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Type of Fish We Catch in the Chokoloskee & Everglades City area of the 10,000 Islands & the Everglades National Park





Snook fishing charter guide chokoloskee everglades city florida
Chokoloskee Snook
Everglades Snook

There is great prestige in catching this very elusive, highly sought after sport fish. We target them all year long. Although we like to target them for sport, there are currently 5 months which you can keep one between the length of 28ā€ to 33ā€ during September, October, and November here in south west florida and the Everglades National Park.  It is rare that any of our customers want to kill a Snook since the Freeze of 2010 that nearly exterminated them, so on our charters we typically practice "catch and release" with them.

In the months of March - November, I like to fish for Snook in and around the mangrove islands along the edge of the Gulf here in the 10000 islands. At this time of year, the water is warm, and the Snook move out of the backcountry and will migrate to the outside islands. In the months of December - February, I fish for snook as they move deep into the back country bays and creeks where the water is warmer. A great way to fish for Snook is by casting a live pilchard, artificial bait jig, or top water plug. Snook are famous for their lighting runs, wild jumps, and the way they attack a top water plug. These fish are amazing on light spin tackle.

Tarpon, "The Silver King"

Tarpon Guide
Tarpon fishing
Tarpon Charter Jill Rapps
Bahia Honda Bridge Tarpon

These acrobatic sport fish come in all different sizes in the Park. During the month of March they start to move into the outside island bays, where, they will lay up high on the water to absorb the warmth of the sunlight, making it great for sight fishing. Later on in the months of April - July, Tarpon will gather in schools off of the outside beaches. The fight of a mighty Tarpon is a true battle, and a experience of a lifetime. Tarpon are strictly sport fish and the satisfaction of a fully revived healthy fish is almost better than the battle itself.

Chokoloskee Tarpon

Speckled Sea Trout:

Everglades Trout

Speckled trout are one of out most popular fish to target on the shallow flats here in Southwest Florida. They are not only fantastic table fare, but they are a fantastic topwater fighter too!  When you hooke a trout on light spinning tackle, they give you quite a show as they thrash and dance wildly on the surface of the water as they attempt to regain freedom.  Speckled Sea Trout are called many different names in different areas, but most commonly are referred to spotted sea trout, trout, or just specks.  They are mainly silver in color with some green tints on their back and numerous small dark dots which extend over their dorsal fin and into theer tails.  Season is now open to keep Trout 12 months of the year.


Chokoloskee Guide Trout Catch The lower jaw is larger than the upper jaw which has two prominent canine teeth. In general, specks have an elongated body with a large mouth.  The diet of speckled trout consists of small crustaceans, shrimp, & small fish such as pilchards & pinfish.  The average size is 14-18" & weigh 1-3 lbs.  Our estuaries are among the best throughout the entire gulf for these tasty guys.


Everglades Charter Chokoloskee Redfish Lou Clementi Redfish Charter chokoloskee

The Redfish is a super-challenging opponent on the grass beds and flats using light spin tackle. The shallower the water, the more thrilling the fight. The bulk of small marine life and food will be found in shallow water around structures and near grassy cover. This offers the small fish, crustaceans and mollusks protection from predators. Therefore, Redfish will be found near this abundant food supply. Redfish are easily identifiable by the body spot near their tail. They typically have one spot on each side, but I have seen as many as 12 spots on these pretty fish.


Chokoloskee guide charter Pompano
Turned fully on its flat side, a startled pompano hurls itself across the water's surface, skipping like a flat rock thrown with a perfect sidearm toss. It's an age-old way of locating this highly prized little fish but until recently a rare sight. Voters did away with gill nets and the apparent result is what many see as the start of something big. The excitement isn't just that there appear to be more fish, but that they are roaming in schools unlike anything anyone has seen in recent years. What it means for anglers is they are getting a taste of a fishery they never dreamed possible.

Mangrove Snapper:

Is there a better eating fish than the mangrove snapper? Iā€™d say no, which makes it that much more surprising that so many anglers take for granted these smart, delicious, feisty, abundant and widely distributed species. Moreover, with limits tight in places on snook, redfish and trout, Mangrove snapper are excellent candidates for a fish fry. They are a great target fish on those super windy days that keep you pressed up against the mangroves for shelter.
(Continued) Fishing in Chokoloskee and the 10,000 Island area of the Everglades National Park.


Jeff Rapps Bull Shark Chokoloskee guide charter
I like to use light tackle for shark, particularly the smaller sharks which inhabit the near-shore Gulf.  Juvenile blacktip, bonnet head and small spinner sharks are all common in the 12' - 30" Range. Larger bull sharks and nurse sharks are also common in the area with the most common size being about 75 lbs. After you catch a shark, the next question is "What do I do with it?" It might surprise you, but smaller sharks provide delicious meat if you follow several important steps after you boat the shark (I'll get into the gory details when you catch one). I call it poor man's sword fish at the table.


Everglades Chokoloskee flounder
I sometimes consider flounder to be a consolation prize on days when the Snook or Redfish action is slow. They also provide excellent table fare that can be prepared in many ways, making for a tasty treat that few fish can equal. These bizarre looking creatures are flat and occupy the bottom of the water column.  They are pure white on their bottom side and dark brown with lighter brown spots on top.  Both eyes are on top and are used to observe what is directly over them.  They are ambush predators, waiting for small fish or your bait to swim by.  Flounder are not real common, but certainly available and very welcome aboard!


If you ever looked closely at a sheepshead's mouth, you will notice that the front teeth on both the top and bottom look exactly like the teeth of a sheep (hence the name!).
They use these teeth to crush small crustaceans and shells to get at their food. The inside of their mouth is lined on the top with a very hard grinding surface, which aids in further pulverizing the shells it picks up for food. They love shrimp on a hook, but not as much as you will love sheepshead in a pan!


Guide Charter Everglades City Chokoloskee Tripletail
Tripletails are unusual fish that are somewhat mysterious in their ways. Studies are just now being made to learn more about these hard fighting, good eating fish. You can find them from the beach up to a mile off the beach, floating on their side on the surface, usually near a crab trap buoy, marker, or some other surface object.  They seem to float along waiting for baitfish to seek shelter from the sun under their shadow. They gladly take a free lined shrimp, and fight like a big grouper once hooked.






We also catch many other eating and sport fish such as Cobia, Mackerel, Kingfish, Black Drum, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, Stingray, Silver trout, and many more!