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W a t e r LIFE


C Ch ha ar rllo ot tt te e H Ha ar rb bo or r a an nd d L Le em mo on n B Ba ay y Keeping Boaters & Fishermen Informed Since 1997

July 2010

Pool Repairs Page 14


Monitoring the Fishery Page 13

w w w. W a t e r L i f e M a g a z i n e . c o m


Fish Report

Pages 21-22

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ROOM TO SPREAD OUT – This lovely 1,842 sf, 3/2/2 home is set on 2 lots with option to purchase 3rd lot. Open floor plan, large lanai & caged patio, parquet flooring, carpet & tile. Inside laundry, oversized Master Bedroom. Quiet neighborhood. Call for a viewing today. $149,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 235-5648

SAILBOAT CANAL LOT with concrete seawall in the Charlotte Beach Complex area. Just minutes to the Harbor and on out to the Gulf by way of Boca Grande Pass. Wonderful place to build that dream home in paradise! Buy now before the price starts going back up. $194,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 941-235-5648

ONE-OF-A-KIND Entertainer Series Mobile Home in out-of-park Punta Gorda area. Over 1,400 sf, this 3/2 home is all fenced in with 2 metal sheds, large concrete patio facing open pasture, inside laundry, open living area, breakfast bar, glass top range, recessed lighting, built-in entertainment center and much more. $88,900 Call Ellen McCarthy

SUCH A TERRIFIC BUY! – Beautiful 3/2/2 home on freshwater canal on 1.5 lots. Features of this 2,051sf bargain include new roof, hurricane shutters and lanai screening in 2005 and new A/C in 2009. Master Bedroom suite with walk-in closets, dual sinks and walk-in shower. This one won't last long! $119,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 235-5648

DEEP CREEK BEAUTY – 3/2/2 with heated pool, tile roof, nice landscaping with curbing and stones to match pavers at front entry and lanai/pool area. After you have seen the rest, see the best. This home features great room and large country kitchen open to dining room, with lots of wood cabinets. And more. Come see it! $158,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 235-5648

SHROEDER CUSTOM-BUILT HOME shows like a model. Only lived in a few months, this 3/2/2 1,614 sf home built in 2007 features 17” tile floors (except in bedrooms), split bedroom plan, open great room, white wood cabinets & Corian countertops $159,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 941-235-5648

WHAT A MILLION DOLLAR VIEW from this Sailboat canal end lot. Sellers will work with buyer on the price to repair the seawall of this Port Charlotte Beach Complex area lot with sewer and water. Bring all offers! $239,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 941-235-5648

CUSTOM BUILT HOME only lived in about 8 months. This spacious 3/2/2 sailboat water home offers great view, 7 ceiling fans, plant shelves, window treatments, kitchen with bar, inside laundry room, large living room and lanai, and beautiful landscaping. Come see it today! $259,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 235-5648

WHAT A GREAT LAKE VIEW from this Heritage Oaks end unit, 2nd floor condo nestled in beautiful Oak trees. Volume ceilings give an open spacious feeling. Furnished with Florida style furniture. Huge great/living room with combo dining room. New A/C in 2008. $10K one-car detached garage will be deeded with condo. Don't miss this one at $139,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 235-5648

HOME ON LARGE CORNER LOT in Grassy Pointe area with canal view. This 3/2/2 pool home has 2,010 sf under air and features all new tile floors, cherry wood cabinets, granite tops and new paint. The living and family room areas are great for entertaining. $179,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 235-5648

MYAKKA RIVER VIEW – Waterfront living at itʼs best. If you are thinking of a home on the River, this one is for you. 2,770 sq. ft. built 2006 home with all the upgrades youʼll love. 3 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths. 3-car garage. Walkway to dock and boat lift. Master downstairs with living, dining, family room, kitchen and nook. 2 bedrooms, sitting room and bath upstairs. Breath-taking décor in all rooms, with ceiling fans, trays, molding, lighting, wood cabinets, corian thru out. This one is a charm at $574,900 Call Ellen McCarthy 235-5648

Ellen McCarthy Broker Associate www.portcharlotte-pgi.c www.portcharlotte-pgi.c

19700 Cochran Blvd • Port Charlotte, FL 33948



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TARPON FISHING HEADQUARTERS L e t t e r s t o : Wa t e r L I F E @ c o m c a s t . n e t

In Memory Of Ni na Jean Daughtrey July 10th, 1946July 19th, 2009 We would like to thank you for putting out the Water LIFE every month, it is full of great information and is a fantastic read. In May I picked up an edition of Water LIFE and at a glance it brought back so many wonderful memories of my Mom. Mom passed away July 19th 2009. Mom was an avid fisherwoman who fished Port Charlotte waters (fresh and salt) all of her life. There were no tall tales as far as she was concerned, she always caught more and never failed set the record for the biggest fish. She shared her love for fishing with her family and friends teaching us how to tie or set a hook and was on hand to bring a fish in with great enthusiasm. Her memory will be in our hearts forever and we know she will be there in spirit whenever we catch our next big fish. Mi ke and Lynn Daughtrey


(941) 766-8180

Mail: 217 Bangsberg Rd. Port Charlotte, FL 33952


Not affiliated with any other publication Vol IX No7 © 2010

Everything Eats Shrimp

Guided by Capt. Alberto Bartoli and using shrimp for bait, Roberto Godi of Arcole Veroma, Italy landed a potential IGFA AllTackle record after catching a wels (Silurus glanis) that weighed 113.5 kg (250 lb 3 oz) on Italyʼs River Po. The fish was weighed (on the green tarp) , photographed and released alive.

No part of this publication (printed or electronic) may be copied or reproduced without specific written permission from the publisher.

Contributing Editors:

Photography: Senior Editor: Capt. Ron Blago Charlotte Harbor Tarpon: Capt. Mark Bennett Port Charlotte: Billy Barton Gasparilla: Capt. Chuck Eichner Offshore: Capt. Steve Skevington Commercial Fishing: Kelly Beall Sea Grant: Betty Staugler Real Estate: Dave Hofer Inshore: Fishinʼ Frank Diving: Adam Wilson Kayaks: David Allen Sailing: Bill Dixon Office Dog: Molly Brown

on the COVER

An FWC research team from the Charlotte Harbor Field Laboratory collect fish as part of their ongoing sampling.

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Patti Allen, General Manager of Fishermenʼs Village (center) Jim Branch, Village Harbor Master, and Marina Supervisor Rick Chevalier (right) present a check for $882 to Michael Heller, Director of the Don Ball School of Fishing. In June Fishermenʼs Village hosted a marine expo and hot dog lunch at the Fishermenʼs Village Marina. The event celebrated National Marina Day and was held as a benefit for the local Don Ball School of Fishing. Fees totaling $882 from vendor displays and contributions from the free hot dog lunch were donated to the Don Ball School of Fishing, a program for 7th grade students in five of the area middle schools that teaches students about local fishing and the local environment.


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Water LIFE i s the o ffi ci al publ i cati o n o f the Charl o t t e Harb o r Reef As s o ci at i o n, the o ri g i nato r o f the Ki ds Cup To urnament and the pro ducer o f the Do n Bal l Scho o l o f Fi s hi ng .

