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Everglades City, Chokoloskee and Everglades National Park

Capt. Charles Wright
January 8, 2004
Everglades City - Saltwater Fishing Report

Warm Water; Hot Bite

Warm Weather; Hot Bite

The last two weeks have produced some spectacular weather. It makes really makes me appreciate one of the many reasons that I live here. With about 10 straight days with highs close to 80’s a sense of normalcy seems to be returning to the waters.

Vickie and I celebrated our anniversary over the New Year’s on Picnic Key with a group of friends that we often camp with. Joining us this year was a couple of new, but excellent additions to the typical beach camping crew. Spectacular sunsets, fine friends and great eats made our tenth wonderful.

Camping on the beach has its challenges. Loading and unloading of the boats, setting up the camp itself and there is the sand. The tides have to be watch, so that your boat is floating when you need it. There has been many times when we have wakened to find some of the boats high and dry at low tide.

We welcome new friends joining us; they can make the trip special. There has always been plenty to eat and drink on these trips. But, they have evolved into a beach banquet in their own right. We have had steaks, lobsters, crab, prime rid, lamb and “Chuckie Burgers”. For me a few smoked mullet, some onions, crackers, too much hot sauce and jar of peanut butter is enough for the whole weekend.

There is always a need for a refrigerator barge with our group. The tenderfoots that join us for the first are very special in our hearts and to our backs. You see, they are not going to be without. They will bring everything. I mean everything! They bring everything they need and everything everyone else needs. Their barge will have three coolers stuffed with enough food and drink for two weeks, firewood for three, extra lanterns, sleeping bags, tents and chairs. A fine selection of music, candles and wines will be provided for all. They may even have a shower to go with that kitchen sink.

If you happen to see our boat caravan, going out the River, the neophyte’s boat is easy to identify! They are ones loaded down like the Clampetts headed to Beverly Hills. But they do make things special and easy on the rest of us. All that they bring to the camp simply means less for the rest of us to deal with. Less is good. It is really great to have such nice, supplying friends. The only problem is that we have to keep finding new ones each year!!

Fishing has been improving steadily with the warming trend. The flats have been producing lots of trout, ladyfish, and bluefish and in recently mackerel. Sheep head and snapper bite have been strong. Last week, on a quick venture offshore, we ran into schools of bonito chasing baits. This is great sign for things to come.

The snook bite has been very good in the back with most days producing 12-20 fish per trip. Fly fishing has been the most productive, by far. A small swimming shad tail on a 1/8 ounce jig has been very productive also. Most fish are small, but that is to be expected this time of year.

Our last kayak fishing mother ship trip produced some very nice slot sized redfish for the two anglers who made the trip. Lady fish, jacks, small grouper, snappers, sheep head and some very nice trout rounded out their creel … surprisingly no snook.

These trips are perhaps my favorite trips this time of year. We use a “mother ship” to haul the specially rigged fishing kayaks to the fish, put out the yaks and use them to get to where the fish are. The yaks are very fun fishing platform and deadly silent. The fish are here, especially the redfish. Getting close enough to catch them in the very clear water can be the tough part. Not with the yaks! If you have not experienced this type of trip you should. It is really something special.

Tight lines!!!

P.S. We are looking for some new friends now for next year’s trip.

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Chokoloskee Charters.com and Everglades Kayak Fishing.com is your complete outfitter for fishing Everglades National Park. Fish the Everglades backcountry, the beaches, 10,000 islands, river and wrecks with the most experienced guides in the area. With flats boats, bays boats, offshore boats and even kayak transport boats for our fleet of outfitted fishing kayaks, we can offer a complete, multi-day, fishing experience. Capt. Charles Wright - Fishing the Park Since 1972 Catch the Experience

Contact Info:

Chokoloskee Charters
PO Box 670
Everglades City, FL 34139
Phone: 239-695-9107
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