Flamingo - summer reports, 2018

Let's get the ball rolling for those fishing out of Flamingo - post up your reports here all summer long.... Here's my first one to kick it off.

Local angler Doug Blinko got a really nice tripletail with me today, 23 May,  along the Gulf coast of the Everglades ... It weighed in at exactly 12lbs on the Boga Grip before we invited it to dinner... and was taken on a 1/8oz leadhead with a small Gulp tail - using the lightest rod on my skiff.  He hooked up well inshore in around five feet of water - and we were off to the races using light 10 lb braid... An outstanding catch (and my biggest this year... ).  Believe this is just the start of our summer long inshore tripletails... when the pot markers are gone the come back inshore and hang out around any kind of structure they can find....  Here's a picture..

His partner today Phil Carter, visiting from Atlanta was also in the game - catching good numbers of big speckled trout - up to and over 20" - on the same light rods.... 
;[img][img] [img]https://i.imgur.com/6VW6N2b.jpg[/img]

Things are heating up day after day now,  here's one last pic of a really nice small goliath grouper taken and released nearby a few days ago - in less than two feet of water where we usually find good sized redfish.  I deliberately didn't take it out of the water with the Boga but it looked to be between 20 and 40 lbs (and just gave my angler fits before finally coming close enough for me to grab the leader....).
[img][img] [img]https://i.imgur.com/cB7XiOu.jpg[/img]

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


  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 685 Officer
    Good report Bob!! Thanks for sharing!
    Jason :USA
  • MangroovinMangroovin Posts: 91 Greenhorn
    Nice work Bob.  Thanks for sharin.

  • BonesBones Posts: 179 Deckhand
    That is a really nice Tripletail. Thanks for continuing this thread.
  • got1ongot1on Posts: 57 Greenhorn
    After getting rained out the last 2 weekends, I finally got the chance to get back to Flamingo on Saturday. The day started off with a bang (literally) when one of my trailer tires came apart about 3/4 of the way down the park road. Changed the tire as fast as we could while the mosquitos chewed us up.

    Made it to the ramp, about 15 minutes behind schedule and headed out. We idled past a couple of manatees doing the wild thing before jumping up on plane and headed west. First spot looked great, with moving water and tons of bait moving down a shoreline but after several casts with no takers, we decided to move on. Next stop had tarpon rolling around us but they refused all of our offerings including artificial's and live baits. Started to work the shoreline and Jesse found a nice snook (26") while I managed a few trout.

    Made another move and I caught a small snook and this red (23").

    Ran down towards Sandy Key but found tons of floating grass and algae that made it impossible to fish the area. 

    The last spot we tried produced the best fish of the day, a fat, 38" snook that jumped on a live pinfish under a cork.

    Overall, it was another fun day in the ENP! 
  • gladesrunnergladesrunner Posts: 112 Deckhand
    Thanks for keeping this alive guys!

    I made it down on Sunday 6/3 in the gheenoe to fish the outgoing out front........poled a lot of "new to me water". Mullet everywhere, bunch of trout to 22", and 10 short reds (encouraging!). Landed one short snook which had a big momma follow it to the boat trying to eat the lure out of its mouth, I was not ready from the platform for a follow-up cast :s 
    Running back to the dock against the stiff SW wind that kicked up around 1PM was the low point of the trip........mosquitoes were surprisingly not bad.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,908 Captain
    Great reports...

    for the fellow with the bad trailer tire... I feel your pain and actually go down the road with two spare tires for a single axle trailer myself... Nothing like actually towing 20,000 to 24,000 miles a year to teach you just how bad things can get... My first year guiding... I actually had five flat tires on my boat trailer - and never got to change one during daylight - always before dawn or after sunset before I finally learned to put better rubber under my rig...

    I'm on a night charter routine right now - but will be back down to Flamingo as soon as possible.  It's my favorite place in this world...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • JWTJWT Posts: 373 Deckhand
    having to change a tire on that road before the sun comes up will really make you take preventative maintenance more seriously! & even then, stuff happens! had bad blowout on the john boat years ago that wiped out the spring on right side of the trailer. we were going to load the boat in the back of the pickup & come back for the trailer the next day. Ranger came along as we were about done & told us we couldn't leave the trailer beside the road. showed him the damage but he said tough S... & he would have it towed out of the park if we left it. we ended up putting the trailer on top of the boat & strappped it all down. we looked like Sanford & Son, but we made it home :)

  • Saltwater JunkieSaltwater Junkie Posts: 1,004 Officer
    JWT said:
    having to change a tire on that road before the sun comes up will really make you take preventative maintenance more seriously! & even then, stuff happens! had bad blowout on the john boat years ago that wiped out the spring on right side of the trailer. we were going to load the boat in the back of the pickup & come back for the trailer the next day. Ranger came along as we were about done & told us we couldn't leave the trailer beside the road. showed him the damage but he said tough S... & he would have it towed out of the park if we left it. we ended up putting the trailer on top of the boat & strappped it all down. we looked like Sanford & Son, but we made it home :)

