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Fishing Flamingo

Old 12-20-2008, 07:28 AM
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Default Fishing Flamingo

I'm from NC and headed down to FL for a week or so after Christmas. We plan on staying a few days at Flamingo.

I plan on bringing a kayak to fish from. I might even rent a skiff for a day or two.

I've started looking over some charts and have a Bluechart unlock code on the way to study Bluechart some. Plan on looking for the typical channels, points, holes. Is this the best style there as well?

Red Drum (Redfish), snook, trout are targets. If there are any little tarpon around that would be awesome though I know nothing about catching them.

Can anyone recommend general fishing style and rigging there? Also, are there spots close enough to Flamingo to fish from the yak?

Thanks for any advice.


mike
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Fishing Flamingo

I am also planning on heading down there this winter....there is some info on the net about fishing reports...I think it is camping only..you can reserve a raised camping deck out in the water......I do know that the area is huge and varied.....in the winter all the transient fish end up in flamingo...tarpon, spanish, reds, snook....etc....hard place to get to....some guys trailer down early in the am and stay at a motel in homestead.....get a topspot map...check with the park service....also check with local guides....good luck...Mick
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Flamingo

Give me a call anytime and I'll try to point you in the right direction about Flamingo....

for others thinking of stopping there... Here are the basics. Flamingo lost its motel, cabins, and restaurant three years ago (hurricane Wilma) and to date nothing's been done to replace them.... What remains are the marina, marina store, the small boat rentals (little motor skiffs -very underpowered, canoes, and kayaks), and a campground with no hook-ups for RV's.... If you detect a note of frustration on my part, you're right on the money, since most of my charters are based out of Flamingo.... For those who've never been there, draw a line right down the center of the state... where that line hits the water is roughly where Flamingo is (it's also roughly 30 miles due north of Islamorada by water). There are two boat ramps at Flamingo, one for Florida Bay to the south and a second ramp that allows access up into the backcountry interior areas (Coot Bay, Whitewater Bay, Oyster Bay and the Gulf coast of the 'Glades where the Shark, Harney, Broad, and Rogers Rivers drain into the salt). Whitewater Bay is the big one - it's roughly 10 miles long and 6 miles wide....

The nearest accomodations to Flamingo are exactly 50 miles away in Florida City, where Florida's Turnpike ends and joins US 1 ( at that point you're only 18 miles from Key Largo...).
If anyone sends me an email request, I have a list of motels that my customers have had good luck with that I can send them. The listing is by price with contact numbers...

For paddlers coming into Everglades National Park there are lots of opportunities, including whole areas that are off-limits to boats with motors, are relatively sheltered, and have lots of fish. The Park's visitor center just before you hit the main gate, is a must stop if you're planning to stay at any of the remote interior camp-sites. You have to reserve them a day at a time and can only do so in person. There are campsites throughout the interior, each set a half day's paddle apart. The vast majority are just a dock, with an open roof and a Porta-Potty... You pitch your tent on the dock (bring a good air mattress...). Needless to say the camping season is only good in winter, in the warmer months the bugs are really bad.... If you contact the Visitor Center by phone (305)242-7700 they probably have a basic info package that they can send you. They also have a rough map of the interior lakes and canals where only paddlers are allowed to go....

Hope this helps, my email is lemaymiami@aol.com, my phone is (954) 435-5666, and I'm at Flamingo most days - that phone is probably best at night....
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Flamingo

I'm going to take you up on that offer. I'll give you a ring sometime in the next day.

Your first name is Bob?

thank you

mike
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Flamingo

Mosquito repellent. Thermo-cells work great as long as there is little to no wind. Otherwise you be bathed in 30% det for your trip.

The mosquito's are actually worse in Flamingo than anywhere else.

Though the winter months aren't that bad.

If you can make your way to Joe River you'll be sheltered from the rough sea's that often end up happenning in Whitewater Bay. And Joe River is very scenic. Follow Joe River North until it Dumps into Oyster Bay. Great fishing in Oyster Bay.

