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January 2018 Nautical Boating Fishing an d SW Florida s only coastal info source since 2003 Local Mile Photo Capt. Bill Russell Get your Fishing License over the phone in 3 minutes (888) 347-4356 or on-the-line at www.MyFWC.com FISHING CHARTERS LIVE BAIT NauticalMileMagazine FULL SERVICE TACKLE OUTFITTER INSHORE FISHING SPECIALIST OPE 7-D N ay s (239) 540-FISH 3714 Del Prado Blvd. - Cape Coral DOCKS - BOATLIFTS - CANOPIES The difference is Quality. We ARE the difference Specializing in Custom Docks Boatlifts and Canopies F r ee es t tima Es Custom Docks and Boatlifts Professional and Courteous Staff Custom Canopies No Money Down Till We Start Your Dock Fully Insured - Longshoreman s Coverage www.HickcoxDocks.com (239) 267-5566 www.HickcoxDocks.com Celebrating 30 Years of business in SW Florida .com See page 8 www. Quart 12.95 Gallon 31.40 5-Gallon 139.95 Largest selection of fiberglass around TRAILER PARTS Starting at 72 BATTERIES core We re the Do-It-Yourself boat parts store. Best prices around on trailer parts Experienced staff with the knowledge u-bolts springs lights guide on s to answer your questions. axles and hubs Stainless Props 299 Starting at 95 Rod Holders Oil volt temp and trim gauges Starting at Aluminum Props Starting at 3.99 15.00 99 95 Open s Sunday No Shipping t the a No Waiting N. Fort Myers 1156 N. Tamiami Tr. Fort Myers Beach 15600 San Carlos Blvd. Naples 989 S. Airport Pulling Road Port Charlotte 4694 Tamiami Trail 239-997-5777 239-437-7475 239-793-5800 941-766-1044 Page donated by www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 04 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source The has been looking for replacements on their board for a couple years. The current board has created the most successful club of its kind on our Gulf coast but it was time for new ideas and new leadership so I volunteered. I was asked why by a lot of people and here s whyA couple years ago a bait shop asked if they could have 75 papers for their tournament captain bags. The call came in at 7pm and the event started at 5am the next morning plus they were about 50 miles from my office. I asked them for more notice next year they agreed and the call was over. I reflected on something I recently wrote about on how a person that thinks like an entrepreneur separates themselves from a traditional business owner by doing things as if they were in love with their project as opposed to maintaining the status quo and getting by. When people are in the lovebubble they do things they wouldn t normally do. If I were in the foundational stages of the paper 15 years ago and got that call I would have driven to Bonita and I also knew know that doing the opposite of what most would do leads to good results. I couldn t sleep knowing that the paper has provided me quite a unique lifestyle of time and money. We have a relationship. Sometimes I need it and sometimes it needs me. All of this caused me to load the dog and papers in the truck at 2am and make the delivery. A dispute I ve discussed many times in the last 15 years with advertising customers is how they re not my first priority. The readers are. We had a lot of competition years ago and today have none. I didn t put them out of business they did it to themselves by not knowing who their customer was. Most people in advertising kiss ass and bring doughnuts to clients while my efforts go to people that pick up the paper instead. If I can please them we all win. All of this makes me think of the Reel Angler s Fishing Club. At the meetings almost every seat has a publication and the 240 members support our fishing rag. They re our customers and I was honored to become their President for 2018. Come check out the club for free. They meet at the VFW in Cape Coral from 8-10 every second Wednesday of the month. Fishing guest speakers etc. More on page 38. This month is the winter Home Show at the Lee Civic Center. This is my favorite show of the year because attendees are mostly new residents. This is one more thing that put our competitors out of business. While they went to boat shows to try & sell advertising we re at shows like this to generate more readership. Last September we set up a booth to hand out free papers and we moved almost 2 000 a 15-year record. The show was told it would never work that the Lee Civic Center was a dead venue. I love watching the masses get things wrong The out-of-season September show was packed There s a free 5 door pass compliments of Nautical Mile on page 11. My book is done inspired by someone telling me I d never catch one of the larger Snappers in my Key Largo canal when I was 13. It s about how an entrepreneur is not a position of ownership at a company. It s about trouble shooting problem solving and doing things different. It s about ACTING out of the box as opposed to only thinking out of one. It s 250 pages of yours truly and available on Amazon. People didn t come here to go hiking they came for the coast. Fishing seminars attract thousands of people every year in SW Florida. Most new residents retired here and have been dreaming about fishing for years. Even if people don t fish they re still attracted to learning about it so Old Pine Island Marina and Tackle is again offering it s parking lot for free every last Saturday of the month through April. Last year there were 125-150 people every Saturday I ll be your host. Come check it out See page 9. The Charlotte County Boat Show is this month page 28. This show gets a lot of Lee County traffic and since the Florida Sportsman canceled its Ft. Myers show it s the only coastal show in SW Florida during the month of January. For those just getting to town that knew Capt. Dick May please see page 29. Come see us at the Home Show this month at the Lee Civic Center. Free entry pass on page 11 See page 8 January 5-6-7 Finding events- Years ago we could put a 24 classified ad in the Lee County Shopper for an event and half the local population knew about it. Today there s dozens of promotional roads and not everyone travels the same roads. I see events crash and people wonder how it could happen when they have thousands of Facebook and YouTube followers. Well just because you have subscribers on your YouTube channel doesn t mean they saw the video you posted. Social media is sometimes the worst form of promotion because of how misleading the numbers are. A lot of competitors told me that I needed to jump on the digital train or I d pay for it. They re all gone. Meanwhile as the digital world tries to organize and simplify things we ve created a newsletter where my office tracks nautical and coastal events and puts them in your email inbox. Sign up free with no spam or solicitations on our website. Snook season is closed so is Gag Grouper which I find odd since they re a winter fish but there s still a lot of fish to catch even in our winter waters. Redfish thin out and get smaller in cooler water but there s plenty around. There s been an above-normal amount of marine theft reports in SW Florida but little in Lee County. Apparently our Sheriff s decision to assign a detective to the Marine Unit is working. The Captains for Clean Water are calling for a roundtable discussion on our local water quality issue this month. Everyone is invited. People can meet make contacts and see where we are and what needs to be done next. Sign up for our newsletter or contact our office for date time. Happy New Year Publisher Nautical Mile www.NauticalMileMagazine.com thenauticalmile gmail.com SW F lorid a Di ve S hop s Capt. Pete s - FT. Myers www.captpetes.com Dean s Dive Center - Ft. Myers www.deansdivecenter.com DepthFinder s - Port Charlotte www.depthfinders.com Fantasea - Port Charlotte www.Fantaseascuba.com.com Gaspar s Dive & Board - Englewood www.gasparsdive.com Naples Scuba Diving - Naples www.scubaoutfittersnaples.com Scuba Marco - Marco Island www.scubamarco.com Scuba Quest - Cape Coral www.scubaquest.com Scubavice - Ft. Myers www.scubavicedivers.com Scuba Ventures - Naples www.scubaventuresic.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 05 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source TM Nautical Mile Monthly Contributing Writers 06 07 08 14 15 16 19 23 23 24 25 26 27 30 31 33 34 38 Capt. Joe Greco Barb Hansen Tonya Wiley Capt. Gregg McKee Robin Griffiths Capt. Bill Russell Snook Cowboy Christine Kellerman Robert Ballard Jim Hutchinson Sr. Dave Sulley Bob Moro Alyssa Grabner Capt. Rob Modys Tom Perrin Kathy Thousand Capt. Charles Epranian Capt. Chuck Downes 2018 Moons Last quarter January 8 New moon January 16 First quarter January 24 Full moon January 31 Last quarter February 7 New moon February 15 First quarter February 23 P U B L I C A T I O N S Inc. Local a nd Boating Fishing Check out our new Printables feature. Page 22 Getting Connected Groups & Clubs Schools Classes Captain Schools www.CaptainSchool.com www.SeaSchool.com Ft. Myers Sailing School www.OffshoreSailing.com Charlotte Harbor Sailing School www.CharlotteHarborSailing.com Florida Fly Fishing School www.floridaflyfishingschools.com Learn to Sail www.learntosailswf.com 100 page 2017 Annual Lee County Boater s Guide Fishing Clubs Tarpon Hunters Cape Coral www.CapeCoralTarponHunters.com Ft. Myers - Facebook FMBTHC Reel Angler s Fishing Club www.reelanglersfishingclub.com SW Florida Marine Industries Assc. www.GoBoatingFlorida.com www.NauticalMileMagaz ine.com Punta Gorda Isles www.PGIfishingclub.org Fly Fishing Meetings joe snooktown.com Contact us Nautical Mile Newsletter Get ongoing updates on the local marine community upcoming boat shows and coastal events. Sign up for free at P U B L I C A T I O N S Inc. Boat & Trade Shows Cape Coral Outdoor Expo www.CapeCoralOutdoorExpo.com SW Florida Boat Shows www.GoBoatingFlorida.com Home & Boat Shows www.ProfessionalShowManagement.com Suncoast Boat Show (Sarasota) www.ShowManagement.com PO Box 486 - Bokeelia Fl. 33922 Office (239) 980-5803 Fax 790-1370 thenauticalmile gmail.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com Advertising Inquiries (239) 699-7394 Coastal Insurance PROTECT YOUR BOAT Boat - Auto and more Home - Motorcycle 17 Ranger - 212 a YEAR 2009 Harley Road King - 120 a YEAR 2007 Ford F250 - 380 6-mo. 280 000 Cape Home - 780 a YEAR Capt. David Ryan Schuman (239) 242-8072 Davidschuman3 allstate.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 06 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Aluminum Welding and fabrication (239) 458-3860 2408 Andalusia Blvd. Cape Coral Specializing in custom marine products since 1994 www.actionweld.com begin digging. A lot of the new equipment and techniques work. Give them a try 6) Take a fishing charter. Many novices will spend over a hundred thousand dollars on a new boat and equipment and refuse to spend 400 500 on a fishing charter. You may learn more in one day by going out with a reputable guide in your area than you will learn in several years on your own. In addition you may develop a rapport with your guide which can result in an exchange of welcomed information down the road. I have several regular clients who fish on their own and book a trip with me each year. I love helping anglers out as there are plenty of fish out there for all of us. 7) Try to develop an organized fishing plan the night before each trip. Many tend to head out to the water on a given day and once on their boats decide where they are going to fish that day. While this works many times I can assure you that you will boat more fish if you give your trip a little thought the day before. The day before every charter I look at tide charts and wind forecasts and I give considerable thought as to where I will be fishing the following day. I usually develop a list of spots that I will be exploring the following day with water depth and wind playing a major role in my progression. I also think about a backup plan in case the wind forecast was wrong and I may be forced to fish more protected waters. 8) BUY AN EPIRB. If you venture offshore at all I feel it is imperative to NEVER leave the dock without an EPIRB. The Gulf of Mexico is vast and you never know what is going to happen on a given trip. I always use the NFL players who drowned several Capt. Joe Greco While many of us make News Year s resolutions annually most pertain to losing weight diet considerations and the like. While pondering this subject I thought it might be nice to write down a few fishing-related New Year s resolutions that may just make your time spent on the water a bit more productive and enjoyable. 1)The first thing that comes to mind is in 2018 make a concerted effort to think outside of the box. How many of us continue to fish the same old areas year -in and year-out Make a concerted effort to try expanding your knowledge of your local waters and fish several new areas this year. 2) TAKE A KID FISHING Like many I ll bet you don t remember what you had for dinner 3 nights ago. However I will almost guarantee you remember who took you fishing for the first time years ago. Even if you don t have kids I m confident that you have a friend relative or neighbor who has kids and inviting a child along on a fishing trip could have a positive lifelong impact on that child. My first trip took place over 50-years ago when my grandpa John took me bass fishing in the Ocala Florida area. I remember that trip like it was yesterday. 3) Keep a fishing log this year. I have kept a DAILY fishing log now for over 40-years. I routinely record the results of each trip including conditions such as tide wind water temp water clarity moon phase hot lures hot colors and areas fished. To date I use these old logs to refresh my memory and get ideas for the following days excursion. As matter of fact I ran to a GPS number inshore about a week prior to writing this article that I had fished 3years ago which was loaded with sheepshead (as noted in my log). On the way to this coordinate I told my client that this spot was HOT a few years ago on the same day of the month. As luck would have it we boated 18 sheepshead with 8 ending up in the box for dinner. 