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Summer Protection

By Mi chael Hel l er Water LIFE editor I came across some Tar Off Towelettes in an old beach bag stashed in the garage since way before Charley. I hope it was not an omen. I grew up with tar on the beach. If you hung out on Miami Beach like I did in the 50s and 60s you would remember the bottles of solvent and oil-covered rags that bathers used to clean their feet before they left the sandy beach and headed home. All the big hotels had tar removal stations as well. The tar came from the shipping lanes and the Port of Miami. It was hard, dark brown and oily, thankfully there wasn’t a lot of it. I got up this morning and put on my old jean shorts. Outside it will be 93 and humid. We have no oil or tar around here and I am going to be in the water early. While I have coffee I wonder what BPs oil will do to our waterfront real estate value. The heat seems hotter now. We just got back from Colorado where it was in

the 50s at night and 80s with no humidity during the days. Our temperature tolerance requirement went from being comfortable before we left with the air in the house at 80, to now needing the air set at 76 and still being hot and sweaty all the time. In Denver it was cool ... and no one talked about oil. All those years in the sun take a toll. The skin doctor told me to wear sunscreen, long pants, a long sleeved shirt and one of those silly Little-Bo-Peep hats. ‘Boating or wade fishing are bad because of the reflections,’ he said. I found a hat with an oversize brim and a drape that covered the back of my neck. Problem was, the bill had little flaps on the side and they limited my peripheral vision so that I was bumping into things. The big brim also caught the wind hard on the boat. So I got some shears from the garage and modified it. After that the hat was much better for my vision, but when I wore it for the first time in front of my wife, she said I looked like Rocky the Flying

Squirrel. So that hat is now history. Next I found a nice white Columbia, round-brimmed, hat. Twenty two bucks at Bass Pro and I brought it home. ‘Thanks,’ my wife said and she has taken to wearing it. She needed sun protection too and it looks so good on her so I won’t ask for it back. I'm convincing myself it was a ladies’ hat anyway. I looked for a hat while we were in Denver. At REI, the mountain outfitters store, they had some really nice summer hats, but they were too hot for Florida. At Schepler’s Western wear I found a great straw summer cowboy hat that fit perfectly, but when I looked at myself in the mirror and envisioned walking into Fishin’ Franks I put it right back. Maybe I’ll just get one of those Gilligan's Island hats with brass eyelets and a little rope through it. At least that will cover my ears. And as far as the Tar Off Towelettes go, I hope we don’t need them. I think the ones I found may have dried out over the last 20 years.

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Tar removel packets like these were popular beach-bag accessories on Floridaʼs southeast coast 20 years ago.

Potential Consequences of Oil

Oil spill outline as of June 25

Biologists have little experience with undersea oil plumes. “This is going to be groundbreaking science,” said Roger Helm, chief of the environmental quality division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Microbes that customarily feed on oil seeping from the seabed are expected to consume most of this oil, but that creates its own problems. The bugs use up oxygen needed by other sea creatures, potentially creating dead zones devoid of animal life, says Frank Muller-Karger, professor of biological oceanography at the University of South Florida. Stony Brookʼs William Fisher says that the spill might promote bacteria that convert inorganic mercury into toxic methylmercury, which is then taken up in the flesh of fish and other seafood.

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Plenty of Fish and thankfully NO OIL

OFFSHORE with Capt. Steve

Offshore, big smoker kingfish like this brute were still on the prowl in late June.

Capt. S teve S kevington Water LIFE Offshore Let’s start off talking about the great kingfish bite that's been going on for a month. These fish are hitting early in the morning offshore, just watch for bait on your fishfinder and troll the hardware through. We were only 15 miles from the dock yesterday and these fish were all around the boat. We have been pulling fish left and right. We managed to load up a livewell full of large threadfin's that we put out on 50pound leaders and 5/0 circle hooks. These almost immediately were gobbled up by small blacktip sharks. The permit are still on the chew. Once you find them, flatline out the crabs, the permit will not be far behind. I haven't done a whole lot of grouper fishing in the last few trips, but what we

have done has been great with limits of red grouper, and a lot of nice gag grouper as well. Snapper are a nighttime fish right now. If you can pull yourself away from those full moon tarpon long enough you should get your limit of mangrove snapper pretty quick. Offshore the blackfin tuna are still blasting the ceder plugs and the deeper wrecks are still holding some respectable amberjack and ‘cudas. All in all, there's a lot of great fishing going on right now.

Capt. Stev e operates out of Pineland Marina. He can be reached for fishing information or to book a charter trip call Capt. Stev e at: 941-575-3528 His website is:

Lifeʼs Short: Fish Hard July


By Bi l l y Barton S pecial to Water LIFE ‘Sup guys? My name is Billy Barton, I was born in Port Charlotte and raised by my dad to be a fishaholic. Thanks dad! I guess there’s worse things I could be. I love being a Floridian! I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I love this weather, I love the sun, I love the beaches, I love the Charlotte Harbor, I love the Gulf of Mexico, and I love fishing. Fishing to me is more of an obsession. I know quite a few of you readers are in the same boat. Well if you guys are reading this, then you probably love fishing too. And if you love fishing as much as me (which is doubtful) then you know last month was just one heck of a month to be out on the water. The month of June always seems to produce. I only got out on one good offshore mission in June, but we caught fish and we saw some crazy stuff out there. We spent the daytime hours trolling stretch 25s and 30s. We caught a couple legal size kings and some bonitas about 5to 8-miles out of Boca Grande. Then we ran offshore and trolled around the sinkhole where we caught a few decent size amberjacks. We stopped and threw some tube-baits on some big ‘cudas. You know they say you never know

what you’re going to see out there. Well this was defiantly one of those trips. Out there at that sinkhole there was a grand daddy loggerhead sea turtle. I mean he was BIG. Over 500 pounds (probably) with barnacles all over his back – the whole nine yards. He surfaced right next to the boat and right behind him was what

was really so amazing. About a 15 foot tiger shark. Gray with white stripes probably a thousand pound fish surfaced and did two full circles around the turtle then went back down. We almost saw one heck of a national geographic moment right next to the boat! This was pretty amazing. I was just seconds too late with the camera. Oh well, my mind won’t forget that one, that’s for sure. We ran inshore as the sun set and posted up on one of our favorite snapper holes for the full moon about 25 miles out and began chumming. By about 2 a.m. we had enough. We caught three keeper gag grouper all 6 to 10 pounds and 7 nice mangrove in the 4 to 8 pound range. We also caught several big amberjacks and got horsed by some goliath groupers. That’s a recipe for not getting out of bed the next day. I’m talking about IB pro-fen for breakfast! That brings me to inshore. Yes - aha inshore. Not quite as painful on the back and still lots and lots of fun. There’s still some big Spanish mackerel around the markers in the harbor and out towards the pass. Look for the schools of threadfins and you should find the macks. We had some good fun in like 6 foot of water out in front of Burnt Store on the flats. I threw the net on some thread fins, we anchored up, I cut some of em up and chummed a little bit. We fished for probably two hours and caught about 15 small black tips on light tackle. This was a lot of fun and the drags were singing – that’s the main objective. Also the cobia bite was pretty good last month. I think we got 7 to the boat one week. Only one of em was a

keeper, still a heck of a lot of fun. That reminds me I need to give a shout out to my little brother Matt Barton on that one. He is only 14 years old and he was also raised to be a fishaholic. Congratulations Matt on your first Cobia (photo right) and your first keeper Cobia to boot. Matt caught the only keeper of the week and he did it on light tackle. Matt fishes with a 8 to 17 pound class All Star spinning rod with a Quantum Catalyst 20. He landed his 34 inch, 10 pound cobia on 15 pound braid with a 25 pound fluorocarbon leader after a 15 minute battle. Good job Matt! Truthfully my heart is probably on the flats and under the bushes. The whitebait is just all over the place. The east wall near

