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Tips for a newby to Flamingo/Whitewater bay

diverdandiverdan jacksonville flPosts: 27 Deckhand
Hey guys, I have lived and fished central FL for 20 years, and coming down to try and fish flamingo/whitewater bay a few days around new years. Was hoping to catch a snook and maybe a goliath or little tarpon. Any tips would be great my problem is any mangrove looks fishy to me so not sure where to start, thanks!

Would trolling plugs along the shoreline be worth it while cruising around? Some snook can be super spooky but I have done well doing that in other areas and by bridges 

Replies

  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 8,816 Admiral
    edited December 2020 #2
    Trolling Plugs in the Far Backcountry will get you a Thousand old Mangrove trees and a couple nice Jewfish. Best fished with chunk bait and a chum bag.
    Your not gonna troll plugs down the shoreline here...half the time the motor is tiled up and you'd be churning mud.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • diverdandiverdan jacksonville flPosts: 27 Deckhand
    cool thanks! what about camping, pros and cons of flamingo vs a cheekee up in the bay/rivers? 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 8,816 Admiral
    Snook are far inside right now , Small Tarpon are inside as well..usually are anyways , Trout are always out front..Reds  , wherever you find them.
    Snapper and small jewfish are inside too.
    Take your choice of camping areas. Inside for fish...Outside for fish . The far Backcountry is out of the wind that is a problem most Winters
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Ashcraft14Ashcraft14 OrlandoPosts: 5 Deckhand
    There are some who do very well trolling for snook in the far backcountry, using jigs, spoons etc.  I've not had much luck with it, not in the right place at the right times I believe.  As far as camping goes, I always opt for the chickees or beach (like middle cape) rather than Flamingo just because I don't want to run back and forth to the ramp.  On the other hand a lot of people prefer the facilities at Flamingo: campstore, bathrooms etc.  Just depends on what you want and where you want to fish.                      
  • diverdandiverdan jacksonville flPosts: 27 Deckhand
    cool thanks for the info!
  • Paucan6005Paucan6005 Port of the islandsPosts: 69 Deckhand
    Just a thought: with our winter tides camping on a chickee might prevent your boat being high and dry if you camp on a beach
  • diverdandiverdan jacksonville flPosts: 27 Deckhand
    I think we are going to try and camp at flamingo and do a day on the outside and a day on the inside weather permitting!
  • Lake-LinkerLake-Linker Posts: 141 Deckhand
    Ordinarily when I camp I like to be near the brushline for privacy. Not at Flamingo. There you want to be as far from the mangroves as possible. The first sites taken  - at least in winter - have no shade and no privacy. They're in the middle of the campground..

    No-See-ums.
  • diverdandiverdan jacksonville flPosts: 27 Deckhand
    what the etiquette on passing fisherman in creeks?

    Do you idle or trolling motor by to pass or just turn around and go elsewhere?

    from google I see a few boats in creeks and they look narrow(conversely if someone passes us to the fish shut down or not really?)

    looking to see if better to fish creeks(two shorelines to cast at) vs inner island and "main bay perimeter" shorlines/wherever is out of the wind. thanks for the tips!
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,275 Captain
    If the creek is narrow I’ll shutdown and use my pushpole to get by another boat that’s stopped and fishing.  If the creek is wide enough that we’ll be at least 100 feet apart then I’ll idle down and “no wake” by them.  All the while watching the other boat to see if they wave me through or do the opposite.... 
    It does take some judgment in your part though... 

    If we want to fish a creek or river mouth and someone’s already there... we’ll just go somewhere else ( or if it’s a premium spot, hang out within sight so we can move in when they leave...).  Remember, the greatest fishing spot is worthless if you don’t know how to fish it.  I pay very close attention to how a spot is being fished - no matter who’s there.  That can be valuable information...

