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 Post subject: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:15 pm 
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Launched out of GCK and on water about 6:15 am. Headed north along the east wall primarily hitting island points throwing my bone colored Zara Spook Jr. Pretty quick, I picked up a 23" snook and soon after a 27-1/2 incher. As the sun came up strong, I tied on a new Rapala lure, something like a SRX8? It was a suspender/diver, about 4" long with a small lip and a lot of action. I started nailing the trout along with several smallish snook. I do not normally throw hard plastic lures anyway near the mangroves and I was quickly reminded why as I lost two in rapid succession to the mangroves. Back to soft plastics rigged weedless on a jig head. Water clarity was good with no dead fish to be seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:03 pm 
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Nice trip John, good to see you still catching.


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 Post subject: Re: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:06 am 
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Location: Cooper City, Florida
Good to hear report...

From all the noise on FB you would think it is total disaster throughout the state, with the Red Tide mixed with the Lake 'O discharges and the Blue Green algae. All you read and hear is that the fish are all floaters or piled on the beaches everywhere, people are dying and them what are not must wear gas mask inside their homes. And then there's Sailor.

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 Post subject: Re: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Location: Cape Coral
What's the deal with launching at GCK?

Do you have to pay?

If so how much is it / how do you pay? Do they have people there early?

Thanks.

Sounds like you had a good trip.

I went out of Matlacha park the weekend before last, went through the cut into the shallow bay across the channel, usually we can find bait in those back creeks but we didn't see any. like at all. usually mojarra and mullet are thick back there but didn't see anything.

Fished all around the bay, fished the outside of the cut, fished around the channel, couldn't get anything to bite. Was pretty depressing, can usually pull at least a few trout. Water was verrrry tanic.

Was gonna hit Key Largo Saturday but it looks like there's going to be rain.
Might hit Chokoloskee instead but if not i was looking at launching out of GCK and hitting north of there as I've never fished that area of Matlacha.

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 Post subject: Re: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:48 pm 
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..vet, got my attention, where do you launch in Key Largo ?

I was down there 2 weeks ago, on a boat trip with my daughter, and like we have here in Ft. Lauderdale there was lots of floating grass oceanside. Its been that way here in FTL for weeks, months, the beach is covered and smelly, offshore its very tuff to troll for Dolphin as you spend most of yer day clearing lines.

Last time I was down there my sister told me about a public launch at Tavernier creek.. checked it out, basically 3 or 4 parking spots, no trailer parking, and a simple concrete ramp that leads to a floating dock.. you can launch, and paddle a short distance directly into Taveniier creek.
Heading South soon as you cross over Tavernier Creek bridge, 1st right and then a quick left instead of going to the marina, its also a dog friendly park there. Depending of tides, which move pretty good, you could easily ride the tide either back to the sound/bay or out to the oceanside.

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 Post subject: Re: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:20 am 
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Staff at GCK is usually there by 8:30 or so, sometime earlier; however, you can settle up when you get in. There is a $5.00 parking/launch fee. The launch site is a firm sandy/shell surface.


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 Post subject: Re: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:39 am 
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If you pull up google maps and search for Shipwrecks Bar & Grill in Key Largo you'll see, a little further down the street, what looks like barricades. past the barricades is some dirt then past that the water.

we park by the barricades, and launch out into the water there.

you can go south and fish like north sound creek and that area.
haven't experimented much with this.

I normally go just north of the launch, past the little cut you see that leads no where, there's mangroves with a deep cut right along the shoreline, it then shallows up onto a little bit of a grass flat.

I've had tarpon jump me there, and have caught some nice ass snapper.

Can usually bring in a limit of 14+ inc mang. with a few at 17+

Not sure if it was the time of year we were fishing or what but we've gone a few times and done this.

One time we were throwing top water on the grass flat and getting snapper. Never seen that before but it was pretty awesome.

Not too much variety really from our experience but we were mostly just using dead / cut bait for snapper.

