941) 628-3866


KeepingBoatersandFishermenInformed July 2004 KeepingBoatersandFishermenInformed July 2004 Kids Cup Kids Cup Standings Standings Charlotte Ha...

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