    Lastly, a little courtesy goes a long way - even when it’s not returned...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • MangroovinMangroovin Naples, FLPosts: 142 Deckhand
    I agree Bob.  If someone is already there - move on.  Common courtesy is a good thing.  Unfortunately it seems to be in short supply any more......
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 1,540 Captain
    I agree Bob.  If someone is already there - move on.  Common courtesy is a good thing.  Unfortunately it seems to be in short supply any more......
    Agreed...This year has been the worst for people cutting me off or shutting down and anchoring within casting distance of me. 
    Jason :USA
  • diverdandiverdan jacksonville flPosts: 27 Deckhand
    thanks for the help I figured at least idle/pole/troll past. Ever have close calls with boats flying around a bend while fishing? Looking at fishing into the whitewater bay east toward norman river, unless suggested otherwise looks like it may be windy for the ocean side flats, any other tips are awesome!
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,275 Captain
    Since your handle indicates diving... The 'glades interior and along the coastline is absolutely no place to swim under any circumstances.  That whole area may have more sharks per spot than any I can think of around the world... in the interior more than 90 % of them are bull sharks as well... I've personally seen and baited bulls in Whitewater that were every bit of ten feet long.... To add to the  fun -in most places the water is dark or murky so you simply can't see what's there.  A few years back we released a baby great hammerhead near the mouth of the Little Shark River in good condition.  It was about six feet long and around sixty pounds and swam away in good order.  About fifty feet from my skiff it got blown up by something large and exceedingly hungry.  I figure something in the twelve feet or bigger category  - a monster bull shark or more probably  a big tiger shark (tigers get really big - and very hungry...).

    I point out to my anglers that if you ever see any animal (mammal, bird, reptile) in the water swimming you'll note that they never make the slightest sound... that's a hint.

    On the Flamingo side of things collisions between boats in narrow places are very rare... that' not the case in the upper bays out of Chokoloskee though.  Lots of blind corners and restricted channels mean you've really got to pay attention running a skiff on that side of the Park.. I was taught years ago to almost come to a complete stop approaching a blind corner then only jump back up on plane when you can see what's around the corner... Pretty good advice.


    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Rebait2003Rebait2003 Posts: 122 Deckhand
    If you are a bass fisherman, then fishing for snook , reds, trout, etc.  in Whitewater is about the same style of fishing.  Target the island shorelines and rivers, throwing rapala lures, mirrordines, yozuris.  This time of year you can't go wrong throwing a skimmer bucktail jig with a piece of shrimp.  Throw unweighted or weighted(1/8oz) worm hooks with a soft plastic jerk shad or paddle tail pogy bait along and under the mangrove branches.  Gulp shrimp, jerkshad work well this time of year.
  • diverdandiverdan jacksonville flPosts: 27 Deckhand
    we had a great trip, aside from my air mattress not working and sleeping on a bean bag(which was not all that bad) and the dern wind! The area was super exciting but the wind made it extra intimidating! Not sure who we would have called if we broke down, still not sure, but luck was on our side!

    Made the best of it fishing lee sides of islands in whitewater and poked around nomans river, but the low tide made it seem the majority of the fish were elsewhere as we didnt spook anything working the shorelines and occasionally getting close to retrieve a stuck lure(only about 6" to 1' of water by the stumps and treeline) but got a few nice snook and one red and a few trout. Soaked bait in Joe river and found the bull sharks mentioned above! Also got to see Capt Bob at the ramp which was awesome(appreciate all your info and highly respect your knowledge of the area), one day I hope to get out on your boat, it looked amazing!

    On saturday we tried east cape canal but got there late and it was hot not much going on, checked lake ingrahm and it looked like a mars landscape at low tide very cool! Sunday we got to try snake bite but the tide was low and sun was high so most fish were super spooky also a lot of boats and we didnt want to go too far and get stuck.

    Thanks for the help cool fishery reminds me of cocoa beach 15 years ago in the mosquito canals, we used to pretend it was the glades and get lost with no gps but luckily it is small enough to always find out way out. That area has fallen victim to poor water quality and I feel what little poor fish are left dont need to be harrassed. Wish more of FL looked like it does down there
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