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OK I need the low down

SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
In a few weeks I am heading down to my nephews In Hollywood to go Snook fishing. He said he is taking me to Flamingo. He is beyond a rookie and I haven't snook fished in over 30 years, and never down that far. So to say the least we are lost as a goose in a hail storm. Can someone give me a heads up on the area and what to look for to find fish there. There is no pressure from me because I will only have one day to fish. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
      Thanks
Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

II Chronicles 7:14
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



Replies

  • krashkrash Posts: 686 Officer
    Are you  hoofing it, kayaks, power boat'ng it ?

    Mingo is a huge place.

    Hoofin it, there is little choice, go to the campground area, and there in a small shoreline you can walk and cast, muddy and shallow but do-able, Topwater or lightly weighte paddle-tails.

    There are 2 ramp/launch areas.. one considered the inside the other coalled the outside.

    Kayakin, you can put in at the marina, or the campgrund area. I 'd suggest outside ramp, check the tides and depending on in/out follow tides to the left or right. The inside ramp is a long paddle out to **** Bay and many baoters are not so courteous to paddlers.
    If right (outgoing) go out a bit and start fishing the shoreline just after the building and along the campground. There is a small channel that sometimes you will find Snook and Tarpon in. Use top-water and jighead paddle-tails, til ya get to the island where that channel ends. The flats there could hold Trout, Reds,a nd maybe a snook, top-water and unweighted soft plastics.
    If left (incoming) follow the shoreline, deeper channel and cast the mangrove shoreline, and/or edge's of the flat. Same deal top-water, paddle-tail and I use lightly weighted or unweighted fluke like soft plastics especially up against the mangroves. If you are on  the deeper cycle of the tides that flat to the right is always a good place to search, top-water and unweighted plastics.
    Beware of the tides do not get caught on a dry flat, it is a long long nap before water returns, and do not get out of the kayak or you will likely be up past your waist in very soft sucky mud.

    There is also an off the side of the road launch with access to cot bay, and another site with parking and a small ramp (never seen a boat launch there) at an area called West Lake. Neither are for the faint at heart.

    Boating, get some charts.. you can launch inside and take the canal out to ****/whitewater bay, or launch on the outside and fish the cape beach areas or hed inside.. way to many possibilities to explain. Many times I've been by boat we have made the round trip, launch on one side and head to Shark River and return to the opposite ramp.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    edited April 2019 #3
    krash said:
    Are you  hoofing it, kayaks, power boat'ng it ?

    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    Spineyman said:
    krash said:
    Are you  hoofing it, kayaks, power boat'ng it ?

    My nephew has a small skiff, so we will have power. Just hoping to find a few fish.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    edited April 2019 #5
    Thanks Krash
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • krashkrash Posts: 686 Officer
    If its calm I'd fish the outside, hit East Cape beaches and some flats...

    If not so calm WW Bay is great but a little harder to just go blind, its a big place and has lots of oppotunities.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    krash said:
    If its calm I'd fish the outside, hit East Cape beaches and some flats...

    If not so calm WW Bay is great but a little harder to just go blind, its a big place and has lots of opportunities.
    I'm looking for snook most of all. It has been a long long time since I have fished for them. I used to night fish for them at Sebastian Inlet with my dad way back when.


    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • krashkrash Posts: 686 Officer
    Was out today with my son in his power boat, a super nice PathFinder 25 w/ 350 merc..., in Tampa bay and we caught lots of small Snook... there seems to be no shortage of them here.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    krash said:
    Was out today with my son in his power boat, a super nice Path Finder 25 w/ 350 merc..., in Tampa bay and we caught lots of small Snook... there seems to be no shortage of them here.
    Good job. I am actually pretty excited about this trip. Even though we have very little knowledge about the area. What top water do you like throwing for snook?
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • krashkrash Posts: 686 Officer
    Don't forget to take the Boater Education course...

    ENP Boater Education Program

    Safely exploring this region, while protecting the sensitive underwater habitats, requires the ability to "read the water." 

    Shallow areas are not always marked, especially in the area between Flamingo and Everglades City. Knowing the draft (depth) and limits of your boat is critical, as is the ability to read and utilize nautical charts.

