Anhinga’s song

Every Mariner knows that a ship wants to be in the water.  This keeps a boat healthy.  It’s not just the maintenance one does before a trip, the stroke of sandpaper along her teak, the replacement of worn moving parts, or the re-stitching of a weak clue in the jib.  A happy boat needs to keep moving.

Likewise, every Seaman has heard the call of the sea, when the wind tumbles with untamed waves sending a breeze of a whisper saying, “Come out with me, and immerse yourself with me.”  It’s not just a call, but a drawing of one’s soul back to the primal source of life.

We almost lost our boat in the Bahamas.  David and I were finishing up a 3 week sail in our 28 foot Phillip Rhoades sailboat, Anhinga.  We anchored on the leeward side of a rocky island as a weak Northern front was coming through.  By 3 o’clock in the blackness of night our anchor alarm went off.  We were about to slip towards the mass of jagged rocks off the stern.  I was on a pitching bow holding onto two anchor lines like a bull rider; below David was trying to start our Yanmar diesel engine with failing starter wires.

David got the engine roaring and we gingerly maneuvered around the rocks to be sheltered from the wind.  That morning we woke up to what could be called a white squall.  It’s all I could see, it was glorious.  I could not keep the rain from pouncing through the bin boards of the companionway.  When the storm passed we were amazed to see a large water spout spinning alongside the leeward part of the island right where we had anchored that night.  Anhinga became our sanctuary.

The sun came out and the winds turned southwesterly, so we set off our way back to Bimini, at a running pace of 7 knots.  Quite fast for Anhinga!  We were having the ride of our life!  The 4 minute clip below is what I put together from the sail after the storm I call, “Anhinga’s song.”

We had watched a film about a young man named Charlie Cloud, who raced sailboats in high school.  He was showing his little brother the ropes; they stood together in the dawn watching the sailboats set off from an unnamed shore.  His little brother said to him, “Charlie where do you think they are going?”  Charlie whimsically looks across the bay and says, “Everywhere.”

Go and Enjoy!  Sharon Bickel

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Had a good yesterday.  Went fishing with Mom, Dad and Steve.  The weather is great right now.  Just nice 70’s to 80’s breeze blowing. Fished the bridges caught some nice Snook.  Then headed to the east side.   Fishing out by the bar there are Sea Trout willing to eat shrimp under a poppin cork.  Back by the keys, there are Snook, Red fish, & Mangrove Snappers.  Most of the fish we found are on the back side or between the keys.  But the 2nd island north of Pirate Harbor we got broke off by a couple monsters on the front side.  So best bet, pick a “Key” island and toss some bait up by it.  We found the best results were keys which had a slightly deeper hole or trough in front of it.  The fish seemed to lay just outside of the hole and when the bait landed in the hole Bam!

Fish On.


Fishin Franks

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Charlotte Harbor has become the land of the oversize Reds.  Down by Two Pines to the bars outside Jug Creek, there are bunches of oversized reds.  Baits form cut fish to chunks of crab, are bringing in big Reds around the 30 inch mark.  For the lure people, use 3/4 ounce gold spoons.  Swim them slow as to wobble not spin, when you retrieve it.

For those of us who want big fish with more jump, splash, and trash to them try trolling along the bridges.  Put on a chartreuse bomber 15 or 16.  Hold the rod at a 90 degree angle from the boat.  No rod holder stuff here, keep the rod in your hand.   By holding the rod at 90 degrees out the side of the boat you can run the boat 8 feet off the pilings and drag your lure within a foot of the pilings.  Turn out as soon as you get a bump so you can pull the fish away from the pilings.   It takes a little practice, but it is fun a watch a big ole Snook break you off, then come to the surface, swinging it’s head, thrash the water then toss the lure, flinging the lure back at you with a look of, ha-ha try again loser.   Well that is what it seems like they are saying anyway.  Maybe I am taking this too personal?   Anyway it is fun, and can be done by any bridge.

