In the last several weeks the weather has been dominated by high pressure off the northern Florida coast. This has resulted in a steady eastern breeze. Our permit and cobia trips have been limited due to the weather, as we have had to “pick our days”. However, the inshore fishing has been steadily getting better.
Steve Nale, V.P. of Great Dane Petroleum Contractors (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), entertained a few of his clients with a two-day trip. Focusing on permit, all caught and released big fish even though conditions were not the best. This was the first big permit for each angler. I am always tickled by the respect an angler immediately gets for this fish soon after the fight is over.
Jack Lee and his wife Tammi had fished with me about three weeks before on a permit trip. Both caught permit till they had to take a break. Jack returned with his brother, Billy to tackle the permit again on a half-day trip. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and we had to return early due to the seas. However, Billy did get to land a nice fish about 14 lbs. Several other permit did not make it over the side as the hook pulled. A couple of sharks and two cobia rounded out the offshore catch. On the way back to Chokoloskee, we stopped at “Vickie’s Honey Hole”. As was expected, a nice snook in the 15 lb range attacked the bait. Regrettably, this fish want to stay in the water more than Jack wanted him out it. However, we did manage to land snook for Jack’s table on the next stop. I am beginning to think Jack is developing a problem … he is turning into a “permit-holic” like me!!!
We did manage sneak out to the “Watermelon Patch” for a bit of permit fishing. On the way, we jigged up a few dozen threadfins. I had been catching cobia most every trip but not in good numbers. As soon as we got to the Patch, the permit came to greet. I tossed a crab directly to the lead fish that immediately turned on the bait. Somehow he missed on the first try. He turned back to the bait but instead of eating he spooked. A small cobia about 20 lbs gobbled the crab in his place. That ended the permit fishing. Both anglers were bowed up constantly from that point forward either on “brown marlin” (cobia) or big jewfish. The permit were there, we just did not have time to deal with them.
John Driscoll and his wife Stephanie had a tough time getting snook to fit in the slot size. However, for his birthday he did land a nice snook in the 22-23 lb range. Although this fish was not caught on fly, as he would have liked, he did get a couple of shots at snook with his own hand-tied flies with his 8 weight fly rod. Stephanie brought a 28-inch specimen home to her fish-loving daughter, Kara.
My wife Vickie, the head chef and first mate on Chokoloskee Charters Sunset Champagne Cruises wanted snook for dinner last Sunday … her own snook!!! In less than 30 minutes she had three snook, two trout, one redfish and four large jacks over the side. We were fishing in sight of other anglers, so every time she hooked up there was a lot of noise and flailing arms on the other boat. They seemed to be frustrated. Rather than continuing to disturb these fellows, we went to a nearby beach and shared a bottle of champagne and watched the sunset.
The fishing is only getting better at the weather improves. It is going to be a wonderful fishing spring and summer.
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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
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