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Everglades Camping and Snookin

Took off last Friday morning from the house at Fishermans Cove in my Duracraft with Jeff, Don and Travis were on Dons Carolina Skiff and started the long journey down to Willy Willy. Loaded up with ice, tackle and gas to get us thru Sunday night.
Got our camp set up, boats unloaded and then it was off to start the fishing marathon. Don is 72 years old and has been fishing the glades since his dad brought him here when he was 1 year old. The knowledge I get from him is unreal. We headed out and fished all over on Friday with very little luck. It was certainly not due to a high degree of effort. But other than a few ladyfish and some black bass, we had nothing to show for the day.
Not only is Don the resident the best fisherman of our group, he is also the best camp cook I have ever seen. Friday night dinner was fried venison that he killed this year, fried potatoes, and bread. Good Good eats. Hit the rack and were up bright and early to get out and fish a full hard day on Saturday.
We took off down to the broad, and fished all over that area, from Lonesome to the mouth of the broad. Saw 4 other boats all weekend, there were 2 houseboats out cruising
Again very little happening that morning. A few more ladys, started picking up trout, then bigger trout, then finally the bite turned on. We ended up with a great snook, redfish and trout bite.
I saw this girl running down a bank and got her to take a soft plastic. 37" almost 20 lbs on 15lb test out of the Mangroves. It was touch and go there for a bit, and I almost had to go in after she wrapped me up, but finally got her to the boat, a few pictures and then a good release.
And dont tell anyone, but heres the magic lure for me all weekend. 1/4 oz jighead with gulps, and Pro Cure. Pretty simple stuff
Ended up that night with about 20 snook, several reds, limits of big trout, and then thousands of ladys, snappers, kitty kats, jewfish, and puffers. Filletd some trout and ate a nice dinner of fried trout and grits.
Up again bright and early, got one of the other campers at Willy Willy with us to snap a picture of all of us before breakfast.
Then home saltcured ham, eggs and grits, broke camp and on our way to fish as we head back to the hill.
We fished as we headed back in, stopping at a few key places and it again was a little slow to start, the wind didn't help, but fired up hard about 1000 or so.
Finally called it at about 1700 and started the 90 minute run back in. A wonderful trip with some great guys. After hard work and alot of time we produced some very quality fish. I will probably do a repeat here in about 2-3 weeks if the water warms to see if we can trade some of those snook pictures for tarpon pictures. Hope to see yall out there.
Capt Charlie
http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.


  • dtobiasdtobias Posts: 733 Officer
    Great trip....nice fish. Love those Gulp swimming mullet....been fishing some DOA stuff lately...need to get a few new packs of Gulp. Pro Cure on the Gulp....I like it. Way to catch 'em up. Cool you're fishing with your friend Don....I'm sure great knowledge and great stories to share. No substitute for old school experience.
  • GET HOOKEDGET HOOKED Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    How do you keep the gators from coming up to the camp site when you are cooking and sleeping?
  • SWCrackerSWCracker Posts: 25 Greenhorn
    Great Report. Heading down in a few weeks
  • deerflydeerfly Posts: 767 Officer
    very cool, you guys did good. I took a buddy of mine that's never been to the glades down to broad thursday afternoon. We were looking/hoping for some early season tarpon on fly action. I found a few in my usual places and one 80lb+ fish, but they weren't interested in feathers. I think that last cold snap was enough to keep the locals down and I don't think the migratory fish have started to show yet. Anyway, I was thinking you guys were at Lonesome and was going to run up there Fri around midday to see if you guys were around, but the winds were howling out of the east. So I didn't want to burn the time and gas to beat the bushes up inside with white caps in the river. We broke camp at noon Sat and headed in so my buddy could spend easter sunday with his youngin's. Hoping to get back down there in a few weeks too. Maybe I'll see you out there.
    "impossibility cannot be concluded from a sample of failed efforts" - Edsger W. Dijkstra
  • IndianoutlawIndianoutlaw Posts: 550 Officer
    Great trip, thanks for the report!!
  • ChuddybuckrivetChuddybuckrivet Posts: 3,156 Officer
    GET HOOKED wrote: »
    How do you keep the gators from coming up to the camp site when you are cooking and sleeping?



