The snook bite here in Everglades National Park this last week has been strong ... exceptionally strong. It should remain so as long as the weather cooperates. Cobia, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, speckled trout and redfish are also plentiful. The snook fishing has been so good, this last week, I could not get away from it!!
Steve and Cindy Bryant, from Missouri, had a great day snook fishing boating over (what seemed like) 30 fish. Of course, the camera, at least my camera, was at home.
My wife, Vickie and I slipped away for a few hours to her favorite snook hole. She boated 18 snook and one small Goliath grouper in two hours. Man that baked parmesan cheese snook dish is wonderful!
Stuart Rosenfeldt's partner, Mike Pancier, has asked Stuart to come fishing with him in the past. Stuart finally did make it, but without Mike. However, he did have his brother-in-law, Al Glaeser and his son Steve in tow from Atlanta. Together, they boated 21 snook including one for dinner. Mike has taken a few trips with me and done very well. But, I took Stuart and crew into the deep backcountry this day ... something Mike has yet to experience. One of the great things about Fishing Everglades National Park is the variety of fishing that it offers. Inshore, offshore, backcountry, rivers, beaches, islands, wrecks. Weather it is live bait, artificial or Everglades fly fishing, this is one of the best all-around fisheries that you can find. Like many have told me ... "Why have I been going to Naples fly fishing when Everglades National Park is just 30 minutes away?"
In the midst of this snook run, we had our first real cold front of the season. It WAS cold and blowing 25 knots. Joe Blancato and crew, of Columbus, Ohio, had the tough luck of fishing that day. We struggled and managed a few fish, but most importantly, we all had a great time.
Three colleagues of Chicago's Arlington Computer Products (www.Arlingtoncp.com) , Darren Wesley, Arly Gunther and Sam Price fished with me the day after the big front. We had a tough go of things early on. Once the tide turned in the afternoon, however, things really picked up. All three caught some nice snook at the end of the day. However, I know Sam would like a another chance at that big sow that ran him to the mangroves like a freight train. I guess good friends, good cigars and good fishing do make for a great trip. You guys were a blast to fish with!! Come back soon!!
I should have the Kayak fishing trip schedule posted within the week. There has been a lot of interest in these trips. They should be fun and productive. Basically, we are going to load up the yaks on a mother ship to transport them to the remote areas of the Park. Instead of paddling for two days to get to the hot spots, you will be transported, fish for about three hours, cook up your catch on the boat, fish some more and then ride home. It should be a blast!! It looks like the space on these limited trips will book up quickly, so send me an email if you are interested so I can be sure that get you a seat!!
and wife Maria with Dan's first tarpon)
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, most on fly gear, on another day. Most anglers 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.
(Richard Shue of Columbus, Ga. with a creek snook!)
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 really 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 these laid up fish is something every fisherman should experience. It takes a bit more skill and finesse, but the rewards are great.
The Everglades fly fishing has really picked up. Both snook and redfish have been eating well. An occasional tarpon in the pile spices things up quite a bit. Glass minnow flies tied by John Driscoll of Toxic Shark have been producing well. Andy Novak's (LMR Fly shop - Ft. Lauderdale) orange headed snook fly has been producing bigger fish in the creeks, however.
Marty Banak, left, fished an afternoon tide with his wife Carol. While we did not set the world on fire, Marty did catch several snook on his eight weight fly rod. Marty operates the Vermont Fly Fishing School. If you are interested in trout fishing in Vermont, drop him a line at
A recent trip to the near-by structure turned out to be an absolute blast. Blue fish, Spanish mackerel and 4-5lb lady fish were everywhere. Hardly a cast went by without hooking a fish. These lady fish were a hoot on fly. With the assist of the fly rod, they were jumping eye level. While not the most prestigious fish on the list, two hours of non-stop, drag pulling action on fly, ranks right up there!! If you haven't tried it you should!!!
If you are into something a little different, I will be running several kayak fishing trips deep into the backcountry on the weekends this winter. Fear not, we are going to load up the yaks on a larger boat so we do not have to paddle for two days to get to the fishing grounds. Ride in, fish, grilled lunch on the boat/beach, fish, ride back. These trips should be a good time. Watch the website for the up coming trips.
