Flamingo snook and tarpon, 29 Aug
<p>Yesterday the fishing out of Flamingo was pretty good. My anglers were from Mexico and guys that I fish two or three times a year when they're in town. This time of year we run through the interior to fish Oyster Bay, then the Gulf coast of the 'Glades north and south of the Little Shark River. Unlike the winter season that entire area is pretty much empty now with very few anglers... and the fish were hungry.
Our first fish of the day was a big snook, the kind of fish that usually runs you back into the tangles before you can react. Jaime Rivero worked the fish just right as it made repeated runs back to the shoreline and almost cut us off. At the boat we took a few pics along with length and weight, then carefully released the big girl. She weighed 12lbs, and measured 34", a perfect over-slot fish. This time of year there's a lot of them around, but only in spots that allow them to feed heavily without having to work too hard... Typically we find fish that are either too big or just under the slot. The ones between 28 and 33" are around as well but they're really careful and always a bit shy... Although we didn't target snook yesterday we did release another out on the coast that measured 27"... Here's a photo of that first fish of the day.
Our next stop was out on the Gulf coast where the last hour of the outgoing tide had most shoreline structure out of the water. That didn't stop the small tarpon that were feeding there. In a few moments we were hooked up on one of them and it was on with that little tarpon spending most of its time in the air. A quick photo and we were off to a different area. Here's a pic...
During the day we jumped a total of five tarpon and brought another small one to the boat. The fish ranged from 10 all the way up to 100lbs... The tarpon will be the stars now until that first cold night in October.
During the day we also found lots of speckled trout, sharks, and other suprises. We even got to see a medium sized alligator in saltwater, sliding off a nearby bank at low tide. We noticed the animal had something in its jaws and realized it was a medium sized freshwater turtle that had also been lured to the salt by all the rainfall this time of year. The 'Glades is a tough place to survive in for everything that lives there. At the same time we saw the 'gator there were medium sized (up to about six or seven feet long) sharks actively prowling the shorelines up so shallow that their backs were out of the water. Every now and then a shark would trap something next to the bank and attack. In late summer any fish you hook in these areas needs to be worked to the boat as quickly as possible or a shark will get at least half of it... During the day we hooked up several sharks with one or two in the "unstoppable" category. Since we weren't after them we broke them off after that first long run. You can count on bulls and lemon sharks now that can be as big as they get some days. We've been known to hunt them with fly fishing gear, but not this day.
Our most spectacular hookup yesterday came when a big tarpon up inside a small creek ate a little jig meant for a ladyfish. Nothing like a 100lb fish on the lightest rod onboard with only 10lb line... My angler will see that big fish in the air in his dreams I suspect. Our day was cut short by heavy rains. We spent the last two hours looking for clear spots but the rain was all we found. As a result we never fished for redfish and the grouper and snapper got a pass as well. Still it was a pretty good day in the 'Glades, my favorite place in this world...
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.