41 GASPARILLA MAGAZINE JULY/AUG 2016 Story By Sue Erwin, Photos submitted by Chris Wittman The two fish and dive all the passes from Captiva to Red Fish Pass, as well as various beaches. “The more we know about what’s going on in the water the better,” Zolman added. Wittman said as a fishing guide, it’s important to know where the ledges are and how deep the drop-offs are. He said you can get a good amount of this information from electronics and bottom finders, but to be able to dive it and see it and lay it out is helpful in an entirely different way. “When they do beach restorations on these islands, a lot of sand is pumped in from the Gulf up onto the beaches, and a lot of that sand gets pulled from the currents and stacks up outside the passes and in them,” he said. “So the passes and the beach profiles are constantly changing, especially after storms or situations where there are very strong currents.” Wittman is the owner of Stillwater Charters, a statewide fishing guide service based in Fort Myers, for the past 19 years. He said he fishes in Boca about six days a week during tarpon season, and about 80 percent of his clients are repeat customers. “That’s really the goal,” he said. “You want to get to know them and have a rapport with them.” Zolman added this time of the year they mostly catch tarpon and permit, depending on what the fish patterns are at any given time. Zolman was bitten by a lemon shark last year while he was reeling it into the boat. The scars across his hand are still very prominent.
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