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Biscayne nights - Everglades days, 11-18 March


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#1 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 10:10 AM

The weather was tough this past week - but finally got right at the end of the week.  We started out with a night trip in Biscayne Bay and small tarpon were the targets with visiting angler Reggie White aboard.  His fishing club in Virginia required him to use only 12lb tippet to be able to enter a tarpon in their fly category - so that's what I had set up for him (12lb tippet with a 40lb bite tippet).  Conditions on that Sunday night were borderline at best with wind and an approaching cold front but we did jump one tarpon under a bridge... Lots of running to different spots only confirmed that there just weren't any small tarpon anywhere that night (the one we jumped off was never sighted until it took the fly...) so we went to plan B and hit a few docklights where we found small jacks and a few snook.  Here's a pic of Reggie with his first snook on fly -very carefully released of course...
za8y4sq8mnc8.jpg
the smile says it all....

We were scheduled to fish the next four nights but the weather had other ideas so we cancelled the next two days then headed for Flamingo for day trips, still in high winds and cold waters... Out of Flamingo it wasn't much better than the Bay had been... We did catch a few trout on fly, but the tarpon never showed at all... We did find a few very big snook on Wednesday and Thursday - mostly by spooking them.
Those first four days were just plain tough - the weather pretty much shut us down.... so I was ready for a day off on Friday.  The next two days - over on the Chokoloskee side of the Park were a different story...

On Saturday with Ed Rucks aboard we ran out of Rabbit Key Pass and headed south just before dawn.  I had high hopes since the weather had warmed up considerably and the winds had finally died down...  Using light spinning gear we found lots of trout and other species - then headed for a few redfish spots where we found them hungry... Here's two pics from that morning -the first fish was invited for dinner - the second released....
j8e8s51tnxb1.jpg
This fish was without any spots at all...
dt2wmpoo4heg.jpg
finally one with a spot...

The next day I had Matt Serraes and his 13 year old son Drew aboard - and we headed out to fish the same areas I'd fished the day before.  At our first spot we caught and released a bunch of small trout and other species -then moved a bit offshore while waiting for the tide to get right where the redfish were.  After finding quite a few pods of permit finning out at the surface - that wouldn't anything we tried (no crabs in my live well that day....) we gave up on them and headed back inshore where we found a big school of large black drum (they looked to be 15 to 20lbs) but spooked them before we could make a cast.  After they settled down a bit we worked back in front of them and young Drew scored with a spinning rod and a small lure.  Just nothing like tossing a lure into a big school of fish that were right at the surface pushing along... and Drew was hooked up solid.  Fifteen minutes later he had his first drum to the skiff.  It weighed 14lbs on the Boga Grip and was a real handful for a young angler.  Here's Drew and his Dad with that first fish
fk2upzd73dm3.jpg
an outstanding catch and release for a young angler...

Twenty minutes later, we found them again - and this time he hooked one that was a bit bigger...
82t0xt32bcm0.jpg

We never did get onto the redfish that day - but did find a bunch of dinner sized trout and a nice sheepshead to go with them..

This time of year everything is very weather dependent.  One day we're struggling - the next day it's on fire - all ruled by the water temps and the winds... As we move towards the end of the month if the weather will stabilize a bit we could be in for some great fishing.  I'm looking forward to it...

Be a hero - take a kid fishing....


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#2 mikechell

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    I LOVE SNOW ITS SO FLUFFY!!!!!!!

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 11:27 AM

Glad the weather started participating.  Nice fish.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
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#3 FlatsRoamer

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 02:31 PM

Good guiding and report, Capt. I know exactly how that first snook on fly means (about 3 months ago).

I fished Biscayne last Friday and the cudas were everywhere. Was trying for a bone but maybe next time I'll keep some cudas and chunk them up for sharks on fly...

Still hunting for my first tarpon on fly! 


Why are windknots in love with me?


