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Headed to the ENP for a solo camping/fishing trip. Slight winds from the E/NE so I decided to camp in the backcountry on the Plate Creek Bay Chickee. It faces the East, so I figured the breeze would blow any mosquitos or no-see-ums back into the small cay that is behind the chickee. Fortunately, I was right! Beautiful clear skies both at night and during the day, cool temperatures meant good sleeping! Fishing was good. I focused on areas to the south and ended the two days with nice catches of snook (smaller, but 14 for the two 3/4 days that I fished), reds (3), trout (3), Spanish Mac (1) and assorted ladyfish, jacks and catfish.

The highlight of the trip occurred on Saturday at the very beginning of the incoming. I was at the mouth of a river, poling around. Saw a huge triple tail but couldn’t get her to eat; then a couple of sheepsheads. Then, a huge boil a little offshore. I could see a slick and dark shapes in the water—figured it was a big school of reds. Turns out, it was a school of what looked like hundreds of black drum—big ones! I had been throwing soft plastic paddle tails and a pink/white bucktail jig most of the morning. As they moved into the mouth they were all around the skff—tried both baits; no luck despite several well-placed casts. They moved into the river and I followed them up on the trolling motor well to the side so as not to spook them. Tied a copper colored spoon and made a few casts; no luck. Kept following them up the river as they foraged about. Tied on a yellow jig and a GULP shrimp. Bingo! Game on! One man fight and then landing the fish was challenging to say the least! She filled up the net! Just about 35”, not sure of the weight but she was hefty!

What a great two days spent enjoying the beauty of God's creation. I'll try to share some pic's later--computer is backing up.
 

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Thanks for the report. Some good fishing in a special place. Fortunate the bugs cooperated.

Did you reserve the chickee at the Everglades City office?
 

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Thanks for the report. Some good fishing in a special place. Fortunate the bugs cooperated.

Did you reserve the chickee at the Everglades City office?
Zika, got there early thinking they still put the book out to self-register--but no! They open at 8:00 a.m.
 

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Do you have to reserve or register anywhere to pitch a tent at Pavilion Key Beach? I see tents there all the time but never knew it you can just motor and set-up camp.
 

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In Everglades city there is a ranger park on the way to Chockoloske for the northern end of the park. And on the southern end you have to go to Flamingo.
 

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At Flamingo the place to register is at the Visitor's Center (on the right just before you come to the front gate...) and of course they only open at 8Am....

I see folks camping along most beaches - and if you're not at a "campsite" I don't believe you need to register or reserve... Here's the official trip planner for the Park so you can get the official version

https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm
 

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Nice report! I was in that same school two weeks ago, lots of fish. Had some big jacks mixed in. Got me one drum that was 18 pounds on the boga.

At Flamingo the place to register is at the Visitor's Center (on the right just before you come to the front gate...) and of course they only open at 8Am....
Nope not there. You need to go to Visitor center in the pink building where the old restaurant was.
Adjacent to the Florida Bay ramps.

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It used to be in the pink building but now it’s in some sort of temporary trailer across the street. 24/7 self registration ended about 3 weeks ago so now you need to follow business hours.
 

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Thanks for the heads up... Yes, I'm a permitted guide there (and maybe the one that's been around the longest -at present...) but No they don't give us the slightest info at all about the day to day stuff in the Park. On the rare occasions when they lock down the Park - we have to look in the Herald to find out about it...
 
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