Shallow Water Monsters

 

With water levels back to normal and a healthy dose of good weather, the fishing in Flamingo has been off the charts… lots of Tarpon all sizes, schooling Redfish and hoards of sub slot Snook. Although we managed a few big Snook this week, most of the big girls know when the season is open. Stealth was our most valuable asset… with the fish just coming off a couple weeks of abnormally high water, they were still slightly on edge. I made minor adjustments like moving slower or stopping completely (working the flat in small stages). Many times, stopping the boat and simply paying attention to your surroundings will give you a better idea of which direction you should pole. Patient anglers caught the most fish this week.

Sam Root of Saltyshores.com pulled into my driveway at 4:45 am last Thursday morning with energy drink in hand and cases full of the coolest Video/camera equipment available… easily a 100 lbs of cockpit filling gadgets. We later picked up Capt. Steven Tejera (www.KnotTightCharters), our guest angler, in Florida City on the way to Flamingo. We were met with light winds and only a few competing boats… it was going to be a good day. We were welcomed at our first stop by a team of aggressive under slot Snook… our Rapala Skitterwalks didn’t stand a chance and Sam got some good video. We bumped into an aggressive school of Reds on the way to the next area and I was able to get my Snook beaten Skitterwalk in front of them before they left. We moved East to find Tarpon and as we came off plane, a large one pushed off, leaving a trail of mud and bubbles. After a few minutes, we saw another one and a minute later another one, soon we were surrounded. All were large, smart fish… they detected our presence with the slightest noise or push of water, but we were determined to get our fly in front of one. After a couple failed attempts, we made adjustments for a stealthier approach… and it paid off. We had three eats and a busted leader before we finally stuck one… and it was a good one! Over ninety minutes, a broken 9 wt. fly rod and a worn out angler later, we finally landed her… with 75″ from nose to tail and a 37″ girth, the formula says she was 128 pounds. She was Capt. Tejera’s largest on a 9 wt. and the biggest for my boat this year. Of course, Sam got some bad to the bone video and underwater shots… here’s a teaser video to wet your appetite.

Tarpon in shallow water by Saltyshores.com

And, here are some pictures he was willing to share. Thanks Sam!


BTW, that’s an Ashley Cornelious (Don’s Bait and Tackle) fly!


Nice work, Steven… helluva catch on a 9 wt.

I had a little free time during the fight, so here are my pics…


Sam doing what he does so well…


He has no fear… What gators, crocs or sharks?

Here are some pics from the rest of the week…


Lots of these guys around… Dash’s Rapala Twitchin’ Rap saw decent action from the Snook and Tarpon that morning.


Tom and Nelson with Nelson’s first flats Snook…

   

Coach Tom doing what does, like it was his job.

   





  


Ken’s first Tarpon… Reflection perfection


Serious hang time…


The new chickee just outside of Garfield Bite…


This group of misfits were trying to steal my spot…