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Topic: How to fish the 10K?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
RDS Offline
Marlin




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Posted: April 22 2004,19:42

I've tried yakfishing out of Everglades City a couple of times without much more than a catfish. Both times I crossed the bay to the islands from the ranger station, mainly to see what was on the other side. The incoming tidal flow was pretty overwhelming so I didn't get too far, probably about 1/3 mile upstream.

Is this where I should try to be fishing, or more along the edges of the bay without so much current? I've also heard going up into Turner River from chokoloskee can be productive for snook.

R Spitzer
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Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




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Posted: April 26 2004,06:17

Hi Roger....

Sue Sea and I were in this area Sunday just for fun (altho I sure was interested in catchin a few reds).  Here's the deal, at least the little I know or have seen.

Everglades City is really tide dependent, especially if you want to explore south following the channel.  Ideally you leave on an outgoing so as to be to return on an incoming.  I highly recommend you get a Top Spots map if you can.  But here's the layout:

Option 1:  you have a couple of hours til low tide.

The Barron River is a tad west of the launch.  Follow the channel markers being cognizant of some very large wakes that get thrown.

It's a good mile til you hit the islands.  Here you have a choice.  If you planned the tides right you can paddle easily south down the channel about another mile and a half or two where the channel curves westerly along what is called Indian Key Pass.

Indian Key is a very long key on the west bank.  Along the way you'll pass a couple of bays, both east and west of the channel know to hold snook and snapper.

But the real action is in the pass and around the southern point of Indian Key where the channel broadens greatly.  You can now turn northwest and follow the west bank of Indian.  This area is known for Tarpon.  Now although you can circumnavigate Indian and make your way back this way it's tricky and not recommended as there are dead ends.

Bottom line.  Make sure you are at the southern point of Indian before the tide turns and carries you north.  The tides here are awesome and you do NOT want to get caught on the wrong set.

Fine.  Now you're at the southern point, the tide is comin in, and you have a nice easy paddle north through the pass following the channel.  

Option 2: you are fishing a rising tide (or have just returned from Indian Key)

In this case you will be unable to head south out the channel against the incoming tide.  Stay west of the channel to minimize tide effects and head to the islands just west of the channel.  This will be roughly southwest.  Beginning at the channel and going west you will enter a large open bightlike area peppered with tiny mangrove mounds.  This area is covered with oyster bars.

Be careful and watch the water color (it darkens over the oysters) as it's easy to run aground and gouge your hull.  This area runs about a mile at least.  If you arrive around low tide you'll see all the oyster bars and be able to fish the incoming, look for tailing reds.  This area is well known for reds.

Once you have reached the western end of this wonderful area, you can head west of northwest toward the shore to Lane Cove, whose shoreline is another mile of so oyster bars.  Lane Cove is about 2-1/2 miles west of the launch. A bit farther west is the Ferguson River.  

Roger I've also heard the mouth of the Turner is good for reds, snook and tarpon.  Here you have to head northeast from Choko which forces you to pay a ramp fee (perhaps they give yakkers a break?).  You can launch from the west side of Choko across from the ramps for free it appears, and the islands are quite close, probably lightly fished compared to Glades City.

Best Bet: Arrive and launch early with say three hours to low tide, head out the channel from the Barron River.  When you hit the islands, drift the channel and fish for reds and snook along the sides, perhaps check out a couple of the small bays on the way out.  But don't tarry.  Get to Indian Key Pass and fish the pass, the point and the west side of Indian for the next two hours.  Be AT the point at slack and head back and take another shot.

When you approach the Bay there are some nice oyster bars on the west side where you can pull up and have a Guinness and a snack.  You now should have bout 5 hours of rising tide left to head west of the channel to the first mile of oyster bars which you'll be able to see (and avoid).  Work west over the next hour or two, then west northwest to Lane Cove for the final hours of high tide (an ideal time for shoreline bars).  

That's it.  An 8 hour trip with one nice break, and all the hotspots in one trip.  Not bad...

Hope that helps.  I too have been disappointed in the area, by not finding and focusing on these hotspots.  But it's a super place and the lodge there has really beautiful accomodations plus a nice free breakfast for about $70.

Only complaints:  bugs and we sure miss the keys water color and clarity.  

:capn:


Edited by Capn Jimbo on April 26 2004,06:31

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Capn Jimbo

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RDS Offline
Marlin




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Posted: April 29 2004,18:34

Thanks for the info. I pasted together a map from my online NAV mapserver Maptech.com and mapped out the route you suggested. I had already considered what should have been the obvious approach of drifting out on the falling tide and coming back on the rising one. Of course now that I'm all psyched up, low tide this weekend is about 7AM and I'm not desperate enough to launch at 5:30 AM (yet).

I took a nice trip to Card Sound last weekend with my daughter. just 2 little grunts to show for it, but a bottlenose dolphin swam along with us in Steamboat Creek for about 15 minutes on the paddle back to the van.

R Spitzer :glare:
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Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




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Posted: April 30 2004,05:15

Yah, dolphins are the best, they ruin the fishin buy hey, what a thrill.  Love to hear em breathe, expel air.  So graceful.  Probably smarter than us and catch more fish too...

:capn:


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Les Lammers Offline
Ladyfish




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Posted: Aug. 07 2005,07:31

Quote (RDS @ April 22 2004,19:42)
I've tried yakfishing out of Everglades City a couple of times without much more than a catfish. Both times I crossed the bay to the islands from the ranger station, mainly to see what was on the other side. The incoming tidal flow was pretty overwhelming so I didn't get too far, probably about 1/3 mile upstream.

Is this where I should try to be fishing, or more along the edges of the bay without so much current? I've also heard going up into Turner River from chokoloskee can be productive for snook.

R Spitzer

Pick up a copy of 'Day Paddling' 'Florida's 10,000 Islands and Big Cypress Swamp, by Jeff Ripple. Lot's of good info on the area.

The main thing about Chocko is the tides. You gotta pay attention to 'em. I went to Capn' Chuck Wright's paddle in last February, another local guide who was there told me that the the fishing in Chocko Bay can be 'as good as it gets'.
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quirkster1 Offline
Jack




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Posted: Nov. 08 2006,10:47

I was at Choko last week in my Bay Boat and tried some close in spots for later Kyacking. There are numerous Snook on the west bank of the Lopez river between the mouth and the campsite. I have paddled from the Choko launch to the mouth of the Lopez it's fairly easy. Tides are not much of a factor in Choko bay but wind sure is. Once you get tho the mouth of the river an outgoing tide will prevent you from getting to far. Most of the fish are right up in the mangroves so plan on using braid and a heavy leader.
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