Inshore Fish!ing Report
Everglades National Park, Fl
July 15, 2000
by: Jim Sawyer
Capt. John Griffiths is a Florida native and one of only four guides licensed to fish out of the Flamingo Marina at Everglades National Park. He has been at Flamingo a little over a year now and guided privately in the park and around S. Florida for several years before that.
We met at the Marina and were on the water a little after 8:00 AM. Our target for the morning was going to be trippletail. In case you are not familiar with them, the trippletail has a deep, somewhat rounded shape, is a mottled grey/brown color and his dorsal and anal (top and bottom) fins extend back to create the appearance of three tails. Most fish are in the 2 to 10 pound r, but the Florida record is 32 pounds.While some people will debate their qualities as a gamefish everyone agrees that they are excellent eating.
Capt. John said that he and the other Flamingo guides had been seeing 20 to 30 trippletail per morning for the last week and that the late outgoing tide should work in our favor. Unfortunately, we first had to sit out a couple morning showers and were left with a gusty SW wind that was at least twice what the morning forecast had called for.
After the rain, we setup on Conchie Channel and started to fish. Trippletail tend to float on their side on the surface with the weed clumps or swim slowly against the current in the channel. They will also hold around the channel markers. Our bait of choice was a chartreuse Hookup jig with a white curlytail gurb. The plan was to anchor up next to the channel and sight cast to fish as they passed our position. The jig had to be cast beyond and ahead of the target, brought back right in front of their nose and "don't" set the hook until you feel the fish take the jig and turn away from you.
This sounds like good advice, but because of the rain, or wind, or whatever... we didn't see nearly as many fish as we expected and never did get a hookup despite Capt. John's best efforts. After a quick stop around Bradley Key to check for snook and redfish (the water was too dirty with the SW wind) we took a lunch break at the marina and switched to "Plan B".
For the afternoon we headed east from the marina to check out Tin Can Channel and Snake Bight. We now had an incoming tide on the flats and were protected from the wind. We were using the same jig/grub combo plus gold spoons and some red/wht mylar jigs I use on the beach.
As we moved up on the flats we worked the potholes that are visible as light patches against the darker grass. Capt John got the first hookup, but on the snook's first surge his rod exploded into four pieces. Holding two of the pieces together he was still able to land the 30"+ snook in good time (see right and above).
I was able to land three snook in the 30" +/- range and we add a stray jack and seatrout between us. We tried to round out the day with at least one redfish, but were unable to find any candidates.
A quick 10 minute run brought us back to the dock around 4:00 pm to end a very enjoyable day of fishing.
Capt. Griffiths advertises that he can take anglers of any experience, even those who do not know how to cast, and show them an enjoyable day of fishing. I found him to be a very patient guide and a natural teacher. He is very conscious of the needs of his clients, even to the point of carrying extra polarized sunglasses for their use. With his obvious knowledge of the Flamingo area I have no doubt that he can deliver on his promise. You can visit his website for more information.
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Last modified on 07/22/2000.