Good luck & have fun out there

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR)  In my opinion, the water temperature will be the factor in determining the best results for catching fish during the transitional month of October (from summer to fall). We have had a great September leading into the fall and hopefully we will experience a slow and warm weather transition that will afford us the opportunity to continue to catch Redfish, Snook, Tarpon and some of the other species both off of the flats and into the backcountry before they go further ‘up-rivers’ and into the shallow estuaries.

This is the time to go to intercept the game fish (Redfish, Snook and Tarpon) as they chase baits off of the flats and migrate to the mangroves and protective ‘havens’ of warmer waters to come. The Tarpon will be smaller, the Redfish bigger and the Snook more available as they move off of the beaches and into the back country. The tactics should remain the same, except that we should slow the presentations down (just a little) to entice strikes.  Also, I am looking forward to targeting the Snook and Tarpon in the canals of Cape Coral on articfials.

Stealth and patience is the order of the day for Redfish, especially when presenting live or cut baits. Anglers fishing the Ft. Myers beach area (north of Estero Bay) may want to try their luck on the back side and in the shallows of the ‘Big’ Island (just east of Picnic Island) with cut baits, shrimps and top water presentations before the winter tides get so low that getting a boat in there is next to impossible. Anglers launching north of the Caloosahatche may find their quarry off of the intercoastal around mile markers 33/34 just off of the oyster bar. If you live or launch further north, try any of the spoil islands surrounded by oyster beds and turtle grass and you should be rewarded.

If I may be of assistance, contact me at [email protected] or phone me at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332.

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

(FT. MYERS TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) Last week proved to be one tough week for locating and catching the large numbers of Seatrout, Reds, Snook, Tarpon, Crevalle Jacks and other species compared to the earlier weeks of September. However, this week should start with stronger tides and high tides providing new opportunities, weather permitting. The wind forecasts are for stronger and changing directions with periodic gusts hampering some fishing efforts complicated by both wind and lots of floating seagrasses. My suggestions will be to avoid the winds by positioning your watercraft to allow the winds to assist with casting and staying against the land providing the most cover from the winds.

The new moon will provide the currents and other incentives to entice strikes during the early morning hours. Off shore will provide opportunities as well, but be prepared to deal with the winds. The shrimps are large and they along with Pinfish and other cut baits should continue to offer the bests results. Fall is in the air and the game species are moving back to the rivers and canals offering terrific opportunities for both beginning and professional anglers.

If you would like to inquire about any fishing or boating needs do not hesitate to contact me at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email me at [email protected]. Check out my websites on or Until next week—GOOD FISHING!

Ready for Fun in the Sun?

Sun Sports Cycle & Watercraft invites you to dust off your Seadoo, Wave Runner, Jet Ski, Tigershark or whatever you have that floats and join them for a group watercraft ride. The ride will start at the mouth of Picnic Island and will work up to Pine Island Sound—making a few interesting stop along the way. All vessels are welcome to join! The ride starts at 11:00 am on Sunday, September 23rd. Please register in advance by email to Steve at [email protected].




















The Jet Set

What’s the deal with Jet Boats? Let’s start with what a “jet Boat” is not.  A jet boat is not a boat powered by an aircraft type jet engine nor do they have flames shooting out of the back of the boat like a rocket is attached.   Jet boats, as they are most commonly referred to, are vessels propelled by an internal high pressure water pump.  The pump takes water in from the bottom of the vessel then forces the water, with power from the engine, out the back of the vessel through a shaped nozzle, creating thrust that pushes the craft forward.  By allowing the nozzle to swivel from side to side, the thrust is directed right to left to steer the boat.  There are a number of different kinds of water borne craft that use this “jet drive” system.  Personal watercraft or “jet Skis” are jet drive powered, as well as many other vessels, from small fishing and sport boats to huge ocean going people movers and public transportation.






Why Jet Drive? There are some distinct advantages of the jet drive system, especially to recreational users. First is safety.  Because the engine, pump, and all other sharp moving parts are inside the craft, within the engine compartment, there is nothing outside or hanging down in the water to cut or hurt someone.  Also because there is nothing hanging down below the bottom of the boat, they can operate in very shallow water without worry of damaging a propeller, prop shaft or outdrive of the other types of propulsion systems that are most common in recreational boating.   Next, jet drives produce incredible thrust, which pushes the vessel to a plane almost instantly, and with the short throw steering (only about ¾ turn from lock to lock) turning is very precise, like a sports car.

