Monday, October 6, 2008

Flamingo/Cape Sable/Whitewater Bay Loop 02/24-29/08

Day 1 - Flamingo - Clubhouse Beach - We arrived at Flamingo @ 10:00, i was packed and on the water with 160lbs of gear and water ready to fish flamingo for a bit while the other guys accompanying me on the trip were getting ready. I headed to Bradley Key and got nothing but Ladyfish and small jacks, didn't see my party anywhere, somehow we missed each other and i decided to move on to the next campsite early the next morning to find them. I spent the night @ Clubhouse beach, alone.

Day 2 - Clubhouse Beach - NW Cape - Hit the water @ 05:00 and paddled through some sharky water to the cape, i spooked quite a few in the shallows that made me question going on alone in the morning fog, then i came to East Cape Canal and witinessed schools of mullet being worked by something big, i came with rod in hand expecting tarpon but was greeted by more sharks. I dashed it to East Cape and the bull sharks prowling the shallows were replaced by snook
patroling the beaches, tons of snook, I landed and broke out the light tackle. I started off with 1 of the only two not slot sized snook of the whole trip, then started catching slot sized fish after slot sized fish, some little reds, trout up to 20'', look-downs, jacks, all morning long, what a blast, all fish caught on rootbeer terror-eyez (plugs and buzzbaits were not producing). Around 15:00, as i was deciding when i should head back to flamingo, i see both Flex and Pat rounding the
bend of East Cape, the trip was back on! for me anyway, apparently they headed out to Karl Ross and got stuck @ low tide, no harm no foul i thought and we paddled to NW Cape @ 16:00 with massive tarpon breaking the whole paddle long, i mean big 80-100lb fish everywhere about 1/2 mile off the beaches of middle and NW there as the sun set.

Day 3 - NW Cape - Graveyard Creek - Woke up to beautiful sunrise and more snook, all on the terroreyez today, i fished from 06:15-08:00 and caught about 20 fish, with only one under slot, i couldn't believe it, and only snook! no more slams for me. We had a nice long paddle and we knew there was front coming through but we did not expect 6-8ft seas and 15-20 knot winds, it was a rough haul but we made it to Graveyard by 16:00, tried to dry off and settled in for the night of wind and rain.

Day 4 - Graveyard Creek - Oyster Bay chickee - rough night of thunderstorms to a overcast morning and a rough crossing of Ponce De Leon Bay, we had a short paddle to Oyster Bay through the little Shark River and we shivered away that night on the chickee - no fishing today but a amazing blue-ish sunset.

Day 5 - Predicted winds of 20knots did not materialize, beautiful day with 10knot winds, we pushed down to south Joe River chickee, didn't fish much and all i got were ladies anyway, froze through this night as well, the stars managed to keep us out of our tents for a little while though.

Day 6 - South Joe River Chickee - Flamingo - Caught one fish from the Chickee, a silver trout, thats about it, the rest of the day was paddling: 10 miles in the face of 20-25knot East winds - thats all i'll say, i don't even want to think about it, had some cold Beer and gatorade as soon as i landed @ 15:00 and then we hauled it home in record time, i think the final mileage was 75 or so, we didn't make it to cane patch because of the weather but it was still an amazing experience and i highly reccomend it to anyone and everyone...words can not really do justice, or my pics for that matter but enjoy anyway.

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