The dog days of summers end are in sight here in the everglades and Naples. I love this time of year in September-November as all of the visitors do not come to The Everglades and Ten-thousand islands until after the holidays of Thanksgiving and X-mas. It also means the big snook are still on the outside beaches and river mouths along with lots of Tarpon still hanging around waiting on the big southern migration. Any drop in water temperature will produce balls of bait on the outside passes especially on outgoing tides. These ‘bait balls’ will have tarpon, big jacks, false albacore and many other species in a feeding frenzy! A great time of year to book a fly fishing guide in the everglades and Naples!
Fly fishing the Ten Thousand Islands is an experience you will never forget. The Ten Thousand islands are a chain of islands and mangrove islets off the Gulf coast of Southwest Florida, between the southern end of Marco Island and the mouth of Lostman’s River. The Northern part of the Ten Thousand Islands is the Ten-Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and the southern part, south of Everglades City, is Everglades National Park. These government protected waters and coastlines offer endless mangroves and flats, unique untouched environments, and provide premium opportunities to target un-pressured trophy fish such as tarpon, snook, redfish, sea trout and bass among other species. The 99-mile long Wilderness Waterway also runs through this remote and beautiful area. Almost all of the Ten Thousand Islands (which actually number in the hundreds) are uninhabited except for the largest, Chokolokee, which make these waters a prime thriving habitat for fish, without the disruption of human daily traffic. Because these fish are so unpressured, fly fishing the Ten Ten-Thousand Islands can be very productive, and a unique experience you wont have to share with crowds. Their proximity to Everglades National Park also make this chain of islands perfect for fly fishing enthusiasts and adventure seekers. But the wild landscape also necessitates a fishing guide, someone who can show you where to go, navigate the environment, and safely put you on the Tarpon or Snook on your bucket list.
I am very passionate about being a 10,000 Islands fishing guide and I’m excited to show my fishery to both the beginning angler and to the most experienced anglers alike. Ten thousand islands fly and plug fishing should be on any angler’s bucket list, as it is a locale that offers minimal boat traffic and a pristine fishery. I believe I am lucky enough to be able to live out my passion as a full time fly fishing guide in Ten-thousand Islands because of my high level of customer service and dedication to find fish in any conditions when other guides cannot. I chose my career to be a Ten-thousand islands fishing guide and I want to help share my enthusiasm and expertise with other fishing enthusiasts while exploring one of the best fisheries on the planet. Fish of the 10000 Islands see much less pressure than most guided Florida fishing areas also because of it’s tough navigation; recreational anglers often cannot fish this area alone as the waters are very shallow, and studded with oyster beds.
I guide out of two different skiffs depending on the season and target species. I run a larger 18 foot skiff powered by a 115 Suzuki for fishing tarpon, which allows for longer runs and more stability. I use a shallow draft skiff in the wintertime with a 60 Suzuki for targeting trophy snook, redfish, baby tarpon and bass when the tides are low and most boats cannot access the areas. I pole a skiff 100% of the time and do not use trolling motors whenever possible. I believe this gives my fly and plug clients the advantage over some guides that will not put in the work to pole a skiff for long days. Poling throughout our trip gives us stealth when stalking and hunting Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, juvenile fish, Bass, Trout, or whatever species, as many of the fish we encounter in the 10,000 Islands may have never seen or heard a motor before. We would like to keep it that way.
With many options to stay and play around Ten Thousand Islands, it is very family friendly with plenty of activities that are in close proximity to world-class fly-fishing. Sight casting triple digit tarpon and trophy snook in 10,000 Islands is worth building any vacation around. I am raising my family in the area and I can recommend a variety of non-fishing guided activities for any family members to do while we chase trophy fish in Ten-Thousand Islands on a once in a lifetime guided fishing adventure!
Please don’t hesitate to call and chat- I am off the water by dark and love to chat with fellow anglers about the endless opportunities when hiring me as your personal fly fishing guide in Ten Thousand Islands. I am a client’s dream as a fly fishing guide; I fish long hours and I am 110% dedicated to the sport of catching monster fish on the fly!
Here is look at the upcoming fishing season!
Fly fishing the Everglades and Boca Grande for baby tarpon can be a blast and very productive in the cooler months when the big ones are not showing. I love walking the deep creeks for these fish, tarpon, snook, reds you never know what you are going to find! Gurglers and sub surface flies are very productive! Canoes are very productive as well taking it into the backcountry and getting into some real shallow spots some never reach for a true adventure. Im a passionate Boca Grande fly fishing guide and have a relentless passion for putting my anglers on fish. Check out this new video we made in a series of videos!
