Cape, Matlacha, nominated as the ‘Ultimate Fishing Town’
Cape Coral and Matlacha are among the communities to be nominated for the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town Contest, a nationwide contest to seek out the best places to fish.
David Lantow, 18, nominated Cape Coral on March 14.
“All anyone has to do in this town is fish,” he wrote for the original nomination on WFN’s website. “If you’re not a fishermen and live in Cape Coral you’re retired and wishing your wife would let you fish.”
Residents can provide videos, pictures and essays about why they think Cape Coral is the best place to fish in the United States by visiting www.wfnfishingtown.com/town/capecoral-fl/697 before April 8.
The first round of public voting will be held from April 12 through May 3 at www.wfnfishingtown.com. From there, 20 finalists, two entries from each of seven regions, which receive the highest votes, along with six “wild card” entrants selected by WFN, will go onto the final round. The voting for the final round will take place from May 10-31.
A ceremony will be held in June in the community that wins the contest by Mariko Izumi, the host of WFN’s “Hookin’ Up with Mariko Izumi.” The grand prize for the winning community is $25,000, which is to be used for fishing-related causes.
Captain Rob Smith said Cape Coral is a great place to fish because of the various kinds of water that flows into the area.
“You can fish for so many varieties of fish,” he said, listing tarpon, sharks, trout, red fish, snook, grouper, snapper and amberjacks.
Another perk of Cape Coral is individuals can fish all year round by boat or land.
“It’s a nice area,” Smith said. “It’s not like being over in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale … you have pretty good access here, you can go to the beach and fish.”
Wally Laumeyer, who has been fishing his entire life, moved from Minnesota to Cape Coral in 1987– a huge change for him because he could go out fishing every day here.
“I don’t think it could get much better,” he said, adding that Cape Coral is a good place to fish. “I would certainly be a salesman for that.”
Wally’s boys also like to fish, which makes him feel good.
His son Bill Laumeyer, who has been fishing in the area for 32 years, said he believes Cape Coral is among the best places to fish because you can go anywhere — at any sea wall, off any pier or out on a boat.
“It is endless, you can go anywhere you want,” Bill said. “You cannot get bored fishing here.”
Wally said he enjoys catching snapper, yellowtail, grouper and snook. He said Cape Coral is known for being one of the better areas for fishing tarpon.
“They are no good to eat, but it is a fun fish to catch,” he said.
Wally said there are some pretty nice salt water areas in Cape Coral to fish, also.
“There are some pretty nice bass fishing in Cape Coral in the canals,” he added.
Bill agreed with his father that having the opportunity to fish for either salt water or fresh water fish is a good perk. He said he does not have a preference, it just all depends on how he is feeling that given day.
The Cape Coral Yacht Club and Rosen Park are the two places he goes fishing. He said although he does not catch monster fish at the Yacht Club, he does fairly well with catching trout, lady fish and snook when they are in season.
“It’s more about getting outside and doing something,” Bill said. “If you don’t catch anything there is always tomorrow.”
He said he will go fishing “anywhere they have a small pier” and the opportunity to “drop a line in the water.”
Wally said another benefit of fishing in Cape Coral is he can stay around one of the protected islands, if the wind is blowing hard.
“There is always fish to be caught,” he said. “When we go out fishing, we always catch fish.”
Matlacha also offers many opportunities for anglers, along with a large variety of fish to catch.
Bill Russell said he has lived in Matlacha all his life and has been fishing since he was a kid.
He believes Matlacha is a great area to fish because it offers so many different opportunities. The very diverse history, Russell said, offers anglers the opportunity to fish from shallow waters, in-shore, off-shore, in protected areas, oyster bars and in sea grass beds.
“You can catch more species of fish in the bay,” he said. “It is very diverse of what you can catch.”
In the Matlacha Pass and Pine Island Sound anglers can find such fish as sea trout, red fish, snook, tarpon, shark, snapper, sheepshead and grouper.
“You never know what you are going to catch next,” Russell said. “That’s what’s neat about it.”
Another nice feature of the Matlacha area, Russell explained, is that the juvenile fish grow up in the back bays. He said there is habitat in the estuary for the juvenile fish to grow, which is why they need to be protected.