Another bait I like to use is ladyfish. I use “ladies” mostly as cut bait but they also make great live bait when the tarpon migration comes through this area, (March, April, May). It’s rare but there are times when live bait is scarce. If live bait is hard to come by almost all species that roam these waters can be caught on a wide variety of artificial baits, buck tail jigs, soft plastics, and hard body lures and plugs. I keep a wide selection in my boat at all times.
We will be fishing with spinning reels, Penn’s, 10, 15, 20, and 30lb outfits, spooled with braided line, Power Pro. All Rod and Reel combos are identical so you and your fishing partner are using the same top notch equipment. The species of fish available and their abundance vary throughout the year and I prefer to target the species most abundant at the time of your charter. Redfish, snook, spotted sea trout, cobia, tarpon, permit, tripletail, pompano, and Spanish mackerel, are all on my “most frequently caught list,” and for sheer rod bending excitement it’s hard to beat sharks. Kids love them and grown up kids love ‘em too.
Every fishing trip into the Everglades National Park and surrounding waters is special! This is back country, flats, and costal fishing at its finest. The waters we will be fishing in the 10,000 Islands are notoriously shallow. The depth ranges from 1 foot on the flats at low tide, to around 10 feet deep on some of my favorite near shore wrecks. We’ll adapt our techniques to the conditions on any given day. Tides, wind, weather and water clarity are all factors that I’ll use to determine what tactic we use. Our techniques can be anything from live shrimp, to live pilchards, threadfin hearing, or finger mullet that I can net when they’re available. These baits can be fished under a floating cork, free lined, or weighted so we can present them at different depths.
If you have a favorite or particular fish on your bucket list that you’ve been dreaming of catching let me know ahead of time so I can improve our odds for success. This is a true wilderness experience, when we leave the dock from Everglades City or Chokoloskee Island you will experience one of the last, coastal frontiers. Barrier islands with white sand beaches, hundreds of miles of mangrove shore lines and seemingly endless creeks and backcountry rivers. Did I mention GREAT FISHING? Whether we are drifting a flat, anchored on a point, or idling down a beach head or mangrove shore line with a trolling motor, you can rest assured, I will put 100% of my effort into catching you fish.
Snook - Availability: YEAR ROUND. Best months for trophy sized fish, (April, May, June, and July.) Minimum size limit 28" - Max 33" Possession: 1 fish per angler, catch and release only from December 1st thru February 28th, and May 1st thru August 31st. Food quality excellent
Red Fish - Availability: YEAR ROUND. Best months for trophy sized fish (May, June, July, August, September, and October.) Minimum size limit 18"- Max 27". Possession: 1 fish per angler, no closed season. Food quality: excellent.
Spotted Sea Trout - Availability: YEAR ROUND. Best months for trophy sized fish, (March, April, May, June, and July.) Slot size limit 15"- 20". Possession: 4 fish per angler. Food quality: good.
Pompano - Availability: YEAR ROUND. Best months (February, March, April, May, June, July, August.) Minimum size limit 11." Possession: 6 fish per angler. Food quality: excellent
Cobia - (Ling) Availability: seasonal, best months (January, February, March, April.) Minimum size limit 33." Possession: 1 fish per angler. No closed season. Food quality good
Permit - Availability: seasonal, best months (June, July, August.) Minimum size limit 11" - Max 22". Possession: 2 fish per angler. No closed season. Food quality: good.
Tarpon - (Silver King) Availability: year round. Best months (March, April, May.) Catch and release only.
Goliath Grouper - (Jew Fish) Availability: year round. Best months, (April, May, June, July, August.) Catch and release only.
THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE GAME FISH SPECIES YOU CAN ENCOUNTER IN THIS FISHERY. FOR MORE DETAILED AND REGULATORY INFO GO TO: MyFWC.com/Fishing