Todd, Lori, and Mark,
WOW! Let me put the bottom line up top; you guys are the most professionally run guiding service I have ever used!
I have used your services twice in the last two years and you keep getting better and better. It all started with your web-page and how easy it was to request a trip. Then with-in 24hrs you contacted me to ask questions about what I wanted from my trip. I booked a trip for the 13th of February. I talked directly to Mark the week leading into the trip and he gave me all the details that I needed for the trip.
I talked to Mark the day before the trip and he said that the wind and cold front was going to shut the fishing down and asked if I still wanted to go. I only had the 13th to fish and I said "hell yeah". We decided to meet at the marina at 7:00 am. I arrived at 6:45 am and Mark was already there and ready to go. I bought my license and we were on our way. The weather was 38 degrees and the wind was blowing 15 to 20. Mark stated again that he would give it everything he had but I should not to expect much.
Once we got to our fishing spot on the very nicely equipment Ranger boat he handed me a G-Loomis rod with a Curado reel; not some cheap stuff like I have had with other guides. We started throwing some expensive swim baits, 5 dollar plus a bag, not the cheap ones that I have used down there before. I asked why and he said that he will throw whatever lures will give his clients the best chance to catch fish, not matter the cost of the bait. That is rare!
The water temp had dropped 14 degrees from just earlier in the week. I am a tournament angler and I know how tough it is to fish with 20MPH winds and a major cold front. We proceeded to catch over 50 fish and the best five went 29lbs+. To put this into prospective, there was two big tournaments that day and the winning weight was 18lbs, then it dropped way off. We had a 8+, 7, and a 6 pounder! Pretty dang good for a crappy weather day.
I have never fished with someone that was a great teacher like Mark. We found a fish on the bed and he showed me some technic's on catching a bedded fish that I will never share with anyone. That is how great this guys is! I know we used 5+ bags of the swim baits (30 dollars worth). While I watched another guide for different company (one that I used about three year ago and was very disappointed with), throw a cheap plastic and not catch any fish. The cheap plastic bait works a lot of the time down on the O but not in the conditions that we were fishing. Mark made adjustments while the other guide kept with the bait that didn't work.
I had a great experience fishing with your company and I will use no other service when I come to Florida. Lori is great, the web site is great, and Mark Sheppard is awesome. If we didn't catch a fish that day, I would have had a great time anyway. Mark is just a great person to get to know!
Thanks for the greatest day I have ever had on a Lake, you guys are a CLASS ACT!!!
If you post this email (which I hope you do) please quote this "If you are looking for a great guide service; stop you have found it!!"
The Staff really appreciates your letter, thank you Terry!
Capt Mark comments it was cold and the water temp, was 55 that is cold. When the water is below 60 it is tough fishing but today it was awsome. Today I had the pleasure to fish with Terry Stevens Jr. Terry has fished with me in the past and is a great fisherman and he also is a tounament angler. We started back in a grass flat throwing swim baits and the fun began. We caught lots of nice fish from 2lb to 8lb. Fishing in water that is only 1 to 1 1/2 feet deep it makes for a lot water movment and mean violent strikes! I have to say Okeechobee is the best I have ever seen it. This season is going to be a lot of fun so if you have not ever fished Okeechobee you should give it a try.
Till next time tight lines and good fishing….