Tarpon get all the credit and crowds as they should they grow to be giants that swim in shallow water and eat tiny flies. Anyone who has fished in Southwest Florida for years knows a big snook is the real trophy. I always tell most of my friends and clients that I would rather land a 40inch snook instead of a 150lb tarpon on the fly, the simple reason is it is harder to do day in and day out.
Snook are those fish that you just don’t know what they are going to act like when they see that fly 3 feet in front of them. They are very unpredictable when they get to trophy size, but I have a great ability to help clients learn how to feed and fight them. When they decided to eat, its on! but other times it takes some coaxing like a cat and mouse game. They need to chase it down and think that bug may get away from them.
They are beautiful, smart, strong fish and can be found in environments most saltwater trophies are not and that is super shallow in the back of no-mans land. Its a very personal experience to me wading super shallow flats and creek systems to stalk these monsters. I love walking to the ends of the earths where most guides will never fish to find those happy fish that will readily eat a well presented fly.
I have dedicated my life to these snook and yes if there is one fish I could catch for the rest of my life it would be them. I often do love to watch them smash a top water plug or surface fly as they are designed to eat upwards. Let me share a true passion of my and come snook fishing with me to see what its all about be it here in Charlotte Harbor or Everglades National Park.
Snook fishing is good throughout the entire season with the winter months (Dec-Feb) being wade fishing shallow water creeks and flats. The spring and fall you can find these giants in lots of bigger bays and cuts, these are usually poled and can be taken on fly, plug or soft plastic. Summer is time to stalk or pole the beaches and around the bigger passes, this is a time to get a shot a good fish in crystal clear water.
Most boca grande fly fishing guides dred the cold weather, high winds, and negative tides, I welcome it. Through the years I have loved the challenge and figured out how to catch fish in the worst conditions. The answer is walking, when you walk you see a lot more, a lot more wildlife, a lot more fish! I do not do much push poling during the winter as it is usually very clear and shallow water which makes the fish sensitive.
If that sounds gun please call because the fishing has been on fire and will continue steady now thru march. Book you Tarpon Fly Fishing Guide now to get a good tide.
We have been having some great low tides and high north winds to keep the tide low and the water clear. I have been in my normal wintertime routine of wade fishing with 1 or 2 anglers. This has been so productive and fun with the redfish, a lot of good size fish with some great eats. We are generally using tan or brown baitfish patterns. Snook has been good with the warmer weather and great blind casting over the grass flat for big trout! Come fly fishing with Boca Grande guide!
Been a windy couple weeks but most of us wade fisherman enjoy the big north winds that can keep a tide out of the back country almost entirely! There has been good numbers of big redfish and snook around to sight-cast to on foot. I was wading with clients back to back that had multiple eats and misses from the same fish on foot. When you can see a fish laid up and you are standing still, that fish has no idea there is any danger as he would if you were in a skiff. All the fish sees are two legs and a small bait that is fleeing, he will keep trying to eat it until he has it. Bill even hooked a big one, set the hook, the redfish blast on the water from being hooked and the hook pulled…he came back and ate it again. Bill went on to catch a grand slam on foot as we found some juvenile tarpon willing to play ball. Get out of the boat, stop and look around and you will do much better.
Get out of the boat, stop and look around and you will do much better.
Stop down to the Outfitters to chat or book a trip!
This past week has been some incredible fishing with great sight casting and tailing redfish opportunities. We have been exploring all depths of the back country on stand up paddle boards. It really is my favorite way to fish this time of year on low water. They are very easy to use and stable, and I believe you catch more fish due to the stealth of the board. Plug fishing off these is a dream and with the right set up fly fishing is a great time. We throw at tailing redfish a rods length away from the board, they do not even notice the board. We plug fished off them the other day and caught countless snook, redfish and trout, there is nothing like being towed around by a fish. I really enjoy the exercise aspect of it as well, you can get your workout and fishing knocked out in one shot! I have a rack on the east cape vantage that is able to take 3 boards deep into the back country where paddle boards have never been before, it sure is an adventure! If anyone has any interest in this new style of low impact fishing give me a call at (231) 409-4231 or visit Bocaguideservices.com