There is a whole other world out there on the Florida Bay Flats that few of us get to properly explore.
I took the W 500 down to Flamingo to paddle the flats and sight fish. I was hoping for a serene day of solitude and tight lines. That’s exactly what I was given.
I arrived pre dawn and quickly set up the W 500. The dreaded mosquitos, like the wind, were light and variable. That is until one got on the sea. Then it was Tora, Tora, Tora on the water.
Once afloat I could see nothing but nervous water. It was Mullet mayhem. School after school of Finger Mullet were throwing wakes and cavorting. This lasted all day.
The calm surface was thick with floating grass as I paddled out toward Snake Bight. Normally I try to avoid getting close to the mangroves at this time of day because of the mosquitos but I could see so many Snook and small Tarpon finning and rolling that I had to start casting.
I was rigged with T & A weedless jigs and Monster 3 X shrimp. The small Snookers were slamming my shrimp and I boated a few right off the bat. I also jumped a bunch of small Tarpon but couldn’t land one. I have a love hate relationship with this ancient species.
It seemed every time that I threw under the mangroves I got something small. With so many mullet running up and down the channel I figured a swim bait might get me something bigger. I switched one rig and “blammo”. My reel started screaming and I was being quickly pulled into the mangroves by a beautiful Snook.
I had no choice but to tighten down the drag and try to muscle the snook and myself out of the foliage. It worked and I boated this fat, 32 inch Snook. Wow! Serenity and chaos all mixed together. That’s why I love Flamingo.
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