An E-mail from Richard Lewis

A true fishing testimonial from a HAPPY BarHopp'R client. Read about Rich and Liz Lewis'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 occassionally, Sarasota Bay.
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You are the man! We had a great trip. Thanks for setting up the 2 boat trip - I know the other group loved fishing with Capt. Rick De Paiva. You guys made a great team! I wanted to wait till you wrote up your trip report before I sent you my report I sent out to my fishing buddies up here. We got the pictures back of the big snook Liz caught - SWEET! I didn't get a photo of my biggin - maybe you got it on your camera. I'll scan them in and send them to you. I wish you and your family a great year. Enjoy everyday!

Take care,


Customer fishing report for May 1st:

Starting back to work slow but we had an awesome week on captiva - Island Queen is the biggest & tallest house on the island. We really picked a beauty this year. We could see the Pine Island Sound, the pass at the north tip of the island and the Gulf of Mexico all from our 5th story huge deck. It was awesome. I took video and some slides for documentation.

We had a successful fishing trip with Captain Butch Rickey. After chumming with Purina tropical fish food and cast netting our bait - big shiners/greenbacks from behind Coya Costa 3rd dock up in about 5 foot of water - we were off to our first spot - "Stickbeach" - beach just south of Blind "NO" Pass on Sanibel island. Our first cast with Captain Butch's top of the line Diawa $300 rod and reels was a double snook-up. Then we caught some big trout and Butchie moved the boat back closer to shore - his comment was "if your catching trout then we've moved to far off the shore".

Once we got resituated we were literally casting into inches of water in the driftwood trees that cover the beach in that area - the driftwood trees on the beach is a beautiful sight. Liz pulled the biggest fish out of the sticks and into the boat - 29 inch snook - "pump and reel, pump and reel". This old master of the sea had fought and won at least 5 battles previous to messing with Captain butch and Lizzy because weights and leader line were literally hanging from his mouth - we counted 5 rigs. We had a couple more double hook ups and more chunky snook up to 25 inches. We caught about 10 snook there and about a dozen trout up to 24 inches.

We then headed back north up to Redfish Pass (pass between Captiva and North Captiva) and went back around to a grass flat in Pine Island Sound behind north end of Sanibel (the sound side of Blind Pass) and tried to chum up some redfish but no luck. We chummed up stingray but no reds. We decided to move closer to the sand bar still on the grass flats and there we hooked into a 28 inch snook with about 50 yards of line out. Butchie said "miss this fish and i'll have to kill ya". I knew this was my big chance to conquer the beast and the excitement of hooking a big snook out in open water was sensory overload. Butchie coached me in and we landed the snook which made for tasty table eats. Not long after liz picked up a strike from a linesider and fought it like a pro and brought a sweet 25 inch snook into the boat which was promptly released. Ended the day with dozen snook and a dozen trout.

Captain Butchie is the best! If it wasn't for him we would have never landed any of the bigger fish - he is the greatest guide. You will not find a guide out there that even comes close to the experience, top of the line equipment, awesome flats boat and enthusiasm that Butchie brings to the sport. If you like serious fishing and want to book an "extreme fishing" trip contact him by emial at

Captiva Reesh

Rich Lewis Testimonial

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