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We were on the water in three different venues last week - one night in Biscayne Bay - then a day each out of Chokoloskee and Flamingo... Weather conditions (water temps..) were a bit on the low side but we managed to find a fish here and there...

Last Wednesday night I had Jonathan Wexler out of Colorado aboard for a night trip with fly fishing gear in pretty marginal conditions (the nearest water station showed decent temperatures but the areas we fished, a bit to the north weren't nearly as warm... and the wind was kicking out of the north as well..). After checking quite a few spots and not seeing a single tarpon we finally found one small area that was holding a few fish that looked to be about 20lbs - and they were right at the surface for sight-fishing... We had them showing for about an hour and a half, managed to jump two of them - but just couldn't stay connected... When they finally disappeared we began working nearby docklights and once again saw very few fish... Jonathan managed to get a few bites from the snook we found but only got one of them to the skiff... where it was carefully released. We spent the last two hours that night visiting every spot I knew, but by then water temps, already marginal, were steadily dropping... Here's hoping my next night trip will be in better conditions....

On Friday I was over at Chokoloskee fishing Frank and Esther Schultz. Once again the weather dictated our opportunities with a super low tide at dawn and pretty cold water temperatures... Within just an hour or so the shallows began to warm up and the fish were biting wherever we went. That day it was mostly speckled trout everywhere with an occasional small redfish. Here's a photo of Frank with one of the many trout we caught and released that day....


note the small leadhead with Gulp tail - the trout everywhere we went just tagged it on sight...

The following day I was back over at Flamingo with first timer (to the Everglades) angler Dr. Pan Hao and his lady, Mallory. We had to do a bit of running around but finally found good numbers of speckled trout -as well as a few nice snook (very carefully released - it's closed season for them now...). Here's a pic of one of the snook we found that day....


and of course it was Mallory's fish - her first snook ever...

The doc is recently from Texas where he was used to using plug casting gear for redfish so I brought along a rod or two -while he brought his favorite plug rod... I enjoyed seeing someone using a plug rod since I don't see many anglers with them these days (I have a half dozen plug rods myself but rarely need them for charters..). It was a different story years ago...

The next six days, water temps look to be on the cold side again... If and when it finally warms up a bit the fishing everywhere should just take off... In the meantime the trout and redfish well be our daily fare...

Be a hero, take a kid fishing...
 

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Thanks Captain for unselfishly sharing all your reports. It really is helpful for those of us that travel great distances to fish south Florida.

Hopefully we’ll cross paths soon and I’d be honored to treat you to lunch, dinner or a cold beverage.
 
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