    • To help, Everglades has developed a free boater education course designed to orient and educate boaters to the unique features of the park's marine waters. This course will become required for all boaters later this year, but early access is available now in English and in Spanish.
    • Upon successful completion of the course and test, boaters will be issued a permit that will fulfill the requirement to operate a motor vessel in the park.



    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    krash said:
    Don't forget to take the Boater Education course...

    ENP Boater Education Program

    Safely exploring this region, while protecting the sensitive underwater habitats, requires the ability to "read the water." 

    Shallow areas are not always marked, especially in the area between Flamingo and Everglades City. Knowing the draft (depth) and limits of your boat is critical, as is the ability to read and utilize nautical charts.

    • To help, Everglades has developed a free boater education course designed to orient and educate boaters to the unique features of the park's marine waters. This course will become required for all boaters later this year, but early access is available now in English and in Spanish.
    • Upon successful completion of the course and test, boaters will be issued a permit that will fulfill the requirement to operate a motor vessel in the park.



    Wow, Thanks, I didn't know anything about this. I am also only taking the 2500 series reels and 14 # rods I use up here in my kayak. Do you think they will do the job there as well?


    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • JW_YakAnglerJW_YakAngler NaplesPosts: 256 Deckhand
    I carry 2- 2500 reels on medium light power, xtra fast action rods when I kayak fish in ENP/10,000 islands. I use them 95% of the time. I also carry a 4000 on a medium weight rod that is supposed to be for fishing structure on high tide when the fish can take you back into the roots, but I rarely pull it out, I usually just tighten the drag down on one of the 2500s. I do use the bigger setup for throwing big topwaters, or on the rare occasion that I use live mullet.
    I second krash's suggestion of fluke/jerk shad softbaits. Everything in ENP eats them. Pearl white and new penny are money. I like them on a 1/8 oz owner twistlock(weedless type hook).
    My YouTube channel: JakeW KayakFishing
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    edited April 2019 #13
    Thanks for all the help guys. I hope to have a fish story to tell. I like throwing the unweighted zoom super fluke in pearl up here as well. Great bait but an absolute nightmare in wind with braid. That is a recipe for disaster for sure!
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    Both JW and Krash, what size leader do you recommend for down there. Up here I only use 18#, but I know snook have razor gill plates that will mess you up.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • krashkrash Posts: 686 Officer
    edited April 2019 #15
    I generally carry 2 setups.. a 3000 Stradic with 10# braid, and a 4000-ci4 with 20# braid, I like 7' rods but what you use up there will work just fine. You want something with a good drag. Mine are setup on Star Plasma rods, I like light especially when casting a few hundred times a day.

    The 3000 I use for soft plastics and most of the time I'm casting that.. The 4000 series I use for top-water, generally a Spook Jr. and will switch that up to larger soft plastic for Tarpon if I see them around.

    I switch up my leader from 15-25# Fluro.. if the Snook are biting thru I use 25, otherwise I go with the 15. After a few losses I may switch tha 4000 to what ever a big Snook took me into the mangroves with, in open water I'm confident in the 3000-10#.

    There are big fish there and you could hook up a 60# tarpon or 200# shark, maybe even a bull Red or big Snook, sometimes you just loose a battle or two so I play light and win most of the time.

    I don;t go with keeping anything so its all about the game to me... and since you are novices at Mingo I'd say go to play not win, its a big place and hard to fish if you just don't know the area, when and where to run a few miles, stop, and hook the big ones.

    The guys who go there and have a good day are either lucky, or experienced mingo fisher-people who know when, (season, time of day, tide phase) to go where , and hit several spots/areas on every trip. Some guys run the 50+ mile loop to have a good day.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    krash said:
    I generally carry 2 setups.. a 3000 Stradic with 10# braid, and a 4000-ci4 with 20# braid, I like 7' rods but what you use up there will work just fine. You want something with a good drag. Mine are setup on Star Plasma rods, I like light especially when casting a few hundred times a day.

    The 3000 I use for soft plastics and most of the time I'm casting that.. The 4000 series I use for top-water, generally a Spook Jr. and will switch that up to larger soft plastic for Tarpon if I see them around.

