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Everglades City, Chokoloskee and Everglades National Park

Capt. Charles Wright
November 29, 2006
Everglades City - Saltwater Fishing Report

Snook, Creeks, Kayaks and a Rope

This last cold front really put it to the fishery here in Everglades City. We had three days of strong north winds which rarely occurs in this neck of the woods. Combined with air temperatures that were “cold as a mother-in-law’s kiss”, the fish got a serious case of lockjaw!

Just as the front arrived, I had four anglers come in for a four day kayak fishing trip … two from New England, one from Virginia and one from Texas. They fished hard and we had a great time, but the fish were locked up pretty tight. However, you can read an account of their trip in the tough times here…


We struggled a while longer here until the effects of the front passed. I thought the whole fishery would starve to death from the worse case of lock jaw I had seen in a while.

When the fishery did come back, it came back strong. Earlier this week, with four anglers we released right at 60 snook from the kayaks. One angler, strictly fly fishing, released 17 alone. I saw him break off several others … one, that looked it would go 20 lbs.

The follow day we went deep into the backcountry to fish a creek system. The previous day we had a steady bite the entire day. This day, however, we had a slow start … just a few fish here and there. We could see them, but we could not get them to eat.

HOWEVER, once the tide turned and the water flow picked up, the feeding bell rang … between four anglers, they released over 70 snook.

I was fishing a wide part of the creek with good success throwing a light jig with a swimming shad tail. However, I kept hearing bigger fish behind me wrecking the baits that were stacking up under the mangroves. I drifted into the jungle and found a place to wedge myself against the overhanging mangrove roots. Being right handed, I had to be on the left side. The only way to cast was side arm....overhead was impossible…simply too tight.

I fish creeks a lot for tarpon and snook so I use a short rod. This one was too long. I came very close to making a “field modification” on this one so I could cast better.

I have bowlines on the front of my Redfish 12 that I use to deploy and recover the kayaks from the Yak Attack. This rope was the key to what happened next.

The current was swift in this pinched down part of the creek, anchoring was impractical … too much scope needed. I took the bowline and looped it over a mangrove branch. The other end, I made a loop and slipped my left foot through the loop. I was anchored … anchored on a very short lease; very important with big snook in tight places.

I usually keep a bunch of DOA shrimp on hand for my kayak anglers. Personally, I could not fish them (in the past) … it was simply fished too slow for me… I need something that I can yank on … (Not comment on the bait, a personality issue!)

However, I made it a point to solely fish it the day before…with good success. So by the time I got myself pinned in this little creek, I was comfortable (and confident) with the bait.

The place was so tight, that most casts were about only 12-16 feet … up current. A short cast, a second or two let the bait begin to fall and a very gentle yo-yo retrieve with just tension to feel the bait and keep it out of the creek deadfall and I was in the money.

I would hook a big fish, dig in with my leashed leg and fight the fish with the full strength of the rod without the kayak moving … that made all the difference in the would. Most any other time, anglers get spanked by the big fish in the creeks.

I fished that spot for maybe 90 minutes before I had to come out … I released 23 fish … 16 in the slot (27 -34”) … three were over the slot sized. Those were the ones I caught! I had nine DOA shrimp in my tackle box (my top pocket in my case). I pulled out of the creek because I was broken off by other fish so many times that I ran out of baits. I left them biting…

That little piece of rope made all the difference. You can bet that we will be back there just as soon as conditions are right … rope in tow!!

Capt. Charles Wright

www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com 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

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