Eight days at Flamingo, 30 September 2012

This past week at Flamingo have seen some changes with morning water temps dropping about four degrees and tarpon finally making a good showing along the west coast of the 'Glades and up inside the rivers that drain the area. As usual the pics will tell most of the story. This is what you get if you leave the dock well before the sun is up and make the run out to the coast....
Hard to beat the look of the 'Glades at dawn, a long way from the boat ramp...

Most of the next eight days would be fly fishing but that first day it was a mix of fly and spin. Andy Strawbridge started out that day with the lightest spin rod on my skiff (and one I'd just built only two weeks before)... His very first cast with a light jig produced a heavy snook near lots of blown down trees along the coast...... It was touch and go, back and forth, but here's the results....

this big girl weighed 14lbs, and taped 36"... she was very carefully released - it was a great start to the day, and an outstanding catch on 10lb line with a light 30lb leader..... In the next hour we released two small tarpon and lost another few big fish. This was just a hint of how good the fishing is this time of year.

A day or two later and we finally found a river or two loaded with 50 to 80lb tarpon. With Chris Ravelo and Mike Wior from Tampa aboard I had a couple of skilled fly anglers. The pics tell most of the story (but not all of it)... these two are skilled enough that this guide didn't have to even touch one of the tarpon for the release....
Each guy took turns putting them in the air, then bringing them to the boat, where they handled the fish like they'd been doing it for years (and I suspect they have...) None of our fish that day were over sixty pounds but they gave a good account of themselves in a river that was less than 100 feet wide...

The next day my angler was Amador Rodrigues from Chile and we were scheduled to fish the next five days with fly gear. On the first day we had to hit a few rivers before finding the tarpon. With tarpon from fifty to one hundred pounds in the river, the first fish we encountered were black drum in the 20 to 30lb class. Amador made a great presentation and was rewarded with this one....

We weighed this one at 23lbs before the release.

Amador went on to catch and release a sixty lb tarpon a few minutes later (I was using his video gear, so no photos). Later that day we went back out to the coast, and found a nice snook. Once again a great fight near lots of snag filled shoreline.... Here's the result, another great catch and release snook this time on fly.

Anyone who thinks the snook haven't recovered should come talk with me.....

We went on to catch and release a tarpon each day on fly... Here's a pic of Amador's best fish - once again up another of the many rivers holding the big fish when they aren't out on the coast....

the last portion of the fight was with a broken rod... Amador did everything right, we recovered the broken tip and the fish for a careful release...

These next three or four weeks should see some outstanding tarpon fishing along the Gulf coast of the 'Glades. This second big tarpon season is little known to anyone that's not familiar with the way big tarpon like to feed up in preparation for that first cold night in late October. I rarely see many anglers taking advantage of that opportunity.
Tight Lines
Bob LeMay
(954) 435-5666


  • dpdashdpdash Posts: 5,359 Admiral
  • acesoveracesover Posts: 552 Officer
    X2 !
  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    X3 Very well done Capt Bob.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • Dj Dan DecibelDj Dan Decibel Posts: 142 Officer
    wow man this report is incredible!!!!! badassss!!!!!!!!
  • dtobiasdtobias Posts: 733 Officer
    Another homerun as usual Capt.....looks like a blast to me. Hope to get on those fish from EC/Choko side this weekend. Thanks as always for sharing your report.
  • Linesider41Linesider41 Posts: 271 Officer
    Nice fish Bob.
  • RollinRollin Posts: 1,540 Captain
    Good stop Bob and thanks for sharing.
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 212 Deckhand
    Will be trying to get down there this weekend! You got me fired up, great report.
  • SeaBiaatch!SeaBiaatch! Posts: 44 Deckhand
    Great report Capt! Looking forward to getting back down there once things dry up a bit and the squeeters learn some manors. Imagine if they dont open the West Coast snook season for a few more years :hairraiser . Flamingo will be the snook capitol of the world lol!
  • snookyjsnookyj Posts: 1,687 Officer
    Thanks for sharing Bob!!! Looks like you had a couple of stellar days!!!
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