FLAMINGO REPORTS - SPRING '16

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  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,107 Captain
    The truth of the matter is that National Parks around the country are pretty much under-funded (and it shows in maintenance areas which get deferred over and over again, but aren't generally noticed by the public) - and any "extra monies" tend to go to the most popular parks -not the Everglades. I was told recently that the sequester put in place by Congress really hurt operations in the Park and that's why you haven't seen anyone on the gate early in the morning now for about three months... They did have the money set aside for the second half of the roadway down to Flamingo but had to spend it for another project. Lord only knows when that roadway re-surfacing will be completed now...

    Remember that the national park system is a federal operation which comes under the Interior Department. Every year Interior has to go to Congress to get it's budget (and the money it gets) from them year in and year out.... All of the amenities in the Park are operated as concessions run by private interests trying to make a buck renting canoes, kayaks, etc. or selling fuel, groceries, or operating the campground, and such. They have to bid as well to get the contract for a specified time period. None of this is simple or straightforward. The previous concession operator threw in the towel after hurricane Wilma - and it took a few years to even find anyone willing to take it on.....

    I'd really like to see Flamingo returned to full operation - but after that hurricane ten years ago the national park service decided not to rebuild the motel, cabins, or restaurant at all.... and that's where we are today.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • EngguyEngguy Posts: 171 Deckhand
    The fish cleaning station is a disaster, I am not in a fishing club but what about this? Get the local clubs to take up a donation to fix that mess and make something nice for all of us. I would not mind making a donation to make that happen. What are you guy's thoughts on this?
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,107 Captain
    The fish cleaning station works pretty well most days (you should see what we used to have....). With the high volume of anglers using it seven days a week it's not unusual for someone to clog it up (whole carcasses are not supposed to go into the grinder, ever....). When that happens it may take a few days for them to repair/replace the broken parts. There is a an outfit (the National Parks Conservation Association) that does volunteer upgrades for the Park (they're the ones that put the decent markers into Buttonwood Canal a few years ago... out of their own funds.) so you do have an outfit to contact that might spearhead some improvements. Local clubs might just get things started, but there's so much of the Park that needs work...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,107 Captain
    As usual each spring guides stay pretty busy and fishing reports are the last thing that gets done. This will be my first report in a while and in the interim I lost quite a few photos after my camera quit on me.... As a result I'll only focus on my last day on the water since it pretty much provides a current look at what we're finding along the Gulf coast of the 'Glades and back in Whitewater Bay...

    This first photo is almost the first pic from the new camera...
    [img][/img][img][/img]first%20redfish%20on%20fly%20-Whitewater%20early%20May_zps7jtxkve8.jpg
    Here's Mike Grodner's first redfish on fly along a sheltered shoreline in Whitewater Bay, it was one of several we spotted and targeted with our Clousers.... Earl Zagrodnik got its twin a few minutes earlier (and about 300 feet behind us... It was early May and both the interior and the coast were holding fish if you could find spots out of the winds that just howled day after day...

    My last day on the water a few days ago was with Bob Wilder from up north and that day we hooked up on a big tarpon, at least 80lbs - but looked bigger.... along the coast on medium heavy spinning gear with only 15lb line. He fought the fish to a standstill and we were home free (not another boat in sight anywhere and nothing the fish could cut us off on in about five to six feet of water). After about 20 minutes the fish had showed its tail (when a tarpon is exhausted the first sign is that big tail sticking straight up in the air and not kicking any more....). Before I could work over to the fish along came a bull shark and that was that.... We tried opening the bail to let the fish run but the shark had hit it on first contact -the rest was inevitable. Unlike many other areas the Gulf coast of the 'Glades, although it has lots and lots of big sharks.... you rarely lose a tarpon to one. That was our first big fish of the day and we were not happy, but quickly managed to find a few small snook on lures in the same area to ease the pain. We also managed to take a big jack crevalle on our last tarpon bait...
    [img][/img][img][/img]Wilder%20jack%20crevalle_zps53ty1vv1.jpg

    From there we worked our way to the north towards the Harney, Broad and Rogers rivers, hoping to take advantage of the falling tide in that area. We spotted a few tripletail right at the surface but had to work to catch our first one -here's a pic...
    [img][/img][img][/img]Wilder%20tripletail_zpsywnhhykc.jpg

    Since we were working artificials this fish ate a small jig with Gulp tail on very light line... A few moments later we hooked a big, fat trout in the same spot....
    [img][/img][img][/img]Wilder%20trout_zpsesugc22n.jpg


    We ended our day with another snook not far away..... but still more than thirty miles from Flamingo.
    [img][/img][img][/img]Wilder%20snook_zpswxsglqd5.jpg

    It was Bob's third or fourth one that day...

    This is pretty much a hint of things to come - all summer long the fishing along the coast and interior will continue to get better and better. I'm looking forward to it.

    Be a Hero... take a kid fishing!
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • EngguyEngguy Posts: 171 Deckhand
    Bob, do you know how to contact this group, National Parks Conservation Association? I would like to redo the valves and hose set up on the cleaning station. Last time I was down there they were in sad shape.
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