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Old 03-19-2010, 10:15 AM
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lemaymiami lemaymiami is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: South Florida
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Fishing report, Biscayne night tarpon, Everglades backcountry days

It's been two weeks since my last report, and lots of days and nights on the water. Like most down here in paradise I'm very tired of a long cold winter... I've spent too many days looking like a foul weather ad.

We have had a few halfway decent weather days but they've been few and far between (and not nearly warm enough for this time of year). The bad weather seems to be ending, and I'm looking forward to it. As usual this time of year I've been dividing my time between nights sightfishing tarpon in Biscayne Bay and working the backcountry of the Everglades during the daytime.

When the water is warm enough the night fishing has been good. We've been on the fish every night both fly fishing and with spinning gear. Local angler David Metalonis was hot to tangle with his first tarpon on fly. After a few that jumped off he finally hooked up properly with his brand new fly rod and brought a very nice 40lb fish to the boat for a photo or two, then a careful release. What I didn't know until we were on the water was that he'd never caught anything on fly... Nothing like starting out with a challenge, but that new rod didn't quite survive - it popped at the ferrule as I leadered the fish. He'll be bringing a new rod the next trip... My next anglers were Joe Kleitman and his cousin Val from up north. Val had never tangled with a tarpon before so we sorted that out fairly quickly with a 30lb fish on spinning gear. Joe hooked a 50 to 60 lb fish on fly but it jumped off. He went on to take another nice fish at the end of the evening on spinning gear. Almost all of our night fish are right at the surface so anglers get to work a particular fish and usually watch the strike. What the fish does after it's hooked decides whether it does the releasing or we do...

I had Joe and Val aboard for two additional days out of Flamingo, then George Carcao from Canada the following day. Joe and Val mixed fly and spinning gear, George fished strictly fly... It was a frustrating few days since we found lots of very nice redfish in the interior that didn't want flies and actually spooked away from lures as well... George had a great shot at a large snook in very shallow water. I watched closely as the fish took and then spit the fly in an instant, before moving away a few feet then spooking away like a rocket. I'm pretty certain that a few degrees warmer water will really turn them on in the backcountry and this weekend looks like it will happen. Water temps on Monday and Tuesday were right at 70 degrees in a few spots in late afternoon. This coming week should see them stay there. If the water temps rise a bit the big tarpon should flood into the interior. Until now they've just been absent because of the cold conditions....
The 'Glades did produce a variety of fish on both fly and spin... small snook, snapper, ladyfish, jacks, speckled trout (on the small side, the bigger trout haven't shown yet in the interior), small grouper, etc. At one spot George was cut off three times in three casts by mackeral on the far edge of Whitewater Bay. When I added a shock tippet, we never got another bite from them...

Now for some photos...

David Metalonis with that magical first tarpon on fly....

Val's first tarpon, hooked up and at the boat...

Right at the end of the evening, we watched the fish in a docklight boil up, take, and then we seesawed back and forth around the pilings before a nice release at boatside....

Tight lines
Bob LeMay
(954) 435-5666
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