4) Organize and perform a maintenance check on all fishing gear. The first of the year marks a great time to organize all your tackle and have all of your equipment checked out regarding maintenance needs. Once a year I have all my reels torn down cleaned and lubricated. At least once a season I re-spool all of my reels with fresh braid. A few days ago I spent an hour re-organizing all of my hooks and jigs as - probably like many- I was embarrassed to look into my jig box which was in complete disarray. I also have a large box which organizes my lead weights such as egg sinkers and split shot and this was reorganized as well. 5)Try to attend at least one fishing seminar in the upcoming months and read a few fishing magazines in on occasion. I subscribe to You CAN always teach and old dog a new trick and once you stop trying to learn new techniques your catch rate will suffer. Countless articles are written each year on the subject of fishing and -like most sports- technology improves at a rapid pace. Try to learn more about your passion. You will be amazed at how much new stuff is out there once you years ago near Tampa as a GLOWING EXAMPLE as when their 23-ft center console went down in nasty conditions there is a better than average chance that they would have all survived if they had an EPIRB. Prices have come down and a quality unit can be purchased for under 500. This is money well spent as you cannot put a price on your life and the lives of your crew. 9) LIGHTEN UP and have fun. Fishing is supposed to be fun. If you head out and someone is on your favorite spot... so what. Head to another area. If you miss a big fish... so what. We all miss fish on occasion and it is part of the sport. Make an effort not to sweat the small stuff while on the water and you will enjoy this fabulous sport even more. Remember life is short and as my grandpa John used to preach to me ... WE ARE ALL JUST PASSING THROUGH Good Fishing Ft. Myers Fishing Adventures cappyjoe1 gmail.com www.fortmyerssportfishing.com (877) 249-7472 HUGE Selection of Fishing Tackle Rods reels terminal tackle Boat lifts and dry-storage Complete inventory of marine supplies Nautical apparel hats shoes and sunglasses Saltwater Clothing Center Hook & Tackle - Bimini Bay Salinity - Red Zone - Buff Smith Optics Located 10 minutes up Monroe Canal off Intercoastal 12 3187 Stringfellow Road - St. James City www.OldPineIslandMarina.com (239) 283-2548 www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 07 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source 50 YEA R OF SERV S IC EXPERIE E NCE Trop ic Tra iler We sell the best and repair the rest FREE TRAILER INSPECTIONS - NEW & USED TRAILERS WE BUY USED TRAILERS - CONSIGNMENTS WANTED PICK-Up & DELIVERY - TRADE-INS WELCOME I-75 EXIT 141 9541 WORKMAN WAY - FT. MYERS www.TropicTrailer.com SALES - PARTS SERVICE - HITCHES RENTALS - CONTAINERS View from the Marina Observations of the Season This is the time of year I particularly enjoy but for reasons different than most. Sure I like the holidays and the opportunity to spend time with family and friends as well as gift getting and receiving. However there are a couple of other things that take place at this time that I also look forward to. One has to do with the holiday buying habits of boaters for both large and not so large purchases. Over the years I have noticed the boat comes first. That is before stuff for the home and even the captain and crew the boat comes first. And that makes sense. When you want to cruise the boat has to be ready so equipment purchases upgrades and regular maintenance are priorities. If you re a boater the latest coffee latte beverage maker a new sofa or drapes or what have you plays second fiddle to what the boat needs so there will be no delays when cruising time comes whenever that may be. Ditto for wardrobe items and even things non-boaters can t do without. I m talking about beauty treatments and the like for both him and her. Good looking brightwork beats Botox and non-skid deck cleaner surpasses cosmetics. For some that may be blasphemy but for boaters it s no big deal. Wardrobe items fit in here too. Boaters simply don t need the latest fashion wear especially if such purchases take away from boat readiness. In addition to holidays this time of year is also boat show season the second seasonal thing I really enjoy. Vic and I go to several shows on both coasts of Florida. Regardless where the show is taking place there are always lots of beautiful boats people and constant excitement. For boat-buyers especially first-timers it s like dating. We know that because our years in the business of chartering have made us marriage counselors of a sort for a number of our clients. They own boats but charter from us because they aren t happy with the boat choice they made. In other words that marriage is not going well and they are seeking guidance for improving that relationship. We have determined that some of the most common problems impacting those relationships stem from hasty courtships that didn t barb hansen leave sufficient time for buying the right kind of boat. A day cruiser was selected when more overnight cruising was on tap. Maybe the size and operational complexity of the boat was beyond the buyer s skill set. Perhaps a boat club membership or charter would have been in order since upkeep maintenance and the like are handled by the owner and not the responsibility of the user. And those options also enable them to try different types and sizes of boats before settling on a purchase. Frankly we also think it might be important for boat buyers to mull over the prospect of a separation when making their purchase. That is to say they should give thought to the challenge of selling their boat sometime in the future and what needs to be considered. There s a lot more we ve seen over the years but come to think of it there might be an opportunity here for cruising s answer to Dr. Phil. If you come to a boat show in Florida next season look for Confidential Cruising Counselors Matchmaking Boaters and Boats. We ll probably take appointments in advance on the web Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts yacht charters and Florida Sailing & Cruising School 6095 Silver Kind Blvd. Cape Coral (in Tarpon Point Marina) info swfyachts.com (239) 257-2788 www.swfyachts.com www.flsailingandcruiseschool.com Specializing is the sales and repair of Well Systems Marine Pumps Boat Lift Motors Water Softeners Pool Pump Motors AC Condenser Fans Variable Speed Pool Pumps Irrigation Pumps and Motors Fountains and Feature Pumps McGREGOR ELECTRIC MOTORS New and Rebuilt Pool Pump Experts Family owned and proudly serving Lee County since 1988 Do-It Yourselfers AVE on the service call and bring your motor to us Call now for simple instructions (239) 574-4499 Free Belt With the purchase of a boat lift motor Offers cannot be combined 958 Country Club Blvd Cape Coral - www.PumpsPlusCapeCoral.com 10% OFF Any purchase or repair of 50 or more Offers cannot be combined Free Bench Testing on all motors and pumps Combine with any offer you like ) www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 08 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source SAWFISH NEWS by Tonya Wiley Tonya HavenWorth.org (941) 201-2685 www.HavenWorth.org Science to Save the Endangered Smalltooth Sawfish Several research partners conduct various research activities on the biology behavior and ecology of the endangered smalltooth sawfish population in the United States. These partners include state and federal governments universities non-profits and international organizations. The results of these research projects are used to inform management decisions and enhance recovery efforts for this endangered species. Blood samples are collected from sawfish to measure reproductive status and stress physiology. Hormones within the blood are used to assess reproductive cycling and periodicity. Blood samples for stress physiology can be used to assess post-release mortality risk from a variety of fisheries and gears. Credit Andrea Kroetz NOAA Fisheries The variety of tags used to study sawfish. A Sawfish News article coming soon will describe how each tag works and contributes to the scientific understanding of endangered smalltooth sawfish in the US. Researchers collect sawfish data using a variety of methods (1) carcasses that are found and collected (2) sawfish incidentally caught in federal fisheries and (3) sawfish that are collected during research field surveys for the species. Necropsies of sawfish carcasses provide the opportunity to collect data necessary for understanding age growth maturity and reproduction. Carcass recoveries provide valuable opportunities because these data are especially important and can only be collected through dissection and researchers are not interested in sacrificing any individuals from the wild of a critically endangered species. Fisheries observers aboard commercial fishing vessels are trained to sample any sawfish incidentally captured in federal fisheries. These chance opportunities provide valuable insight in to where fisheries overlap with sawfish and the condition of sawfish upon release. Research field surveys for smalltooth sawfish are the most important method for collecting data. A variety of survey methods are used to capture live sawfish for scientific purposes including longline rod-and-reel and gillnets. Once captured measurements and samples are taken from each sawfish prior to tagging and release. These surveys are instrumental in monitoring trends in the abundance of the population. Scientists are using the most recent technology to track the movements of smalltooth sawfish. This tracking involves capturing the animals equipping them with acoustic transmitters and releasing them. Depending on the objectives of the project scientists may track them from a boat using hydrophones to determine short-term microhabitat use or set up a network of in-water receivers (acoustic listening stations) to track longer-term broad-scale movements. Acoustic transmitters can be active for up to 10 years. Larger juvenile and adult sawfish caught during surveys are also often fitted with GPS satellite tags. Because far less is known about these larger animals researchers hope that satellite tags can reveal important adult habitats. Satellite tagging studies to date have shown that larger sawfish spent a large portion of their time in shallow coastal waters with periodic excursions to deeper waters off the shelf edge. Credit Nicole Phillips University of South Mississippi Nicole Phillips (left) Kelcee Smith (center) and Annmarie Fearing (right) display large sawfish rostra they measured and sampled at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. If you own a sawfish rostrum or know of one in a museum restaurant tackle shop or store please email to N.Phillips usm.edu or call 1-844-4SAWFISH. If you catch or see a sawfish take a quick photograph of the sawfish estimate its size note your location and please share the details with scientists. The details of your sightings or catches of sawfish help to monitor the population and track the recovery progress. You can share your information by calling 1-844-4SAWFISH (844-472-9347) or emailing sawfish myfwc.com. In upcoming Sawfish News articles this year I will provide more details about the organizations working on each of these important components of the sawfish research projects. For more information about endangered sawfish visit http www.fisheries.noaa.gov pr speci es fish smalltooth-sawfish.html or http myfwc.com research saltwater fi sh sawfish or call 1-844-4SAWFISH Small tissue samples are collected during field capture of live sawfish and from old rostra for genetic analysis. Genetics are useful in understanding population structure diversity within the population and both the size and health of the current population in comparison to the historical one. Scientists are using genetics to determine whether there is significant movement and genetic exchange between the U.S. and Bahamas populations of smalltooth sawfish. Credit Blair Witherington Disney Dean Grubbs (Florida State University) Adam Brame (NOAA Fisheries) and Tonya Wiley (Havenworth Coastal Conservation) prepare to release an adult smalltooth sawfish in Everglades National Park. All research activities were conducted under ESA permit 17787 and ENP permit EVER-2017SCI-022. www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 09 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source ul s Pa (239) Mobile Marine 4th Saturday of each month through April Mobile mechanic and more SERVICE 464-0753 Service - Repairs - Electrical FREE Fishing Seminars Inshore - Offshore Fly Fishing - Proper Gear Live and Artificial Tackle Baits & Rigs - and SECRETS Pompano Fishing TopWater Action Snook - Redfish Trout - Tarpon 3187 Stringfellow Road St. James City TM P U B L I C A T I O N S Inc. (239) 283-2548 www.PineIslandFishingSeminars.com (239) 540-FISH FISHING CHARTERS N OPE s y 7-Da CUSTOM ROD BUILDING & REPAIRS INSHORE FISHING SPECIALIST LIVE & FROZEN BAIT Squid - Threadfins - Sardines - Worms Crabs - Chum - Shrimp - Bonita - Ballyhoo Dry Chum - Herring - Octopus - Ladyfish Cigar Minnows - Mullet - Block Chum FULL SERVICE TACKLE OUTFITTER One of SW Florida s Largest Selections of Inshore & Offshore Tackle 3714 Del Prado Blvd. Cape Coral www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 10 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Cape Coral Tarpon Club member Jerry Geyer hit his 900th Lifetime Tarpon Catch and Release level and set the All Time Club Record John Mester recorded his 600th Tarpon achievement level which is also a new mark for the Club. Not to be outdone Ken Holzhauer registered his 400th Lifetime Catch. These Club members set the bar high and are among the top Tarpon fisherman in the country. Tarpon Rank as the top Sports Game Fish in Florida. The Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters Club will hold an introductory public presentation for prospective members on Thursday February 15th at 7 00pm at the Cape Coral Yacht Club- 5819 Driftwood Parkway Cape Coral. The presentation is free and open to the public. As the club enters its 47th season its members have caught over 10 000 tarpon and it welcomes the chance to introduce new members to this exciting pastime. During the introductory meeting guests can learn the history of the largest tarpon fishing club in the world gain knowledge about the Silver King and learn how the club promotes ethical tarpon catch and release. Subsequent meetings will provide members with detailed instructions on rod reel selection terminal tackle rigging bait prep and on-water etiquette necessary to get your name in the club s record books. Monthly club meetings offer the opportunity to interact with world-class tarpon fishermen and women and feature presentations by local tarpon fishing experts on a variety of tarpon fishing techniques suitable for use in local waters. For more information on the Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters Club please check out our website Before After Above damage from a worm that lives in saltwater called a Marine Borer . They can start destroying a piling within 3 months of it being in the water. Formapile offers the only true 10-year manufacturer s warranty Formapile has a US Patent Developed over 40 years ago Independent laboratory testing Engineer certified The leading expert in piling protection restoration and repair in SW Florida Call for a free piling inspection (239) 471-3998 www.SaveMyPilings.