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David Knapp
03-03-2010, 03:38 PM
Anyone ever been there and do any fishing? I'm thinking about heading down that way and need some help on the fishing prospects...I only have gear for freshwater so am not interested in the saltwater opportunities...thanks!

donwinn
03-03-2010, 07:38 PM
Plateau,

I have been there, but I have not fished there. I would contact Drew Delashmit. I am sure he could give you the name of a guide or someone you could contact about fishing there.

Love your journal articles.

Kytroutbum
03-03-2010, 08:19 PM
Check with some local guides, I'm in Ft. Myers, right now, the water temp in Pine Island sound is 58 off Sanibel, usually its mid 70's. I've been in the mangroves off and on for three weeks and caught a few sheephead on live shrimp, released two barely in the slot reds and have seen absolutely NO snook or baby Tarpon. Usually I seen several snook everyday. The fish kill stories I heard in January were not stretches of the imagination. Guides, I've talked to have said any snook they seen are in BAD SHAPE- The Reds made it through a lot better- just can't get them to hit due to water temp.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

fishingman62
03-03-2010, 09:48 PM
your going to be limited to bass paecock bass and bluegill in florida fresh water david....if you can find some brackish water half salt half fresh you may find a few of the inshore target species trout reds tarpon and snook... i never fished that far south when i lived in fl ...its expensive but a guide may be your best bet....trout and reds and smaller snook should be handled by a 6 or 7 wt rod....if you flush your rods and reels good with plenty of running fresh water i don't think you would damage your equipment...i mostly used spinning reels mitchell 308 and 300's kept them rinsed good after fishing in the gulf and still use those rods today 6 years later .. also some guids for fly fishing provide fly rods and reels ....a 27 inch red on fly tackle would be alot of fun ....they fight hard and run quick on the hook set ...
dan

jeffnles1
03-04-2010, 02:42 AM
David,
You may want to go over to www.warmfly.com (http://www.warmfly.com) There are a couple guys on that forum who frequent south florida.

A lot of them fish the canals and channels. I've seen some photos of some pretty nice chiclids, peacock bass and largemouth.

I've never fished that far south in Fla. Most of the fishing I've done in the state has been around Tampa and Orlando. My parents go to Dade City (about 45 miles north of Tampa) for the winter and I've done some fishing around there.

Lots of alligators and snakes. They'll usually leave you alone as long as you don't aggrivate them too much. Not sure I'd want to do much wading in those waters. Stepping on a gator's head would usually be considered as aggrivating by the gator. They look a lot like a log when they're laying on the bottom. I think it may be pretty easy to accidentally step on one and I doubt if much good would come from the experience.

One of the golf courses my dad plays has a couple residet gators. It's pretty much understood if one is sunning himself on the green and your ball goes too close one takes a Mulligan and relocates the ball to a safer spot for the putt.

Jeff

kentuckytroutbum
03-04-2010, 01:05 PM
Just came back from a business trip to Key Largo and Islamorada in the Keys. Water temp was 70 degrees and rising.

Went to a couple of local fly shops in Islamorada area, and people were catching tarpon, permit, some reds and snook on 8 wt. rods. along the Keys. Freshwater gear will work, but as was said earlier, you will have to wash it down at the end of the day. A good guide is a necessity in the Keys and Everglades otherwise you could be wasting your time, IMHO.

Key Largo is about 1 1/2 hours (in traffic) south of Miami, so you could link up with a guide down there.

Kytroutbum
03-05-2010, 02:16 PM
If your planning on freshwater-canals, etc. -peacocks (took a big hit), other exotics- I'd STRONGLY SUGGEST getting some current info for the species you plan on targeting BEFORE making plans or buying tickets.. I've talked with folks who have had the bottoms of their canals from Naples to Miami, solid with dead fish in Late January. The air temperatures in the interior of Southern Florida this week are still dropping into the low to mid 30's and highs of low 60's (1-3 pm) then dropping everyday this week. The temps are supposed to rise next week, but the water temps will rise slower. The temps got so bad that 400+ bluegill anf bass actually died in the condo pond.
I wish I could be more optimisitc but the only real fishing I'm hearing about are Reds, Seatrout and Sheephead that could stand the extreme cold. Again, I'd highly reccomend talking to several guides etc before buying tickets etc.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

David Knapp
03-05-2010, 04:12 PM
Cost isn't too much of a concern because we're driving and splitting costs between several people. I'm interested in doing the trip just to see the area and the fishing will be a bonus on the side...however it would be really nice to get into some decent fishing while there!

Carlito
03-07-2010, 12:52 PM
PA, there is a good two page article in this month's issue of American Angler about fishing for bass and bream in Florida creeks. It specifically mentions the Salt Springs Run, Alexander Springs Run, and the Juniper Springs Run in the Ocala National Forest. You should pick up a copy and check it out.

The guy that wrote it is a guide down there. John Kumiski. www.spottedtail.com. I bet he could give you some advice.

Mundele
03-07-2010, 09:56 PM
Back a few years ago (probably 8 or so) A friend and I did a canoe-camping trip down there. He lives in Tampa. I flew to Tampa and we drove down to the upper, western end. I can't remember the town but its where one of the nat'l park entrances and ranger stations are. We asked the ranger to help us plan our trip and they rented us a canoe. We stayed 3 nights, the first on an old homestead turned into a campsite. We were visited by one of the biggest rats I've ever seen, it had crawled up onto our table while we were eating dinner and seeing a big old rat like that by lantern-light trying to steal your dinner is kinda unnerving.

The next night we stayed on a "chickee" (basically a deck out on the water with a port-a-potty). The third day we turned out into the open water and paddled to an island (rabbit key was its name) and stayed there. It was a really great trip.

Looking back, crossing open water like that in a little canoe was probably stupid but we had a great time.

This was before I fished. We were in brackish and saltwater the whole time. We could've gone more inland into freshwater and seen alligators. We didn't see any from the canoe.

I recommend calling the ranger station and talking to someone. The lady who helped us was really great.

--matt

Mundele
03-07-2010, 09:59 PM
Oh, one other thing, we went in January (just after Christmas) and it was perfect. The bugs (mosquitoes) apparently die down during that time but pretty quickly come back, so either bring a lot of Deet or a head net or something.

Knothead
03-09-2010, 04:52 PM
I was just thinking of a fellow who guides on the canals in the Miami area. He doesn't leave anything in his car and leaves the windows down so thieves won't break the windows looking for stuff to steal. Thought this was interesting how he copes with the local crime problem.
If you are looking to fish Lake Okeechobee, basser Roland Martin has a marina and motel in Clewiston, FL.

David Knapp
03-28-2010, 01:29 PM
Thanks to everyone that offered suggestions and help on the Everglades. Unfortunately the fishing was off, probably largely due to a big fish kill this past winter when the water temperatures dropped much lower than normal. The snook in particular were hammered. Anyway, I finally got some pictures, etc., up on my blog (http://thetroutzone.blogspot.com) for those that are interested. The wildlife proved to be much more interesting than the fishing although I hope to go back sometime to do a dedicated fishing trip when the conditions are better...

ChemEAngler
03-28-2010, 07:35 PM
David,

Sorry to hear that the fishing was not as good as anticipated, but still looks like you had a very fun trip. By the way, the photos from the trip are phenomenal.

The Principal
03-28-2010, 08:18 PM
David,
Enjoyed your notes and pictures on the florida trip. What kind of canoe do you have.
It must be very stable to brave the salt .

David Knapp
03-28-2010, 09:40 PM
My canoe is an Old Town...not a particularly great one but it definitely gets the job done. It handled the waves beautifully, much better than I expected...