Capt. Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters in Florida is an absolute expert on fly fishing the Florida Everglades, and in addition to his expertise, Sullivan is a true devotee to the exotic locale. Capt. Sullivan recently sat down to take on some questions for the Venturing Angler:
1. Why do you guide where you do?
I guide out of Flamingo which is the Southern part of Everglades National Park. It is one of the most diverse fisheries that I can think of. There is no other place that you can target multiple species with a fly rod in one day. On any given day you can cast to tarpon, redfish, snook, trout, bonefish, permit, and bass. That is why I absolutely love fishing there and bringing people down to the Everglades who have never been.
2. What is your favorite fish specie?
My favorite specie is definitely tarpon. In the Everglades, we have world class tarpon fishing almost all year round, depending on the weather. Our early season tarpon fishing can be epic.
3. What is your favorite thing about guiding?
I love poling my skiff and hunting the fish we chase. Being there when someone catches there first tarpon or redfish on fly is an unbelievable moment. Also, being in the Everglades daily is such an amazing experience. It never gets old.
4. What is the most memorable trip you’ve guided and why?
There have been a lot of memorable trips, but this past February was one that I will never forget. We were fly fishing for early season tarpon. We ended up in a little bay with hundreds of rolling and laid up tarpon. They were eating everything that we threw at them. We ended up hooking 15 fish up to 130lbs. in just 4 hours. It was definitely my most memorable guided trips.
5. What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced while guiding?
One of the funniest things I have experienced is having an angler fall off the bow of my boat when he hooked into a redfish in about 8 inches of water. He ended up being ok, but it was pretty funny because it was only 8 inches of water.
6. What makes your guide service great?
I think my guide service is great because I am extremely passionate about what I do. I think I am one of the hardest working guides and I feel that I want my clients to catch fish more than they want to catch fish.
7. If you had only one day off all year, where would you fish and what fish would you target?
If I had one day off, I would want to target early season tarpon. I absolutely love fly fishing for tarpon and do it now on my days off.
8. What are your favorite three flies?
- Backcountry Sweeper
- EP Glades special
- Tarpon Toad
9. What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
My Tibor Backcountry and Biscayne fly rod.
10. Do you have any other passions?
Fly fishing and the Everglades.
Disclosure: Rising Tide Charters is in a professional relationship with the Fly Fishing Guide Directory, LLC and the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.