Personal Watercraft (PWC) or jet skis, waterbikes, aqua sleds and whatever else they are called use a jet drive for all the above reasons and because the engines and jet pumps can be made of light weight materials and configured in a very compact size making them ideal for this type of application.  Great acceleration, extremely nimble steering and a compact, motorcycle style package make for a lot of fun.

Thanks for reading the first installment of this column. I will be providing, in future installments, all kinds of info regarding jet drive propelled vessels including tips, care, types of craft, performance and anything else I discover that is pertinent to “The Jet Set” lifestyle. If anyone has any questions or thoughts, I can be reached at Sun Sports Cycle and Watercraft in Ft Myers anytime. Thanks again.


Steve Schumpert
Sun Sports Cycle and Watercraft
[email protected]

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) The water temperatures in the gulf are beginning to cool and come alive with baitfish and the game fish that pursue them. Snook are beginning to move back to their homes in the canals and rivers. Redfish will continue to come out of the mangroves to spend more time on the  ‘flats’.  Early morning ‘top water’ and chunked dead bait will be a good bet to catch the quality Redfish. Sea Trout are around the oyster bars and the flats, making them easy targets using a popping cork and live shrimp. There are still some ‘local’ Tarpon around in Pine Island Sound, the river and the canals. Most are small, but put up a great fight.

Off shore anglers should continue to enjoy good catches of Grouper, Snapper and Permit so long as the weather permits. One does not have to go as far out to enjoy bottom fishing at its best as the weather and water temperatures continue to cool down.

Until next week; GOOD FISHING AND BE SAFE! If you need or want any information to assist with your fishing or boating needs, I am easily reached at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email me at [email protected]. Check out my other fishing and boating reports at

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Saturday was a great day if you were fishing the inside of the East Keys.   Captain Cayle wacked the Mangrove Snappers and Red fish.  Cayle said he had other fish, but it was unreal how big and steady the Snapper bite was.

Capt., Greg had a different kind of day.  Greg & Chris headed to the east side. Found a pothole against the side of an island. They started fishing then proceeded to catch every conceivable fish you could fish for in Charlotte harbor; grouper, lady fish, trout, redfish, snook, snappers.  Everything except flounder and sheeps-head.  The even ended up catching one catfish on what was to be his last cast.  After the cat-fish they decided they had had enough.

It was a great trip. End this one on a high note. Putting in the trolling motor, they headed out from the keys, to more open, deeper water. After reaching water deep enough to use the out board Chris went to hit the key nothing, dead battery.   Luckily there was a guy fishing on an aluminum boat not far away.  They trolling motored up to the guy.  Due to a little bit a bad financial luck he had to sell his flats boat and here he was fishing in an aluminum boat, but at least he finally got out on the water.   And all he wanted was to catch dinner for that night, but he had not caught a thing.

“Idea!!”  How about a trade?  A nice 24 inch six and three-quarter pound red fish for a jumpstart.   I know you’re not supposed to trade redfish for a jumpstart but this was an emergency.  He was able to have fish for dinner, and they were able to start the engine.   As it turned out, their lucky day, turned into his lucky day.   Not a bad way to and a fishing trip.  They did not have a fish dinner but they did not have to push the boat back to the ramp!

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Let’ s talk freshwater.

Blue gill is the fish of choice, Lake betty or the Coco-Plum water way or 9-mile canal system is slap full of hungry blue gills.  All this rain from the tropical systems has provided lots of fresh, cooler waters and the Blue gill are responding.  #8 thin wire hook on 6 pound test mono line, 2 to 3 feet under a thin style bobber.  Red wiggler worms are the bait of choice.  For those of you who like to use lures a beetle spin 1/8 ounce with light browns.

Just as a thought, a nice place to launch a boat for blue gill is in South Gulf Cove.  Launch the boat, put down the trolling motor and start fishing to the west, Watch for culvert pipes draining into the canal.  The blue gills have been bunched around those pipes.