Pirate Harbor has had some nice bait and Jug Creek Shoal also. The reds and snook are feeding on it heavily so it’s real important that you get enough to chum with. These chummers will get the fish going under the bushes and let em know it’s time to eat. The high summertime tides

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can make it hard to catch the fish when they are way up under the bushes. I will throw the bait up in the bushes and if there’s fish under there it will get em moving around a little bit. If you wanna’ go tare up some big summertime reds and snook guess what!? It’s summer now! I want to end with my feelings on the oil. I know everybody probably has about the same feelings about the situation in the Gulf. Matter of fact you’re all probably sick of it period. But I’m going to say it anyways. Man this sucks! This is such a serious problem and I never in my wildest nightmares ever pictured anything like this happening in my lifetime. It really gives me a sick feeling in my stomach when I think about it. My heart goes out to the people whose lives have been ruined by this catastrophe. I don’t know what I would do if I was in your shoes. I am sorry. I am sorry for us all. I am sorry for everyone who loves the water and lives the salt life. And I’m sorry all we can do now is hope and pray.

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R Re ea all E Es st ta at te e N Ne ew ws s

PROVIDED BY: Dave Hofer RE/MAX Harbor Realty (941) 575-3777

Recent area news i tems: 1. Charlotte County taxing agencies are struggling with the volatility of property values. Total property valuations have fallen to $15.5 billion, down 8.2% from last year and some 36% from their high point of $24.3 billion in 2006. Total taxable values are now below levels reached in 2004. Sarasota has fared even worse, down 17.1% from last year. 2. State Farm has discontinued administrative services for the National Flood Insurance Program. Its 800,000 customers will have to find coverage directly with the Federal Agency if no other insurer steps into the gap. 3. New foreclosure filings leveled off last month in SW Florida. New filings were up 0.5% over last May but down 3% from April. 4. Air traffic fell 4.3% at RSW airport in Ft. Myers vs April, '09. Traffic at Charlotte County Airport increased 41% as our two commercial carriers continued to gain momentum in just their 16th month of operation. 5. Charlotte County unemployment dropped 0.6% to 12% vs. 11% in May2009. 6. A $2.4 Mil award was made to

a single homeowner in Coral Gables as a result of his suit against Banner Supply Company. Banner supplied defective Chinese drywall to thousands of residences in Florida, and other gulf states. The Chinese subsidiary of the manufacturer, Knauf, notified Banner that the drywall was defective in 2006. The implications of the award could broaden into a bankruptcy induced by numerous class action lawsuits. 7. In an effort to close the budget gap, Charlotte County Commissioners laid off its only supervisor of the skate park. The newly opened park was the beneficiary of more than $600K of ill spent tax dollars. Now Commissioners will get to compare the cost of vandalism vs. salary dollars. Not to be left behind, the North Charlotte Regional Park wants to add $1.2 million for more baseball diamonds to help attract more participants in the spring tournament. Where the need, or the payback, for this expenditure comes from is still a mystery. 8. Despite a lawsuit from a tax watchdog organization, Sarasota is continuing its $31 mil renovation to Ed Smith Stadium. In order to pay for this extravagance, the bed tax will be raised once more. Interest alone on the renovation costs will run more than $1.5 million/year ... about $15 for every ticket sold during the month long season. 9. Armed with some adjustment to the proposed lease terms, the Charlotte County CRA reversed its prior decision and voted to permit a Subway shop to occupy a portion of the vacant Punta Gorda Parking Garage.



People move here for the fishing. We have numerous species in our waters, like this luvar, found by Jerry Montour who is a turtle watch volunteer on Manasota Beach. “The fish was fresh dead and full of eggs when it washed up,” Jerry said after he cut it open. “and it was full of jellyfish,” he added. Luvar eat jellyfish and grow to 350 pounds. You have seen a luvar before, right?

10. The Shoppes at North Port learned that using conventional financing is not as much fun as using taxpayer dollars for retail speculation. Bank of America foreclosed on its $6.3 Million center at the Northeast corner of Toledo Blade & Price. It's only two tenants, Fastnet and Little Caesar's will vacate the property. 11. Cape Coral's developer, Ted Stout wants to trade 563 acres of industrial property near the Lee County line for Murdock Village. Stout claims that the property will make a more viable intermodal industrial center because of its capacity for a greater number of businesses ... and the employment that they promise. Mr. Stout has been one of the few vocal opponents to the proposed

changes in the County's comprehensive plan, Smart Charlotte 2050. The plan will now distinguish land uses between high and low density, potentially reducing the value of many areas that become classified as low density. The spokesman for the state mandated commission claims that "...speculators are coming out of the woodwork."... that might be an exaggeration. They will review the proposed changes on July 6. S al es S tati sti cs: Inventories continue to decline and prices have stabilized. Short sales continue to dominate the Port Charlotte and North Port markets. Our other areas have not experienced much activity since the winter season ended.

A Short History of Stump Pass July


On the Line

By Capt Ron Bl ago, Water LIFE Senior Staff One of my least favorite jobs is to write letters, and as Chairman of the Charlotte County Marine Advisory Board, I was asked to write a letter to the Charlotte Legislative Delegation. The delegation is made up of all the Federal and State elected lawmakers that represent Charlotte County. The MAC members wanted me to let these people know how disappointed they are with the delay in the maintenance dredging of Stump Pass. As my friends have reminded me many times; I told everyone that the dredging would be finished in Nov 09. Well, I was wrong. This thing has dragged on for over two years now and no one can tell me when the project will begin. Stump Pass has been around since at least 1900. It’s moved north and south over the years, but there has always been a pass connecting Lemon Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. The modern era of Stump Pass begins in 1980 when the pass was dredged for the first time. In all the State documents you see that they always refer to the 1980 alignment. The pass stayed stable for a few years and then started to fill in and migrate to the south and became a problem for boaters for at least 10 years. During that period the State took over management of the property on the north side of the pass. That property formally known as Port Charlotte Beach State Recreation Area, was deeded in 1971 to the State by the General Development Corp. The State renamed the place Stump Pass Beach State Park, and took over active management of the property in 1997. That’s when things started turning bad for the Pass. Because the pass kept moving south the new park produced a 1,600 ft. sand bar which extended right through the 1980 alignment where Stump Pass traditionally had been. The State immediately declared their new land a bird sanctuary. The battle lines were quickly drawn between the bird folks and the boaters. Around that same time (July 1, 1999) The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was formed which took over some of the responsibilities of the

