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Updated: 09/28/2017 08:30:01AM

Dealing with dark water

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By Josh Olive

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Charlotte Harbor and the nearshore Gulf are about as dark as we’ve seen them. The color is caused by plant chemicals called tannins. They’re not dangerous — the same compounds give tea and coffee their color. But the black water does make fishing a bit more challenging. Let’s talk about some ways to work around it and still catch fish.

I grew up fishing dark water. My stomping grounds were the Peace River (which is where most of this stained water is coming from right now) and a farm lake that is ringed in cypress trees. Cypress leaves produce huge amounts of tannins when they decompose, and they’re actually the source of much of the tinting we see right now.

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