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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished up a camping trip with a few boats in the Everglades back country out of Choko. The weather was perfect and the warm winter led to super productive fishing. Small snook were abundant to put it lightly. I think we landed over 200 snook in three days. Didn't find the big ones as we hoped for but a constant bend in the rod kept spirits very high. Micro tarpon were also in abundance in the small creeks. The larger tarpon were less abundant but we managed to find a nice holding place. Thanks to advice from @lemaymiami, we collected some lady fish and quickly hooked up. I landed my first large tarpon which really put the cherry on top of the trip. We always try to bring less and less gear every trip, so this year we tried our luck hammock camping. It was.....interesting. The first night was borderline miserable, but after some adjustments (and a second mosquito net) our set up worked quite well and we got plenty of sleep. Some pictures below sum up the trip pretty well.

Water Tree Bank River Bayou
Plastic Tree Plant Soil Plastic bag
Fishing Recreational fishing Fish Bass Recreation
Fishing Fish Recreational fishing Bass Recreation
Fishing Recreational fishing Fish Fisherman Casting (fishing)
Water Water resources Lake Bank River
Water Water resources River Waterway Canidae
Recreational fishing Fishing rod Fishing Casting (fishing) Fisherman
Recreational fishing Fishing Casting (fishing) Fishing rod Recreation
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I guess we learned that pretty quick. I have never been so excited to catch lady fish in my life haha.

The only challenge was keeping the lady fish away from the sharks and the cork away from the gators. Everyone wanted a piece!
 

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Isn't that first pic Watson's? Pretty sure we saw those hammocks there on our way out to Pavilion Key on Friday around midday. Probably passed you again on Sunday at Darwin's. There were several skiffs there. We were in a green Pathfinder 17T.
 

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Were you guys with a group of 4 boats headed back in on Sunday afternoon? I think I saw you guys cutting back through Chevelier Bay. It looked like something out of Mad Max Thunderdome....
May have been someone else. We had three boats but we split up Sunday morning. All back at the ramp by 11 or so.
 

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It was good. First time down. Didn't find the fishing you all did, but it was still a lot of fun.

Got a couple of slot reds out around Pavilion. Fished the buoys between Chatham and Lostman's and saw a ton of tripletail but couldn't them to eat anything artificial. Found lots of Spanish macs out there and saw quite a few of what I'm 90% sure were permit. I've never seen one before, and at first I thought I was looking at small schools of big jacks, but these fish had blackish tails instead of yellow. Lots of bigger tarpon around too, along with jumping rays and 3 and 4-foot blacktips that my son had a lot of fun with. We didn't even try the inside until Sunday morning on our way to the ramp. Got some little snook around Storter Bay but that was it.

Man, those hammocks at Watson's looked dicey. I was thinking as we went by that getting in or out of the green one would be exciting, especially in the dark after a few beers.

Pics are on this thread: https://www.microskiff.com/threads/advice-on-camping-out-of-chokoloskee.60884/
 

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Nice report and nice trip Pierson. When I'm down there camping, I always know that it's not always easy and everything doesn't happen as smooth as one hopes it can. There will always be something. But that being said, my primary objective is to have fun and enjoy the scenery and environment. 2nd is to catch fish, 3rd was to catch lots of fish and 4th was to catch a/some big ones. Looks like you checked off all the boxes! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It was good. First time down. Didn't find the fishing you all did, but it was still a lot of fun.

Got a couple of slot reds out around Pavilion. Fished the buoys between Chatham and Lostman's and saw a ton of tripletail but couldn't them to eat anything artificial. Found lots of Spanish macs out there and saw quite a few of what I'm 90% sure were permit. I've never seen one before, and at first I thought I was looking at small schools of big jacks, but these fish had blackish tails instead of yellow. Lots of bigger tarpon around too, along with jumping rays and 3 and 4-foot blacktips that my son had a lot of fun with. We didn't even try the inside until Sunday morning on our way to the ramp. Got some little snook around Storter Bay but that was it.

Man, those hammocks at Watson's looked dicey. I was thinking as we went by that getting in or out of the green one would be exciting, especially in the dark after a few beers.

Pics are on this thread: https://www.microskiff.com/threads/advice-on-camping-out-of-chokoloskee.60884/
Thats awesome! We have been making it an annual trip for the past 4 or 5 years now. Never venture to the outside though. We may have to check it out next time to see some permit and triple tail action.

Yes the green hammock was mine, actually not too hard to get in and out of. From the backside the was a log to stand on and I could hold the branch above my hammock and swing on in like Tarzan. Very peaceful to be under the stars and over the water...until the no see ums found us.

Definitely a huge learning curve out there. We always catch some fish but this year was by far the best. Lots of homework and google earthing involved. Glad you had a fun and safe trip!
 

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It was good. First time down. Didn't find the fishing you all did, but it was still a lot of fun.

Got a couple of slot reds out around Pavilion. Fished the buoys between Chatham and Lostman's and saw a ton of tripletail but couldn't them to eat anything artificial. Found lots of Spanish macs out there and saw quite a few of what I'm 90% sure were permit. I've never seen one before, and at first I thought I was looking at small schools of big jacks, but these fish had blackish tails instead of yellow. Lots of bigger tarpon around too, along with jumping rays and 3 and 4-foot blacktips that my son had a lot of fun with. We didn't even try the inside until Sunday morning on our way to the ramp. Got some little snook around Storter Bay but that was it.

Man, those hammocks at Watson's looked dicey. I was thinking as we went by that getting in or out of the green one would be exciting, especially in the dark after a few beers.

Pics are on this thread: https://www.microskiff.com/threads/advice-on-camping-out-of-chokoloskee.60884/
We found similar fish and conditions but down south closer to Flamingo. We smashed the triple tail on smaller shrimp flies. Found schools of pompano (got them to eat flies too) and while doing that, singles and doubles of good sized permit were around. Had a couple solid follows but no commits.
 

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One boat in our group was 14'6" Skimmer with not a lot of room for all the gear he wished to bring. The dingy really comes in handy for all that extra gear when you have no storage on your boat.
 
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