Page 1

Wa t e r LIFE

FREE!

Charlotte Harbor and Lemon Bay Florida

Keeping Boaters and Fishermen Informed

November 2005

INSIDE: Offshore for Goliath, Snapper and a great big 驶Cobe始

Pages 5, 16 & 31

Flatsmasters Top 40 & Top 5 Shootout Page 7

Urban Fishing at the South County Complex Page 3

REDFISH STILL BITING, SNOOK COMING ALIVE!

Fishing Report Page 30

www.CHARLOTTEHARBORMAGAZINE.COM

This New House Progress Report Page 24

FREE!


Page

2

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

November 2005


November 2005

Water LIFE

Stocking Fish for Kids Urban Fishing Clinics

By Mi chael Hel l er Water LIFE Editor The South Charlotte County Recreational Complex, off Cooper Street, is an impressive facility. New ball fields, a gymnasium, an outdoor swimming pool, soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts and children’s playgrounds – a jewel of an amenity provided by the Charlotte County Parks and Recreation Department. Situated on a large track that backs up to the Punta Gorda School complex, the area boasts sprawling green lawns punctuated with a chain of perhaps 20 total acres of manmade lakes. Several years in the making, this project is now open to the public and already very popular. While most of the focused use is on the land based recreation facilities, there has been some activity and water testing going on at the new ponds lately. Last month, state fish and wildlife commission officers and biologists from the state’s redfish hatchery at Port Manatee brought 40 redfish to the South County Complex. The fish were ‘sentinel fish’ to be used in a test program designed to determine the water’s suitability for sustaining a population of redfish. Twenty fish were released into the ponds while another 20 fish, a control group, were placed in submerged containment cages. The FWC officers tested the water, pulled some nets, and came back 48 hours later to check on them. What they found was promising. All

the fish were alive, so the 20 fish in the cages were released as well. The ponds throughout the complex are interconnected by underground culverts. With grass shrimp and mosquito fish already populating the waters, along with small bass and talapia, the lakes offer a sustainable habitat for redfish. Several individuals and various organizations have been instrumental in moving this project ahead. My friend and Kids Cup weighmaster Capt. Ralph Allen, owner of the Kingfisher Fleet in Punta Gorda, started the ball rolling eight months ago. I believe that through Ralph’s initial vision (and with the support of Tom Champeau of the state’s freshwater fishing division) Paul Thomas of the S.W. Regional Urban Fishing Project became involved. Then, Bill Halstead at the Port Manatee redfish hatchery agreed to supply some of their fish for the South County Complex ponds. Andy Stevens, the Charlotte County Parks and Recreation Department’s ‘environmental overseer’ was at first reportedly skeptical of the idea, but after talking with Paul Thomas, who Andy knew previously, Andy came on board. Indirectly, this publication is also involved. Through funds raised by the Water LIFE Kids Cup Redfish Tournament and donated to the Charlotte Harbor Reef Association, Jerry Jensen, the association's president, tells me the Reef Association is now able to donate and install a number of

MAGAZINE

Page

3

One of the interconnected ponds at the new South Charlotte County Recreational Complex. These ponds are being stocked with 400 redfish in preparation for a series of programs in the stateʼs freshwater Urban Fishing Clinic for Kids.

concrete reef balls in the South County Complex ponds for underwater structure. County Sea Grant agent Betty Staugler, is also involved, she has told me that during the next few weeks there will be an additional 400 hatchery redfish released. These next fish will be in the 4-to 6-inch size range. Redfish, can live in salt or fresh water. These fish will be for the kid’s urban fishing clinic program. We have to give these fish time to grow, so please don’t plan on sneaking out there and hammering them anytime soon.

This project brings the Kids Cup and it’s outreach program, The Don Ball School of Fishing, full circle. The state’s Freshwater Fish Commission will begin offering its Urban Fishing Clinics for kids at the South County Complex as soon as the fish reach an appropriate size. It doesn’t get any better than this: a vision – community support, teaching kids about fishing and conservation – the county providing a venue – the state providing fish and expertise. Every one of you should be proud this has come together.


Page

Water LIFE

4

Letter to Water LIFE

Mi ke, I am writing you this e-mail because I know you personally. I've known you since I started working the water and I trust you. I have worked along side you at charity tournaments and you've even let me take your boat for a quick spin. Having said this, I want you to know that I was deeply offended by Capt. Andy Medina’s recent article "Screaming Reels, Taking on the City's 6foot Ordinance," and its one-sided jumble of inconsistencies. As the Marine Officer for Punta Gorda, I have always made an effort to show up at captains meetings or get in touch with organizers to better explain the ordinances. It has been my experience that the beer and wings are too great of a lure for most of the crowd and my explanations/warnings tend to play second seat. I have always been available to come to any meeting or make any speeches that are needed, but I have never been asked for any information about this issue. In this article, Capt. Medina writes, "If you own a boat, there are a few things you should know, and these things may vary depending on who you TALK TO at the Punta Gorda Police Department". As the Marine Officer for the department, I can assure you that I was NEVER contacted by Capt. Medina. Well, after reading the article I called Capt. Medina and asked him who, at the Punta Gorda Police Department, he contacted and researched this article through. HE WAS UNABLE TO PROVIDE EVEN ONE NAME. Capt. Medina further writes, "most of the signs are facing the wrong way". I was not aware that any signs were facing the wrong way, so I asked Capt. Medina about the location of these signs so that I could have them fixed through Canal Maintenance. Capt. Medina was unable to

provide any locations of these signs. Capt. Medina then writes on about how there are no postings between Colony Point and Alligator Creek other than, "ONE sign in the channel at Ponce". I happen to know that Ponce channel has over seven signs to govern speed. I know this because I assisted city workers with posting them as part of the hurricane recovery effort. The same goes for Pompano, Colony, and Bass Inlets. I asked Capt. Medina if he knew even one person that has received a citation for violation of this ordinance and he didn't. I asked Capt. Medina if he knew anyone that was ever stopped for running in less than six foot of water, OUTSIDE the navigable channel (Ponce, Pompano, Colony) and he didn't. In fact, I enforce this ordinance with a great deal of discretion and rarely issue anything more than a written warning. I try to issue warnings whenever possible because I prefer to educate people as to the ordinance, the reasons behind it, and the purpose. In the very few instances when I have issued a citation I can assure you that it was warranted by the violation and almost all the stops and violations were a result of people on plane WITHIN the marked channels of Ponce, Colony Point, Pompano, and Bass - all channels and inlets that are clearly posted with "Minimum Wake" signs. I just feel that this article was unfair, unresearched, one-sided and very very irresponsible. As I talked more and more to Capt. Medina about this article, it became more and more apparent that his article was based on disgruntled hearsay and not researched facts. If you or anyone ever has any questions that I can answer or if someone doesn't understand a law, don't hesitate to call me. If I can't answer a question, I fill find some-

MAGAZINE

Thanks to Frank

Dear Frank This is Tommy Davis. You know, the one that has been asking you continuous questions for the past 10 years. I am writing a thank you letter. Yeah, it might be a little late, but this is to let you know that all of your kindness has not gone unappreciated. I am grateful for every thing that you did. There have been countless times when I did not have enough money to buy what I wanted and you would let it slide.”I know where you live,” you reminded me! You have always been some one I could look up to. If any one of your friends were in need you never ask yourself do I help them, but how do I help them. The support that you gave me has kept me constantly fishing and staying out of trouble. I still love fishing and I always will. Thanks for being there for me. Sincerely Yours Tommy Davis, 16 Port Charlotte

Name _______________________________________________

Address _____________________________________________ City _______________________________ State ____________ Zip ____________________

Out-of-the-area mail sent First Class

Local zip codes sent as Bulk Mail

Check this box if a Subscription Renwal

r

Credit Card _________________________________________ ExpDate_________

11/05

Michael and Ellen Heller Publishers

(941) 766-8180

TOTALLY INDEPENDENT

Water LIFE is not affiliated with any newspaper or other publication © 2005 Vol V No. 11 Water LIFE No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the publishers

CM RT

Regular MAIL: 217 Bangsberg Rd. Port Charlotte, FL 33952

Contributing Editors:

Hurricane Wilma took a heavy toll on the areaʼs porta-pottys. Apparently, not one was left standing after the wind died down! Most other structures in Charlotte County fared much better.

SUBSCRIPTION FORM

Have us mail your copy anywhere in the U.S.A. for $18 / Year

Water LIFE

WRITE US! e-mail (preferred) Waterlife@comcast.net

COMING AND GOING? ... Take Us Along!

SUBSCRIBE to Water LIFE

November 2005

Now Just $18 for 12 monthly editions Check one:

o Payment included: make check payable to Water LIFE

or Bill my

o Visa o M/C account

Fill out (please print) and Mail to: Water LIFE 217 Bangsberg Rd, Port Charlotte, FL, 33952

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 Lemon Bay: Don Cessna Kayaks: David Allen Local: Capt. Andrew Medina Tournament Report: Capt Jerry Cleffi Sea Grant: Betty Staugler

on the COVER:

A redfish comes in on a Boga Grip during the Flatsmasters Tournament final at Punta Gorda.

on our WEBSITE:

WWW.charlotteharbormagazine.com

Tide Graphs: For local waters

Weather: Links to all of our favorite sites.

Back editions: Pages of previous editions Artificial Reefs: Lat. and Long local reefs

Manatee Myths: Read the original plan to create sanctuaries and refuges, as spelled out by the United Nations in 1984 Links to Realtors: Connect with our real estate advertisers


Lighter Gear and Finesse Mean Results Offshore

November 2005

By Aaron S utcl i ffe Water LIFE Offshore Scaling down the tackle is advantageous for several reasons and one is that you will catch more different types of fish. When the right bait and terminal tackle are utilized, you have just as much chance at landing a quality yellowtail snapper as you do a keeper gag. When most fishermen go ‘grouper diggin’ they break out the 4/0 and send down a big live bait or chunk of frozen sardine or squid. Usually the rig they are using is loaded with 60- to 80- or even 100-pound line and they are using a 8/0 or 10/0 hook and several ounces of lead. This has been the standard grouper rig for many years and will continue to serve the purpose of winching fish from the bottom for a long time to come. There are other ways to catch fish, ways that use lighter tackle and finesse techniques, that will outfish the heavy gear when the fish are wary. Here are some of the basics. My spinning rod of choice is an eight foot Crowder 15-30 with a Daiwa BG90. The Crowder rod has A huge amount of power in the backbone and a sensitive tip. It is perfect for the way I fish. Other good rods are the Star Stellar lite 15-25 and St.Croix Tidemaster eight foot 15-40. I like the Daiwa reel because it has a strong drag and it cranks with more power than most spinning reels. Good reels similar to it are Penn 7500ss, Shimano Baitrunner 6500, and Quantum Cabo 60. Reels like these are larger units that can hold close to three hundred yards of twenty pound mono. They all have beefy drags and strong gears. Those are good qualities in tackle that will come in handy when hauling keeper fish to the boat. For line you can use twenty to thirty pound mono or braided line in the same strengths. Lighter line will get you more bites, while heavier line will give you an edge when fighting large fish. Lighter tackle definitely increases the amount of snapper you will catch. Snapper are very terminal tackle shy and by using the smallest possible hooks and the light-

Water LIFE

est leaders and weights you will fool more of them into eating your baits. When I am fishing my spinner I keep my terminal tackle to a minimum. Most of the time I free-line using a 1/2 or 3/8 ounce jighead, my leader is tied to my main line using a blood knot. No need for a swivel, although if you employ one it should be the smallest, strongest swivel possible. The leader I use on my rig is very specialized. I use 30-pound braid on my stick, and the leader is a twenty to thirty foot length of 20 or 25-pound fluorocarbon. The long fluoro keeps the sharp

eyed and spooky fish I am after from seeing my braid. If you are using mono instead of braid you can get away with a shorter piece of fluoro. The light refracting qualities of the fluoro leader will be severely degraded by chafes and nicks from toothy fish. It is a good idea to re-tie the hook or jighead after a fish shreds it. It will help you retain the knot strength and keep the leader from spooking fish. The free-fall jighead technique is by far the best one, in my opinion. The jighead will give your bait added weight to reach feeding fish in deep water. Also when your terminal tackle is limited to a colored jighead there is less going on to spook fish. There are three baits that work extremely well for this method. One of my favorites for snapper of all types is a jumbo shrimp. The bigger the shrimp the better. Keeper gags will not hesitate to devour a shrimp, as well as amberjack, and one of

MAGAZINE

my buddies caught a blackfin tuna on a free-lined shrimp last time out. The shrimp should be hooked from the bottom of the head up through the top of its shell by the horn. This presentation is very natural looking and is killer during the summer full moon bites. My next favorite bait for this is a small baitfish hooked in the lips. All baits will work, the best being pilchards, sardines, and pinfish. The best ones for this are about three or four inches long, just about a mouthful for a snapper. Hook them just like the shrimp, from the bottom of the lips up through the top. If you have very small whitebaits or sardines, you can put more than one on at a time. I call that the smorgasbord! The third very effective bait to use is a chunk of sardine. When I use frozen ‘dines I try to keep them fresh. I like them to still be partially frozen when using them for bait. After they are completely thawed they fall apart much too easily. You can start by cutting off the head and the tail. Throw those over board into the chum slick. Then cut the body into two or three chunks. It is very important to hook the chunk onto the jighead in a way that conceals it. I thread the hook deep into the chunk so that the head of the jig is pushed inside the meat and the point of the hook is barely exposed. Send that morsel out to fall slowly, and wait for the bite. It won’t take long! I call this ‘finesse fishing’ for a reason. Not only does it employ lighter gear, but the strikes are usually fairly light as well. As I am allowing the 1/2 ounce jighead to free fall with the current into the chum line, I am keenly attuned to the rate of descent of the bait. The reel should have the bail opened and the rod pointed down and towards the line drifting with the current. This does two things. It keeps the rod and the line in a straight line and makes detecting bites much easier. The rod is also in the perfect position for a hook

Page

5

set. When a fish eats the bait, the way you will know is from your line. Line may peel off the reel at a faster rate than the free fall speed. The line may stop rolling off the spool completely. The line could stop suddenly and continue at the same rate as before. Usually if there is not too much slack in the line you will feel sharp taps as the fish inhales the bait. The main idea here is to keep the bait falling naturally, and only stop letting line out when you get a bite. It will take forever for the light jig to reach bottom, usually the bait never does, fish normally eat it way before that can happen. When the line jumps it is time to snap the bail closed and give a sharp hook set while simultaneously reeling quickly. One major mistake many people make is to give a mighty hook set and afterwards drop the rod tip low before reeling at all. That is one sure fire way to not catch anything. Even when using braided line there is a belly of slack line that must be cranked in before getting a hook to sink. In fact, most of the time the only thing needed to set the hook is to crank down quickly. The fish will turn its head and hook itself, just from its own weight. Cranking all the slack and getting as much line back in the first few seconds of the fight also gets the fish far away from the structure it will want to break you off in. The first few seconds are critical.


