January and February are open for booking for 2022 season. Email me to find out about booking dates. Sign up to my mailing list to get notice when I open up more dates later in the year. I’m sorry I know this may be frustrating for some, however with a family myself these days I’m wanting to be more available for things that come up during our busy time (February through June), and I know I won’t have a problem booking those days out with a months notice. So I will be referring everyone to Brandon who is running my other boat, otherwise if you want to wait and try to book me short notice I’ll be posting on here and instagram/facebook when I’m opening bookings – it will likely be a month ahead of time (So for April, I’ll open things up likely in early March sometime).
IMPORTANT: All anglers starting Jan 10th, 2019 will be required to have an Everglades Visitors Pass when fishing in the park. You can obtain one via internet/phone at http://www.yourpassnow.com and select Everglades National Park. Most of my fishing is inside the park, so check with me but more than likely you will need one. You can also purchase an annual/lifetime pass at store.usgs.gov
Well we’ve had our first handful of ‘cool fronts’ here one right before Thanksgiving, and another one just recently after it. I say cool front as it only dropped down into the low 60s and not a ton of wind – but that’s a good recipe for fishing as with the lighter winds it doesn’t churn up the backcountry waters too much and the cooler temps often bring down some of the winter time species redfish, drum, snook, and more. I had some epic fishing recently with my dad and two sets of customers. Some very big snook showed up with pops as well as a few big redfish and had a large cobia get eaten by a shark – that was all a few days before Thanksgiving. I was then out of town for a week but just fished the last two days after getting back and as mentioned another mild front brought water temps back down into the high 60 degree range. A good number of decent size black drum showed up, as well as a few more ‘bull’ redfish in the 20-30 lb range! Also got a tarpon for the SLAM today as well. Some big snook as well. Just awesome to see we played with the ‘big boys’ all day on both trips, and boated close to a dozen yesterday and well over a dozen today. Always nice when you can just focus on big trophy fish all day though definitely not an every day occurrence so don’t always expect that! But the next few months when its colder and calm weather it’s definitely possible and a lot of days we at least get a shot or two at bigger trophy fish like this while spend the rest of the day on the numbers of smaller fish.
Been getting out here & there it’s finally started to slow down just a little bit here in the Florida Keys. We had an incredibly busy off season with people flocking south for the warm weather and ability to enjoy safe activities like fishing! I’d been off a few days though recently with having my whole family battling flu. But yesterday my dad and I got out with legendary Capt. Bouncer Smith for a fun day of fishing. Another cold front had hit us not super strong but it got into the mid 60s sunday night and a 15 mph north breeze. We just brought some shrimp along with us for bait. Fishing was a little tough but we worked at it. We ended up picking about a half dozen redfish, half dozen snook, small goliath grouper, and a tripletail fishing around some various shorelines in the backcountry. So again some stuff to catch but definitely no red hot bite for us anywhere and i figured the water was cool enough that the fish would eat shrimp fine (it was 68 degrees). But sometimes when the temperatures fluctuate like this early on you get some periods where the fish just aren’t super happy. On the way home we stopped and got lucky we found a few big snook that were happy and Bouncer caught a nice 10 lber and lost a bigger one. Then I got a whopper close to 20 lbs I would say! Fantastic way to end the day and a little unexpected unfortunately the big fish have not been super cooperative these last few months, I’m hoping after it really gets cold some more will show up but time will tell. But good to see a few around and fun day on the water with two fishing legends! I’m pretty busy through the end of the month and out of town for Thanksgiving anyhow, but I do have some days come early December so give me a shout! Plus Capt. Brandon has been doing well on the seacraft too.
