I have been guiding Chokoloskee area in the Everglades with Fly and Plug for the winter and spring months, fishing has been on fire. Lots of big snook on the outside and inside flowing bays. The smaller tarpon bite has been consistent and have been hooking up with the adults on warmer days really well. Everglades City and Chokoloskee saw some major effects from the hurricane but the fishery as good as it gets right now. With bigger tides in the backcountry these fish are moving around pretty well and the bait is everywhere. The Everglades is a 2 hour drive from Boca Grande and well worth it, some of the most unbelievable plug and fly fishing with the right conditions. I am able to set up 2 boat trips with 2 anglers per boat as well as accommodations in Everglades City. If you have never fished snook, redfish or tarpon in this area it is an amazing adventure every time with a vast wilderness and stable fishery.
Contact me with any questions about the park or times to go!
Fishing Report 9/24/2017
South Florida is moving forward with the Irma cleanup and this is a great time to take a guided fishing trip to support the local economy. The Everglades park entrance remains closed with hopes of opening this next week, with The Everglades still being accessed by much of the Keys at this point.
Boca Grande area remains with some tannic water but the fishing is heating up with plugs and top water flies early and late in the days. We are looking forward to amazing fall fishing in Charlotte Harbour along with 10k islands and The Everglades. When one of these big storms wash through estuaries like these it is a re-set and the fish will remain hungry and aggressive throughout the fall season in all areas effected, it’s going to be amazing fishing the next 3-4 months!
We have been throwing top water plugs for search baits to find areas where these large snook and redfish have pushed into, now that we have seen some great fishing in our backcountry areas we can work the edges with blind-casting white baitfish patterns along with poppers and gurglers’. When you find the smaller tarpon this time of year you can depend on them using those same edges and creeks for the next month or so until the water temperatures begins to fall. Tailing redfish on the low – incoming water will become more consistent as the fall moves in and the temperatures start to cool. The bait-balls has moved in from offshore and will be getting ‘blitzed’ in the coming weeks with Spanish mackerel, Bonito, And Jack Crevelle.
Again now is time to support the local economy’s that were effected by Irma and booking a Florida fly fishing guide is a great way to do so!
Late summer and early fall is a great time to fish The Gulf Coast as little pressure presents itself with endless opportunities and willing fish when you can dodge some rain and see through the tannic water on the gulf coast.
With some big storms that have passed much of the water is flushing out of the Everglades and all of the Gulf Coast and bringing down the water temperature. Smaller tarpon around in abundance, with this darker water gurglers and other top water flies are the ticket, they are always willing to take subsurface flies as well. I always lean towards the incoming cooler water for these fish.
Snook are still in the bigger water, beaches and inlets, blind casting chartreuse or white will generate strikes with some work big fish are mixed in there and willing to eat.
The cooler water temps will spark the spawn of our big ocean dwelling Redfish that will school up and tail on our larger flats on low-incoming tides. Still a lot of adult tarpon making their way south hanging on open flats, with stained water visibly is difficult where early mornings and late afternoons will be the good to see these fish rolling on the surface and will generally take any well presented fly. I like to fish early this time of year to beat the heat and possibilities of afternoon showers.
We will be on the lookout for the Gulf to explode with large bait balls with Bonita following close behind as well as big schools of large Jack Crevelle.
Baby Tarpon-HB Hopper (gurgler)
Snook-EP style baitfish (Chartreuse/white)
Redfish-Shrimp or crab imitations (olive or root beer)
Adult Tarpon-Dark Colored Tarpon Bunny for laid up or smaller shrimp pattern in cleaner water and rolling fish
Fishing with 9wts all day can suffice anything unless you run into the big boys it’s good to stick with the 8wt and switching out to the 10wt when the opportunity arises
The fish started swimming pretty early this year on the outside and inner harbor, lots of cooperative fish with very little pressure. With many of Boca Grande Fly fishing guides fishing snook it was a good opportunity to get out there and really feed some big fish. The winds came up last week but should settle in for another great Boca Grande Fly fishing Tarpon year. I still have some spots available in June so please don’t hesitate and call to talk about conditions (231) 409 4231
It’s getting to be that time of year, with some good winds and lower tides I like to get my clients out of the boat and do some stalking of fish.
I like to wade fish with a fly in places I would otherwise not be able to get to or in situations that would give us the ultimate stealth, like tailing redfish. Given the opportunity I will always get out of the boat on a good flat that’s already showing tails. I will also Wade tidal creeks that would be too noisy to pole skiff in or tuff to cast around mangroves in the boat, that is the ultimate in snook fishing.
Wade fishing is the ultimate in adventure and staying close with nature. Walking the flats is so stealthy these redfish will swim right against your leg, not snook but redfish love to check you out. Without tailing fish it’s all about good light and shallow water to see laid up snook, seeing and feeding a laid up snook in tight quarters is really the pinnacle in Charlotte Harbor fly fishing. You can have the monster tarpon, I will take stalking a big snook on foot any day!
So get out of the boat and explore. We have some great flats boots and good flats to Wade even without a boat in Boca Grande. book a trip!
I got a chance to help out with the tarpon and snook monitoring program at Lemon Bay Conservancy.
Great little place if you have never been there, They do net pulls a few times a year if anyone is interested in volunteering.
From my research and understanding it started as the wildflower golf course years ago, with the real estate crash the LBC where able to buy the property at a fraction of the cost. They have since made it entirely into a nature preserve. Luckily they got to this in time and were able to save a valuable snook and tarpon nursery. We pulled over 50 tarpon in one small pond with a seine net, it really makes one think how many of these nurseries are in jeopardy of becoming built on or polluted with lawn chemicals? It is a great thing for any angler to see how these developments directly affect our fishery. I was also over in Vero Beach touring the Dragon Fly Boat works shop, I was talking with anglers there asking them about all their fly fishing opportunities. They have some great fishing there but it is a common fact that the sea grass is gone and they just kind of acted like it was just a way of life that the golf course pollution had killed any and all seagrass so Redfish and Trout are not so common there. We need to protect our beautiful park know as Charlotte Harbor at all cost.
We all need to come together as a community and tourist alike to help our fishery in any way and threat means catch and release along with our actual ecosystem.
There is a new link I came across called found adrift. It post articles trash that they found and picked up in certain fisheries. I think it is a great cause as well and should be practiced daily, it’s also good fish luck!!
A new season is upon us in the Boca Grande area! We are looking forward to some great Fall fly fishing with you at Boca Grande Outfitters. The waters are not crowded this time of year, and its a great opportunity to get out and do some fishing. The cooling temperatures have all the bait in the bay and near shore on the beaches. A lot of nice size snook are being caught on the fly, while blind casting the edges on moving water. If you’re on the flats looking for Redfish, they are still schooled up there, and you’ll also see single tailing fish on lower tides. Large schools of Jack Crevelle along with Albacore are starting to become productive. Still some late season tarpon around on the right tides as well. The temperatures are cool in the mornings, and it makes for a pleasant trip with plenty of bites on the fly.
We will be doing some exciting new stuff here at the outfitters with our fishing and conservation programs this season so please follow us on Instagram @bocagrandeoutfitters for the latest photos of our area and fly fishing gear. Stop into the outfitters to see our latest selection of fly fishing rods and reels, or to book a Boca Grande fishing guide!
Here is a link to our local guide service webpage, and our friends down in the Everglades at Blue Moon Expeditions.
We look forward to a great fishing season with you.