Page

6

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

November 2005


Mullet are on the Move November 2005

By Merry Beth Ryan Water Life Fishing It is that time of the year again, when we all start seeing the mullet jumping in and out of the water everywhere we look. The fall mullet run is approaching. I can remember when I first moved to Florida. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first spotted mullet jumping one after the other as far as I could see. Not knowing that mullet were a vegetarian fish I could not wait to get a bait in the water to try and catch one. It did not take long for me to learn it was highly unlikely I would ever catch one with the normal baits used for most other saltwater species here. But I must admit I was recently able to catch one off a Cape Coral dock, using a piece of a hotdog, so it can be done. A Florida native quickly educated me on mullet. He explained to me that the best way to catch mullet was by using a cast. At that time I had no idea what that was. I sure have come a long way since then. Mullet, also known as striped mullet or black mullet are a favorite fish to most ‘Florida Crackers.’ Mullet are a fine eating delicacy that can be prepared in a variety of ways. The filet has a tender firm texture, yet mild nut flavored taste. Some of the most popular ways to cook the mullet are: fried, broiled, baked ... and it is particularly good smoked. Mullet are schooling fish and they are easy to spot. Sometimes, they seem like they are trying to fly. Mullet are the only fish that have a gizzard like birds have. There are all different speculations as to why the mullet jump, perhaps they’re moving food through their gizzard? Others believe they are jumping to knock parasites off their bodies. Whatever the reason they sure get some air-time. Where there are mullet there are often redfish not far behind. So when you are out fishing and you happen to spot some mullet you are probably in a ‘fishy’ area and it would be a good time to wet a line. Seeing the mullet activity is a good indication other fish are in the area too. Just as we look for working birds above to help us find fish, seeing mullet flip-flopping out of the water is better than any electronics in shallow waters. The roe in the mullet are just starting to grow now, making early November a great time to enjoy some fine eating mullet. Thanksgiving time in Southwest Florida, is usually when the roe matures in the fish. The prime market for the mature mullet roe is around Christmas and the first of the year because the fish are spawning. There is a weekend restriction on mullet of 50 head, per day, per boat. The Fall mullet run brings cast netting boats from all over the state. Sometimes our local waters start to look like 5 o’clock rush hour in New York City. Many of the cast netters have constructed an engine guard around their expensive

Water LIFE

engines to protect them when they get involved in bumper-boat tactics while working a small area amongst hundreds of vessels trying to fill their nets with mullet. Most of the fisherman are willing to work together and they respect one another while cast netting, but there is still a small percentage of cast netters who give the industry a bad name and who cannot seem to play by the rules. The hard working cast netters are trying to make money to feed their family and pay their bills. Cast netting mullet is a hard, messy job. I can attest to that firsthand. There are not very many women I see on the water aboard cast netting boats, but there are a few and I am one of them. I can be seen out on the water on any given day during the next few months in my slickers and white mullet boots. Not very fashionable by any means, but necessary for the job at hand. When my fishing guide/boyfriend first showed me a mullet outfit I nearly fell to the floor. I thought to myself ‘what if someone recognizes me out here wearing this?’ I can tell you it is not one of my favorite fishing outfits, but it does protect me from all the mullet slime. Cast netting mullet is hard on my fingernails as well. I probably do not fit the norm for what a mullet ‘fisherperson’ should look like, but I get the job done and I enjoy the scouting aspect of it. Being out on the water is special. I always have been a very competitive athlete and I use that same spirit when I am fishing. I enjoy being able to spot the fish and the rewards of a boat full of mullet at the day’s end. Most of the time I am at the helm of the boat and my job is to put the boat where it needs to be, giving the cast netter the best angle to open his net over the top of the school. I have to be very careful because one wrong touch of the throttle could dump him over the bow which would most likely cause me to lose my job as boat operator in a hurry. All kidding aside, there are times when we are cast netting mullet around hundreds of boats in a small area where it is very dangerous, so we do have to be very alert at all times. It is the hunt for the mullet I believe that keeps my interest alive. The challenge is one I am up for as each mullet season arrives. I have never been a morning person, but when it comes to fishing I am usually the first one on the boat. Mullet fishing can be a very long day on the water. We bring our rods and reels in case we happen to come across a school of pompano or tripletail or cobia on a crab trap and we usually pack enough food and snacks and water for a few days if we decide to stay out all night. This summer, while we were fishing near Devilfish Key

MAGAZINE

with my nephew’s from Atlanta, a mullet decided to jump into our boat. That was the highlight of our trip for sure that day. The boys could not believe that fish fell from the sky. Life is good when you are fortunate to have a fish just up and jump into your boat. Ask and you shall receive. I am looking forward to this season’s mullet run and hoping many more than one mullet will be jumping in our boat one way or another. Now I am off to go find my mullet boots and my slickers, daylight comes awful early.

Page

Cunning Application of Culling Waiver Changes

New change in the tournament redfish culling waiver rules requires an example to understand: You and I are a tournament team. Letʼs say you catch a 6.5 pound redfish and I put it in the well. Then I catch a 7 pound red and put it in the well. Then I catch a 6.75 pound red. Can I put that one in the well and ʻcull outʼ the 6.5 pound fish? No, I may not. The reason is: Since I caught the 7 pound fish, if I want to cull out my fish I need a bigger fish of my own, say a 7.25 pounder. The State thought they had this all worked out, until they ʻexplainedʼ it to tournament anglers. “When exactly do you possess a fish?” was the question one angler asked. ʻWhen itʼs at the boat,ʼ was the FWCʼs answer. So after I have my 7 pounder in the well, every time I hook another fish I need to hand my rod to you so you can land the next fish in hopes itʼs bigger than your 6.5 pounder. “Is that legal?” the angler asked. The FWC reportedly thought about it. ʻYeah, you could do that,ʼ they said. And so, another tournament angler figured out how to best ʻfunctionʼ within the rules. We havenʼt heard the last of this yet.

Fish XS PDF

L e t U s S e l l Yo ur B o at

28' Albemarle 275 Express Fisherman-JUST REDUCED BY $5,000 FOR QUICK SALE. New port engine, major service just performed. Great offshore boat. $54,999

Daryl Hall • Tom Stivison 320 Cross St (at WaterProof Charts) Punta Gorda Christine Roberts • Dick Davis

www.redfishyach t. co m

(941) 639-9400

7


Page 8

By Capt. Jerry Cl effi Water LIFE Tournament Report The most exciting year in Flatsmasters history came to dramatic conclusion on October 15th and 16th. It all started back in March as 90 teams began the season by competing in The Grand Slam Plug Tournament. Then in May, those teams once again convened to fish The Summer Redfish Classic. During the year, teams garnered points based on their order of finish in each event. The last qualifying leg of the series, The RedSnook Challenge, held in September. This was the last chance for teams to earn points to make the 40 team cut for The Championship. On October 14th, the captain’s meeting, sponsored by Shallow Water Outfitters and Smuggler’s Restaurants, was held at The Captain’s Table Restaurant in Fisherman’s Village. The top 40 teams convened one last time to go over the rules and procedures. Saturday morning brought a little cooler weather and a sense of excitement that I haven’t seen before at a Flatsmasters Final. Maybe it was the number of new teams that made it to the Championship, or the opportunity to fish through to Sunday’s Final Five Shootout and a chance to fish on TV, or the ultimate goal of becoming Flatsmasters Champions and taking home a brand new Hewes Tailfisher 17 flats boat package worth $25,000. Whatever the reason, there were forty intense teams ready to go at safe light. During the course of Saturday’s competition, it was evident that many teams ran far and wide to capture the required snook and redfish. Scales opened at 1:30pm, but few teams took advantage of

Water LIFE

November 2005

MAGAZINE

When the top-5 weigh-in was over, fish weights for team Venture Out and team Ken-Rite Construction were exactly the same! Flatsmasters photos are available online at www.lesterkuhnphotos.com

the early weigh-in to present their catch. As the 3:30pm deadline approached, a total of 30 of the 40 teams were in the weigh-in line. As the smoke cleared, 5 teams rose to the top of the leader board. Those teams would move on to Sunday and compete in the first ever televised Flatsmasters Final Five Shootout. Sunday morning began with a little cooler temperatures, but things heated up fast as the horn sounded and sent the 5 finalists, each with a SunSports TV cameraman on board, off for the last day of Flatsmasters Competition. The format for Sunday was each team started with no weight and they were charged with, once again, capturing one legal snook and one legal redfish. The combined weight of those 2 fish would determine the flatsmasters’ champions. The five finalists had to be back at Harpoon Harry’s dock by 3:30 p.m. for the final weigh-in. As the deadline approached, one by one each team slid into their respective spots and waited for the Shootout to begin. Team Waterproof Charts was the first team to weigh in their redfish as we went down the dock weighing each team’s redfish first. After the redfish round, Team KenRite Construction, led by Clay Rebol, was in the lead with their heavy 8.00lb fish. Right behind them was Team Venture Out with a 7.10-pound red. Next up was the snook round and quickly it

became obvious that all five teams came to snook fish. As each team weighed their snook, total weights were calculated, so when the last snook of the day was weighed by team Venture Out, a 9.75pound beauty, it didn’t take long for the top teams to figure out that there was a tie! team KenRite Construction and Team Venture Out tied for first place with exactly 16.85-pounds. For the first time in Flatsmaster’s history we had a tie for the top spot, and the rules state In the ev ent of a tie for first place, there will be a one hour fish-off, with the first team back with a legal tournament fish, winning! So we lined up the two teams at marker #14 and

NEWS FLASH!

Spot Redfish Tournament

ʻWhere Size Doesnʼt Matterʼ Flatsmasters RedSpot "Count The Spots" Tournament: Dec. 03, 2005 Most Spots on 2 legal redfish 3 angler teams - $250 entry fee For more info call 941-637-5953 $5,000 1st place, $2,000 2nd. ... etc ... & more

To p 40 Results

1

Achillies, Chris Blackburn, Bing Brown, Brad Rebol, Clay Meredith, Miles Harris, Brian Jacobs, RJ Lombard, Jarrett Hindman, Brian Ziegler, Bill Jones, Phil Wallin, Dave Locke, Rob Beerbower, Blake Rush Jr., Scott Wedell, MIke Beye, Jesse Branch, Robin Kerry, Wayne Moding, Jeff Vasbinder, Gary Tydings, Brian Jacobsen, Derrick Goodwin, Eric Hoke, Dave Kersey, Keith Robinson, Roy White, Tim Stephens, Dave Bryant, Scott Withers, Jay Roe, Scott Taylor, Jim Medina, Andrew Davis, Eric Susko, Brian Newman, John Lopez, Javier Burnett, Dave Griffing, Steve

sounded the starting horn one last time. Team KenRite raced up the river through the US-41 bridges, while team Venture Out sped straight north from Harpoon Harry’s. After 36 minutes of suspense, a tournament boat was seen heading toward the weigh in dock. Team KenRite Construction idled up to the dock and pulled a 28-inch legal snook out of their release well to become The 2005 Maverick Boats Flatsmasters Champions. The Flatsmasters is brought to you by Maverick boats, Ingman Marine, Don

To p 4 0 Q U I C K FA C T S

In all, 27 teams weighed in fish Only 8 teams weighed in 1 fish The biggest snook was 10.6 lbs. There were 7 snook over 8 pounds The biggest red 7.6 lbs There were 5 reds over 7 pounds

Team Venture Out Limited Out Moonlite Charters Ken-Rite Construction Waterproof Charts Team Renegade Team Thunder & Lightning Team Ingman Marine #1 Patricia Scott DDS PA Beaches Family Restuarant Muddy Dogs Knot Right Reel Em In Quantum Team San Carlos Marine Motley Crew Capr Fear Rods Salinity Check Team Big Hit One Outta the Money Buchan's Landing Resort Carter Concrete Famous Craft Voltman Taco Bell Snatch Hook Robinson Underground Team Dlophin Cleaners Backbay Extremes Shallow Minded Subway/Coast to Coast Dog House Ketchin' Keepers Team Nasty Hooker Re/Max Harbor Realty Red Jay Kitchens Tarpon Tide Charters Flatsmen Warden's Worry Nezzen

8.55 6.5 5.15 7.75 6.3 5.05 6.3 5.8 7.6 5.9 6.7 6.4 6.5 6.05 4.9 4.25 0 4.95 3.5 3.25 7.45 7.4 0 7.1 6.9 6.85 6.85 0 3.7 2.85 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

8.45 10.2 10.6 7.6 8.95 10 8.15 8.45 6.15 6.95 5.6 5.75 5.55 5.95 6.95 7.5 10.45 4.85 5.3 4.45 0 0 7.35 0 0 0 0 5.9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

17 16.7 15.75 15.35 15.25 15.05 14.45 14.25 13.75 12.85 12.3 12.15 12.05 12 11.85 11.75 10.45 9.8 8.8 7.7 7.45 7.4 7.35 7.1 6.9 6.85 6.85 5.9 3.7 2.85 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Water LIFE

November 2005

7329 Satsuma Dr. – Come build your dream home on this fabulous lot In a quiet neighborhood. This lot will not last long at this price, call today!!! so MLS#603247 $110,000

1316 Monte Carlo - 3 Bedroom, 3.5 bath waterfront home with a contemporary flair. Completely refurbished- freshly painted, new kitchen, new carpet, all new appliances, and new landscape curbing are just a few of this homes fabulous features. New pool cage is included in the price of the home and will be completed within the month. Call me today for more detail. MLS#603035 $629,000.

