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Angling access rights under fire

By Staff | Jun 24, 2016

Capt. George Tunison

Between summer’s dark brown water and Lake O discharges it’s a wonder fish can see to eat.

Fortunately, nature provided fish a lateral line to sense vibrations and good noses to find skip-casted ladyfish chunks like a couple of over-slot redfish did this past week. (Fishing within sight of Captiva Pass around docks and mangroves with frozen shrimp left over from spring and one-inch ladyfish slices.)

Not so sure if the fish, animals, the environment or we can survive long term the poisons being introduced into our eco system from the Big O. Yet the politicians posture and promise, time goes by and nothing gets done. The Fed sugar subsidies continue to flow from Washington (from both parties) and still the water doesn’t flow south as needed and intended. Americans, especially Floridians, continue to pay a higher price for sugar in more ways than one.

Huge closures proposed to prime flats fishing in Biscayne Bay. For offshore anglers the newest large scale attack on family recreational fishing comes with talk of closing basically the southeastern coast of Florida to offshore reef fishing.

That’s right, reefs from Key Biscayne north to Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach. All the way north to Stuart possibly could be off limits to the angling public. These are extremely popular and productive reefs that are shown to be thriving with marine life despite recreational pressure.

Not only is the angling public shut out, but the damage to those economies will be in the multi-millions annually. Gas, food, lodging, tackle, bait, marine repair, and tons of other business revenue wiped out.

Most people shake their heads and ignore it. Don’t think it could happen? Don’t think it could happen on our side with huge areas of flats or near shore reefs closed? It can.

In many cases these rules denying the taxpaying public access often are made by unelected officials that often have ties to the commercial fishing industry. (Follow the money.)

Some accuse me of wearing tin foil over my head, but one thing is for sure, there are thousands of folks working 24/7 to take away your fishing, hunting and access to both rights, and your individual gun ownership rights.

For the millions of hunters, anglers and gun owners across this nation this next election, with the winner able to stack the Supreme Court in their political favor, could be very bad news for the Second Amendment, all gun owners, and access to public lands and waters for anglers and hunters.

Supreme Court appointments are lifetime which affects our rights in the near future and then our children long after we are but a memory and a picture on the wall. Please vote carefully.

Cooler more oxygenated water flows through the passes and if you’re not doing great inshore by all means get out to a pass with a variety of baits and lures. Early morning with an outgoing tide can be at times amazing as snook and oversized redfish slam your offering and use every bit of current to smoke your reel.

Cast jigs, plugs, or pitch live baits along the rock shorelines as you drift through the pass. Be prepared to lose some hooks or lures snagged on miles of snags, rocks and fishing line. It’s just part of the deal.

Sharks, tarpon, reds, pompano, Spanish macs, grouper live and play in these natural feeding areas. Snook will be in and around the beaches and passes till fall and any shoreline obstruction, dock, tree, groin may hold a bunch.

Sadly, as of this writing, two bodies and two towed kayaks have been recovered west of Sanibel from a large family sailboat accident. They called home on a cell saying they were battling six-foot seas in their 29-footer.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-440-1621 or captgeorget3@aol.com, or www.flyingfinssportfishing.com.