Also, the spring and summer tarpon trips are booking fast. If you have an interest in watching these dinosaurs do their sunset aerial act, I would suggest that you let me know soon.
If you would like to book a charter with Chokoloskee Charters, contact The Captain @www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com;
call him @ 239-682-9920. Tight Lines!
posted by Charles Wright Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Tuesday, November 04, 2003The Tarpon Bite Continues ...
The Tarpon have continued to pound the baits. I had the opportunity to fish one of the remote creeks two days ago ... The wind was howling from the NE @ 20-25 so we were going to have to fish sheltered waters no matter what. The wind was blowing the water out of the back country fast so the current was rather strong. However, we staked out the boat at an intersection of two streams of water. It took just 10 minutes for the action to start ... We put 18-19 tarpon into the air right there in that spot ... seven went up on the fly rods. Lots of snook were mixed in, but this day, they were incidental "by-catch" ... what a time. All of the fish were the smaller creek fish, but they were a blast!!!
The following day, the fish were a lot bigger ... a lot bigger ... Two more hit the horizon along with six nice snook and a redfish.
Yesterday, the wind shifted with the passing low. I headed out with my wife in the afternoon to scout things out ... the wind shifted and so did the concentration of big tarpon ... It was quite a run ... I am actually looking forward to it blowing again ... I think. I must be nuts!
It he last report, I said that "November is going to be great!!!"
November is already great!!!
Oh yeah, the snook are still biting strong also!
October ended with a very strong bite. We have been having excellent catches of snook and redfish. There are good numbers of fish in the back country and still some very large fish on the outside. Bait remains plentiful near shore keeping the action hot. November is shaping up well with mild weather forecasted … at least for a while. Once the cool fronts change to cold, things will tighten up a bit …
In the last couple of weeks, the big snook have been hitting top water “walkers” consistently. It seems the faster the plug is walked the better they seemed to like it. The bite has almost always occurred early in the retrieve as; the fish have not been wanting to follow the bait at all. They have been slamming the plugs just as it begins to move. Unlike in the warmer months, when you can see the fish follow the bait seemingly trying to decide whether or not to eat it, these late October, early November fish make their decision very quickly and race to the bait. Make long casts to your hot spot, walk (or run) the bait about 20 feet and then pick it up for the next cast. On the days with good clarity, we have been covering a lot of water presenting the baits but just a few times in a single spot. The fish know that the bait is there and they have been coming after it. When the wind has turned west and south, making the water more turbid, spending a little more time in a spot has been the trick.
With ample supply of bait, it has been hard to anglers focused on the artificial baits. Most want to pick up a scoop or two of “volunteers”. The live bait fishing is much more relaxed, but no more productive in recent weeks. Although on a recent fly fishing trip, a handful of little hunters release next to a little mangrove pocket, turned on a pile of fish that we could get to eat our flies until they were “stimulated” a bit.
The tarpon bit has held strong. The llast three trips have put 18 fishing in the air. Most are smaller fish in the 15-40 pound range. Although, yesterday, Chris Carter of Akron, Ohio, put his first dinosaur aloft. Chris now "understands". Chris and his partner, Sue Beevine caught some very nice snook under one of the Chamber of Commerce blue skys.
November is going to be great!!!
If you would like to book a charter with Chokoloskee Charters, contact The Captain @ www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com; (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call him @ 239-682-9920. Tight Lines!
Fishing has been excellent recently and should be that way for a good while. Lots of bait in the area is keeping the fish close and making them easy to pattern. We have had very good catches of snook, both large and small, typically averaging 10-12 releases per day. The redfish have been red hot ... as good as I have seen it in years. Trout are all over the flats. The tarpon bite has been steady, but the permit can be elusive.
Richard Masi and his friends from Connecticut landed cobia and goliath grouper. One fish about 25 pounds was released only to be immediately chased to the bottom by his 200 pound big brother. Luckly, he got away. Several other very large fish were never turned. Snook fishing was tough for the guys unfortunately.
