Biscayne nights - Everglades daytime, 6 March
<p>Did more night fishing than daytime stuff these past few days. With less than perfect weather I guess we were lucky to be on the water at all... My first booking was a night trip with visiting anglers Baily Dent and Tom Hill who were looking for tarpon on fly. The way I go about chasing them we needed an outgoing tide so that meant.... a very, very early morning with my anglers meeting me at 2 Am for a trip that wouldn't end until dawn. We quickly found a few fish here and a few there but had difficulty getting bites until Tom Hill connected in the shadows of one of the bridges that connect Miami to Miami Beach. It was a very hot fish that we estimated at around 40lbs... We had to chase it for almost a quarter mile south of where Tom got hooked up before slowing it down much... Here's two pics -
It was a great release on a 9wt rod. I had the leader numerous times before the fish slipped free right at the boat. An hour or so later we saw the first hints of daylight and our night session came to an end.
A night later it was an early evening session with Evan Corcoran, also hunting tarpon on fly. That night the tarpon were just plain scarce wherever we looked and the shots were few and far between. We did go on to catch and release a variety of species in docklights - speckled trout, jacks, snapper, etc. Here's a pic of our best trout that Evan actually was able to sightfish as it worked the shallows next to a bright docklight...
It ate the same small tarpon fly that every other fish just jumped on. As our trip neared its end we ran to a particular docklight that usually holds a few tarpon and finally found fish willing to eat. Two small tarpon in the 20lb class were working in and out of the light while one, much larger, just hung suspended right on top of the submerged light facing into the current (which was incoming at this point). Evan lined up his shot perfectly and the big fish just turned on the fly eating it almost at the boat... At that point things got crazy. I estimated the fish at a solid 60lbs and it's first jump was almost in the boat with us... It came un-glued on the second jump (and made such a racket that I'm sure we woke up everyone sleeping nearby). What a way to end the night. Both angler and guide will remember that fish for a long time.... even though it didn't stay connected for very long.
A few days later it was back to the Everglades over on the Ten Thousand Islands side out of Everglades City. We fished on Saturday since the weather wouldn't allow us to fish on Monday. Most guides try to fish during the week but with the weather that just wasn't going to happen.... We ran far back up inside on a south wind and only found small snook during the day. Here's a pic of one...
We found a few fish at each location but can't say we really succeeded. Some days this guide goes home talking to himself....
The 'Glades is the place to be now and for the next two months. If the weather co-operates it can be as good as it gets out of either end of the Park. The night scene in Biscayne Bay is quite good, needing only reasonable weather to be very, very good all the way until May...
About The Author: Captain Bob Lemay
Company: Captain Bob Lemay Fishing Guide
Area Reporting: Biscayne Bay and Flamingo
Bio: Capt. Bob LeMay began his south Florida fishing career almost thirty years ago. He has worked for area tackle shops, mated on charter boats, but the highlight of those early years was winning the Lauderdale Billfish Tournament in 1973 with two anglers who had never fished for billfish before!
By the end of the seventies he was guiding part-time and tying flies commercially. In 1995, he began guiding fulltime. Through Umpqua Feather Merchants his fly patterns are now sold in shops around the world and in catalogues like LL Bean and Westbank Anglers.