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Looking for help with snook and small tarpon

Hey folks, I live in Foley, Alabama and mostly fish Alabama and the Panhandle. My family and a couple of other families make a trip to the Keys every year in October and we usually spend the week fishing off the big boat. I plan on taking my kaya this year, though, and I want to get into some respectable size snook and some baby tarpon while we're down there.

We stay in Marathon but I'm pretty sure I'm going to head back up to the Everglades for a couple of days to try for the snook and tarpon. I'm looking for some general info on launches and areas to fish that will have a high likelihood of finding those two particular species. Any info that anybody can provide would be most appreciated!


  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,418 Captain
    The closest area from the Keys will be Flamingo (and it might just be the easiest for a first timer in a 'yak since there's lots of snook, reds, trout, and small tarpon within just a few minutes paddle off of the outside ramp (there's two ramps at Flamingo -one out into Florida Bay and the other into the interior). If you choose the interior (some call it the freshwater side) the canal there (Buttonwood canal) is loaded with small tarpon and **** Bay (where the canal will take you has good numbers of tarps, snook, reds, etc.). The best bet if you go that way is to launch at **** Bay pond (the last bit of water on your right as you drive down to Flamingo) then sneak through the small, closed creek at the west end of the pond and out into **** Bay. Buttonwood canal is a long paddle, exactly three miles according to my gps, so starting from **** Bay pond makes a lot of sense. If you fish **** Bay all of the action is along the shoreline, up under or right next to the mangroves... Good luck and hope you do well. If you have a few more days then I'd head for Everglades city /Chokoloskee -but that is a huge area and will take some time on the water to learn...

    For those that wonder why a full time guide is willing to speak up a bit about the areas he fishes... kayaks and other paddle craft rarely bother the fish in any areas that I know of. I have no problem pointing a paddler towards the fish.... If I'd had access to a decent quality kayak all those years ago I might never have owned the first motor skiff....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Time BanditTime Bandit Posts: 25 Greenhorn
    Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for! And for those who wonder why a guide will speak up about the areas he fishes, it's good business practice. If I get up there and can't catch fish on my own, which is a real possibility, or, if I just decide I want to hire a guide "just because," Bob will be the first person I'll call.
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Posts: 774 Officer
    I sold and delivered a boat to fellow in Foley Al last month. Pretty little town. I'm no help east of the Broad River. If you decide to come over to Everglades City let us know. Glad to help.
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
  • chandler315chandler315 Posts: 68 Deckhand
    I just thought that sharing ones knowledge about anything was the right thing to-do. Bob, I’d like to thank you for your service and hope that this shines light on others to ...well, just be civil.
    I always cast to where the fish are. :crossed
  • Fishin' MusicianFishin' Musician Posts: 93 Deckhand
    Capt. Bob = Class Act
  • ManbeastManbeast Posts: 34 Deckhand
    Your best bet to get on the fish will be to head over to flamingo. This time 2 years ago before i got my skiff id do some damage on the snook on the outside. Get out early, throw top water (turn left as soon as you leave marina). Once the sun starts to get over top head to east side of snake bite and enjoy the reds, snook, and other assortment of fish). While you paddle out keep your eye on the channel as there is a good chance you will see some tarpon rolling. Enjoy.
    Shipoke 18. Hoppin Chop, gettin skinny.
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