An E-mail from Gary Norman

A true fishing testimonial from a HAPPY BarHopp'R client. Read about Gary Norman'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.

Hello Capt.

My name is Gary Norman and I'm from Jacksonville. I have been reading your fishing reports for the past six months and have enjoyed them tremendously. I must admit, I sometimes wondered if you could actually be that lucky or good.

I vacation in Sanibel every year and bring my flats boat. I tried to book a trip with you ( booked up ) and the only day Capt. Mark had open I was supposed to have non-fishing guests so I went at it on my own a couple of days. I started on Monday morning 6/14 at the Chino flats for bait where I found you and Mark. I was struggling trying to get the bait ganged up and Mark was very helpful. You guys left about 30 min. before I finished loading up on bait.

I then went looking for this "Stickbeach" knowing only the general vicinity. It was pretty obvious when I found it and surprise, there were you and Mark. I found a good spot and anchored and got a snook before the first bait was barely wet. The action continued until around 11:00 and I had landed 35 snook. During the entire morning you and Mark were within casting distance and catching similar numbers of fish with considerably more noise; lots of coaching and hooting and hollering, ( I was by myself ). Having been an unbiased observer I can attest the results of that day were completely accurate. I can also credit you with my success as well. Throughout the week I often encountered Capt. Mark and he was always friendly and helpful, especially getting bait.

I want to thank you and Capt. Mark for the information in your reports and on the water tips to a complete stranger. As a token of my appreciation I am sending you a $100 gift certificate to a nice restaurant in your area for you AND Capt. Mark to enjoy, assuming you enjoy each others company. As a consolation I won't doubt your luck or skill again.

Thanks again,

Gary in the red Action Craft 1720.

P.S. I fished Three days and caught right at 100 snook, 1 110# tarpon, 4 trout, and three redfish. The redfish were the only ones to present any difficulty.

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