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Do I Need A Guide? Choko or Flamingo

Preliminary planning for a quick fishing trip to the Glades from Palm Beach County, will be my first time there. I have a 19' CC on trailer, debating between pulling it down versus a charter.  I have GPS, depth finder, and inshore fishing experience, but I know the Glades is a different animal.  Any advice on what to do and where to go for my first time down would be appreciated.

Replies

  • TXWahooTXWahoo Posts: 566 Officer
    edited July 2018 #2
    You want to hire a guide.  Both places have miles sand miles of fishy looking water but chances are you will get frustrated if you never fished there before.  More importantly, it's hard to read water there and you can't see bottom in 2ft in most places.  It's easy to stuck in both places and neither is a place you want to get out a push.  Best wait for the tide.  Choko can really screw up your boat with all the oyster bars lurking a few inches below the water.  No way would I take a CC to choko and run it without a guide having never been there.

    Contact Capt. Bob Lemay on here.  He may even run your boat so you know how to navigate it safely next time.
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,628 Captain

    If you want to fish the 10 K on a regular basis you would have to always hire a guide or start learning the area on your own. A 19 ft CC is just too large IMO to learn that area on the inside. 
    IMO you won't really learn how to navigate the area by hiring a guide since the skiff would be traveling to fast for you to memorize any details (The 10 K is all about learning and memorizing details)

     I bought a 16 ft Jon boat with a 25 rude back in 1978, just to learn both Flamingo and the 10 K. For the 10 K, I mapped out every shallow spot and oyster bed from Chock to Alligator Bay and the four rivers between. I carefully shaded them in on a chart. I also ordered detailed aerial photo's from the US Geodetic Service. I spent over $500 on these aerials before GPS satellites were circulating the globe. 

      I leaned to run the Lopez River at planning speeds, since I had memorized every oyster bar and shallow spot.  I Never saw another boat ever run that river all the way north to Sunday Bay. I preferred the Lopez after nearly being run over by a guy in a high speed flats boat while I was fighting a large red where Hurddles Creek meets the Left Hand Turner River. I learned the other three rivers between Alligator Bay and Chock by doing the same thing. I never made it to Lostman’s but it was on my list.

     Flamingo is lot easier, but your boat is still a bit to large for most tight areas unless you just want to fish the open areas of Fla Bay and some large channels or rivers that flow into the Bay.



     

    Giimoozaabi
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 9,929 Admiral
    Local Knowledge is Everything..
    I've been fishing it for 30 years and I'm still in a 15 Jon boat with a 25 tiller.
    Ain't many places I can't go.
    If I had a CC I'd run Barron River to out front...your kinda safe that way and most of the fish are out front now. It's doable just take your time and pay attention.
    Barron River is deep and pretty well marked,,but it can surprise you at 40 MPH..quick..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Mr.SnookMr.Snook NaplesPosts: 91 Deckhand
    As others have said the E.C. Choko area is a different animal and even much different than the upper 10K Islands which I normally fish on a regular basis. I can get around the upper 10K Islands now almost without a GPS however we have fished a couple funaments out of the Choko area and I was pushed into a nice oyster bar that I never saw by a very swift moving tide thank god it was only the tip of the bar and I was able to pole off as it would have been a major B*%CH gwetting it off otherwise. I ran into a sand bar where there shouldn't have been one but the water was like coffee. One of the other guys in the funament ran the wrong side of a river and ran hard aground on a sand bar in a 22' bay boat and had to wait until high tide floated him off like 6 hrs later. So I'd hire a guide or stick to the marked channels, deeper passes and outside as fishing the inside can be very tricking especially in a larger deeper drafting boat.

  • Mr.SnookMr.Snook NaplesPosts: 91 Deckhand
    As others have said the E.C. Choko area is a different animal and even much different than the upper 10K Islands which I normally fish on a regular basis. I can get around the upper 10K Islands now almost without a GPS however we have fished a couple funaments out of the Choko area and I was pushed into a nice oyster bar that I never saw by a very swift moving tide thank god it was only the tip of the bar and I was able to pole off as it would have been a major B*%CH getting it off otherwise. I ran into a sand bar where there shouldn't have been one but the water was like coffee. One of the other guys in the funament ran the wrong side of a river and ran hard aground on a sand bar in a 22' bay boat and had to wait until high tide floated him off like 6 hrs later. So I'd hire a guide or stick to the marked channels, deeper passes and outside as fishing the inside can be very tricking especially in a larger deeper drafting boat.

  • zzzzzzsplashzzzzzzsplash Posts: 499 Deckhand
    Thanks for the input guys.  I had a feeling this was the case, just wanted some more details.  My main goal is to see the area, secondary is to throw the fly around and maybe catch a fish.  I'll check out the guide options.  Thanks again.
  • MGDMGD Posts: 1,221 Officer
    contact Bob LeMay...he's on here 
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