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com Ft. Myers 11 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source www.FMHomeShow.com Kids Free JANUARY Easy access Lots of parking 5-6-7 3 Days 2 for 1 www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 12 SM SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Englewood Bait House Fine SW Florida Power Squadrons Come for the Boating Education and Stay for the Friends SW Florida Power Squadrons Fort Myers (239) 945-6612 www.fortmyersboating.org Sarasota (941) 953-7565 www.sarasota-boating.org Sanibel-Captiva (239) 233-7380 www.usps.org localusps sancap Manatee (941) 761-9444 www.manatee-squadron.org Cape Coral (239) 549-9754 www.ccsaps.org Peace River (941) 637-0766 www.puntagorda-boating.org San Carlos Bay (239) 466-4040 www.scbps.com Venice (941) 244-8331 www.BoatVeniceFL.com SW Florida Capt. Ted s Classes include America s Boating Course Basic Weather and Forecasting How to Use a Chart Practical on the Water Training Knots Bends Hitches Marine Electrical Systems Engine Maintenance How to Use a Chart Using GPS - Anchoring .... plus more classes and lots of group outings Bait & Tackle Shops T&T Fishin Franks Downtown Laishley Rio Villa Fisherman s Edge Boat Towing - Fuel Deliveries Jump Starts - Disentanglements Covered Ungroundings Anderson s Bait & Tackle 15675 McGregor Blvd (239) 334-3474 Bait Station 104 Pondella (517) 749-0218 D&D Matlacha Bait & Tackle 3922 Pine Island Rd. (239) 282-9122 Dick s Bait & Tackle At Diversified Yacht (239) 765-8700 Capt. Robs Bait & Tackle 3714 Del Prado (239) 540-3474 Cape Tool & Tackle 405 NE Pine Island Rd. (239) 574-6950 Chiquita Bait & Tackle 3816 Chiquita Blvd. (239) 540-0052 Fisherman s World 16650 San Carlos Blvd (239) 466-8686 Lehr s Economy Tackle 1366 N. Tamiami Trl. (239) 995-2280 Master Bait & Tackle 4465 Bonita Beach Rd. (239) 992-2553 Rite Angler 16450 S. Tamiami Trail (239) 466-7326 Seven Seas Bait & Tackle 4270 Pine Island Rd. (239) 283-1674 TNT Bait & Tackle 14369 Pambar Ave. (941) 625-5367 Jasper s Bait 10530 Stringfellow Rd. (239) 823-6422 Bait Box Cape Tool Lehr s Jasper s Bait Capt. Rob s Bait Station Jasper s Bait Boat Chiquita Bait Rite Angler Anderson s Englewood Bait House 1450 beach Rd (941) 475-4511 Fine Bait & Tackle 14503 Tamiami Trail (941) 240-5981 Capt. Ted s Bait & Tackle 1189 Tamiami Trail (941) 627-6800 Laishley Marine 3515 Tamiami Trail (941) 575-7628 Fishin Franks 4425 Tamiami trail (941) 625-3888 4425 Tamiami Trail (941) 625-3888 Downtown Bait & Tackle 120 Laishley Ct. (941) 621-4190 Fisherman s Edge 4425 Placida Rd. (941) 697-7595 Rio Villa Bait & Tackle 113 Rio Villa Dr. (941) 639-7166 Welcome to the neighborhood The Choice of Serious Fishermen 450HP 450hp from 5200rpm to 6200rpm Installation in under 4 hours Fits under cowl with supplied riser Packaged for complete Plug n Play No additional parts or fabrication Where 1 outboard is better than 2 Ft. Mye rs Marin e Assisting Boaters Since 1983 Your Road Se rvic e at Se a Ft. Myers Lee County (239) 945-4820 Port Charlotte (941) 625-5454 450s SUPERCHARGE SYSTEM 2137 FOWLER ST. (239) 334-7871 www.FtMyersMarine.com Serving all of SW Florida www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 1- Bayronto 26.45.830 82.50.860 This 400 Ft. Freighter survived being torpedoed by a German U-Boat in July 1918. A year later the Bayronto ran into a hurricane and sank in 100 ft. of water. 13 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Shipwrecks Charlotte Harbor 1 2 Local a nd 2- Roatan Express 26.20.358 83.22.027 This 180 ft. Steel hulled offshore supply ship made numerous trips between Tampa and Honduras before sinking in rough seas appx. 80 miles west of Ft. Myers on Sept. 31 1992. The captain and one passenger lost their life. Boating Fishing Fishing Clubs Get your Fishing License over the phone in 3 minutes 3- J. Marine Sulphur Queen was never found Wreck On the morning of Feb. 4 1963 this 524 ft. tanker disappeared off the west coast of Florida en route to Norfolk Va. Debris was recovered two weeks later off Key West but no trace of its 39 man crew was ever found. 4- Fantastico 26.17.775 82.50.082 The No-Name storm of 1993 claimed more ships than Hurricane Andrew. The Honduran freighter Fantastico slipped beneath the waves on March 13 as it carried a load of fertilizer from Miami to Tampa. Of the 10 crew members aboard only three survived. The 205 ft. Freighter sits in 115 feet of water about 50 miles out of Ft. Myers. Sanibel 5&8 4 RECORD SETTERS Available at your favorite bait shop the (888) 347-4356 Tarpon Hunters Cape Coral www.CapeCoralTarponHunters.com Ft. Myers - www.FMBTHC.com Reel Angler s Fishing Club www.rafc.us SW Florida Marine Industries Assc. www.GoBoatingFlorida.com Punta Gorda Isles www.PGIfishingclub.org Naples 5- Pegasus Wreck 26.33.130 82.43.415 This 110 foot steel Tug-Boat and eventual gambling casino office was sunk as an artificial reef in 1999. 6 Fly Fishing Meetings joe snooktown.com 6- Paddlewheeler Wreck 82.17.510 25.53.320 The wreck of a stern paddlewheel steamer known locally as the Paddlewheeler rests upside down in 80 feet of water off Naples. The only clue to its identity is a pressure gauge that was manufactured in 1898. Fishing Regulations www.MyFWC.com 7 7- Baja California 25.21.522 82.31.901 This 265 foot freighter was en route to Guatemala in July 1942 when a German U-Boat put two torpedoes through her hull just before midnight. In 10 minutes the ship turned on its side and sank in 115 feet of water between Ft. Myers and the Keys. 8- USCGC Mohawk 26.33.146 82.43.423 The 165-foot World War II Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk was the last remaining ship of the Battle of the Atlantic. The Mohawk was laid to rest in 90 feet of water on July 2 2012 at 12 36 PM roughly 28 nautical miles off of Sanibel Island on Florida s southwest coast creating the first Veterans Memorial Reef dedicated to all U.S. veterans. The reef will be the new home to untold numbers of fish and other invertebrates living in the Gulf of Mexico. Key West Rods Rods Rods Braggin Board Reels Reels Reels Brian Snook fishing in Matlacha Lines Marilynn with a WHOPPER 23 inch Ladyfish Lines Lines Vince Parkinson Flounder fishing Send fish pictures to Plus theNauticalMile Gmail.com 995-2280 (239) www.LehrsEconomyTackle.com Eli Mendez Snapper fishing www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 14 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Bokeelia Boat Ramp 283-2244 If there is one fish that anglers consider to be the Holy Grail of all saltwater species it s the permit. Nothing is more difficult to fool with a fly pulls harder when hooked or looks better in a photograph than these big crab eaters. Permit are common reef and wreck dwellers all over Florida but they re rarely seen in the shallows anywhere north of Biscayne Bay and the Keys. We occasionally have them here on the flats off Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass but your chances of sight casting to one with a fly rod are on the slim side in this neighborhood. Fortunately our waters are full of a very close runner-up to the permit this time of year and that s the pompano. These two fish both members of the jack family are nearly identical in everything but the size department. Pompano rarely exceed 6 pounds while a few world record permit have been caught in excess of 60 pounds. Join our Pier Club fish or launch your boat 9 times get the 10th time free Jug Creek Access - No Slow Zones Drive to the end of Bokeelia Located behind Captain Con s Seafood Restaurant 10 Launch Public Access Boat Ramp 1 mile past the post office North end of Bokeelia Acres of Parking Wild Fly Charters Capt. Gregg McKee Pompano are also much less choosy in what they ll eat. Sand fleas are the live bait of choice for surf fishermen but shrimp small crabs and cut bait will all work as well. The same thing goes in the fly department and I ve caught pompano on at least a dozen different patterns from Clouser Minnows to Merkin Crabs. Once they feel that hook they ll rip off line just like their bigger and more glamourous cousins. A full grown pompano will definitely dump your 8-weight reel into the backing but you ll also be able to land it in just a few minutes. A full grown permit on the same tackle can take close to an hour. If you want to sight cast to a pompano right now the best place to look is on the sandbars in Charlotte Harbor. Burnt Store Bar on the east wall is several miles long and holds plenty of these fish at low tide. They look jet black in the water and move much faster than mullet. I have my anglers toss at anything with a forked tail and if it s not a pompano I ll usually have them hooked to a big ladyfish or crevalle. Neither one is good to eat but both are a great fight on a fly rod. Pompano also love to hang on the backs of stingrays this time of year and I always tell everyone to cast right on top of them. A lot of different predators follow the rays waiting to grab a fleeing shrimp or crab so this is an excellent way to pick off a nice redfish or cobia too. Of course one of the best things about pompano is eating them. As far as I m concerned they re the most delicious inshore species in Florida. They usually sell for at least 20 a pound at the seafood market and are also one of the few species that are excellent no matter how you prepare them. Sliced raw marinated as ceviche or lightly grilled it doesn t matter. Pompano have a buttery flavor and an almost lobster-like texture to their filets. They re also easy to clean as long as you ve got a flexible knife. So head on out to the Charlotte Harbor sandbars around high noon with your 8-weight and a shrimp fly this month. If you see some darker fish with forked tails bean them right on the head. If it s a mid-size pompano you ll get an immediate hit and a fight like few other fish that size can offer. (239) 565-2960 gmckee1 hotmail.com www.wildflycharters.com Protect your boat this season Protected basin on the Caloosahatchee (239) Brackish water for less bottom growth Floating docks for better surge protection Full time dock staff and 24 hour security Storm prep and mechanical services available N26.31.760 W081.56.778 437-0881 Peace of mind at www.GulfHarbourMarina.net Gulf Harbour Marina www.NauticalMileMagazine.com Bokeelia Fishing Pier 7-7 Daily - 8 a Day - No License Required Join our Pier Club fish or launch your boat 9 times get the 10th time free 15 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Night Fishing Thursdays 7pm to midnight 10 per person Drive to the end of Bokeelia Located at Captain Con s Seafood Restaurant www.bokeeliafishingpier.com Great fishing for Snook Redfish Snapper Trout and more from our 300-foot pier 10 Ramp (239) 283-2244 A N D OM R robin griffiths R o b i ns Looking and Planning Ahead This may sound familiar. You wanted to accomplish something and started with a great beginning. Then before you know it you lose desire interest become overwhelmed and give up because it was too hard. Here are a few ideas to help with whatever you desire Write down what you want to achieve. Writing will make it more of a commitment on your part. Once you have the desire in writing work backwards on how you can reach your goal. Take baby steps. If you decided to run a marathon you wouldn t start with ten miles the first day. You would work up to it by running small distances and build over time. Work your plan the same way. Each day or week you can add more and with it comes more confidence. Find your weaknesses and what will motivate you to stick to your plan. We all have days we lose momentum. If you can counter with your motivating self-talk or planned rewards you will find It s the start of another year and with that comes opportunity. But is all starts with a good plan. What are you looking to do this year So often we have ideas of what we want but don t plan enough on how to carry out these thoughts. We think about desired results but forget to look ahead and what we need to do to achieve the outcome. Think of it as if you were going on a trip without a map money or clear destination. It would be a little hard to say where you would end up and what shape you would be on arrival. I have said this many times I don t believe in making resolutions but instead suggest you find a plan you can stick with until you reach your desired goal. It s as if we believe results will magically appear even if we don t put in the work. It is possible to get what we want if we want it desperately enough. The secret is to plan the result be consistent and stick to the strategy. progress. Remember most of your accomplishments will come from your internal desire and self-discipline. Make decisions easy. Find routines to keep you on track. Too many choices can derail your best intentions. Find what you can to make repetitive actions so you don t have to think about choices. Always be prepared. A good plan is your safety net when you have a weak moment. Finally and most important know why you want to make the desired change. If you don t have a clear vision of why you want to obtain it you cannot stay on track. Having a clear and specific plan along with knowing why you are doing it will take you a long way to reaching your desires. All you need is the plan the road map and the courage to press on to your destination. - - Earl Nightingale RAGRIFFS gMail.com www.TheGriffithsGroup.com 27 YEARS OF DOING IT RIGHT Your Perfect Pine Island Port Open 7 days 7AM-5PM 1990 - 2017 View our 24 Hour We bCam Water Taxi Capt. Emmy Girl Charters Storage Annual or short-term Service Boat Rentals Check out our new fleet of rental boats. Take up to 10 People o FISHING CHARTERS Minutes to OUTSTANDING fishing locations Inshore & Offshore FACTORY TRAINED Wet Slips Dry Storage Boat Lifts Floating Docks Ship s Store Bait & Tackle Non-ethanol Gas Fishing Charters Security Patrolled Fishing or Cruising Certified Yamaha Technicians Warranty Service & Parts All Outboard Repair Fiberglass Canvas Detailing FlaLazy min g Sightseeing Sunset Cruises Dolphin Watching Center Consoles Dual Consoles and Deck Boats Full Day Half Day Weekly Just minutes to Cabbage Key Cayo Costa and Boca Grande ING NT DIN RFRO ily WATE ne r D a 16501 Stringfellow Road Bokeelia Fl 33922 & Din Lunch Service Dept Hours Mon-Sat 8am - 5pm www.FourWindsMarina.com (239) 283-0250 www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 16 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source THE ULTIMATE BAIT If only there was one bait we could fish that would catch anything that swims. Well luckily there is and its simple enough for anglers of all skill levels. Growing up in Matlacha I learned to fish at a very early age. I was fortunate enough to live a stone through from the Matlacha Bridge also known as The Worlds Fishingest Bridge. Old Timers taught me a lot from the bridge including one bait that would hook everything from giant tarpon to tasty snapper. For winter fishing the coastal waters around southwest Florida you would be hard pressed to find a better bait than a jig shrimp combination. This is simply a bare jig head rigged with a shrimp. Shrimp are readily available at bait and tackle shops and jig heads are relatively inexpensive when compared to other tackle. I carry a variety of jig heads in weights from one-eighth up to oneounce this allows me to vary the weight to the depth and current. Inshore we generally don t fish heavier than half ounce with onequarter the most common. The heavier weights are generally used offshore if you plan on fishing depths greater than thirty or forty feet you may need heavier jigs than mentioned. While red is the most color I personally do not think color is that important. We have caught fish on white yellow pink orange and just bare lead however most anglers have a color they prefer. If I had to pick my choice would be pink or red inshore and yellow or white offshore. One cool thing with this combination is you can fish it in many various ways. Some fish prefer a slow retrieve while others twitching or lifting the rod tip to bounce the bait off the bottom gets their attention. And many times especially targeting sheepsheads or fishing around docks and creeks with moving water the best action comes while casting up current and just letting the bait flow across the bottom with the tide. This is when it s important to get the weight right heavy enough to get to the bottom yet light enough to move with the water. Anglers also fish this rig under a popping or rattling cork over the grass flats for trout. Offshore vertical jigging will catch a lot of different species. You need enough weight to get to the bottom and maintain the bait vertical or straight down. Drop until the bait hits bottom then reel up just a little then lift or jig the rod up and down while maintain contact with the bottom on the drop of the rod. Some anglers prefer quick short jerks and others like to slowly lift then drop the bait. There is no right or wrong way whatever style of jigging works best for you. Rigging the shrimp on the jig head goes one of two ways head or tail first. Most of the time I prefer tail first this allows me to get a lot of meat Captain Bill Russell on the hook making it harder for fish to steal the bait. If you spend any time hunting sheepsheads you know they are bait stealing machines. Bite or pinch the end or fan part of the tail off then thread the