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Fishing report, Everglades Flamingo, 2 May


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#1 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 11:08 AM

As usual most of my anglers aren't using fly gear - but the last one listed was..... and those tripletail will take a properly presented Clouser almost any day you find them - and they're a sight-fishing proposition...

Forgot to mention in my report about this local character, hanging next to the boat ramp at Flamingo at dawn each day - for almost a week... No, this isn't a 'gator - and no it isn't a big crocodile at all (I've seen one or two that were almost as big as my skiff....).

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This time of year most guides are running -pretty much non-stop, day after day, so this will be my first report in weeks... Fishing out of Flamingo is a real challenge day after day since there's no place to stay there except for the campground and the daily commute (for me, almost 100 miles each way...) is a grind.... Now that the visitor season is beginning to diminish I'm finally getting a breather so here we go....

The past four weeks I've had anglers from age five to older than me (that old?) aboard and we've had our share of good days... The trout run this spring was pretty good with fish up to and a bit over the 24" mark available almost any day but it's over now.  Thank heavens the snook and redfish have begun to take up the slack.... Since the stone crab season (with all those lovely pot markers that tripletail like to hang around) is nearly over - the big triples have begun to show up back inshore - we got a ten pounder a few days ago in less than five feet of water.  As the stone crab season ends, crabbers have to remove their traps from the water -- so there's no markers for the triples to hang around, all summer long.... and we'll be taking advantage of that as they migrate back inshore. 

 

There are still lots of tarpon in every size along the Gulf coast - but any day now the big girls (and their suitors) will begin their spawning migration down to Islamorada - or back to the north towards Boca Grande and leave our area... The signs are there - we're seeing fish beginning to daisy chain and play "follow the leader" which is a sure indicator that almost all of the big fish will be here one day - then gone the next... The good news is that every fish from 50- 60lb and smaller will still be right where they've been and open for business... Starting about mid-summer the big fish will begin returning to the 'Glades and keep on coming until, by September we'll be in the middle of our "second season", something no tarpon angler will want to miss....

Now for a few pics taken within recent days... rbznt8997696.jpg
John Kern from Utah with a good solid ten pound tripletail taken on a small lure in less than five feet of water... We hooked three that size in a row - but only landed this one.  It was carefully released to fight another day (most of my local anglers would be planning on tripletail for dinner that night...).

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That same day, John's partner, Mark, caught and released this solid upper slot redfish nearby along a Gulf shoreline.  We released two of them, that size, that day...

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John with a nice small snook at a Gulf river mouth...

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On Monday I had Roy Arnold from Pittsburgh aboard - this was his biggest snook to date, at almost 28" caught and released with an 8wt fly rod and a Silhouette fly (one of my signature patterns...).  It's definitely that time of year....

Be a hero - take a kid fishing!


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#2 Peterjay

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 02:10 PM

Thanks for posting, Bob. I'm gonna go way out on a limb here, and guess that not a lot of swimming goes on around that ramp. Since the sign doesn't mention anything about disturbing humans, I suppose Mr. Croc considers himself in the best of all worlds. Nobody can bug him, and he can be as annoying as he wants. We start to see tarpon here in Virginia in late June - early July, and they usually stay for a couple of months. From the sound of things, they might be post-spawners maybe? I've wondered why we don't get any of the smaller fish, but if they stay in one place and don't migrate, I suppose that mystery's solved.



#3 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 03:46 PM

After spawning out the big fish head north following their stomachs and all the baitfish they keep finding.  A few years back I had a customer up in Virginia that asked for a few big black Tarpon Snakes to use on them up there.  He said that the big fish were only in his area for a week or two - and that most probably never saw them - but he did eventually succeed on one or two with fly...

 

My local Everglades tarpon are only now even starting to get the migrating fever to head on south to Islamorada.. By next week all that we'll have will be fish under 60lbs... The big plus is that there will be lots of them from quite small up to that size along the coast and up in the interior - all summer long...

 

Those north ranging fish along the Atlantic side will keep heading north until they hit cooler water temps -then they'll reverse course and head back south for the year.  We'll see them from Stuart south to Miami in the fall when the mullet migration is at its peak in September and early October each year.  The Everglades version of that will have big fish just gorging all day and night in the height of hurricane season during September and October (our great "second season" for the big girls).  All of that will end on that first cold night nearing Halloween each year (usually just about one week before Halloween, year after year...).  When those water temps drop the big girls will just boogie out into the Gulf where they'll remain until sometime in winter (some years the week before Christmas we'll get an early push back into Whitewater and nearby bays).  Water temperature is definitely the critical item for tarpon movement wherever you find them....


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#4 FlatsRoamer

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 04:52 PM

Great report as always Capt. Bob! I regret not doing the triple tail/crab pots thing, but I wasn't too comfortable running offshore of the Everglades with a crappy GPS and not a whole lot of experience... I think I'm doing the right thing there, but next stone crab season I'll definitely try for some TTT's. 

 

I was inside around southern WW bay the other day, and we must have missed over 20 snook and a small red. Did end up keeping a smaller trout and a nice mangrove, but those snook just didn't seem to stay on. I was poling and had my buddy and my dad casting into the trees with a 4in soft plastic and a 3-4/0 hook, I was thinking maybe it was too big for these smaller juvenile snook? What would you recommend as a general spin-casting bait for the everglades, targeting snook, reds, baby tarpon, etc. 

