Author: Albert Acosta
Camping Out in the Everglades
Every year great friend Scott and I plan a backcountry camping/fishing trip out in Everglades National Park. The Florida Everglades is a system of rivers, canals, mangrove islands and wetlands that stretch for millions of acres across Florida and end in the Gulf of Mexico. It has some of the most pristine and beautiful backcountry areas for fishing and camping during the right months. This area is rich in wildlife from all types of species of birds, fish, reptiles and mammals including the endangered Florida panther...which I have yet to see in the wild yet...but I will one day. If your a fisherman Everglades National Park has to be on your bucket list to get done. It has some of the most diverse species of fish anywhere in Florida without a doubt and the fishing is exceptional all year long. I have been fishing there for over 25 years and I have caught almost everything out there. Here is a list of fish you can catch in a day or a few days from this magnificent area. Goliath grouper, gag grouper, red grouper, snapper, redfish, snook, sheepshead, tarpon, cobia, permit, seatrout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, trippletail, kingfish, and all types of sharks, tiger, hammerhead, blacktip, bull, and lemon sharks to name a few. It is truly a fisherman’s paradise that you have to experience. So Scott and I prepared and packed all our gear and loaded up our reels with fresh Bullbuster 30lb and 50lb Braid for our trip. The Epic Tails was ready for some action as well and was fully loaded with all needed supplies and extra fuel for our over 100 mile odyssey. On our way down we loaded up with bait, shrimp, crabs, and chum to ensure we had enough snacks for the fish. We loaded up with extra ice and off we went to the Park. Once we launched the Epic Tails we headed out deep into the Everglades backcountry. It was a beautiful morning.
We started fishing several different locations and we were getting action all day long. We were using Bullbuster 30lb Braid and 40lb floro on medium 40 series reels with a combination of lures and live bait. We were getting terrific blow ups on our lures and live bait with big jack crevalles and blue runners and the occasional gigantic blue fish.
On one cast Scott saw a pod of cobia and made a nice cast with a live shirmp...the nice cobia engulfed it and started a frantic hard run. Scott fought the cobia and got it boat side. It was a nice cobia but was under slot so after a few picks we let him swim off but it was a great start to the day.
We kept fishing and moving locations and the fishing was still productive for most of the day with some seatrout and sheepshead action. We put several fish on ice to ensure we had some good meat to take home after our trip.
We kept fishing and the fish were still hungry and we were catching all types of fish including some lane snapper and sharks. There is always an abundance of sharks roaming these waters and you have to be ready for them at all times. Sometimes you get the little ones but the giants are always around ready for a fight.
After a long day it was time for us to find our camping location. Now our camping location was not going to be on land...no no no...it was going to be on the boat. We went to our favorite bay where a few rivers empty out of and anchored the Epic Tails. We were tired after a long day of fishing and we settled down broke out some food and prepared our sleeping bags and gear. Scott was ready with his sleeping bag and mosquito net...yes you better have one of these the bugs here do not mess around even out in the water far from land...they will find you.
After a long night fighting off some mosquitos we fished the next day after a magnificent sunrise in the morning. We stuck close to shore looking for snook, redfish and tarpon hugging the coast and fishing river mouths and mangrove islands.
I was using a top water plug around some log structure when all of a sudden I saw a large swirl around my lure...then an eruption in the water where my lure was! I was on ! A nice backcountry tarpon had assasinated my lure and was going crazy. He made several jumps and runs and was set on shaking my hooks loose. I set the hooks deep about three times making sure the hook set was good and fought the mad silver king. After a few minutes I was able to get him boat side and we grabbed him. This Silver King was beautiful and the colors were incredible dark greens, black, and silver. He was a hard fighter and after some picks I put him back in his waters and set him free. It was a great start to the day.
The Bullbuster 40lb floro leader held strong and it was frayed up but did not break. That poon picked the wrong bait that morning for sure. We continued to fish that day landing many jacks, blue runners, blue fish, sharks and some other fish and really had a fantastic two day fishing / camping trip. After another long day of fishing we knew it was time to head back and call it a trip. If you ever have a chance to come to Florida remember to go out to Everglades National Park and enjoy the nature views and great fishing that this magnificent place has to offer. Remember Spend More Time Fishing and order your fishing lines on Bullbuster.net. See you next time.
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