hook from the tip of the tail up to the head with the hooks point exiting on the underside. Jig heads with bait keepers or barbs help hold the shrimp in place. Head first is very simple locate the shrimps mouth on the underside of the head enter through the mouth and take the hook point straight up and exit on either side of the horn on top of the head. If you get it right and avoid the black spot (brain) the shrimp will remain good and lively. This is a good method for targeting snook redfish and sea trout inshore and works great under a float or bobber. If you want a one bait does it all that will catch just about any fish that swims in our waters this is it. The jig shrimp combo is a time proven bait that s easy to use and it catches fish. Practice with different weight colors retrieve and jigging methods and I bet you will soon like these rigs as much as I do. During the winter months I cannot thing of a more versatile or deadly bait. (239) 283-7960 gcl2fish live.com Guide Service www.FishPineIsland.com SUMMER is here Residential Commercial LIC CAC1814975 (239) 573-2473 We know you hear a lot of talk about service that s why we do more than just talk. Our climate control experts provide industry-leading customer support every day on every job. We will happily lengthen the life of your existing AC equipment or recommend a new energy efficient air conditioning system that will save you money while keeping you cool. www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 17 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Nautical Mile s 650 Year Coastal Cork Boards 50 to 4 000 Ga llon Deliveries Non-Ethanol and Diesel Punta Gorda to Bonita Sp rings RECREATION AL l s au P 673-7850 Unleaded Ga soline Premium Gaso COMMERCIA line L 100 to 8 500 Non-Ethanol Gasoline - Boat from Punta Gallon Deliveries s Gorda to Naple Dyed Diesels Off Road (239) 349-5 Ultra low Sulfu 322 r Diesel- On Ro ad Motor and Hy draulic Oil and lubricants (239) hanic obile mec e M and mor Repairs r v ic e Se le MEaertirnae Mobi - l c ic l an d an d Pine Islral area Cape Co 3 464-075 (239) PROPELLER SERVICE New & Used Propellers McGREGOR ELECTRIC MOTORS Do-It Yourselfers (239) 574-4499 and bring it to www.LeeCountyFu els.co m BURRIS INBOARD OUTBOARD STERN DRIVES 905 SE 9th Terrace Cape Coral AVE on the service call Coral 958 Country Club Blvd - Cape m www.PumpsPlusCapeCoral.co ROCKET INTERNATIONAL BOAT TRAILERS 888-728-2474 Family Owned Since 1984 Parts and Service Open to the Public OUTBOARD SHAFT STRAIGHTE NING RECONDITIONING - SKEG REP LACEMENT Hubs - Springs - Axles Guide Poles - Lights Deemaxx Disk Brakes HD Keel Guides - Hardware We R e n Trailer t s 239-772-3222 (239) 549-0271 www.captainschool.com . The Captain School Inc ng Mariners Helpi through the Maze ense OUPU - 6 Pack Lic to Master Master Upgrade Towing Sailing 2360 Crystal Road FT. Myers www.rockettrailers.com Cape Coral Print shop 919 SE 13 A ve - Cape C oral www.GatorP ressPrinting .com Complete selection of terminal tackle for the serious fisherman 7 7 2 -8 2 0 0 Let s Go Fishing SW Florida Fishing Guides Based in SW Florida and serving Mariners from Alaska to the Virgin Islands - Reels Tackle - Rods r.com www.riteangle 16450 l S. Tamiami Trai Ft. Myers 400 Year Captain Bill Russell Gulf Coast Guide service gcl2fish live.com www.FishPineIsland.com Full Service C HUCK S Auto Repair A UTO R EPAIR S ERVICE - Trucks Cars - Boats Foreign & Domestic Maintenance - Oil Changes Transmission - Tire Rotation 1 4 mile north of Alico Road on US 41 5575 Doug Taylor Circle St. James City E L E C T R I C 842 SE 46th Lane State License EC 0000346 Cape Coral The Snook Cowboy Kayak Fishing Trips snookcowboy gmail.com HA D&D MATLAC Road - Matlacha 3922 Pine Island Boat Lift Wiring - Dock Lighting Marina Electrical Systems www.AcraElectricInc.com 239-282-9122 Captain Chuck Downes Walk the Dog Charters starfisher2 aol.com www.WalkTheDogCharters.com Safety INS U R AN C E Harbour Boats - Jet Skis Motorcycle Auto - RV - Golf Ca rt - ATV Wind - Homeowne rs - Flood 10480 Stringfel low Road 4 St. James Cit y Fl. 33956 PI Road 458-1940 CC Pkwy 257-3270 N. Ft. Myers 731-5500 We don t just insu re the island life style .... we LIVE the isla nd lifestyle And that s why we get it right www.JetsPizza.com Captain Gregg McKee Wild Fly Charters gmckee1 hotmail.com www.WildFlyCharters.com www.safetyharb our.com 283-6136 r Eye CaaneOD ow Gerald C Optometrist SW Florida Online Weather Station l - Cape Cora Sam s Club uired Located in bership req No m e m -6032 (239) 800 Captain Charles Epranian TripleTail Charters frshfsh5 aol.com www.FishPineIslandSound. LIVE local web-cams - Weather Forum Marine & Tides - Lightning Tracker Hurricane Information - All of SW Florida - 8 radar options www.CapeWeather.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 18 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Seafood Market Bistro & Chill Bar Matlacha Market Great Licks TM P U B L I C A T I O N S Inc. HEATING & COOLING GA VI N S Ice Cream Shore Line Realty and Associates KATHY SINK INSURANCE Monroe Canal Marina DECKS & DOCKS bile Paul s Mo ice rv Marine Se ELECTRIC FIX MARINE SUPPLY McGREGOR ELECTRIC MOTORS T E C H N O L O G Y Inc. Marina David Schuman Insurance BURRIS PROPELLER SERVICE ROCKET INTERNATIONAL BOAT TRAILERS Gerald Cowan OD Mike Shevlin Realtor Broker ISLAND RESTAURANT Optometrist Lee County Port Charlotte Authorized Full-Service CATERPILLAR Marine Parts & Service Dealer D&D MATLACHA Capt. Rob Modys Guide Service Wild Fly Charters TM P U B L I C A T I O N S Inc. Gulf Harbour Marina Snook Cowboy PO Box 486 - Bokeelia (239) 980-5803 thenauticalmile gmail.com SeaSchool has over 52 USCG approved courses and almost 40 years experience dealing with US Coast Guard licensing regulations and maritime education. SeaSchool is considered to be the premier maritime training school in the country. Classes are regularly held in Punta Gorda Cape Coral Naples Bradenton and Venice. Get your captain s license (800) 237-8663 Serving mariners since 1977 Offices across the US & Caribbean www.SeaSchool.com Online and classroom www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 19 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Snook Cowboy Happy New Year Cool weather has shown it s hand and it s time to slow it down. I have to write this article two weeks before the end of the month so things could change before this hits the stands. Even though it got pretty chilly last month it warmed up towards the end. I m sure it will be back and forth all season temperature wise. This has caused Snook fishing to slow a bit but you can still catch em . Redfish in shallow water is my primary target for the cooler months. The water has cleared up and now they can see you much easier than the past few months after the hurricane so being stealthy is imperative. One of my biggest weapons in my arsenal of fishing tactics for any fish is the moon. I can t stress enough how important it is to know your moon cycles when fishing in saltwater or fresh for that matter. I started fishing when I was two years old and in just the past fifteen years I ve been able to zero in on the best days times and tides by watching the moon cycles. Capeweather.com is my favorite website for all of my fishing information because it has everything I need to plan a great day on the water. After making sure that you have chosen a good day to fish picking the appropriate bait is next. I primarily throw an artificial lure but at times I will use a live-bait for my bigger Snook that hang out underneath the Bokeelia Fishing Pier. Either way you fish bear in mind that the water is much more clear in the winter months and bait presentation should be at a distance. In the summer months you can get right up on a mangrove line or structure without really spooking the fish. With our clear water I would set up a good distance away from that same line as the fish tend to hang just outside the mangroves soaking up sun. Making a good cast is critical and practice makes perfect but being right on top of them this time of year is no good. As the season wears on there will undoubtedly be some really cold days and if you find yourself on the water with no choice but to fish that day cut bait is an excellent option. That way you can anchor up and not fight the tide or the wind. We will obviously have warmer days but the water temp is critical when fishing. If the temps drop below 72 degrees Redfish is your best bet but as spring comes roaring in this year Snook fishing will inevitably get better. Most everyone has made it back down this year and last month I mentioned hosting a talk about the moon cycles and it s definitive effects on fishing and feeding. On February 13th the second Tuesday I will be at the Fishers of Men Lutheran Church on Pine Island. It s just left of the four way stop. It starts at 6 30pm. I m asking for a ten dollar donation at the door and I Guarantee this will be the single most important seminar you should attend if you re looking to up your game in the saltwater arena and worth every penny. I ll give a donation myself to the pastor for letting me use the hall. I ll remind everyone in next months issue and I look forward to seeing my longtime readers and also the new Snook anglers that have moved into the area just the past couple of years. Snook fishing was the biggest challenge for me when I first moved here seventeen years ago. I had no idea how important it was to know the tides the difference between a new moon cycle versus a full moon what happens in between and which tide flows were best. So mark your calendar for Feb 13th the day before Valentines Day because you don t want to let this one pass you by. Here s to a great year of fishing Love & Light 239-878-2665 snookcowboy gmail.com Southwest Florida In-Water Marina Facilities Ainger Creek Marina Placida (941) 474-2487 Boat House The Cape Coral (239) 549-2628 www.boathousecc.com Bob & Annie s Boatyard St. James City (239) 283-3962 www.bobandannies.com Boca Grande Marina Boca Grande (941) 964-2100 www.bocagrandemarina.net Bonita Bay Marina Bonita Springs (239) 495-3222 www.bonitabaymarina.net Burnstore Marina Punta Gorda (941) 637-0083 www.burntstoremarina.com Cape Coral Marine Centre Cape Coral (239) 541-2988 www.capecoralmarinecentre.com Cape Haze Marina Englewood (941) 698-1110 www.capehazemarina.com Desoto Marina (Nav-A-Gator) Lake Suzy (941) 627-3474 www.nav-a-gator.com Diversified Yacht Services Ft. Myers Beach (239) 765-8700 www.dysinc.com Everest Marina Cape Coral (239) 458-6604 www.capecoralboatrepair.com Fish Tale Marina Fort Myers Beach (239) 463-3600 www.thefishtalemarina.com Four Winds Marina Bokeelia (239) 283-0250 www.fourwindsmarina.com Ft. Myers Yacht Basin Ft. Myers (239) 321-7080 www.cityftmyers.com Gasparilla Marina Placida (941) 697-2280 www.gasparillamarina.com Gator Creek Marine Punta Gorda (941) 639-3446 www.floridagatorcreekmarine.com Gulf Harbour Marina Fort Myers (239) 437-0881 www.gulfharbourmarina.net Gulfside Marine Matlacha (239) 282-0443 www.gulfsidemarineservice.com Legacy Harbour Marina Fort Myers (239) 461-0775 www.legacyharbourmarina.com Marina at Cape Harbour Cape Coral (239) 945-4330 www.capeharbourmarina.com Monroe Canal Marina St. James City (239) 282-8600 www.monroecanalmarina.com Moss Marine Ft. Myers Beach (239) 765-6677 www.mossmarine.com Mullock Creek Marina Fort Myers (239) 267-3717 www.thecreekshack.com Old Fish House Marina Matlacha (239) 282-9577 www.oldfishhousemarina.com Owl Creek Boat Works Alva (239) 543-2100 www.owlcreekboatworks.com Palm Island Marina Placida (941) 697-4356 www.palmislandmarina.com Pineland Marina Bokeelia (239) 283-3593 www.pinelandmarina.com Port Sanibel Marina Fort Myers (239) 437-1660 www.portsanibelmarina.com Prosperity Pointe Marina N. Ft. Myers 995-2155 www.prosperitypointemarina.com Salty Sam s Marina Fort Myers Beach (239) 463-7333 www.saltysams.com Sanibel Marina Sanibel (239) 472-2531 www.sanibelmarina.com Skip s Placida Marina Placida (941) 460-8157 www.placidamarina.com Snook Bight Marina Fort Myers Beach (239) 765-4371 www.snookbightmarina.com Stump Pass Marina Englewood (941) 697-2206 www.stumppassmarina.net SweetWater Landing Fort Myers (239) 694-3850 www.sweetwaterlanding.net Tarpon Point Marina Cape Coral (239) 542-6222 www.tarponpoint.com Whidden s Marina Boca Grande (941) 964-2878 www.whiddensmarina.com York Road Marine St. James City (239) 283-1149 www.yorkroadmarine.com Better Service - Better Boating (239) 765-8700 DYSinc.com Gas & Diesel Inboard Outboard & IPS Sales Service & Repair Generator Sales & Service Finish Paint Fiberglass & Gelcoat Bottom Paint Detailing Dockside Service covering all of Southwest Florida Southwest Florida s Largest Parts Department and Authorized Repower Center THREE SW FLORIDA LOCATIONS Ft. Myers Beach - 751 Fisherman s Wharf Ft. Myers - 2455 Fowler Street Naples - 895 10th Street South Ft. Myers 2015 16 17 1 Dealer in the WORLD POWERED BY e ar s ly 3 0 Y N e ar ida i n F l or s Marine The Choice of Serious Fishermen The HOTTEST Boats in SW Florida The Choice of Serious Fishermen Ft. Myers Marine 2137 FOWLER ST. 239-334-7871 www.FtMyersMarine.com SHEARWATER BAY BOATS Deck & Bay Boats Fish the Legend www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 22 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Print your ownPages formatted to 8.5 X 11 Printable pages for tides wrecks & reefs wateraccess restaurants water-access fuel locations moon phases knots marina facilities and 8 local charts for the Lee and Charlotte coastal r Tides fo r th e y e a s ace l in 16 p Marinas & Bait Shops Boat Ramp s America s Boating Course Hosted by the Ft. Myers Power Squadron and other Power Squadrons throughout SW Florida 40 or 60 for couples sharing educational materials. Light refreshments served. To register or receive more information about the course or about joining the FMPS Contact Lt C Millie Bonilla AP at 612-616-6152 or email her at mbonilla_3 hotmail.com Wrecks & R e efs Boat-Access Restaurants Fuel Docks rts 11 Ch a Largest Fleet Worldwide 300 Ports Nationwide Welcome to the neighborhood One Membership applies to ALL recreational boats you own rent or borrow anywhere in the world VHF Channel 16 Charlotte County (239) 283-6060 Lee County (239) 945-1664 24 7 365 days a year Only available from TowBoatUS at www.NauticalMileMagazine.