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

July/August Everglades Fish Report

Greetings from Capt. Buddy,

Word on the water for the past few months… “much improved’!  August brought us some surprising opportunities for large tarpon.  Though they didn’t emerge in spring time numbers, the ones that were here sure showed a hefty appetite for our flies!  From the last week in July through August, we probably jumped 14.  Got 2 mature fish to the boat, and the rest parted ways early.  Exciting to see those first few jumps!  I always think to myself.. we only want a photo, why do they put up such a struggle?  After a disappointing tarpon season earlier this year, this was a fresh breath of air.  What I enjoy most about summer fishing in The Everglades is the uncrowded surroundings…water for miles…all to ourselves.  I took a trip up to Hopedale, Louisiana and fished the week over July 4th.  When I went in to pay for my launch, the attendant told me that they had over 250 boats put in the day before.  Gosh, if I see 20 trailers in the heat of the season here, that feels a little crowded to me.

We had the experience of “pulling on” several large sharks during the past few months.  Black Tips and Lemons mainly.  In some instances, we had no idea what some of them were, as we brought our lines out of the water with completely shredded leader…they were quick to leave nothing behind!  The realization is that I’ve always had mixed results throwing flies to them.  By accident, fishing with a Merkin Crab pattern, we hooked 2 large sharks that we never saw coming until we felt the tight yank on our lines.  They certainly wanted that size 2 Merkin for their morning snack.   My friend and I were happy to have them break the line, as we were using a 10 weight rod and had no real interest in fighting a shark for an hour or more.  After a few of those experiences, one learns that it can lead to a long, tiring, and drawn out battle.  Throughout the summer, Snook proved to be active both early and late in the day.  We caught (and lost) some great ones!  As a true fisherman tells it, the ones that we lost were the best and the biggest!  I’m now anxious to see what the cooler fall weather brings.  Generally, it’s very good, depending on the fronts that come through.  I, like every other fly fisherman, love to sight cast.  As we all know, in the Everglades that can be spotty.  So to try new techniques, I’ve been fishing away from the mangrove shorelines and fishing under bait.  You never know what type predator is keying in on the bait, but I found this technique to be successful with some really nice Snook taking our flies.  The snook photo attached came from under a bait pod.  Redfish this year have been hard to come by, hooking up only occasionally.  Now should be the time that they start to show up in numbers, so we’ll be watching.  The water is fairly clear and God knows that they’re tons-of-fun to throw a line to!

I avoided the kayak areas that I enjoy fishing due to mosquitos this year.  Because of the unusually warm rainy winter, they reproduced right through the generally cold months.  I use Lemon Eucalyptus which is a natural mosquito repellent.  It generally works well, but on occasion, I admit I broke down and pulled out the stronger stuff.  I’ve learned another way to avoid the mosquitos is to fish a little further from the shore while they’re out in the early morning, or the hour or so before dusk.  After growing up in the Great Swamp, I’m accustomed to their company.  At certain times of the year, they are simply part of the experience and also an essential part of the feeding chain.

If you’re considering making a trip down to fish, try to devote some time to practice casting, even if you’re only able to get out a few times.  If you’re a beginner or intermediate caster, you may want to stop by your local fly shop and take a casting lesson.  For a certified casting instructor, visit the Fly Fisher’s International website, flyfishersinternational.org.  Lessons are certainly not required, but it might just put you ahead of the game.  I’m happy to assist in any way I can, and will provide some instruction or tips, but learning how to cast on the bow of a boat in the wind, can be a tall order.  Another tip, if you’re planning to use your own gear, I’d encourage you to assemble your rods, reels, leaders, tippets, etc. prior to meeting me at the marina.  I sometimes sit at the launch site for an hour or more setting everything up for my anglers.  I sure don’t mind, but if you’d rather be out fishing, it will give us more time to do so.  If you need some help with setting your rods up, I am happy to brief you over the phone in advance.  Or we can arrange to meet at the marina a little early, so we can get out on the water and take more advantage of one of the best times to fish, just after dawn.

Signing off for now,

Captain Buddy

Let’s Go Fishing!

Captain Buddy Ferber
(239) 298-3863