An E-mail from George McRobbie

A true fishing testimonial from a HAPPY BarHopp'R client. Read about George McRobbie'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, and Pine Island.

Dear Butch,

I arrived back home to Scotland to find the first snow had fallen on the hills - a bit of a shock to the system after Florida.

Our fishing trip was a great fun, I have just had my photographs developed and decided I should send this e-mail to tell you that it was the highlight of my holiday.

While I was confident that I had picked the best Guide in the area, I was not prepared for how hard you worked. First to get the best possible bait (it seemed to me that you discarded tons of bait fish, in your quest for perfect bait), and then to put me on fish in difficult tides.

I really felt for you when the bait started to die at those potholes first thing and thank goodness you managed to save enough for the rest of the day. It would have been nice to stay there longer, but that's fishing.

Well I guess by the end of the day I caught 10 or 12 Redfish (I can't believe that I lost count!) which you described as "average", I thought they were magnificent, real powerhouses that never gave up fighting, and beautiful too. Whats more they made delicous eating and thanks for your recipe.

I even managed a small Snook and several Spotted Trout, not bad for a fresh water fly fisherman, and on my birthday too.

I will have to work on my casting though. I rarely use spinning rods and then they are usually 9 to 10 foot long. I was annoyed with myself that I struggled to get the distance (especially in my excitement when fish were taking) with the short rods you guys use.

I was also amazed at the pressure you apply to those fish on light lines. That took a bit of getting used to. There is of course no real danger of a line breakage (unless it is damaged or the fish manages to reach a snag), with the right rod and drag setting. I was still puzzled by that when I left you at the ramp.

It was only later that I realised that I am used to using small fine wire hooks (size 12) with 6 or 8 lb line and that the hook hold would tear out or the hook would straighten, with the pressure I applied to those Reds. It made for great fishing, I love fishing fine, and with size 1? hooks we were able to land and release those fish before they became exhausted.

I was fascinated to read in your report that you got yourself a kayak for fishing, the following weekend. I would love to try that, what fun that would be, sight fishing those tailing Reds from a kayak. Mind you, if my experience catching modest sized brown trout from a float tube is anything to go by, get ready to be towed all over those flats when you get connected to one of your "average" Reds. You may never be seen again if you hook a "big" Red!

Well Butch, I can't thank you enough, I had a great days fishing and you put in a long day with those poor tides, I caught some superb fish, I learned a lot, and you were great company. I will recommend a trip with you on the BarrhoppR to any anglers heading in your direction, and I'll be back!

Kind regards

George McRobbie
Perth, Scotland.

George McRobbie Testimonial

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