ENP fishing report, 29 May
<p>This time of year many that fish out of Flamingo work to the south down into Florida Bay.... being a bit contrary I've been running through the interior to the west coast of the 'Glades, north and south of the Shark River. The fishing along the coast now is very good and it's only going to get better for snook, tarpon, reds, trout, and a variety of other species. The best part is that most of the coast this time of year never sees a boat at all.... My anglers for four days, this past week, were John Kern, from Utah, his son Tucker and nephew Jack.
Most of the snook action right now is along the coast somewhere near one river mouth or another. Here's a pic or two....
The little ones now are in the ten pound size range, our biggest was right at thirteen pounds (and we lost bigger fish). They're striking lures and bait in areas with lots of downed trees. To make things a bit more exciting there are lots and lots of pretty big sharks in those same areas. One morning our first two baits (frisky live ladyfish) were taken at the same time by a pair of sharks in the 150 to 200lb size range ( one a lemon, the other a bull shark). After almost 25 minutes the pair were worked to the boat at almost the same time and things got pretty busy... The heaviest gear on my skiff is only loaded with 20lb line so sharks in the seven to eight foot size range are a handful. The good news is that we never lost a fish to a shark in four days along the coast... We went on to catch and release three of the big snook, as well as a fair number of little snook on flies. And of course more than a few sharks, some of which were in the "un-stoppable" category, and just cleaned my angler's clock.... never slowing down at all.
Reds and trout are daily fare now as well... here's a pic of one of the reds...
Most of the giant tarpon have left the coast (they'll start showing up again at the end of June, after spawning) but there are still a bunch of fish up to about 80lbs available, usually just up inside one river or other. On our best day we jumped four, with the largest, nearing 80lbs, brought to the boat for a release. Here's a picture of that fish - note the background....
Early signs of small bait are everywhere along the coast, the small bait now will be almost four inches long in about a month and continue to grow and become more important as summer moves along. In a week or so we'll have numbers of smaller tarpon in the 15 to 40lb range at dawn all along the coast. They're perfect for an 8wt fly rod and a small popping bug.... or very light conventional gear with small lures. I can't think of a better place to be...
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.