Everglades Exotics

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Gibby3474
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Everglades Exotics

Post by Gibby3474 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:26 am

This is the time of year to head for the Everglades to fly fish for exotics. Actually, you can fish any way you desire, but I like to cast flies to these fish. I target the exotics: oscar and Mayan cichlid. Every once in a while, we'll get a peacock bass or two.
Like many fish around this great state, the exotics took a big hit during the 2010 freeze. On a Dec. 2009 trip, two of us caught nearly 200 exotics, plus an impressive amount of largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker, speckled perch and stumpknocker. On subsequent trips, we'd catch very few exotics. In fact, I didn't catch an oscar until April of 2013.
When my buddy, Vinny Caruso, and I fished the 'Glades on Wednesday (Dec. 11), we caught so many oscar that we couldn't keep track. We also caught plenty of bass, bluegill, stumpknocker and shellcracker. We only caught one Mayan cichlid, which was puzzling.
We used light fly rods, 7 1/2-foot leaders with 6-pound fluorocarbon tippet. Our fly of choice was the Myakka Minnow in gold, copper and black. We caught a few fish in the morning on poppers, but the topwater bite ended early. After that, it was Myakka Minnows the rest of the day. The beauty of this fly is that it mimics the abundance of small minnows found in the Everglades. In addition, the fly is tough and will last all day, providing you don't break off when an oscar darts for cover.
Oscar are among the strongest, toughest and meanest fish around. They're great fun on fly rods. We used 3- and 4-weight rods.
Florida fisheries biologists think oscar were introduced into south Florida waterways sometime around 1954. Since that time, they've thrived. The biologists probably wish the fish would just go away, but that's probably never going to happen. So, why not have fun?
Oscar are great to eat -- and there are no limits. Catch all you can and keep as many as you want.
Peak fishing times are December through April when the water level is down in the 'Glades. Low water concentrates the fish and creates fast and furious action.
I avoid the rainy season for a number of reasons: high water, thunderstorms, heat and mosquitoes.

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Steve
www.kayakfishingsarasota.com
http://gibbysfishingblog.blogspot.com/
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DaveR
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Re: Everglades Exotics

Post by DaveR » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Great post Steve. Caught some in September down there. They are scrappers!
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krash
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Re: Everglades Exotics

Post by krash » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:30 pm

My son and I used to fish the canals along the alley in our canoe years ago, many days we'd keep a few Oscars and give them to the substinance fishermen (cane polers) at the bridges or launch sites...
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bluebill
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Re: Everglades Exotics

Post by bluebill » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:54 pm

Very nice report. All fun fish on a light rod.

I enjoy catching a few Oscars when I get over to Miami while searching for Peacocks.

As for Mayans, they were scarce here in SW Florida for several years after the 2010/11 freezes. I am now seeing some breeding size Mayans in the Cape Coral canals so they should be plentiful next year.
Be thankful for every day and especially those fine days on the water

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cag215
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Re: Everglades Exotics

Post by cag215 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:34 pm

Do you have a tutorial on how to tie that fly?
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Gibby3474
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Re: Everglades Exotics

Post by Gibby3474 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:26 am

cag215 wrote:Do you have a tutorial on how to tie that fly?


Just Google "tying the Myakka Minnow" and you'll find out how.
Steve
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http://gibbysfishingblog.blogspot.com/
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