Florida DEP, including management of protected species (manatees, shore birds etc.) The FWC, being more boater friendly, helped Charlotte County gain approval to dredge Stump Pass back to the 1980 alignment, right through the bird sanctuary. Charlotte County also received a special 10-year permit that allowed them to do an additional three “channel maintenance” dredges during that period. This permit expires on March 5, 2013. Stump Pass was returned to the 1980 alignment in March 2003; But there was a little problem. Right before the project was to begin, the State found a nest of a Wilson’s Plover a protected species. The State required that the project be moved slightly to the north. This will turn out to be a very unfortunate event. The next maintenance dredging was done in 2006 and everything looked fine; so fine in fact that the county had put off the last maintenance dredging until 2012. Around the same time the State put in a series of sand filled “GEO TUBES” to try to stop beach erosion at their state park. The tubes helped put four acres of sand on their beach; but unfortunately the State pulled the plug on the experiment early and removed the tubes. Those four acres of new sand moved right in to Stump Pass and that’s where we are now. Charlotte County applied to start that last maintenance dredging in 2009. Everything was set to go: after all we had done this twice before with no problems. This is where that Wilson’s Plover nest comes back to bite us in the butt. The State said, remember when you moved the project slightly to the north to accommodate that birds nest. When you did that, technically, you moved out of the 1980 alignment so now you are not doing a “channel maintenance” project, your doing a “channel restoration” project and of course that will require a new modification to the permit. That was back in November. Most county officials thought that we could work this out and still get the pass dredged during the winter. A deal was made with the State to put 141,860 cubic yards of sand, dredged from Stump Pass back on the beach to the north

S upreme Court Rejects Fl ori da Beach Owners' Cl ai m The Supreme Court rejected a property rights claim from some disgruntled owners of beachfront in Destin Florida, upholding instead the state's authority to pump new sand onto an eroded shoreline without paying compensation. In something of surprise, all the justices, with one abstention, ruled for the state, concluding that under Florida law, the state owns the sand it has added to the beaches. Justices ruled that Florida law trumps property rights in a case in which the state added sand to an eroding beach. Thi s rul i ng coul d di scourage property ri ghts cl ai ms from bei ng fi l ed i n Gul f Coast states i n response to the oi l spi l l .

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In April 2003 this was the state of the alignment dredging. Before the dredging, boats had to make their way down the sandsprit and through the curved and changing shallows.

(where the geo tubes used to be) and we had our permit. But while Charlotte County was getting bids for the job they were notified by the Army Corps of Engineers that because we changed the State permit they would have to take another look at the project. The clock ran out, and by the time the ACE approval came in it was turtle nesting season. We applied for an exemption (which is normally granted) but last month the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued an opinion that the project

would be a danger to sea turtles. I have put off the letter to the legislative delegation for 90 days now with the hope that we would get all the permitting worked out, but now I realize that it will never be worked out. What I want to tell the delegation is that we want Stump Pass to remain open, we are willing to pay our fair share to keep it open but the permitting system is too complicated – too long – and too expensive. If we don’t get some help here the boaters are going to wind up high, dry and broke.

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Sharks, jacks, bluefish and the ladies: itʼs Summer!

By Capt. Chuck Ei chner Water LIFE Inshore The ladyfish is quite likely the most under rated fish in southwest Florida. Largely ignored as a gamefish there are no size or bag limits, but the ladyfish has saved many a day for me with pure drag pulling, reckless jumping and at the same time being easy to catch around the entire harbor. In late summer and fall you will see massive schools of ladyfish boiling on small baitfish. Most anglers will ride right past the schools as I have done for years. In more recent times, I have come to recognize ladyfish as the easiest path to hard pulling sharks, bluefish, jack crevalle and a host of occasional visitors such as cobia and tarpon. For the hot summer months on many trips I prefer to sit under the shade with friends with lines out waiting for a rip using ladyfish for bait. All of the previously mentioned fish love to dine on or dine with the ladyfish. Rarely, do they give sign that they are sharing the same waters until you intentionally fish for them. Step one to this program is to find a school of ladyfish. The easiest way is to cast jigheads with a plastic swim tailwhite and chartreuse are hard to beat. Any of the bars that run parallel to the shores

The end twist of the leader at the hook is left long to stop the sliding weight.

will have ladyfish. Drift and cast until a school is located. The east or west bar, Bookelia bar, Cape Haze and the bars in front of Bull and Turtle Bay will have ladyfish. Once the school is located pitch the ladies as you catch them into a ice cold cooler packed with ice and a bit of seawater. Anchor your boat in the vicinity of where you caught the fish, preferably in the 5-6 foot range. For rigging, I put together about 6

rigs before heading out because most of these fish including sharks travel in small schools and they all have teeth that can destroy the rig. To make the rig attach a treble hook (size 2 or 4) or circle hook (size 3/0-4/0) to 18-inches of 30-50# wire. Use a tight haywire twist and leave a ¼” tag end when clipping. Slide an egg sinker onto the wire and the tag end will act as a stop to keep the sinker off the hook. On the line end attach a small swivel. Cut a 1-2inch slice of ladyfish and place on the hook and cast out. With 2 or 3 rods in the rod holders you are now ready to chum. Using a super sharp knife dice and slice up the ladyfish and sprinkle into the water occasionally. If the fish are traveling the area you will be hooked up within a half hour. Stronger tides produce better bites as the ladyfish oil and chum trail carries further. The exciting thing about this type of fish is you never know what will bite next! A shark one cast, a bluefish the next and sometimes you will hook fish that you cannot stop. This is easiest

These are my nieces, Kaitlin and Lindsey. Kaitlin is in the orange and black.

fishing on Charlotte Harbor and most days will result in a burning drag and a fish dinner!

Capt. Chuck Eichner operates Action Flats Back country Charters and can be contacted for charters at 941-505-0003 or v isit www.back country



P a g e 11

Frankʼs Shark, Stingray & Sailcat Tournament Wat er LIFE St aff Rep o rt It was a muggy hot sunny Sunday morning in June when I arrived at Fishin Franks at 7 a.m. There was already one shark laid out on the pavement and a lone angler, presumably part of the team that brought in the animal, was stretched out on the pavement sleeping near the shark. That’s the way it goes, fish all night and then show up dead tired and sunburned in the morning. By 9 am it’s all over. Two years ago there was a guy with a pine-tree air freshener like you see in a car, hung around his neck. It didn’t help. By 8:30 it can be odiforous at the shark tournament. If the old white collar Oberto Redfish Cup was the high end of local fishing tournaments then Franks Shark Tournament is the blue collar parallel and Frank’s event is still going. This is Frank’s 26th year. Entries were down slightly this year, down to 342 from a record near 600 a few years back. Those who fished had the customary good time. The stingrays (10) were big, the sharks (9) were about average (5-6 feet) and the catfish, all but the winning 6.78 pound monster, were mostly around 4 pounds. Scientists took bone and tissue samples of the sharks and some of the shark meat was donated for human consumption.