    I switch up my leader from 15-25# Fluro.. if the Snook are biting thru I use 25, otherwise I go with the 15. After a few losses I may switch tha 4000 to what ever a big Snook took me into the mangroves with, in open water I'm confident in the 3000-10#.

    There are big fish there and you could hook up a 60# tarpon or 200# shark, maybe even a bull Red or big Snook, sometimes you just loose a battle or two so I play light and win most of the time.

    I don;t go with keeping anything so its all about the game to me... and since you are novices at Mingo I'd say go to play not win, its a big place and hard to fish if you just don't know the area, when and where to run a few miles, stop, and hook the big ones.

    The guys who go there and have a good day are either lucky, or experienced mingo fisher-people who know when, (season, time of day, tide phase) to go where , and hit several spots/areas on every trip. Some guys run the 50+ mile loop to have a good day.
    I only have 2500 series and a 4000 all on 7' rods. I want to have fun most of all, but would love to play with some snook and tarpon. I already have 4 bull reds this year 40" and over. 1 at 44". A couple of them I had to palm the spool and lead them away from docks. Do you live down there?
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,344 Moderator
    I've been silent, but eagerly following this thread. I have only been to Flamingo twice and it was on a friend's skiff. last time I lost a snook that was about as stubborn as a submerged tree trunk lol
    Good luck and I look forward to the report!
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    jcanracer said:
    I've been silent, but eagerly following this thread. I have only been to Flamingo twice and it was on a friend's skiff. last time I lost a snook that was about as stubborn as a submerged tree trunk lol
    Good luck and I look forward to the report!
    Let's just say I am hopeful and mildly optimistic. I grew up on Merritt Island so I know how productive places down there can be. I also know you have to work to find them and when you do, it is pay dirt. I am really excited to try and get to play with a snook or two. Thanks, and I will update after next weekend.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • JW_YakAnglerJW_YakAngler NaplesPosts: 256 Deckhand
    Spineyman said:
    Both JW and Krash, what size leader do you recommend for down there. Up here I only use 18#, but I know snook have razor gill plates that will mess you up.
    25 lb. floro leader is my go to, and I never have problems getting bites with it. I will say that I have had even small snook come dangerously close to sanding through the 25 lb leader with thier sandpaper lips. I have scaled up to 40 when snook are thick and biting aggressively.
    My YouTube channel: JakeW KayakFishing
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    Spineyman said:
    Both JW and Krash, what size leader do you recommend for down there. Up here I only use 18#, but I know snook have razor gill plates that will mess you up.
    25 lb. floro leader is my go to, and I never have problems getting bites with it. I will say that I have had even small snook come dangerously close to sanding through the 25 lb leader with their sandpaper lips. I have scaled up to 40 when snook are thick and biting aggressively.
    I was going to grab some 30 even though it is way bigger than I need up here. Do you find it hard to fish there as well?
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • JW_YakAnglerJW_YakAngler NaplesPosts: 256 Deckhand
    Spineyman said:
    Spineyman said:
    Both JW and Krash, what size leader do you recommend for down there. Up here I only use 18#, but I know snook have razor gill plates that will mess you up.
    25 lb. floro leader is my go to, and I never have problems getting bites with it. I will say that I have had even small snook come dangerously close to sanding through the 25 lb leader with their sandpaper lips. I have scaled up to 40 when snook are thick and biting aggressively.
    I was going to grab some 30 even though it is way bigger than I need up here. Do you find it hard to fish there as well?
    There was a bit of a learning curve when I started fishing here after red tide hit. I used to fish the clear water grass flats of Pine Island Sound. I live in between in Naples and used to prefer going North, but when I was forced to fish new water I ended up really enjoying this fishery and haven't looked back. It is definitely harder to learn this area without local knowledge compared to most. This forum helped a lot.
    My YouTube channel: JakeW KayakFishing
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    Spineyman said:
    Spineyman said:
    Both JW and Krash, what size leader do you recommend for down there. Up here I only use 18#, but I know snook have razor gill plates that will mess you up.
    25 lb. floro leader is my go to, and I never have problems getting bites with it. I will say that I have had even small snook come dangerously close to sanding through the 25 lb leader with their sandpaper lips. I have scaled up to 40 when snook are thick and biting aggressively.
    I was going to grab some 30 even though it is way bigger than I need up here. Do you find it hard to fish there as well?
    There was a bit of a learning curve when I started fishing here after red tide hit. I used to fish the clear water grass flats of Pine Island Sound. I live in between in Naples and used to prefer going North, but when I was forced to fish new water I ended up really enjoying this fishery and haven't looked back. It is definitely harder to learn this area without local knowledge compared to most. This forum helped a lot.
    I appreciate the help, but with only one day to perform. I am not sure how much I can learn in that short period of time.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    edited May 2019 #23
    Guys I want to thank you all for the help. We we able to find a few fish, but the wind had been up for two straight weeks so it made the place look like looking into a cup of coffee with creamer in it. Fishing was extremely slow and only caught sail cats on lures.  We caught a keeper trout and a keeper snook and had a red hit at the boat and not hook up. Caught another smaller snook and had a monster 150 pound tarpon inhale a top water about 15 feet from the boat. He skied and unloaded on it. Broke off on the hook set. Had tarpon rolling and busting mullet all around us all day, but the Ranger who checked us said it has been extremely slow for two weeks due to nasty water and high winds. We saw a bunch of other people out there fishing and most said it was slower than slow. Even those throwing live bait said it was slow. All in all a beautiful place to fish, and if you go remember to take a blood transfusion with you because the mosquitoes are relentless any where near land! It was a great trip and looking to do it again before my year snook stamp expires! Tight lines to all that commented on here to offer help!
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • krashkrash Posts: 686 Officer
    What area's did you fish ?

