Section One – Florida Bay

Section One – Florida Bay

The Florida Bay side of Flamingo consists of square miles of shallow grass flats. These flats are teaming with life. From hundreds of different species of birds that hunt on these shallow grass flats, to the many different species of fish found in the waters of Florida Bay, this is the best sight fishing found in Flamingo.
This is some of the fishing to be expected on a trip out in Florida Bay. Redfish would have to top the list of sought after and sight fished. The best and far most exciting way to fish them would have to be when the Redfish are tailing. Redfish are far less spooky as a bonefish. When a redfish is tailing, it is looking for a crab or shrimp that had burrowed into the mud and the redfish is trying to root them out. Their heads will be buried deep into the grass and mud. So a good accurate cast is needed. You will need to place a fly right on his nose. I have had some anglers get as many as 30 casts to a redfish without spooking him. This would never happen with a bonefish. To get a redfish to take a fly or lure or shrimp, he just needs to see it. His vision is very restricted with all the grass and sometimes mud in front of his eyes. But as soon as a redfish sees or smells your fly or bait, he will eat right away.
We may also find redfish cruising the flats, there may be a single one or a pack of 4 to 6 fish. Sometime, we will find them in large schools of 100 to 200 that will encompass the boat. We may also find them mudding or following the stingrays. The redfish are letting the stingrays kick up a shrimp or crab off the bottom. And they will swim over and eat it. I’ve seen up to six redfish at a time following a single stingray. With their tails all popping up out of the water at the same time. Jack cravelles will also follow these stingrays. They will run about 2 to 6 pounds and will love to crash a surface fly or lure. They are very strong fish and good action.
Tarpon Most of the tarpon that we find on the Florida Bay area of Flamingo are babies, in the 10 to 25 pound class. You can find them around the deeper channels and basins throughout Florida Bay. We will find them rolling in the morning hours. This is when they come to the surface to gulp air. Rolling lets us know where they are at so, we can position the boat to get a shot at them. Florida Bay also has plenty of big tarpon as well. At times you may find a bay that’s full of big tarpon that will just lay up on the surface soaking up the sun’s rays.
The largest tarpon that we have ever landed on a fly rod came from Florida Bay. This fish weighed 170 pounds, caught by John Costello.
Snook I’ll find most of my snook come from Florida Bay along the channels running through the miles of grass flats. We will also find a fair share of them right up on the flats. I love to sight fish snook. You can find them just cruising along or just sitting on the bottom waiting to ambush the first thing that comes their way. We will also find lots of snook in the potholes. This is a slightly deeper portion of the flat that has no grass in it. While fishing these potholes, there’s absolutely no telling just what you may get: Snook, redfish, speckled seatrout, tarpon, jacks, snapper, ladyfish. Ther is nothing like casting a top water lure or fly and seeing it get blasted by one of these fish.
Sharks There are a great number of species of Sharks on the flats of Florida Bay. Some of these are Lemon, Black tip, Bull, Silky, Dusky, Shovelhead, Nurse and some Hammerheads and Tiger Sharks. Most all of these species of Shark can be caught easily and children just love to see and catch them. We can also get sharks to take a fly. This is a great way to introduce a novice fly fisherman to saltwater.

As a fly fisherman, you may get lots of opportunities to cast to them and learn the skills necessary to become a proficient saltwater fly fisherman. For a bait fisherman, it’s a good way to catch that over 100 lb fish. Lots of action from some sharks that jump to others that take a bait or lure right off the surface or right next to the boat. Florida Bay provides fishing for the complete novice to the most experienced anglers. This is the best place to take your kids fishing. You can find great action with Speckled Seatrout, Jacks, Ladyfish, Mackerel, Sharks, and many other species of fish found throughout Florida Bay.