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Great Goliath Grouper Count

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By Betty S taugl er Water LIFE / Sea Grant On June 2nd and 3rd trained divers from across southwest Florida participated in the Great Goliath Grouper Count (GGGC). The GGGC is a Florida Sea Grant pilot project designed to provide a regional snapshot of goliath grouper size distribution and minimum abundance values for designated nearshore and offshore artificial reefs in Southwest Florida. Project partners sampled approximately 60 sites between Collier and Pinellas Counties. Although the data is still coming in from the various counties, preliminary results from 45 surveyed sites reporting so far show a total of 213 goliath groupers counted. Four boat teams (thirteen volunteers/divers) participated from Charlotte County covering thirteen artificial reef sites. These reefs included The Capt. Jeff Steele, Tremblay, Novak, M14, Stump Pass, Mary’s, Phosphate Dock, Charlotte Harbor Reef, Boxcars, Pegasus, Charlie’s Twin Barges & 88 Steel and Culverts. The greatest goliath grouper counts reported by the Charlotte teams came from the Twin Barges, Boxcars and Phosphate Dock. Survey participants included local government staff, charter captains and volunteer divers. All of the participants attended a required training session on survey methods prior to conducting the survey.

This was important in ensuring that data collected across the region was done so in a uniform way. The data collected during our survey will be analyzed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Results are expected in mid August. Survey participants collected data on goliath grouper abundance and size distribution at each location as well as information on site conditions (i.e. reef materials, reef size, maximum relief, depth, visibility and temperature). Documenting site conditions will assist managers in determining how habitat characteristics may affect goliath grouper distribution. Management of the goliath grouper, the largest member of the seabass family, has become an intensively debated issue in recent years. Historically, goliath grouper was relatively common and highly conspicuous in portions of its range. However, it proved to be vulnerable to fishing pressure and due to significant declines in abundance through the 1960s80s, taking of goliath grouper was prohibited in U.S waters in 1990. In 1994, goliath grouper was listed as critically endangered on the IUCN World Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Species. The species has since been protected in Brazil (2002), Puerto Rico (2004) and the US Virgin Islands (2004). Following the granting of protected

species status, abundance has appeared to increase over the past decade, but the extent of the recovery is not clearly understood. Information on historical abundance is limited and not precise. Likewise, information on perceived increase in abundance over the past decade is limited and it is difficult for fisheries managers to truly understand the extent to which it has recovered throughout its geographic range. The most recent stock assessment (2004) indicated that goliath grouper in Florida waters were recovering, but that the population may not experience full recovery until 2020 or later. Because the harvest of goliath grouper is prohibited, the conclusions of the stock assessment were made in the absence of certain types of biological information that is typically available for other species through the



examination of harvested individuals. Plans for future stock assessment: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission will conduct a statewide assessment in 2010 and the National Marine Fisheries Service will conduct a more comprehensive assessment in 2014. The GGGC was an opportunity to provide resource managers with data that can be used in the 2010 stock assessment as well as stock assessments planned in the future. While our pilot project was regional in scope, it is hoped that the GGGC will eventually be implemented as a statewide project that will incorporate a wide participant base.

Betty Staugler is the Florida Sea Grant Agent for Charlotte County unty. She can be reached at 941.764.4346. Sea Grant is a Univ ersity of Florida IFAS program.

FWC Fish Sampling Q&A



Wat er LIFE S t aff R eport Last month we spent a morning with the FEC Charlotte Harbor Field Laboratory staff while they did sampling at Catfish Creek. John Hadden led the trip. The crew was Chrystal Murray, Dave Shultz, and John Halvorsen (volunteer; Lemon Bay resident) Below are the answers to a few questions we had for Philip Stevens, PhD, from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish & Wildlife Research Institute, Charlotte Harbor Field Laboratory. Is everythi ng you are seei ng ri ght now i n the net pretty much normal ? Yes, the fish community is pretty typical for this time of year. I can't think of anything too unusual. Is i t accurate to say that sampl i ng i s one of the tool s used for fi sh stock assessment? Yes, the fisheries-independent monitoring provides critical pieces of data for stock assessments (for example, red drum, snook, trout, mullet). The critical pieces of information are relative abundance and age. The importance of the relative abundance measures are pretty obvious (are there decreasing or increasing trends in abundance). The ages of the fish are deter-

mined from counting the annual rings on the otoliths (ear bones). The stock assessments rely heavily on our estimates of the age and length structures of the population. Increasing fishing pressure on large fish, for example, can result in populations that are more greatly represented by fish that grow up to smaller sizes and mature early. This is not a good thing for a recreational fishery where anglers prefer larger, older fish. The effects of management actions, such as size restrictions (slots), on length and age structure of the fish populations come mostly from the fisheries-independent monitoring.

What other purposes does sampl i ng serve? All species of fish that are collected in the gear are measured and counted. The approach of the fisheries-independent monitoring has always been ecosystem based. Changes in fish community structure are a useful way of understanding impacts to the coastal environment. We can't always predict what the next fishery will be or what stochastic event will affect the estuary, so it's critical that we are looking at all aspects of the fish community. Some recent examples of sto-

Page 13

chastic events include Hurricane Charley in Charlotte Harbor and red tide in Tampa Bay. We have several articles that were produced related to these events. In the near future, we'll be looking at these data to track changes in snook abundance after the freeze and heaven forbid any oil impacts (keep in mind that we have field labs that monitor the panhandle). Multiyear time series of data allow us to tease out the effects of varying freshwater inflow on fish communities for water managers, which continues to be a big issue in Florida.

Swim Pool Makeover

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Before and after the acid wash. The pool walls went from yellow to blue white

By Mi chael Hel l er Water LIFE Editor After 13 years there were settlement cracks in the pool deck and the tile had come off in several spots around the pool. The filter leaked and the leaking filter ultimately rusted and shorted out the pump. It was time for maintenance. Although I am told this is standard procedure, the biggest problem was the way the pool was constructed in the first place. When they built the pool they shot the pool shell with a high pressure concrete mix, then they filled in dirt around the pool and poured the concrete deck so that it overlapped the top of the pool shell. With time, flooding and several hurricanes the fill began to settle at the outside edge of the deck. This raised the inside edge of the deck that was on top of the pool shell. When it moved a crack developed. The crack ran behind the pool tile so the tile popped off and the pool began to leak water. I rented a concrete saw and since my back was in a bad way my friend Charlie Knuttles of Knuttles Concrete sawed the deck all around the pool. When the dust cleared I called Ralph Bellon of Bellon Pools to install a new skimmer and reroute one of the return lines to make a therapy jet for my back. Ralph is a friend of our diving writer Adam Wilson. “Anything wrong with a pool, Ralph can fix it,” Adam said. He was right. After the skimmer was in Charlie and I started on a new concrete cap on top of the old pool shell. This was not an easy job. It required three weeks of work and numerous trips to the dump and the Depot. Charlie drilled over 200 holes in the concrete top of the pool shell so we could epoxy steel rods into it and anchor new reinforcements. His son Chaz, who also drives an Ambulance, cruised by the house one day to check on our progress. The Ambulance got the neighbors interested real quick.