    The rangers always strive to make things easy for you when you have a problem...That's why I keep saying they don't want us down there.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,908 Captain
    We switched over to fly fishing gear this week and found a few fish on each outing.  Early in the week I had Benjamin Vial aboard to fish for tarpon at night locally in Biscayne Bay.  Ben is a full time fishing guide from Patagonia (where the trout, browns and rainbows get really big...he's in waders most days, fishing quick moving rivers with a lot lighter gear than he'd be using with me) and it's winter down there so a tarpon trip was in order...

    We used a 9wt each night, sight-fishing tarpon up to and a bit over 40lbs under the bridges that connect Miami and Miami Beach.  His first night, the fish had it all their way - he hooked up but the fish just took us to school, jumping off, breaking off (we're fishing next to bridge pilings), and just plain being tarpon.... He'll be remembering that first one since when it felt the hook it rocketed straight up in the air - at least eight feet of silver in the air high above those black night-time waters - a Miami classic... Now if it had just stayed with us for a bit longer... Fortunately the second night was the charm and Benjamin brought three fish to the skiff - a 20, a 30, and his last - a 50lb fish if it was an ounce... Here's a few pics of one of his fish...

    Off to the races and you soon learn to keep your fingers away from that spinning handle...

    Getting down to business -about 20 minutes worth if I remember correctly...

    The prize... finally to the boat...

    Our night time tarpon "season" will last through mid-August - all that's needed is a falling tide and reasonable weather... The fish are under bridges and in docklights every night...

    Yesterday we switched up and fished a day trip out of Flamingo with retired doctor Nate Mayl - a skilled local fly angler who's been fishing with me for some years.  We planned on a few baby tarpon - then a long run to where there might be a few big triple tail for his fly rods... Our first stop was a small bay with lots of baby tarpon from tiny up to around 15 pounds.  His first or second cast that morning - just at dawn, found a tarpon small enough to double for a big shad... We carefully released it then poled after its friends.  That morning the baby tarpon were a bit shy of us and we soon decided to get moving.. Things were slow to not happening at several spots in Whitewater Bay so we were headed out to the Gulf coast where a small rain cell right on the coast limited our options.  We chose to scoot northwards to keep one step away from the lightning we could see - not too far away... That's when things turned around in dramatic fashion when Nate hooked up a big snook on a light Sage rod (the smallmouth model - a short stick meant for working freshwater bass...) and we were off to the races.. Here's a pic of that 9 lb snook - then I'll tell the rest of the story...

    A great catch on fly -but look closely at the photo....

    Yep, on the fish's first long run (thank heavens away from the shoreline...) the spool popped off of the reel so Nate was forced to fight the fish with only his hands on the line - to strip in as well as act as a brake on that fish while the reel spool was rolling around his feet.  I was able to fire up the motor and maneuver the skiff as much as possible to give Nate some assistance - but he fought and beat that fish on his own - without the reel at all...

    Not just a great catch and release but more excitement than I was looking for... We never could get the spool to re-attach properly so the reel will be going back to the shop (or the maker...).  We ended that day at a great triple tail spot where I saw at least one ten pound fish - but we missed the one bite on fly that we got... You can bet I'll be there again as soon as I can...

    Be a hero, take a kid fishing...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • gladesrunnergladesrunner Posts: 112 Deckhand
    Nice Capt!

    Took the family out on Sat looking for fish for a Father's Day fish fry.....among trout and snapper, the highlight was a 23"+ tripletail that Mom spotted free-floating in Conchie Channel. I grabbed a light rod rigged with a Gulp shrimp on a weedless hook and landed the lure a couple feet ahead of it's nose, felt the "tap" and handed the rod off to Mom........the result was the highlight of the fish fry:

  • got1ongot1on Posts: 57 Greenhorn
    edited June 18 #12
    Well done Javier! 

    I was down there Saturday as well, fishing with Jesse on his Silver King. We fished along the coast from the Shark down to middle cape and manged a few snook (biggest was 24"), 2 pup reds and a bunch of trout (6 of which we invited home for our Father's Day fish fry). Also had a 4ft. lemon shark blow up on a topwater, right next to a log where I was hoping to find a big snook. Faught him for a while but eventually cut me off. On the way back through Lake Ingrham we got waived down by two dudes in a gheenoe who's motor would not start after they came out of the no motor zone, so we gave them a tow back to the ramp.