George Uding (Naples) and his son-in-law, Bill Garske (Bowling Green, Ky.) had a nice day. Bill landed his first ever tarpon in morning. It was a small one, but at least it was!!! George added another small fish. Waiting on the tide to turn, we slipped offshore to a small piece of structure and caught Spanish mackerel until we were tired. The guys also released approximately two dozen snook during the day. Bill even got a chance to toss his bait to a wild boar on the shoreline. I actual thought he was going to eat his bait, but white plastic did not make the cut!
April though October, around the new moon, I usually only book 1/2 day or split day trips. The evening fishing for BIG tarpon (1/2 day) is just too good to pass up. George is a blast and has turned into a great client. He is coming back for some fly fishing, but I am going to make sure that he gets on one of these evening tarpon trips next year. Putting one of these dinosaurs into the air against the setting sun is something that you will not forget!
Joe Grande (Cleveland) and Joe Young (Phoenix) had an Everglades Grand Slam on eight pound spinning gear with white Bass Assassins. Tony had a nice snook release of a fish weighing 13 lbs. He also, released a very nice 40" redfish tipping the scales at 23 lbs. (35 lbs by Phoenix scales!). The tarpon were small, but they are a blast and do they love those little white lures!!
Scott Harris and his son Andrew had a very tough day snook fishing. Some bad choices on my part, kept us in areas snook fishing, instead of chasing the redfish that were biting well that day. We caught only a few small fish throughout the day. The best that I can figure is we were to close to the full moon with an evening rise and the linesiders were feeding at night.
The day started out with tarpon short-striking the lures so, we never actually hooked a fish. That seemed to be the theme for the rest of the day ... as least for snook. We had some opportunities, but we did not capitalize. We did catch a nice mess of speckled trout, however, along with about a hundred jacks ... and oh, yes, one flounder. Sorry guys.
A last minute cancellation allowed me to take my wife Vickie out for some quick tarpon action early on morning. She jumped off two fish and I, two others before 9:00. We were fishing but an hour before the call for breakfast had to be answered.
Fishing should remain very good a while. The cobia have not yet showed up in numbers, but they will anytime now. I would suggest that if you can, get a trip now before the cold fronts start hamming down. The fishing should be very strong well into November.
If you would like to book a charter with Chokoloskee Charters, contact The Captain @www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com; (email@example.com) or call him @ 239-682-9920. Tight Lines!
September has ended and so has Hurricane Season!!!! However, October means snook season is wide open and so is the fishing. The big snook are beginning to fatten up for the winter and are they exceedingly aggressive. Tarpon are still plentiful as are the redfish and permit. However, October brings in the first of the cold fronts and the first of the Brown Marlin!!!
As the water cools off a bit, we see our run of Brown Marlin (cobia, ling, gummers, lemon fish) the fish hold near just about any structure and bait source. Live baiting is a sure thing, but my anglers catch just as many on artificial. A 40 pound class cobia on 8 pound spinning gear ranks with any fishing that you will find. It is not uncommon to hook five to six fish per trip.
While we catch permit all year in this area, October is perhaps the last real month of the permit season. The big schools move to wherever is that they go with the arrival of the fast moving cold fronts and the waves of snowbirds coming in from up north. I think the permit leave this area for a big thanksgiving feast somewhere else! Get to them now, or wait until March!!!
Large white bait will be easy to find and the threadfins will be fairly close to shore. In recent weeks we have found dense schools of Spanish sardines and cigars minnows. These frisky baits really light up the snook.. However, mullet are plentiful and growing fast. A tank full of volunteers usually assures a good tide of snook fishing!! Big mullet - Big Snook!!
I fished a couple fine anglers, David Daniels and Mike Ostow from the Dragon Club (Tampa, Fl.). The Dragon Club is a men’s social club established in 1925. This is the second year that they held an event here and from the sound of things it won’t be their last. David released a tarpon ~50 lbs on eight pound spinning gear taking top honors out of 18 boats in the tarpon division. Mike balanced the points out with a good tally of small snook. Last year, I fished with event coordinator, Kevin Cureton who shared top honors in the snook division. They all are an excellent group of guys and a lot of fun to boot!
Bobby Garris, fishing with his brothers down from North Carolina, boated seven snook and three redfish, along with an assortment of other fish over the weekend. All had a great time together.