Our pool is curvey so we soaked plywood in the pool for several days to get it soft enough to bend forms around the outside radiuses. For the inside forms we used masonite. After it was all formed we pumped it with 5000 pound concrete with fiberglass strands added for strength. It came out great. The pool was a tan-brown from the years of age and discolored Charlotte County water. Ralph came back to help put up the new tile. “You ought to acid wash this pool,” Ralph said. Acid washing mostly involves using a sprinkler can filled with diluted muriatic acid and walking around the top of the empty pool sprinkling the mixture down the sides. The trick is, you also have to know when to hose it off. Ralph used a submersible pump to pump Above: Ralph doing acid wash. You can see the new cap. the slurry of acid out of the bottom of the Below: Chaz helping with the form work pool and back onto the walls and steps again. Then the pool was rinsed down and pumped out. The result was the clean bright surface the pool had when it was new! The down side of acid washing is the acid eats up a little of the finish so it shortens the time you have until you have to refinish the entire pool. While we were at it we installed a new filter. IMHO the Hayward DE (dimateacous earth) is the ONLY way to go. I am a firm believer in dimateacous earth. It’s easy, it’s cheap and the water is sooooo crystal clear. We also put in a new pump. As far as pumps go I learned that all the new stuff is basically crap. Right now, if you get a couple of years out of the new Chinese made motors you are doing good. That is the word on the street. We found a NOS (New Old Stock) pump in the back of a warehouse in Tampa. It is a Sta Rite Max E Glass II pump. Those are great pumps but you can’t get them any more. Hopefully this one will last another 13 years. Now the pool is back up and running. The water circulation is better than ever and the new therapy jet feels great on my back. This was maintenance money well spent.

From the Ol' Fish'n Hole



By Capt. Ji m O'Bri en Water LIFE Englewood Hey y'all how about this weather we’re having – 95 to 97 degrees – man that’s hot, and it's been brutal on the water. I know, I have been taking more water with me. The water temperature is up to 98 degrees. The offshore fish'n has been real good. My captain friends tell me the tarpon fish'n has been real good in the pass and on the beaches. I don't know about this week, but last week there were some big sharks roaming in 40 to 50 feet of water. Nice size redfish have been taken just outside Catfish Creek, and also at Devilfish Key, and Sandfly Island. Spanish mackerel and bonita are just off the beaches. Just look for the birds. One of my last charters I had out, we took Mike Rhoden owner of Do All Dockside Marine Service in Englewood, and his friends Glen Vowell, Chuck Parrott, Luke Barns and Frank Benz. All a bunch of great guys and a real hoot to fish with. We went out to a couple of spots caught a few then we headed about 14 mile's south, got on this nice wreck and proceeded to fill a 162 quart cooler

with fish. I mean to tell ya, Mike started off catching a nice AJ. Then the guys sarted loading up on big mangrove snapper. Our smallest one was 20 inches and our biggest one was 27 inches (that’s a nice a mang!) We also limited out yellow tail snapper 18 to 22 inchs. We fished from 12 o’clock to about 4 pm. and filled that big Igloo cooler. The guys sarted catchin’ big mangs on fluorescent lime green jig head's – 1/4 ounce – baited with live shrimp, cut sardines or pieces of squid. We were using 15 pound fluorocarbon leader. We lost a few rigs so when I opened my jig head box I had some hot pink flutter jig heads. I put a couple of them on and sent them out on the starboard side and low and behold the guys using hot pink jig heads were catch'n big yellow tail snapper that was running 18 to 22 inchs long. This totally baffled me. The yellow tails wouldn't hit

Charlotte Harbor FISHING GUIDES

Page 15

Winner by a nose! Mike and one of the AJs

the lime green jig heads, and the big mang's wouldn't hit the hot pink jig heads. GO FIGURE. You have to really chum heavy, but in about 15 minutes you can see the mangs and yellow tail come right up to about 10 ft. under the surface. I tell ya what, it don't get any better than that. Everyone had a great time. When we got back to dock it took an hour-and-a-half to fillet all the fish!

Remember: Get out and snort some of that good cl ean sal t ai r cuz - i t's good fer ya!

If you have any questions or if you have a good ol' fishin’ story or a recipe for cooking fish that I can share with our readers give me a call. To book an offshore charter with us aboard the Predator II call (941) 473-2150

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Page 16



FWC Issues Order to Help Blue Crab Industry

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By K el l y Beal l Wat er LIFE C om m erci al Fi shi ng The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued an executive order to waive four previously scheduled 10 day blue crab trap harvest closures in July and August this year. The FWC is taking this action to help relieve possible economic hardships on fishing communities that may occur due to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Once a year we have a 10 day blue crab trap harvest closure. Our area closure goes from July 10th to the 19th. During this time the crabbers take all their traps out of the water to allow for derelict trap removals. Last year the crabbers of our area hosted two trap removal programs. The crabbers volunteered their time to remove the traps that may pose as a navigational hazard and to be good stewards of the waters they crab. This year because the oil spill may affect our harvest later on, the FWC has waived this closure. It's hard to say when the spill will affect our harvest, but we are certainly glad to have it waived at this time. There is also talk of making stonecrab season one month earlier as well. Last month they opened the oyster season 11 days earlier just in case those oysterman lose precious days of harvesting. Let's all hope we aren't going to lose any days anytime soon. But it isn't a question of if, but when. Some may think we are jumping the gun, but this spill is affecting us locally as we speak. It's not just the waters that are closed. The seafood industry is feeling it right now. It's hard to say what is from the bad economy and what is from the spill. For example, there is plenty of

product that is safe to consume and safe to harvest, but many of the shrimpers, oystermen and fisherman are being employed by the clean-up instead of working in the seafood industry. They are making money and they're doing what they need to do to get the Gulf clean. Because of this many trucks that once came down the west coast of Florida to pick up oysters and then headed back up the east coast are now only going to the east coast. Lack of fisherman equals lack of product to transport. This affects the crab sales because often it was the same truck and now they can't justify their trip for just crabs and no oysters. It's hard to understand unless you're in the business, but believe me those trucks that come from the north to buy our excess product keep our fishermen in business. Another way the spill affects us indirectly is perception. Even if it happens subconsciously, having a view of the oil spewing into the Gulf every day does not put anyone in the mood for seafood. We have inadvertently lost our branding of "wild Gulf caught seafood". What once attracted buyers to our product has created second thoughts. We went from being the top healthy choice to - uncertainity, for lack of a better explanation. Even though we are many miles from the spill it is still trickling on over. Sometimes those hit by the bands of the storm are worse off then those hit directly by the eye. Those who take a direct hit can be somewhat compensated (if that's even possible - on such a great loss) whereas those affected indirectly are shorted. For the time being - we are lucky to be better off, but we are still going to need help.


Editor Notes: This is ass backwards because The SPINNER SHARK has all back fin-tips.

Spinner/Blacktip Confusion Continues

Dear Water LIFE I have spoken to numerous guides and bait shop owners and they say either: a) They are the same. b) A Spinner is a big Black-tip. c) If they are different I can’t tell.

The Commission says in print, “Many sharks are difficult to identify and it is up to anglers to learn how to properly identify the sharks they harvest”. Peter S anderson

and The BLACKTIP SHARK (shown below) has all but one black fin-tip. It does NOT have a black tip on its anal fin.

