by: Capt. Bart Marx

Hello fellow anglers, I have been contributing to this magazine for over ten years. I started with the founder of Coastal Angler Magazine. Rodney Smith started it on the East Coast of Florida. Then it grew to S.W. Florida and beyond. I have worked with several editors over the years. At one point I was even distributing them in our local area. I have to thank Robert Lugiewicz for introducing me to Rodney. And that is the short version how I got this opportunity to share my fishing knowledge. I also taught a local fishing class to seventh graders for ten years. It was named after a local man Don Ball, it was called the Don Ball School of Fishing. It was great for me to share my local knowledge. My family brought me here from Iowa in 1959, I was 9mos. old at the time. I grew up in Punta Gorda where I went to school al within 3 blocks of each other. We lived in Charlotte Harbor and my mom worked in Punta Gorda and that’s how I spent time on both sides of the bridge. My Grandparents lived in Port Charlotte where all the grand kids took turns spending the weekends with Grandma and Pop’s. Pop’s was the one that taught me to fish for shiners with a cane pole and dough balls. As I got older, he taught me to drive the boat. Back in those days there were big islands of freshwater Hiaasen’s in the harbor. They came from the Shell Creek when it would rain and send them over the dam. The only time I did not live in Charlotte County I went to St. Croix to work after Hugo in 1989. I have seen lots of changes on the harbor over the years. but I do not remember sharing this information in the past. July in S.W. Florida inshore look for the snook on the move looking for a place to spawn. Tarpon from the beach to the bridge on the Peace River and Myakka River. Sharks are in the feeding mode always looking for a chunk of meat to chow down on and snook, reds, and trout scattered around the harbor. Offshore, red grouper and snapper from 65 feet out to 100 feet. In the 100-foot range some of the wrecks should be holding some nice yellowtail snapper, and barracudas. If you spend a good amount of time, you could find some black fin tuna and amber jacks too. If you would like to come along with Capt. Bart Marx to learn some of these tactics give me a call at 941-979-6517 or e-mail me at or if you would like me to come on your boat for a training session, please contact me and we can set a date to go. So always remember singing drags and tight lines make me smile!