I had the pleasure to fish with a good friend and fisherman, Jim Webster, in South Biscayne Bay today (my old stomping grounds). Some of you may know him as the infamous "Big Jim Slade". Jim called at the last minute Wednesday. I was not booked in the morning, so I met him at the ramp early for little bonefishing.
There was little wind, but the we had cloud cover and a bit of rain. It was not until the end of the tide that we could see well enough not to spook the fish. Jim managed a nice nine pound fish and I a mere six pound tike. We spooked another two dozen fish without getting a shot at them. The conditions were such that we were seeing them just a bit too late for them not to spook..
The highlight of the day had to be the tarpon. It was my turn for propulsion duty on the poling platform, so Jim was on the front of the boat with the fly rod. He had 7 or 8 nice shots at 75-80lb fish. The fish would not eat any of the three patterns he tossed. However, it was still beautiful to watch.
A one point, he tossed the fly into about 20 fish in a daisy chain. One fish turned on the fly, I held my breath waiting for Jim to strip set, but nothing the fish did not eat. None of the ate ... not once. I only wish I had a video camera!!! Next time Jim. Call me again!!
To book a charter with Chokoloskee Charters, call The Captain @
Mike Thompson, from Miami, fishing with his father Don, from Dallas, had two nice days of fishing. We fished one of the river mouths the first day and caught snook and trout. One of Don's released snook (caught on 8lb spinning gear) is shown in the picture. As we were going to target permit on their second day, we stopped by a permit hole on the way back to the dock. Mike land one nice fish along with a shark close to 100lbs.
The second day we decided to target large snook in the morning and get after the permit in the afternoon. Catching bait was surprisingly tough, however! We managed only one bait big enough to trigger the big sow snook to bite. I told Mike that the bite should happen fast and to be ready. He looked at me with a quite a bit of suspicion and doubt when I hooked up the 16" bait. The ended in about 45 seconds when a very big snook gobbled the bait. The snook spit the bait on a big jump, so we fired it back in. This time, a snook in the 20lb class came over the side!!!
The permit fishing was hot as we were surrounded by schools of permit and large jacks for most of the day. Mike and Don caught 8 nice permit and numerous large jacks on 8 lb spinning gear. All in all a great day with some great guys ... hope to see you back.
To book a charter with Chokoloskee Charters, contact Capt.
Charles Wright @ 941-695-9107 or
posted by Charles Wright Friday, May 31, 2002
Wednesday, May 29, 2002
May 27, 2002; Travis and Larry Hubner (Long Island New York);
Travis and Larry booked two days with the intentions of catching Snook and Permit. We left the dock about 7:00 am to fish the last of the falling tides in one of the remote rivers. We arrived at the right time, however, the initial bite was slow. Both Travis and Larry were excellent fisherman and stuck with it through the first hour of the incoming tide. Larry managed a few Redfish. Travis stuck to the Snook as his "targeted species" (8lb mono spinning gear; 1/4 red Rip Tide jig head; 3" 12-fathom swimming shad tail). Travis claims he "can't" catch Redfish, but I am not buying it!!! A few trout were mixed into the bag. About an hour into the rise, the bite began to pickup, but it was time for the permit "thang" so we blasted off to the Hot Spot. Both Travis and Larry caught some nice Permit on 8lb, though it looks like Larry takes the big permit honor. Larry sacrificed the top honors by donating a large permit to a fiesty bull shark!! As they will attest, permit this size on 8lb spinning gear is something special!!!
The next day, contrary to the forecast, the wind blew about 20 knots!! We had to alter our plans, so we caught 7-8 "special" baits and move to a spot that I knew was holding BIG SNOOK. Both landed Snook close to 20lbs ... real nice fish. As you can see Travis takes the Big Fish Prize with his Goliath Grouper.
The Permit and Snook Fishing is RED HOT with nice fish being caught everyday!!! Trout fishing is also a good bet. The tarpon action is getting more predictable, but it is still best to call ahead so we can plan your trip to target these big shiners. The cobia are thinning, but are still around ...
posted by Charles Wright Wednesday, May 29, 2002
Saturday, May 25, 2002
Everglades National Park -- Offshore Wrecks -- “The Land of the Giants”!!
(from Fishingworks.com May Newletter)
The inshore waters of Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands make for an excellent fishing destination. The numerous islands, creeks, rivers and backwater bays protect you from the hassles of the wind; so, rarely does a trip have to be cancelled because of weather.
The area is a virtual nursery of life so you can expect to tangle with snook, tarpon, redfish, groupers, snappers, sheephead, trout, jacks and ladyfish on just about every trip. The inshore waters truly make the area very special.