Roatan Report:



By Adam Wi l son Water LIFE Diving With long summer nights, and predictable weather patterns, this is the time of year we love to run far offshore to hunt big fish. The latest 79,000 square mile NOAA fishing closure area due to the oil spill is a little over 100 miles west of our coast, for now. That still leaves plenty of prime underwater real estate for fishing and diving. There have been some unusual sightings in the Gulf. I have heard of at least a dozen whale shark sightings from Clearwater down to Sarasota in the last month. We have also been seeing an increased number of sharks, even on spots where we typically never see them. Could we be starting to see a mass exodus of fish from the oil spill, or could it be related to the winter freeze? It would make sense that the larger fish would begin to show up first. The next few months could tell. Bottom temperatures remain cold and that seems to have kept a lot of fish in close. Regardless of how deep you go there is a cold water layer 20 to 30 feet off the bottom that is still in the low 70s. If you are diving with just a bathing suit, that is cold! We ran a trip out to the wreck of the Roatan Express, 75 miles southwest of Stump Pass and not far from the Gulf closure zone. The strong smell of oil covers the wreck site, not from the disaster in the Northern Gulf, but from the leaking fuel tanks in the wreck. Before leaving the port of Tampa the crew had taken on 150,000 gallons of diesel in preparation for a trip to Honduras and back. The Roatan sank in October of

1992 in less than stormy conditions. The exact cause of her fatal list to port and eventual sinking on a relatively calm night has never been discovered. Perfectly upright and intact, the best way to describe the wreck is it looks as if it’s simply sailing south across the bottom, 190 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Internal investigation of the ship is becoming sketchy. Debris hangs from the ceilings and all the hallways and rooms are filled with flour like silt that seems to be stirred up just by looking at it. Although there were some big mutton snappers over the sand around the wreck, we really didn’t see any huge trophy fish usually spotted at this site. Our next stop on the way in was a natural limestone ledge with a deep undercut in 170 feet. We were still south and due west of Fort Myers in an area that has been producing monstrous black grouper for a couple of years. Waiting for everyone to get ready I dropped down a few feet to get a better look at the red snappers that had come up to see what was going on. Suddenly my mask filled with water. One of the lenses popped out of the frame. Proper training teaches to always have a spare mask when planning a decompression dive. After replacing my mask with the spare from my thigh-pouch I continued my descent. Fifteen feet off the bottom and on the high side of the ledge, I let a shaft fly into a quality scamp grouper, thought by many to be the most delicious of all Gulf grouper. The second I pulled the trigger I noticed a huge black grouper twenty feet in front of me and sitting on top of the ledge like the king of the ocean. Now focused on the black grouper, he leisurely rolled off the ledge and up into a deep cave. I reloaded and out of the corner of my eye watched as the scamp fled to a small hole without being able to disappear with 60 inches of steel through his head. I could come back for him. Lying on top of the ledge I peeked over and into the cave, but the silt stirred up from the massive grouper reduced the visibility to zero. It was going to be a waiting game for the dust to settle. I knew he was there, but I just couldn’t see him. As I wait for the smoke to clear from the cave I am watching my computer closely. Every minute or so I check the cave with my 24 watt H.I.D. light. (think European sports-car headlight) My computer continues its calculations. I watch my ‘time to surface’ number grow longer and into double digits. I see my decompression stops begin to creep

Page 17

I found a pretty nice rod and reel out in 90 feet last weekend. I would gladly return it to its rightful owner if they accurately describe the rod and reel and location they lost it.

Above: Hunting on the Roatan Express

Left: Adam Wilson with his “big-ass-black grouper” taken in June

deeper and deeper. I am rapidly approaching the now-or-never point. One last desperate pass with the light and I can make out his tail, his head is facing the rear of the cave, ready to bolt deeper and out of sight forever. Focusing and straining to see, I make out the tiny sweet spot right behind his eye. No time for error; no time for a wrestling match, no time period. A good deep breath, steady aim and pull the trigger. No sand flying, no lodged shaft thrashing back and forth, he just turned white and rolled over. Still

10 feet back in the cave and out of reach; I string up a line shaft just to extract the giant from his home. A quick yank and a lift bag goes through his mouth and out his gills, and I’m on my way to my first deco stop at 70 feet with no time to spare. I watch below me as one of my buddies grabs the scamp I shot and my shaft. My ascent was spent closely watching my pressure gauge, taking deep and controlled breaths and thinking of what the guys in the boat must be saying after grabbing my lift bag!

Pine Island Paddle

Page 18



SCUTTLEBUTT Sometimes Unsubstanciated, But Often True

FISHINʼ FRANK has reportedly bought a big Carolina Skiff, with two motors on it and ttaken it to Alabama to work on the oil cleanup. “You need a twin engine boat for the work he will be doing, a friend explained. Frank reportedly said if we do get oil here in Charlotte Harbor he wanted to know what to do.

By Davi d Al l en Water LIFE Kayaking Pine Island is one of the paddling treasures of southwest Florida. Slightly off the beaten track, certainly one of the more rural of the off-shore islands, Pine Island often escapes the notice of area paddlers. Situated among a cluster of islands and Fort Myers, Pine Island is most noted for its fishing and boating. The commercial palm and fruit tree nurseries add to the rural feel of the island. Matlacha, on the east side of the island and Pineland on the west are the two best areas to explore the surroundings by kayak. On past kayak trips, we have usually favored launching at Pineland, then paddling west to Part Key, Cabbage Key, Useppa Key, and finally to Cayo Costa, the westernmost of the keys. Cayo Costa has wonderful, almost deserted, beaches, a great place

for a swim before returning to Pine Island. And the restaurant at Cabbage Key is always a good place to stop for a quick lunch on the way back. However, this time our club decided to launch from Matlacha and paddle the eastern side of the island. Matlacha is a colorful little town with art galleries, lots of shops and restaurants, and what is billed as the “Worlds Fishingist Bridge”. Matlacha also has a very well designed Municipal Park and Ramp which accommodates powerboats on the west side and kayaks on the east. Nice sandy beaches with lot of space to dropoff your kayak makes the whole process a lot easier. Lots of parking and many covered pavilions for picnic make for an enjoyable outing. We launched from the sandy beaches of the Park into the Matlacha Canal and headed south along the mangrove islands

that dot Matlacha Pass. The Pass is fairly wide at this point, and we hugged the western side to avoid the powerboat wakes. Lots of fish jumping all along the Pass. Lots of birds fishing in the shallows. Osprey families roosting in their high nests. We made the turn back north at McCardle Island, about 3 miles south of Matlacha and had an easy paddle with the wind at our back. A picnic lunch put the finishing touches on a interesting paddle. The Port Charlotte Kayakers meet each Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM at Port Charlotte Beach Park at the end of Harbor Blvd. All are welcome to attend. For additional information contact Dave Allen at 941-235-2588 or

Life in the big city?

BOCA GRANDE MARINA, formally Millerʼs Marina, is said to be closing. It is not known if this is a summer closing or a economic closting. The marina has sustained several openings and closings over the years. BOATLIFT COLLISION FWC Uniform Patrol Investigations and the Palm Beach County Sheriffʼs Officers responded to a boating accident in the Intracoastal Waterway in Jupiter. A vessel struck a fixed boatlift. The vessel on the boat lift then fell onto the striking vessel, seriously injuring the operator. No photo was available.