445 Palmetto - This home is the perfect family starter home. This 4/2/2 waterfront home has been updated with a brand new kitchen, new tiled, new carpet in all bedrooms, new dock, brand new roof, and a beautiful cozy stone fireplace for those chillier winter nights. This spacious home offers a split bedroom floor plan for a little extra privacy. Call me today for more details on this one of a kind deal! MLS# 602576 $379,000.

Page 9

MAGAZINE

1316 Monte Carlo Three bedroom, 3.5 Bath waterfront home with a contemporary flair. Completely refurbishedfreshly painted, new carpet, all new appliances, new landscape curbing. Pool cage is under contract and is included in the price of the home.MLS# 469584 $629,000

351 W Marion Ave This building is currently leased as a convenience store, but the layout may allow several different options such as office or retail. This property consists of a 2,016 sf building on a 9,119 sf of land in the heart of downtown Punta Gorda. MLS#608175

808 Santa Margerita Lane Beautiful 2/2/2 waterfront pool home nestled in the heart of Punta Gorda Isles, and perfect family or retirement. This home is a must see and offers many spectacular features including a new roof, new windows, spacious lanai, and a new water heater just to name a few. Call me today for more details before this deal is GONE! MLS#482405 $499,000

Charlotte Harbor’s most popular boat and motor from the #1 Action Craft and Yamaha dealer Come by for your piece of the ‘Action’ 3300 Palm Beach Blvd. (Exit 25) Ft. Myers • (239) 334-3424


Water LIFE

Page 10

By Capt Ron Bl ago Water Life Senior Staff If you are a recreational grouper fisherman you have to be on the verge of insanity about now. If the price of fuel, red tide, dead zones and hurricanes haven’t put you over the edge, the latest action by the National Marine Fisheries Service to close red grouper fishing for November and December in Federal waters should just about drive you to the nut house. Why would the Fed’s do such a thing? Because, according to their statistical models, recreational fishermen caught 159% more red grouper in 2004 than 2003. I guess some of you recreational fishermen must of had a record year in 2004 because the rest of us had to put up with four major hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and a nagging red tide problem, so a legal size red grouper was a rare sight among the fishermen I hang out with. A little background information on red grouper is in order. Of all the red grouper caught, that we know about in US waters, 20% are caught by recreational fishermen and 80% are caught by commercial fishermen. There are 173 commercial boats

with reef fishing permits and just 25 of those boats caught 70% of all the commercial grouper landed. Now these 25 boats have their own problems. Each year there is a quota of red grouper they can harvest and when the quota is reached they have to stop fishing. This year they caught so many fish so fast the quota was reached in Oct, a month earlier then last year. This two month forced vacation has made these 25 boats very unhappy. So to review, for every red grouper that one of the hundred

November 2005

MAGAZINE

thousand or so recreational fishermen are lucky enough to catch, these 25 boats catch four. Doesn’t seem quite fair does it? Well, I guess that depends on how you see the world, because it seems that those 25 boats are now working on a plan to take that one grouper away from you. It seems that the NMFS, the government organization that is charged with helping red grouper stocks to recover from over fishing, has come up with a new plan. They are going to take $35 million dollars of tax payers

money and try to buy back some of those 173 commercial reef fishing permits, especially from those small time operators that don’t really catch a lot of grouper. This will allow those 25 boats, the big time operators, to catch even more fish. This is the problem with the NMFS – when it comes to recreational fishermen they feel that catching less fish will result in more fish; but with commercial fishing they feel that spending more taxpayer money will result in more fish. To me the problem is those

25' Carolina Classic - Tough offshore boat, fast and agile with top of the line equipment. Full specs available. $49,900

25 boats. Get rid of them and there is plenty of fish for everyone. These industrial fishing factories use long line fishing gear which has pretty much decimated any fish stock they ever targeted. When are we going to learn that long line fishing is just too efficient at catching fish – any fish, any size – and that the terms ‘long line’ and ‘fish recovery’ just don’t go together. To me, the answer is simple. If you want to bring back grouper fishing to its former glory you have two options. One is to get rid of all the long line boats or at least push them so far offshore that they will be Mexico’s problem. Go back to the old way of hook and line fishing, bandit rigs and vertical fishing gear only. The other option is the weapons of mass destruction solution. A plan no one will like, but will treat everyone the same; recreational, commercial, big guy and small: Shut down grouper fishing for everyone. Outlaw grouper fishing for 3 to 5 years to let the species recover to its former levels. Catching no fish results in more fish left swimming.

28' Nauset Bridgedeck 1992 vessel in very nice condition throughout. Well maintained. Radar, GPS, Auto pilot and a flybridge. $76,900

33' Carver Mariner 1995 Twin 250HP Crusader. Very spacious boat- This boat has been very well maintained REDUCED TO SELL $64,900

30' SeaRay Weekender, 1989. Lift stored, lots of storage and spacious cockpit. Asking $35,900

38' Bertram Convertible - Very nice condition throughout and well maintained by her knowledgeable owner. Twin Diesels. $189,000

33' Chris Craft Crowne - Lift stored and has very low hours, she is a great family cruiser, Twin Volvo 265 HP 5.7 Duo Prop. $59,900

25' OMC/Quest 250 CC - Exceptionally well maintained, plenty of fishing add-ons and aluminum, tandem axle, trailer. $22,500

25' Grady White Sailfish SB - Lift stored in nice condition very well equipped! Sleeps 4, 2 cabins, enclosed head with shower. $36,900

33' Cruisers 3372 Express 2002. Twin 320HP Mercruiser VD's. Beautiful boat, lift stored. Reduced to $139,500

30' Sea Ray 300 Weekender - Nice layout, plenty of storage, spacious cockpit. Engine longblocks replaced approx. 5 years ago $35,900

25' Pro-Line 251 Walk Around - Lift kept and has never been bottom painted, very nice boat. Twin 150 Mercurys. $36,900

30' Bertram Fly bridge Cruiser - Very well maintained An excellent boat for cruising, fishing and entertaining. Take a Look! $59,900

38' Chris-Craft 381 Catalina. Twin 330HP gas Pleasurecraft engines. Great boat for entertaining, cruising or liveaboard. Asking $82,000.

43' Sea Ray 430 Convertible 1988. Twin 370HP diesel engines replaced in 2000. Boat has all the amenities of home! Reduced to $158,900

30' Carver Sedan, 1993. Extremely well maintained boat with twin mercruisers. Asking $59,900


November 2005

PIRATE HARBOR PROPERTIES SPECIAL

Water LIFE

P a g e 11

MAGAZINE

REDUCED $50,000! 20 Minutes to Gulf

Bring An Offer – Live the For Fishing or Real Estate: Florida Just Ask The Captain Dream Gorgeous Keywest style home on a deep sailboat canal. Incredible views of a wide basin with boat house, 2 lifts, 100' of concrete seawall all in immaculate condition. Galley kitchen, wood cabinets, oak floors, vaulted ceilings, huge master bedroom with porch. Immediate access to Charlotte Harbor. Beautiful neighborhood of gorgeous homes. Room for 3rd bedroom and office. $699,500 MLS# 484424

Pirare Harbor Properties

ld! Just So The Best Waterfront Community in Charlotte County!

RARE TIP LOT OVERLOOKING CHARLOTTE HARBOR!

Huge Waterfront Pool Home 5 Minutes to Charlotte Harbor

Nearly 2700sf under air boasting a spectacular Mediteranean Lanai with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. This home has been completely updated with modern kitchen, wood cabinets, hardwood floors, gameroom, brick pavers and barrel tile roof situated on an oversized corner lot. Concrete seawall and dock for your boat! Mls 489894 $585,000

200ʼ of Waterfront 15 Minutes To The Gulf!

The best waterfront in Charlotte County! Seawalled and riprapped on a large deep water sailboat basin. Build a Keywest style home and have views of open harbor. Tarpon fishing, shrimping and crabbing right at your back door- it just doesn't get any better than this! Oversized tip lot, peaceful location, room for large dock. In community of beautiful homes. Priced to sell- MLS #481762 $699,500

Fiberglass

AFFORDABLE LOT IN PIRATE HARBOR – Build your dreamhome on this huge 120x100 dry lot. All county amenities with city sewer to come. This is a community of beautiful homes convenient to Punta Gorda and Cape Coral. MLS# 604989 $80,000

ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY – On a protected open water estuary with deep water and direct quick access to the Gulf. Appximately 162 feet of waterfrontage with 180 degrees of waterview! Combine with the adjacent lot also available (MLS # 476415) for a total of appx. 262 feet of waterfront. Convenient location in Punta Gorda in an area of beautiful homes. Each lot priced at $699,000 or make offer on both!

17” Offset Bracket, Hydraulic Steering, Accon Hardware - All top Line

Custom order your new boat today

Custom

14?

21?

and

29?

Open

Fiberglass Repair & Supplies ¥ Bottom Painting ¥ Detailing

941.628.2588 Whidden Industrial Your local SW Florida

Trout fishing will pick up this month as water temperatures have dropped. For trout fishing the Old Bayside shrimp is the most lifelike I have found. With its like like tail and legs, trout can not resist the action of these baits. In murky water use darker colors such as pumpkin/chartreuse tail or avocado/gold in clear water try the glow, clear gold or closing night. With the shrimp on an 1/8 ounce jig head suspend your bait under an Old Bayside Paradise Popper and ʻsplashʼ it about every 20 seconds. Good Luck!

Just Out! All New! 21-foot

Family Owned and Operated with over 50 Years Experience


Water LIFE

Page 12

Charlotte Countyʼs Complete Swimming Pool Supplys Pool Repair and Maintenance Store

575-2525

Specializing in Heaters and Pumps

Located in the Punta Gorda Crossing Shopping Center Next to Publix

Mon-Fri 9AM-5:30PM

Sat 9AM-3PM

Boat Buying Tips

“Green Pool” Clean Up & Maintenance

When you're buying a boat for pleasure, it's easy to get swept up in the moment. Practicality, however, must prevail if you're going to be happy with your purchase. To help analyze the situation ask the following questions:

Who will use the boat? Just you and your family, or friends?

How will you use the boat? Do you plan to take trips?

When will you use the boat? The occasional trip or every day? Where will you use the boat? In a lake, or saltwater?

What is your budget? Don't forget maintenance, insurance, & registration costs. What kind of boat will fit your needs?

Mike Panetti

Ken Cook / Boats Unlimited 4809 Tamiami Trail Charlotte Harbor

941-628-8250

BOAT REPAIR

Sterndrive • Inboard • Outboard Weʼve DOUBLED our service area to give better service to our customers and their boats

Bottom Paint and Detailing

(941) 255-3106 or 769-8064

4256 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte

(on the east side of US 41 just north of Harborview)

A Mess of Macks MAGAZINE

By Don Cessna Water LIFE Englewood Before a storm, the life long residents go fishing. Some of these folks only fish prior to a storm. I have found that a storm in the Gulf pushes the near shore fish inside the passes where they can be fished much more easily. It must be that the bait fish are driven inside so the predators follow. There have been some Spanish mackerel in the area now, but by the first of the month there should be a mess of macks in the Harbor and Lemon Bay near the passes. When you have Spanish mackerel normally the bluefish are in also. Both have a similar tip off to there presence. If you see swirls and wakes with jumping bait fish in the area you should have blues and macks feeding. Look for them around Boca Grande pass on the north side and Gasparilla Pass along the rocks and channel edges near the drop off. They will also be in Charlotte Harbor. Check out the mouths of rivers and creeks and other places where bait fish frequent. Stump Pass and Venice jetties should have a bunch of macks feeding as well. Some anglers choose about a six inch steel leader, but I prefer the normal 30 pound mono line since I use spoons, jigs or baitfish imitations and most of the time the fish are chomping on the lure rather than the line. Occasionally a fish will cut the leader ahead of the plug. I can’t decide if they hit the line because it flashes or if it "sings" and causes them to slash at it. Live or frozen shrimp and live or frozen bait fish or even cut bait is a good choice for those who prefer bait. Free-lining in a current or using a float or popping cork works great with bait. This is a case where bottom fishing with a sinker is not nearly as good a choice. Macks and blues like to herd the baitfish and drive them up to the surface for the feast. The water may still be warm enough for pompano to be here as well, so don’t be surprised if you catch them along the way. Normally when you have macks you have sharks - sharks among other fish love to eat mackerel. Try some sharks for a good fish fight. They give you a good pull.

November 2005 Remember to lighten up the drag when you fight them close to the boat. Most fish will give one last run when they get near the boat and this is when a lot of fish make good their escape. Give some line and start again until the fish is caught – especially if you have a large fish. In the back waters look to the very back. I would guess snook and some redfish will be in the areas where the water is generally quiet. The docks and any structure such as rocks and sunken boat hulls should be good. If you fish these areas you will also most likely find some nice trout and possibly even the occasional small tarpon. In Lemon Bay, fishing inside Stump Pass back into the east side of the bay should payoff. You may want to move north and south along that east shoreline and fish the intersection where the channel pass meets the Intracoastal. The mouth of Gottfried Creek and Forked Creek are good for reds and the docks for snook. The area around the bridges both Tom Adams and Manasota bridges should be good for snook. Again, I believe the more quiet areas would be the best spots to fish. Trout will be picking up as the water cools. The best of the trout fishing now would be near deeper waters, such as along canal edges and the edges of flats. The Intracoastal has the right combination of food and deeper cooler water. Fish holes and the edges for trout now. For those who fish artificial baits give this some thought. I used to always have aquariums and noticed fish are greedy by nature. When you feed them, the hogs run around eating the large pieces first and letting the small stuff fall to the bottom. With artificials you can present a bait with maybe more flash or a different color to get a reaction from fish that draws a strike. Some have rattles and produce sound. An erratic action like a sick or injured bait attracts attention to itself. The fisherman can work the lure in many different ways to entice the fish. High in the water column with speed or darting around and even crawling the bottom. This is a difference which causes your lure to be attractive rather than being difficult to find.


Water LIFE

November 2005

Discontinued Ship始s Store

styles of

T Shirts

Fishing designs including snook, tarpon, redfish, trout, etc.

by artist Joe Suroviec

Short Sleeve $10 99 Long Sleeve $11 99 驶till they始re gone!

