An E-mail from Hank Appleton

A true fishing testimonial from a HAPPY BarHopp'R client. Read about Dr. Hank Appleton's experience with Capt. Butch Rickey, one of the top native Florida fishing guides, backcountry fishing and flats fishing in the waters of Pine Island Sound around Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Pine Island, and occasionally, Sarasota Bay.
customer fishing testimonial

Hey, Butch - Here's the testimonial to our outstanding charter last Friday. We really enjoyed your trip summary in your fishing report!

customer fishing testimonial

I wanted to write a few words about our charter trip with Capt. Butch last Friday, May 7. I came across Butch’s web site a few days before driving down to Sanibel from Virginia for a week’s honeymoon with my new wife, Nancy. It was a last minute decision to write Butch and get a snook and redfish trip booked with him for that week. It was short notice and he forewarned me the tides were not the best that week, but Friday morning might work out, so I said OK, let’s go. The wind was pretty rough the first half of our stay, but it laid down pretty well by Wednesday evening, and I started to see some fish just off the beach at twilight where we were staying. The weather held, and became warmer and stiller as Friday dawned. It felt good after a long and cold winter, but I had the feeling it would be a tough one for fishing that day. Butch agreed when we met up, but I also felt like it would be a day to remember. As we headed out of the launch, a couple of porpoises crossed our path and then we took off for Tarpon Bay in the F-16. What a sweet boat! There has to be one of those machines in my future one of these days, with the Yamaha 150 of course [guys in Virginia call them rice burners but I know better, having run a 115 Yamaha for six super years on my bass boat before wife #1 claimed it when we broke up!]. And the F-16 Talon really does have a head for the relief of the ladies!!

Butch’s report of 5/8 gives the play-by-play of our trip so I won’t repeat it all. If you fish much, then you know how it’s tough to go through the motions of fishing when you don’t know if there are any fish around, and it may be tougher when you can see trophy class fish all around you and they strike [actually just taste] the perfect bait but won’t take the hook. And I hadn’t fished a spinning outfit for ten years, so accurately spotting a live minnow on target was a challenge for a while, compared to a bait casting outfit. Butch fussed a little when I man-handled his high-tech [and high priced] tackle but he didn’t put me down or kick me out of the boat, either! That’s the way it was that Friday, but I wouldn’t trade the super experience we had for anything. Butch is the complete professional on the water and a gentleman and scholar to boot. We talked about everything from how some of the local residents try to discourage fishing in the snook capital of the planet, national politics, the how- to’s of fishing back water tidal areas, and we cracked jokes all morning while the fish teased us. And there were fish around – everywhere. For an hour period with the tide moving, the boat was visited by a manatee, a shark, a pod of trophy class tarpon, and we were getting bit by numerous snook , redfish, and trout. For a scientist who makes a living protecting natural environments for Uncle Sam, it was pure heaven. When the time comes, I hope St. Peter has something as good to offer!

It was a grand time, and the Waterfront dining experience was outstanding…fine company and freshest grouper we ever had! I highly recommend Butch Rickey as your best choice to guide the backwaters of Pine Island Sound, regardless of your experience level. We’ll be back for more as soon as we can, Butch. And someday soon, I hope to living down your way and scouting out a few spots in the Sound you can bring your clients to! Best Fishes and we’ll catch up with you down the road!

Hank and Nancy Appleton

florida fishing reports
Meet Dr. Hank Appleton. Rabid angler, staunch conservationalist, and great guy!

Take care and see you down the road - Hank

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