My wife, Vickie and I, took a little afternoon jaunt this last week. We saw only two boats between Choko Pass and the Houston River (one of which was aground waiting for the water to rise!) I love mid week in September and October. Vickie released two nice snook, but harvested one other along with a nice grouper. The grouper, baked with her parmesan cheese and chive sauce was something special. (You will have to talk to here for the recipe).
While every opportunity to be on the water is special. Every so often, I get to experience anglers who make the trip extra special. I had the pleasure of fishing with a Dr. Dan Mintz and his wife Marge of Miami. Dr. Mintz is pretty special is his own right. His research and successes in the field of diabetes has has a positive impact on the lives of many.
Before our first trip together this last March, Dr. Mintz had taken a long hiatus from fishing ...something along the order of 20 years. He had enjoyed fishing this area many times in years past. With rod in hand, he told me stories of catching his first tarpon in the Houston river, snook in Faxahatchee Bay, redfish in Choko Bay and so on. Most of his stories were older than a lot of us have been around (here at least!!) He had some great (and funny) stories to tell about fishing with his favorite guide ... some guy named Captain Doug House. I could listen to him reminisce all day.
After the passing of his first wife, he met and married a very special lady, Marge. Marge was a self-described non-boater, non-fisherman. The key word is "was". Our first trip together was a "break-in" trip for Marge. Some quick action with some trout, a "look" a redfish and a bit of time in a rookery with the camera was just what the doctor ordered. It made for a nice comfortable time for all ... no pressure, no stress and lots of fresh experiences for our "newbie" Marge.
For his birthday, (just her excuse!) we fished together again. He caught his first snook in "over fifteen years", as well as, a tarpon ...yes, in the Houston River. He jumped off another tarpon and several other snook. Dr. Mintz had a great morning, but the real excitement came from our (ex) non-boater. She was an absolute cheerleader ... hooting and supporting her team all the way. Not to be left out, she was right there rod in hand. Marge even showed us something Dr. Mintz and I called the "tarpon cower" . That's something you do when you are looking through the zoom lens of camera as a tarpon streaks at you and then jumps right at the lens. A true tarpon cower is accompanied by a blood chilling shrill! They were a blast and according to Marge ... "will be back very soon". Marge is no long a newbie. Personally, I can't wait until their next trip.
Fishing has been very good. Both snook and reds are biting well. The fish are usually big so, it may take some patience to catch some in the slot. Expect it to be this way for quite awhile …especially if the baits stay around.
If you would like to book a charter with Chokoloskee Charters, contact The Captain @www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com; (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call him @ 239-682-9920. Tight Lines!
August has ended and so has the full rage of summer. But the midday heat can still put a damper on the bite so early mornings and late evenings will be the rule.
The still morning air usually begs for snook fishing with top water plugs. A bit of "walking the dog" by one angler with the other following with a jig or sub-surface plug has been productive on bigger fish. The commotion caused by the surface plug will get a nearby snook's attention and usually draw her in. However, many more will follow than will actually bite. Often, the submerged plug or jig will coax a reluctant reluctant follower to bite. The real trick is convincing your fishing partner that you are not just using him as chum and "stealing" his fish.
Please remember to take extra time to properly revive these fish. The water is warm so they will fight to near exhaustion. If released too early, they are an easy meal for the numerous sharks that are all the sharks that are still around.
Large white bait has been hard to come by with all the rain and runoff and most of the threadfins are pretty far offshore. However, finger mullet are pretty plentiful. A tank full of volunteers usually assures a good tide of snook fishing!!
By midday the snook will likely be in the shade, so remember the "five by five rule". Cast your bait five feet from the trees and catch a snook. Cast your bait five feet under the trees and catch five snook!!!
Around the last new moon we experienced some excellent tarpon fishing. Casting top water plugs to rolling fish in the passes, we jumped some of the largest fish in the summer. We generally were targeting big fish, so a little diligence was in order for a bite. However, few things are more exciting than catching a big tarpon on plugs. Put one of these dinosaurs in the air and you will know exactly what I mean ... the explosion on the surface, the scream of the line, the aerobatics of a 100+ plus shiner at the end of you line. I love this show!!!
