The fishing in Flamingo has become increasingly better over the past few years. Flamingo regulars are practicing catch & release more often and awareness of our impact on the Park is unusually high. I, for one, am very grateful of the improvements.
Most recently, I experienced a day on the water, which is as close to flats fishing nirvana as most will ever experience. In my fifteen years fishing the water within Everglades National Park, I can only remember a few days even close in comparison. It started as a typical Friday in the Park with few other boats and tons of mosquitoes. However, I should have known the day would be different with the site of Tarpon rolling for miles along the first shoreline we visited.
In the morning low-light condition, top water lures like the Rapala Skitterwalk did the trick. The first 30 minutes of the day yielded two upper slot Snook and numerous 15 lb. Tarpon. As soon as the Sun lit the water, jerk baits on weedless hooks received better attention. After catching what was more than our fair share of Tarpon (to 25 lbs), we ran East only to be stopped by a school of over 80 hungry Redfish. Shortly thereafter, we found schooling Snook in an area which typically only holds a few dozen. The day would continue with good numbers of hungry fish in each and every spot. Flamingo is a special place, but days like that set it far apart from everywhere else. After numerous Grand Slams and a very spoiled client, we mustered enough energy to make it back to civilization... but, just barely.
As long as the large hurricane and tropical storm systems continue to spare South Florida and the Everglades, I certainly expect to have very hungry fish on the flats for a while. I look forward to the next few weeks and the potential of multiple Grand Slam days in Flamingo.