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Discussion Starter #1
So I have been down to the keys twice now. Both times were during the spring. The first trip was not terrible as far as wind, but last year was brutal. I was SOL with my LT25 and even trying to wade from shore one day yielded battling waves.

My wife and I are planning on hitting up the Everglades this year again however this time we want to avoid the wind, or at least head down there during a time where the wind is least likely.

The past two trips have been touristy vacation bs with fishing somewhat as an afterthought. We have experienced the tourist crap and this will be a straight up fishing trip.

So when is the best time to head down there and avoid the wind? Right now I have the first week in June in mind. What time of the year am I most likely to see those mornings of glass like water in Florida bay?
 

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Yep... but also a cloud of mosquitoes... What most of the folks I know do to deal with windy days of winter and early spring is simply head to places where you're as sheltered as possible (out of Flamingo fish the inside areas of Coot, Whitewater, and Oyster Bays - out of Chokoloskee you head into the upper bays - but be careful since those areas aren't easy to learn -with oyster bars everywhere...).

The one thing you try to avoid is big open areas -like Florida Bay (everything west of the Keys...) and even in the interior plan your run so that you're as sheltered as possible. To get across Whitewater on a windy day for instance simply run the Joe River (a perimeter river, about eight miles long that runs around the south and west side of Whitewater Bay and ends right at the south end of Oyster and the entrance to Mud bays..). On days when it's screaming out of the east or southeast - the entire west coast of the 'Glades from Cape Sable to Lostman's River is a sheltered shoreline...

One of the simplest tricks in the interior is to face directly into the wind and run until you get to the opposite shoreline (where you'll actually be sheltered from any wind at all...). Whitewater Bay is a big place, ten miles long and six miles wide... but there are plenty of islands (and every island has a lee side where you're out of the wind) and no matter what the wind is there's always one side of Whitewater that's sheltered and the sheltered areas have the cleaner, warmer waters up shallow....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep... but also a cloud of mosquitoes..
Thanks for the response. Mosquitoes and heat are a big factor. We will be camping so not being miserable is a plus.

So last year we did a few nights in Flamingo before heading to Key largo for the rest of the week. This was in March. The very first time I took out my new to me LT25 was in florida bay. It was in the morning so the wind hadn't picked up too bad then, but on the way back in around lunch time it was pretty rough. 1.5-2', which for being my first time out was substantial. we stayed in coot bay and the edges of whitewater the next few days. Except for the afternoons it never got all that bad there.

Once in Key Largo it was a different ballgame. We put in at Pennekamp and took adams cut over to Blackwater sound. I stayed near to the shore but there were some pretty large rollers. We came close to taking a big one over the bow and got a little spooked. We pretty much stayed in and around Largo sound after that. Lesson learned i suppose.

Looking at the Joe River area on google earth is very promising. It looks like it is fairly protected regardless of what the wind is doing. We will be doing a Wednesday to Wednesday trip this time and will be spending the whole trip running from Flamingo.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Early June the fishing is typically on fire. Make sure you get an early start each day as it'll warm up quickly.
This is what I am hoping for. We will be taking hammocks and bug nets which is about as cool as one can sleep without a/c. I want to be on the water before sunrise every day.
 

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If you spend any nights on chickees, I recommend South Joe as it is probably the most exposed chickee to the breeze. no-see-um mesh, thermacells/coils/citro candle, and some wikskey and you're good to go. Definitely bring a head net to wear for dusk and dawn while thermacell sets the perimeter. I also carry two full no-see-um suits on the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We will be tent camping. I plan on taking my eno with bugnet and rainfly, and we will also have a ground tent. We have clothes with built in insect control and will have thermacells and a few other tricks with us. My only concern with the heat and mosquitos is sleeping. This is my main reason for the hammock. It should be pretty cool if there is even the slightest breeze at night.

I definitely want to camp on a chickee some time but not during the summer. One issue we would have with that is having enough room in the gheenoe to fit all of our stuff.

Right now the plan is the last few days in May into the first few in June. Average temps for that time are 90 and 75 at night. Hopefully the actual is close to the averages this year.
 

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Truth is, a chickee is the most comfortable place to camp in the late spring,early summer. Several degrees cooler because it's over water and any breeze wafts up under the deck. Also the lean to roof keeps the sun off. Less bugs than ground sites. And between 4/15-11/15 the 1 nite stay limitation is lifted. Get up pre dawn,run to the outside,fish til noonish,back to the shade for a siesta and hit it again in the late afternoon/earlyevening. Best of all,you'll have the backcountry all to yourself, not many folks are willing to endure any discomfort anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Truth is, a chickee is the most comfortable place to camp in the late spring,early summer.
Well this changes things a bit. The backcountry camping is what we wanted to do since the first time we went down there. I definitely don't mind being uncomfortable, I lived in Eastern Africa for 4 months. Somehow never managed to get Malaria despite getting slayed my mosquitoes. My wife swears she is good to go, all in for chickee or campground.

So when you say run "outside" you're talking about florida bay area right? Is there a way to get from the inside to florida bay near flamingo without relaunching?

Our fishing is 90% fly fishing. We will have a couple spinning setups on the boat but I generally only use them when we are idling through some of the trails. I have still yet to catch a snook or tarpon so those are high priority. I don't even care about catching big girls, I'd rather catch jeuvenile tarpon.
 

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You have to relaunch at Flamingo to go from the inside to the outside and vise-verse. I believe they were referring to is camping on a chickee near the shark river and running to the outside from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You have to relaunch at Flamingo to go from the inside to the outside and vise-verse. I believe they were referring to is camping on a chickee near the shark river and running to the outside from there.
Ok this is kinda what I figured. Thanks. Shark river is a long way so I doubt I'll be doing that. We may do the north side next year.
Does anyone know if the shop/ fuel station is back up and running at flamingo? I plan on having 9-12 gallons on the boat, but it would be nice to be able to fill up there if needed. Also getting ice would be solid.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You have to relaunch at Flamingo to go from the inside to the outside and vise-verse. I believe they were referring to is camping on a chickee near the shark river and running to the outside from there.
I guess now that I look at it, if we were to stay at the Joe River chickee, the shark river area is half the distance that flamingo is. So that would absolutely make sense to go there from that spot. Looks like some great fishing there too. Lots of mangrove structure.
 

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From the inside ramp, through Whitewater and across to mouth of the Little Shark River... is pretty much 21 miles one way... Use the Joe River to get there and you add 3 miles to the trip...

Good luck and post up a report if you make the trip... Right now I'm over just west of Chokoloskee and we'll be on the water out of Port of the Islands for three more days (with me commuting back and forth each day 93 miles one way... ).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
From the inside ramp, through Whitewater and across to mouth of the Little Shark River... is pretty much 21 miles one way... Use the Joe River to get there and you add 3 miles to the trip...

Good luck and post up a report if you make the trip... Right now I'm over just west of Chokoloskee and we'll be on the water out of Port of the Islands for three more days (with me commuting back and forth each day 93 miles one way... ).
That's doable in my boat for sure. I need to get my fuel tank situation and spare fuel storage figured out but that shouldnt be a big deal.

As of right now we are a go for may/june. We will have about a week down there. At this point we plan on 2 nights in a chickee then head back to flamingo and sort of recharge with a shower, refuel/ice (if needed) and either head back out or stay at the campground depending on conditions.

I'm a bit jealous, I would fish the everglades every single day if I could. One day we will live close enough to make a day trip of it. If I left right now I would be there in right at 12 hours.
 
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