HOWEVER, directly offshore, lurking in relatively shallow water is the “Land of the Giants”. These are the places that cramp your hands, shake your legs and get your back sore. The offshore and near structure off the Everglades National Park offer some the best stand-up light tackle fishing you will find.
The fish are plentiful and from their size they must be on steroids!! You are likely to encounter some of the largest snook you will ever see anywhere. In the winter months, the groupers are large, but in the summer months they move off the structure as the goliaths move in. These fish are the size of Fiats. The wreck barracuda look like telephone poles and the permit like trash can lids. You can imagine the size of the sharks hanging to feed on these fish!!
The locations of these fishing paradises are usually a closely guarded secret by the captains who fish them. Many charter outfit and captains, such as myself, have “private” reefs that regularly hold fish. However, even the marked structure, accessible to all, produce fished with fisheded correctly. You would be well advised to book a good captain on your first few trips. The techniques learned can be invaluable and can make your personal trips much more productive.
Recently, I was fishing with David McDonald (Tampa, Florida) on a multi-day charter. The wind had been blowing from the east at 20 knots for the previous three days, but it was forecast to begin lying off that day. We left with a solid 15-knot breeze. Certainly not the best of conditions, but we blasted off anyway. We were on a mission.
The first day we planned to fish a place I called Vickie’s Honey Hole (named for my wife). The water was rough so getting baits was tough going. We stopped at a small reef and jigged up about a dozen small blue runners to add to the 6 or so pinfish in the live well. Threadfins were not to be had that day.
Anchoring in the chop at the Hole, we waited for things to settle down. Within ten minutes, the turtles came to the surface, which I also ways consider a good omen.
David was rigged up with a “bath-tub” rig and “sent in” a small volunteer blue runner. The bait hit the water and made it about 30 feet behind the boat before it was gobbled. Fishing 20lb stand-up gear in rough seas is a challenge. Putting a 60lb cobia on the end of your string in these conditions makes for a handful. The same technique produced three more cobia, a king fish, two very large Spanish mackerel, one telephone pole barracuda and three “I have no clue what it was” fish.
We saved three volunteers to venture to the bottom. All three were gobbled in what seemed like seconds producing one goliath grouper from the bottom that we estimated to be just over 100lbs. The others were unstoppable with the gear we were using.
We left the Hole early, as the forecast of calm winds did not seem to be panning out. The winds did lie down significantly through the night, so the next morning we altered our plans to make a mid-morning launch. We had sight fishing on our minds and around 10:30 the winds finally laid down! We bee-lined to a spot about 25 miles out of Chokoloskee.
Approximately three miles before our destination, we saw swimmer crabs on the surface. I told David that this place would be “going off”, so, we picked up a dozen crabs and about three-dozen threadfins.
We pulled near the site and I got on my perch to see what was happening. There they were. The turtles … four large, barnacle encrusted loggerheads! Getting closer we could see bait fish balled up on the surface. Giant tarpon were rolling through the bait balls. An acre of permit was on the surface waiting for us. On the outside of all this was a large school of 20-25 jacks marauding around like a wolf pack.
We looked at each other, checked our tackle and went in. The details of “how” are for another time. We both caught 20 lb class permit until we were tired. In addition, David jumped four tarpon and had two kingfish. The jacks and barracuda surprising left us pretty much alone. Just as before we left and with David’s blessing, I laid a Toxic Shark crab fly (John Driscoll) in front a big trash can lid. Before I new it, the permit had me 175 yards into the backing of my nine-weight fly rod. I would gain a little and off he would go again. While I was fighting this fish, one of the bait balls,l about 30 feet in diameter moved directly under the boat. Twice the tarpon slashed the school busting the surface splashing water on to my glasses!! It was exciting! It was getting late, so I was really putting it to the fish. The hook pulled and we never got to weigh the fish, but we estimated it to be well into the 30lb range. We left before we hooked into something that would keep us there all night!!!!!
Fishing in the inshore waters has been good. Good catches of snook, redfish and trout have been reported. Tarpon have been a bit thin, but the action appears to be picking up consistency. Most of my charters this month have been offshore. The permit action has been extreme with lots of cobia and a few stray kingfish mixed in. Bottom fishing for snapper has also been consistent. The fishing is only going to get better as the summer progress.
To book a trip with The Captain call www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com at (239)-695-9107 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
posted by Charles Wright Saturday, May 25, 2002
Call us to Plan Your Next Adventure!
For more information or to book a charter with The Captain:
"Not Just Another Boat Ride"
P.O. Box 824 Chokoloskee Island, Florida 34138
Contact the Captain at 239-206-1194
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.