From doing some online research, is the boat ramp at Everglades rod and gun club the only ramp in Everglades City? It looks like Glades Haven was sold in 2019 and not operational....... Are there any other ramps or is the Rod and Gun club the best one? Launching a 20' Lake and Bay. I know there is also one in Chokoloskee at island park marina.....is that ramp better? It seems EC is easier to Navigate to the gulf to.....I always seem to get that pass from Smallwoods to the mangrove creek wrong! (Luckily it wasn't in my own boat).
The Rod and Gun Club is your best bet - buts it’s a one hole difficult ramp with just a high sea wall to tie up to… Still it puts you in the Barron River with a well marked channel out to Indian Key on the outside…
Since Glades Haven closed I’ve been using Outdoor Resorts on Chokoloskee (it’s on your left as you get to the Island) then either running up the Turner River for the upper bays in winter or out Rabbit Key Pass to the outside - then south during warm months…
Hope this helps.
”Be a hero… take a kid fishing”
i'm going over Saturday morning July 3rd and driving back Monday afternoon July 5th. I think I am going to stop at Port of the Isles on Saturday as they have live shrimp right there at the ramp (and fuel). I looked up and saw the slow speed zone is 3.3 NM, so 35 minutes of slow speed.......versus .75NM from Everglades rod and gun.......hotel is in Everglades City. I think Sunday and Monday I'll try to launch from Rod and Gun or the other ramp, problem is you have to go to the Marathon station for rec90/ethanol free gas, then the tackle store for live shrimp, then to the ramp....and the ramp at Everglades rod and gun sounds a little sketchy.......versus one stop shopping in Port of the Isles or Calusa (goodland). Is Everglades City busy on 4th of July weekend? I have a feeling not, since every hotel had availability.
Me… I’d think twice about even working a charter - anywhere… Quite a few on the water then won’t exactly be skilled at boat launching, or boat operating, and I’d be expecting the usual holiday drunks … Great fun.
I like to stay at Adventures hotel by/at Ivy house......the one right behind the Circle K, the rooms are pretty reasonable and very nice (new). But the free launching and dockage, might really push me to Everglades rod and gun. It's much easier to be able to just tie up for the night and not have to do the trailer back and forth on the ramp routine.
Not having to deal with a boat ramp every morning is priceless,not to mention the night fishing for snook and tarpon in the River using only your troller to work all the docks of EVC. Or if you feel adventurous,head down to the mouth of Indian Key Pass with some heavy rods and fresh lady fish chunks to try for the big tarpon there at this time of year.
I just bought the boat a few weeks ago, and the previous owner cut off all of the boats wiring, left it all there in a mess everywhere, and started rewiring it, but never finished.....so the things he used (2 livewell pumps, trolling motor, stereo, MANUAL bilge switch) work, but right now auto bilge switch, nav lights, 3rd livewell pump, fuel sender, etc. isn't wired. So I don't want to leave it in the water overnight until I get a wire run to the auto switch. Also my Yamaha command link gauges lost all info when I used it the first weekend after I bought it (on the 2nd day) and fuel management gauge didn't work when I bought the boat. So, I have the gauges and entire command link rigging kit from the engine to the gauges on order from Yamaha, but of course back ordered until 8/1/21
I'm in the process of going through everything and doing everything right. I own a Yacht Management business and am a Yacht Captain (do lot's of deliveries). But trying to use the boat in between too, so it gives me more incentive to work on it. It's really hard to go to work on your days off so to speak LOL I put a new fuel sender in and ran new wires for that. I just went through the entire trailer- new lights/wiring, new hubs/wheels tires, and new bunk supports........My plan this week is mount the chart plotter, install a temporary analog fuel gauge until the yamaha gauges get here (although I just fill it everynight and leave full and have a 100 mile range with a good safety margin), try to get all of my wiring run and terminated where it should be.........then when the yamaha gauges get here, pull the console up and connect all of the new wiring under the dash all at once, and get every piece of old wiring out of the boat and rigged the way it should be, clean. There's a lot more little stuff on the list, but plan to knock it all out.
Saturday we drove straight to Everglades Productions and launched out of there. They had shrimp etc. Going out was no problem as it was a higher tide. Coming back was no problem either, but a bit of pucker factor with the depths and slalom course you have to do to get in there. I somehow managed to miss a turn and ran into that bay South of Chokoloskee from Rabbit Key Pass. We caught some trout and lady fish, tons of small mangroves, and lots of nasty catfish.........
Sunday- A really nice couple with a Carolina Skiff told us that our hotel allows you to launch out of Capt Jack's airboats for free in Everglades City. It's on the North side, just West of the road bridge that goes to EC. Ramp was good. There was NO live shrimp to be found. So we went out to Chatham river, my wife working a red head/white feather jig, and me working a popping cork and DOA shrimp. No luck. I have never had any luck working a DOA shrimp. My wife is really new to fishing and her casting and working a jig, well is an interesting experience. So we called and ran into Chokoloskee around 11:30 when they got shrimp and back to a spot we have near Pavillion.......caught a few trout, lots of other fish (mangroves, lady fish, catfish etc,). Guys were limiting out on trout right off of Indian Key Pass. A lot of guys reporting catching a lot of nice snook also.
Florida Marine Tracks- The chip is excellent when zoomed in relatively close......like a mile or so.......but when traveling I find it has way too much crap on the screen to be useful......too many track lines, too much writing, and just looks like a blurry mess, and the satellite images are hard to sort through when zoomed out to find the island you're looking for. So traveling in the gulf, I generally would switch to my C-map chip then switch back to FMT when I got close. But wouldn't want to rely on just the one chip. But also I generally cruise at 40 mph, sometimes 45 mph, 40 mph is 4000 rpms and under that the boat likes to start bow hopping, so you're covering ground faster at that speed.
We're learning a few things along the way. I need to pick up a cast net. The couple with a carolina skiff's M.O. was to fish early and come back around 11am then go back out around 4:30 and fish to dark. THAT seems to make a lot more sense than fishing until 4 pm and coming in totally fried. It was HOT out there. Problem is, launching and retrieving the boat off of the trailer twice a day is a pain too.......but we're having fun.
Going to go up to Stuart next and fish the river up there. I have a couple of really good spots from when I lived up there in the late 90's.
The skiff couple gave you good advice, fish early to noon,back to the dock for a shower and a siesta, fish the late afternoon after the usual thunderstorms when the air and water is cooler. Many local guides offer full day split charters because they don't want to be wasting their time fishing after 12 noon. Like I said, fish after dark for the Jurassic Park experience. And avoid sun stroke and heat exhaustion.
They just cruise down the Coast looking for trouble.
Their not shy at All and a Topwater worked in their path will have you shaking...