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 23 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source What Is Your Timeline This space is generously donated by the publisher for concerns about our marine environment. It is a space you can express your opinion on existing problems possible solutions or your experience of the quality of conditions in Southwest Florida. Also including problems such as the limited number of public access sites for boats and kayaks the impacts of population pollution and changes in the quality of life in Southwest Florida. This first article we received is listed below and deals with changes over time. We highly encourage reader input to help us raise awareness on how the environment has changed over the years. Please email us at swflenv gmail.com Growing up on Pine Island Sound in the 1950 s I have memories of the flats being full of scallops shrimp clams and oysters. Today scallops are a rarity as are clams. The quantity of shrimp on the flats are diminish. And the oysters are usually considered unsafe to eat. The amount of fish would fluctuate depending on the time of year and weather conditions as they do today. Red tide was something that occurred every 2 or 3 years usually in the summer. Now it appears 2 or 3 times a year. There were large schools of snook along the mangrove shores of Pine Island Sound Turtle Bay and Brunt Store shoreline. Today they are scattered over this same area. Fiddler crabs were so plentiful along the shoreline and salt flats that driving along Pineland from the Post Office to the Shore was constant crunch under car tires as the colonies crossed the road. And the mosquitoes oh yes the mosquitoes were so thick along the mangrove shoreline that they were black clouds of them. Today 25 mosquitoes are considered an infestation. Water quality is also constantly in the news today. In the 50 s the water in the bay was always reddish brown in the summer as rain water flushed out the tributaries. In the fall as summer rains subsided and the first cold front cooled the water down the clarity began improving until it became drinking water clear by late December or early January. The water appears to never reach that level of clarity along the eastern shore of the Harbor in the winter. There are many opinions about the reasons for these changes and I will not start that argument here. But these are some of the changes that I have observed over the past 65 years. See page 3 Seafood Market Bistro & Chill Bar Market Fresh Cut Meats and Full Service Dining Sushi Bar Raw Bar Full Liquor Bar Happy Hour 2-5 & 10-Midnight The New CHILL BAR Is Open Breakfast 8-noon 9am LATE on Weekends Open Daily Coral-Pkwy. 1715 Cape Cape Coral (239) 471-0136 www.LobsterLadySeafood.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 24 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Happy New Year Jim Hutchinson Sr. frigid north it does not hurt to brag a little when I can. My next resolution is one that I make each and every year. I resolve to take better care of my fishing gear. This means that I will clean things in fresh water after each and every trip. I should let things thoroughly dry before putting them away. I always have good intentions about taking proper care of my fishing gear but I seem to be too anxious to get the fish cleaned and get inside and take a shower. This year I will wash my gear and let it dry before putting the rods into the rack. In addition I hope notice I said hope to regularly go through my tackle boxes and make sure they are neat with everything accessible. Also while in the tackle boxes I plan to weed out the various items that are rusty or otherwise not in topnotch shape. They will go in the trash. In the past I have vowed to take my camera out on my fishing trips so that I can record my adventures for posterity. I just purchased a new I-phone so that should make things a little easier as far as having a decent camera with me. My Samsung flip-phone did take pictures but they were of dubious quality. Another year has come and gone. We are now staring 2018 in the face and 2017 is in our dust. It is truly remarkable just how quickly the years seem to come and go as you get older. We seem to shuffle through 365 days much faster now than when I was a young boy. Many years ago when looking ahead to a milestone in my life it seemed as though those years moved so slowly. I had to wait forever until I reached the age of 14 and could hunt on my own without an adult with me. When I was 16 and looking forward to my 17th birthday so I could get my driver s license it seemed to be a lifetime. And the waiting for my 21st birthday to legally drink alcoholic beverages was another lifetime. With January being the beginning of a new year many of us determine to make a fresh start in our lives. What better time to become a better person than the onset of another year. Maybe we will get rid of a nasty habit such as smoking. Some (many ) of us will decide to drop some weight that has accumulated over the years. Actually I am quite the expert on losing weight. I have done it so many times that perhaps I should get a job with Weight Watchers. As you might have surmised my problem has never been with getting the gumption to start a weight reduction program. The difficulty has been sticking with it. This is not to say that some of my efforts have not been successes. It seems that even those times when I do a good job of dropping weight it seems to return with a vengeance. I intend to do it again this year. We will see just how it turns out this time. But enough about that stuff. This is a fishing magazine and it is time for me to put down some fishing thoughts. Right now there are random thoughts floating around in my mind about steps I can take to improve myself as a fisherman. What I am going to do is put them down on paper here and perhaps that will give me some form of a plan of action. At my age I am not catching as many fish as I used to. I am much more cautious than I used to be and I do not have the supply of energy I used to. But that does not mean that I do not have fun fishing. I resolve to have as much fun fishing in 2018 as I possibly can. I plan to continue my idea of last year of planning more manageable trips. I plan to fish pretty much as many days a week as I ever did but these will be shorter trips. Most of my fishing will be inshore and in Pine Island Sound with only occasional forays into the Gulf. After all it is getting out away from things and enjoying nature that are the most important things not necessarily traveling a long distance to catch the biggest fish. I resolve to be more diligent in letting someone know when and where I am going fishing. Then when I return I will let them know I am ashore and safe. Up north this is usually my wife Bonnie. However since she is my fishing partner most of the time in southwest Florida I plan to text my son Jim who lives in the north. Jim is an avid fisherman and editor of a fishing magazine. He always wants to hear how I am doing fishing at least he says he does. I plan to make it a habit to text him when I leave the dock and when I return. I may also send him some pictures of my catches during the trip also. Since he is stuck in the fishing with him. He was less than 2 years old on our first fishing trip and now that he is 50 he pretty much shows me the way. I have four grandsons and I want to fish as much with them as I possibly can. They are all different ages with different interests and levels of patience. But it is fun to take a couple out together and watch the interaction between them. When I am down here on Pine Island I will do practically all of my fishing with my wife. She knows what she is doing and is a definite asset on our trips. I like having her on the boat. Plus she makes sandwiches for the trips and is my best friend. Oh by the way did I mention that this year I am going to lose weight I plan This year I plan to enjoy my fishing to eat healthy and get back to a regimen companions more. Back in New Jersey I of exercise walking. Maybe this will be have a small group of fishing buddies the year that I succeed. that I usually fish with. My wife works as a nurse on a part time basis so she does not get to go as much as she would like. My son is very busy jamesghutch1 aol.com working but I hope to spend more time Monroe Canal Marina Marine Supplies - Boat Rentals Dock Rentals - Live Bait Tackle Shop - Beer - Soda - Ice Boat & Kayak Rentals Daily - Weekly - Monthly open 7 days (239) 282-8600 Because every day is a gift Boat Ramp with parking for 40 trailers in St. James City BOAT REPAIRS - FISHING CHARTERS STORAGE - FUEL www.MonroeCanalMarina.com 3105 Stringfellow Rd. St. James City www.NauticalMileMagazine.com by 25 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source SW Florida Boat Ramps 1- Burnt Store 2- Yacht Club 3- Everest Horton Park 3a- Rosen Park 4- 3rd. Span 4a-Tarpon Bay Explorers 5- Punta Rassa 6- Centennial Park 7- Franklin Locks 7a- Alva Community Park 8- Ft. Myers Shores 9- Judd Park 10- Marina 31 11- D&D Bait 12- Matlacha Park 13- Ole Fish House 14- Bokeelia Fishing Pier 15- Monroe Canal Marina 15a- Pineland Marina 16- Lovers Key 17- Mullock Creek 18- Weeks Fish Camp As part of the Intracoastal Waterway and an important route to open water for boaters living along its banks the Caloosahatchee River is a vital piece of the waterway landscape of Lee County. Especially on weekends boats of all sizes travel to the mouth of the river before fanning out in every direction with many returning the same day. Despite what appears to the uninitiated as a vast expanse of open water in the area the reality is that much of it is quite shallow or in a manatee zone both of which restrict freedom of movement which makes caution the byword. As one traverses west on the river toward open water there is actually only one channel sometimes quite narrow where virtually all boats must travel. This is the area bounded on the right by Little Shell Island and Big Shell Island just before open water is achieved. The rub is that this channel is in a Slow Speed manatee zone requiring the requisite response which has been repeated often in this space- fully settled in the water producing minimum wake. This zone starts around a mile from the mouth of the river and because of the volume of boaters and the narrowness of the channel must be obeyed not only for the safety of the manatees but for the boaters themselves as they are sharing a small space with boats of different sizes and shapes with hull designs creating sizable wakes deriving from even the slightest deviation from the norm. This area is well-marked on both ends so this is a classic ignorance of the law is no excuse moment. As I have suggested before if you are traveling this stretch of water and passing a lot of boats you are likely by definition speeding. Frequent violators are often PWC s which by their nature are meant to go fast. The problem with them is when they are not fully settled in the water even though they are proceeding perceptively slowly they are creating sizable wakes. When combined with all of the other boats traveling in that space it creates potentially unsafe conditions. Once past the marker which says Resume Normal Operations you are free to head directly west through the Miserable Mile south toward Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island or north after clearing a fairly large shallow water area. The operative procedure here is obey the channel markers and you should be okay. Recently while on patrol we observed two large cruisers hard aground after deviating from the proscribed route. Traveling east into the river there is another hurdle when you clear the slow speed zone. Instead of Resume Normal Operation the sign reads 25 MPH which is significantly better than slow speed. There are open zones on the river. Just obey the signage and you will be fine. Also in the area around the end of the river are two favorite stopoff points Cape Harbor and Tarpon Point a popular fuel stop. Surrounded by ecelectic-sounding features like Glover Bight Cattle Dock Point and Jewfish Creek there is a lot of shallow water magnified during low tide and it is 19- Hickory Bridge 20- Imperial River Ramp 21- Nav-A-Gator Grille 22- Laishley Park 23- Ponce De Leon Park 24- Darst Ramp 25- Riverside Ramp 26- Harbor Heights Park 27- Charlotte Beach Park 28- Spring Lake Ramp 29- El Jobean Ramp 30- Uncle Henry s Marina 31- Placida Ramp 32- Indian Mound Park 33- Ainger Boat Ramp 34- South Bay 35- Indian Prairie Canal 36- Harney Pond Canal 37- Clewiston 38- Belle Glade 39- Okee Tantie State Park 40- Moore Haven Ramp 39 35 36 Lake-O 40 37 34 North Port 21 Port Charlotte Englewood 33 32 29 28 27 26 24 23 22 25 Punta Gorda 31 30 Boca Grande Placida Bokeelia 14 15a 11-12-13 9 3a 7a 1 Matlacha 6 8 10 7 Cape Coral 3 2 Captiva St. James City 15 4a 5 4 FT. Myers Beach 17 18 20 Sanibel 16 imperative that you stay within the channels leading to Cape Harbor and Tarpon Point and stay at slow speed since it s also a manatee zone. Remember that Idle Speed zones precede entrance to these facilities which prompts this reminder- Idle Speed means no wake and only enough speed to maintain course and steering. The Lee County Sheriff s Marine Division which maintains a presence in the area cautions boaters that these speed restrictions are for everyone s safety and for that reason will be vigorously enforced. Visitors to the area need to familiarize themselves with the rules as well before heading out 19 Bonita Springs onto the waters of Lee County by having the required safety gear on board and a working knowledge of the speed zones. If everyone adheres to the rules and observes the channels through shallow water especially during low tide enjoyment will be the order of the day. Dave Sully dlsully99 aol.com Lee County Sheriff Dept. V.O.I.C.E Unit Full Service Marine Supply Visit Our Showroom Customize your docks with ideas in our public showroom. 645 Commercial Park Place Next to the German American Club DECKS & DOCKS Lumber - Pilings - Bumpers Dock Lighting Filet Tables - Ladders Dock Boxes Composite and Wood Decking (239) 574-4844 www.Decks-Docks.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com Bob s World Bob Moro 26 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Living Large in LaBelle As Commander of the Fort Myers Power Squadron boating education and safety are paramount so most of my stories are about boats boating and boating safety but I love sharing stories about quirky people who live among us. These denizens of Bob s World contribute to the rich fabric of our southern society and they all have a good story to tell. Tom Sargent certainly qualifies. His rambling LaBelle home is tucked along oxbow 35 and within site of the Fort Denaud Bridge on the Caloosahatchee. The real Caloosahatchee not the dredged canal the Army Corps of Engineers built to link that beautiful but now tainted river from the dirty overflows of Lake Okeechobee as Tom was quick to point out. His dad was a gifted carpenter and ceramics maker and he designed and built the rambling home where Tom lives. His family moved to St. Petersburg from Washington PA in 1952. In 1957 his parents headed to Marathon on vacation in their 21 cruiser but laid over at the Fort Myers Yacht Basin when bad weather moved in. Days later they got bored and started looking at real estate in the area. And they fell in love with the multi-acre plot on the river in LaBelle which included an island formed by the oxbow. They had built a small cabin in their woodworking shop in St. Petersburg in 1960. In 62 they dismantled and trailered it to LaBelle and reassembled it as their home. In 68 Tom s dad poured the footings for a larger home. Seven years later they moved into the sprawling family home where Tom now lives. When his dad died in 2015 he willed the property to Tom s brother George who soon moved to Georgia. Tom then traded his place on the island that was part of their original property and moved into the family homestead. Time has not been kind to the homestead. Florida s prodigious horticulture will consume any structure that isn t regularly defended against the onslaught of vegetation and Tom s decision to follow in his parents footsteps of carpentry and ceramics has left him little time or interest in landscaping. It s easy to whiz by the single story home with the meandering floor plan hidden behind the overgrowth. There is still a river view but good luck hacking your way through the dense growth to get to it. Old Florida screams at me as we pace the dense woods that used to be his back yard. But the whole effect is serene and beautiful. Tom s pride in his homestead is apparent. They drained Lake Flirt to dredge that canal they call the Caloosahatchee says Tom. It was a beautiful lake. Ours is one of the few remaining oxbows you can still navigate. Most were intentionally blocked up at one end so landowners could drive to the islands (formed by the oxbows). The Army (Corps of Engineers) made some of them remove the blockages