If you've got a sailing rig on your kayak you may be in good shape for crossing some of the bays.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:23 AM
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Default RE: Fishing Flamingo

The hurricanes of the last several years really tore up flamingo and caused the discontinuation of the houseboat rentals they had. i just spoke with xanterra, the company that operates the concessions out of flamingo, and they are not going to start them back up. bummer.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Flamingo

Capt Bob -

I'll be fishing Flamingo this weekend. Looks like a cold front is coming through with some wind. Any advice on lures/flies to bring? The bay side might be out of the question eh?
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:19 AM
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Default RE: Fishing Flamingo

FYI, Xanterra is no longer the concessionaire operating Flamingo.... The new outfit, is just now getting up and running. Houseboats are in the grand plan to re-build the facilities there but to date nothing's been done. I went to all the meetings over the last two years as they hashed out what the Park Service wants to do. The price tag is only $18 million (you'd think it would be on the radar now that our government seems hell bent on spending every penny they have and a lot that they don't have....) but I've heard nothing about any funding whatsoever - and I'm one of those on the list for such information since I'm a permitted guide there. As of yesterday the gas pumps were finally up and running again, the campground and marina store are operating... but that's all. If you detect a note of frustration on my part you're right on the money.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Flamingo

First off I'd like to say thanks to Bob for giving me some tips. They were fantastic.

We hooked into a snook within 30 minutes of putting the yak in. After that we caught redfish, snook, and jack cravel for 3 days. We had a blast.

We did learn how much the wind keeps the water out when it blows hard. One afternoon we had trouble getting to our fishing spot for a long time until the tide really came.

Check this out! I don't think I got a single mosquito bite the whole time. We even did the Snake Bight Trail on bike and didn't get a single bite! No flamingos either though...

The concessionaire was really behind when we were there. I'm sure they have got up to speed on the store by now as they were working hard at it. If you are going anytime soon I'd call and make sure they have what you need.

I disagree about what they have planned for Flamingo. I'd like to see them tear down the destruction and leave it as a "wild" place. Building what they have intended will ruin some of the mystique that Flamingo has. With gas for the boats and the store running I think it is a perfect place IMHO. Good enough to rough it on yet not enough services to have a flood of people. That said, I'm not trying to make a living there so my opinion will be different.

We'll be back this year!
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Flamingo

Fillet, this coming weekend at Flamingo will be tough since there's a hard cold front coming on Friday that will drop temps overnight down into the forties... That said, live shrimp or jigs tipped with bits of shrimp in creek mouths and drains would be my first choice. East Cape canal, House and Slagle ditches would be high on the list since they're at least partially sheltered from hard north winds that will accompany the front's passage... Yesterday, the best action among the guides that I spoke with was out front along the edges of the big flats where the water drops down into the 3 feet or deeper edges, particularly where off-color water is pushing up onto flats with the rising tide. I saw one trout yesterday that was easily 26" that came out of that area. The areas that I worked yesterday, to the west and along the Gulf coast weren't nearly as productive... If you can, I'd try to be on the water tomorrow before that nasty front moves through, that's where I'll be if I get booked...

As far as the facilities at Flamingo are concerned it may be that folks that aren't familiar with the area don't know the history involved... There have been visitor's accomodations at Flamingo for more than fifty years until they were destroyed by hurricane Wilma more than 3 years ago. Those facilities were modest at best and consisted of a motel, restaurant, cabins, and a small houseboat rental operation... Without them the nearest accomodations are fifty miles away at Florida City / Homestead. Unlike folks who might be able to visit once or twice in their lifetimes, locals have frequented Flamingo for generations (literally..) and find the loss of those facilities a sad affair.

I participated in the two year planning process that took into account every protection for the environment, very carefully would provide facilities that the Park Service thought were adequate (and that in no way would have increased the stressors on the area) and took into account every possible user group's input. I'm not entirely happy with what they've come up with but I believe it will work. What hasn't happened is any mention of funding to proceed with the re-building or any action to begin the actual re-construction... It would be nice to think that things were going to be done but I've seen no sign of it at all.... or any public mention of it.

Wish things were different....
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