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Fly Fisherman puts Live Bait Charter Guide to shame

Capt. John GiddyUp-Bunch
July 15, 2009
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudes! Check this out. It is simply priceless. As you know, my fishing reports are Bullsh*t free. In the words of the E-Trade Baby "Check it." 3 Noted Guides including yours truly are fishing an area off Sanibel Island. We are all throwing White Bait, Threads, and Pinfish. For reasons unknown to me, I failed to see this fly fishing exhibition whereby 3 SW Fl Pro Guides are taken to achool. Check it.....
The story was written by Byron Stout of the News-Press. Sounds to me like Fly Fishing for Snook beats live bait 6 days from Sunday. Enjoy!

Chumming, sargassum frustrates those fishing around Sanibel
BY BYRON STOUT bstout@news-press.com July 14, 2009

When St. James City Capt. John "GiddyUp" Bunch arrived at his favorite fishing spot today, off Sanibel's West Gulf Drive beaches, blacktip sharks converged on his boat like metal filings drawn to a magnet.

"They were so close to your boat you could mess with them by dropping a thread (herring) straight down with your 7-foot rod, and they'd come right up and eat it. And they're constantly circling the boat," Bunch said of the sharks he estimated from two to three feet in length.

Blacktip sharks can grow to the world record size of 270 pounds, but typically are less than half that size in the Gulf. Although not large, they often are implicated in bites on surfers, particularly on Florida's Atlantic coast.

With the arrival of the blacktips, the fish Bunch had come to catch disappeared.

"I'd rather be catching pompano, trout and snook. But since the blacktips were the only thing there, we did catch them, and my charter customers were thrilled," Bunch said.

Norm Zeigler, fly-fishing author and owner of Norm Zeigler's Fly, Bait & Tackle Shop on Sanibel, had a completely different experience, also today.

"In a couple of hours yesterday morning I caught seven snook. The biggest was 32 inches. That was right off of West Gulf Drive, not far from my house."

But a little farther north, at the area known as the Sanibel Rocks, Zeigler said there is a chronic problem. The rocks occur in scattered patches east and west of the end of West Gulf Drive.

"I'm concerned about the captains and the chumming there. That's what brings the sharks in.

"The rocks get pounded so much. There are six or seven guide boats that sit there most days, and a lot of them chum," Zeigler said.

Those guides primarily target snook and seatrout, by crippling live herrings and scattering them over the rocks to incite the game fish to strike the baits on their hooks.

The City of Sanibel has an ordinance against chumming within a half-mile of its beaches. But the law defines chumming as "the depositing into saltwaters of chopped or ground bait consisting of raw meat or fish parts" not whole live baitfish.

Fort Myers Fishing Forecast:

Obviously tough for those fishing live bait.

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TV CO-Host, Outdoor Writer, Florida Sportsman Seminar Speaker, and named by author Ron Pressley as 1-20 Best Saltwater Master Professionals in Florida. In 2007 Bonita Living Magazine identified "Capt GiddyUp" as one of the top guides in Florida. Bunch is known as "Skipper to Our Troops" in SW FL. His charity (501c3) affords all US Troops returning from combat or foreign duty free fishing. Bunch is the recipient of the highest honor given to a Lee County citizen. The Honor of Distinction. USMC!

Contact Info:

GiddyUp Fishing Charters
3624 Bayview Avenue
St James City, FL 33956
Phone: 239-283-8838
Alt. Phone: 239-822-8888
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