    Awesome trip guys, way to go!
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,178 Admiral
    Great pics for great memories.

    Who was the third boat at Willy Willy? :-)
  • Flatwater witchFlatwater witch Posts: 605 Officer
    Great Report.
    Let the good times roll
    Renagade69 wrote: »
    Either you are mechanically inclined ore your not. The fact you had to ask told me that you can not do it. Its ok, not every one has this ability. Some people just have to pay.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,630 Captain
    Great report... I love the Broad/Rogers area and we make it up that way on day trips out of Flamingo...

    Water temps have had the tarpon a bit off until just a day or two ago down my way as well but they're beginning to show inside and outside down to the south a bit. Love this time of year (except for the taxes part...).
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Posts: 774 Officer
    Thanks for all the comments. It was a great trip and we are going to hit it again in a week or two I think. On the gator question (the gator-raid comment made me laugh, good stuff), there was a resident gator that stationed by the dock, but she never bothered us. We didn't throw food in the water around the boats or fish around the docks so it was not really an issue. As for her coming ashore during the night, well it was a topic of discussion for those that had to get up to wet the lillys at night but again was not an issue.

    The other 2 boats belonged to 3 guys from the Lakeland, Frostproof area that we shared the site with. They were good guys (and I believe forum members) who have been fishing down there quite awhile. It was nice to chat with some new folks, though both our group and theirs were there to fish so we only really saw each other over dinner Friday and Saturday.

    The tarpon bite was non exsistent for us as well. We did have a small fish blow up on a topwater on Friday night, but wouldnt really commit. And same thing as yall, went to a "secret" spot that we saw double digits of 80 plus pound fish, but they had the lockjaw bad. Thats the target on the next trip coming up. I am allready looking forward to it.

    Also btw before this trip I had picked up two of the new cabo 40s to try out, and I must say I am very impressed. The drag on these reels is very very strong, and the only problem that I see for me is I think they will be rod breakers. But good casting, seem to be durable reels. Gonna work these two for several months then if all is still good, swap all my old cabos out with new ones later this summer.

    Anyway, see yall down there next week or the following for a 4 day trip this time.
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
  • tarponfly49tarponfly49 Posts: 336 Deckhand
    Great report....how are you liking the new cabo 40? Looks pretty sweet...field report?
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Posts: 774 Officer
    Great report....how are you liking the new cabo 40? Looks pretty sweet...field report?

    So far so good on the new Cabos. They are as smooth as they have always been but a big change I see other than the design is the drag. Its worlds stronger than the older model. when I hung up a few times on wrecks or mangroves, the drag with a few turns will lock completly down and break the line. With no hand on the spool to hold it. I love a drag like this, but it will require alot of attention with my customers who want to play with it, and if your not careful could easily break a pole, or worse yet loose that prize fish. I am going to work these 2 for a few months and see how they hold up, then at the close of summer restock the boat with new gear. So I will keep you posted.
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
  • Elk ChaserElk Chaser Posts: 173 Deckhand
    That looked like a great trip. I'm looking forward to camping at the rod and gun club this week.
  • GotBass?GotBass? Posts: 202 Deckhand
    Cool report! Looks like fun!
  • SWCrackerSWCracker Posts: 25 Greenhorn
    Heading down this weekend but its looking like it might be a little wet...
  • red_magnetred_magnet Posts: 498 Deckhand
    Man that looks like fun !
    I owe it all to my Granny and Bill Dance....
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Posts: 774 Officer
    It was alot of fun. Trying to do it again later this month or the start of next. So stay tuned
    Capt Charlie
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
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