Fishing Key Largo and the Backcountry of the Everglades National Park

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The Fishing



All photographs are the copyright property of Captain Terry Hilker. 

July 22,  Hal Deck from Gainesville, FL wanted to catch some Dolphin offshore.  There were plenty of weed lines and birds diving to make it a successful day.
July 16,  Alex Miranda from Tampa got his first Snook on a flat of of Flamingo.
June 15,  Went to the Shark River in search of big Snook but came up with nice Grouper.  White bait and Mullet are plentiful.
June 08,  This was Eddie's first ever backcountry slam.  The Snook are everywhere in Flamingo.  On the beaches, in the rivers, and on the flats.
June 06,  Took a break from flats fishing and went offshore in 15' of water to catch Hogfish while snorkeling.  No spear fishing allowed.
May 21,  Tarpon have been everywhere but it seems that they are only feeding at night.  This one was caught just after dark on a pinfish.  It hit as soon as the pinfish hit the water.
April 03,   Rick Orfinger and his son Alex, were down from Daytona Beach.  Rick doesn't do much fishing but he really wanted to have his son catch his first Tarpon.  We decided on an evening trip as they seem to be hitting better at this time.  It was touch and go and was getting quite dark, but Alex got his first Tarpon. 

April 03,   Shane and Paula decided to have another charter.  We went to an area known for nice Snook.  One of several nice under slot length ones.


April 01,   Shane and Paula from Atlanta wanted a big fish this time down.  They come every year to attend the Sony-Ericsson tennis Tournament in Miami.  Fishing for quite a while, we were only able to come up with a Redfish - which is rare this time of year in Key Largo.  It was getting close to dark and I feared that we might not get a Tarpon hook up.  But luck was with us.  This fish provided lots of jumps giving me time to come up with several nice memories for them.  Although it was a little Tarpon, it was a big fish for them.

March 24,  The Petrozza family was down from New York.  With the full moon, fishing was kind of tough.  We did get this nice Jack Crevalle.  Usually, when you find Jacks, Snook are also around.
March 20,  Redfish are not found around Key Largo in March.  But here is one that we dug out of the Mangroves.
March 10,  Trout fishing continues to be fantastic although they are a bit small.  Shane H. and Paula were down from Atlanta.  They enjoyed the Trout and Snapper action.
March 05,  Since it's a bit windy, we stayed close to Key Largo and fished a nice little patch reef in 15 feet of water.  Rich Shrecengost from Pennsylvania came up with this nice 31", 18# Black Grouper.
February 14,  Actually, the Trout are bigger than this, but it was such a nice picture of Tara W. that we had to include it.  Trout, Snook and Redfish are being caught near Flamingo.
January 21,  Continuing our December hunt for the biggest Snook, Sara picked up this nice Tarpon.  For whatever reason, Sara was using a rod with only 10# line.  Thank God, for Power Pro and the Shimano Stradic reel.  This is an excellent size Tarpon for light tackle.  Sara fought him for about 10 minutes.
January 07,  Taking advantage of a nice warm calm day, Rich Shrecengost, from Pennsylvania got to catch some Dolphin, usually a summer thing.
December 03,  Went to East Cape for fishing this day.  Found a new creek and naturally, Sara pulled out another big Snook.  However, this one has a story to go with it.  Since Sara did not have faith that this new spot was a Snook hangout, she decided to have a snack after casting her mullet up the creek opening. Moments after laying her rod down on the deck, the Snook ate her offering.  I was at the stern, still getting the boat properly anchored.  All of a sudden, I saw Sara run right off of the boat in the direction of the creek.  She actually took 2 steps on the water before going down.  The object of her interest was the fishing rod that was now being pulled away from the boat through the water.  At the last possible moment, Sara grabbed the butt of the rod thus saving the day.  She swam back to the boat, handed me the rod, climbed back on board, retrieved the rod from me and landed the Snook.  I was simply amazed to see how fast she got back on board considering she had her rain gear on over regular clothes.  Adrenaline, I guess.  She does owe me $35.00 for a reel cleaning.
November 06,  Took Sara and Lacy fishing today.  Big Jacks were everywhere, but I thought a few Snook might be in there with them.  Of course, Sara landed this 34", 10# Snook.
October 23,  As the NE wind was blowing hard today, Hal Deck now wanted to experience some backcountry fishing.  We caught a few trout and Jacks.  When we needed some fresh bait, we went up into the mangroves against some creeks flowing out of the everglades.  His Pathfinder was able to get in very shallow, having a draft of only 12 inches.
October 22,   Hal Deck, having just purchased a new Pathfinder from the Maverick Boat Company, wanted to try it out offshore.  Caught some nice Grouper, Spanish Mackerel and Mangrove Snapper.  It looks as though the fish are already moving in shallow for  the winter.
October 9,  Angel Gomez, age 83, experienced his first ever fishing trip.  He learned to cast downwind catching trout not far from Key Largo.  Following the half-day fishing trip, he took a date to Key West for the evening.  Sure hope I will be as healthy as him later on.
Sept 18,  Scott Bower from Homestead had a great day hooking up with several Snook and too many Jack Crevalle.
July 28,  Lobster mini-season is upon us and in response, we took advantage of the bugs.  Tom and Lindy D'Auito caught their limit each day by 10:30 AM.