FLAMINGO REPORTS - SUMMER '17

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  • Flat NutsFlat Nuts Posts: 71 Greenhorn
    Got out yesterday found two reds and a snook in Lake Ingraham. Just under. Up to ponce DE Leon Bay and picked up some snapper a small snook and a red. Ran back inside and Fished around tarpon Creek and a little in **** Bay and a couple of hits and a lady fish thought we would have done better there..... little rough running up the coast late morning but Joe's river was flat!! Gorgeous day!
  • NickNutNickNut Posts: 230 Deckhand
    Flat Nuts wrote: »
    Got out yesterday found two reds and a snook in Lake Ingraham. Just under. Up to ponce DE Leon Bay and picked up some snapper a small snook and a red. Ran back inside and Fished around tarpon Creek and a little in **** Bay and a couple of hits and a lady fish thought we would have done better there..... little rough running up the coast late morning but Joe's river was flat!! Gorgeous day!

    yeah, that's a nice circuit to run - I'll have to give that a shot next trip.
  • GotTarponGotTarpon Posts: 157 Deckhand
    We are headed down this weekend for the first time since Irma. For those that have been out how bad are the under water hazards / trees in the channel etc?? Anyone spent the night in the backcountry?
  • gladesrunnergladesrunner Posts: 112 Deckhand
    All the ramps are fine, cleaning station is gone, I believe store is still down, no fuel services, and the last working bathroom is at the ramp to West Lake. Cell coverage for ATT Mobile is still good.
    There are numerous trees submerged around the mouth of Buttonwood Canal leading into **** Bay as well as at the mouth of Tarpon Creek leading into WWB. I've been as far as the Watson area and no new hazards that I could see. I have not checked the chickees either. It would be cool if you could report back on the status of those if you get a chance.

    Have fun!
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,865 Captain
    The men's bathroom side down at the Flamingo backcountry ramp is a working facility (and has been for a few weeks although they haven't said anything..). I've done the run from the Shark river area up to Highlands Beach a few times now and it was hardly bothered by Irma at all along the coast...

    I did talk to two guys working on that bathroom a week or so ago - and they said that they're the only workers doing re-hab down at Flamingo... so it might be a while before the cutting tables are put back in place... The biggest hassle for anyone venturing into the backcountry out of Flamingo now is the marker system -which is pretty much gone with the exception of the first marker where Tarpon Creek drains into Whitewater - and the last marker in Whitewater (#40) which is still standing.... From there you're pretty much on your own crossing Oyster Bay and entering into the Shark river tributaries area (most of us just call them the "rivers".... For those with a chartplotter you'll be following the "virtual markers" on your screen if you have to... For everyone else - you're right back where I was, years ago before GPS and be learning to run across as you go.... That area is my backyard so I'll be just fine.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,145 Officer
    Capt Lemay,

    I just tried the Jack Crevalle recipe you gave me last year. I kept three small jacks while mackerel fishing just to test your recipe. I was amazed how good they were flaked into a salad after i poached them. However, they were a pain to skin and remove the blood line, since they were not very large. Could not believe how good eating they can be. The state should impose a limit and slot size for them, since i have noticed the locals in Miami Dade county are basically commercial fishing for them from bridges and land, but that is nothing new.
    Giimoozaabi
  • EngguyEngguy Posts: 171 Deckhand
    Jacks are good food fish, to many fishermen, they are looked down on. Years ago a nice big one saved the day as that was all that was brought in from a hard days fishing for 3 boats. We made an awesome fish chowder with it and fed everyone.

    Any report on the clarity of the water out front or around Lake Ingram?
  • SkiffmanBPKSkiffmanBPK Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    Engguy wrote: »
    Jacks are good food fish, to many fishermen, they are looked down on. Years ago a nice big one saved the day as that was all that was brought in from a hard days fishing for 3 boats. We made an awesome fish chowder with it and fed everyone.

    Any report on the clarity of the water out front or around Lake Ingram?
    I was back there last week and the water was very muddy in lake Ingram. East cape canal was dirty but there were plenty of snook around that ate no problem on both tides. Shore lines on the outside have been too dirty to see anything.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,865 Captain
    Among a very diverse bunch of anglers I've been lucky enough to have a crew of Jamaicans fish with me off and on over the years (a bunch of rowdy airline pilots...) and they make a point of keeping what they call "yellow jacks" for the table (along with everything else we catch if they're legal). I have no idea how they're cooking them but they swear they're good eating...

