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Updated: 03/14/2014 08:06:22AM

Learning it all

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Paul Rotter and Tom Dark had fun with this Charlotte Harbor snook. You've got to do a little learning before you can consistently catch quality fish like this.

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Southwest Florida is an angler’s paradise. We have dozens and dozens of potential target species and hundreds of square miles in which to pursue them. Whether you want to catch a few for dinner, hook into something to keep the kids entertained, or battle with a genuine monster, we’ve got something for you.

Now, let’s look at that from a slightly different perspective. If you want to learn our local waters, there are hundreds of square miles that you have to commit to memory — channels, shoals, oyster bars, grassflats, deep holes, reefs, etc. Then if you want to catch fish while you’re out there, you’ve got to educate yourself about the habits and patterns of dozens of different species. Throw in common variables such as tides, winds and weather, and getting a grasp on Charlotte Harbor may seem to be an impossibly monumental task.

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