Tom explains. I asked him what has changed in LaBelle from when he and his family first homesteaded here. There s less boat traffic now. The shrimp fleet used to dock in Fort Myers and cross Florida into the St. Lucie (and the east coast). And cruise ships used to pass through here. Maybe a thousand passengers on them. One was a barge where they built 8-10 cabins on it. Called it Old Lazy Bones. It would take 5-6 day cruises across the state. We d greet them with black powder rifles and scare the heck out of em. My dad used to build boats. He built my first boat-a little dingy-when I was 8. We loved playing on their big wakes with our little runabouts. Back then the only environmental problems were caused by wild hyacinth but they re gone now. They used to clog the river. They weren t native-people would toss them in the river from their aquariums. Four peacocks( ) stroll up to us and wait patiently at our feet for treats that Tom doesn t offer. He sees my astonishment and explains their presence They brought them here to eat bugs in the orange groves. Want a feather The inside of his home is incredible although you can immediately tell a woman does not live here. There s a huge woodworking shop with shelves filled with woodworking and leathercraft tools woodcrafts saws and all the accoutrements. There s also a huge ceramic shop in the homecomplete with a full sized kiln-and dozens if not hundreds of ceramic art crafts awaiting final completion and glazing. (His mom was active in the Labelle Women s Club and taught ceramics from the skills she picked up from her husband s business.) He picks up a fresh-from-the-kiln piece and begins sanding it to demonstrate the process. Tom creates elaborate sculptures for renowned Ringling School of Arts-trained ceramic artist Scott Causey. A 5-foot gecko sculpture fresh out of the mold sits on his table. Scott breaks them up glazes them in different colors and puts them back together. Sells them for thousands. (Google him ) Tom also makes custom molds for interested customers (tsargent mastersargentmolds.com). The room is covered in ceramic dust that has wafted throughout the house. His bedroom holds a vintage waterbed the likes of which I haven t seen since the 70 s. Walls are floor-to-ceiling colored stones formed from ceramic and created by his dad. Every room hold intricate wood carved images I would love to own. There is a kitchen but the walls are filled with shelves holding solvents and other toxic tools of the trade. My wife would not be impressed but I was. An entire exterior wall in another room has flopped over remains of damage done by hurricane Irma. I ve got to get around to fixing that he offers. Did I mention the cats I ve seen 15 of them. So you like cats I take it I m not a cat person. My brother left 5 behind when he moved. Then my friend asked me to take his cat if he promised to feed them all. The others just wandered by and decided to stay he explains. Makes perfect sense to me. Kind of. Tom is happy in his bohemian enclave. He says LaBelle hasn t changed muchmaybe it s a little more sophisticated he thinks. I like the quiet here he says. And there s not much crime. They know we ve all got guns and we re not afraid to use them. Tom tells me a story about an uninvited tax assessor venturing onto his property. Shots were fired. Later my dad went to a County Commissioner s meeting and told the guy the next time he wouldn t miss. The guy got so nervous he tried to sit down and missed his chair. Hilarious. But unless your goal is to raise his taxes Tom s about the best friend and neighbor you could find. FMPS squadron members Ray and Amanda Backstrom bought a home the family owned next door and can t say enough about this quirky guy who fits nicely into Bob s World. He s a great neighbor-helpful to a fault Ray tells me. He goes way out of his way for his friends and neighbors. The clutter in his home and yard doesn t bother him at all. Tom will collect nearly anything of value. To him Ray explains. Of value is a fluid concept his plan is to be ready for disasters and in retrospect none of us had to buy a thing before during or after Irma. I had fuel but he had everything else- plywood screws candles battery powered radios extra generator (when ours died) and so much more. We jokingly call his house Needful Things. He knows what he has and where it is but if he s not sure he s got a card-file with everything listed...if you can read it. Tom is like family now. I wouldn t ask him to change a thing he s the best neighbor anyone could have. Think the Ace hardware guy rolled up with Wilson (from Home Improvement ). It s hard to beat that combination Ray wants me to know. As I head to my car Tom hands me a 6-foot-long peacock tail feather he pulls from his collection. A gift for your wife he says. Ft. Myers Power Squadron www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 27 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Sea Scope the GENTOO PENGUIN Alyssa Grabner January is the national awareness month of penguins. I decided to switch up the topic of my usual articles and dedicate this month s edition solely to penguins. We will be focusing on the most marine oriented penguin species (the Gentoo Penguin) and all of the amazing capabilities they have. Gentoo penguins are adapted to very harsh cold climates. However while breeding they locate their colonies on ice free surfaces. This places them on shorelines near shallow coastal areas and nestled between tufts of grass. They are also dispersed on subAntarctic islands such as Falkland Islands South Georgia and Kerguelen Islands. While in the water sea lions leopard seals and killer whales serve as predators to the gentoo penguin. On land no predators stand up to the penguins. However skuas can steal their eggs and seabirds manage to snatch the baby gentoos. Alyssa s Alyssa Grabner The gentoo penguin is recognizable by the white stripe running across its head and by their bright orange-red bill. They have pale pink webbed feet and a long tail. They reach a height of 51 to 90 cm making them the third largest penguin species. Males weigh in at about 19 pounds while females weigh in at about 18 pounds. Before jumping in the water they release air bubbles from their feathers allowing them to double even triple their swimming speed. The Gentoo penguin averages a speed of 22 mph swimming underwater while other species average around 7 mph. The Gentoo penguin mainly feed on crustaceans including krill. Fish makes up 15% of their diet. Since gentoos live in the Antarctic there is a limited amount of freshwater available. The penguins diet is so high in salt they eat organisms that have the same salinity as seawater. This still leads to complications associated with high sodium concentrations so all gentoo penguins have developed a salt gland located behind their eyes that produces a saline concentration solution that drips out the body from the beak. Water-Access Fuel 15- Big Hickory Marina 1- Four Winds Marina (239) 992-0991 (239) 283-0250 16- Pineland Marina 2- Monroe Canal Marina (239) 283-3593 (239) 282-8600 17- Salty Sam s Marina 3- Moss Marine (239) 463-7333 (239) 463-6137 18- Snook Bight Marina 4- Old Fish House Marina (239) 765-4371 (239) 282-9577 19- Fish Tale Marina 5- Burnt Store Marina (239) 463-3600 (941) 637-0083 20- Jug Creek Marina 6- Ft. Myers Yacht Basin (239) 283-3331 (239) 321-7080 21- South Seas Resort 7- The Marina at Cape Harbour (239) 472-5111 (239) 945-4330 22- Sweetwater Landing 8- Tarpon Point Marina (239) 694-3850 (239) 549 4900 23- Jack s Marina 9- The Boat House Tiki Bar (239) 694-2708 (239) 945-2628 24- Bonita Bay Marina 9a- Cape Coral Boat Centre (239) 495-3222 (239) 541-2988 25- Jensen s Marina 10- Gasparilla Marina (239) 472-5800 (941) 697-2280 26- Boca Grande Marina 11- Sanibel Marina (941) 964-2100 (239) 472-2723 27- Uncle Henry s Marina 12- The Landings (941) 964-0154 (239) 481-7181 13- Gulf Harbour Marina (239) 437-0881 13a- Ft. Myers Boat Club eer To-Go (239) 454-2629 Favorite B E - ICE OR 14- Diversified Yacht SHIPS ST To-Go l (239) 765-8700 Bait & Fue 28- Cape Coral Yacht Basin (239) 574-0809 29- Gator Creek Marina (941) 639-3446 30- Fisherman s Village (941) 575-3000 31- Laishley Park (941) 575-0142 32- Stump Pass Marina (941) 697-2206 33- Whidden s Marina (941) 964-2878 34- Inn Marina (941) 964-4600 35- Palm Island Marina (941) 697-4356 36- Cape Haze Marina (941) 698-1110 37- Nav-A-Gator (941) 625-4407 36 35 Boca Grande 32 37 30 29 31 27 10 34 Placida 5 26 33 N. Ft. Myers 1 20 Bokeelia 16 6 4 9a Cape Coral 22 23 Pine Island 21 25 Sanibel 28 9 13 13a 12 78 2 11 3 14 17 Ft. Myers Beach 18 19 15 Boathouse Tiki Bar & Grill The most convenient fuel access on the Caloosahatchee 0 Octane Diesel and 9 Gas Non-Ethanol aily Open 7am D Appeti Hot & C zers - Salads o Baskets ld Sandwich es and a lo t more EAT I N T AKE O UT Bonita Beach 24 Wiggins Pass 38 ch kfast - Lun Br ea ner Hour - Din H ap p y The Boathouse Tiki Bar & Grill at the Cape Coral Yacht Club 5819 Driftwood Parkway Cape Coral 8am - 10pm Marker R78 on the Caloosahatchee River (239) 945-BOAT (2628) 365 Days a Year www.TheBoatHouseUSA.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 28 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 29 Serving SW Florida s Coastal Enthusiast Easy Rider Charters Capt. Richard May USCG Licensed Bokeelia Florida (239) 283-3247 Cell (239) 789-5907 MRCFISH aol.com Back-Bay Fishing Sight Seeing - Shelling Redfish - Snook Trout - Tarpon Years ago Captain Dick May contacted my office about writing a monthly column for us. He also wrote for other magazines and a local newspaper making him a popular local talent that added flavor and credibility to our own publication. I don t associate with the Nautical Mile s writers often they e-mail articles monthly and I ve never even met some of them. It s business. But with Dick May business was the last thing we shared. Capt. Dick became a close personal friend within minutes of knowing each other and that relationship went on for years. This past summer he relocated to Kansas City to be around his family and we lost him last month. His death put me in a personal state of shock. I grew up without a dad s mentorship and Capt. Dick practically adopted me. We had this little thing at the end of our talks about who got the last word. One day leaving his house he yelled something from the porch and went inside. As I drove out I called him to ask what he just yelled and he said that he was just trying to get the last word and he hung up .....ensuring the last word. We laughed we fished we shared personal feelings and emotions and we talked almost every day. My ignorance to current events came up in a lot of our talks. I prefer to be uninformed as opposed to misinformed so I don t watch TV and I don t keep up with media. I didn t need to I could just call him. Dick on the other hand was a bit of a news junkie. I can still hear his voice saying You should pick up a paper once in a while . (He wasn t referring to this one...) So I ll say good-bye with HIS words You should pick up a paper once in a while - Jim Griffiths Capt. Dick always wanted to fish in Alaska and he got the chance last year with his son Steve. Local Fresh Fish - Daily Specials 4875 Pine Island Rd Matlacha (239) 283-0113 Open 7 days a week 11-9 New Fami ly Owners www.SandyHookRestaurant.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 30 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Reflections on the Water captain rob modys Another year has gone by and we now look forward to 2018. With the new year come new resolutions. That s right those pesky resolutions that mostly include dieting and exercise at the top of the list and then move toward taking care of those nasty habits that we ve accumulated over the previous year(s). I have an idea... Fishing Resolutions. The first and most obvious one on the list would be to fish more often. They say that a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at the office. Yep I agree. Being outdoors and enjoying all that comes with it has proven stress relief qualities. It also leads to better health and lower blood pressure according to a report from the American Medical Association. That should be proof enough that wetting a line more often is important. Second Explore new areas while fishing. Every single angler I know gets trapped going to the same places to fish over and over again. No matter what the weather tides or winds they ll lock on to that old spot and wear it out. There s a lot of water out there folks and it needs to be explored. I use this rule. If I ve got a friend on board who really needs to land a fish I ll work hard and hit those reliable fishing holes. If I m on the boat alone then all bets are off. I m in exploratory mode. Exploring is fun and it may lead to that new favorite fishing spot. Third This resolution sort of goes along with number two. Try new fishing lures. I m not talking about the ones that your fishing friends recommend I m talking about the ones you pick out because you think they look fishy. Maybe you ve never rigged a soft plastic or you ve never touched a gold spoon. I suggest walking the isles of your favorite tackle store and selecting something brand new without recommendation from anyone. Just use you re fishing intuition. Fourth Get out of the boat and get on your feet. Go beach fishing. Most of us that grew up in Florida started fishing from a beach or pier. Either way we were bound by gravity to earth and also the fact that we were young and too poor to own a boat. Make a resolution to give it try. I did and I have to tell you it s very relaxing. After all it s a walk on the beach if nothing else. Fifth Improve your skills by taking lessons going to fishing classes or seminars. Ok this is self serving because I teach classes about fishing and I do seminars but let me share this with you. Over the years of teaching basic classes about saltwater fishing I ve heard this over and over again. I really wish I had taken a class like this a long time ago. That almost always came from an experienced angler vs. the newbie to our area because most new anglers know they need help. Fishing our waters is complicated. There are lots of variables that play into having a successful day on the water. Why not take a class or two from someone who s sorted through all that mess Sixth Try something new. Discover fly fishing. It s not as complicated or expensive as you may think. Oh I know fly fishing has long been promoted in ads as an elite sport. I m not sure why but I m here to tell you that it s simply the next step for those anglers that feel that fishing has become boring. It s not anymore costly than spin fishing but like spin fishing it can be but only if you want to spend the big bucks. Seventh Make a New Year s Resolution to take a youngster fishing but go one step further. Take a child out on the water that s not a member of your family. There are a lot of children that can benefit from a day on the water that rarely get the chance. There are programs in our area that will help you find a way to donate your time and experience. It s important to introduce fishing to our youth to help keep our sport moving ahead. Have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year captrobmodys gmail.com (239) 851-1242 www.ReelTalkRadio.net Largest REEL Selection Around Largest LURE Selection Around Where fishing info and lies are FREE Fishing Charters On-Site Boat Rigging - Motor Repairs Custom Cast Nets - Rocket Trailers - Custom Rods Consignment Boats - Star Rods - Marine Supplies Cast Net Repair - Rod & Reel Repairs 574-6950 Live & Frozen Bait www.CapeToolandTackle.com 405 NE Pine Island Rd. - Cape Coral