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Thread: Tarpon!!bass!!! Panfish!! Anything!!!

  1. #1

    Default Tarpon!!bass!!! Panfish!! Anything!!!

    Hey guys, new member here, i've been checking in on this site and finally decided to join up a week ago because i'm borderline desperate!!!
    I have been fly fishing the florida keys, biscayne bay and tamiami trail for a few years. I'm self taught and definitely no where near a pro but, I don't find making a 60ft cast accurately to difficult. Regardless, I can't find a spot that produces anything even remotely consistently.
    I'm not asking for anyone's secret spot although i'd gladly accept any lol I fish purely for the sport aka 100% catch and release so I wouldn't be clearing out anyones fishing spot. And I'm neck deep in school work most weekends so I couldn't destroy someones spot even if i wanted to.
    Anyways what I'm really here for is the down and dirty truth about which flies actually work in the miami area!!!! To date I have had success with only three flies and only one has caught the target species.
    So on that note, I beg you for some help lol type of fly, color patterns, stripping tips anything lol I'm willing to chase anything from panfish to tarpon and anything in between. I most commonly fish for peacocks, LM bass, carp, tarpon and panfish (to be honest anything that will bite would make me happy lol I'm addicted to the sport lol)
    thanks for any help!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Tarpon!!bass!!! Panfish!! Anything!!!

    There are places that are full of information called fly shops. Maybe you should visit one. Since your location shows Miami, FL, do a Google search for "fly shops Miami." Visit what you find, ask questions, buy some flies and accessories, and most importantly, graciously thank the person who helped you.

    It is hard to beat the local knowledge.


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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Pocono Lake , Pennsylvania

    Default Re: Tarpon!!bass!!! Panfish!! Anything!!!

    Seriously? You live in the land of fish to put it bluntly! The opportunities are endless! There is such great fishing where you are I am jealous that you are there everyday and I only go for 2 weeks a year! Ok just kidding but you are lucky!
    You fish the canals and Airport Lakes for Peacocks ? If so use Clousers sparsely dressed . If you don't succeed on the first few casts at them throw ten more! Don't worry they will hit it! Along the way on those same Clousers you can get Tilapia, Civhlids, Oscars and Snakeheads!
    Where are you fishing in the Keys? Islamorada , Key West , the Park? This info helps so I can tell you what to target at each place and when.
    Also Mosca nailed it when he said visit your local shop , there are so many of them where you are and they want your business do they want you to catch fish ? Absolutely ! They are going to give you the most current info to get you hooked up!
    Looking to catch whatever ? Take a drive up to Lauderdale and chuck some streamers into anyone of those canals and something will hit! If you need consistency use something small with flash on the bottom and you should have something going on about every cast!

    ---------- Post added at 04:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:59 AM ----------

    Oh and most important Welcome to the Forum!
    "I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
    "There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
    " It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
    "Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: Tarpon!!bass!!! Panfish!! Anything!!!

    Welcome to the site! These guys have given you some great advise, which they always do!

    Fly tying is a passion of mine. I enjoy experimenting with many types of flies, and have found that most flies will catch some fish.

    The majority of the fishing I do is for warmwater & tidalwater species, just as you're doing. This is generally not finesse fishing. With the exception of panfish, I like big flies most of the time and I use some older, been around a long time & have been productive type patterns such as Deceivers, Seaducers, Clousers, etc. These are all general purpose styles that can work on a variety of species & in various situations or conditions. I'll also use flies that are more specific to the area, such as crab or shrimp patterns for Redfish or Eel patterns for Stripers. This approach has served me very well for many, many years.

