28 Feb Everglades National Park Fishing Guide
Everglades National Park Fishing Guide
The fishing has been on fire for almost every sport fish that swims in the park waters. It’s been about 3 weeks since the last cold front went by. The water temperatures are hot, keeping the fish very active in the shallow flats off Flamingo marina and the backwaters of the eastern part of the park, known as whitewater bay.
The redfish are thriving and showing up in big numbers in both shallow flats and creeks. Most fish are in the smaller side but bigger fish are starting to be caught, which evidences the rapid growth rate of these fish. There is plenty of nice snook on the flats, creeks and mangrove shorelines. We’ve been catching some really nice ones with almost every technique available, from jigs, shrimp, jerkbaits and plugs to flies. Seatrout have been thick in the channels and runoffs with the outgoing tides. Some days we’ve hooked them non-stop in almost every cast. The tripletail have been out in solid numbers. Calm days offer the best opportunity to look for them out in the gulf. There have been lots of small ones to keep the rod bent with some nice keepers for the table. Tripletail are by far, one of the tastiest fish in the ocean.
Everglades freshwater fishing
The days when the wind has been out of control keeping me off the flats (along with rain) I’ve been fishing for largemouth bass and exotics in the fresh water canals of the Everglades. The water levels are low, concentrating all the fish in the canals. While flyfishing, we’ve had days catching over 40 bass along with Mayan cichlids, oscars, bowfin, gar, panfish and peacocks. Great fun for the fly fisherman throwing poppers, foam insects and deer hair patterns.
Everglades Tarpon Fishing
Now, let’s talk about my favorite target. The tarpon have been around with the warmer temperatures. It’s been windy lately and that makes it harder to locate them and sight casting but they have been in all the spots they like to hang out at when conditions are right. Have the wind lay down and they get happy, roll, free jump and eat plugs and flies with reckless abandon. You will find me poling fly anglers and throwing plugs, from the islamorada and middle keys basins all the way to the river mouths and the inside in whitewaterbay.
Still have openings for tarpon season in April, May and June out of islamorada. I’ll be mainly throwing flies at them with clients but also drifting crabs and mullet for the conventional fisherman. Give me a call ASAP for availability. Prime tarpon dates in April and May are hard to come by.
Tight lines and let’s go fishing.
Capt Alex Zapata
Flats fishing guide
IFFF certified fly casting instructor
Miami, Everglades and the keys
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