    As far as that recipe to turn a jack filet into the finest flaked tuna you've ever had - it's not my recipe at all. Some years ago it appeared in one of the earlier Florida Sportsman magazines (I first subscribed to the magazine in 1972...) and over the years I saved those recipe columns and periodically would go back through them for new (old) ideas. I don't eat a lot of fish but really enjoy it when I do, so those old recipes come in handy. And yes, wouldn't it be nice if the old Florida Sportsman came back to life?

    By the way, when I'm doing the jack salad recipe I'm usually using a three to five pound jack - they're not too hard to filet, then slice the meat off the skin, then remove the blood line (dark meat) to prep it for poaching....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • BobberBobber Posts: 876 Officer
    I first started keeping and eating jacks after reading a prep and cook recipe in,of all things, a Travis McGee novel. Good eating and a great fight. Don't bother with the over 10lbs, tough and poor flavor.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,865 Captain
    Since no one has started a winter Flamingo reports... I guess this will have to do...

    Merry Christmas, and a fishing report - Everglades backcountry & Biscayne nights...

    Yes, it's Christmas morning and almost all of us are at home.. but the fish are biting so it's past time for a report....

    These past weeks since hurricane Irma have had all of us playing catch up - and the facilities we all rely on are still in repair mode (and probably will be for a while longer....). We've been fishing mostly out of Flamingo (with one night trip in Biscayne Bay as well this month). Locally our winter tarpon under bridges at night are beginning to show and nearby docklights are holding snook, tarpon, and some good sized mangrove snappers. All have taken our flies though the snook have been short striking..... and you can see them doing it. On our last night trip my angler, a yearly visitor from the UK managed to jump two fish in the 20 to 40lb range - even though we never saw a fish in the bridge shadows at all.... We also found tarpon at two docklights - but they ignored our offerings...

    At Flamingo things have been a bit strange with mild conditions showing lots of small to medium tarpon along the coast, gorging on glass minnows and other small bait - and completely ignoring flies or lures....
    The snook and other species have kept us busy though. Here are a few pics....




    [img][/img][img][/img]neT0Bzv.jpg
    this young angler, all of four years old with his first trout ever....




    [img][/img][img][/img]K5PQRny.jpg
    His older brother with a nice sized slot redfish.... Their Dad, local angler Jason Bravo is enjoying their fun.



    [img][/img][img][/img]6EUoxi2.jpg
    Rick Popola with a nice snook, taken on a small lure using the lightest rod we had... Some may remember Rick since for many years he taught kids to build their first rods in Dade county (with the Youth Fair).




    [img][/img][img][/img]rBZSvGb.jpg
    This solid 30" snook was caught and released by Alex Niles just two days ago in Whitewater Bay - so you know the big ones are working their way up into the interior from the coast.... That morning when we set up at our first spot - the very first cast in Whitewater was eaten by a 70-lb tarpon, which only took two jumps to get released... Yes, there are a few big tarpon up inside now - as well as all the small to medium sized ones out on the coast.... We'll be back after them with flies tomorrow.

    Be a hero, take a kid fishing...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • PoplinFabricationPoplinFabrication Posts: 280 Deckhand
    We went on the outside of Flamingo Thursday 12/28 and headed out looking for mackerel and cobia near Oxfoot bank.We came with shrimp mullet and an assortment of dead fresh bait. I expected to be surrounded by pinfish or pilchards once the chum slick got going so we passed the diving birds on the way out, but they never showed up.

    We had bluefish jacks and small snapper action all day, but the mackerel were very picky. I'm sure if we had pilchards we could've gotten it done but long shank hooks with big and small live shrimp drifted back weren't getting touched. We tried an assortment of spoons/jigs/bait with and without wire but only ended up with 2 spanish mackerel before the tide stopped.

    We did get lucky on one of our fresh mullet chunks fished on the bottom that got picked up. Of course it hit the smallest rod we had with only 8 lb mono and a small circle. It screamed line until there was maybe 1/8 of the spool when it finally turned. We were sure it was a small shark but were happy to see a 17 lb cobia and in the boat he went.

    On the way back we ran the traps and caught 1 short triple tail and missed a few other small ones. We headed in to catch the falling tide up closer to the marina but found it to be dead in the 3 spots we went to. It was very strange that we couldn't even get a bite going on junk fish for the kids despite chunking and chumming. The water was very dirty which probably had a lot to do with it.

    Overall a great trip, open to any suggestions on getting the mackerel to bite when they are finicky like that.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,865 Captain
    Last report - 2017.....