 

Flats


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


#5 Peterjay

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 05:20 PM

The whole Virginia tarpon scene is very hush-hush. There are a few tarpon guides here, but you have to swear on the souls of your kids that you'll never reveal their spots or venture out there without them. They'd probably sink your boat if you did. I've been here six years, and I've only found a couple of fishermen willing to talk about tarpon, except in a general way. Fortunately, of of them is a charter captain who wants me to teach him how to fly fish. (I sense a mutually beneficial situation developing here) Once the fish get into the Eastern Shore estuary, usually in early July, when the water's in the 80s, they generally stick around until it cools down or a storm blows them out in September. One of the forum members comes down this way for a couple weeks every summer, and he finds fish, but getting a hookup is really tough. The way I look at it is that the fish have to eat something, and if they can be caught in those muddy Costa Rican rivers, they can be caught here. 



#6 Swamp Fly

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 05:53 PM

I remember having conversations about Eastern Shore tarpon with people that constantly looked left and right to make sure no one was eavesdropping back in the mid 80's.  I had a 16' tri-hull, no way I was going across the bay to try and find them.



#7 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 06:01 PM

...big, black fly worked slow and deep... preferably across current and allowed to drift  down to where they're holding on an intermediate line -that would be my first tactic...  After that I'd consider prayer, bribery, and other less than orthodox tactics.  The way Virginia tarpon were described to me was big fish in relatively deep sheltered creeks in dark waters (or maybe that's where I live down here in the 'Glades...).

 

For Flats - the first hardbait I'd be working in those shallow shoreline areas would be Mirrolure #17's in a variety of colors #11, red/white, #18, green/silver, #24, blue/silver, and finally #CH, chartreuse/ silver... Remember this little plug is a suspending twitch bait - and sinks very, very slowly - sharp twitches and pauses brings out its best action...

 

For slightly deeper work it's hard to bead a simple 1/8oz lead head with a pearl white 4" Gulp mullet tail - just work it slowly, keeping it barely above the bottom with your rod always held high so that you can work it slowly without dragging bottom and don't be surprised if a tarpon pounces on it the moment it comes into view - happens to us all the time.... and usually on the lightest rod on the skiff so we're beaten before we even start.  Just make sure you use leadheads with decent hooks - you've seen the ones that I make - and the hook is the most important part of the gear....

 

As far as soft plastics most work them too fast but the biggest problem we ever have is anglers who strike a tiny bit too soon.  Most fish that take them don't spit them out quickly at all so you have a moment before striking to allow the fish to turn with the bait... That alone will increase your hook-ups with this kind of lure.. By the way both Owner and Mustad make hooks specifically for soft plastics that are pretty much slightly weighted and very snag free.  Although meant for bass anglers (and that's where you'll find them in stores - next to the plastic worms...) they work really well on snook and reds... As a general rule though -they're not meant for what a tarpon can do to a hook... even a small tarpon...

 

Hope this helps.... and as you can guess spinning baits that work well are the hints of what size and color your flies should be when the long rod is what you're using...


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#8 Swamp Fly

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 06:47 PM

Bob, sorry for the derail but I really need to comment on this...

 

Flats, color me impressed. It sounds like you are giving the environment it's due respect.  Exploring is a right of passage and I can only encourage it, being smart keeps you in the gene pool.  With the attitude you are showing here you will have my respect for what it's worth.



#9 Peterjay

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:21 PM

I remember having conversations about Eastern Shore tarpon with people that constantly looked left and right to make sure no one was eavesdropping back in the mid 80's.  I had a 16' tri-hull, no way I was going across the bay to try and find them.

 

A while back, some dude posted on a Chesapeake Bay fishing forum about a tarpon trip he took with his uncle, who lives over here. He described putting in at  XXXXX, Virginia, going halfway up XXX XXX XXX channel, in back of XXXXXX Island, saw a whole bunch of rollers, and had a few hookups. Hell, he even described the tide phase, right down to the minute. About the only thing he left out were the exact coordinates. He caught holy hell from the other forum members for giving up his uncle's spot, but not from me. I wrote it all down and found the spot on a satellite map. I haven't gotten out there yet, but you could waterboard me for a week, and I still wouldn't tell you where it is. I am, however, willing to forego my principles when large amounts of cash are involved, and I take PayPal. 



#10 FlatsRoamer

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 04:11 PM

Thanks for the kind words Swamp, but don't give me too much credit! If it was just me and a buddy in the skiff, you would find us going anywhere and probably get very lost. That's part of the fun though, except when the mosquitoes roll in at dusk...

 

Capt. Bob, thanks for the advice. I'm not very "fluent" in the spin-fishing world but I am going to try and get better at it, or at least know more about it...


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


#11 Swamp Fly

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 08:07 PM

Lol, temporarily "misplacing your own location on a map" is not lost!  I should know. The trick is to get lost in increments, just a little past where you were lost the last time...

 

BTW, carry an old fashioned compass with you, no batteries to drain and it will sort of help maintain a general heading even with all the twists and turns.



#12 mikechell

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 08:14 PM

As wife and I constantly say ... "We're not lost, we're taking the scenic route."


Barbed hooks rule!
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