June 2013


    The thought of summertime takes me back to my school days, eagerly awaiting that last school bell of the year, the signal that classroom learning was finally over and the start of summer was here. Many of my fondest memories are times spent fishing, boating and just being on the water with my family and friends. I was fortunate to grow up right here in Southwest Florida on Pine Island, where most things to do back then revolved around water activities.

     Of course when we mention this area and water the first thing that comes to mind is fishing. And for good reason, we have plenty of it to offer. If it’s a family fishing trip make it simple and enjoyable, often we try to make fishing to complicated and difficult, thus turning into a forgettable experience. I believe the ladies have figured this out, I can almost guarantee every time I have a lady angler on my boat she will catch the most and largest fish. I have come to the conclusion that this happens because she just relaxes and takes what comes, not taking fishing to seriously as is all too common with the male angler

     With kids, they really do not care what kind of fish they are catching; they just want to catch fish and lots of them. It’s always better to go for quantity over quality. Use light tackle so even the small fish give a good fight and educate the young ones on the types of fish and how to properly handle them so they can be released to grow bigger. The younger kids on my boat often spend more time playing with the bait in the live well, than fishing and having a blast.

     I find that when fishing with children the younger they are the quicker they lose interest, even if they are catching fish. If you are going by boat, break up the day and make it an adventure, put the family on alert to watch for dolphins, manatee’s, eagles, ospreys, and other things that might interest them. As we are getting into the hot season you might be better to fish a few hours then take a lunch break, hit the beach or do both. You can either pack a picnic lunch and go to one of our pristine beaches or stop by one of the many restaurants that are boat accessible.

     A few important tips before you go, take plenty of sunscreen, snacks and refreshments, preferably water. Sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing are a must to shield off the suns damaging rays. Make sure everybody drinks water often; it’s easy to get dehydrated in the sun without realizing it. It’s really important to keep the kids hydrated; they don’t have as much body weight so they can become dehydrated very quickly. We are getting into the time of year for afternoon thunderstorms, keep a watch on the horizon and do not get caught in open water in a storm, this is not only dangerous, it could ruin what would have been a great day. Make sure you are up on current fishing and boating rules and regulations, you can go to www.myfwc.com for information. And teach your family about conservation, how to respect and take care of our natural resources, so it will be here for their children.

     Were lucky, we live in an outdoor paradise; it’s a great place to spend the summer with family adventures of water related activities. There’s often no need to travel on long expensive vacations for family entertainment when southwest Florida has so much to offer, right in our own back yard.

Captain Bill Russell

Gulf Coast Professional Guide Service

Website: www.fishpineiland.com

Email: gcl2fish@live.com

Phone: 239-283-7960