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Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor

Capt. Van Hubbard
February 14, 2000
Boca Grande - Saltwater Fishing Report


The Englewood Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) chapter has F&W Commission's (just re-elected) Chairwomen Julie Morris scheduled for their 17 Feb. meeting at the Lemon Bay Environmental Center. The time is 7:30 till 9PM; it's free, open to the public, and a great opportunity to hear first hand about F&W developments and to air our concerns. I've spent a lot of time listing to Commissioner Morris at the meetings and can personally assure you she cares about our fishing and resources. She's the Environmental Studies Coordinator for USF's New College in Sarasota, and the Pres. of the Myakka Conservancy. The group helps large agricultural landowners thought the Myakka Watershed protect our natural resources. This meeting is open to the public. Julie Morris really listens and takes this job to heart. Let's offer the Commission some suggestions on how both the Commission and boaters can cope with the manatee challenges and current law suits. The manatee lovers want to put more restrictions on boaters but the boats are only one small portion of the problem. Lets try to help solve this dilemma, we all want a healthy manatee population. Better educated boaters can do more than additional restrictions to save lives, (boaters and manatees). Let's us our minds and reason; and not just emotions. For additional info; (on this meeting or the CCA) call, Capt. Ron Blago at 941-474-3474. Don't miss this chance to let her know how much you care about our fishing and resources.

I'm aware of some great possibilities for Boca's snook fishing in the works around the Island. Please let me know when your ready to let our readers participate. I'm anxious to help and get the word out when ever your ready. We need to roll before our seasonal Beach crowd heads home.

We enjoyed some fantastic surprises last week. Wednesday trip was looking like a fiasco. When the Churchill's started driving down here the rain looked like it would stay North of us, so we intended to fish. It was a ˝ day and we figured to start out at 9:30 after it warmed a little. When they arrived it started to rain and then it began to rain even harder. We pulled up the Weather Channel radar on the Internet and saw an end on the horizon. We departed beautiful Stump Pass Marina at 10AM. for our outing. I suggested trying some of the creeks for snook. It just opened and the creeks offered protection from the cool North winds for both fish and fishermen. We purchased some select live shrimp from the Lighthouse Bait shop, looked at each other and headed her bow to the wind. We found a deeper hole in a creek and started free-lining the frisky shrimp. My new friends were silently questioning my skill and very competence. Was I was taking them for a ride? A cold one at that, but they were up to the adventure. We cast around, working from one spot to the next. We push poled, staying quiet. They started to catch a small snook here and another there. Soon Dave hooked a super one after and strong struggle we had captured dinner. We fished around several creeks and saw manatees and lots of birds. We even found more snook and had a ball. They joked about our expectations as we cast off on such a cool, damp day; but we the bay to ourselves. We ended the trip with a wonderful fresh fish dinner prepared at the Marker 17A Café. It was great to be so lucky.

On our trip Friday the sun was bright, but still cool. We began targeting pompano. We even found a few but they were all to small,( not quite 10 inches to the fork). There were some plump whiting to keep things going. Then we tried for a cobia but they weren't cooperating and only small ones anyway. So many of us fishing and only a few keepers to go around.

Other guides I've talked with this week are finding lots of small trout and some keepers. Try jigs or shrimp and jigs and carefully release the little ones. Remember it's cool so slow your retrieve down . Lots of sheepshead are scattered around the flats so expect to get a few. Some are eye-catching. Capt. Kevin Lubold's parties had several last week. They were thinking reds but pulling in sheepshead. Live and learn, surprised but not disappointed. Schools of convicts should start gathering soon and heading for the passes. Some reds are around but not easy catching. Try those fly rods and patience. You'll need a long, careful, well placed cast but this is as good as bonefishing. Reds eat much better too. Like the early story snook fishing is slow. Every thing will continue improving as things warm up soon.


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Professional guide since 1976. starting at John's Pass in St Pete./ Tampa Bay area, now 28 years in Boca Grande & Charlotte Harbor/Lemon Bay specialties sight fishing; big tarpon, snook, reds, pompano, big kings, cuda, cobia, etc... If it swims our back country, inside, or near shore waters He has the experience to help you catch em. Captain Van is an expert pioneer live minnow/natural bait guide, "Lures by God" as he calls em; but he can fish lures or fly. Safe & comfortable 23' Dorado with T-

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Let's go Fishin' inc.
PO Box 146
Placida, FL 33946
Phone: 941-740-4665
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