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Old 08-11-2009, 11:03 AM
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lemaymiami lemaymiami is offline
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Everglades days & Biscayne Bay nights

brief report will cover the last month's guide trips. This time of year the customers get scarce, the weather gets tougher, but the fishing's still going strong and getting better as we move into August. Every summer I divide my time between between guiding in the Everglades during the day and fishing Biscayne Bay at night for baby tarpon and snook. This is also the time of year when roughly half of each week is spent tying flies for shops, other guides, and dedicated fly anglers.... Add to that the usual boat and fishing gear maintenance and it means a full schedule when I'm not on the water.

We'll start with the night trips which center around the bridges that join Miami and Miami Beach as well as local docklights. The night fishing has been good with plenty of baby tarpon averaging 15 to 30lbs for sight-fishing every night when the tide's right. Needing an outgoing tide means that some nights a trip won't start until whenever the tide does, even if it's after midnight.... but the later the tide, the less boats around which translates to lots of shots at fish right at the surface in the shadows under bridges. Every trip has been with artificials this year, either on fly or light spinning gear with lures. We're jumping six to ten tarpon in less than five hours (keeping them hooked is the problem...) and finding nice snook in docklights almost every trip. Watching a tarpon or snook take at the surface right in front of the angler makes my night every time... Working at close quarters around bridge pilings doesn't leave a lot of time for picture taking. Last summer while handling the camera we had a sixty pound fish jump in the boat with us. I avoided that this year, but didn't take many night shots because of it... The usual gear is a fly rod in an 8 or 9wt. size or a spinning rod with 10lb line. As we head towards the last half of August, the tarpon action will slow but the snook will take up the slack, if there is any....

During the daytime the place to be is along the Gulf coast of the Everglades, either out of Flamingo to the south or Everglades City on the far western edge of Everglades National Park. The giant tarpon have returned, the big snook are still feeding strong and everything else is as well. This past week my anglers caught and released a variety of fish each day, but the tarpon have had a serious case of lockjaw. Twice my anglers have tossed lures at big tarpon that were taken by hungry sharks.... Flies meant for small tarpon are being taken on sight by large ladyfish and jacks (it's been that kind of week...). When sharks are eating lures on sight you know they're hungry... The big (and not so big) tarpon will grow in numbers as the summer moves toward September. As we move away from last week's full moon, they should be much more ready to take flies and lures. The bait situation along the coast is getting better every day. At present the pilchards are on the small side at about 3". By September they will all be an inch larger and be targetted by everything. Small schools of mullet that are now in the 5 to 7" range will increase in size and numbers. By mid-September they'll be the staple for every fish along the 'Glades.

This past week we've had some great catches although hampered by large numbers of sharks that are swimming right up to my skiff looking for food (and we're not chumming or using any bait at the time...). Here's a very nice snook caught and released by Jim Southerland on Friday...

That snook was followed in the next 30 minutes by three sharks in the 125 to 150lb range from the same spot....

Since I'm dividing my time equally between fishing and tying flies, here's a sample of what I'm currently tying to fill the empty bins at the Ft. Lauderdale Fly Shop...

Another eight dozen to complete the request, then it's on to the next order...
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:51 AM
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LandlockedinMI LandlockedinMI is offline
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Capt Lemay: Just ridiculously great flies. Very very nice...
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