Flamingo Everglades Kayak Fishing Report
<p>Flamingo Everglades Kayak Fishing Report
Mike Conneen started the entire affair with an email. It had been way too long since I had participated in a real adventure.
Monday morning found us launching kayaks at Coot Bay Pond. Our destination was Cape Sable. Our goals were similar but different. Mike wanted a 30 inch snook, and to catch a fish with a fly rod (something he had never done). I wanted a seatrout, a redfish, a snook, a tarpon, and a crevalle jack, all on fly.
Mike carried two spinning rods and one fly rod. I had a six-weight only.
We'd been out maybe an hour when I spotted a snook layed up in ten inches of water. The gurgler landed about a foot in front of it. I popped it once and the fish was on! Releasing that fish was very satisfying, and an auspicious beginning to our trip.
I blew out every other fish I saw in that bay.
In the meantime Mike had jumped three baby tarpon, using a DOA Tiny TerrorEyz.
The lake ended and we paddled through an overgrown tidal creek into another bay. A hard wind was blowing from the east. Fortunately we were heading west. The wind and waves precluded any fishing here, though.
We passed through another creek into a small pond. The water was murky and I blew up every fish I saw. I couldn't see them until I was on top of them. Mike cast blindly, without success.
Mike hit a snoozing crocodile with his kayak. Ten feet of panicked reptile threw water and mud in every direction. Was that mud on the seat of Mike's pants?
Soon enough we were more concerned with navigation than fishing. The sun was low in the sky and we did not want to spend the night in the kayaks. With the help of his telephone Mike found us a small patch of dry land just as dark was settling in. My dinner was a granola bar and an orange.
In the morning a five foot shark found my kayak to be an object of his curiosity. At least I could see him coming.
We came to a place where there were at least a dozen large crocs all laying around. Our appearance sent several scurrying into the water. Some just remained where they were, unconcerned. We took some photos.
The current was flowing hard the wrong way at the next creek we came to. We ate lunch, then Mike took a cast with the Tiny TerrorEyz. BAM! Nice snook. He got five on six casts. I got a jack and a small snook, but no way could I keep up with Mr. On Fire. He got at least a dozen fish, maybe more. Then the current slacked off, and we paddled down the creek.
We camped that night and the next on Cape Sable.
In the morning we paddled back to the snook spot. I got a small redfish on a pink Clouser Minnow, as well as a couple snook. Mike did even better than the previous day. He had his 30 inch snook right by the kayak, where it broke off. But he pulled the fly rod out, hooking two snook with it. The first broke off. The second he boated and released. How many people can say their first fish on fly was a snook?
That night we were sitting at a small campfire made of very dead mangrove branches. I mentioned that old mangrove wood frequently contained scorpions. Later that night while trying to sleep, Mike felt something crawling on his back. When he went to grab it, it stung him twice, once on the back and once on his hand. It was a scorpion, which had apparently climbed into his clothes while he tended the fire. After killing it he packed up his gear, not wanting to risk a second encounter with another beastie. I heard him making noise and got up to see what he was doing. Once informed, I packed up too.
We launched the kayaks just after midnight, paddling under a nearly full moon the 11 miles back to Flamingo. It was beautiful out there, a great tactic for beating the east wind that just didn't quit while the sun shone. After the moon set we had an hour of spectacular star gazing, complete with meteors and satellites. I do not know the words to describe just how fantastic that hour was.
Fortunately Mike did not swell up like a balloon or suffer any other lasting effects from his scorpion encounter.
As it got light we fished in the dredge hole behind the Flamingo Campground, catching several jacks and ladyfish. Some big tarpon rolled but did not bite our offerings.
We spent Thursday in Flamingo unpacking, cleaning, and repacking, preparing for Phase Two.
Friday morning we launched the kayaks at West Lake, heading to Shark Point. We travelled through a series of lakes, ponds, and tidal creeks. Fishing was slow, although Mike jumped a baby tarpon on the Tiny TerrorEyz.
Once we reached Garfield Bight Mike proceeded to just crush the snook. I had three great shots at redfish. All three spooked off the fly.
We camped on the Shark Point chickee. Don't go there if you have a guano allergy.
Saturday offered the best weather of the week, a light east wind instead of the 20 knots we had experienced the rest of the week. We gently floated across Snake Bight, getting shots at spooky snook and redfish the whole way. I got one snook. Mike hooked three reds on a shad tail, catching one. At the Snake Bight channel I hooked, and lost, another snook. We were back in Flamingo at 3 PM, and back in Palm Bay at 9. I pulled in to my yard about 10. I still need to empty my car and clean up my gear.
Our goals were not completely met. Mike did not get the 30 inch snook, and I did not get a seatrout or a tarpon. I suppose a return trip is in order.
That, my friends, is Flamingo Everglades Kayak Fishing Report. It was a fantastic week of fellowship and adventure.
Life is great and I love my work!
Life is short- Go Fishing!
All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.
About The Author: John Kumiski
Company: Spotted Tail Charter Service
Area Reporting: Florida's Space Coast
Bio: Guiding fly and light tackle anglers on Florida\'s Space Coast for over 20 years.