Fishing report, Everglades backcountry 4 September

This report should serve as a pretty good forecast for the backcountry portions of Everglades National Park out of Flamingo this Labor Day weekend... I was only there two days this past week but found a great variety of fish and conditions that should keep them biting...

The first day was a solo trip on Tuesday (opening day for snook season) to do some exploring... That day I found small grouper, nice sized mangrove snapper, the usual assortment of trout, jacks, and ladyfish on small bucktails and Gulp tipped leadheads. While looking for that first snook I jumped a small tarpon in the 25lb range and took one pic before releasing it (great fun doing a one handed camera shot with an active fish on....).

Lost one or two small snook on lures then set up on a reliable big snook spot for one last try for the day....
Here's the result (now I still have to find one small enough....) it measured at 36" and weighed 15lbs on the Boga Grip before being carefully released - nothing like knowing the big girls are going to around long enough to make lots of babies....

Made one more try for a slot sized snook but ended up hooking something large and grumpy (probably with teeth....) that I fought on 20lb line for almost half an hour before finally breaking off (and very glad that happened -don't think that critter was tired at all but I certainly was....).

The next day I had two local anglers aboard, Biing Yuan and his buddy Josh -we were looking for variety and found it.... Our first step was to load a few ladyfish into the livewell -then it was off to a river grouper spot where Biing promptly got his clock cleaned by a big fish. After two live baits in a row got killed but not hooking anything we shifted to just a ladyfish head -then it was Josh on the rod.... It didn't take long to hook up and Josh was hanging on for all he was worth... That fish proceeded to teach Josh exactly what's needed to beat a tough bottom fish in one of the many Everglades rivers... After a quite a struggle (using the heaviest rod aboard -a small Hopper rod with 65lb braid on a Shimano TLD 15) we finally got a small goliath grouper to the boat for a photo and a release - that fish was nearly four feet long and looked to be between 40 and 50lbs...

These days there are lots of small jewfish (for all of you politically incorrect old timers) in almost every river if you know where to look. They're tough as an old boot, never give up -and more than one guy who lost a really "big snook" on a lure - was actually hooked up to one of these goliaths... I figure they're "babies" until they're over 50lbs.... They'll definitely take you to school if you get hooked up...

Later that day we added a few nice redfish for the table... Here are the photos...
That's Biing with the small one and Josh with one that was barely inside the slot...

Our last great catch that day was farther north where we went hunting tripletail in some pretty shallow waters. Josh got his first one and it was a dandy, weighing in at 8lbs -and not a hard decision to keep since they're great eating.....

That day a slot sized snook eluded us -but we did hook one or two small fish on lures....

As we move into September the fishing is just going to get better and better from Lostman's River south all the way down to Cape Sable. Glad that most days you rarely ever see another boat at all....

"Be a hero! Take a kid fishing...."
Tight Lines
Bob LeMay
(954) 435-5666


  • 803803 Posts: 175 Officer
    thanks for the report. Due to medical school I don't make it down there much, or have the money to hire a guide to learn... so these reports are the only real way i have semi-learned to fish the area along with simply trial and error.
    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing" Benjamin Franklin
  • FlfjackFlfjack Posts: 646 Officer
    awesome report! such a diverse fishery down there. looks so fun.
    East Boynton
    IG jack.bbi
  • T-LUV2T-LUV2 Posts: 389 Officer
    Great job captain!!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Phinz13Phinz13 Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    Nice day.
    Has anyone ever come across any Permit in Flamingo? Its on my bucket list.
  • RollinRollin Posts: 1,540 Captain
    Nice work Bob !!
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,101 Captain
    If you work down towards Nine Mile Bank, Barnes Key, the areas around Rabbit Key Basin - you might find a few... If you can locate any of the many wrecks off the Gulf coast and south (we're talking minimum of ten miles off the beaches -at least 18 feet of water) you won't find one or two permit - you can find hundreds if you're there at the right time.... Wrecks in hot weather are an early, early morning proposition - you don't want to be offshore during afternoons since thunderstorms can jump up on you awfully quickly and a long run in heavy static conditions isn't a very good idea at all....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • dpdashdpdash Posts: 5,359 Admiral
    Great report Bob!
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,240 Officer
    Nice snook for the backcountry.
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