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Chokoloskee December 6-8

Squeezed in our annual Chokoloskee trip just before the New Year 2 weeks ago. This tradition has been going strong for 5 years now, and this was our second time going in December, and as opposed to the last December trip (2011), we really had to work to find the fish this time, with mixed success. With the past couple of trips we would tend to run south as far as Lostmans, and generally fish the outside, so on this go around we decided to run north. Conditions were overcast, with of water temp of 71° and a morning incoming tide. We ran out of Sandfly Pass and turned north and decided to fish the first good looking outside shoreline we found. First shoreline was rocky bottom with a mix of mangroves and beach, and large mullet everywhere. We managed one trout and several hornbellies, jacks, and ladyfish, all on artificial. We continued this trend with other shorelines throughout the morning, with the same results. Once the tide slacked, we started fishing the windward shorelines on the backside of the outside islands, and we found one that produced a handful of trout, but nothing of any size. After that bite turned off we made a stop at a spot that we found several years ago that holds small grouper, and sure enough, they were home. We caught 4 off of that spot before we decided to leave them biting and try one more trick up our sleeve. That spot produced 1 more grouper on cut mullet before we decided to call it an early day. We came back to camp and then walked around Chokoloskee and took in some sights, including the Smallwood Store. That was very enjoyable as our normal trips consist of fishing, and the campsite, so we never really get to explore off of the boat.

We decided to make day two a long one with a run down on the inside to the Hutson River. The inside run through Rabbit Key pass and then south to the Lopez River was a new one for us, but we navigated it at low tide with no issues. We ran the Hutson to Storter Bay and fished the outside with artificial, hard/soft plastic. Again, first shoreline produced 1 decent trout, and a missed opportunity at a small snook. We then started working our way back up the Hutson with a couple small snook and several jacks/ladyfish mixed in. We staked out and worked several spots on the inside with cut ladyfish and mullet with only interest from sharks. After deciding that this wasn't the spot to be in, we ran back up, and then out of Rabbit Key Pass, and found one shoreline that produced more trout on jigs, same as the day before, windward side of the outside islands, outgoing tide. That was about all of the action that we had for day two, and we came back to camp.

Day three would be a half day, as we would be packing up to head home in the afternoon. The plan was to fish close to Chokoloskee, mainly outside of the pass at the fishy-est looking spot we could find. We found a small set of islands with oyster bottom, and water moving through, with a ton of mullet. This time we shelved the artificial and went with simple, cut mullet. We managed one upper/overslot redfish from this spot before we decided to call it a trip and head in. We talked to other anglers throughout the trip and everyone had the same reports as us, minus one guy who did really well on redfish with shrimp on the outside.

Going down to Chokoloskee is always a pleasure to me, and I will continue to keep this tradition up for as long as I can. This trip was one that tested our skill, and wasn't the best fishing we've seen, but it was still a blast. The 10,000 Islands is a very diverse and different place that can challenge any angler of any experience level, and that's what will keep us coming back for more.

This is a short video recap of the trip ---->

Until next time, tight lines.......


  • MangroovinMangroovin Naples, FLPosts: 148 Deckhand
    I think the fish are wondering when winter is coming. LOL.
    Great video. What did you use to take it? Its amazingly clear.

    Thanks for sharing. Love it down there.:beer
  • Slo Poke1Slo Poke1 Posts: 328 Deckhand
    I grew up not too far from Chokoloskee and always liked going down there. Even getting lost between there and Lostmans River was fun, even though I didn't really know how lost we were. Got back to Barron River on fumes.
  • gordonclgordoncl Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    Mangroovin wrote: »
    I think the fish are wondering when winter is coming. LOL.
    Great video. What did you use to take it? Its amazingly clear.

    Thanks for sharing. Love it down there.:beer

    The camera used was a GoPro Hero 3+, edited with iMovie '11. The camera remained in it's waterproof hard case during shooting.
  • Yup , Theirs a Bazillion big mullet around all the Outside Islands right now.
    This year the cold fronts have been late and the fish are finally moving to the Far inside Mud bays.
    If your gonna do a trip this late in the year you could do better on Snook and reds far inside but their the fish of a million casts.
    Top water Twitch baits and Sluggos kinda thing....or go to the outside and cast shrimp tipped jigs and catch a million different things but not many snook or reds.
    Way more fun for a group of folks that just want to have fun.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Fowlplay87Fowlplay87 Posts: 226 Deckhand
    Awsome video great quality. Chokoloskee holds a special place in my heart. As does yours I see

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • TysonfishTysonfish Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    Fowlplay87 wrote: »
    Awsome video great quality. Chokoloskee holds a special place in my heart. As does yours I see

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    We do our annual trip there in April/May every year. Been doing it for close to 10 years. Love it down there.....Some years are better than other, but we always have a great time. Sucks that Captains Table shut their doors.....loved the "All you can Eat" Stone Crabs!!! Tight Lines!!
  • Reel4ReelReel4Reel Posts: 439 Deckhand
  • Joe SnookJoe Snook Posts: 468 Deckhand
    Awesome editing. Looks like a Mitzi I almost picked one up

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I547 using Tapatalk
    southwest florida fishing guide in the beautiful 10k islands, everglades and more
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