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Everglades City, Chokoloskee and Everglades National Park

Capt. Charles Wright
May 9, 2004
Everglades City - Saltwater Fishing Report

Everglades Kayak Fishing at its Best

April produced some very big tarpon. Trout and redfish were a staple. The permit action was really slower that expected, but the snook bite kicked in.

However, for me at least, the Everglades Kayak Fishing was at it best so far this year. Mother’s Day weekend, we had some really spectacular weather. The wind was calm in the mornings and light from the offshore in the afternoon. With blue skies and calm seas, the conditions were “prime” for kayak fishing.

Four experienced kayak anglers were in town for two days of fishing in the Everglades. This trip had been planned for months and from their emails, the guys had really been looking forward to it. With the weather of preceding months, it was absolutely wonderful to have such nice days.

Sunrise the first day, we loaded up the kayaks and gear on to the Mother Ship and pointed the Blue Bird Daze southeast. With just a light breeze on the water, we had a beautiful ride south, spotting different two eagles trying to steal breakfast from the ospreys. Birds were diving on bait, the tide was just beginning to rise and the air was cool and fresh. Man it this was going to be great. All expectations were high.

We set the Blue Bird Daze on to one of the remote beaches as home base, had our little safety meeting, partnered up and fanned out to fish. Tom P. and I eased into a little pass to fish the moving water. Mark M. and Gary R. went in two separate directions … one to the shallows of the mainland and the other to a little solo key. Alan K. elected to stay on the beach…it was "just to pretty to leave".

Tom immediately got into a school of very nice trout. He called me off my jacks and lady fish and within minutes we were both catching big trout one right after another. This lasted about an hour, before a trio of bottle-nosed dolphins turned the area into their private cafeteria.

We gave up this spot and as we paddled away, we checked with the other guys on the radios. Gary had released three snook and one red fish. Mark had two snook and was trying to get a pile of 25+ pound black drum to eat something … anything. Alan was still lying on the beach; I think that we woke him up.

I took Tom to a nearby cove to look for redfish. We did not see any, but did manage a few snook. One take was particularly sweet. It was low tide and there was a little blind cove that was only about four inches deep at the entrance. The water was perfectly still … glass calm. At the entrance, however, was a little run out area about a foot deep. As Tom paddled up to the entrance, we saw a nice fish moving in the back of the bay. I had him hold at the entrance and wait. The fish mulled around a bit and then moved towards the entrance. We could see it waking the whole time. A perfect cast placed on its nose and it ate the plug in one quick flip of the tail. It sure was pretty to watch. Gary coaxed one more snook out of that little bay and I two others on the outside.

Mark never did get the drum to feed, but did manage a few other snook and one red fish. Alan finally got with the program and released three snook, one about 32", some trout, both speckled and silver, a redfish and a flounder. Gary stayed fixed on the snook.

As it was getting "that time" I went back to the boat and brought her around to pick up the guys where they had gathered to save them the paddle back. Everyone, especially me, had blast was really looking forward to tomorrow.

At sunrise, again we blasted off into the backcountry, this time in a dense fog. Arriving at our destination, we finished off the last of the coffee and started fishing. The paddle in the fog amongst the birds and still air was extremely nice, but a bit surreal.

As expected the bite was slow for the first few hours until tide changed. We had to fish hard, but managed to release over 40 snook between us … from dinks to slot-sized fish. Gary also released one red fish that was probably 12 pounds.

The weather cooperated well and the guys were very good anglers. The bite really was not that good so they really fished hard for what they released. Most importantly, we all hand a great time in this great place with great friends. I can not wait to do it again with this crew… soon!

May is traditionally the time here in Everglades National Park when the schools of very big snook move in from offshore. These fish “splash” the shorelines in mass and provide for some very good fishing. May kicks off the season for BIG snook. It is common to catch six to eight fish, in the 10-20 pound class, most every trip.

May also means tarpon. The big tarpon migrate here beginning in March. But by May, the ones that are going to stay with us, take up their summer residence and establish some very predictable patterns. The tarpon fishing in May, like the snook fishing and the permit fishing is very hot. Hot, but not as hot in the summer months!!

May also is the time for the spring cobia run. It is common to catch six to eight of these brown marlins on the trips offshore. The only problem with the cobia is that hooking and fighting these “gummers” invariably distracts you from the permit fishing. That can be a real problem.

May is the first month of the “real” fishing season here … May – October. The fish are big and aggressive. The fishermen and boaters few and far between in the hotter months, but the fish are not. May is not quite summer … but it is close enough to keep you “reel” busy!!!

Tight Lines!!

If you would like to book a trip with Capt. Wright, contact him CaptWright@ChokoloskeeCharters.com or (239) 695-9107. More information is available at www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com and www.EvergladesKayakFishing.com

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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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