Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trout save the day in Palma Sola Bay

The more I know about fishing, the less I know.
I do realize, however, the only thing I have figured out is that I don't have much figured out about fishing. It's a complex sport that is affected by a variety of variables.
On Monday, I launched my Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5, the best fishing kayak going, at the foot of the Cortez Bridge. My plan was to paddle to Palma Sola Bay where I'd received a tip that there were redfish in the shallows.
I found the reds soon after arriving.
I fished them all day.
I caught none.
I had no hits.
I really didn't get a good shot at any.
I returned Tuesday because the lure of redfish was too much to resist. On the way to Palma Sola, I stopped at a large sand hole just northwest of Price's Key. I caught 10 spotted seatrout to 18 inches on my Big Eye Baitfish. I was casting a 6-weight rod and sinktip line.
It was good to feel the battle of feisty trout after three weeks of brutal cold and little fishing.
I headed through a cut and into Palma Sola. I stood and poled myself over the shallows, looking for redfish.
I saw a few, but not nearly as many as the day prior. I moved out a little and began a drift over a deeper portion of the flat. The east wind was perfect for drifting.
My path was taking me near some great looking sand holds. I knew that threre should be redfish and trout lurking in the holes since it was low tide.
I hooked a fish that I was sure was a red. It was heavy and strong. It took line easily. I was surprised when the fish came to the surface and wallowed like a trout. It was a large spotted seatrout ... one of the heaviest I've ever taken on flly. The fish was almost too heavy for the 6-weight rod, but not quite. The trout was 26 1/2  inches and fat.
I landed the fish after a couple of minutes. I removed the fly and took a couple of quick photos. It's not the easiest task to photograph and fish when you're by yourself. I then returned the gator trout to water and watched it swim off.
I saw a couple of other kayakers fishing in deeper water. I poled out just to see what was going on. They were catching smaller trout. I made a few casts and caught a couple of trout that went 10 inches or less.
I found a grass line that was holding larger fish and caught 10 trout that ranged from 16 to 19 inches. In all, I landed 25 trout to 6 pounds.
Not a bad day, considering the weather we've had. Not a bad day at all.

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