Capt. Jason Sullivan reports on the Everglades fishing in early October
It’s all about the baby tarpon. There’s a ton of them around, they’re frisky, and they’re eating flies with vigor. Good news, the Flamingo boat ramp is now open. Until recently we’ve been running to Florida Bay from Key Largo to find these fish. They will concentrate around creek mouths, in the channels, and along edges of flats on lower tides. As the tide pushes in so will the fish.
There’s a lot of freshwater in Florida Bay but the water quality is decent. It seems as though the storm has pushed out some of the bad water. We’ve also been having some redfish and snook encounters when chasing the tarpon up onto the flats. These mini kings are ranging from five to fifteen pounds with some smaller ones around as well. Spectacular on seven and eight weights. Little tarpon with big appetites, these fish aren’t picky. Early morning presents the opportunity to have a gurgler crushed. Baitfish patterns like the Brushy Baitfish with grey and a touch of orange have been very successful as well. As the sun gets higher and the tarpon are surrounded by muddy mullet water, something that pushes a lot of water with more contrast and a ton of movement like the Tom’s Tantrum is a good choice. Especially if the fish seem to have turned off.
The last few days mark the first time we’ve been able to get out the back of Flamingo since Hurricane Irma. The backcountry is fishing like it hasn’t been fished in months. Good numbers of aggressive snook and baby tarpon along treelines willing to eat just about anything that crosses their path. We also found some big tarpon and snook blowing up mullet out in the gulf.