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Date posted December 9, 2017 3:45 PM
Posted by Jillybird
Report location Traveling Angler > Epic Everglades Flats Fishing
Fishing method Fly Fishing
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My son and I went to Flamingo yesterday, Friday, ahead of the first strong cold front of the season. Weather was in the high 80s and partly cloudy in the afternoon with 15 mph winds out of the southwest. That’s a lot better than the 50 mph winds that accompanied today’s windstorm and blinding rains as the front passed and dropped temps by 25 degrees in a matter of minutes.

For those of you who don’t know Flamingo, it’s literally the end of the road — the dead end 38 miles from the Park entrance at the southernmost tip of mainland Florida. This leaves you in total wilderness 1 1/2 hours from Miami Beach.

We went out for a full day of flats fishing with Capt. Jerry Perez on a 17 foot Hell’s Bay flats skiff powered by a 70 hp Yamaha. We left the dock at 7 am and were fishing five minutes later.

We fished a nearby point adjacent to a big flat at the top of the tide. As soon as we arrived, we spotted a couple of tarpon rolling. As the tide began to drop, more tarpon began to stage and became more interested in feeding. The water was very very muddy from strong winds all week as we were fishing the Florida Bay side.

So this was all precision sight casting to rolling tarpon and you had to plop the soft plastic right in front of the tarpon’s nose for him to see it. Challenging fishing to say the least but very rewarding. I was first up with a healthy 35 pounder which went nuts with a multi jump aerial display. Much fun on light spinning gear. My son caught a decent 8 pound tarpon before breaking out the fly gear. He got tight on a nice tarpon but couldn’t set the hook in the tough jaw of the tarpon. I followed up with another 15 pounder before the sun rose too high and the tarpon bite fizzled.

We moved out far into the flat. The water was a couple of feet deep and the visibility was non-existent. Blind casting led us to a beautiful sea trout and a hated catfish. We poled towards shallower water where we could finally see bottom in about a foot of water. This allowed Jerry to spot fish more effectively from the poling platform.

The flat was inundated with drum — both black and red. The numbers were incredible. We had endless opportunities which we needed. Our casts had to be spot on for the fish to notice our plastics. One foot to the side and the fish never saw it. Wait too long and the fish felt the presence of the skiff and were spooked. But we persevered and met with considerable success. We nailed numerous sold redfish to 28 inches, a bunch of big black drum, a big sea trout, a ladyfish, and a 20 pound lemon shark. My son’s highlight came after a couple hundred casts with the fly when everything came together and he plopped a fly right in front of a tailing red which sucked it up and took off. He brought a hefty 26 incher to the boat.

We squeezed off the flat at the last possible moment. This was probably the best day of flats fishing I’ve had in Flamingo — hundreds of shots all day in the skinny water on quality fish. Our timing was great as the whole game will get shaken up by this sharp cold front.

Meanwhile, this front should kickstart the sailfish bite for the next week and after tomorrow the winds will calm down and we’re expecting hot action on the edge just three miles off Miami. So if anyone wants a great escape from snowy NY, come on out for a reasonable charter with my son on Jillybird Fishing Charters out of Coconut Grove, Miami. Give him a call at 914-874-9697. Happy holidays to all.

Mighty redfish on the fly

Black drum everywhere

Tailing redfish in 1 foot of water

Winter tarpon in Flamingo in two feet of water

Flamingo - Paradise on Earth

Captain Michael Potts
Click here or call 631-668-9323

King Cod
Capt. Joe - Moriches, NY
Wreck Fishing Year Round, Open Boat
631-475-1060 - Click Here

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Stripers, Blues, Fluke, Blackfish
Smithtown Bay LI Sound 631-786-7745

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  Comments and Questions  
Author Message

Joined: 04/18/2005
Posts: 123
 12/09/2017 06:26 PM  

Nice guys!


Joined: 04/16/2012
Posts: 95
 12/09/2017 08:27 PM  

Those reds are bruisers I hope to get a few Monday.

Joined: 05/07/2007
Posts: 362
 12/09/2017 08:27 PM  

Toto, We're not in Mamaroneck anymore...

Joined: 04/16/2012
Posts: 95
 12/09/2017 08:43 PM  

I had a pair of 40 ponders last year.

Joined: 10/01/2001
Posts: 16885
Location: ><)))):> ~~ THE JAMAICA BAY TRIANGLE ~~ <:))))><
 12/10/2017 08:21 AM  

ShadesShadesShades,,,,up,,, jillyssssssssssssss Shades,,,,,,,,,,,,><(((:> ~~ ><(((:>


Joined: 12/07/2003
Posts: 254
Location: Albany NY
 12/10/2017 10:02 AM  

What a trip! I'm jealous! Tell us about some of the lures and flies...if it's not classified Toungue


Frank J. Zima

Joined: 09/03/2001
Posts: 2260
Location: Mamaroneck
 12/10/2017 12:25 PM  

Hey Salmonmeister, lures were Gulp shrimp on a weighted weedless hook for the reds and drum and a soft plastic minnow for the tarpon. Flies were a big brown streamer for the tarpon and a smaller streamer for the red. Visibility in the water was so bad the key was just to get the fish to see movement.

This post edited by Jillybird 12:26 PM 12/10/2017

Joined: 12/07/2003
Posts: 254
Location: Albany NY
 12/10/2017 12:38 PM  

Jillybird wrote:

Hey Salmonmeister, lures were Gulp shrimp on a weighted weedless hook for the reds and drum and a soft plastic minnow for the tarpon. Flies were a big brown streamer for the tarpon and a smaller streamer for the red. Visibility in the water was so bad the key was just to get the fish to see movement.

Thank you sir!

Frank J. Zima

Joined: 08/14/2003
Posts: 1049
Location: East Rockaway, NY
 12/13/2017 03:30 PM  

I gotta say that you write some of the best reports ever. It is always a good read. Congrats you you and Jillybird Jr.upupup

My biggest fear is that when i die my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said i paid for it.
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