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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made a four-day solo trip out of Flamingo from Friday-Monday. This was really the first dedicated tarpon mission of the year. Water temps Friday going across Whitewater were only hovering around 70-71, so I was a little concerned. I stayed at Harney the first couple nights. All of my tarpon spots up that way were completely devoid of fish on Friday and the warmest water I could find was about 73 way up a creek. I salvaged Friday with a few decent snook, reds, and black drum that ate topwaters and jerkbaits.

On Saturday, I decided to go find warmer water, figuring that the fish would still be in a transition zone from the winter backcountry areas. I fished in the Shark/Oyster areas Saturday and found three areas holding fun sized poons (30-50lbs). They weren’t rolling much at all, but I could see them on the side scan sonar holding in deeper water. All they would eat was a small Strike King shadtail on a heavier jighead. Anything larger would get smashed, but they would miss. I believe I put 5 fish in the air Saturday and brought two to the boat. Four were fun sized and one was in the “please get off” category (100+) on the light tackle I was using. In between the tarpon action, I caught some scattered snook, nice Spanish macs, small goliaths, some nice mangroves, tripletail, trout, etc.

The water temps came up more on Sunday and the tarpon action remained about the same. I put another five fish in the air and landed one. Again, the small shadtail did the trick. I did see a few more larger fish Sunday rolling. Same story otherwise with snook and other species.

Monday morning, the water temps were 75 in Oyster and the big tarpon just came of out the woodwork. I stuck two fish that were both in the 100lb range, losing one to a frayed leader and the other to a pulled hook. Had both of them on for the 5-10 minutes, so I was ready for them to get off anyway. Fish #3 was about 80lbs and I leadered him. After three of them, I was done and ready for something more mundane (this was by about 9am). All of the tarpon action Monday came on a DOA Baitbuster trolling model. There were multiple other swing and misses that didn’t stick. Pretty darn good action. The snook action Monday was stellar. I boated 20-25 snook along with a bunch of reds, trout, big mangroves, Spanish macs, etc. I think I pulled three boat slams off of one tree. All of those fish at Strike King shadtails and jerkbaits. Broke camp about 11:30am and headed in. Quite a morning.

I logged about 190 miles over four days in my 18 Shadowcast. Camping conditions were pretty pleasant. Skeeters weren’t too bad and sand gnats were only bad during the brief period of morning calm before the strong SE winds started to crank every day. I’ll be back in a few weeks for another go. Hopefully we’re done with cold fronts. I didn’t take a ton of pictures, but here are a few.






 

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Great report! Going to down there for 3 nights early April, camping and running my Native SUV all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys. It was a fun trip and I look forward to doing it again very soon. Will be nice after mid-April when they lift the 1-night stay limit on the chickees.
 

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awesome report and trip, whats your average fuel burn on a trip like that I see you have 2 cans on deck ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I burned right at 20 gallons. I have a 12 gallon tank, which in reality holds a little more than 10 gallons (don’t ask how I know that...:D). I usually carry another 18 in cans for a four day trip, which gives me plenty of reserve.
 
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