An E-mail from Chip Willimon

A true fishing testimonial from a HAPPY BarHopp'R client. Read about Chip Willimon'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.

Hey Butch,

I bet you thought dad and I disappeared off the map. After we left you with the broken van, we decided to launch over at Sanibel to save some running time. We went to the marina in the back of Blind Pass ( Castaway's??). After we launched, the nickel dick at the marina store told us the wrong way to get out of there. We ended up getting stuck in very shallow water. Luckily Andy and his bride were just getting up for breakfast and signaled to us. Once they told us the right way to get out of there we were in business.

We ran to Fosters Point to catch bait. By then the sun was coming up. The bait ran very small compared to the past couple of days. By the time we got back up to the flats all the potholes were already covered with water. Andy was staked out on what we thought was the right spot. He said he didn't mind company so we obliged. Soon after we staked out Andy caught a nice Red, so we thought we were in business. Soon after chumming Dad and I both landed nice snook. Then it went dead.

After a little studying of the landmarks I concluded we were a little too far in. I turned around and spotted the holes where we had fished. We pulled anchor and planned to do a wide sweep around to the up wind side with the trolling motor so as to not spook the fish. About the time we were almost in position here comes a Action Craft with an Alabama registration with his big motor going. He comes right up to us, anchors, and then turns around and asks if we had done any good?!!! There are probably laws that prohibit sending our reply On-Line so I'll spare you.

We decided to go ahead and fish despite the presence of the Alabama Cracker from Hell. After lots of chumming we managed one catfish. He stays about 15 minutes and cranks up and leaves. I told dad we may as well try to find somewhere else to fish as well. As we were easing off the flat we spotted a nice looking white hole. After a couple minutes of chumming we were really into the snook. It lasted about 15 minutes and abruptly ended. By then the tide was done so we called it a day.

When we were at the car wash, cleaning the boat, we ran into a buddy of yours; Roy Macdermott of Calusa Nets. He was admiring the flats boat and struck up a conversation. He was a great guy. He showed dad and I a method of throwing a net which is much easier than our previous method. It allows us to throw a much larger net with half the effort.

We found most of the folks in your area very accommodating. It was a refreshing change from our experiences while fishing around Miami.

Thanks again for all your help. If you ever want to try some SC striper fishing drop me a line.

Chip Willimon

Chip Willimon Testimonial, picture not yet available.

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