Fishing Report:

Florida Everglades Backcountry Camping Trip

Author: Albert Acosta

December Fishing In  The Everglades

"something woke me up in the middle of the night....something was all around us... a huge school of tarpon feeding all around the boat!"

Everglades Seatrout

Great friend Scott was coming down for Christmas and we had planned a 2 day camping/fishing trip to Florida Everglades National Park. We packed and planned our route and headed out for our two day adventure. We had loaded the boat with all types of fishing gear, sleeping bags, BBQ, food and all other types of stuff we were locked and loaded. We made our way down to the park and set off on our adventure. Our reels were loaded with Bullbuster 30-50lb braid and had a fresh supply delivered to my door of Bullbuster 40, 50 lb flourocarbon in time for the trip...we were ready.

Fishing In Everglades National Park

This time of year Everglades National Park is beautiful full of all types of birds and fish and the weather is just perfect not hot and the mosquitos are not to bad. We worked our way deep into the backcountry heading to some areas we had never been before in search of some fish...the day was gorgeous..nothing but blue crisp skies with a light breeze and the temp was about 72. For this trip I had ordered some custom painted lures speacially for this trip from Madjuicybaits in pinfish, mullet, ladyfish, and seatrout colors We were going strickly artificial for this trip no live or dead baits. We worked around to several areas but no real good action was found but we kept moving. We did manage a few nice seatrout and fillet them and got them ready for the boat BBQ. 

Seatrout for BBQ
Dinner time

We seasoned them and had a great seatrout feast! They were delicious nothing like eating fresh seatrout!  (Learn How To Cook Sea Trout)

Seatrout on the BBQ
Fresh Seatrout

We finally were settling down at our overnight location to anchor up and eat dinner in an open bay area and watched the sun was beautiful. 

Beautiful ENP Sunset
Sunset Over Bay

Then we heard what sounded like loud was a swarm of hungry mosquitos! Never had we seen or heard anything like it.....millions of them so we quickly decided this was not the spot to camp out overnight in the boat. We headed out under darkness to another area where we thought the mosquitos would be less aggressive....luckily for us the moon was about 50% and helped us see during our night navigation through the winding mangroves. Thankfully with the help of the GPS and moon we reached our new location and camped out. We anchored up and looked up into the night sky where the stars were just putting up a great show! 

"They were everywhere!  Jumping out of the water and chasing glass minnows!"

We put out one dead bait we had caught during the day with some New Bullbuster 50lb  Fishing Wire and tried for a shark at night. It did not take long before a nice shark found our bait...but we missed the hook up and our only bait we had was gone. We then rolled out the sleeping bags on the boat and went to sleep so we would have an early next day. But something woke me up in the middle of the night....something was all around us....I quickly got up and looked around to see what it was a huge school of tarpon feeding all around the boat and in bay...hundreads of them! They were poping on the water surface gulping everything that swam by during the outgoing tide. 

I woke Scott up and told him to listen...he was still dazed from his sleep but then heard the beautiful sounds of hungry tarpon gorging themselves on bait. We started to throw our lures out at them trying to get one to hit. Finally while throwing one of my lures out I felt something hit hard and run....I was on to a nice tarpon! He ran and jumped in the air but shook the lure from his mouth and just like that I was freed from what was going to be a moonlit fight. We kept throwing out and I got hit 2 more times but failed on the hook set...its not easy with plugs to hook tarpon....I found out the hard way...but it was sure fun! We watched the moon set and then called it a night..we needed some sleep. The next morning we saw a beautiful sunrise and were ready for the day. 

Everglades National Park Sunrise

We worked some island points and landed some nice seatrout. It was starting up like a great day. 

Seatrout on Lures
Beautiful Seatrout

While fishing some other island points Scott hooked up to a nice tarpon on one of the lures.....he fought the tarpon and it gave some nice runs and jumps but then threw the lure free. 

Tarpon Jumping
Morning Poon Action

Another poon got away! We kept working the area and Boom my lure got hit...a nice tarpon...he ran and made some nice jumps and spins...I got him close to the boat and he made one last spectacular jump and shook the hooks free...he got away. Here is short video of that poon.

It was not our days with the poons we had lost 6! 0 for 6 on tarpon but that happens when you fish for these guys they are hard to hook up especially with lures but we did get some nice hard runs and great jumps out of them! We then starting seeing huge schools of bait, glass minnows everywhere...thats what the tarpon were feeding on as well as schools of spanish mackerel...they were everywhere....thousands of them. We quickly switched to spoons and shad type swim baits and found action with these for a long time. 

Spanish Mackerel Frenzy
Mack Attack

They were everywhere jumping out of the water chasing down the glass minnows along with diving was a beautiful sight to see. We were catching some nice size mackerel and quickly filled up the fish box...we were going to eat good for a few days. The spanish macks were giving us some great action nice hits and was a great day! We were seeing dolphin, manatee, diving birds schools of tarpon and macks everywhere....the Park is a magical place! The day was winding down and we had to start getting back and made our way back to the marina...we had a great 2 days and had plenty of seatrout and spanish mackerel for dinner. Scott and I had a great 2 days in the Park we love that place its special and a beautiful place to spend with great friends and family. 

Good Friends and Good Times
ENP Moring Sunrise

I hope you enjoyed my article and helps you catch more fish and get out on the water! Remember order your fishing lines and tackle at quick delivery and Spend More Time Fishing! Take care and see you next time!