Some of the best fishing this month and next is fishing the is small back water creek mouths for snook and tarponettes. This is perhaps some of the best saltwater fly fishing that you will find. I recently had several anglers come in from Naples fly fishing who put 11 in the air one creek. It was a blast!!!
March 20 – John Horstmeyer (Naples) fishing with his son, David and grandson Mike (St. Louis, Mo.) battled the 25 mph winds in search of snook. It was an all around tough day, but we managed quite a few bites. As it turned out, getting the fish to feed was not this issue, getting them to the boat was!! I figured I had better stop counting when the tally reached 4 of 17 snook strikes!! We fished Wizard Creek about 20 miles from Choko. There were plenty of snook, but this place was also home to every small goliath grouper-ette on the planet. Being only 12 inches long, the term goliath is not really ppropriate. Mike had four snook to the boat and Dave muscled a 13 lb juvenile goliath out of the trees. Unfortunately, all the big fish we hooked are still in the trees!!!
March 21 – Tom Stevens and his son Jason from Medine, Ohio had a good day of snook fishing. Fishing a creek under the mangrove canopy on a windy day proved to be the ticket. Each caught several snook, small goliaths and other “tree fish”. Jason latched on to a big “black water” snook that took him to the trees. The fish ended up so far back in the bush we had to organize an extraction team to get him out, but after about 10 minutes of grunting, pushing, pulling and acrobatics we captured the beast. You guys are great and are welcomed back anytime. Vickie had a great time at dinner and told me to tell you to hurray back so she can try out another snook recipe … she needs guinea pigs!!
March 22 – I was able to fishing with Tom and Jason again today. The early morning snook bite was a bit slow, we manage just a few small fish. Mustering up our courage, we blasted off the near-shore tructure. Well, actually, we blasted out of the back-country and then slowing plowed off-shore!! The water was very rough and turbid on the outside, but just as we came near our spot the water cleared up nicely. It was not long before the action started. After several misses, Tom was bowed up on a cobia using eight pound spinning gear. Two other, large fish were trailing his hooked fish, but we did not get them to eat. On the light tackle and rough water there was quite a show as Tom followed the fish around the boat and followed Tom around. In the middle of all this Jason gets slammed by a much larger cobia … Laurel and Hardy lives!!! Just to make things more challenging, the light graphite spinning rod snapped in two leaving Tom with a stubby ice-fishing rod to finish the fish. I am not exactly sure how or why, but the fish did come over the side for a photograph! We headed back in after that fiasco for a beach lunch. We hunted for snook in several other spots picking up a fish, here and there. Several did freight-train up into the corn showing no respect for us personally or our tackle. We ended the day with five nice fish out of one tight little hole. All in all we had a pretty good day in tough conditions.
March 23 – Absolutely perfect weather condition because I was not fishing. Aghhh!!
March 24 – Two dedicated hardcore fisherman from Palatka, Fl, Calvin Close and George Mitchell after a hearty Vickie breakfast, braved the 20 mph north wind with me for a day of snook fishing with artificial. The wind shift, the cooler air, the heavy rains the night before, the war in Iraq, something drove the baits to parts unknown! The bite was off and the fishing was tough. Fishing eight pound spinning gear hard, George boated his first snook a nice 27” fished. We dedicated this fish to Wednesday night’s table fare. George had the smorgasbord for this tough day with redfish, jacks, ladyfish, snapper and grouper to round out his day. Calvin, however, had top honors with a very nice 17lb fish jig up on the light spinning gear. That fish made the day in these tough conditions. Tomorrow has to be better!
March 25 – Another breezy day. Fishing withCalvin and George again, we started off fishing a few miles off shore. I was hoping to get the guys a shot at some early morning tarpon, but they were not around. We did jig up jacks, blue fish, blue runners, lady fish and speckled trout none stop before heading on to snook fish. We fished swimming shad tail jigs and bass assassins on the shoreline catching a few snook here or there. As Calvin said, it is “not much to write home about”. Bait was scare and the fish were not concentrated. However, we entered a small river mouth and that was packed with a gazillion baits. One cast and were “filled to the brim”. The bait fishing started slow, but as the tide picked up in the afternoon, so did the fishing. We had boated another 15 or so fish by day’s end. George had his shot a trophy sow snook on the “Magic Tree”. We thought he had her whooped, but she had other plans and freight trained him into the corn. Can’t win them all!!!
