View Full Version : Fishing report, Biscayne nights - Everglades days

07-17-2007, 04:22 PM
We did a mix of fly fishing and spin fishing this past week... I started off with a night trip for an old friend and top local guide, Capt. Jorge Valverde and his son Michael. Since Michael had never caught a tarpon on fly that was our focus... Before the trip the usual preparations included some pretty good tarpon food... I like to have at least a dozen flies ready since some nights the fish chew up everything they eat. We're still only using one primary pattern, the Night Fly...
just a simple white fly on a strong 1/0 hook.. I usually like to get on the water just before dark so that we can check over our gear and do some last minute planning. Biscayne Bay at dusk is worth every moment you can savor... It's just gorgeous

We found the fish in good numbers at the first bridge we checked out and Michael was on deck, ready to go with a new fly rod. With only one or two false casts we spotted a very nice fish, about 35lbs, and the next cast was on the money. That fish promptly ate, Michael set the hook, and it was off to the races. Unfortunately no one told the fish to take it easy... that fish promptly took the young angler to school, with a lightning run, a half dozen jumps (while really beating up the angler's knuckles with the reel handle), then quickly breaking off. Fish one, angler zero - we re-rigged and went back on station. The next few jumped off, adding to Michael's education (and frustration) before he finally hooked up solidly with .
a fish that gave me a bath every time I reached for it, before coming to hand for a photo and release.
We went on that night to bring a few more to the boat while jumping off more than we landed. Baby tarpon nights. Just nothing like them.

A few days later it was back to Flamingo where the little tarpon are still eating popping bugs, but just weren't staying attached after that first or second jump. We went on to catch and release a the usual variety of fish, trout, snapper, jewfish, snook, some very large ladyfish, and others while having more than a few narrow escapes from hungry sharks along the Gulf coast. More than a few hookups that started routinely ended up in a frenzy, horsing fish to the boat so that they could be released in one piece.... The action on Saturday was only a hint of what Sunday would bring...

On Sunday, with Mitch and Briana Hilburn from Ft. Pierce aboard we were back at Flamingo, this time with spinning gear. My usual baby tarpon spots were very active at first light but fish that were feeding heavily ignored everything we tossed at them... Our next few stops were a bit slow as well until we were out on the coast. While poling one nice shoreline our snook lures were just hammered by small goliath grouper (jewfish for old timers) that seemed to know every snag and downed tree. We went on to land a few for a quick photo, but most just took us to school.... As usual the ladies always seem to have the luck.

At the next stop we found a great mixed bag of fish working a river corner, but also found lots of hungry sharks... Briana cast a small jig to the shoreline and was rewarded with her first snook, and it was a whopper that I estimated at more than 15lbs. She fought the fish out of two downed trees on light line but the commotion attracted the critters. After one or more sharks jumped that poor snook, she brought what was left to the boat - a head that weighed three pounds on the boga... After returning what was left of that great fish to the water we left for less threatening environs. Once sharks claim a spot they'll get anything you hook....

We ended that day at a grouper spot with lots of hungry gag grouper that hammered our jigs. We caught and released about 10 before calling it a day. Never a dull moment at Flamingo.