Page 13


Signs of Life

Water LIFE

Page 14

By Capt. Dan Cambern

What does an offshore charter boat captain do on his day off? He goes fishing of course! I try to dive on just about every good fishing spot I find at least once to see what is happening down there. Even small breaks and ledges are worth checking out and sometimes they are the best dive spots. The west coast of Florida is very unique because of the way the continental shelf runs in the Gulf of Mexico. It has a gradual drop off compared to the Atlantic side. The Gulf is primarily a sandy bottom

with patches of shell, rocks, and limestone ledges with a few wrecks and artificial reefs to attract and hold schools of fish, crabs, and lobster. The shallower reefs are suffering more than the deep ones. Diving recently in 65 to 90 feet of water showed lots of fish, especially lots of nice large mangrove snappers, as well as plenty of grouper that were mostly borderline legal with a few larger ones mixed in. I had heard that the Trembly and Novak reef sights just off of Gasparilla pass were pretty much dead so I took a ride out there last week. What I saw, no let me rephrase that, what I didn始t see, stunned me. This reef is usually teeming with schools of fish

MAGAZINE

including everything from huge pods of bait to several large resident goliath grouper that patrol the area like they own the joint. (Actually I guess they do kind of own it). There are usually lots of stone crabs, sea urchins, and star fish crawling along the bottom. We dove the barge first and went around it twice before a small jewfish showed up and he was only about 40 pounds. I brought my dive light down with me and only saw one stone crab way up in a crack in the barge that I couldn始t reach. On our next dive we went down on the main section of bridge pilings and I just couldn始t believe how bare it was. Everything

Deep Water Docking on Manasota Key

November 2005

on the bottom had a kind of weird green silt on it and there were no stone crabs anywhere to be found. There are usually hundreds of them wedged up under the pilings. There was however some small schools of snapper and grunts and a few sheepshead swimming around and I spooked up one nice flounder. A school of blue runners escorted us back up during our ascent. I think that the fish we did see there were a good sign that the reef will recover, although I am not sure how long it will take. Capt. Dan runs Hammerhead Charters, Docked next to the Fishery restaurant in Placida, Fl. He can be reached at 941-625-6226 or 941380-6226 www.hammerheadcharters.com.

Manasota Key Residence

Lemon Bay Condo

Doug & Judy Kaff

Single Family Gulf Front Home Gulf Front Penthouse

"Direct Gulf views with with 2 pools, tennis and private setting. Scheduled for completion late 2006. $1,700,000"

Judy Kaff

OAKSHORES - Great View of the Intercoastal Waterway. Deeded deepwater dock. Nice pool, upgraded interior. Bring your boat. $825,000 INCREDIBLE VIEWS on over 200 ft of direct Gulf beach frontage. Beautifully designed home in perfect shape with 4/5 bedrooms and dock on the Bay $2,997,500

(941) 830-0502

Reduced

Manasota Key Condo

HOLIDAY DRIVE Nicely renovated 2br home with short walk to fishing and beaching. Experience living on the Key for $549,000.

SURF CLUB 2br condo with great Gulf views. Great beach and pool, beautifully decorated. $825,000

(941) 474-9534

Judykaff@earthlink.net

806 Marion Avenue - Enjoy the view of the Peace River from your office when you purchase this OMI zoned property on Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda. Located directly across from Charlotte Regional Hospital in Punta Gorda, there are 11 lots totaling 1.3 acres+/-. For all the details and disclosures on this property, call Nancy at 941-661-9737 or e-mail to: Waterlife@CaptainsChoiceRealty.com $2,800,000

321 Capri Isles - PGI - Florida living doesn't get any better than this. Take a look at this 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2 car garage pool home. The split floor plan offers a complete new kitchen. The large lanai is just waiting for you to entertain your family and friends. Powerboat access to Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. $675,000 Call Chuck Sanders for more details. 941-235-1555 or e-mail Chuck Sanders at ChuckSanders@CaptainsChoiceRealty.com

23296 Peachland Blvd - This 3/2/2 pool home located on a freshwater canal is waiting for you. Nice and open for entertaining or just relaxing by the pool, this 2,559 sq ft. home has ceramic tile and carpet, screened entry, new pool cage, new barrel tile roof and recently been painted on the outside. Split floor plan offers privacy with a large master bedroom and bath. Located on a corner lot-garage access is from the side street. Stroll through the large back yard to the freshwater canal for some great fishing. Section 15 is one of the most desirable areas to live in Charlotte County. $365,000 Call Nancy at 941661-9737 or e-mail questions to Waterlife@CaptainsChoiceRealty.com.

18874 Ayrshire Circle - Located on the Manchester Waterway, this sailboat home has so much to offer it can't all be listed here. Built in 1987, this home shows like a new home. The 3 bedroom, 2 bath split floor plan offers a living room, formal dining room, family room and a den and/or home office. The roof was just replaced with a metal roof, hurricane rated windows and sliders - no need for shutters on these, pool just refinished, new pool deck, pool heater and cage. Outside, new concrete seawall and boat life installed in 2004 per owner. A 15 minute boat ride down the beautiful Manchester Waterway takes you to Charlotte Harbor. For more info call Nancy Grube at 941-661-9737 or email to: Waterlife@CaptainsChoiceRealty.com

10884 McAlester Circle - This property in the southern sailboat section of South Gulf Cove offers it all. Leave your dock and travel the Santa Cruz waterway to the Interceptor Lagoon. Enjoy the tranquility of the Bird Estuary and the lagoon on your way to the lock. No seawall is in place. This property offers all that Southwest Florida has to offer. $325,000 Call Nancy at 941-661-9737

15076 Leipzig - Look at this lot in the uppersailboat section of South Gulf Cove. It's only 10 minutes to the lock and you are on your way to the Myakka River, Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. $450,000. With a seawall in place, controlled water depth and million dollar homes in the area, it's the place to be in South Gulf Cove. For More Informatiom On this Beautiful Lot Call Lowell Today at 941-661-5161


Longer Rods Mean Greater Casts Water LIFE

November 2005

By Capt. Robert Moore Water LIFE Senior Guide In a perfect world I would own a set of rods and reels for every species of fish I was going to target. Each set would consist of a rod and reel for each size of fish I was going to catch as well. One rod and reel for Redfish up to 4-pounds, another for redfish between 5- and 10-pounds and so forth. But in the real world this is not practical and it’s really not necessary. If you are fishing the flats in Southwest Florida for snook, redfish and trout, and not specifically targeting a large fish the most common size fish on the flats is going to be between 2-pounds to 12pounds. Not 20 or 25 -pounds. Yes, there is always a chance you could hook that huge 20pound snook, but a typical day of flats fishing will only bring fish in the range I mentioned. So why not have a setup for the common size fish you are more than likely to catch. And besides, you can land a large fish on light line. Southwest Florida does offer some of the best fishing in the world, without a

St. Thomas V.I. Nov 20

doubt. But unfortunately it’s not the sight fishing capital of the world. I tell my clients if you see the fish, they see you. 99% of the time when they see you they will not eat, especially if you are fishing with artificial baits. So you need to get your bait away from the boat. The further you cast from the boat the more likely a fish will not feel your presence and get spooked. I guarantee a reel with 2030-pound test line will not cast as

far as a line with 10pound test line. I have fished every size line on the market. Ten pound test line will catch just about every fish you hook. Even while fishing under the Mangrove bushes. Several years ago I made the change over to 10-pound Power Pro braided line and have significantly increased my catches in doing so.

Naples Nov 12 thru Nov 20

Cape Coral Nov 5 thru Nov 13

MAGAZINE

The length of your rod will also dictate the distance in which you can cast. Years ago I always used 6 1/2ft medium action rods and when I tried my first 7 and-a- half foot rod I was amazed at the extra distance I got when casting. Last year I was introduced to Quantum’s new

8 ft Cabo Inshore series rods and absolutely fell in love with them. Ask my tournament partner, who fished with the same rods but in the 7 and-a- half foot size, which of us made longer casts. The extra 6 inches gave me at least 20 extra feet. I prefer the medium action rods. Medium action rods are perfect for fish in the 3-to 12-pound range. Fish smaller than 3-pounds are a cinch and a fish larger than 12-pounds simply becomes a challenge. But remember 90-percent of the time the fish I am catching are in the 3-to 12-pound

Page 15

range. When it comes to picking the right reel that can be more of a personal choice. I want a reel that will match the rod I am using, hold up in the harsh saltwater environment, and most importantly have a smooth drag system. I have chosen the Cabo PT 40. It holds about 250 yards of 10-pound test line. It obviously matches with the Cabo rods I use. The aluminum framed body holds up to the saltwater environment and the drag system is among the smoothest I have ever used. No matter which rod and reel you choose to use, match them to the average size fish you catch on a daily basis. If you decide to target a particular size fish such as a large snook under a dock, then customize a rod and reel set up for that type of fishing. Tight Lines,

You can reach Capt. Robert Moore for fishing information or to book a charter fishing trip at (941) 637-5710 or (941) 6282650 or contact him v ia e-mail at tarponman@comcast.net


Going For Goliath Page 16

By Aaron S utcl i ffe Water LIFE Offshore Goliath Grouper! The largest of the groupers, and the hungriest of them all. Epinephelus itijara is a close cousin to the red and Nassau groupers. The GG eats many of the same things that it's cousins do, just in greater quantities. Crabs, lobsters and fairly large fish all make their way down its gullet. I will save you, the reader, much stress by not lamenting the fact that these swimming vacuum cleaners often strip quality reef fish from your lines with regularity. You all know that. What I do want to share with you is a way of backing them off so you can catch the snapper, grouper, amberjack, and everything else you want to catch with minimal annoyance from your hungry friends. The secret is... bring them to the helm! You better believe it! Haul one or two of the behemoths to the surface and you are almost guaranteed to fish unmolested. See, it is all fun and games for them to eat the struggling fish on your lines. That is, until one or two of them make the trip to the surface and see who they are dealing with. These massive groupers did not get that way by being stupid. They don't want

Water LIFE

to expend too much energy to get a meal. Their huge bulk needs to be fed continuously. A long time ago they figured out that fish struggling against a fishing line were easy targets. They also discovered that there was very little danger in doing so. How many GGs have you had on that slowly swam back to its home after eating a mangrove snapper? That fish was not alarmed, and frantically swimming for its hole. That fish never even knew it was hooked. Hook into one with tackle that stops him (or her) in their tracks and it is a whole different story. The slowly lumbering beast has realized it is in dire straits and is pulling with all it has got. The

Practically new 2/2 home on an oversized lot with a beautiful pool to relax in. A must see! MLS 490545. $399,900. Contact Olivia Jones of Duffy’s Realty Station, Inc. at (941) 698-1500.

9284 Spring Circle - Enjoy the Florida lifestyle at its best in this Gulf access home. Only one bridge to Charlotte Harbor.Pool area great for entertaining. $579,000 MLS# 470102 Call Kelli Parker or Mark Becton of Duffy's Realty Station Inc. at (941)294-1039, (941)628-6894 or (941)697-1523

MAGAZINE

massive tail sweeps in broad, powerful strokes as the GG points it's head towards it 's home... and the fish finds that it is moving away from it's lair. Soon the commotion has all the resident GGs checking out what is going on. And they are confused. You may think I am giving to much credibility to the "intelligence" of these fish. There are many scuba divers that can attest that GGs know the sound of a spear gun firing means a possible free meal. From experience it seems that they really like to take the fish from the light tackle much more than the heavier rigs. I have heard that a bass will not eat the same lure twice. Is it such a far throw to

November 2005

believe that a saltwater predator can "learn" what is safe to eat and what is not? It seems that while they have remained unmolested they have lost all fear of divers and fisherman. I know that we can not harvest them. But catch and release? That is a different story. Here is a description of how I deal with them. I put the fear back in them! Whenever I am fishing on a spot that I know to have Goliaths, I save a suitable bait, just for them. It is usually half a barracuda or bonito, sometimes it is a live mangrove or large blue runner. Whenever it becomes evident that we are losing fish to Volkswagens, I break out the Hand-line. My Hand-line is a discarded crab-trap line I found offshore one day. I have a 480 pound cable leader that has a LARGE hook crimped on it. Suitable hooks are hard to come by, you get less bites with a GIANT hook, but BIG hooks can sometimes straighten. There is a happy medium. The weight I use is an old school, 5 pound lead dive belt weight. No frills here, just straight up meat fishing. The Goliath Grouper usually make its presence known fairly early by engulfing a nice snapper or grouper that was on its way up. I send down the bait on the handline and when it reaches bottom, I put a loop of line over a cleat as I say "Ok guys! Who's up? Put on some gloves!" Then we go back to catching whatever is hungry at the moment. This creates enough commotion under the boat to draw the hungry groupers nearer to the bait

2 Story 3/3 waterfront home with access to the Gulf. 4 car/boat garage, (1ft above elev. can be converted to living space, dock, front/back porches, tile, wood, carpeting, wood cabinets stainless steel kitchen package. MLS 490891. $469,000. Contact Dennis Johnson of Duffyʼs Realty Station, Inc. at (877) 564-6767 or www.soldbydennis.com

Beautiful new home in South Gulf Cove, bonus room w/a bath upstairs, many upgrades. Available in November, 2005. MLS 490820. $419,900. Contact Martin & Dunagan of Duffyʼs Realty Station, Inc. at (941) 697-3120 or (866) 530-0074.

Beautiful waterfront home in the lovely waterfront community of South Gulf Cove. Many extras and turn key ready. A MUST see. MLS 485862. $575,000. Contact Dennis Johnson of Duffyʼs Realty Station, Inc. at (877) 564-6767 or www.soldbydennis.com

Updated home in sailboat water section of the desirable Gulf Access community of South Gulf Cove. Expansive water views from your home and pool. MLS 491142. $549,900. Call Elizabeth Dubman or Tyrus Hartley of Duffyʼs Realty Station, Inc. at (941) 391-2323 or mailto:lizdubman@gls3c.com


November 2005

intended for them. I like to envision them all swimming over towards struggling fish, their hunger urges growing stronger. As a pack of them makes their way to the melee, they come across a big chunk of meat laying on the bottom. The smell of the oily, bloody meat nugget creates competition amongst the four or five goliaths, and one hungrily devours it before any other fish can. Meanwhile, on the boat, the rope has begun pulling against the cleat, and the single wrap is allowing rope to pay out as the GG swims away with its meal. The appointed hand-line operator gives the rope a mighty yank to drive home the hook. A few relatively easy hand-over-hand hauls are made, as the fish is not yet aware of its predicament. On the bottom, the goliath grouper is surprised and suddenly alarmed that it is being tugged on from its mouth.

