Biscyane nights, backcountry days - 13 June
<p>Been a lot of time on the water this past week, with three nights and three days out of the last eight... The night scene was all fly fishing in Biscayne Bay, the days were back in the 'Glades out of Flamingo with (mostly) spinning gear.
The night scene has been good with plenty of small tarpon now under bridges and cruising in and out of nearby docklights. David Townsend from Tennessee, did a really late night with me to start off Friday a week ago - we hooked up at 1:30Am (sometimes the tide requires it) and fished until sunup... After an hour or two when the fish just teased us as we hit docklight after docklight (every light held small tarpon, most also had the usual snappers, small stuff, and some nice snook that weren't in an eating mood). When the tide was right we scooted over to a nearby bridge and the game got serious. David got at least a dozen bites in the last three hours on a 9wt using the usual Night Fly. Since this was his first time going after tarpon he promptly broke off the first four fish on the strike.. once he settled down the fish had to work a bit to jump free. He finally got his first two fish to the boat, one of nearly 30lbs and another that went about 20... He was over the moon. The action ended as the sun showed up....
My next three outings were daytime bookings out of Flamingo, more about them later. At the end of the week it was back to the night scene. On Thursday night I had the pleasure of having two skilled anglers aboard, Capts. Mike Conner, and Jan Lemieux. Mike was working up an article on night fishing and Jan (who is the man behind Microskiff.com) was there to get his first tarpon on fly. It was a great evening - Mike led off with a very nice 65lb fish taken sight fished from a docklight less than five minutes from the boat ramp. He beat that fish with only a 9wt.... an outstanding catch in anyone's book. Next up was Jan under one of the many bridges that hold the small tarpon year round here. Jan's first tarpon on fly didn't come easily - the fish will teach any new fly angler every possible way to lose one. He stuck with it and got that first one on fly to the skiff, it was hard earned. The next night I was back on the water with Jonathan Wexler, a skilled fly angler who's been with me before. That night the fishing was a bit difficult with fewer fish seen and many with lockjaw... We kept at it and finally scored just after 2Am with a nice 30lb fish.
That night scene will continue all summer long....
Daytime in the 'Glades out of Flamingo is a bit tougher than fishing nights now. This past week the weather's been pretty tough, very hot, muggy, with the usual rains each afternoon. The good news is that the mosquito population still hasn't gotten too bad (or not as bad is it will be...). Saturday a week ago I enjoyed having Capt Jan Lemieux and his young son Declan aboard. This day was all for Declan, who's "almost six years old" and very skilled for his age. We had him catching and releasing lots of snapper, trout, mackeral, his first grouper ( on an artificial that he cast and retrieved...), and two sharks - one was twice his size.... Young Declan caught the first fish of the day, the most fish, and stayed game until the run home. I last saw him sound asleep being driven home by his Dad... The next two days in the 'Glades were more variety fishing highlighted by some light tackle triple tail action in very shallow water, and one big snook. The snook, caught by Capt John Krush, visiting from New York, measured over 38" and weighed between 18 and 19lbs on the Boga Grip. That big girl was very carefully released after a picture or two...
Now for some pics for the week...
That's David Townsend, one happy Memphis trout angler....
Mike Connor's big tarpon with me waiting to handle the release...
That end of the night fish on a 9wt rod, with Jonathan Wexler before the release.
here's young Declan Lemieux with his first grouper on a light spinning rod with a small jig and his big shark on only 12lb line. When he's a bit older I'd put him up against anything that swims... as long as his Dad is there.
John Stephenson's first triple tail on a small jig. We caught and released five or six of them bigger and smaller that afternoon in very shallow waters.
Here's the big snook of the week, caught and released by Capt John Krush.
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.