Can't wait for that diy trip to Acklins!!

 

 

Find my youtube channel in the link below

 

https://www.youtube....plkVnmuDObYCLBg


#4 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 07:49 AM

for sharks on fly... Don't bother chunking that 'cuda.  Simply filet it on each side - leaving the filet attached at the tail end of the fish.  Now setup a drift where there's a good current (or at least some current - even better if the current is going one way and the wind is going the other...) along a relatively deeper flat then hang that 'cuda carcass on the downstream side of your skiff (usually the bow....).  Once you're baited set up with your fly line and keep a sharp eye downstream of your carcass for critters that will come to it - all turned on... When you spot one don't toss your fly in front of it - try to keep your fly right beside one eye or the other and strip as fast as needed so it stays there as the shark comes to the boat.  When the fish takes you'll barely see it - what you will see is that your big bright fly has disappeared - strip strike and hang on... 

 

The only really effective shot you'll have is as the fish is coming towards you and remember that sharks can't see right in front of their nose - and since your fly has no scent you'll only get bit if the critter can see your fly... Hope this helps - use a big heavy rod and fly line you don't mind losing (another of those "ask me how I know" propositions....).


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#5 mikechell

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    I LOVE SNOW ITS SO FLUFFY!!!!!!!

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 11:53 AM

... fly line you don't mind losing (another of those "ask me how I know" propositions....).

I haven't fished salt water for a very long time, but I do remember catching sharks off the North Carolina shoreline.

 

Sharks are hard to stop !!!  Especially those open water species that have to swim to breath.  Like stopping a run-away truck.


Barbed hooks rule!
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Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#6 FlatsRoamer

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 04:51 PM

Mike, that's what draws me to them! Nothing like the sound of a reel peeling drag and a boat engine turning on first thing in the morning. I must admit, I have tried to get into some sharks and have been eluded or me doing it wrong. Soon...


Still hunting for my first tarpon on fly! 


Why are windknots in love with me?


Can't wait for that diy trip to Acklins!!

 

 

Find my youtube channel in the link below

 

https://www.youtube....plkVnmuDObYCLBg


#7 Permitcapt

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 07:53 PM

The weather was tough this past week - but finally got right at the end of the week.  We started out with a night trip in Biscayne Bay and small tarpon were the targets with visiting angler Reggie White aboard.  His fishing club in Virginia required him to use only 12lb tippet to be able to enter a tarpon in their fly category - so that's what I had set up for him (12lb tippet with a 40lb bite tippet).  Conditions on that Sunday night were borderline at best with wind and an approaching cold front but we did jump one tarpon under a bridge... Lots of running to different spots only confirmed that there just weren't any small tarpon anywhere that night (the one we jumped off was never sighted until it took the fly...) so we went to plan B and hit a few docklights where we found small jacks and a few snook.  Here's a pic of Reggie with his first snook on fly -very carefully released of course...
za8y4sq8mnc8.jpg
the smile says it all....

We were scheduled to fish the next four nights but the weather had other ideas so we cancelled the next two days then headed for Flamingo for day trips, still in high winds and cold waters... Out of Flamingo it wasn't much better than the Bay had been... We did catch a few trout on fly, but the tarpon never showed at all... We did find a few very big snook on Wednesday and Thursday - mostly by spooking them.
Those first four days were just plain tough - the weather pretty much shut us down.... so I was ready for a day off on Friday.  The next two days - over on the Chokoloskee side of the Park were a different story...

On Saturday with Ed Rucks aboard we ran out of Rabbit Key Pass and headed south just before dawn.  I had high hopes since the weather had warmed up considerably and the winds had finally died down...  Using light spinning gear we found lots of trout and other species - then headed for a few redfish spots where we found them hungry... Here's two pics from that morning -the first fish was invited for dinner - the second released....
j8e8s51tnxb1.jpg
This fish was without any spots at all...
dt2wmpoo4heg.jpg
finally one with a spot...