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

It booms an alarm to the other fish, and they scatter. The goliath then goes into flight mode. Frantically, it attempts to get its head down and beats its huge round tail in a valiant and powerful effort to reach the recesses of its hole. The huge fish fights in vain, as it is being hauled to the surface by some unseen force. The fish has never felt or experienced anything like this. The goliath grouper's cohorts all watch as this unfolds. They have never seen this happen before. They are all accustomed to eating something and swimming back to the wreck afterward. Back on the boat, the battle has intensified. The first easy hauls of the rope are over. The fish has gone into escape mode, and the line operator has his hands full. The hefty grouper bucks heavily with its wide head and 3/8 rope shoots through the handler's gloved hands. The fish is being brought to the surface, though. Thirty more feet of rope and it will be boatside. A glance over the side and everyone can see the brown, mottled shape growing larger. The valiant struggle has not freed the GG from its tether. It is now exhausted and moving towards the surface. The fish on the bottom watched in confusion as their kinfolk was hoisted out of their sight. They are not paying attention to the fact that snapper and grouper are struggling Please See

Goliath

115 SINCLAIR STREET SE - Port Charlotte Beach area with quick out to Charlotte Harbor from this 3/2 home. Lots of room to add your own pool! Nice tile and new kitchen cabinets and a whole wall of sliders from the family room that really shows off the view - $595,000.

4638 HERMAN CIRCLE - This 2/2 home features a large Florida room across rear that overlooks water a large wooden dock and 10K lift. Only one bridge between you and the open water of Charlotte Harbor! $559,000

24210 HENRY MORGAN BLVD. - Key West style 3-story home located in desirable PIRATE HARBOR with 3 bedrooms including a HUGE master suite on 3rd level and covered parking for 4 vehicles. Concrete dock, boat lift and additional parking for boat or RV. $849,000

2572 BRAZILIA CT. - An oversized, beautifully landscaped lot is the setting for this 3/2 PGI pool home with a widerthan-usual canal and great view! Immaculate home with extras throughout make this sailboat water location the perfect spot for your Florida residence! $925,000

2837 SANCHO PANZA COURT - Only 6 lots between you and the Ponce Inlet - QUICK Harbor access from this sailboat lot. Impressive 3/2/2 home, freshly painted inside & out, large kitchen, and a huge master bedroom with room for office. Oversized dock and lift, spectacular landscaping and \ patio, large screened lanai and pool all for only $749,000

on Page 19 2000 BAL HARBOR BLVD. (UNIT 722) 3BR/2BA second floor condo with deeded dock for access to your salt water playground. Fully tiled interior and many owner upgrades with a single car garage for vehicle or storage. Furnished, too! $379,000

Page 17


Page 18

Water LIFE

October 2005

MAGAZINE

Kayaking on the Upper Myakka River

Paddlers on the Myakka River last month.

By Davi d Al l en Water LIFE Kayaking Myakka River State Park is one of the oldest and largest state parks, and one with an abundance of wildlife, particularly alligators. The park is near Sarasota and is located about 9 miles east of I-75, on State Road 72. The Myakka meanders through a low marsh area, Big Flats Marsh, as it flows south. We arrived at the park a little before 9 a.m. trying to get an early start to avoid the heat of the late morning and early afternoon. We had decided to launch from just east of the park entrance, off Highway 72, close to the ranger station and check-in booth. The launch site is about 200 yards, across a grassy field, from the parking lot, but an easy carry with the help of a friend. As we launched our kayaks and began paddling north through a narrow lead, we saw a number of alligators lounging along the shallows and low riverbanks. We expected to see a lot of alligators on this trip, but its unusual to see them so close to the more active launch area. We just quietly paddled past them, while they either submerged or watched with just eyes and nostrils above the water. The bird life is also very impressive in the park. We saw cormorants, ibis, blue herons, great blue herons, snowy egrets, wood storks, rosette spoonbills, many vultures, and other birds I can’t name ...plus we saw more alligators up and down the river. At various spots along the eastern bank of the river, there are campsites and low riverbanks so you can beach your kayak and stretch your legs. The club considers this an easy paddle, although when the water level is high, the current can make the 3-4 mile paddle pretty challenging. And, at time of

low water, the main channel can be difficult to find as it wanders through the marshy area. Ours was a perfect day for paddling. The Myakka was not too hot or windy, and the current was not too strong against us. As the Myakka flows through the marsh, it meanders from one side of the park to the other. There are many leads that show some flow, but dead end after a few hundred yards. And, yes, we took a couple of the dead ends, and had to reverse course back to the main channel. About three quarters of a mile from the launch we passed under the Park Road bridge and farther beyond, the power lines. The power lines mark the halfway point to the Upper Lake. There is a dam across the river just before you enter the Upper Lake from the south. When the river level is low, you have to beach your kayak or canoe, and portage over/around the dam. We were lucky that the river level covered the dam and we just paddled over to the concession stand for a break and a snack. The overall trip up to the concession stand and back is about 6.5 to 7 miles long, but the trip upstream, against the current, usually takes almost twice as long. The paddle downstream went quickly, and we didn’t take any wrong turn as we had on the earlier leg. So after about an hour of paddling, we were back at the launch site. The alligators we had seen at when launching, were still around, but were out of the main channel now. All in all, it was a beautiful trip and the wildlife had met all our expectations. The Port Charlotte Kay ak ers meet each Wednesday ev ening at 5:30 PM, at Port Charlotte Beach Complex We encourage all paddlers or potential paddles to stop by and see what we are about. For more info call 941-

Major Brand Marine Parts & Fiberglass Supplies www.allfiberglassrepairs.com

S c o t t S t e ff e O w n e r

1 7 2 6 S t e a d l y Av e Punta Gorda

Shop 941- 575-8914 Home 235-2243


Water LIFE MAGAZINE Dock Permits Again Held Up Under the Guise of Manatee Protection November 2005

S t aff R eport Although the requirement has been in force since 2001, it has not been enforced until just recently. According to procedure, permits requested from Charlotte County for marine construction, including docks and seawalls, require an evaluation for impact on manatee protection and an approval by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Up to now this has been a rubber-stamp process, one

Goliath

continued from Page 17 and an occasional head shake foams the water. Everyone on board is stoked. "Son, that is one big 'ol goliath!" "Dude, I thought it was going to pull you over!" Some pictures are taken and an estimate of the weight is made. The hook is removed, or the cable cut, and the fish is released. The big grouper slaps its mighty tail on the surface and it plummets to the bottom. Back on the bottom the fish are all looking at their returned comrade. The tired fish is obviously stressed. They all sense that something is wrong. They are still oblivious to the fact that snapper and grouper are struggling against the same unseen force that affected their friend. Confused and alarmed, the GGs are no longer in a feeding mode. Some old-timers believe that releasing undersize grouper will kill a hot bite. There is another belief that fish that are rocked up and broke off will do the same. My personal belief is that catching a goliath grouper and giving it a trip to the surface does the same thing to their feeding habits. I have done it with the hand-line enough times to come to that conclusion. Many times the snapper bite was going off, and suddenly every other fish was taken by a goliath. I then put out the handline and caught one of their members, and afterward continued to enjoy the hot snapper bite. So instead of lamenting the fact that GGs are eating your fish, tip the scales in your favor. Catch one of them, take some pictures, and let it go. Who knows, if enough of us do it collectively, the Goliath population may change their behavior, and let us reel in our fish! Aaron Sutcliffe fishes with Capt. Trav is Ormond aboard the offshore boat Pelagic out of Stump Pass Marina. You can reach them for a charter at 941374-1669.

local marine contractor told us, but in the last few weeks something has changed. “We are being tied up in paperwork again and we are not able to fulfill contracts we have committed to,” he added. A second major local marine contractor, concurred. Both companies asked their names not be used, for fear it could slow things down even further. County Sea Grant agent Betty Staugler spoke with the county permitting agent and said she thought the new pro-

Page 19

cedure “would not slow things down too much in Port Charlotte, but could significantly impact the Lemon Bay area.” One theory is that a new staffer in county permitting office may be interpreting the rules more stringently than her predecessor. The Army Corps of engineer’s office in Fort Myers has not been answering their phone so there is no official response from them.


Area Real Estate Trends

Page 20

Water LIFE

This is NOT an Advertisement!

Provided by Water LIFE Publisher and Realtor,® Ellen Heller Using information from the Charlotte County Multiple Listing Service

P.G.I.

These homes have all sold in the Punts Gorda Isles section of Punta Gorda, with the exception of one in Burnt Store Lakes. The Isles homes are all on canals, some sailboat some powerboat. The Burnt Store Lakes home is on a lake close to Burnt Store Marina on Charlotte Harbor.

Magnolia Way- A smaller home built in 1984 with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and 1400 square feet of space.It has a wooden dock and a riprap seawall. Because of one fixed bridge it is powerboat access and 20 minutes to the Harbor. In 1999 it sold for $86,500 and again most recently in September for $285,000.

Santa Margerita Lane - Built in 1974, this home has 2,544 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It is on a canal just minutes from the Harbor, with a seawall, dock and 10,000 # boat lift. It also has a solar heated pool. In July of 2002 it sold for $268,000 and most recently in September for $532,000.

MAGAZINE

ON THE LINE Ron Blago

By Capt Ron Bl ago Water LIFE S enior S taff Bay fishing has been pretty good. I've been fishing in my canoe a lot lately just slowly drifting over the grass flats in Lemon Bay. I swear that good fishing is 90% observation. The slower you go the more you see and the better your fishing becomes.

Matares Drive - An older home built in 1970 with a total size of 2,730 sq ft, including non-airconditioned space. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a great canal view. It has close Harbor access, a sea wall, boatlift and huge lanai with pool. In the fall of 2003 it sold for $369,900 and again in August of '05 for $553,000 Via Milanese - Fairly newer home built in 2000 with 2,101 sq ft and 3 bedrooms 2 baths. It is on a canal with a concrete dock, seawall and boat lift. Although it is just minutes to the Harbor because of a fixed bridge it is powerboat access only.Five years ago it sold for $325,000 and this past September for $628,000. Brazilia Court - This 3/2 home was built in 1978 with 2,150 square feet. It was built on a tip lot with a 170ft seawall and a concrete dock. No fixed bridges and very quick sailboat access makes this a very desirable lot. In 1991 it sold for $235,000 and again last month, in October it sold for $890,000. Cedar Rapids Road - Burnt Store Lakes is west of Punta Gorda, situated part way down the Harbor near Burnt Store Marina. This home was built in 2002 with 2,237 sq ft and a great view of the lake and a green belt. In April of 2005 it sold for $430,000. It was back on the market in August and sold in September for $530,000.

I was jigging a deep hole in the middle of a shallow grass flat when I hooked something large. At first I thought it was a sailcat, but it turned out to be a 5-pound plus trout, probably the biggest I have personally caught in Lemon Bay. This was such a beautiful fish I had to let it go. I kept the fish in the water as I removed my jig from the fishes’ mouth while another trout, every bit of 7pounds, waited in the water about three feet away. It's amazing how the fishing in Lemon Bay

November 2005

Fishing with Capt.

keeps getting better. I haven't seen many schools of redfish, but there are plenty of singles to be caught around the mangroves and under docks. Flounder are starting to show up more often on the grassflats, a sure sign of winter. Remember that trout season is closed in November and December.

GROUPER REGS

I'm going to try to clarify the very confusing set of current grouper regulations and I will apologize in advance if I screw up the attempt. Things are changing so fast that you need a daily press release to keep up. First off, we have two sets of rules, state regulations and federal regulations. State waters go out to 9 nautical miles. A nautical mile is a little longer than a mile on land so 9 nautical miles is approximately equal to 10.3 statute miles. This fact will become important if you get stopped with a grouper on board. Anything beyond 9 nautical miles is considered Gulf Federal Waters. In State waters as it stands right now, you are allowed a daily bag limit of five, legal size grouper, of which only two can be

red grouper. There is no closed season in State waters yet. All this may change the end of November when the FWC meets in Key Largo. At that time they will vote on a proposal to drop the state daily bag limit to 3 grouper with only 1 red grouper allowed per day. In Federal waters, the bag limit is already 3 grouper per day with only 1 red grouper allowed. In addition there is a closed season for November and December. This does present a few problems for those who fish in both zones. If you are legal in the federal zone and then go into the State zone your ok; but if you are legal in the state zone and then you go out into the federal zone, you are in trouble. Suppose you catch two nice size red grouper at 7 miles and you decide to go fish for amberjacks on your favorite wreck out at 11 miles and you get stopped by the FFWC? Now you are in big trouble. You violated the federal red grouper bag limit and you might haveviolated the closed season. So its not only important to know where the fish are but it’s really important to know exactly where you are in relation to that 9 nautical mile limit.

