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

June/July Everglades, 10,000 Island Fish Report

Greetings from Captain Buddy,

With fewer charters over these past months, it’s given me the gift of time to learn waters that I previously was not familiar with.  It has been a time of discovery and surprisingly great fishing as well.  After spending several months catching Redfish and Snook, and watching out for a rolling Tarpon, I came to the realization that Tarpon numbers were noticeably sparse.  I’ve certainly had successful Tarpon charters this year; however, sitting quietly in bays and passes for mega hours, and not making the expected sightings, tells the story. This is the 3rd consecutive year of decreasing numbers.  Weather patterns and water quality can certainly affect migration, which is one of several reasons I continue to advocate for cleaner water and organizations like the Bonefish Tarpon Trust.  Such a wonderful game fish–we need to do whatever we can to ensure they, along with other warm water species, continue to return and thrive in our coastal waters.

May and early June were incredible for large Snook.  Once the water temperatures rose to 90 degrees, activity shut down quite a bit.  I’ve been fishing later in the day, and having some luck with large fish, but not as prolific as late spring/early summer.  If you’re an addicted-to-Snook-fishing angler, April and May is the way to go, if you’re planning a future trip.  Redfish have been plentiful, and during lower tides, just about any small bay we enter, we’ll get some sight casting in.  Lots more around than the last few years and boy, can they ever pull. If it’s a reasonable cast, they’ll be there for dinner!  I wish that I could tell you about a certain sacred fly, but any smaller offering laid out properly, with little disturbance, has a great chance for a hook up.  More recently, I’ve even been tying Elk hair Caddis patterns, which can be fished in almost no water.  In a foot of water or less, you don’t penetrate the weeds, and voila, they slam it on the surface.  Not bad, sight casting and seeing a topwater take!  I remember using that fly pattern in Colorado over and over, never knowing that one day I’d be catching Redfish with it.

Besides fly fishing, I do enjoy fishing with conventional tackle (no bait).   I’ve found that there’s a certain time that fly fishing can be effective, but by and large, at least for the larger fish, spinning or casting reels are the way to go.  Having evolved many decades ago into a fly-fishing purist, which remains a passion, it’s hard to fathom that I’d be suggesting throwing large offerings like 7-9” plugs (no treble hooks). However, given the changing times and conditions and knowing what I now know, I’ve opened back up to the idea that conventional gear is going to yield the catch more seamlessly in many situations.  It’s a brackish water, easily muddied, which quite often fishes better making some type of large disturbance.  With fly-casting, and that in mind, I’m experimenting with large popper type flies right now — the jury is still out on these guys, as they’re somewhat tough to cast in the wind, and difficult to get a reasonable loop for the mangroves.  Hopefully by trying different fly lines and leader lengths, the casting will be less difficult, and I’ll be able to get a large Snook’s attention.  It’s all an adventure—experiencing something new every time we venture out–and that’s why we do it!

Signing off…….

Captain  Buddy


Let’s Go Fishing!

Captain Buddy Ferber
(239) 298-3863