  • thehardwaythehardway AlabamaPosts: 1 Greenhorn
    I am one of the "two dudes" rescued by got1on and Jesse. We removed our motor from the transom while fishing in the NMZ north of Lake Ingram and flooded the cylinders with oil, despite storing the outboard in a way that appeared to be blessed by the Yamaha Owner's Manual. Anyway, our boat earned its name--The Hard Way!  Got1on and Jesse were incredibly generous and I am glad to share our sport with folks like them. We are so grateful for you two and will pay it forward. I promise.

    While I'm at it, I might as well give a report. We “two dudes” are both from out of town and spent two months planning our trip to ENP. This was our first time. On Thursday morning we fished a small bay on the inside and quickly found some moving water and good structure. To our surprise, we started hooking up left and right – small snook and keeper trout. We didn;t have room in the Gheenoe for a second ice chest, so they all lived to fight you guys another day. I also hooked a tarpon on a topdog, but he spit the hook right away. We spent the rest of Thursday exploring the inside, up to the northeast end of Whitewater Bay. A couple more trout, but not much to speak of.

    Day 2–Friday. Started out slow on the inside, and after the water stopped moving we decided to try our luck on the outside. Hooked up with a small shark on the flat out front of Flamingo, but nothing for a few hours after that. We kept exploring, and were starting to get disappointed with ourselves when we found some nice (20-40 lb) tarpon rolling in some moving water in a mangrove cut. I got a swimbait hung up on the mangrove and torqued the drag down to break it off. Well, no sooner did my bait get free from the tree when a 30 pound tarpon NAILED IT! He must have been watching the back-and-forth between the mangrove root and my bait, and eaten as soon as it came loose. He immediately came out of the water and gave us a great show before, of course, spitting the hook. That was a really memorable eat. At that same spot we landed two nice snook (I’m guessing between 20 and 28 inches) and saw many more small, happy tarpon rolling...they just couldn’t be persuaded by anything we had to offer.

    Day 3 – We explored east Cape Sable and found some awesome moving water and structure. My friend (the other dude rescued by Got1on and Jesse) tossed a mirrolure right in the middle of the creek. Just as he was pulling it out of the path of a big ole crock–WHAM! 50 pound tarpon went aerial and gave us a great show silhouetted by the sunrise. We kept trying there but I think the fish got wise to us after that. From there we hauled the Gheenoe over the plug into the no motor zone north/east of Lake Ingram. It was very still and hot, but we did manage to find lots of baby tarpon rolling and got one boatside. No more action there until we put the Gheenoe back in on the south side of the plug and realized we had motor trouble. I was about to radio the Park Service when Jesse and Got1on showed up and saved our backsides.

    We had an incredible trip and are hooked on ENP. We will be back, and can’t wait until that time. Also, it was a pleasure meeting Capt. Bob LeMay at the ramp. We studied his reports in anticipation of our trip, and need to give credit where it is due. We can’t wait to come back, and thanks, again, to Got1on and Jesse.
  • Fishin' MusicianFishin' Musician Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    Been down there twice in the last month fishing the Cape Sable area. Action on the May trip was slow. A few small trout, jacks and catfish. Did have a nice tussle with a big snook off the beach. She shook the hook after a few head splashes.
    Last Thursday got one 24" snook on an artificial and a few jacks. No trout this time. Couldn't find any decent looking water. It looked like bad coffee for the most part. I had a tire blow early am on the turnpike on the way down Wednesday. Scrubbed that trip, bought three new tires and made it on Thursday. Seems tires only last about two years no matter how you care for them!!!!
    Capt. Bob, I'm with you on it being my favorite place on earth. Even when fishing is marginal, it's a great feeling being down there.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,908 Captain
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • BonesBones Posts: 179 Deckhand
    Anyone been down lately?
  • Flat NutsFlat Nuts Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    Hi Guys in islamorada for my 50 th b-day!
    I knew I would get old but not this quick : )
    Can anyone help me out?  Are the west coast beaches holding snook or has the red tide ruined that area?? I am thinking of running over there tomorrow but it's a long way to go for no reason.
    All the best, thanks guys!!
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,908 Captain
    edited August 1 #18
    Flat.... the reports along the coast from Marco northward are depressing for sure... (go to myfwc.com and find their twice weekly red tide reports for current into - they'll be glad to add you to their distribution list so you can get them automatically by email if you ask....).

    The good news is that we've not seen the slightest red tide events east of Marco from Goodland all the way south to Lostman's River (that's literally all of the Ten Thousand islands area with Chokoloskee right in the middle...) and not the slightest problem from Lostsman's south to Cape Sable (that's the entire west coast of the Everglades if you run out of Flamingo - where I am most days..).

    And every bit of the two areas are  lot closer to the keys than the coastal areas of southwest Florida from Marco northwards... 

    Call me if you need additional info.  ... and you're just a kid if it's only your fiftieth....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
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