Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monster mackerel, pompano, bluefish and trout make fast fishing fun
There is some great fishing going on in Sarasota Bay. My clients have been rewarded by fine catches of large spotted seatrout, Spanish mackerel, pompano and bluefish.
However, the real treat was Monday (April 5) when I hooked and landed the largest Spanish mackerel of my life. The fish weighed slightly more than 7 pounds on my Boga Grip.
It was the final fish of the day. I had cast out and was letting my Big Eye Baitfish Fly sink when my concentration was interrupted by a text message from my friend, Dave Robinson. Just as I was about to respond to his text, my fly line tightened and my 6-weight rod was just about pulled out of the kayak.
I grabbed the rod and set the hook.
I figured it was a big mackerel, cobia or maybe even a large jack. A friend of mine, Capt. Rick Grassett of the Snook Fin-Addict Guide Services, told me early that morning that his client had landed a 7-pound mackerel. So, I was fairly certain it was a giant mack.
The fish made several long runs, each time taking me into the backing. I was certain I wouldn't land the mackerel because surely it would cut the line with its mouth full of razor-sharp teeth.
But my luck held out. After about five minutes, I was able to grab the leader and subdue the fish. I lifted it into my kayak with the aid of my Boga Grip.
It was a day of large fish. I caught and released a number of spotted seatrout from 18 to 22 inches. In addition, I landed a trio of pompano to 4 pounds. I also landed a couple of 3-pound mackerel.
The pattern has been the same over the last week. Jason Beary (top photo) of Warren, Pa., fished with me late last week and caught a load of Spanish mackerel, pompano and bluefish. Jason is an experienced fly angler and did very well. All he was missing for his Southern Drawl Grand Slam was a spotted seatrout (usually the easiest of the quartet to catch). So, late in the day, we paddle inshore to a spot that I knew had trout. That's where Jason connect to complete his Slam.
Brian Bourdages (bottom photo) of Traverse City, Mich., had no trouble catching spotted seatrout the next day. In fact, had caught a number of large trout, including one we estimated at 4 1/2 pounds. He also landed several pompano, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish. But he couldn't connect on a bluefish.
It's great having accomplished fly anglers out. You just wind them up and let them fish on their own. They need little attention and can cast all day.
Our fishing has been heating up with the weather. Just as we figured, warmth and gentle breezes were all we needed to turn the fishing on.
I'm still puzzled, however, about the giant Spanish mackerel cruising Sarasota Bay. I've never seen them so large locally.
But I'm not asking questions. I'll just continue to cast and have fun.