THE FISHING TRIP: Flats Fishing
Aboard: Code Red Charters with Captain Ryan 786-505-4831
The Spot : Flamingo Everglades National Park, FL
Weather : 10 to 15 knot winds, overcast weather, did not rain
Water: Clear water on flats, dirty water at outgoing tide
Fish catches: Redfish (Red Drum), Sea Trout, Snook, Mangrove Snapper, Lady Fish
Biggest size Type : Redfish 27″
Techniques : Artificial Lures only
Jigs : Artificial lures used were shrimp imitation and assassin sea shads that had white or chartreuse
This weekend I had planned fishing in the Dry Tortugas on the Yankee Capts boat with Ed, a vertical jigging friend, but the trip was canceled. I then planned fishing right after a tropical storm on Newport Pier, but the storm dissipated and became rain and thunder storms. Then Ryan an old friend of mines turned Charter Captain gave me an offer I could not refuse and so I booked a trip with him and called Ed to see if he wanted to go. We met at Don’s Bait and Tackle before going to Flamingo. Ryan had all the equipment necessary for the trip including all the artificial lures we needed to use. Our target fish were Redfish ( Red Drums), Cpatain Bollywood (Ryan) had already prepared the tackle, leaders, and lures for us and so it was a quick drop of the boat and off we went fishing for Redfish, a short 20 minute ride and we were at one of the Bights. In Flamingo Everglades National Park, Fl these are a series of natural areas that have a “c” shape formation and are located East of the main park ramp. Captain Bollywood position the boat with the current and wind and began poling in about a foot of water as we all looked for signs of redfish. A few wakes were seeing and so Ed had a first shot at them, he had a first hit as you could hear DAMN! I missed it! We then saw the fish moving fast the opposite direction. After a few more of our cursing words Ed again had another shot and this time DAMN! his line went slack and we noticed the fish cut him off. 15 pound test leaders could get cut off quickly if the fish swallows the whole lure, but you get more bites that way. Well the leader was raised to 20 I believe and so we went on to look for more redfish. In our drift direction there was another skinny water boat poling the flats so the Captain decided to go to another spot. This time he took us closer to the Bight’s mangrove tree lines as he was polling at casting a few shots of his own we spotted a snook that had no interest in being pulled by any ones line, the a few small lemon sharks passed by the boat, and then a redfish that paid no mind to anything we threw at it, even a jack crevalle passed by and had not even looked at out lures, I guess we missed sending them the invitation to come out and play with us.
We had to move and so we moved to another Bight, this time the tide was going out and the water looked a bit better since the wind had died down and we were able to see the current acting up in certain areas signaling for higher grounds. As we got closer and closer we began stalking or targets and this time there were quite a few, we missed a lonely redfish as he said good bye to us and then we fixed ourselves into a scholl that kept on going and coming. We had fresh shrimp imitation lures fresh leaders and so we got closer to the school and closer then it looked like the bell rang and all went running out of class. Ryan threw his cast, I threw my cast, we had a double! The Ed is like DAMN! I missed it! NO, NO, IT’S STILL ON! It now was a hell of a triple hookup! and so we reeled in our target species after a few almost tangles that didn’t happen. We took a few pics and off we went thinking of a new target, this time spotted sea trout were in the mind of the Captain. We got rid of the shrimp imitations and used some Assassin Sea Shad lures. This time the target was easily found as the Captain already had a spot he knew where they would be and we did not have to stalk them nor polling the flats was involved. We simply cast our lines and a few spotted sea trout would gladly and furiously hit our lures, it was one after another non stop action. We had fun until fun was no more, too much repetitive fishing and it gets boring. So we decided to accept the Captain’s recommendation to get out from the inshore waters and go to the inland lake for some snook or tarpons. We went 1 of 3 on the snook and 0 for 3 on the Tarpon, as we were going for those species Ed kept on hooking trout and the Captaion and I got some Lady fish which I kept for later fishing outings. It was a lot of fun fishing with the guys and was nice to do it all on artificial lures only. If you need an affordable Charter to Isla Morada or Flamingo Everglades National Park you can contact Code Red Backcountry Charters at 786-505-4831, Captain Ryan says he guarantees the target fish or you do not have to pay. The full day Charter is only $350 up to two people.