Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Well, lots of hoo-ha about Red tide here on the West coast, so I just want to cover a couple of points about that.  Please no Catch & release fishing in areas with Red Tide.  If you go into an area with light or trace amounts of Red tide, look for small bait size fish struggling at or near the surface,  This means that even though the larger fish like Snook, Red fish and Trout, are not dying from it, they are having a hard time breathing.   Red tide “Pollen” paralyzes the gills of fish.  So hooking and fighting a fish exhausts them to a point it is hard to recover, lots of dead loss.  The whole point behind C&R is for the fish to live.

On the other hand, it is OK to catch the fish for dinner.  But once you have enough for the table, leave. Red tide will not harm the meat, it is not a poison.

Fishing is fantastic from 15 miles out.  Tuna, Mahi, Snappers, Groupers, Bonita, Kings, Spanish, It is happening now. Trolling or bottom fishing,

Up in Charlotte Harbor we do not get Red tide.  So the fishing here is good, Spanish, Jacks, Red Snook, all doing good right now, Even good reports of Flounder, up here by the 41 bridges.

Last point Red tide is not fixed. It may be bad almost choking you, then all of a sudden it is gone.  Or everything is great, then it drifts in.  Watch for the dates on the Red tide reports.  Things can change fast.

Last of all do not let a fear of the great boogie man “Red tide” scare you from going out to enjoy yourself.  As I said it might be there or it might not.  If it is, just go a little ways one way or the other chances are it will be all good.

Have fun out there be safe, but not scared.

“Fishin” Frank.

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Here is a new fish cooking idea. Bonita, Ok I thought the same thing at first, cook it on leather add a lot of spices then slow grill for two hours, toss away the fish, eat the leather.

Well he had a great idea, Smoke it, Now I can say for sure smoked Jack Crevalle is one of, if not the best smoked fish I ever ate, So why not Bonita?

He said when you catch it, cut the tail and the gills, it is important to really bleed it out, and just as important to keep it cold, you must put the fish on ice as soon as possible. When you get back, fillet the slabs off then keep them on ice.  For them to turn out good, you have to smoke them before you freeze the slabs,

This really sounds like it could be something.  He said it reminds him of belly meat from a blue fin. Now before you think about doing this, smoking fish is an art form, it needs to be done slowly over as much time as it takes for the meat to be ready.  This is not a quick meal.

But I am going to try it.  I have eaten Bonita when I was a commercial fisherman up in the pan-handle. When we would catch one, as soon as it was brought on board, you would hold it out the first mate would cut slabs out from the sides of the fish, while it was still kickin.  Put it into a hot skillet with butter and something else which I wish I had paid attention to.  It was like eating seared Tuna, really, really good.

So with that in mind there may be something to this Smoked Bonita, After all when I got here to Florida, Red fish was a salt water Carp not good for anything. I believe that changed.

Good luck.  Have fun out there and be safe

Fishin Frank