March 26 -- Calvin, George and I ventured out to the land of the giants. The jacks and blue runners were plentiful of course, but it was too snotty to find the permit. Two pods of permit did flash the boat, but by the time I saw them, we did not have a chance. There were plenty of fish around. A large goliath grouper tried to eat one of Calvin’s jacks. That was it; Calvin could not help himself. He caught a “volunteer” and sent him near the bottom on a reconnaissance mission. Within minutes the giant grouper gobbled the poor little jack fish and then headed back to his lair. He left Calvin and George with nothing but big eyes and broken string. Two other attempts end the same. These pigs simple were not going to be photographed. George, using eight pound class spinning gear and a “gold thing”, did jig up a nice cobia. We moved to several other spots in search of permit, but conditions were just too poor. We did catch a pile of Spanish mackerel, speckled trout and even a “prince fish” (small kingfish) and countless jacks, bluefish and blue runners though out the rest of the day.
March 27 -- On the last day the Palatka Boys were here, it again blew pretty hard and we were after tarpon. We knew having bait fish would make a difference on this day. It took quite a while to net bait this morning; every spot that we tried just did not produce. However, in a small cove, we managed to net enough to start fishing. Things started out slow as the shifting winds seemed to follow us every where. Nearing the end of the high tide and with still a strong water flow, we moved up to the end of one of the remote rivers. At the mouth of one of the creeks, we spotted saw a small tarpon rolling. We set up and before long; George jumped off a fish about 35 pounds in the trees. Soon thereafter, he jumper off a large snook in the trees. (Notice the pattern developing here!) Neither the snook nor the tarpon would be photographed, but George did get to photograph two nice redfish. George did not catch an Everglades Slam, but he certainly had his chance in that creek mouth.
As we moved out of the river, it began to rain and blow pretty heavy, so I tucked us up under a mangrove canopy, put up the bimini top and we had lunch to wait out the blow. George heard what he thought were boats coming up the river, but I told him it was the wind … wind it was. Wind in the form of a water spout crossing the river mouth where we were going to fish. After that bit of excitement, we fished the mouth of the river on the way out and picked up another half dozen snook and a small redfish.
Both these guys are excellent fisherman. They caught some nice fish in some pretty tough conditions. There are plenty of fish in this wonderful fishery, but their catch is solely a testament to their skills. I only hope you guys come back when the weather is not as bad so you can really see what this place has to offer!
The water has really warmed up. Snook catches are increasing and there are still plenty of redfish around. You can count on catching trout and mackerel most any day. The permit and cobia are rambling, but the main tarpon schools are still south of us. They should be here shortly … literally any day now!!!! They are likely here already, but it will take a break in the weather to find them. March is still raising its ugly, windy head!!
March 14 -- George Uding (Naples, Fl) and his partner Bill, from Bowling Green, Ky., caught the weather nice and had good day catching fish. We were live baiting and throwing jigs. We put about 100, five-inch threadfin herring in the well and fished them right where we netted them. There were few tarpon rolling in the area tarpon with no appetite as it turned out. We snook fished for about 45 minutes to no avail. The guys ended up catching several cobia and going one-for-one on the permit. Also in the creel, were speckled sea trout, some very nice Spanish mackerel, goliath groupers, kingfish, shark, jacks, ladyfish and blue runners. The permit, goliath and shark were Bill’s first.
March 15 – Ed Rumberger (Naples) and his son Ryan in from college inSt. Louis, Mo., along with the friend Frank Percotta (Naples) had a good day catching. Spanish Mackerel to five pounds were landed, as well as, numerous trout. Ryan caught and released his first permit today. (Welcome to the release club!!) He landed the 21+ pound fish on eight pound spinning gear after a 37 minute battle. Piles of ladyfish, jacks and blue runners rounded out the action for the day. (To you "cheese-balls” in the Pro-Line who stole my anchor and anchor ball while Ryan was fighting the permit, I have your boat numbers and so does the Sheriff! Hopefully, some other jailbird will make you his girl when you get to the hooscow! I have not toleration for liars and thieves!)