    Last week of this year - and we were on the water for three days all told - this report will cover only last Thursday since it was a banner day in the backcountry out of Flamingo. I had a father and son charter aboard and we managed to catch a fish or two as we ran through the interior headed for the Gulf coast north of the Shark River. I never expected what we found when we got there just before the high tide... The weather conditions (water temps still a bit high, nearing 74 degrees, along with a slight breeze from the NE had left the coastal area laid down - ideal conditions for late December..). The weather and water temps weren't the surprise - it was the birds sitting on a huge concentration of white bait.. Can't remember the last time I saw nearly 200 pelicans sitting in the same area (and every other kind of bird actively diving the area -about 200yds by 400yds in total...). Pastures of Plenty!!

    A few other boats were working the bait school so we headed for a point nearby and set up to fish both bait and lures (I had loaded some white bait into my livewell on the way there). At first the white baits got ignored while both father and son got strike after strike on small jigheads with Gulp tails.... Here's a pic of one of them...

    [img][/img][img][/img]j3dDGyM.jpg



    Lots of solid, pre-spawn trout, with many nearing 20"... It was fish after fish and we tossed the smaller ones back. Each angler had his limit in short order... and we were quite a ways from the big concentration of birds and baitfish... After about 30 minutes of non-stop trout action one of the live bait rods doubled over and Dale Ludwig was on a good snook in the middle of a bunch of downed trees and broken logs (typical big snook spot...). After once or twice around the rear of my skiff, and an attempt to wrap around the motor, the fish came to hand - a nice 30" fish... Here's the pic...

    [img][/img][img][/img]0d5OMIE.jpg



    It was carefully released to fight another day...

    Shortly after that, as the tide hit high slack the huge school of bait - and all the birds simply dispersed and we never saw them again... The trout kept biting for another while (and we lost another one or two big fish back in the trees) then things went silent so we left the area.

    Later that morning Dale's son (also named - Dale...) got a small redfish to complete his backcountry slam - then we went doing a bit of exploring... A few spots later, in the mouth of another of the drains off the Shark we hit the jackpot again - but with a different outcome... With what we'd seen earlier I made a point of working a short stretch of downed timber again and the big fish (reel screamers...) were in residence and hungry.. Both father and son were just taken to school by big hungry fish - that took full advantage of all the structure they were holding in. In short - it was fish four and us - zero - but there was a lot of excitement in between that outcome... I'll be back there the next time conditions point that way...

    That afternoon things slowed down a bit -but it was still a great day on the water... we did find another surprise - huge schools of finger mullet up inside the shallow upper areas of Whitewater Bay - a very good sign for this winter....

    Be a hero - take a kid fishing!
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Zone RangerZone Ranger Posts: 79 Greenhorn
    Re: Rick Popola. I've been trying to remember his name for a while, whenever folks ask me how I learned to build rods. I took a class from him back in the early 80's ( I think) at W.R.Thomas middle school. He was a great teacher. A 7' lightweight graphite rod with cork grips. I turned the grips on a lathe I made from a weedeater motor and a spear shaft. It's old and dinged up a bit, as am I, but it's still my go to rod today. Thanks for putting him up here.
  • Zone RangerZone Ranger Posts: 79 Greenhorn
    Re: Rick Popola. I've been trying to remember his name for a while, whenever folks ask me how I learned to build rods. I took a class from him back in the early 80's ( I think) at W.R.Thomas middle school. He was a great teacher. A 7' lightweight graphite rod with cork grips. I turned the grips on a lathe I made from a weedeater motor and a spear shaft. It's old and dinged up a bit, as am I, but it's still my go to rod today. Thanks for putting him up here.

    Yeah, I know...You can say that again. How do you delete a duplicate post?
  • Rebait2003Rebait2003 Posts: 115 Deckhand
    Hey Bob!! Great Reports as usual!! Even thou I don't live down there and fish down there rarely anymore, I still like to read all your reports on what's happening in the park. I do miss fishing the park!!

    On another note, has the park implemented the new launch fees and has the online boater safety course been implemented??

    Thanks Rebait
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,865 Captain
    I don't know about the new launch fees since my yearly permit covers all of that (our annual fee for a guide's permit did go up to $300 this year, though)....

