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Discussion Starter #1
Was there yesterday.... Although the Park is closed and the things you need the Park for (backcountry campsites, visitor's center, etc.) are closed down.... The gates are open and you're free to run down to Flamingo and launch (at least for now...). The good news is that most of the services provided down at Flamingo aren't provided by the Park - they're provided by the concessionaire - and they're running full steam... The boat rentals are up, the tour boats are going strong, the marina store and gas pumps are in operation, etc. I didn't ask about the campground so that you'll have to find out on your own... I did make a point of checking in with the marina store to verify what I observed and learned their new phone number (the one I had was discontinued...). Here's the number they provided... (352) 701-6581. I imagine that they'll either provide the phone number for the campground or simply let you know whether it's open and how to get reservations (?)....

Now for the downside... Every year I'm surprised when a normally sleepy, quiet place like Flamingo gets busy -really busy, with tourists from all over the world... and that's what's happening now. There must have been a dozen paddle craft in Buttonwood canal yesterday afternoon.... so expect crowds until after New Year (and the same crowds every Saturday/Sunday...).

The good news is that the backcountry was almost empty yesterday.... yeah, I'm spoiled...
 

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From what I understand, President Trump was not going to "close" the national parks, in the sense that you couldn't go into the national parks like the last time there was a shut down.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pretty good but water temps were down (64 degrees at Tarpon Creek at dawn)... Caught double and triple slams for each angler (snook, trout,redfish) on small jigs in Whitewater then ran west to a few grouper spots —but no grouper... just hungry sharks.

Should have stayed in Whitewater and fished there as it warmed up instead... Still we
Got a half dozen trout between 16 and 18” for the table...

I’ll be back there tomorrow working off someone else’s boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Was there yesterday (the 26th) and happy to report that the waters along the Gulf coast have finally cleared up a bit (as noted above it was still pretty bad on the 24th... Both inside and outside we caught and released (mostly) trout, reds, and snook. We did keep a couple of reds for the table - here they are...

21" redfish from inside Whitewater Bay- note the dark red brown coloration... Angler was Andrew Wittenauer


Here's David Wittenauer with an outside redfish... I was fishing aboard their very nice Shearwater that day...
 
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