March 17 – Tom and Terri Scott (Long Island, NY) had an action pack morning. Braving the elements and fishing on a very rough day, we fished a small piece of structure in shallow water. Practically every cast produced a Spanish mackerel, a trout, a very large ladyfish or jack. What was likely a large cobia decisively whipped Terri’s lucky rod and another, even larger goliath grouper, twanged off at the boat. The 15-20 mph southwester had things churned up by mid-day, so we elected to split the day, take lunch and a nap and then snook and tarpon fish in the evening. Things had slowed down quite a bit by then. However, Terri did get to land her first snook. Certainly not a record breaker, but a definite icebreaker. We only could watch the tarpon roll before we were chased back to the dock right at dark by a thunder boomer.
March 18 - Fished again with Tom and Terri Scott (Long Island, NY) … this time we headed offshore in the March monsoons in search of cobia and permit. Unfortunately, we lost the only cobia that came to the boat. Several goliath groupers also handed us our lunch. The permit were around, but had lock jaw.
March 19 –John Ippolito (Iowa) and his buddy, Bob, from Nebraska, had quite a mixed bag. It was still blowing 15-20 from the South, but we ventured out after cobia and permit anyhow. South breezes are our worst. They really chop things up and muck up the water. Bob landed a nice 13 lb jack Crevalle on eight pound spinning gear. The highlight had to be feeding the goliath groupers four-pound jacks at the boat. All in all, the guys caught speckled trout, jacks, goliath groupers, gag grouper, snook, mackerel, blue runners, amongst others. However, both permit that ate were lost and the two cobia just looked at the bait.
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Well it really is March. One day it blows and the next it doesn't. I have missed the last week of fishing due a nasty intestinal critter that has kept very near to certain parts of the house. However, March is looking more and more like spring every day. Cobia, tarpon, snook and permit are starting to ramble. Redfish, trout and Spanish mackerel are very strong. It is going to be a great spring!!
March 1 -- A half day trip with Fred Jette and Elaine Schmitt of Stuart, did not produce many of the big snappers that we were after, but Fred did score a nice King fish, along with a Spanish mackerel, blue runners, little snappers, six million jacks and Elaine muscled up a small goliath grouper.. I am pretty sure we had one cobia on, but .... Keep the anchor story between us guys!
March 2 -- Howard and the rest of his group of six from Ft. Lauderdale, unfortunately caught the March wrath as it blew 20-25 all day. The fishing was great, but the catch was very tough. Catfish, ladyfish and trout were the highlights this day, as There was not a snook or redfish to be found in this entire "liquid desert" we call the Everglades National Park. We all, especially the kids had a good time and that is the most important thing.
March 3 -- Kevin Stutz and his wife Charlene caught a nice day between the wind. Kevin has fished with me several times before, but this was Charlene's first trip. She was great!! Charlene broke the ice with a very nice tarpon (actually a jack crevalle) about 10 pounds. There were tarpon around us, slow tarpon. I saw a tarpon roll on her bait, but the jack won the race. Several very nice triple-tail were landed and Kevin wrestle a while with a goliath. Jacks and ladyfish we abundant.
March 4 -- I fished with Al Lorenzetti and Tim Smith trying to finish up some fly fishing footage for a video that were shooting. Basically, we were blown off the water and managed only a few small snook on fly. The water was turbid as chocolate milk. Not a good day.
March 5 -- Larry Guilbeau and his buddy from Dallas had a very good day with cobia, triple-tail, goliath groupers -- small and very larger, snapper, Spanish mackerel, jacks, runners and sharks. We had some very good opportunities with some very larger permit, but they were not taking the jigs today.
March 6, 7 -- Bob Cousins fished with too other captains in my place due to my intestinal incapacitation catching seven snook on fly the first day and a 1/2 dozen more with Capt. Bruce Hitchcock the second. Bob did get a unique pre-historic fish with Bruce that day a juvenile sawfish.
March 8-13 -- Praying to the Porcelain God!!! But I am back!!!
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