An E-mail from Tom Ross

A true fishing testimonial from a HAPPY BarHopp'R client. Read about Tom and Ron Ross'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.

Captain;

Just wanted to take the time to drop you a note thanking you for the wonderful trip that my father Ron and I had with you in mid-October. As usual, my Dad coincided his trip with the arrival of a huge hig-pressure system and wind! It was up to 20 knots with you, and the next two days we had 30-35 knots in Tampa Bay. Makes you look great throwing a white bait down-wind, but sure limits where you can fish.

As for our trip, the quantity and quality of the fish were excellent. Around 15 trout (up to 22 or 24 inches), 12 reds, a couple snook, a cobia, and jacks and ladyfish. Of yeah, I forgot about the elusive, yet glorified houndfish!!! Great results for such a tough weather pattern. We did nothing close to this on the following days up in the Tampa Bay area.

Also, I was pleased with my Dad's response to the trip. He has fished and hunted for over 65 years and is quite good. However, he can also be fairly opinionated and stubborn. He doesn't always adapt to the techniques needed in flats fishing with sardines. I was wondering how your "instructional approach" would work..... It was fine. When I asked my Dad how he liked it, he said he really enjoyed the day and that you were the first guide who explained "WHY" he should do things a certain way. Of course, my Dad still knows more!!!!

Furthermore, I think your ability to remember that fishing is fun is the key to pulling this off! You want everything to go right, so you get pretty intense. But, you can still laugh at yourself. (Remember the time you told me I didn't get the line tight on a hookset because the fish got away...and it was the knot that let go????? Gotcha!!!)

Take care, and I look forward to many more fun trips in the future! Tight lines and full cast nets,

Tommy Tornado

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