Well we’re getting near to years end and well into Fall. We’ve started to have a few weaker cold fronts get us down here, not that it’s gotten cold but we’ve had the northerly winds and dryer air. And as a matter of fact this coming weekend is suppose to dip into the mid 60s so that’ll be a nice change. Fishing has been across the board I’ll say overall pretty good. Snook has been my staple as is often the case this time of year. It’s not quite as good as it has been in recent years, there are areas where they seem to stack up but many other areas you just seem to pick one here and there. Which still can lead to a great day but you aren’t slamming them left & right everywhere you stop. The big snook that were around a little more last year aren’t quite as consistent this fall but have been getting a few here & there. When the water is nice and conditions are right. But definitely no guarantee. Redfish have been few and far between, a few years ago too we had tons of reds around and now you maybe catch one or two a day mixed in with your snook. Though guys who are getting super skinny had still been getting more redfish on the flats, but hopefully they’ll get better as the water cools off and they move deeper. On some calmer days the gulf fishing was good for me the last month with some shots at permit out there and even got a nice african pompano one day. Though last time out there the sharks got our permit and cobia we hooked but we did catch some big goliath grouper. Bonefish fishing had been very good in October, I don’t normally do much of that as I have a big boat for it but even I was able to get into a few spots and catch them on several different days. Though that will likely slow down as it cools off for winter. Tarpon fishing honestly I havn’t done much of, I don’t think it’s been red hot in the backcountry for them though we do catch one randomly here & there. I won’t be doing much of it though the next few months as it’s just too inconsistent when the weather starts to cool off. But snook, redfish, drum, trout, sheepshead, etc.. should be a good bet in the everglades. And on the calm days getting into the gulf for mackerel, cobia, and tripletail is fun too. After next week I have plenty of open days until Thanksgiving, and plenty more until Christmas week as well. I’ll also be opening days for next year probably on Monday this coming week, so make sure to sign up to my email list to get the notification when booking is available for early 2021 dates.
Well just had a 3 day fishing trip with Rob and his buddies Carl and Rick. They were really wanting tarpon so we focused heavily on that. Bait has been a little tough to get (the bait I like anyways – mullet!). But I was able to get a good load of them the afternoon before we fished the first day. Day 1 we had great tarpon action and found a good load of fish in a usual summer time haunt. I think we hooked 7 or 8 fish, though unfortunately most of them came unbuttoned. But we did land two and got one up for a picture with Rob. Later on we blasted out to the gulf of mexico and checked a wreck, and found a good school of permit! I don’t do a ton of this fishing, but when the conditions are right it can be fun in the summer time. We caught 1 for Rick, and hooked several more but we either broke them off, had one get eaten by shark, or pulled the hooks on them. But good action none the less.
Day 2 we just tarpon fished all day. It was much tougher we did not find the big massive school of fish that was there the day before. Just goes to show you things can change day to day, even when conditions are relatively the same. After some hard looking we found a handful of tarpon and jumped a couple off just couldn’t keep them on there. We spent the rest of the day hunting for tarpon and found a handful after a few stops but they didn’t really respond. But we did catch a couple of cool sawfish for Carl as well as some sharks.
Day 3 we were out of mullet and tried for an hour in the morning to catch some early. But they weren’t cooperative. So we tarpon fished with our pinfish. We found a decent group where they were a few days before, not quite as many but some. But they weren’t really responsive to our pinfish though after an hour or so we did get a good bite, either a small tarpon or a monster snook, though after 30 seconds a big bull shark ate it! Heartbreaker! After that we went and searched for permit again which was productive, we caught a double header right off the bat. Then hooked a few more but missed one and pulled the hook on another. After that they were staying kind of deep and skittish, plus it was hard to see them as we had a little bit more breeze and chop on the water.
But overall a fun 3 days with the boys not big numbers of fish but that’s how it goes when you are fishing for trophy fish like tarpon and permit!
Still plugging away here in August fishing in the backcountry. I had my neighbor Andrew and his buddies John & Tim out yesterday for the day. Little bit of breeze that picked up slowly throughout the day, though mostly easterly which isn’t bad for us usually. We caught pilchards to start the day, our favorite small little baitfish for just about everything we catch. That was easy enough but unfortunately when we got where we were going I opened the live well and everything was near dead! A lone jellyfish had gotten in there and killed most of them, what way to start the day! Thankfully the Contender bay boat has a second live well and I put one haul of bait in there just for backup which got us through! We worked some shorelines early on and it was steady action for several hours. Not really any red hot flurries, but catch a few here, a few there, maybe double or triple up in a few spots. But nice consistent action which is always fun and moving the whole time. All redfish and snook the reds were decent size too good to see them around. After a few hours of that we headed towards home and stopped in one area to try for someting glorious. Was hoping for a big snook possibly, but we were instead rewarded with quite a few large redfish, 4 tarpon, a goliath grouper, and a tripletail! Just insane and very funny because I was at this same spot the day before with my dad and we never had a bite of anything. Just goes to show you things can change like that from one day to the next. Anyways awesome day I wish they were all that good, but possibilities like this are out there. The next few months are ‘off season’ for business here so I’m not fishing every single day and have more shorter notice availability. If you wanna get out and fish drop me a line, especially come September.