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Fishing quiz winners know their lures

By Staff | Dec 3, 2020

Capt. George Tunison

Congratulations! Charlotte and Carl Veaux provided the first correct answer to last week’s Thanksgiving antique lure quiz and thanks also to the many others that responded.

Heddon Batwings and Four-points appeared in the early 1900s and are actually hookless fish decoys highly prized by antique tackle collectors. The earliest and most valuable examples had wood, later tin, tails. Batwings in excellent condition in a strong market and to the right collector could push or exceed the $4,000 mark. Better check those old chests in your attic!

Fish spearing decoys have been around for many years and basically fall into two categories; working lures or folk art. Working decoys are typically used by ice anglers to attract large northern pike within spearing range. These foot-long decoys are carved in a curved shape, carefully weighted and attached to a pole. Slowly jigged up and down the decoys shape makes it swim in a spiral motion getting the attention of both pike and muskies.

A rather large hole is opened in the ice and a tent or structure is placed over it to block out direct light. The fish sees little from above and isn’t frightened away as it wanders into spearing distance when it comes to inspect or to try and eat the decoy.

Many accomplished sportsmen and women reside in Cape Coral. Contest winner Carl Veaux has an impressive record when it comes to hunting wild turkey as well as his passion for fishing. This 82-year-old vet claims not one but two World Slams as well as two Royal Slams.

Cape anglers often try for a fishing “slam,” most often meaning catching a snook, redfish and tarpon in one day. To claim a slam in the turkey hunting world, The National Wild Turkey Federation rules state that the hunter must harvest each species or subspecies of wild turkey listed under one of the six recognized slams in turkey hunting to complete a slam.

Four of the six include the Grand Slam — the hunter must harvest the four U.S. Subspecies of wild turkey (Eastern, Osceola or Florida, Rio Grande and Merriam’s)

To claim a Royal Slam the hunter must take a Grand Slam plus the Gould’s Turkey (found in Mexico and the Soiuthwest US.)

A World Slam — Royal Slam plus the oscillated wild turkey (found in Mexico and Central America)

The U.S. Super Slam would be the ultimate turkey slam requiring the hunter to harvest one wild turkey subspecies in every state except Alaska.

Anyone that has hunted for their very own Thanksgiving table guest of honor knows it’s an often challenging hunting sport enjoyed in many parts of the country with both gun and arrow.

It’s interesting to note the relatively short life span of keen eyed wild turkeys with females only living three years and wise old toms typically reaching four.

Inshore our local snook population is always hoping for warmer weather as these sub-tropical fighters just can’t take too much cold, but other cold tolerant species such as sheepshead and big black drum don’t mind it. Our sea trout school up in large numbers as the water temps drop and bending down the barbs on hooks helps protect these delicate fish from unnecessary tissue damage when practicing catch and release.

Remember to never dry handle a fine scaled fish like a sea trout. Using needlenose pliers or a de-hooker, lift the fish just above the water by the hook bend then simply twist it upside down causing the fish to slide off the barbless hook undamaged.

Off shore reefs produce large numbers of really big sheepies this time of year as well as grouper and snapper. You may even run into a school of big snook on near-shore reefs.

Local anglers Gary Lorenz and Roy Bennett teamed up on nice red snapper and red and black grouper 75 miles off the lighthouse this past week. GPS numbers still undisclosed!

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or captgeorget3@aol.com.