2006 POLAR B AY B O AT

up to 6 Passengers

Serving Lunch & Dinner With Captain Scott

941 - 661-3987

F I S H F O R : Ta r p o n , B l a c k t i p Sharks, Snook, Redfish, S n a p p e r, Tr o u t , G r o u p e r OR: CRUISE TO YOUR CHOICE OF D E S T I N AT I O N S I N C L U D I N G : Cayo Costa Cabbage Key Burnt Store Boca Grande Up the Peace River OR Ta k e a S u n s e t C r u i s e T h r o u g h Charlotte Harbor with a nice bottle of wine


Water LIFE

November 2005

Public to Private: Loss of the Waterfront

MAGAZINE

By Capt. Betty Staug l er County, evaluated infrastructure and boating demographics Water LIFE / Sea Grant from the period 1981-1991 in order to make demand proLast month, I received a request from one of our local jection for 2010. The report concluded that by the year marina harbormasters, asking if I could help him hunt down 2010, there would be a need for 5,918 slips/racks (up from some information on the loss of public dock slips in the 2,497 in 1991), and 86 boat ramps lanes (up from 35 in State of Florida. There is not a lot of information on this 1991). The report also evaluated and selected suitable sites subject, but a couple of recent publications were found, the to meet the anticipated boater demands for shoreside faciliresults of which are worth sharing with all of you. ties (Planning for Public Boating Access: A Geographic Publicly accessible marinas, boatyards, and boat ramps Information Systems Approach to Evaluate Site Suitability statewide are being lost to private land uses. This trend is for Future Marinas, Ramps and Docks, Antonini et al., exacerbated by the lack of physical space for new public 1997). Unfortunately, in Charlotte County, many of the access to the water and an increase in registered boaters. sites selected for future shoreside facilities have fallen by In 2003, 978,225 vessels were registered in the State of the wayside, due to the high cost of waterfront land coupled Florida, up 29.5 percent from 1997 and up 51.7 percent with private land use development pressures. from 1987. This does not account for visiting boaters from Current opportunities for financial assistance to proother states, which is estimated at 4.3 million participants. The Miami Herald reported on July 4, 2004, in a story entitled ‘They call it ramp rage’ that Miami-Dade County has more than 50,000 registered boats and 56 ramps at 6 marinas. A day later, the Pal m Beach Po s t published a story entitled ‘Boaters having trouble finding launch access,’ and reported Palm Beach County has 550 parking spaces for the 26,000 boat trailers registered in the county. In 2005, The University of Florida published Public to Priv ate: conv ersions of marinas, boat ramps, and boaty ards in Florida: Strategies to address diminishing The Marina at Fishermenʼs Village in Punta Gorda has sat empty for two years and speculation continues as to its ultimate future use. working waterfronts and waterway access in Florida and concluded: ‘A preliminary estimate of salt water boat ramp facilities indicates an increase from 1,055 in 1998 to 1,075 ramps in mote or preserve working waterfronts for public access 2004, with ramp lanes increasing from 1,328 to 1,373 over include the Waterfronts Florida Partnership Program, the the same period. During the period 1987 to 2004 salt water Florida Boating Improvement program, the Florida marinas decreased statewide from 1,201 to 1,066. While Recreational Development Assistance program, the Land marina slips increased slightly from 49,499 to 50,585, dry and Water Conservation Program, the Boating storage declined from 33,476 to 31,856 over the same peri- Infrastructure Grant Program, and the Florida Communities od (Working Waterfronts, report 2005-122). Trust. In addition, the inland navigation districts (in our One manifestation of the conversion to private use is case the West Coast Inland Navigation District) have the ‘dockominiums’, exclusive dockage for those who can capacity to provide funds to alleviate access pressure by use afford it. For example, in the Jacksonville area, of ad valorem taxes. Harbortown, a converted marina, charges $101,000 for a The University of Florida document identified above, slip that accommodates a 40-foot boat (‘Up the river with- sites several possible options for preserving and increasout a paddle’, The Times-Union, April 5, 2004). ing access. At the State government level: 1) the creation A 1997, Florida Sea Grant report, prepared for Charlotte of a tax deferral program for working waterfronts, and 2)

Page 21

amending the submerged lands statutes to further promote the goal of ensuring submerged lands of the state be used for public assess facilities. At the Local government level: 1) local tax policies could allow ‘Use-value’’ or ‘income-based’ taxation focused on income producing capacity which could prevent ‘mom and pop marinas’ from being forced to sell, 2) comprehensive planning – adding requirements to preserve and enhance public access to the water, and 3) zoning, which can guide, control, and assure water dependent uses of the waterfronts. Waterfront marinas, boatyards, and boat ramps are vital in providing public access to and enjoyment of the coastal

FISHING GUIDES

Light Tackle Fly Fishing

Half or Full Day Charters

Capt. Andrew Medina

A Total Backwater Adventure Snook-Tarpon-Redfish www.bentrods4U.com

(941) 456-1540

Charters

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

Capt Jim OʼBrien

TnT Tailwalkers

Back Bay and Flats Fishing

Captain Jerry Tomas 941/815-1495 Toll Free 877/675-1982 USCG licensed

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

Grey Ghost

FISHING CHARTERS

Capt. Pete Zambuto GreyGhostCharters.com 941-624-3774 cell: 239-633-7065


Water LIFE

Page 22

Screaming Reels with Capt. Andrew Medina

Water LIFE Staff With the arrivals of cold fronts, snook will become the center of attention. With large snook moving into the canals and the river, fishing bridges, docks and spillways can be rewarding this time of year. Now, I put away most of the light tackle I love so dearly and start to change tactics to meet the style and size of the fish I’m after. First, let’s start with that spinning rod, and medium action rod. Believe me when I tell you how useless they are when they’re bent half way under a bridge and there is nothing you can do about it. Second is line. When that 20-pound you swore you could catch anything on is getting spooled off your spinning reel and wrapped around

a maze of pilings, you’re gonna’ say ‘This is what Capt. Andrew was talking about!’ And then SNAP! you lost your shot at a picture-perfect snook. Think about it like offshore fishing. When your fishing offshore, your goal is to pull a grouper or snapper away from the structure. This requires you to turn the fish’s head and forcefully pull the fish upward. Winter time snook fishing is no different. I pretty much use the same tackle I would for offshore fishing. Heavy stout rods, spooled up with 50 or 60-pound test – I prefer Power Pro. This allows you to tighten down the drag and winch the big girl in. My number one bait this time of year

SUNRISE POINTE CONDOMINIUMS on

Manasota Key. Pre-construction prices for deluxe 2 bedroom 2 bath to 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath condos with Gulf and Bay views. These units have 10 foot ceilings, garages, private elevators, large balconies and some boat docks. This complex is directly across the street from Englewood Beach. Prices start in the low 700's. Call Pat today to purchase your unit.

Move into this brand new beautiful Berkshire Model lakefront villa in lovely Oak Forest gated community. This maintenance free villa has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, den and a screened lanai overlooking the tranquil lake. Home has ceramic tile throughout w/Berber carpet in bedrooms, brick paver driveway, fenced yard and many upgrades. Amenities include community pool, tennis courts, bocci ball courts, clubhouse and exercise room. Only 10 minutes to 2 pristine beaches and close to shopping and golf courses. Must see! Only $344,900

Beach & Waterfront Specialist Phone: 941-474-9534 or 800-881-9534 Cell: 941-416-1585

e-mail: patsamuels@englewoodfl.com

MAGAZINE

is the larger handpicked shrimp or finger mullet, which are both plentiful. Finger mullet will require a little work to get, but bait stores like Fishin’ Franks always have plenty of shrimp. Docks and bunkers under bridges will certainly give you a chance at a big snook – these places pretty much always hold fish this time of year. Hook selection is equally important. Circle hooks in a 3 or 4 will work better than a smaller hook and the bigger hooks have thicker shanks that won’t straighten or bend. For artificials, the selection is large, but I stay with traditional lures, Bombers and Yo-Zuri’s in red and white. This color has never let me down. All the new reflective swim-baits on the market work really well too. So get out and try the wee hours of the morning, and see if you too can

November 2005

join the few, the proud, the 20--pound snook club. Happy Snookin’ and just remember to have fun and be safe on the water.

Check out Capt. Andrew Medina on the web at http://www.bentrods4u.com or call


November 2005

Skippinʼ Fish

By Fi shi n’ Frank Water LIFE Port Charlotte Skippin’ fish: by definition, running the boat over the fish and seeing them jump in the wake. Often the fish will actually jump into the boat by mistake. the fish most associated with skipping is pompano, which Charlotte Harbor now has more than its share of, for the first time in years. The west side of the harbor, from Cape Haze north for three miles, has some of the best pompano fishing. Small jigs tipped with shrimp are the method of choice. Small jigs, crappie jigs in fact, under a two-inch poppin cork work. Use a knife to slice the shrimp tail into small pieces; trying to break the shrimp into small pieces with your fingers makes the shrimp too mushy to stay on the jig. White and or yellow have been the best jig colors so far. Finding the fish is, or should be, a two person job. Run your boat along the outside of the sandbar in 4-to 6- feet of

water. The operator needs to watch where the boat is going, the other person watches behind the boat for the fish to pop up. When a fish is spotted, point your finger at the spot and do not look away from the spot. It is very hard to find the same place again if you take your eyes off of it. The operator should then make a wide turn to the open harbor, coming off plane 100 yards out, then slowly idle or preferably trolling-motor back to the fish. Sudden changes in motor noise will definitely spook these fish. Cast the jig and slowly reel it in. It is better not to do a lot of jiggin’ or twitchin’ with the rod. Pompano must be 11-inches and not more than 20inches. The bag limit is 6 per day and 1 fish can be over 20-inches. Skippin’ fish is not limited to pompano. Other fish such as ‘Nile perch’ (tilapia) do the same skipping. I have had them skip into my boat numerous times on the Peace River. Tilapia is a

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

great eating fish, and in fresh water will hit on small lures, minnows, and sometimes worms, but by far the best bait is bread. Tilapia in the river are most often caught with cast nets, since small tilapia make great snook bait. The most interesting fish that I skipped out recently is pacu piranha. The pacu looks similar to a blue gill and has a bright orange lower jaw and front belly tapering to white, with brown on the back. There have been pacu for 15 years here in Port Charlotte, but this is the first time I have seen or even heard of them in the Peace River. Thinking of piranha you think small, but pacu's can get to be over seven pounds. The canals by Peachland and Atwater were the best places to find them, but now they seem to have also moved into the river. All right, let’s take a minute to calm down. Yes they are piranha, no they are not the movie piranha that attack and strip the meat from the bones of unsuspecting swimmers. Even the true piranha do not do that ... except in the movies. These non-native fish are not one of the doomsday fish that are going to wreck the environment. They came in from an aquarium, I would suspect, and have co-existed here with other fish quite well. They are a good eating fish and fight well on light tackle. Pacu bite on most anything from pieces of shrimp, to minnows, to small spinners. A few have been caught at the I-75 bridge so maybe we will soon add them to the game fish of Charlotte County. Look what oscars did for the everglades. Maybe the bigger pacu will eat some of the millions of non-native catfish we now have.

Page 23

Scuttle Butt Sometimes Unsubstanciated ... but often true!

Shark Tourney Postponed Yet another JM Productions/ESPN2 event was knocked out by a hurricane. The Mad Fin Shark Tournament has been moved to March 1-4 because of Wilma.

Frank Snook Snook season closes Dec 15, the same day as Fishinʼ Franks Birthday

Ripped Into and Off Burgulars dropped in through the ceiling at Ingman Marine, disabled the alarm and took the video tape along with a truckload of outboards. To make matters worse they used the dealershipʼs fork lift to load out the motors.

Tiny Mussels A friend alerted us to the fact that tiny mussels have become more prevelant in Charlotte Harbor lately and a second boat owner who keeps his vessel at Placida has told us he has seen them there as well. The little bi-valve mollusks have been attaching themselves to the more protected areaʼs of boat bottoms, clustering in the ʻpocketʼ and between the trim tabs and the hull. Mote Marine tells us they are Mytilopsis leucophaeata or Conradʼs False Mussel. “We appreciate being kept abreast of these things as they crop up,” Mote said.

Placida Deep Sea Fishing

Frank can be reached at Fishin’

Roomy, Comfortable and Dry

Are you ready for some fun? Our new ʻSummertime Hoursʼ Offer Something for Everyone.

7am -1pm, Wednesday ... $39.00 + tax 7:45am -4 pm, Thursday ... $42.00 + tax 7 am -1 pm, Friday ... $39.00 + tax Friday, nite fishing ... $42.00 + tax 7 am -5 pm, Saturday ... $50.00 + tax 3 pm - 9 pm, Sunday-nite sunset fishing $39.00 + tax

Placida Deep Sea Fishing 941-698-6999 Call for reservations

Spacious, Comfortable, Let the Placida Queen Be Your Destination For summer fishing fun! Ask about our Private Charters on the 26‚ Boston Whaler. Offshore, Near Shore, For up to 4 People


BUILDING This New House Part 6

Water LIFE

Page 24

By Mi chael Hel l er Water LIFE Editor Jason from Universal Testing in Punta Gorda prodded around with a bent piece of re-bar, leveraging his whole body weight on it at various spots in the dirt. Then, when it wouldn’t penetrate, he deemed our dirt ready for the compaction test. Not much science there. It had rained for several days before. “All the slabs I tested so far this week had standing water on them,” Jason said. “I’m surprised yours is dry.” Jason dug a small hole and then got out a hammer-cup that he pounded down into the dirt, coming up with a soup-can-sized sample from six inches down. He took the sample back to his truck, weighed it and removed a small amount. That dirt went into a coffee-can sized canister with a gauge on one end and two lead balls inside. Some reagent chemical was added and then the whole thing was shaken like a margarita until the gauge registered the moisture in the soil. When we passed the test, Jason issued us a green sticker that went on our building permit. I called our plumber immediately. Jack Giuliano is our plumber. Jack is from Englewood and a

partner in the H20 plumbing company. Jack of course is a fisherman, but like many tradesmen who love to fish Jack hasn’t been on the water in a while. “It’s crazy how much work there is,” Jack noted. Jack and I had been coordinating the start of our plumbing project for weeks and Jack showed up on schedule Friday with his two laborers, Jesse and Kyle. The first thing that happens after you have your nice hard dirt all compacted and you call the plumbers is that the plumber digs it all up. Jack laid out the main waste lines, calculated the pipe sizes and fall, and started cutting

PVC. Four-inch pipe makes up the main run, three inch runs from the washing machine and kitchen and the pipes from the upstairs. Once the drainage was

done they went back and laid in the water lines using a different grade of PVC and a special glue for drinking water and hot water lines. All had gone smoothly to this point. And then I looked at the weather. It was nice in Port Charlotte but down in the tropics there was a depression forming. It was Wilma. We went into ‘emergency mode’ immediately. If we didn’t get the concrete slab poured before Wilma came we’d be screwed. I called my friend and concrete man, John Bunch and we talked over the options. We were shooting for pouring concrete in a week or so, but now we had to move it up. The thing I like about John (aside from his excellent concrete work) is that he’s a do-it-when-he says -he-will kind of guy. If John says he’ll be over at 2:30 you can set your watch by it. “I’ve got a driveway scheduled for Thursday,” John said, “20-plus yards. Let me see what I can do. I’ll be over on Wednesday to get started.” I told Jack of our plan that afternoon and Jack said he’d have his plumbing done and ready to inspect on Monday. That sounded good. Jack had a soccer game to coach on Saturday but like the

professional that he also is, Jack and his guys came back Sunday morning to finish up and by Monday we were ready for a plumbing inspection. Meanwhile, out in the Gulf, Wilma was now a hurricane and moving closer.