www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 31 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source BOAT SMARTS 101 Who are YOUR designated lookouts OK I admit it. I m a charter member of the Doomsday School of Boater Safety. The Doomsday School hits you over the head with the horrible statistics on boating accidents. It complains about those boaters who are unteachable and unreachable. Denial is the order of the day and nobody figures out what the problem is until the problem ends up in our neighbor s boat. A colleague recently suggested that my approach simply isn t working. When it comes to paddlers (kayaks canoes stand up s) the millennials don t listen to us. As for power boaters well anyone over 35 is a bad statistic. So what are those of us in the Boating Safety Community to do My colleague suggested that we adopt a more positive attitude. Arrrrgh Paradigm Shift Alert Do you have any idea how difficult it is for me to come to a screeching halt re-evaluate a position crafted over a long lifetime dig down deep into my psyche and pull out something I have never considered before Just how positive do you think I can get about boating accident statistics I ll forego the analogies and just tell you that it isn t easy and that I need some help. The first task outside the classroom in our Coast Guard Auxiliary crew training is that of lookout. We get to sit down at the back or front of the boat enjoy the sun and the view and generally have a very relaxing boat ride. We re told to scan near and far report to the boat helmsman and coxswain anything unusual or approaching and to hear back that they have received our report. Easy peasy piece of cake anyone can do it. So on my first day out on the placid waters of Roberts Bay in Venice I m chatting with my neighbor in the seat next to me and trying very hard to overhear the conversation going on behind me at the helm. All of a sudden this 35 footer appears 25 feet off my stern quarter passing us at a high rate of speed. Where the heck did that come from So I tell the helmsman that we have an overtaking boat and by the time I get the second syllable out of my mouth the yacht has passed us we re rolling in its wake. I have totally failed in this simple task. I was not paying attention I was not focused and I darn near wet my pants when that boat appeared out of nowhere. And so the learning process begins. Let me be the first to tell you that it has taken some time for me to get it down right. My ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and my natural proclivities have over time conspired to diminish and erode my ability to focus. But focus I must. The helmsman has an obligation as well. The natural impulse when someone tells you of an approaching boat or other vehicle is to respond sarcastically and tell you that they see it already and why are you bothering me with that insignificant issue Here is the proper response from the helmsman Got it. For newbies such as myself the helmsman specifies the lookout parameters at the beginning of the voyage. I want to know when anything is floating in the water within 100 yards of our boat. If it s a coconut a log an unknown object a swimmer tell me. If it s a boat I want to know how fast it is approaching where it is coming from if it looks like it wants to pass us or is on a collision course tell me. If you need to change your report or if the object gets closer tell me. The helmsman is in charge and my job is to make his job easier and safer. We rotate our lookout positions frequently both to get out of the sun and into the shade and to decrease the possibility of inattention or boredom. In doing vessel safety checks I ve been suggesting to boat owners that they can enlist the aid of their children and grandchildren by designating them as official boat lookouts. [CAVEAT 1 We also need to designate responsible adults as lookouts but right now I m talking about the kids.] Anyway enlisting the kids has several functions. The kids have sharper eyes than any of us. They can be really useful. But perhaps more importantly we have now engaged the kids in a life-long interest in boater safety. We are improving the relationship between Mom & Dad or Grandma & Grandpa and the kids. The modelling that parents and grandparents do will imprint permanently on the kids and they will pass on their lookout and boater safety skills to their children and grandchildren. Let us bear in mind that children have a short attention span. So find them something else to do when they are not in lookout mode. You have already designated at least one adult as a lookout. You can also rotate the adults if you have them on board. But you need to keep a lookout regardless. [CAVEAT 2. Your new lookouts will fail at their task. That is expected. What is also expected is that you will address this with understanding with patience with compassion and with gentility. Under no circumstances should anyone be criticized or berated for anything less than perfect performance. Mistakes are part of the territory. Always remember that you alone as the boat operator are responsible for the safe handling of your boat.] Safe boat operation takes willingness to practice self-discipline and attention to detail. These are characteristics that children have not yet grown into. This is just one tiny thing that we can do to change the culture surrounding boater safety for the better. Modelling is such an important teaching tool that I will bring it up again in another article. Simply put the kids will learn from what you do. What you say can and will be forgotten in a microsecond. But what you do in front of your children and grandchildren will last their lifetimes and get passed on to their children as well. Isn t it a cool thing to save a life or two long after you have passed from the scene How positive is that Back to my first CAVEAT. In terms of boating safety maintaining a lookout while on the water is a really really big deal. It should not be left solely to children. Engage everyone on your boat as a boating safety specialist. Rotate your lookouts. Tell them what to look for how to report and what to expect back from you as acknowledgement. They will make your job as boat operator a lot more fun which is the whole idea about boating in the first place. I m not going to give you the accident statistics here on this page. They change in micro-increments every year. And rarely in a positive direction. (Something that we really do want to change.) Instead I suggest you visit two very important sites. Do an internet search for Recreational Boating Statistics. You will find it as a subpage of http www.uscgboating.org This annual report by the US Coast Guard is generally issued in May of each year to coincide with National Safe Boating Week. For Florida boaters the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission does a superb job with its annual reports and keeps older ones on their site for a long time for comparison purposes. Their annual reports will be found on subpages of myfwc.org -- Just follow the links for Safety & Education Accidents. Both of these reports were so well presented and so useful that I printed them out for my own ready reference. And one more thing Safe boating is good business. All of us in the greater boating community need to remind ourselves from time to time that everyone benefits when our customers reach a safe harbor having had a great time on the water with great stories to be told. Simply put dead customers don t buy boats. Oh about that photo at the top of the page. The photo is a US Coast Guard file photo. The caption is my own. If you would like to make a suggestion for a more positive photo or meme on this subject you can send it to me Tom Perrin at BoatSmarts101 gmail.com. Please no recognizable faces of children. OPSEC (Operational Security) protection prevails USCG Auxiliary District 7 Flotilla 86 Venice Fl. Tom Perrin is a member of USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 86 in Venice FL and a trainee crew member with lifelong interests in family dynamics boating and boat safety. www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 32 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source ISLAND RESTAURANT afood inning Se Award W North Captiva Florida Island P aradise Winter Fishing with Captain Roger Newton Crappie are active now that it has cooled down. Most anglers report best luck with a jig or live minnow rigged under a float. Drift your bait as close to the bushes on the shore line as you can. Coco Plum waterway has been producing some nice fish. Bass fishing has been awesome some ponds and lakes are staring to turn and fish are beginning to build beds. Anglers have been reporting best results with live shiners rigged under a small float fishing along weed lines. Large numbers of fish have been coming from a sinko fished slowly on the bottom. ar d Baza Islan 40 Boat Slips Island Wear - Local Artists Jewelry & Unique Island Gifts Island Restaurant - 40 Boat Slips Kayak Tours - Beaches - Fishing Queenie s Ice Cream - Pet Friendly Captiva Pass Island Bazaar Look for a grassy flat with 1-5 feet of clean water incoming to a high tide seems to be the best. Popping corks or clackers with a average sized live shrimp is a sure shot. Cast as far as you can ahead of your drifting boat till you find the fish on the flat. White or pink Gulp Swimming Minnows on a jig head have been a great artificial choice. Some big over-slot fish have been coming from the local passes with usually a better bite on an outgoing tide. Anglers have reported drifting pinfish and live handpicked shrimp on the bottom and doing very well. Other than the big over-slots look for these fish around oysters sand bars drop offs sandy pot-holes and under docks. Best baits have been handpicked live shrimp live pinfish cut bait such as lady fish mullet pin fish or crab. For artificial baits you can t go wrong with a gold weedless spoon or a Gulp Shrimp in their New Penny color. Lots of fish have pushed into the peace and Myakka Rivers with the cold temps. Focus on structure current and bait. Best live baits have been live pinfish in the harbor and live shiners in the Myackka and Peace rivers. A great artificial bait has been the live target swimming mullet. ithin 10 miles of the beach you can find all kinds of life. Kings Bonita plenty of lane and Gray Snapper Tripletail and the Gags have pushed in as well. Out past 10 AJ s Tuna Permit African Pompano Early morning flats fishing with an incoming to a high tide. Fish with a live shrimp and popping cork. Tons of Trout Cayo Costa N26.36.000 W082.12.875 North Captiva Redfish Pass Captiva Blind Pass Pet Friendly St. James City Sanibel www.FineBaitAndTackle.com Fine Bait & Tackle 14503 Tamiami Trail - North Port (941) 240-5981 (239) 472-1200 www.BarnaclesNorthCaptiva.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 33 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Boating-Access Restaurants A Well your Social Security number for one thing In this day of hackers and security breaches why oh why does Medicare continue to print your Social Security number on your Medicare card You asked and they listened. Beginning in 2018 Medicare is finally going to remove your Social Security number and is issuing new cards. This transition is scheduled to begin in April of 2018 and continue for the next year. Here is some information put out by Medicare for your reading pleasure... Medicare is scheduled to begin mailing out the new cards in the Spring. Your new card is going to have a randomly selected number that s unique to you. This will help protect your identity. You don t need to do anything as the cards will be automatically issued. The card doesn t change any of the Medicare benefits you are currently entitled to. There is no charge for your new card. Watch out for Scams Medicare will never ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare number & card. Scam artists may try to get your current Medicare number and other personal information by contacting you about your new Medicare card. They often claim to be from Medicare and use various scams to get your Medicare number including Asking you to confirm K I J M H Englewood Kathy Thousand your Medicare or Social Security Number so they can send you a new card. Telling you there s a charge for your new card and they need to verify your personal information. Threatening to cancel your health benefits if you don t share your Medicare number or other personal information. If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information hang up and call Medicare at 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) and report it Lost your card Call Social Security (800-772-1213) for a new one. Takes about 30 days. They will mail your card to the address they have on file for you. If you need proof of coverage sooner then 30 days you can request a letter from Social Security and it will arrive in about 10 days. If you need proof immediately for your doctor or a prescription visit your local Social Security Office. Happy New Year from Insurance Options Inc - your local Medicare insurance plan agency. Call click or come in today. You ll be glad you did kathy InsuranceOptionsFL.com G L B E C Punta Gorda Ft. Myers 1a-Pincher s F 1b- Marker 34 D Placida 1-Marinatown - Cactus Jacks - TP Hoolihan s Boca Grande - Dale s Dockside 1b 2- Bayfront Bistro Cayo Costa 3- Lighthouse 8 5- Sanibel Harbor 9 10 1a 6- Big Hickory Grill 12 7- Ft. Myers Beach 1 Pine Island -Parrot Key 17 Cape Coral -Doc Fords 14 -Bootlegger s BBQ 20 15 -Nervous Nellie s 13 16 Captiva 18 -Matanzas Inn 11 3 -Bonita Bill s 5 Pine Island 7 Ft. Myers Beach 19 8- Lazy Flamingo Sanibel 2 9- Cabbage Key 10- Tarpon Lodge 11- St. James City -Waterfront 6 -Woody s Charlotte Harbor -Low Key Tiki Bonita A- Nav-A-Gator Grill -Ragged Ass Saloon B- Fisherman s Village 12- MatlachaSmuggler s Bert s Bar & Grille Harpoon Harry s Hooked Island Grill Captain s Table Miceli s Village Market Old Fish House Village Oyster Bar Sanibel Captiva Bella Luna 17- Barnacle s Ornery Attitude 18- The Green Flash C- Laishley s Crab House 19- Grandma Dot s D- The Fishery 20- Tween Waters E- Hurricane Charley s Cape Coral F- Waterside Grille 13- Cape Harbour G- Rum Bay - Rumrunner s H- Lighthouse Grille - Fathoms I- Flounder s - Tiki Bar J- Blue Lagoon - French Roast K- Zekes Bayside Bar - Marina Club L- Leverocks 14- Monarcas M- White Elephant Pub 15- The Boat House 16- Tarpon Point Marina Boca Grande - Marker 92 Eagle Grill - Nauti Mermaid Pink Elephant - Pinchers 4271 Pine Island Rd. - Matlacha Live Music d Fresh Seafoo Insurance Options Inc. 1401 Viscaya Pkwy. Cape Coral (239) 201-4560 www.InsuranceOptionsFL.com Dine on the Dock Million Dollar View 239-282-3232 www.bertsbar.com 2 Locations Water-Access in St. James City ne w Busy oral C Cape tion Loca Live Music on-the-water 7-days a Week www.WoodysSurfside.com 3930 Pine Island Rd - Matlacha Dine in or take out Daily Specials - 2 for 25 s Happy Hour 11-7 1.55 Drafts - 6.55 Pitchers 3.25 House Wine 2 for 1 Jager Shots Lazy Flamingo Boaters Welcome Free Docking For the freshest meal bring us your catch serving it underwater any fresher we d be if our seafood were Bokeelia Lazy Flamingo 3 Inc. GPS N26.42.057 W082.09.381 4 Locations Lazy Flamingo 2 Inc. 1036 Periwinkle Way Sanibel 239-472-6939 Lazy Flamingo Inc. 6520-C Pine Ave Sanibel 239-472-5353 www.Micelis-Italian.com www.lazyflamingo.com 16501 Stringfellow Road Bokeelia (239) 283-5959 Located at Lazy Flamingo 4 Inc. 12951 McGregor Blvd Ft. Myers 239-476-9000 in Bokeelia www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 34 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source When The Wind