Fishing report - Everglades backcountry, 26 September 201`8

lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,097 Captain
We spent the last Friday through Sunday down at Flamingo with visiting anglers Bob Strawbridge and his son Andy from Indianapolis.  Bob, using fly gear and Andy with light spinning gear.  The good news for those not familiar with the Everglades is that none of the terrible red tide problems along the west coast down to Marco Island have come anywhere near the Gulf coast and interior of the Park... As a result we had some pretty good fishing and clear evidence that it's just going to get better in coming weeks as we move towards Halloween.  The first of the great schools of baitfish were just getting torn up by small jacks, ladyfish, and small mackeral everywhere you looked  in the area  of Ponce de Leon Bay, just north of the Little Shark River.  For now the clouds of bait are mostly adult glass minnows (bay anchovies) but the pilchards and other white bait won't be long to follow... You could take a boatload of young kids armed with nothing but small silver spoons and keep their rods bent all day long.....

We found snook, redfish, speckled trout, and good numbers of small tarpon each day in the areas with fished.  Most of the snook and all of the reds were on the small side (at least the ones we got to the skiff for a release..). Here's a pic or two from Andy's end of the skiff...

Note the small leadhead with Gulp tail - the fish everywhere just hammered them each day...

Although we never targeted trout we found some nice ones while snook fishing - enough to make a good meal or two...

At the end of the first day, after getting turned down by more than a few tarpon we found, Andy finally hooked up with this one and it was game on...

 After a quick photo it was released carefully to fight another day

Not to be outdone, the next day Bob finally hooked up with two tarpon on fly along that same stretch of coastline.   His first broke off on the first jump - not bad since he was only using a very light 8wt rod and I estimated the fish at about 60lbs... If it had stayed connected we'd have been chasing it for at least an hour - and then still had an unhappy tarpon to deal with...  On our last spot of the day, up inside a tributary of the Shark Bob hooked up again - this time with a seventy pound fish on a 10 wt.  The encounter didn't last nearly long enough (it was his first big tarpon on fly ever...) since the fish wore through the 60lb bite tippet but Andy did some video...

Our last day had to be cut short after I had motor trouble - and we limped on back to the dock after only a half day's trip.... Still... just nothing like the 'Glades... We caught and released large numbers of fish each day on both fly and spinning gear - and it's only just beginning as we near October....

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


  • JWTJWT Posts: 436 Deckhand
    great report. thanks!
  • ChillyChilly Posts: 483 Deckhand
    edited September 2018 #3
    I like your style of teaching 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,097 Captain
    Thanks... I figure that none of us start out knowing what to do when you finally hook up that first big tarpon (and a 70lb fish on a 10wt definitely is a handful....).  Unlike hooking up along the coast - up inside small rivers you have to get on top of a big fish to stand much of a chance.... I like it best on days when we have multiple hook-ups since no two tarpon ever behave the same (in my experience) so the more you hook up the better your chances are.... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 888 Officer
    Great report Bob!!
    Jason :USA
  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,591 Captain
    Way to put them on the fish.
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