MAGAZINE

PLUMBING & THE SLAB

Monday came and went and the plumbing inspector did not. The county inspectors are busy, and plumbing inspections can be ‘next day’ or the ‘following day’ the lady in permitting told me. We needed plywood to form the slab edges. There was none available in Port Charlotte or Punta Gorda, so that night my wife and I ran

down to Home Depot in Cape Coral to pick some up. We’ll use that same material later to form the tie-beam atop the block walls. We came back and immediately cut the 4x8 boards in half under the lights. The steel and wire mesh arrived along with two rolls of plastic ‘Visqueen’ sheeting (which has to be put on top of the dirt as a moisture barrier) the next morning. At 1:30 on Tuesday the plumbing inspector showed up and approved our pipe work. Wilma was a Cat 1 storm and headed towards the Yucatan, but the forecasts said it would turn east. John and his guys (Bubba and Ernesto) showed up on schedule and started to get the materials ready. They cut the wire mesh into manageable lengths and stockpiled it alongside the slab. Then they backfilled the plumber’s ditches (the pipes remain uncovered until they are inspected) and I called in Sosh from SOS Pest Control to spray the dirt with a heavy dose of subterranean termite juice as required by the building code. Sosh put a pink sticker on our permit and we called in the slab for inspection. John and his guys worked late Tuesday afternoon getting the

November 2005

IN THE SHADOW OF

WILMA

mostly about the hurricane. “It looks like you know what you are doing,” the inspector said and he signed off on our slab inspection. I called John immediately and he released the concrete for 9 a.m the next morning. John, who had spent most of the day before forming up the

“You’d be surprised how many builders just leave that mesh lying on the plastic,” the pump guy commented. When the concrete was all in place, we lifted the whirly-bird up onto the slab and Bubba took over. The whirly bird, as it’s called, is a four-bladed gas-powered circular trowel. It looks like an upside down helicopter. You walk it around like a floor polisher and it spins on the concrete to make a soothe fine finish. Bubba is a master at operating this machine. By 4 p.m. Thursday we had a beautiful, flat, smooth and shiny slab. One by one, John pulled the forms off the steps and our entry way looked spectacular. I can’t say enough good things about the quality of John and Bubba’s concrete work. I watered the slab down with a hose late that afternoon and then, when I couldn’t sleep at 3 a.m., I got up and drove over to the new house and put the hose on it again. The wetter you keep fresh concrete the harder it gets. The next morning I watered it again and again. Then early in the afternoon John came back with his cement saw to cut in the expansion joints. Wilma had stalled on Cozumel, so I set about securing the boat and the other things around the job site and kept watering the slab. Friday afternoon I called about our framing lumber package and found the price had gone up again in the last two weeks. “Concrete will be going up 16-percent in

front steps worked meticulously to make it all come together. We poured the lower steps first then moved to the back of the slab and started pouring concrete towards the front. John and Bubba worked the long ‘screed’ keeping the floor level, while Erenesto kept the edges smooth. I worked with the pump guy using my hammer claw to grab the wire mesh and pull it up into the middle of the concrete.

January,” John told me and both drywall and plywood will be out of sight since the two biggest plants in the nation were outside New Orleans. Our thanks to all the guys who are helping make it happen. “Just run our pictures big and in color,” Bubba asked. So here you go, Bubba, and thanks again! By next month, we could be laying up the cement block.

steel re-bar in around the perimeter and wire mesh in place. Then my friend Greg Medina came over at 4:30 after work and Gregg, my wife and I snapped a line around the stem wall and got out the tnailer to hang the form boards. By dark on Tuesday we had all the big boards in place and went home to rest. Wednesday morning I got up at 5:00 and turned on the TV. Wilma was suddenly a Cat 5 storm! I worked by myself all morning filling in the last pieces of the edge forms and tying up the steel on the concrete deck outside of the kitchen. At 11:30 the inspector came and took the plans and permit card out of the box. We walked around the slab talking


Water LIFE

November 2005

Price Reduced

WHY WAIT TO BUILD!! Two beautiful BRAND NEW 3 BR plus a den (or 4th BR), 2-bath homes, ready to move into. The 1st thing you will notice as you enter through the etched glass double doors is the elegance of these 1974 sq. ft. homes. From the beautiful porcelain tile floors throughout, except BRʼs, to the Sylestone counters & wood cabinets, to the bull nose corners, arched entryways, and the tray ceilings, no expense has been spared to build a home of real quality. Also features an oversized garage & a deep well irrigation system w/Floratam sod. MLS # 485276 & 485277, Reduced to $339,900/ea., call Gerry or Heather Gilbert

Nice and neat pool home in great area near Kings Hwy and Tamiami Trail off Olean. 3/3/2 with 1696 sq ft. Built in 1982. Home in move in condition. Has large patio on front of home. Screened entrance, with mirrored foyer, living and dining combo, plus family room, Newer berber carpet and new paint in and out. Newer hurricane code garage door. New screen on pool cage, very little damage from hurricane. Bay window in master bedrm., fam. Rm. And 2nd bedrm. Newer diamond brite and the list goes on. A must see. MLS# 480644 $264,900, call Ellen

Saltwater Canal Home

3/2/2, 1621 sq. ft. built in 2003. Home shows like brand new. Just move in! Living, dining, & fam. rm., storm shutters, storage shed, fenced yard, 20 min. to Harbor 1 bridge, MLS# 600193 Reduced to $439,500, call Ellen.

Bar For Sale!!!! Looking for a great business adventure!! Great location, high traffic area, profitable for over 5 years, building on acre of land - on WATER. Liquor license included. $1,950,000. Call Ellen or Gerry

HARBOR ACCESS

Saltwater canal with concrete seawall and 10x20 dock new as of 2002. Cleared lot ready to build on. View of island behind home for privacy and it is only 15 minutes to the harbor. You don't want to miss this one, best price in area. MLS# 473223. $369,900 Call Ellen Today!

Saltwater Villa in Emerald Pointe

3/3/2, built in 1978 with 2691 sq ft. Completely remodeled, new roof, paint, hardwood floors, white tile flooring, corian countertops, whitewood countertops, and so much more!! Donʼt miss out on this one MLS #608778 $649,900, Call Ellen today

Page 25

MAGAZINE

South Gulf Cove Saltwater pool home, with 6,000 lb boat lift and Veranda‰ dock. A Boaterʼs delight. From the soaring vaulted ceiling, itʼs cozy eat in kitchen with corian countertops, wood cabinets, huge 19x21 great room, open floor plan, beautifully landscaped, you‚ll love this one. MLS# 603783 $625,000 Call Gerry or Heather Gilbert

SAILBOAT CANAL POOL/SPA HOME, near Grassy pointe with all the whistles and bells. Tile roof, beautifully landscaped, totally renovated, 2 fireplaces. 3/2/2 with 2,197 sq ft. Expansive great room plan w/cherry cabinetry and a Viking appl. kitchen to die for with and granite countertops. Master br opens to lanai w/sitting area and fireplace. A MUST SEE. MLS# 602504 $750,000 call Meg or Gerry

Price Reduced

Condo at Beautiful Riverwood Golf Community Grand Vista, great first floor end unit, 2 BR plus den or 3rd BR, 2 baths, 2-car garage, 1594 sq. ft. built 2003, tile floors except BRʼs, upgraded with volume ceilings, trays, crown molding, décor painting, quiet preserve and golf course view, enjoy huge heated pool at clubhouse, activity center, fitness room, spa, tennis, restaurant, & more! MLS #485697, Reduced to $329,900. Call Ellen today!

PCH Home. 2/2/1.5 on oversized corner lot with a 6ft privacy fence. Home has 1176 sq ft built in 1981, Plenty of room for a pool, kitchen has breakfast bat, large lanai, all rooms are nice size. Come check it out for yourself!!! MLS # 606072 $199,900 Call Ellen today!

PCH home on saltwater canal. PRICED RIGHT!!! 3/1.5/1.5 with 1044 sq ft built in 1959. Great investment property with potential, Living and family room, new roof, paint inside, and kitchen countertops tiled. This one won‚t last long!!! MLS # 606229 $339,900 Call Ellen.

Beautiful home in PC. 3/2/2 built in 1991 with 2109 sq ft. Completely remodeled, New roof, garage door, drywall, insulation, interior doors, plumbing fixtures, paint, ceiling fans, carpet and more. 4 walk in closets, updated kitchen, updated baths and all new appliances. This is a must see!!! MLS# 607699 $299,900 Call Ellen.

Price Reduced

Sailboat, seawalled, beach complex area, end lot will million dollar view down canal. Just minutes to the Harbor. Oversized lot to build a large home and pool. Approx. 110x125, Water and sewer. Take a morning walk to the beach complex and watch the boaters going out to fish. What a great area to live in. MLS# 480740 Reduced to $579,900 Call Ellen

3/2/2 pool home, 1908 sq. ft. built 1994, very quiet street w/few homes for privacy, home features living, dining, & family room, kitchen has breakfast bar & nook, plant shelves throughout, pool bath, sliders from living rm., master BR & breakfast area, screened entry & garage, cathedral ceilings, skylight, oversized laundry, MLS# 600194 $299,900, call Scott Jacobs, 235-5648.


Sneaky Snook

Water LIFE

Page 26

By Capt. Chuck Ei chner Water LIFE Inshore Editor The magical redfish has a way of claiming all the limelight throughout the summer months. From tournaments to schooling redfish this is all the shallow water anglers seem to think about. Myself, on the other hand never stop thinking about the snook. It is god’s perfect gamefish, with terrific speed, acrobatic leaps and a voracious appetite – this fish is definitely an eating machine. Just take a look at its mouth – few other gamefish for their size have a maw on them like the snook, other than perhaps the largemouth bass. Over the summer months they have been a little scarce around the backcountry. During the warmer months, the two big reasons are that many fish hang out on the beaches and near offshore while many other snook satisfy themselves by munching on the abundance of baitfish in the harbor and don’t have a need to chase a bait or lure with hooks in it. November is an excellent month for snook. In my book, it is really the last month for snook until March because come December catches will become very sporadic. What drive’s the changes in availability are simply the seasonal swings of nature. The magnificent October harvest moons and evening sunsets are a strong indicator of the shortening daylight, cooling water temperatures and approaching winter months. The cooler water drives the baitfish from the harbor and makes the snook more willing to bite. It’s a simple rule of supply and demand.

With fewer baitfish around, the snook become less selective and more aggressive in ‘feeding-up’ for the winter months ahead. Snook need to fatten up for winter so now is the time to go snook fishin! With water temperatures still warm and less baitfish around, I find that their summer beach habits give way to a slow migration towards the warmer and fresher tributaries of the harbor. Along the way, there are plenty of stopping points at which some snook will stay the winter. Pine Island Sound, Gasparilla Sound, Bull Bay and Turtle Bay are huge mangrove estuaries that seem to attract snook in November. Generally, they will relate to many of the same places that they did in the Spring. For the catching part of this sport, rarely does anything beat the local baitfish, however this month does shine for artificials. The quickest way to a burning drag is with a livewell full of pilchards. Start your day catching bait by chumming in the grass beds with a fishy mixture and throwing a castnet on them. Finding the bait might be the toughest part of the day but it will be worth it. Prior to your trip, pick the highest tides of the day to fish and have your livewell full, long before high tide. You will notice that the tide stages will be a little less than in prior months, which is also a seasonal change that comes with fall and winter. Add to that an occasional strong northeasterly breeze and you may not get a high tide on that day. My approach to snook fishing is to very, very slowly work the shorelines allowing the wind to quietly drift the boat

By Bi l l Di xon Water LIFE Sailing Strictly Sail, St Pete, will be even bigger and better than ever this year. It will be held November 3 thru 6 at "SPA Beach," along the causeway out to the restaurants in downtown St Pete. Ed Benson, local boat dealer and broker is cochair of the event along with Southwest

Florida's most famous sailor Charlie Morgan. For a $100 donation to All Children's Hospital, you can crew on a Sonar with Charlie, Ted Irwin or other celebs in the "Master under Sail" regatta on Friday afternoon, sponsored by Ronstan. For a $50 donation you can hang out with the celebs for cocktails and an auction at St Pete Y.C. on Friday

Dine on the dock ~ Million $$ View!

Boaters Welcome

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

Friday Fish Fry 5 – 9 pm

Live Entertainment

Live entertainment every weekend www.bertsbar.com

Dock Party every Sunday 3-7

4271 Pine Island Rd.

282-3232

MAGAZINE

November 2005

Moonlight Charters weighed in the big snook in the Flatsmasters Tournament at 10.6 pounds

along as we cast pilchards to the bank. This way you cover water until you find a school. Snook will be found in little ‘attack packs,’ just like hungry wolves, so be ready to drop the anchor when the first fish is hooked. Then, pitch a few freebies into the water and see what develops. As you work shorelines, adjust your position with the trolling motor or a push pole to keep your boat well off the bank. Many times the fish will be just on the outside of the mangroves so you want to cast the outsides before flicking well under the bushes. Different days will find the fish staged in different proximity to the bushes. As for tackle, keep it simple. Ten pound test monofilament with a 30-pound leader of 12 inches with a 2/0 hook is about all you need. Reduce your hook size if the baits are small. Water clarity will vary this night. On Saturday, you can sail your decorated boat in the "Mother Tubber Re-Gretta" for a top prize of 25 cases of Heineken. On Sunday there will be a Boat Builders Poker Run. Some of the other prizes available include a Catalina 22 donated by Catalina Yachts and a "Big Fish "donated by Island Packet. And, oh yeah, there is also a sailboat show. Weekday adult tickets $10, weekend adult tickets $12, children under 15 free with paid adult. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except 5 p.m. on Sunday. Thursday is Punta Gorda Sailing Club Day with dinner later at the Dish Restaurant. Contact Bob/Mary Anderson 505-8933. Dennis and Brenda Peck and I will be there sailing Martin 16's in America's Disabled/Open Regatta November 4 thru 7. Organized by the St Pete Yacht Club. This is an annual event using 3 classes of boats sailed by 1, 2, or 3 sailors either disabled or not. The single handers sail 2.4 meter keel boats, and the crews of 3 sail sonar's. Martin

time of year, but closer to the end of November the waters will become super clear. Fish see a lot better than you think and there will be days when clear mono will outfish the braided lines. The only problem is, if you fish only braided line and the fish don’t bite, then you won’t know that it was because of the line. The good news for snook fishing this time of year is that, you will also be fishing for trout, redfish, flounder, tarpon and jack crevalle. They will be hanging in the same places and can make for just a remarkable day on Charlotte Harbor. Be kind to your fish and release them gently and you will be rewarded on the next trip. Capt. Chuck Eichner is a local charter captain. For information or to book a guided fishing trip call 941-505-0003 or go to his web-

16's can be sailed by one or two according to M-16 class rules, but they are the double handed boat of choice for disabled sailors. I was at this event 2 years ago helping Dennis set up boats and I choked up at the stacks of prostheses and wheel chairs left dockside when these racers put to sea. This year I will get to compete as Dennis' friend Woody can't be there and has graciously loaned me his boat. Check out www.sailingformiracles.org for details. Bill Dixon can be reached at


November 2005

Water LIFE

Page 27

MAGAZINE

4/3/2 on 2 lots in Port Charlotte includes separate in-law suite with kitchen, living room, dining

This Burnt Store Isles 2001 custom built home boasts almost 2500 s/f under air with

area, bath, lanai entrance. Approximately 3000 sf under air built in 1979, living, dining, family rm., small office, laundry room, island kitchen w/breakfast bar, huge lanai, new roof, gutters, fascia, soffit, outside painting, A/C. Lots of closets and storage, garage with screen & A/C, workshop 16x24, security system, RV parking. MLS #601695 - $425,000. To view this unique property, call Lori Amaral at 941-626-9259.

