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

May/June Everglades Fishing Report

Greetings from the Captain!


Wonderful fishing months!  Right up until water temperatures rose into the mid 80’s, I fished quite often in the back waters of the park.  By the end of May, I made the shift closer to the Gulf where we’ve encountered excellent Snook fishing.  We’ve also had some superb small Tarpon fishing over the past 60 days in the backcountry.  Desire, coupled with pure determination, found us gaining access to some quality fishing spots—and the pay-off was worth the effort.  The larger Tarpon, for the most part, left a few weeks early this season.  I’m accustomed to seeing them disappear around mid-June; however, this year they had moved out by end of May.  As we head into July, we’re just now beginning to see them in better numbers.  Tarpon are known to leave for offshore spawning, after which they will return to spots where baitfish are prolific, just prior to migrating south to the shores of Central and even South America.

I’m grateful that, thanks to the Caloosahatchee River buffer, we’ve been spared for the most part, the effects of this most recent blue-green ‘algae’ bloom.  It’s been reported that the surge of water coming from Lake Okeechobee, along with seasonal rains, have created the current imbalance in an already-fragile ecosystem.  As a member of both The Southwest Florida Conservancy and the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, I see the positive impact both organizations are making in their efforts to preserve this ecosystem.  With the extensive environmental studies that are currently being done, along with the necessary funding being appropriated to these projects, we are cautiously optimistic about the future of our wetlands.  Restoring ecological balance is essential for not only the fishing, but for all of southwest Florida’s wildlife.

Getting back to May-June activity, most recently we landed several large Snook on the outside, with the photos to show.  A combination of poppers and bait patterns was the ticket for enticing the larger Snook to hit.  Remember, a little larger fly in the summer might attract that trophy class fish that you’re looking for!  Enjoyed having a 6-year old angler (my youngest ever!) on board recently, and when this little guy’s cork suddenly went under, the look on his face was priceless.  His joy was contagious, and I couldn’t help but wonder that if we play our cards right, and do what we can to preserve these waters and its inhabitants, he just may be able to fish these same waters with HIS grandkids some day!

As always, we found significant pockets of trout over the grass flats and deeper channel cuts.  Redfish sightings were steady; however, when waters were ‘stirred up’, we were forced to turn to blind casting, which presents more challenges when fly casting.  I’ve caught many a fish on a blind cast, but they always come as a surprise when you’re assuming their position, rather than ‘sighting’ them.  As I write this report, now in early July, I’m happy to share that the water has cleared up considerably, and Red fishing is very good.

A last note that may be of interest, when sharks are feeding in the vicinity, which can be the case, it’s always best to use an available net when bringing your catch close to the boat and out of the water.  Case in point, I recently had a fish take my fly and when it was within 4′ of my skiff, a fairly good-sized bull shark came out of nowhere and quickly inhaled it—all of it. Doesn’t happen very often, but that’s a real live example. There are circumstances where I may elect to maneuver the boat to more shallow water, where this is not likely to occur.   Even so, especially in the summer months, it’s a good idea to exercise extra caution by using a net, rather than bare hands, to bring your catch in for photo and release.

Signing off for now….

Captain Buddy

Let’s Go Fishing!

Captain Buddy Ferber
(239) 298-3863