Everglades backcountry report, 3 May
<p>The fishing now in the Everglades out of Flamingo has been good for weeks (some days really good...). We've been mostly tarpon hunting and finding them in every size, every day. At present the big fish are still in rivers and along the coast of the 'Glades, north and south of the Shark River area. Being tarpon some days they're hard to feed, other days they'll eat anything they see. In recent days we've mostly fished lures or flies for the big fish. Live baits still work well but most baits are shark food long before any tarpon can make a pass.... even up inside rivers. Anyone wanting to fish for sharks this time of year had better be ready for non-stop action for hours with fish all the way up to 10 feet and bigger. On some days we've had ten footers come right up to the skiff as I'm poling -- looking for a meal... in less than four feet of water... The areas we fish aren't a good place for a swim - ever.... Bulls, lemons, blacktips, and others are common - the occasional hammer or tiger will show up but they're not very common along the coast. I'm guessing the tigers are around because of all the turtles (they're actually designed to feed on turtles - check out the teeth on a tiger) in river mouths and nearby shorelines.
This is the time of year for that slam (three out of these four - tarpon, snook, trout, or redfish) or the grand slam with all four by a single angler in a day. It will be that way now for the next six months... Here's a few pics of what my anglers have been up to...
The first pic is Steve Kolbe and Dave Knorr with a nice pair of trout on small lures. The second is Steve with a nice snook that completed his first slam. Steve Kolbe is best known as the voice of the Washington Capitols hockey team. The last is Steve's tarpon (or Dave's since each got his first tarpon that day).
Here's Stuart Osterweil and his seven year old son on a very nice tarpon. It was a bit too much for a young man that needs a smaller fish or to grow a bit bigger. He went on to hook and fight a really big bull shark before passing the rod to his Dad. That young man also caught and released mackeral, trout, snapper, small sharks, and a variety of other fish. Hat's off to a Dad who'll start his son fishing where there are lots of fish, many too big for a small boy... but that didn't slow him down at all.
This was two days ago, Bruce Rueben on his way to his first slam on fly (tarpon, trout, redfish, we just missed a nice snook for the grand slam...). I've been experimenting with Whitewater Clousers tied up on jig hooks for fishing deep in rivers. So far so good.
This last picture is more common than I'd like. A perfectly healthy trout except that a goliath grouper almost ate it. I'm sure that the goliaths are eating lots and lots of fish wherever they're found inshore these days. That shredded tail is a signature for any fish that barely survives an encounter with a hungry goliath (jewfish for you old timers).
Tomorrow it's back to Flamingo with fly gear and more tarpon.
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.