The next day I had Matt Serraes and his 13 year old son Drew aboard - and we headed out to fish the same areas I'd fished the day before.  At our first spot we caught and released a bunch of small trout and other species -then moved a bit offshore while waiting for the tide to get right where the redfish were.  After finding quite a few pods of permit finning out at the surface - that wouldn't anything we tried (no crabs in my live well that day....) we gave up on them and headed back inshore where we found a big school of large black drum (they looked to be 15 to 20lbs) but spooked them before we could make a cast.  After they settled down a bit we worked back in front of them and young Drew scored with a spinning rod and a small lure.  Just nothing like tossing a lure into a big school of fish that were right at the surface pushing along... and Drew was hooked up solid.  Fifteen minutes later he had his first drum to the skiff.  It weighed 14lbs on the Boga Grip and was a real handful for a young angler.  Here's Drew and his Dad with that first fish
fk2upzd73dm3.jpg
an outstanding catch and release for a young angler...

Twenty minutes later, we found them again - and this time he hooked one that was a bit bigger...
82t0xt32bcm0.jpg

We never did get onto the redfish that day - but did find a bunch of dinner sized trout and a nice sheepshead to go with them..

This time of year everything is very weather dependent.  One day we're struggling - the next day it's on fire - all ruled by the water temps and the winds... As we move towards the end of the month if the weather will stabilize a bit we could be in for some great fishing.  I'm looking forward to it...

Be a hero - take a kid fishing....

Uncle Bob,

 

And what lure did the drum hit, please? That is one species that I have never caught on a Gulp!  I talked to the head scientist for Gulp! this past weekend at Apalachicola Farmers Mkt, and he dodged the question, although he said it was designed for redfish, around Lanark Reef. The other species I have thrown Gulp! at many times without a take is sheepshead.

 

Edward


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#8 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 05:31 AM

Black drum can be tough on a lure (and even tougher on the fly...).  That day, though, we'd found a big school of them (all 14 to about 20lbs) packed together like a school of mullet pushing along in six to seven feet of water... When they're schooled up and pushing along they'll hit just about anything you toss at them (provided you're careful not to put them down with your skiff...).  Both of my anglers, father and son, were tossing 1/4oz. leadheads with Gulp tails - both the 3" shrimp in New Penny and the 4" swimming mullet in pearl white.  We made three passes (allowing the school to move away then running back around them for another shot) hooking up a double each time - but the father's fish pulled off each time leaving the son to fight the big fish.  Worked like a charm - completely different than the response you get from single fish along shorelines where we usually find them...

 

In the heat of summer we also find big drum (average 20 to 40lbs) up inside Everglades rivers that drain into the west coast of the 'Glades.. We're up in those rivers hunting tarpon and finding both big silver and the big drum (the drum seem to prowl the edges of the river up under the mangroves... I think they might be there for spawning since they don't seem to feed on anything). For a few years we never got one bite from them until I had one of my anglers toss a DOA Baitbuster (the sinking model in red/white) at one of them - and the fish took it as it sank... This was a Baitbuster rigged for tarpon with a heavy 60 to 80lb leader -not exactly what you'd normally toss at a black drum...  We've repeated that several times in past summers so maybe we found the solution for them... As for flies, we finally succeeded on taking a few of them - but not in an orthodox manner at all... After tossing crab flies and shrimp flies with zero results one day we used one of our big, black tarpon flies and the fish (a thirty pounder) ate it without hesitation.  The thing is we didn't do anything the way you're supposed to- we didn't even cast to the fish... I had my angler dangle the big (six to seven inch Tarpon Snake) black fly right in front of the drum's nose - like a glob of worms with no retrieve at all... the fish looked at it for a moment - then ate it about 12 feet from the boat... Who knew?   We've done that several times now in exactly the same manner....  Black drum are just weird at times (understatement).


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666