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,

To say the least, it’s been a very unusual past few months.  Although nearly contained, a series of fires burned thousands of acres throughout Collier County for nearly 2 months. In my recollection, it has never been so dry in these parts.   With seasonally low rainfall for months on end, we become at higher risk with the dryer vegetation.  And at the same time it was stirring up the embers, the windier weather presented us anglers with ‘trickier’ conditions for accurate sight casting.  In springs gone by, we’ve had excellent sight casting conditions for tarpon, snook, and redfish in the shallower waters.  On a higher note, I am very encouraged to see tarpon showing up now in numbers, and am even more encouraged knowing that winds will begin to subside as we get closer to summer.  We’ve caught lots of the smaller (baby) tarpon, and some really nice snook over the past couple of months.   Redfish have been smaller, however that should change shortly as larger redfish and snook come in from their winter haunts offshore, setting us up for some great flats fishing.  By late spring, higher numbers of fish migrate back into the backcountry, as well as the outside points, bays, and bytes.

Just a few days ago, we had a 130-140 lb tarpon take a small foam cylinder popper that I typically tie for baby tarpon and snook.  My fellow angler and I watched closely and intently, as we became aware of this monster following the popper.  The creek was narrow at that point, so he was forced to cast back and to the right of the skiff to allow a proper back cast.  Pow!  At the moment the tarpon crushed the popper it was only about 10 feet from the stern.  It then tail walked, as only a healthy tarpon can do, across and behind the stern, after which, it spewed out the popper.  Witnessing the dramatic tail walk, where, for what seemed to be minutes, time literally stood still, absolutely made our day.  I was  left with a vision imprinted in my mind that I’ll never forget.  Truly unimaginable that a tiny popper, secured to a size 2 Gamakatsu hook, could bring this beast-of-a-fish up and out of the water in such a fearsome display of power!  Simply magnificent!

On a final note, and as is the case with most southwest Florida guides, I am patiently following all updates relative to current state and federal legislation impacting our region.  The following excerpt was recently written by Florida Sportsman magazine’s editor:

Clean water advocates, sportsmen, and all Floridians got a beneficial shot in the arm this week when SB 10, the bill to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to help limit damaging discharge flows, passed in the state Senate. Now the bill will proceed to the Florida House of Representatives for consideration, and if enacted, the new law would expedite improvements to South Florida water management to benefit the Everglades and water quality around both coasts. SB 10 was sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island)…“The passage of SB 10 today by the Senate is a positive and science-based step toward the restoration of America’s Everglades, and we praise the Florida Senate for passing this good bill out of their chamber,” said Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg. “This plan will significantly reduce the amount of harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee that have long caused destruction along the east and west coasts of Florida. It will also allow for a significant amount of water to be stored, cleaned and moved south into the Everglades and Florida Bay where it is needed.”

Although amended from its original form before finally being passed in the Senate in April, the passage of Florida SB 10 legislation, will go a long way to provide the region with much needed relief, by means of restoration, cleaner water, and water flow management to the Everglades and surrounding areas. We are optimistic that this move will help to secure a better future for the Everglades, enabling future generations to experience and enjoy this wonderful resource.

 

Signing off for now……

Captain Buddy

 

 

Let’s Go Fishing!

Captain Buddy Ferber
BuddyFerber@att.net
(239) 298-3863