Capt. Josh:

A heads up on the reason I submit so many reader photos and mention DJB Charter Fishing. I’ve recently become handicapped with a decease called CIDP, which basically attacks my motor nervous system. Not good! And DJB (Capt. Dan) is the only charter boat that will take me out into blue water, despite my emerging difficulties. He is a careful, cautious, empathetic and sympathetic captain who physically helps me on and off his boat, places me in good safe angling positions and always provides a trip to remember. I have contacted no less than 10 offshore charter boats searching for available trips. As soon as I mention my handicap, they say they cannot accept me on board due to liability, or that their facility or boat is not designed for easy access. So, that’s my story. Sorry for clogging up the reader photos with my submissions. I’m fishing for as long as I can and am proud of my catches. The fish are also a wonderful part of my new lean diet!

— Chris Garlasco

Chris:

So, let me get this straight: You’re apologizing for sending in photos of fish, which we specifically ask people for? Don’t be absurd. Keep up the good work and keep sending in those pics. Tight lines!

— Capt. Josh Olive, WaterLine Publisher

Capt. Josh:

A few weeks ago, you ran a very good editorial about weather apps for the area, particularly Charlotte Harbor. It somehow got recycled before I could look them up. Can you send me the column, or at least the apps? We are finding that leaving our home in South Gulf Cove and going through the lock gets us to water conditions not at all the same (of course). Yesterday we had a slight breeze in the canal, and a slight chop forecast. Right at the Myakka River marker, we were into 2- to 3-foot waves with a stiff breeze. My nervous wife and I knew we were only going to Fisherman’s Village, so it was a short trip — but a major reason we did not bail and go back was the fact that it looked way easier to just keep on truckin’ than to pull around broadside to the waves to go back. A real weather app look necessary. Also, when I was gassing up at the marina, a fellow walked over to ask me what the ICW was like because he had heard yesterday morning on the news that there was a red tide event with deaths in Sarasota. Heard anything? I do like WaterLine a lot. Whether you mean it to, it has evolved into a general water-based environment publication, which I like. I know conditions here over the last year (I have only been here a year) have been bad. I had intended to retake up my old youthful hobby of fishing only with barbless circle hooks. After a year of reading WaterLine and a ton of other stuff, I am more inclined to leave the fish alone in peace.

— Al Dicks

AL:

Try WaterLine.FL.NewsMemory.com. That link will get you to our digital magazine, where you have access to the archives. There you can find the editions that ended up in the recycling, and all the weather app info you’re looking for. I have not heard anything about red tide fish kills in Southwest Florida this year, and FWC has none reported. It’s important to remember that many other things besides red tide can cause localized kills. Finally, I think that you’d be OK to do a bit of fishing, especially if you’re using barbless hooks. Mackerel and sharks are abundant right now and lots of fun.

— Capt. Josh Olive, WaterLine Publisher

Capt. Josh:

Most folks, especially anglers, are happy the red tide has left our beaches and bays. We all hope that it won’t return again but it probably will because it is part of a natural cycle of life and death in Southwest Florida waters. Even sand fleas (mole crabs) and coquinas were devastated by the red tide and left beaches devoid of these important links in the food chain. Yes, the red tide is gone, for now — but the millions of fish and other marine organisms it killed are still dead. On the bright side, our waters are as full as many of us have ever seen with migrating baitfish. Huge schools darken the water along our shores. One of the reasons we are seeing so many baitfish is that they didn’t get eaten by gamefish further north before they arrived. Now that they are here, the surviving snook, redfish and seatrout will gorge themselves on these fat-rich morsels after a long winter. This feast will trigger prolific spawning activity for the predator species we call gamefish. These hatchlings will have a high survival rate due to a low population of predators and the well fed condition of their parents. Nature’s way of coping with abundance is increased reproduction. In addition to an initial spawn, many species will compensate further with additional spawning as long as the feast continues. So, the picture may change faster than we imagine and fish stocks will rebound quickly if red tide events don’t occur every year. We must not let that happen.

— Les A. Beery

CAPT. JOSH:

I’m 67 years old and have fished inshore Florida all my life. I’ve had a front-row seat as each new problem arose. Getting rid of the commercial gillnets was the best thing for the resource I’ve seen over the years. Fishing began improving immediately thereafter. As for improving water quality, I’m afraid it’s a lost cause because of runaway growth. How big do we want Florida’s population to be? Twenty million? Fifty million? Is there any limit? Also, have you noticed that all new housing tends to be upscale stuff situated in the most environmentally sensitive areas? The well-heeled newcomers simply must have a gated private golf course community where a cattle ranch or forest used to be. How much groundwater and chemicals does it take to keep those new golf courses and lawns so green? How much runoff do those new streets send downstream? Have you also noticed that all new McMansions must be built down by the mangroves in Placida, Boca, and all shorelines between Key West and Pensacola? Sorry to sound like a downer, but unless some sort of economic crash, war, asteroid hit, or some other calamity comes along and puts the brakes on this craziness, wildlife will continue to be decimated around the world. But hey, it was fun while it lasted!

— Larry Bruttomesso

LARRY:

Pessimist.

— Capt. Josh Olive, WaterLine Publisher

Letters are welcome on any outdoor-related subject, but we do have some rules. Please keep them to less than 250 words. Letters may be edited for length as well as grammar and spelling. We reserve the right to refuse any letter not signed with the writer’s full name. Slanderous or libelous material will not be published. The Letters to the Editor section is designed as a public forum for community discourse. The opinions and statements made in letters are solely those of the individual writers. WaterLine and Sun Coast Media Group take no responsibility for the content of these letters.

Letters are welcome on any outdoor-related subject, but we do have some rules. Please keep them to less than 250 words. Letters may be edited for length as well as grammar and spelling. We reserve the right to refuse any letter not signed with the writer’s full name. Slanderous or libelous material will not be published. The Letters to the Editor section is designed as a public forum for community discourse. The opinions and statements made in letters are solely those of the individual writers. WaterLine and Sun Coast Media Group take no responsibility for the content of these letters.

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