Fish Everglades National Park & 10,000 Islands
December’s Winter Mix
Light Tackle and Fly Fishing in the Pristine Waters of the Everglades Backcountry
Over one million acres of sheltered waters, excellent year round weather,
fine accommodations, a richly diverse fishery ...
(Woods-n-Waters December 2003)
November produced some superb fishing. Trout
were very abundant. Lots of snook and redfish were caught on practically every
trip. The cobia, sheep head, bluefish and mackerel showed up on schedule.
However, the tarpon bite was something special.
While most of the tarpon were peanuts, fish in
the 5-40lb range, there was (and still is) a pile of them!! A colleague of
mine, fishing by himself, put 86 fish into the air in one tide change. I sent
another 18 tarpon aloft with fly gear on another day. Most angles have been
able to jump three to four fish per trip, in addition to the other fish on their
species list. This pattern should hold well into December … at least I hope
so. I do love catching these tarpon-ettes!!
December does bring about change, however.
With plenty of bait around the shorelines, the fish will be close by also. All
the near shore structure is covered with baitfish … and their predators. Fishing
both inshore and offshore in the same day is a real December treat.
Typically, we fish inshore in the morning for
snook, redfish and tarpon. If things are right, I like to sight fish in the
shallows. Seeing the fish, sneaking up to it and watching the fish eat your
bait is a real blast!!. Once (or if) things slow down inside, we will ease out
to the near shore structure, most of which is within sight of land. While there
are big snook and permit around, you can count of the cobia, mackerel, blue
fish, and the snappers and groupers. Between these species and the assorted
jacks, blue runners, ladyfish, sharks, etc., it common to catch over a dozen
different species on most trips … December’s Winter Mix.
As the water cools, the plankton and algae life
dwindle so the water real clears up. Sight fishing becomes more and more
attractive to we light tackle advocates. In the cooler times, the fish will
“lay up” in the shallow sun washed, water. These shallows warm up first with
the rising sun, so the fish are there warming up also. Sight fishing theses
laid up fish is something every fisherman should experience. It takes a bit
more skill and finesse, but the rewards are great.
For those that are looking for something
different, I will be making several kayak fishing trips on the weekends this
winter. The kayak is perhaps the most effective way to get to this shallow laid
up fish. It is virtually silent, draws but a few inches of water and is very
maneuverable. The tarpon actually seem to like the sound of the yaks in the
waters. However, when a big fish rolls right beside you, it can be spooky.
The problem with yak fishing is getting to
where the fish are. Most yak fishermen are avid paddlers first and fishermen
second. They do not mind paddling seven hours in and out to fish a hot area.
That is not for me, however. I want to be there when the bite goes off. I
prefer to load up my anglers and up to six yaks on a larger boat and haul them
to the fishing grounds. This way we get a full day of fishing in without a
monster paddle to and from. We fish the very remote reaches of the Everglades
National Park where very few can or even have. To break things up, we pull out
of the yaks at for a hearty beach or boat lunch. Of course, having the boat
there means you can get out of the yak for a break anytime.
Check the website for dates of these Kayak
trips. Space is very limited on these scheduled trips, so I would book early.
Of course, should you have a have family or group outing, we can do a custom yak
trip just about anytime.
Call us to Plan Your Next Adventure!
For more information or to book a charter with Capt. Charles Wright: