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Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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2012/3/22 8:26
From Couldn't Care Less
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I think this is the right category to drop this. If it should do in the General forum the mods can feel free to move it

So I have two family vacations booked, Florida and Cancun. I have seen numerous videos and tv shows about bone fishing the flats and it looks awesome. Being a newbie to Fly Fishing and fishing in general I have a few questions to those in the know:

1) How much more difficult (and the differences) is it compared to trout and WW fishing?

2) I’m leaning towards spending some cash and hiring a guide, any experience with this? Think it is smart as they will take me to where the fish are but will they also be patient enough to show me the different techniques if that is required for this type of fishing

3) Anyone fish these areas have any info they can post

As the thread evolves I’ll probably have more questions … thanks in advance

Posted on: 2012/8/20 10:38
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Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun
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Go for it!

I think booking a guide would be a great idea.

Look around for a guide that has the knowledge and patience to teach a novice FFer.

Differences than trout and WW?....heavier rods (8wt), long and accurate casts needed in windy conditions (most times), with the pressure of seeing the fish you are casting to. Don't chicken out - not that hard - great fun!

Good luck.

Posted on: 2012/8/20 11:45


Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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I did a half day bonefish trip on a family vacation to Atlantis in the Bahamas last summer and it was an unforgetttable experience. I hooked two bonefish and was happy to land one. It is far different and much harder IMO than trout fishing simply because of the requirement to cast long distances (accurately) in windy conditions. Oh yeah, you might find yourself like I was, fighting a case of "buck fever" when your guide says something like, "OK Mon, I need a long cast to 11:00" and for once you actually see the fish cruising along. These fish are very spooky and any noise sends them rocketing out of sight. That being said, if you can get your fly in front of them there's a good chance they will eat. They are very hard to see and that's where a guide is essential. I fished from a boat which I highly recommend vs. walking the flats. Standing on the bow of a boat while it bobs up and down in the waves adds to the casting difficulty. Being high in the boat helps you see and really helps the guide who is up on the platform behind you.

If nothing else it was an awesome way to see some of the ocean around Nassau. Fantastic colors!

Hire the guide. They should help you with casting. As Afish said, don't chicken out - it was a blast!

Posted on: 2012/8/20 12:01
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Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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Let me just recommend a friend of mine, Pat Damico. He is a guide out of St. Pete Beach and a FFF Master Casting instructor. He would be able to put you on fish and work on your casting. www.captpat.com

Posted on: 2012/8/20 12:18
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Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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Where are you going to be in Florida?

Posted on: 2012/8/20 12:34


Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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Quote:
Let me just recommend a friend of mine, Pat Damico. He is a guide out of St. Pete Beach and a FFF Master Casting instructor. He would be able to put you on fish and work on your casting. www.captpat.com


If I was in Tampa def would've called him

Posted on: 2012/8/20 12:38
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Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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Quote:
PhilC wrote:

Where are you going to be in Florida?


Will be in Delray beach and prefer to travel as far as Miami (sth) and 60 miles North (wherever that may lead too).

Posted on: 2012/8/20 12:40
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Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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2006/9/13 22:36
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fish the beach for blues, an 8 wt.ill work for ya in delray. There should be some kinda guide in Boca ratan area.redfish, baby tarpon,ladyfish there as well.

Cancun is not really a fly fishing destination, but there is some fishing in the area. best bet is to look online for a guide service there..

Posted on: 2012/8/20 16:15
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Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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What you really need to know about saltwater fishing is finding the fish is much tougher than when river fishing for trout.
Hire a guide or come back with your tail between your legs.
Also even if you find some fish unless the tide/time are correct-they ain't gonna hit.
I have been wade fishing in the lagoons and have spotted schools of dozens of redfish just gliding by but they wouldn't even pay attention to the lures.
Also between you me and the clams,unless you are an experienced flyfisher ,good caster and understand saltwater coastal fishing,without a guide you would be better off with spinning gear and mirrolures.But I didn't say that on a fly fishing forum.

Posted on: 2012/8/20 16:30
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Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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I have very little experience fishing the salt (some surf/piers and a few charters). And none with the fly (which will soon change).

So basically, nothing at all like what you are doing. Take it for what it's worth. But overall, my experiences have been that finding fish is difficult. It's a lot of water. But once you find em, they are ravenous.

Some of the most fun I ever had was hauling in schoolie dolphin (mahi mahi) on a charter. We even got a blue marlin that day. But the dolphin on light tackle was much more fun, IMO. Trolling, trolling, trolling, bam, every rod on the boat goes down simultaneously. Mate's handing rods around, trying to prevent tangles, meanwhile chumming and getting light action spinning rods out. By the time we got all the rods landed, you look behind the boat, and there's just 100 or so fish stacked up against the stern. You could toss that rod 100 yards away and one would be on it in an instant. All you have to do is "hit water".

Mass craziness. 6 sports on the boat. Pretty much a constant "6 header" till the school is gone or your limited out.

Posted on: 2012/8/20 19:44


Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun
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Stagger,
Flats fishing for bonefish in the FL keys is difficult. Most of the videos and pics you see of FFers wading shallow sandy flats and catching multiple bonefish are filmed in the Bahamas.....not Florida. Bones in FL are almost like a different species and a very different game: They're bigger, scarcer, tail in deeper water, and are much tougher to feed a fly. I'd consider a good day with a guide out of Islamorada or Biscayne to be several shots and maybe two or three hookups and one fish landed. You really have to work hard for bones on a fly in FL. I'm not trying to sound discouraging but merely to provide a realistic expectation. One will need to cast far, quickly, and accurately....and do it in the wind. If you're going to give it a try, definitely hire a guide. If you're willing to fish spin gear and live bait you will dramatically improve your chances of hooking a bonefish (or any of the flats fishes down there). Be aware also (this is not as true as it used to be)....guides in the Keys have a reputation for being a bit hard on clients who can't cast well. There has been an effort among the guide community to change this but ask many guides down there what frustrates them and they'll tell yuh it's the newbie FF guys who, when the guides puts 'em on fish, can't make the presentation (and then grumble when they return to the dock with the skunk). There are some DIY spots in the Keys where you can wade without a guide and have a good chance to see some bones. PM me and I'll tell you more about 'em. Also, bonefishing in the Keys is only available in south FL from Miami and down into the Keys.

Posted on: 2012/8/21 7:05


Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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Thanks so much for the input so far, much appreciated ..

1) Long accurate casts into the wind ‘scare’ me as I’ve on fished about 10 – 15 times since I took this up @ the intro jam you guys held. Long and accurate is not in my vocabulary right now. Don’t mind getting skunked once in awhile BUT DO NOT want to go out there with NO SHOT at landing any fish because of my experience and level


2) All the research I have done, like many have said, looks f’en awesome. Will def go the guide route if I do it. I noticed that some are on the bay and others creeks and canals for snook and tarpon where you blind cast for snook and tarpon … do you guys think the creeks and canals would be more enjoyable understanding my experience and level?


3) @ sandfly said there seems to be guides for blues, redfish, baby tarpon,ladyfish, as well as snapper, grouper, barracuda, etc .. going to read up a lil b4 I ask questions but in general … are they less challenging than bones?


4) @Fishidiot .. not discouraging and I appreciate your candor.

Getting skunked is one thing but going out and having no shot at hooking, landing and/or casting close to the fish is another. I just started this gig and know my limitations, which can change by the winter time. Not going to head as far south as I’d like to, used to dive the keys a lot, as key Biscayne is the farthest south I’ll go. Do you know any spots from Key Biscayne north?





Quote:
Aafishinado wrote:

Don't chicken out - not that hard - great fun!

When all is said and done this is very tempting

Posted on: 2012/8/21 7:56
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Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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Ok. So south FL late summer. The flats aren't going to be gangbusters, and the only place they might be hot for bones is Biscayne Bay in Miami, which has bonefish spookier than Letort trout. However, tarpon and snook will be available at night, and false albies will be on fire just off the coast around Palm Beach. You don't need to be Lefty Kreh to catch either. When in Cancun, call Pesca Maya. They run a bus from the hotels all the way to their lodge, where you can fish for permit (you probably won't be catching one), bonefish (you should catch a bunch), and tarpon (who knows?). Pesca Maya is great. Save your money for that. Ask for Daurin, a great guide. Bring size 4 white rabbit gotchas.

Posted on: 2012/8/21 8:26


Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun
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Quote:

Stagger_Lee wrote:
do you guys think the creeks and canals would be more enjoyable understanding my experience and level?[/b]


Do you know any spots from Key Biscayne north?


There are virtually no bonefish opportunities north of Key Biscayne.
Canals are indeed a good bet for a beginner FFer. You can catch bass, baby tarpon, and even peacock bass in these canals. It's a blast. I did some exploring in the canals around Ft Lauderdale a few years ago. Some were loaded with fish and others barren. I caught lots of peacocks on flies (all under about 15"). I think that folks down there are a bit tight lipped about their favorite canals but I'd guess there are guides who will take you fishing them. If I were in your shoes, I'd go with a canal guide and chase whatever is biting than go all the way down to Biscayne for bones. This would probably be less expensive too I'd imagine. Truth be told, there are so many fishing options in south FL you can have all kinds of fun as others have pointed out in this thread. So many fish - so little time! FFing for the glamour species gets all the print but there are many, many other options that will probably see you doing a lot more catching.
Finally, I'd add: Take a half day, if you have time, and visit the International Game Fish Museum. It's right next to the giant Bass Pro Shop in Dania Beach, just off RT 1 near Ft Lauderdale. If you're interested in the history of sports fishing and learning about different game fish, you'll enjoy the IGFA museum.

Posted on: 2012/8/21 9:04


Re: Flat fishing Sth Fla & Cancun

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Quote:

Truth be told, there are so many fishing options in south FL you can have all kinds of fun as others have pointed out in this thread. So many fish - so little time! FFing for the glamour species gets all the print but there are many, many other options that will probably see you doing a lot more catching.

FI is spot on here. From what I'm reading I wouldn't suggest targeting bonefish around where you are in Fla. You'll have to travel further than you're planning and even at that it is difficult for an experienced angler to do well in the Keys. That said, I've never gone for bonefish...
I've fished a good bit near Delray in the past few years...to the north mainly between Jupiter and Fort Pierce. There are plenty of opportunities here inshore and off.
A huge factor here is if you will be using a boat. If you have access to any sort of boat, or plan on renting, you should be able DIY on the ICW/inshore rivers. [purist cover your eyes] If you're worried about your casting skills, you can buy a box of glass minnows to use as chum...the fish will be all around your boat.
If you can only wade then I would suggest maybe getting a guide. This involves spotting and casting to fish usually, and can be difficult to learn on your own unless you have a lot of time on your hands. I know a guide out of Stuart but I'm not sure if she still taking any new client, if not I could get you some references.
When are you planning on being there?

Right now it is still good for snook,tarpon, and bonito but should start to fade in September as the temps start to drop. In the fall and into winter there will still be ladyfish, jacks, trout, mackeral...these fish smash flies! The locals often see these as trash fish (well at least the ladies and jacks that aren't edible) but they are great sport...


Posted on: 2012/8/21 12:32



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