Everglades Fly Fishing Charters
Everglades & 10,000 Islands Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Charters • Captain Buddy Ferber • (239) 298-3863

January/February Everglades Fish Report

Greetings from Captain Buddy,

To begin, I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with some great anglers these past couple of months–thoughtful, considerate, environmentally conscious people that love to throw a fly!  Although it’s not for me to guarantee the number of fish to be caught on any given day, I can certainly guarantee giving it a 100% effort on my part.  I admit that when I watch an angler fish hard for 8-10 hours, and not experience their best day ever, I am bothered.  However, watching any angler put forth a true effort gives me confidence that there are a passionate lot of anglers, like myself, who are after, not only the fishing “for numbers”, but the full spectrum of the Everglades/outdoor experience that we are fortunate to still be able to experience.  The more challenging fishing conditions of recent years has also given me a stronger appreciation for those who are working behind the scenes to improve water conditions and advocate for the Everglades and 10,000 Islands….one of our last great frontiers and one of the most unique ecosystems in the United States.

Despite some off days this winter, we did have some really good fishing in January and early February.  Typically, winter is our most difficult time in SW Florida, however we caught some great Snook, smaller Reds, and several baby Tarpon.  The last 3 weeks of February were harder this season, with continual NW, W, and SW winds stirring up our water.  The good news is spring is just around the corner, and predictions are so are the larger Snook, Tarpon, and Redfish!  Tie your flies, get your tackle in order, because they’re on the way and we’re excited about the opportunities ahead!

Before I sign off, what would a fish report be like if I didn’t relay a few quick fish stories?  I recently fished with the president of our local fly fishing club in Naples who happens to be a personal friend.  During a 6-week period of good fishing, that included most of January, he managed to land a beautiful Snook that was just over 30”, then later hooked up with a 35-40” Snook that broke him off.  What an absolute rush we had, watching the white EP Peanut Butter, which we could see perfectly in the stained, partially clear water, get inhaled by that monster!  It was short lived as we watched her break off and rush towards the mangroves.  Ha!  It’s a catch 22.  The question being…do you try to stop a large Snook in their tracks?  Or, do you let them work their way back into the mangroves?  If they work their way back to the mangrove roots, a person can try to wade back in and gently work the fish out.  It can be tricky though, because you aren’t always given a lot of time to ‘ponder’ that decision when they hit.  Either way, it’s a heck of a lot of fun!!

In February, I fished with 2 anglers from Halifax, Nova Scotia.  It was our 3rd time fishing together.  We didn’t have a bad day, caught a few smaller redfish, several smaller Snook, and various other non-targeted fish.  It was at the very end of the day, in a spot that I hadn’t fished before.  Boom!  There she was, a 40” Snook, crushing down on a white EP bait pattern.  One of the anglers didn’t see the fish, but heard the explosion.  She came partially out of the water once, so the angler and I got to see her up close and personal.  An absolute full-bodied beauty, which every backcountry angler dreams about.  It was short lived, with the fly coming coming out quickly.  I remind myself each time I head out with an angler that all it takes is that one lucky cast to hook up with the fish of a lifetime—and today just might be that day.

Until next time, signing off,

Captain Buddy

Let’s Go Fishing!

Captain Buddy Ferber
(239) 298-3863