    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    krash said:
    What area's did you fish ?

    We fished all the way from the ramp to the entrance of Coos bay. We fished all the entrances to the creeks or canal or whatever you would call them. We stayed on the outside. I will say there are tarpon everywhere there. It didn't matter where we went they were there. He got a hot spots map and looked at your recommendations, then went from there. Believe it or not all edible fish were caught on a 1/2 ounce white bucktail bounced off the bottom.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    Krash,

    Is there something you would have done differently for the dirty water that was there? Have you been there since the dirty water lately?
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • krashkrash Posts: 686 Officer
    Not much you can do..  did you get a chance to plug away at the East Cape beaches ?

    Mingo is a tuff place especially for a one hit day w/o prior experience. People take years to figure it out, inside, outside, tides, winds, time of year, time of day, its just a huge place. I would have just been casting at those Tarpon till my arms hurt or my heart exploded again.

    Happy to hear you had a good day...
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    krash said:
    Not much you can do..  did you get a chance to plug away at the East Cape beaches ?

    Mingo is a tough place especially for a one hit day w/o prior experience. People take years to figure it out, inside, outside, tides, winds, time of year, time of day, its just a huge place. I would have just been casting at those Tarpon till my arms hurt or my heart exploded again.

    Happy to hear you had a good day...
    Did not get any other chance to fish, just ENP. I believe from my past experience I could have gotten on the fish if the water was clearer so the fish would see the lures flashing. Trust me the lack of tarpon wasn't for a lack of trying. We were beating the water to a froth! It was a beautiful place and I want to go back while this snook permit I bought is still good.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • krashkrash Posts: 686 Officer
    I love that place, just wish it were closer, 2.5 hour drive for me... 

    Right now Choko seems to be laoded with Snook, and last week fishing in Tampa Bay with my so we caught more than we could count... not big girls but fin 18-24" size. If you really want the big ones you should consider inlet fishing where ther hang out like Ft. Pierce.

    I never really worried about the stamp.always blindly purchased Fresh/Salt/Snook/Lobster for the 5 year license... I can't remember the last time I kept a Snook, its probably been 20+ years so the stamp/license was just for piece of mind. You can catch all you want so long as you don;t keep them, just don;t tell the lawman you were targeting them, even then the law is for posession... 
    One of the bebefits of being old... I no longer an required to have a license.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    I know what you mean by inlet fishing. I used to fish Sebastian all the time with my dad when I was growing up. I have also fished Ft Pierce as well. But my nephew wanted to take me to Flamingo and see if I could show him where to catch fish. I got the where down but he caught all the fish.Crazy if you ask me but hey that is the way the way the ball bounces sometime. I will say I was impressed with the amount of tarpon we saw though. They were everywhere.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



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