******The Keys are scheduled to reopen to visitors on June 1. They’ve done a great job of keep Corona Virus out of the Keys and feel it’s safe to reopen the area to tourists. However there will be some social distancing rules in effect, which I’m sure are encouraged everywhere. June is starting to fill up as is July, so plan your trip soon!***
IMPORTANT: All anglers starting Jan 10th, 2019 will be required to have an Everglades Visitors Pass when fishing in the park. You can obtain one via internet/phone at http://www.yourpassnow.com and select Everglades National Park. Most of my fishing is inside the park, so check with me but more than likely you will need one. You can also buy an annual/lifetime pass at store.usgs.gov. However if we are tarpon fishing locally around bridges it will not be necessary – though I am not doing this so much these days. Just check with me beforehand.
Got out for a full day today, haven’t had many charters as of late as the Keys are still shut down to visitors. Though we will be back open June 1st and I’m getting pretty busy for June/July so book your trips now! Tarpon fishing was incredible today… tons of fish. We landed 5 and hooked another 4 or 5 I think. Good bite on live mullet and dead mullet as well, everything we put out there. Some insane battles around the bridge, and Lee even got to jump in with his fish that was in the 90 – 100 lb range. Summer time tarpon fishing is right around the corner and July is often a superb month for that. Some years it stays good through September even, and of course there are snook, redfish, tripletail, and plenty of other fish to target. YouTube video of today will be out soon so make sure to watch and subscribe. Give me a shout if you want to plan a trip, the fishing is great! 5 for 10
Got out yesterday for a fun trip with my brother and our friend local guide Capt. Charles Hertel. We planned to make a little youtube video and it came out awesome… some good drone footage, awesome jumps and some slow mo shots, and Nick even had to float his rod through the bridge to land his tarpon… just incredible all on camera! Check it out, and make sure to subscribe to your YouTube channel if you are not already, thanks!
Got out with Matthew who fished with me a couple years ago with his mom. Mom caught a big tarpon on the last trip and he caught a very nice cobia, but he wanted a silver king now. Tarpon had been around, have had to work for them a little bit and lots of sharks so definitely need to invest time for shots. But they’ve been there. Luckily we had ample bait and managed to get a couple cracks at tarpon, and kept one on there a nice fish close to 100 lbs! We also caught a few snook and redfish for a backcountry SLAM. I also fished today, we had a couple tarpon bites as well but unfortunately they didn’t stay on the hook for us. But we finished up our day with about 16 snook and a few redfish so not too bad way to end after some heartbreak. Here’s a video from Matthews tarpon the other day.
Also corona virus is taking it’s toll on the fishing industry. I’ve had quite a few cancellations, and I’m sure more will be coming. But as of now the Keys are still open and hotels are available. It’s normally peak season here but you can really get lucky and get in on some good fishing without too much traffic on the water, and even cherry pick days as many guides will have short notice openings when we are normally booked 3 months out at this time. So don’t hesitate to ask about fishing.
Had Reg and Lucinda out for the day. They stay down here in the late winter/spring and fished me last year. They wanted to get in on the early season backcountry tarpon action. Last year we cancelled due to a late cold front, though overall it was the best early season I’d personally seen. This year is kind of a complete 180. Lots of late fronts in February and March, plus the heavy winds keep the water cold for several days after. But for small windows when it gets warm and calms down some in between, we have had some really good early season fishing. Just got spoiled from the last several years I suppose. Anyways, water temps were just cracking 70 degrees today and we had a bit of a chilly north breeze, sweatshirts, etc… in the morning. I didn’t have high hopes but this was our day. I caught mullet early and we ventured out back. Looked around in a few spots for about an hour and didn’t see much. Kept moving and then we found a few fish. Set up and had a few sharks, then Lucinda hooked a big 100 lb tarpon! A good 45 minute battle and we landed the fish but as I was wrapped in the leader the line snapped, i managed to take a few more wraps and get some jumps out of the fish boatside on video before she broke off. After that we moved again as the fish were gone. Found some more fish further out, and we got had to move several times but eventually got on another one for Lucinda. Good jumps and landed this one quickly about a 70 lber. After that things slowed down, tide quit and changed. The tarpon started to show well but then when the tide started coming in hard they kind of layed down. We gave it a bit longer and sure enough right when we were about to call it quits, we got one more bite but the fish came off. Anyways, not bad to catch two nice tarpon with the cold water conditons back there. No more cold fronts in the immediate future so tarpon fishing should stabililze and I’m hoping we have another good month or so of awesome backcountry fishing for them. I’ve had sevearl cancellations from Corona Virus already, some next week. So if you are wanting to come down let me know, otherwise I have been booked up personally through mid June. so I may be able to work something out.