"NOT JUST ANOTHER BOAT RIDE" Everglades National Park Guided Fishing Adventures
CHOKOLOSKEE FISHING CHARTERS
Fish Everglades National Park & 10,000 Islands 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 ...
Where do we leave from? Typically we depart from the docks located at Everglades Bait Tackle & Marina; 200 Collier Ave; Everglades City Fl 34139 When do we leave and how long are the trips? There is not set time frame or schedule ... it is fishing. However, on the full day trips, we are usually away from the dock for eight to nine hours. The half-day trips are about four hour trips and the 3/4 day is six hours. When we leave depends on the tides, when the fish have been biting, what we are targeting and the weather the day of the trip. Most instances we do leave very early in the morning (sunrise) as the weather and water conditions are usually better for fishing then.
Where are we going to fish? The Park is vast with many different types of ecosystems. Where we fish depends on many factors, such as what species we are targeting, where we have been catching fish in previous days, tides, etc. However, many anglers request that we fish in particular areas when they book the trip, if it is practical on the day of the trip we try to accommodate. Very popular are the trips to Wizard Creek, Chatham River, Huston River, Lostman's River, the Turkey Keys, House, Wood and Highland Beaches.
Can I harvest fish? Most anglers these days are sportsfishermen and practive CPR (catch, photo and release). However, you are welcomed to harvest fish if you choose. We may have to return a bit early in order to clean your catch.
What does Chokoloskee Charters furnish? We supply rods, reels, baits, license, tackle, iced coolers with bottled water. Many of our anglers prefer to bring their own tackle and we encourage you to do so. However, we do realize that traveling with fishing rods is a pain these days. So if you bring your reels and tackle in your suit case, you are welcome to use our rods.
We have given up trying sort out who wants pickles and who does not like mustard. Please bring your own lunch, snacks and drinks. There is an iced cooler on board with bottled water. What tackle to you recommend? Traditional gear ... medium to medium heavy rods work well at 6.5 to 7' in length. Ten to twelve pound mono or 20 lb (8lb diameter) braids like "Power Pro" are perfect for most trips. I use a med - med/hvy action 7' rod with 10/2 Power Pro. (However, I often get "spanked" by bigger fish when fishing near the mangroves). You should have a bite tippet of 20-40 pound fluorocarbon ... 30 lb is a good compromise.
Lures ... My standard is a 1/4 oz. red Cotee Jig head with their three inch gold metal flake shad tail. The nickel Zara Puppy is great, but in the summer, I toss a Super Spook with 3X strength hooks. Berkley Gulps baits are very good. The most productive that I have found are the small molting shrimps and the small white twister tails on the red jig heads. White salt water Bass Assassins rigged to a 1/16 oz jig head drives the small tarpon nuts. The 19MR and 17MR MirroLures are great bait for snook.. The smaller DOA shrimp are also good ... I use the "glow" and chartreuse. A DOA bait buster (white) is also good bait for tarpon and snook.
Fly rods ... the most common rods will be in the 7- to 8-weight range, loaded with weight forward (WF) floating line. In areas of deeper or faster water, a sinking line, or line with exchangeable shooting sections is very effective. Most of the shooting heads are 30' in length ... one angler who fly fishes regularly in the kayaks, prefers to shorten the heads to 24'. Class tippet can be as light as 12 pound for the open areas around the Gulf, but increase to 16-20 pound range for the backcountry where the battle is to turn the big fish before they reach the cover of the mangrove roots. A 30-40 pound fluorocarbon shock (bite) tippet is a necessity due to the rough mouths of moderately-sized snook. Flies ... There are so many different types of areas that almost any fly will work somewhere. A few general thoughts on fly selection:
Weedguards may be the key to a relaxing and rewarding day on the water allowing you to present your fly right at the strike zone with a reduced risk of snagging.
Flies that push water should be considered in those areas with lower water clarity.
Include a few weighted flies for faster water or deeper areas.
We have confidence in the following patterns; Hook sizes 2 to 3/0: