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

March/April Everglades Fish Report

Greetings from Captain Buddy,

A warmer than expected spring made for some above average fishing, with lots of small snook in the 1-2 year old range reaching the end of our lines.  At first, I was puzzled, asking myself “Why this year are we seeing so many snook in the smaller size, unlike the previous years”?  A recent Florida Sportsman article shed light on how important fresh water is to the Everglades.  The article was written by Professor Jen Rehage, an expert on Florida Bay and the Everglades.  She pointed out that the reason for so many young snook and redfish is the enormous amount of fresh water Hurricane Irma brought to Florida Bay and the Everglades.  On only 3 occasions in the last 6 decades has the depth of the water in the inner Everglades reached that height, greatly reducing the salinity level, that has, up until recently been extremely high.  Massive fish spawning took place, along with more birds nesting in the park.  You might want to Google Jen Rehage, “The Fix”.  Great article, which reiterates the importance fresh water being re-routed back to the Everglades plays in this ecosystem.  It certainly gives us all some hope!

Back to the fishing.  We encountered some small reds, as well as larger snook hitting our lines.  No, they aren’t on every point, nor creek mouth, but being familiar with the waterscape and with continuous casting, it’s typically not long before we locate them.  We caught quite a few fish measuring 30” and over.  I would add, that they were all released to fight again.  Toward the end of March, we experienced a warm spell, which resulted in more tarpon showing themselves.  It was only a few days in duration, but it sure gave us all a boost, dreaming about what’s to come!  Tarpon sightings continued throughout the spring and when the wind eased up a bit, we were ready to rock and roll!  Having caught quite a few baby tarpon in the few months leading up to spring, we were ready for the larger females when they began to show up.  All great fun, no doubt.  Heck, at one time, I was thrilled with a 20” trout in Colorado.  I guess I’d still be thrilled, but to see the large bronze flash from a tarpon striking your fly or plug, wow, that’s the real deal!!  If you do fish with plugs, lures, etc., it’s always best to replace any treble hooks with single hooks.  Safer for both us and the fish.  There are a large assortment of single hook plugs/lures which work very well and effective in getting the job done!

The Everglades National Park has recently implemented a new park pass which is required for each visitor.  It’s $15.00 per visitor, and is good for a week.  There are no daily passes available.  That being said, it’s easiest to go online, prior to your charter date, to yourpassnow.com and obtain one for each person in your party.  If you have the Golden Age Passport, Annual Park Pass, Senior Pass, or under the age of 15, you are not required to obtain the Park Pass.  Be sure to have the pass in your possession, or have it stored on your phone while visiting the park.

Have a wonderful summer!

Signing off……

Captain Buddy

Let’s Go Fishing!

Captain Buddy Ferber
(239) 298-3863