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Everglades City, Chokoloskee and Everglades National Park

Capt. Charles Wright
July 11, 2002
Everglades City - Saltwater Fishing Report

Chokoloskee Fishing for Big Snook and Big Tarpon

Mike and Charlene Astin -- July 8, 2002

Chokoloskee fishing for big snook and big tarpon was the name of the game fishing with Mike and Charlene Astin of Douglasville, Georgia.   On a split-day charter, we fished the morning for snook and the evening for tarpon with good success.

Our first stop was a little pass cutting around a bar of an island.  The area is surrounded by flats, so at low tides, the bigger fish fall off into the deeper cut.  The lower the tides the better for this setting.  We were a few days before the new moon and fishing near the end of the falling tide, so the flats were shallower than normal. Throwing a rattletrap, it was not long before Mike hooked his first-ever snook on 8lb spinning gear . As soon as the fish broke water, I could tell it was a nice fish.  Of course, all you had to do was listen to what Mike was chanting (nice fish, NICE fish!!) to know that!!!  It took a few trips around the boat, several nice runs, a couple of jumps and some bulldogging for the fish to settle down enough to come over the side.  She weighed 13 lbs on the Boca Grip.  Another "Snookaholic" is born! 

We moved to a trout flat to put some dinner in the box for the evening meal and allow time for the tide to begin coming in enough to fish.   The trout fishing, as it has been over the last couple of weeks, was a bit slow, but the ladyfish were feeding well. Leaving the flat we set up near another oyster bar at the mouth of one of the rivers.  It was not long before things began to happen.  Mike started things off again with another nice fish weighing in at 15lbs.  Charlene, not to be out done, weighed one at 17lbs!!!  We lost several other fish during the process, but overall it was a good morning.  We headed back to the dock about 11-11:30 for lunch, air conditioning and a nap.  We would meet again at 4:30 for the evening trip.

The weather was nice in the evening with an overcast sky from the afternoon showers.  The wind was blowing a bit, but that actually made things rather comfortable.  We first eased to a nearby trout flat to finish off the dinner fare... things were about the same as in the morning.  There was going to be lots of rice and potatoes with this fish fry!! 

Conditions were perfect for the big tarpon.  Fast moving, deep water at the end of a falling tide, in the evening, just before a new moon.  The setting was right, all we needed were fish.  Mike is a big fan of crappie fishing because there is a limited amount casting, he can fish sitting down and there is lots of action.  In order to properly demonstrate Chokoloskee Crappie fishing, I guess you would need a tank full of silver mullet rather than minnows. 

Within five minutes of setting out the first mullet volunteer, we jumped a nice tarpon.  As Mike took the rod, the fish was screaming out line, jumping and flipping towards the horizon. I scrambled to release the anchor.  Guiding the fish to shallow water to hasten the fight, it still took Mike about 25 minutes of sweating and panting to subdue the fish.  This was his first silver king!! We estimated at ~110 lbs.  (You can tell the weight by the scales on the sides!).  Mike was excited, but Charlene was beside herself with camera-a-flashing.  Although this was Mike's first tarpon, but he fought it like a pro.  It was beautiful.

After a few photos and a couple of scales to record the event, we revived and release the fish.  Returning to our anchor, I set out another bait to do it again.   In less than one minute, we had our second pickup.  Although, we did not land anymore tarpon that evening, we jumped off four other fish, including one monster probably close to 180lbs.  Three other baits were tagged but did not hookup. 

Fishing tarpon like this is a blast.  Even if you do not actually land the fish, just watching them take the bait and jump against the setting sun is something special.  Charlene is an excellent fishermen and really enjoys her time on the water, Mike says after her first tarpon trip, she is "ruined".  Well I guess if you are going to be spoiled, this is a great way to do it!!If you are planning to come to Naples fishing or Naples fly fishing, you should consider the great fishing we have in the Everglades National Park.  This is  wonderful fishery 30 minutes from Naples and 90 minutes from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.

If you would like to book a trip with Chokoloskee Charters, please contact Capt. Charles Wright at (239) 695-9107 or CaptWright@ChokoloskeeCharters.com.  For further information, please visit www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com Good Fishing!!!

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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

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