    I haven't heard a word about that new boater safety course recently. I imagine they've got other concerns right now. Even though we're allowed down to Flamingo to use the boat ramps - nothing else is up and running there. Those of us that need to cut fish for our anglers are particularly hoping that they replace the cutting tables.... I'm sure my narrow concerns are just the tip of the iceberg for the Park. I'm just grateful we've been allowed back down there (and much, much sooner than past practices after a hurricane over the years).
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 211 Deckhand
    Great reports, Capt. LeMay you always keep us really well informed. One question I have is where do you launch when heading out to fish for Tarpon at night in Miami. I had a kayaking field trip with my daughter a few weeks back and saw the the Watson Island boat ramp is full of old sailboats and what other junk they pulled up after Irma.
    Thanks,
    Ed
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,865 Captain
    For many years I’ve been launching out of the 79th St ramp. It’s kind of sketchy so I meet my anglers somewhere else most nights...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 211 Deckhand
    I guess I'll leave my doors open, lol....I got nothing in my truck for anyone to steal. I'm more concerned with the Natives....and showing up at the dock at O-dark-30. I guess I could make the run from Matheson. I'm going to try and do a recon of the area in the next few days, thats if the windy weather takes a break.
    Thanks!!:cool:
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,865 Captain
    I come and go at all hours since I run night trips... At 2 - 4 Am the only other vehicles there are usually Border Patrol or similar units hoping to stumble onto something. Since I'm also a retired cop who immediately went back to school and got my captain's license it does get a bit old being treated like I'm a bad guy - but I've been treated worse...

    The good news is that the 79th ramp is patrolled at night - both by the county employee who will be writing the ticket if you don't have a ramp toll receipt showing on your dashboard - and by everyone else in the neighborhood... I would like it if the county would place a Porta-Potti there - and maybe, just maybe a few lights... Just think, wouldn't it be nice if they actually upgraded the place a bit since they're charging us every day to use it?

    Your only other choices are either the Haulover boat ramp (which is a decent facility) or Crandon out on Key Biscayne - but I wouldn't recommend that place to anyone (I used it for many years and it was always a hassle - on more than one occasion I came back to find some idiot had actually hit my trailer hard enough to move it a few feet from where I left it.....).

    Daytime I'm in the 'Glades - either Flamingo or the other end of the Park - Chokoloskee or points north... for night trips though it's been 79th St since the mid seventies for me... long before I came back to fishing for money... I won't tell any war stories but years and years ago - things got exciting late at night in the Bay... Things have quieted down quite a bit in recent years (thank heavens...).
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • shuttle commandershuttle commander Posts: 1 Greenhorn

    Thanks for the kind comments Zone Ranger. I'm glad that you enjoyed the class.
    Rick Popola

  • got1ongot1on Posts: 55 Greenhorn

    Late Report: Saturday 1/20/18

    Me and a buddy fished Flamingo last weekend and did pretty well on the Black Drum and Sheepies. We were working some structure offshore and the fish were feeding on the the live shrimp we presented either on a 1/4oz jig head or knocker rig set up. After the bite slowed, we moved into a river mouth north of the Shark River and found some more of the same, with a bunch of catfish mixed in as well. Overall,it was a fun day with some tasty fish to take home!

  • EngguyEngguy Posts: 171 Deckhand

    Thanks for putting the date of your trip. this new format does not include the date of the post anymore. That needs to be fixed

  • WeBeBoatinWeBeBoatin Posts: 23 Greenhorn

    @Engguy said:
    Thanks for putting the date of your trip. this new format does not include the date of the post anymore. That needs to be fixed

    If you hover your mouse over the date under someone's name it will give you the date of the posting.

  • TXWahooTXWahoo Posts: 439 Deckhand

    Snook were on fire yesterday (Feb 8th). 21 snook, 1 red, a couple of trout, and of a course a blacktip and some lost fish. Saw maybe a dozen medium sized tarpon but only hooked 1 for sure.

  • ShadowFXShadowFX Posts: 10 Greenhorn

    @TXWahoo said:
    Snook were on fire yesterday (Feb 8th). 21 snook, 1 red, a couple of trout, and of a course a blacktip and some lost fish. Saw maybe a dozen medium sized tarpon but only hooked 1 for sure.

    Good job! Nice looking Snooks. Just curious was this in the Backside or out front of Flamingo?. The water doesn't look too dirty. I went out on the front side in November, the water was pretty muddy from snake bight all the west up to Cape Sable...

  • TXWahooTXWahoo Posts: 439 Deckhand

    It was on the front side and up and SW coast.

  • Fishin' MusicianFishin' Musician Posts: 67 Greenhorn
    edited February 19 #91

    Very nice! And actually just trying to get a feel for how to reply to a post.

    Dave
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