Last time we went (can't remember when) it seemed like maybe part of the mullet run had reached that area because it was thick with finger mullet. Kept losing them to those overgrown needlefish and snapper. later in the day when we were fresh out of live bait we started seeing tarpon hit random schools of mullet along the shorelines in the area. Couldn't get any mullet in the castnet at this point sadly.


my "go to" fl keys spots are that area and Sombrero Beach in Marathon. Sombrero is a bit of a bitch to launch at because you have to drag the kayaks a ways but there's a nice pretty deep channel there you can anchor up and chum in. Caught tons of yellowtail and other random fish. Nothing to write home about but your rod is always bent. Have done that run a few times. Naval base down there has a campground i stayed at once, didn't get to fish it much but it seems like the area has plenty of potential. They did a lot of dredging in the area for the large ships I think so I bet you can get into some fish.


John, thanks for the info.
I'll have to check that out sometime.

Probably going to Choko tomorrow.
Some weather sites show like a 50 percent chance of rain most of the first half of the day at key largo, others say like 20-30. Not sure it's worth driving the 3+ or so hours If we are just going to get stormed out.
the tides at Choko are something else, at least this time we'll be riding the incoming back.
Last time I went we had to paddle a mile into a choko outgoing w/ super heavy wind to get back to the launch. that.. was not fun.
Looks like we'll be able to ride the last bit of the outgoing out then ride the incoming back in later.

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 Post subject: Re: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:26 am 
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Location: Cooper City, Florida
That 1st spot is called Garden Cove, and ShipWrecks was originally called Captains Cabin when I lived down there. Basically if you go across the other side of US1 and 2 blocks S., behind the Trailer Parts store is Sexton Cove we lived in there on 27 Eagle Drive my parents had the first trailer on that street, 1 spot in from the Bay. My sister still lives down there, a block in behind Tower Pizza, still lots of good friends living in Sexton Cove development on Eagle and Osprey drives.

That Garden Cove launch used to be much better without the concrete barriers. Parking there now is a bit sketchy.

When I was there 2 weeks ago we went out that channel and the floating seaweed completely covered the canal, and it must have been 2 feet thick up in that launch area. Went to ShipWrecks for lunch but could not get the boat quite up to the doc cause the seaweed was to thick.

Sombrero is a bit to far for me as I do day trips, not a camper and hotels, like fishing guides, are above my budget limits.

When I go to Choko we generally stay in the bay, if we do head outside we always time it with the tides. Have a couple friends, Sailor knows um too, that live there or have a place on OR.
Do you launch at the ranger station or Choko Island Park ? Ranger station free, CIP is 10 or 15 bucks as is OR's.

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 Post subject: Re: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:01 am 
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Grass sounds terrible. That sucks.

I thought parking was sketchy too but I've been like 4 or so times and haven't had any problems (yet)

We are a bit crazy so we have done day trips down to Marathon. Involves leaving at like 1 in the morning, usually get back around 7-9, depending. Pretty rough but the keys are worth it.

I've been trying to read up on it, seems like a lot of people just go out of the launch and fish all the oyster bars around.
the first time I went down there I went with my wife and we launched out of Choko Island park i think. 10 dollars per kayak.
was less a fishing trip and more just a kayak around kinda deal.

Next time I went with my uncle, there's a pull off on the road that leads to choko with a cut in the mangroves you can launch from. Tons of finger mullet. Launching was easy, no wind, high tide... coming back was a nightmare. outgoing tide, crazy wind, and the tide had gone out a waaaaays, beached the yak, got out and sunk up to my knees. Won't be launching there again.

Probably going to launch out of the island park again. Seems like it has good access to the bars south and the islands if the bars aren't producing.

Any tips for fishing the area? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Matlacha - 9/18
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:26 am 
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Sorry to hijack yer thread John... but thats part of the fun, one thing sometimes leads to another.

I mainly stay in the bay and fish the bars.. low tide so's you can see the bars at their best, then as the tide turns hit every ambush spot you see.. Jig heads with white paddle tails is the best tip I can give you.. 1/8th oz, Zman PaddlerZ, or Redfish magic for example. Catch 2000

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