Blows... Captain Charles Epranian This time of year we can go from placid flat calm water to 25 mph winds in a matter of an afternoon. Getting to know where you can find refuge from a windy day can be a lifesaver. Many shorelines back in mangrove creeks provide just this type of shelter. Getting to know the mangroves can prove to be a good call on those days that the wind just won t quit. Getting to those creeks can be a bumpy and sometimes wet experience but often is well worth the effort. This time of year when the water is cooler and the wind is blowing hard mangrove creeks and a well full of shrimp are a good bet. Most all of our local species can be caught in deeper sections of most mangrove creeks. When the tide moves in and out of the creeks it almost always creates deeper pockets . Finding these spots can be a challenge but with a little effort you should be able to find plenty of fish. Look for bends and corners in creeks as well as confluences where one spills into and out of another. The hydraulic force of the tide will almost always dig out deeper areas and fish love to stage up in these pockets in cooler weather. Snook redfish snapper and sheepshead will be the most common catches. If we have an extreme cool down many fish will shut down till it warms up a bit but some don t mind the cold at all and even seem to thrive in it. Sheepshead fishing can be great on the coldest of days. Especially those days where the wind energy of the front is past but its still chilly. I like to use tidbits of shrimp on a small jig-head. Sheep are masterful at nibbling your shrimp off your hook so the smaller the bait the more likely that the fish will eat in one bite rather than frustratingly teasing you with 20 nibbles before finally relieving you of your bait. Its not unusual to find some fish in the 2-4 lb range and on light tackle that can be a blast. They are great table fare as well. Filleting them can be a bit tedious since they have a big rib cage but with practice its no big deal. Expect lots of small redfish this time of year but there s always some slot sized fish mixed in. I again like to use shrimp on a jig-head but I usually pinch just the tail off of my shrimp to put a little scent trail in the water and allow the reds to zero in on my baits a little easier. If you get into the rat reds be sure and note how blue their tails sometimes are. I m not sure why but it s amazing how blue a redfish can be. Snook season is closed and if you catch any try real hard to minimize your impact on the fish with a quick in water picture and release. If you get a chance to spend any time in the near-shore Gulf between fronts keep a rod rigged with a heavy weighted fast retrieve buck-tail or something like it. There has been bonito schools busting the surface just off the beach lately and if you get lucky enough to tie yourself to one... watch out. They are a blast. Fast as can be and strong so make sure whatever rod you throw at them has plenty of line on it. I have had an entire spool of braid stripped from a reel as my angler stood there stunned and non-reactive as 200 yards of braid peeled off in no time. They re strong and fast so be ready. I hope everyone has a great new year and if you d like charter information or just want to talk fishing give me a call. Capt. Charles Epranian Grease Top Beams - Check & Lubricate Cables Grease Bull & Worm Gears - Tighten Belts or Chains Check Motor Covers Clean Inspect Condition & Placement of Guide Poles Inspect Condition of Zincs - Inspect Condition of Seawall Inspection Pilings for Marine Borer Damage Inspect French Drain - Grease Cradles Inspect Condition of Bunks - Inspect Pulleys for Damage Make Sure Bunks are Properly Aligned for Boat Confirm Boat Lift Sitting On Lift Properly Inspection Condition of Decking & Framing Inspect Pile Wrap to Make Sure it is Secure Inspect Seawall & Seawall Cap Boat Lift Dock & Seawall Annual Maintenance Program (239) 259-8696 www.DSIMARINE.com C HUCK S A UTO R EPAIR S ERVICE Cars - Boats - Trucks Foreign & Domestic Maintenance - Oil Changes Transmission - Tire Rotation RESTORATION SPECIALIST frshfsh5 aol.com (239) 410-2515 www.FishPineIslandSound.com Professional On-Site Detailing Cars and Boats (239) 283-2916 5575 Doug Taylor Circle St. James City www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 35 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 36 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source FORT MYERS POWER SQUADRON OFFERING COMPREHENSIVE WEATHER CLASS The Fort Myers power Squadron is offering The United States Power Squadrons award winning Weather Class at our squadron building beginning February 7th at 10 00 A.M. This 8-9-week course is designed to help boaters understand how weather systems behave move and interact with one another and reflect on the availability of all sorts of weather reports and forecasts on the Internet. Each student will receive the USPS Weather Manual a set of three Daily Weather Maps with weather aids to allow a complete explanation of map symbols designed to develop weather map reading and analysis skills and NOAA s Sky Watcher Chart-a reference to assist in identifying cloud types-helpful indicators of approaching weather. The course manuals and other materials build on a long USPS tradition of presenting a comprehensive meteorologically (scientifically) oriented course designed for recreational boaters. This course is open to the public with free refreshments at each session. We hope to have a local television weather person present to conduct one of the seminars. More information will be available in the January Nautical Mile Magazine issue. Cost is just 50. To register or to learn more about the course contact Commander Bob Moro AP at 774-573-8486 or 774-573-8486. Sightseeing - Shelling Private Taxi Dolphin Watching Taxi to lunch and dinner on the outer islands 24 HOUR SERVICE SKIP THE DRAFT AND ENLIST NOW Heroes and Hounds Family Fun Filled Festival Saturday January 6 at Sun Splash from 11 00am to 6pm Join your neighbors in helping four amazing local organizations in supporting our VETERANS and ANIMALS right here at home. Please help us push the Cape Coral Animal Shelter over the finish line by supporting this event. In doing so you will also help the Southeastern Guide Dogs Paws for Patriots Holiday 4 Heroes Care Package Program and the Cape Coral Police K9 Division further benefit their missions. SW Florida s PREMIER Water-Taxi Service (239) 633-8142 North Captiva - Captiva - Cabbage Key Boca Grande - Pine Island - Useppa Departs from Pineland Marina Your donations are needed to create incredible raffle packages for this event. Admission is free with proceeds from the event and a portion of all food and beverage sales support featured charitable organizations. Donations can be picked up by calling 239.560.8509 or email jjkess4 msn.com or mailed to Heroes and Hounds 2135 Santa Barbara Blvd 101 Cape Coral Fl. 33991 www.IslandGirlCharters.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 37 SW Florida s Coastal Information Source The 3rd annual Snowbird Marathon is scheduled for January 23 2018 again starting at Low Key Tiki in Saint James City traversing the Monroe Canal Marina parking lot to Woody s Waterside and back. Starting at 4 30 participants will have one hour to complete the zero K course while enjoying food and drink specials and live music. Note to everyone this event is not just for snowbirds It s a great fun time for everyone who enjoys laughing eating drinking and free stuff (Hint there s no award for first place ) This year more awards for costumes have been added including first and second places for male and female individuals and first and second places for teams. There will be a fashion show before the race at 4 00 so that everyone can see and enjoy all the hard work participants put into their marathon attire. This year the obstacle course will be enhanced. Participants will have to navigate two agility cones instead of one. Also a limbo obstacle is being added (but no need to worry about it unless you are really really tall ) As in the past there will be lots of door prizes great t-shirts special new tie dye race bibs goody bags full of treats live music and one free beverage for everyone. You can sign up at Low Key Tiki Woody s Waterside CW Fudge Factory Pine Island Pizza and Pine Island Elks for the same low price as last year of just 20. Sign up early to guarantee your t-shirt. Sponsorships are still available. Anyone interested can contact organizers at snowbirdmarathon gmail.com or call 573-239-0560. Proceeds will go to fund college and camp scholarships youth activities charities and other activities on Pine Island supported by the Greater Pine Island Elks. Be o n t he Water NOW and Wet-Slips and Dry Storage for rent now 190 Rack Storage Facility p for One-Sto g in everyth need you Dies now el Fuel avai lable Fishing Guide Services - Open 6-6 Every Day Most popular water-access in Southwest Florida Always ample parking 24 hour service to the islands Island Girl Charters Ask about member fuel discounts (239) 633-8142 Ostego Bay Foundation Inc. Resumes Waterfront Tours Shrimp to Fort Myers Beach is like Alaska King Crab to Alaska. While you won t find Shrimp Boats in the Deadliest Catch you can get up close and personal to our local Shrimping Industry with the Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center s Three-Hour Guided Tour 9am. until noon every Wednesday weather permitting. The cost for the Tour is only 15.00 per adult and 10.00 for children over 6 years of age. You ll learn about Florida s Pink Gold and the oldest and largest commercial fishing fleet in Florida. The tour includes a 1 1 2 hour guided visit at the Museum which contains numerous hands-on exhibits touch tank beach exhibit and estuarine aquariums. The Tour continues with a visit to the commercial fishing industry including Erickson & Jensen Supply House and Trico Shrimp loading dock. See how the boats are unloaded the trawl doors are built the shrimp nets are hand-sewn the seafood is processed and other important factors used in this unique million dollar industry a memorable experience Bring your camera. Reservations Required call 239-765-8101 for details. Full Service Marina Ice Beer & Snacks - Ethanol-Free Fuel Deep-Water Access with no Slow Zones Ship Store Tackle Shop - Live & Frozen Bait Full Service Department with Certified Mechanics Island Girl Charters Pine Island Charters Floating Kayak Launch Taxi Service to Cayo Costa Guide Services and Boat Rentals 13921 Waterfront Drive Pineland (239) 283-3593 Gateway to the Islands www.pinelandmarina.com www.NauticalMileMagazine.com 38 Family owned since 1995 we offer a fresh approach to personal insurance always doing what is right for the client Just like our name implies we offer options working with a variety insurance companies. We also help low income seniors apply for extra help with their prescription drug costs. Life Long-Term Care Medicare. SW Florida s Coastal Information Source Call Kathy Thousand (239) 201-4560 Got Medicare Get Options Get Insurance Options www.InsuranceOptionsFL.com Walkin the Dog with Captain Chuck Downes makes a presentation inshore and off shore reports are given by members and a targeted fish of the month is selected. There is a Ladies Lunch held at different restaurants each month for the ladies in the club plus a social get together called Fish Tails open to all members. The Reel Anglers Fishing club is a great organization for a wealth of fishing information for beginner anglers as well as advanced anglers. If you don t know where when and how to fish these waters the RAFC is a great place to start. One of the best parts is all the new friends you will meet. You will find the RAFC members to be very friendly and helpful. I would like to thank all past board members who have dedicated themselves to making the RAFC the best fishing club in Southwest Florida and for getting so many new residents involved in learning these beautiful resources. The just held its annual election for new board members. So I would like to congratulate the new board members When my wife and I moved to this area 10 years ago we started searching for ways to learn about fishing in Matlacha Pass and Pine Island Sound. Pat while searching the internet found a club called the Reel Anglers Fishing Club located right here in Cape Coral. Their mission statement read So if you want to meet some new friends who are into fishing and want to learn something about fishing here in south west Florida give the Reel Anglers Fishing Club a try. You can contact me for more information about the club at the number at the end of this article. I also wanted to mention that Pat and I met a lot of really nice people at the Fort Myers Boat Show in November. There were also many anglers that attended the fishing seminars at the Cape Coral Outdoor Expo. Remember we are into our winter tides which brings in negative tides and be careful of those Northeast Winds that can blow the water out of the flats which may leave some boaters high and dry for many hours. There are some advantages to those negative tides. It is a great time to see where all the sand bars oyster bars and cuts through the bars are. You are more likely to spot redfish tailing in those very low tides. You will need either a flats skiff with a very shallow draft or a kayak to access some of these areas. This is a great time of year to pull out those favorite top water lures or soft plastics. Larger shrimp are also available in most tackle shops for those live bait anglers. I would like to thank all those anglers out there that chose Walk The Dog Charters for their fishing experience in 2017. I am looking forward to fishing with returning anglers and new anglers in 2018. If you have any Questions regarding the Reel Anglers Fishing Club or questions about fishing in Matlacha Pass or Pine Island Sound please feel free to give me a call or text me. Happy New Year and until next time. Tight lines and great fishing. . This mission statement interested us enough to attend the very next meeting. The meeting was held in the back room of Jimbo s restaurant in Cape Coral. There were only about 20 in attendance and full membership was around 30 members. The membership has grown to around 300 members both full time residents and part time residents. The club has an inshore fishing day called Flats Fishing held once a month where members who have boats take members who do not have boats fishing for a day. The club also has an off shore component for those who are off shore enthusiasts. A monthly membership meeting is held the second Wednesday of each month. A guest speaker usually (609) 412-7328 starfisher2 aol.com Walk the Dog Charters www.CaptainChuckDownes.com The board is comprised of experienced board members and new board members which makes a nice mix for growing the club into new areas as well as preserving the basis for which the club was originally founded. Bait & Tackle - Ship Store Artificial Bait & Accessories Rods & Reels - Beer - Ice Marine Accessories Located at Laishley Marina boat ramp Open 7 days from 6am-8pm (941) 621-4190 120 Laishley Court Punta Gorda Boatlift Covers Serving all of SW Florida Cover Boatlift Covers Heat Welded Vinyl - Not Sewn Engineered to 14 Popular Colors Anti-Fading Mildew Resistance Last a Lifetime Superior Tear Strength 6-Year Vinyl Warranty C al l f or F r ee Frame Estim ates Seamless Connection Joints All Connections Are Through-Bolted Solid Cross-members From Solid Rail to Solid Rail LIFETIME WARRANTY ON ALL OF OUR FRAMEWORK Decrease Moisture on Your Gel Coat Allows Constant Air Flow Reduces Mold and Trapped Heat (239) 491-9796 www.TDImarine.net