    However, the fly is only part of the solution. Location of where you cast the fly & presentation is usually a much more important part. You may be walking up & casting and catching a few fish, but it's likely if you spent a little extra time observing & casting with a purpose, you might have more success. This is something I learned very early in my fly fishing experience. I also learned to make each cast count. I'm also self taught, and in my early years struggled with casting & accuracy. It's one thing to cast the fly, it's another to do it in a manner that doesn't spook the fish, or alert them that somethings not as it should be. Every cast I make, I have a target to hit, even when "blind" casting & searching for fish. Doesn't always work out that I hit my target. Wind or waves can create issues, but I never cast blindly!

    60 ft casts are great, but it's often more productive to work the water closer to you first, then work out to greater distance. You may be missing a lot of fish if you're just firing off long distance casts with no regard to what might be lurking nearby. Week before last, I caught a nice Redfish that was within 15 ft of me, that I didn't even know was there at first. I saw a clue that indicated the fish was there & made a cast. Actually more of a flip, but this is fly fishing!

    I had been watching another Red that never got close enough for an accurate cast. Distance casting is great if you can do it, but not always the best approach or necessary.

    Also, stealth can be important. Any place that gets fishing pressure, and the fish see anglers casting various flies or lures, they're going to get wary to an extent. Fish rely on instincts, and if they know you're there, their instincts tell them to be cautious, particularly the bigger they get. In my above scenario, I was standing on a grass flat, waiting for fish to show themselves. I saw plenty, but they would often get close to me before I saw them. I stood very still, made minimal movements & paid attention to what was going on around me. Even then, I didn't see everything! I spooked a few fish with casts too!

    The final advise I'll give is to be patient. Any place I go to fish, I spend some time looking & observing before I make my first cast. Often, I might see something that indicates where a potential target may be. I then approach my first cast & each subsequent cast as a hunter stalking his target and I mentally plan how best to present the fly. Sometimes this entire process only takes a few minutes, sometimes much longer, but it's well worth the patience of doing so, as for me it's resulted in more & bigger fish caught & landed.

    Take the advise the others have given & get some flies that cover different situations (topwater, shallow, mid depth, deep, and various sink rates) & get some good local advise. Variety for flies to have on hand is always a good idea. Then apply that advise to what I've just said & you may find that you'll catch more fish regardless of what you may be targeting.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Tarpon!!bass!!! Panfish!! Anything!!!

    Thanks for the quick reply! I've asked my fly shop and no matter what he tells me to try I just can't seem to get it to work. He usually points me to clousers, shrimps and crabs. I've only had success with chartreuse and white clousers and this one time long ago when i couldn't keep the cudas off a shrimp fly. I can get a pretty delicate presentation with most unweighted flies and even some lightly weighted flies and I'd like to think that I'm a strategic caster or at least i try to be lol

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    metro atlanta

    Default Re: Tarpon!!bass!!! Panfish!! Anything!!!

    Last fishing trip I had down in that area the guide, who's fished there for more than 10 years, taught me that putting the fly in front of the fishes face will dramatically increase your chances of catching something (bones and permit can be picky sometimes). The pattern we used was a simple shrimp pattern (light brown feathers with black eyes). When I finally did put the fly in the right spot I caught fish. If they don't see they fly they won't eat it
    "The core of mans spirit comes from new experiences" - C.J. McCandless

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Tarpon!!bass!!! Panfish!! Anything!!!

    It always amazes me how many non residents proclaim Fl. to be a land of fish! It certainly was when I was a kid but that was a long time ago. Fishing is sporadic at best in Fl. even for bait fishermen. Sadly we live in a state where development, golf and big business far out weigh any environmental issue. There is a vast oxygen depleted zone off Naples. Gobs of tar sit on the Gulfs bottom. Inshore its virtually impossible to fish off a boat and not have boaters violate a reasonable space around you. If your in a kayak, you are literally a target in a game where the goal is to swamp you. And, don't even get me started on the guides who feel the water is there private property. The Gov.'s first act was to disband the Dept. of Environmental Protection, place permitting under the Dept. of Transportation and end all water pollution criminal investigations.

    So original poster don't feel that you are alone, every Fl. angler is struggling just like you.

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