Fishing report - Everglades backcountry, 2 August, 2017

This past week it's been fathers and sons bookings (the few that I had...). On Friday we fished out of Flamingo with visiting angler Enrique Torres and his son Eugenio from Mexico. After a long run across the interior we got down to business along the gulf coast near the Shark river where it was big jacks, speckled trout and one small snook (for young Eugenio it was his first time in the 'Glades... so it was all new....). Here's Enrique with a medium sized jack crevalle taken on a small lure...
[img][/img][img][/img]ks4a8Qd.jpg
lots of these guys around now along the coast from five to around fifteen pounds... and they'll beat any other fish to your lure....
Here's a pic of Eugenio's first speckled trout...
[img][/img][img][/img]y1S5Tgj.jpg


Later that day we had a couple of great encounters - and I couldn't get to the camera in time to record either one... While working around a tiny creek mouth we spotted a goliath grouper pushing a wake in less than 18" of water - just right for a sightfishing shot. Enrique was able to feed it a small Gulp tailed jig and we were off to the races in such shallow, clear water that we could see every move the fish made as it raced from one snag to another (the shoreline was littered with downed trees and stumps). Four times Enrique turned the fish (and he was using the lightest rod on my skiff with only 10lb braid line...). The fifth time the fish made it to a better hideout - and that was the end of that... Sighting and hooking a 20lb grouper in super shallow waters in the Glades is always a possibility -but getting one to the boat is always a tough proposition - no matter what size they are.... A few hours later we were trying to hook up a small to medium sized shark for Eugenio when the heaviest rod on my skiff bent double and Enrique again was hooked up solid - this time to a really big fish that we never got a look at. After going right to the breaking point of the 20lb line on the rod several times the big animal was close enough to get a good look at... It was one thumper of a big sawfish that looked to be about 12 feet long and very unhappy.... A twelve footer is not as big as you might think since around three feet of him is his nose (called a rostrum by scientific types... most know that its big saw is a dangerous proposition near the boat -so you handle them as cautiously as possible) - but it was clearly in the 250 lb range.... After a good look right at boatside the big animal was released in good condition (and we avoided any new scratches or gouges to the gelcoat on my skiff..). Yes, the sawfish is on the endangered specie list (and I worked for the scientists that did the research to have it placed on the list a few years back from Mote Marine Labs). The only place with numbers of them is still the Everglades - but the good news is that the net ban amendment here in Florida has greatly enhanced their recovery prospects around our state.... It was nets inshore that nearly wiped them out worldwide so if other coastal states would shut down inshore netting they might actually re-populate all those areas as well over the years.... Both the goliath grouper and the sawfish have been protected in the Park for years and years now - long before the sawfish actually made it onto the endangered list. I'm betting that those protections have worked well and will continue to improve their status...

A day later I was on the other side of the Park working out of Everglades City with local angler Eric Gleason and his son Ewan. The weather that day was far from ideal with a southwest wind and frequent rainshowers mixed in with the occasional thunderstorm. Young Ewan was using a light rod and a small jig at our first spot when he caught and released his first two redfish. Here's a pic of that first fish... just before the release...
[img][/img][img][/img]f2I97ix.jpg

Here's a closeup of the small jigs we use the most for reds, snook, trout, (and almost everything else...)
[img][/img][img][/img]nvSF6PW.jpg

Young Ewan went on to catch speckled trout and a variety of other fish that day (as we were being chased around by one storm or another...). All in all it was a pretty good day in poor conditions.

As we move into August I'm expecting that we'll find more and more baitfish along every shoreline on the coast - and the bait will increase in size as we near September.... We should also begin to find more and more big tarpon that have returned from spawning and are feeding up as we move toward the end of summer...

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

Replies

Sign In or Register to comment.