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By Bi l l Di xon Water LIFE Sailing

I had the opportunity to work on the committee boat at the Hibiscus Cup. I had a great time and so did the racers. There were Sunfish, Precision 15s and for the first time Flying Scots. We got off 11 starts (and finishes)

courtesy of Tom Ray. On the 4th of July there will be a specialty race put on by Punta Gorda Sailing Club. This month there are Summer Series races July 11 and 25. The cru i s e t o Useppa will be J u l y 17-18 check the web site at: Lots of sailing classes left this summer for children. Dennis Peck and the Community Sailing Center

are putting on a one week class for kids 10 -17 the week of July 12 -16 with a s p eci al event regat t a/ open house on the 17th. Contact Dennis at 941-456-8542. Charlotte Harbor YC is putting on one more class open to the public for kids 8-12. Classes are scheduled, July 12 -23 Contact Doug Shore at 941-639-3922.


Page 19

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Left: Dave Walker with his first ever redfish at 18 1/2 inches. Right: Alan Grant from Pool Sharks in Grove City with a 28-inch redfish that was having to go back.

Fishing Report

Charlotte Harbor: Robert at Fishin' Franks Port Charlotte: 625-3888

Rain makes the July fishing forecast a little tricky. Tarpon will still be on the top of the chart, without a doubt. With such a banner tarpon season so far and with the amount of fish we saw on the last Hill Tide in June we are likely to see a lot of tarpon moving up into the Harbor. Tarpon could even still be in the pass, in the mornings, all this month. Look for schools of threadfins in the Harbor concentrating around the 20-foot and Pirate Harbor holes. Look at the mouth of the Myakka River. Live threadfins are the best tarpon bait right now, but crabs will work fairly well too.

Page 21

As the month goes on D.O.A. Bait Busters will work better and bet- Left: Krista Tucker and Alysha Aratari with redfish and snook on Reel Salty Adventures with Capt. George Frantz. ter. Remember the water Right: One happy camper on a trip with her family and with Capt. Angel Torres. is really warm so take a lot of time to resuscitate hook Sabiki is another approach. shrimp is a good choice even though it’s the fish after fishing them – that should Inshore and offshore the snapper bite peewee size now. Pinfish are almost the go for any fish this time of year. has been incredible. The June and July right size now so they will soon work There are a lot of smal l sharks right full moon is when they spawn. Boca instead. Look closely at shaded structure now especially bl ack ti ps and bonnet Grande and Captiva Pass are going to be in deeper water for redfish now. heads. They are concentrated around great for snapper all month. On the offEven though they are still catch and schools of bait. Anchor with a chum bag shore reefs, the further you go out the release only, snook are still out on the around the edges going into Turtle Bay or better the chances for big yel l owtai l in beaches and in the passes. If you are into out in front of the Burnt Store or Pirate addition to mutton and l ane snapper sight fishing or trying a fly, the snook on Harbor channels. Ladyfish are a good along with the mangs. If you have a big the beach are a great fish to target. choice of bait, but again, threadfins live enough boat, this is the time for There are still quite a few cobi a or dead will be better right now. Ameri can Reds, big bl ack grouper, around. It’s been a weird cobia year. There Most of the threadfi ns are out in the scamps, dol phi n and sai l fi sh. has been a fair number of them in the middle of the Harbor dimpling or raining Redfi sh will be a little tricky now. 28-33 inch slot with a few larger ones. on the surface. A cast net is the fastest The early morning from sunrise to 10 But most cobia have been small this year. way to get numbers, but you need 5/8 or a.m. is the best time for them and the Be ready with a pitch-pole to cast them a 1/2 inch mesh because you are throwing better numbers will be on the Intracostal live bait, an artificial eel or a white buckin deeper water. Threadfins won’t do well and Lemon Bay boat docks and in the tail. Fishing Report in a crowded livewell for long. deeper creeks off Lemon Bay. Frozen Continued on following page Catching them with a No 8 or 10 gold

Page 22

Fishing Report .

The The BIG-4 BIG-4

Fish Fish to to expect expect in in


June June


Fishing Do Not Stop!

conti nued from page 21

There are still some tri pl etai l around. Look SNAPPER should be thick at around the channel markers Captiva and Boca Grande in the Harbor or blind cast to a crab trap line. S pani sh mackerel have been phenomenal with 4-6 pound Spanish and huge kings all spring long and now into summer. The permi t are still abundant at the offshore reefs with really nice fish, upwards of 35 pounds, caught on feelined crabs or shrimp.

SHARK are in the deeper channels

TARPON ARE In the deeper holees


SPANISH MACKEREL itʼs a banner year for these guys

4265 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte

941 - 625-2700

Lemon Bay:

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

Mostly down here guys are still targeting tarpon Up in the Harbor they are fishing with D.O.A.s or live threadfins. There has been a lot of action on the moon tides. The snook fishing on the beach, at Stump Pass and close to the trestle has been good. There are some whi ti ng and some scattered pompano and bl ack drum on the Tarpon still eat when it is raining. beach. Those fish are in the spring to sumPhoto Capt. Angel Torres mer mode. Some have fallen back to the close in 2-to 4-mile reefs. S napper, down by the pass now, should provide a lot of action for the next month or two. A lot of guys are using shrimp on a jig head or a worm weight so it doesn’t get hung up so easy. The fishing has been good offshore with grouper and snapper 5-to 7 miles out and AJ and jack creval l e mixed with S pani sh mackerel just past tham. Way offshore has been good into the further out haunts of the dol phi n and a variety of other blue water species. It might only get better if more fish are pushed this way.

700 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda

941 - 637-0019


 July 4 Peace River Swim from the base of the US 41 Southbound bridge to Fishermenʼs Village

 July 6 On-Board Weather Forecasti ng seminar by Peace River Sail & Power Squadron from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Bayfront/YMCA Center, 750 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. For more information and to register, leave a message by July 5th at: 941-637-0766.  July 23-24 David Lee Root Jr, Memorial Tournament $50per angler, D&D Matlacha Bait and Tackle

You can send your calendar events to:

Fishing S HORELINE FIS HING LICENS E FREE TO RES IDENTS , BEGINNING JULY 1 RIGHT NOW: The shoreline fishing license for Florida residents to catch saltwater fish from shore or a structure affixed to shore cost $9 last year, but this year, it’s free beginning July 1. The Florida Legislature repealed the shoreline license fee during the past session. However, legislators retained the license requirement to prevent a more-costly federal registration fee from taking effect in Florida. Resident anglers who obtain the shoreline license over the phone or Internet still will have to pay a convenience fee to the vendor. The convenience fee is $2.31 for Internet sales at or $3.33 for phone sales at 888-FISH FLORIDA (888-347-4356). Only Florida residents qualify for a no-cost shoreline license, and the license does not cover fishing from a boat or from land or a structure accessible only by boat. That requires a regular saltwater fishing license: $17 for residents; for nonresidents the cost is $17 for three days, $30 for seven days or $47 per year. There are some exemptions for license requirements. More information is available at

Big Fish!


Bl ac k T i p B a i t & T ac kl e Our bait is guaranteed to catch fish or die trying!

Live Shrimp, Pinfish, Live Crabs

at El Jobean

Full Line of Tackle Supplies

(941) 627-0809

New Summer Hours! Open 7 days 6am - 10pm



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Water LIFE July 2010  

Fishing, boating and other water related subjects in the pristine environs of Charlotte Harbor Florida and the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Pres...

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