3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2-car garage on a wide basin, sailboat canal only minutes to Charlotte Harbor. Cool off in the pool overlooking your private mangrove view. Ugrades throughout. 30 ft. concrete dock, 10,000 lb. lift, and professionally landscaped. $950,000, MLS #487097 Call John Del Sasso (941) 726-6539

WAT E R WAY

BOAT LIFT COVERS

PROTECT YOUR BOAT FROM NATUREʼS MOST DAMAGING ELEMENTS

CUSTOM BUILT TO YOUR BOAT LIFT

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

941 - 505-0237

toll free 877-201-3606

www.waterwayboatliftcovers.com


Water LIFE

Page 28

November 2005

MAGAZINE

The Water Water LIFE Distributorʼs Club 1595 McCall Rd (cr 776-771)

697-1556

625-0200

4265 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte 941•625•2700

Next Door to Laishley Marine

4200 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte 625-5002

1360 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte

Reopening Soon!

For All Your Fishing Strato Net and Boating Needs! is our local Water LIFE

Reopening Soon!

Internet Service Provider

Visit us at: 4265 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, FL 33952 941•625•2700 westmarine.com

excellent rates, excellent service, no waiting

1720 So. McCall Road, Englewood 941•473-2070 Punta Gorda Port Charlotte Englewood Northport

Teds Food Mart

Shell Gas Stations Gasoline

We Sell KEGS of BEER Open every day 5:30 am to 10 pm

Cigarettes & Groceries

Boarʼs Head Deli BLOCK & BAG ICE

22700 Bayshore Rd, Port Charlotte 941- 627-1309

Cooks Sportland

4419 So. Tamiami Trail S. Venice 493-0025

Water LIFE is NOT affiliated with any newspaper or other publication.

1338 Del PradoBlvd. So Cape Coral (239) 573-6455

Bonita Springs/Naples Englewood

For Al and Bo

Visit us 4265 Ta Port Ch 941•625 westma


November 2005

Water LIFE

Fro m the Har bor to the Mountains

S t aff R eport Will Frohlich graduated from Charlotte High School in 2000 and went on to Elon University in North Carolina. As a business student and an avid fisherman taking a job with Orvis right out of college seemed perfect. “I packed up my truck, took my yellow lab, Hailey and we headed out west.” Frohlich, son of local attorney Cort Frohlich, went straight to Jackson Hole Wyoming at the base of the Grand Tetons and along with his job at Orvis, (the fly rod people) he signed on with World Cast, a charter fishing company that caters to high end anglers in locations worldwide. “Before you can guide for them you have to go through their program and learn, not only how they want you to guide, but how how they expect you to teach. It’s almost all fly fishing,” Will said. Will has fished a number of their worldwide locations, but likes Montana best. “My saltwater background, growing up on Charlotte Harbor was very helpful. Knowing tides, the moon phases, and the kind of habitats where fish are found gives me an edge, even in the cold waters of the Snake and Salmon Rivers. I grew up fishing with Roger Harris and the Morris brothers here and I give my dad credit for teaching me how to fish and to learn about the environment.” Will’s uncle is Kip Frohlich, the man in charge of the manatee program for the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation commission. “We have some interesting conversations around the dinner table when we all get

together,” Will said. Will runs 66 trips during the short 4month season in the Montana mountains and then he moves on, but Montana is clearly where his heart is. “Fishing for cutthroat is my passion,” Will said. “It’s all visual, you just watch the trout hit the fly. There is nothing like it.” His face lights up as he describes it. “It really is an art form,” he says. Trips cost $500 for a full day or $325 for a half day, Among World Cast’s clients is the Vice President, Dick Cheney. “ I haven’t had him in my boat yet, but I go along on the trips, usually paddling one of the secret service men down the river ahead of the VP. You don’t really know when he’s coming, We just get a phone call the night before for a reservation under another name ... but around town the word is out when his plane is at the airport.” There is no fishing for Will on those trips. “We don’t even talk. I’m strictly paddling the ‘guns’” Will said. “It’s all business, them watching out for the VP and me navigating the river. We just can’t loose sight of the VP’s boat.” Will paddles a 16-foot high sides Clacketcraft on the river. “The boat has a small electric motor but we don’t use it much,” he said. Bugs are a big part of every trip. “There are lots of bugs on the river. If there are no bugs there are no fish,” Will said. He extols the virtues of Buzz Off clothes – the ones with insect repellent in the fabric. “A lot of our clients are corporate peo-

MAGAZINE

ple. Some are really accomplished anglers and others just saw the movie A River Runs Through It and they don’t have a clue about fishing. I have to teach them from scratch and if we catch one fish all day they are happy.” Will says they break a lot of rods in a season Rods are 5 weight fly rods with a 9foot 5x leader and wf/w floating line. The fly is often a size 22 zebra midge on a 1/4 inch size hook. “Drifting in the current, working the fly to the fish, keeping the boat positioned on a river where there are only four commercial guides allowed each day makes for a spectacular experience,” Will says. Will talks passionately about the wildlife, about birds and moose and about the big cutthroat trout he has caught. “When I am here in Charlotte Harbor, locally, I like tarpon and snook and redfish fishing, but I can’t stand speckled trout,” Will says. Last month Will was in Florida visiting his family. The season in Montana is June, July, August and September. “I’m going up to Oregon to do some salmon fishing now. My girlfriend is a vetinary student there. I’m not ready to jump into the corporate setting just yet.”

Page 29

Will, in Punta Gorda and in the mountains


Page 30

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

November 2005

Novemberʼs Fishing Forecast

Charlotte Harbor

Ro bert at Fi s hi n' Franks Po rt Charl o tte: 6 2 5 -3 8 8 8

S nook in the canals really fired up when the cold weather came in. It really got the fish thinking about building up their fat reserves. Very few snook are left out on the beaches. They are moving into Bull and Turtle Bay. The snook are filing up into the harbor for the winter and moving up the river now. The mouths of the canals are staging points for the fish throughout this whole month. Every day, the fish are getting farther and farther back. One technique for finding them is to slow-troll a Bomber or a

Yo-Zuri crystal minnow. I don’t believe in color as much a confidence when it comes to catching fish. The colors seem to change from day to day as the water clarity changes, but generally the darker colors work best. Trolling works best because the fish are bunched up in numbers, so when you hit one you can go back to that spot and pick up another one. Then, you can either drag the Bomber back or fan-cast a bait like a live shrimp or an artificial on a little jig. Pinfish will work too, but they are becoming hard to get this time of year. This will be the last month for finding big decent sized redfi sh before co nti nued o n the fo l l o w-

Amateur paleontologist Ollie Tipton shows off some gigantic sharks teeth he found last month off Bermont Road


November 2005

Fishing Report Continued from facing page

BIG-4 BIG-4

Water LIFE

MAGAZINE

Novemberʼs Novemberʼs Target Target Species Species

little rat-reds move in. Their usual haunts are anywhere in the harbor, or out on the flats and the majority of these fish will be hanging close to the deeper drop offs on the KINGFISH are moving south SNOOK are moving up the TROUT are waking up to COBIA are big and offshore outside of the bar or inside near from St. Pete right now harbor and into the canals the cooler water temps the deeper channels. Topwaters are a real good lure this time of year yesterday. They got a pretty decent haul the week for redfish. Stick with the small ones like the TopLemon Bay but since the storm their traps have been before, Pups, Zara Spook juniors and the Zippin-Ziggy Ji m at Fi shermen’s Edge moved around so this week it wasn’t that great. that’s a particularly good lure and it usually works Engl ewood: 697-7595 One guy said he still thought it was going to be on many different species of fish. There are really big schools of redfi sh in Lemon a good season. Bl ue crabs are pretty good too. This month you’ll pick up a lot of trout which Bay and in the Gasparilla Sound area. It’s been pretCrabbing in general is pretty good this year. are catch and release only this month. Now, you ty good lately. I went out the week before the storm have to be very delicate and release the fish while and we just wrecked ‘em on topwaters – really big it’s still in the water. Another good species now, is trout in the 25 inch range, redfish in the 7.5 pound Stump Pass & the Gulf Aaron at S tump Pass Mari na sheepshead. The little fish are here already and some range and a mess of big snook. We fished from 7 697-2206 guys fishing the near-shore reefs are reporting fish to 12:30 and it was a banner day. We only saw one Out 51 miles, we got our limit of mangs up to 8-pounds staging-up, ready to move into the boat that day up in Whidden Creek. I don’t know and yel l owtai l plus we had a couple of 35 harbor and Placida and Lemon Bay. They will be why there were so few boats, but in the last few pound ki ngs and one bl ackfi n tuna. We saw a here the rest of the winter and are a great species for days I’ve seen a lot more people in the store, comlot of sardi nes and bl ue runners in 65 feet of shore fishermen. When they first show up, the best ing in for licenses. It’s picking up now. Guys are water and it looked like there were some kings bait is sand fleas and yes, there are a whole bunch catching a lot of sheepshead around the neighboron them. We’ve seen S pani sh off the beach, of sand fleas on the beaches this year. In addition to hood. For sheepshead and pompano there are some and inshore the trout have been firing up good the sheepshead you’ll catch the pompano which sand fleas on the beach. There are some pompano north of the Tom Adams bridge. There are lots of are around the beaches and placida now. November around. I’ve had a few guys skipping pompano in snook and reds at the mouths of the creeks and is when they usually show but they have been here the back country around Gasparilla and Boca Grande the sheepshead have been really good around for a month already. and there are some down inside of Captiva Pass the docks, the trestle and the bridge. Fl ounder should start showing up along the now too. beaches, usually when the sheepshead show up. The There are snapper in the pass and S pani sh flounder are not too far behind them. They will eat mackerel too. A friend in St. Pete says they the sand fleas too, but they also love shrimp and are catching ki ngs off Clearwater beach now, small-small pinfish or strips of squid, slowly so we should see them here soon. Some guys dragged along the bottom out in the surf. The bighere have gone out 40 miles and say they were ger flounder will be on the outside edges of the near into the kings there, coming down the coast shore reefs. Fan-cast the bottom around there and from up north. Big cobia are around. I’ve had you’re liable to pick up one of those New Jerseyguys catching cobi a coming through the area sized doormat flounder. I’ve seen flounder to 9 or 10 as well. Some of tell of lost fish, but the fish pounds caught off those reefs and wrecks, and every are here. year it’s right around the same time ... right after I’ve talked to a number of guys who have told the first few cold snaps. me they were catching tri pl e tai l around the S pani sh mackerel are around now. The storm crab pots – pretty good size fish in the 10 to pushed them offshore, away from the beaches, but 12 pound range. That’s pretty good size for a they are starting to migrate back in now. Sight tripletail. Last month Capt. Steve Skevington of the casting with a spoon is most productive. The stone crabs guys I know pulled their traps Kingfisher Fleet put his guys on some AJs and the

CALENDAR Powered by

December

CCA

date to be announced

Annual Fishing Symposium

Rescheduled due to Wilma Boating, fishing and conservation displays Capts. Jerry Cleffi and Dan Cambern will hold seminars on inshore and offshore fishing.Port Charlotte Cultural center. Free. Contact Bob Meyer 629-7112

n November 5 Chevrolet/IGFAʼs free Kids Fishing Clinic at Mote Aquaculture Park, Sarasota 10 a.m. Educational and fun clinics for boys and girls 16years and younger, each accompanied by an adult. Pre-register via the IGFA web site or by phone to Peter Gaube at 954-927-2628.

n November 8 Flatsmasters 2005 Tournament 5:30 p.m. on SunSports TV

n November 10 -13 33rd Annual Fort Myers Boat

OF

EVENTS

Show at Riverfront Park.

n November 11 Flatsmasters 2005 Tournament 12:30 p.m. on SunSports TV

n November 16 Fishing Seminar 6:30 p.m. Laishley Marine, Punta Gorda

n November 18 Flatsmasters 2005 Tournament 12:30 p.m. on SunSports TV

big cobia shown on the front page.

n November 20 Flatsmasters Tournament 3 a.m. on

SunSports TV

n December 2 REDstart REDFISH workshop for all our past, present and future recruits that have (or want to) work at the facility on Sanibel Island. Florida Gulf Coast University, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. All things related to fish, Bob Wasno 239-461-7518

n December 9-10 Fishing Expo at West Marine, Port Charlotte. 4-7 p.m. on the 9th, and from 10-3 p.m. on the 10th

Send us your event calendar information via e-mail: Waterlife@comcast.net

Page 31

Fishing

excellent! RIGHT NOW:


Water LIFE Nov 2005  

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

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you