Sunday, January 30, 2011

Once plentiful jack crevalle are now in short supply

Kayak angler Walter Hamm of Sarasota, Fla., admires a jack crevalle

Jack crevalle used to be a constant on every fishing trip.

You might not catch snook, redfish or spotted seatrout, but you could always count on jack crevalle.

They’re a rare catch these days.

I remember looking out over Sarasota Bay several years ago and seeing several schools of jack crevalle attacking baitfish. They seemingly were everywhere.

Talk about a fish made for fly rod …

Jacks will hit a variety of flies. They’ll put up a great battle, no matter what size rod you’re using.

I remember a trip I made in March of 2006. I had an angler from Marietta, Ga., and the fishing wasn’t so hot. The wind was up and it was tough to fish. We caught a few ladyfish in the perimeter canal of Longboat Key. Late in the morning, the wind let up a little and we were able to get out into Sarasota Bay.

We anchored the kayaks, got out and waded. Wasn’t long before I saw a large wake heading our way. I looked around and didn’t see any boats, so I knew it was probably fish. But it was such a large wake that I had no clue what it was.

When the wake got to within casting range, I instructed m client to cast. He did. And so did I.

I hooked up immediately and knew I was into a really big fish. I could see the fish in the school and they were all jacks of 25 pounds or more. I handed the rod to my client and watched as he tried to fight the fish.

The big jack made a long run, and I wasn’t sure my client would be able to stop the fish. He finally did, but I knew he was in for a long battle.

Forty five minutes later, he had the big fish within 50 feet. But that’s when the line went limp. I figured the big jack had broken the line, but I was wrong. The hook on the jig had straightened.

I waded back to the kayak and grabbed another rod. This was a heavier rod with a topwater plug tied on.

I didn’t think the jacks would return. However, I looked down the bay and saw the wake again approaching. I pointed it out to my client and we were ready when it neared. We both cast into the school. Again, I hooked up.

I handed the rod to my guy and watched as the big jack took the line. I don’t think that fish even knew it was hooked. There was little we could do as we watched the line peel off the reel. We were too far from the kayaks. I told him to put all the pressure he could on the fish, but it was useless. Just before he lost all of the line, I instructed him to grab the spool, point the rod at the fish and hold on.

The line broke at the leader. We lost the plug, but saved 300 yards of line.

My client didn’t land either jack, but he was a happy camper. He’d never battled fish so large.

I don’t know if that will ever happen again?

I’m not sure why there are so few jacks around, but I’ve been told the commercial fishing industry is doing a number on them. The commercial guys have created some sort of market for them and apparently are wiping them off the face of the earth.

Jacks aren’t considered good to eat by most folks, so they’ll get not protection. The Coastal Conservation Association won’t go to bat for jacks. Nor will any other organization.

And that’s too bad. Jack crevalle are part of the chain. They’re also great fish to catch and release.

My clients didn’t catch a half dozen jacks last year.

I’m afraid we’ve lost them. I’m hoping it’s just a down cycle, but I’m probably wrong.

Let me know what you think? Are you catching lots of jacks? Is there a shortage in your area?

If you’re not catching them or seeing them like you used to, then start talking to your fishing buddies about it.

We need jacks. We can’t let them be netted to obliteration.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beautiful Myakka River offers great snook fishing for kayak anglers

Jack Hartman of Sarasota, Fla., battles a small Myakka River snook that he fooled with a MirrOlure MirrOdine.
I have added a new trip to my arsenal. During the winter, I’ll be taking those interested to fish the Myakka River, a tidal river that begins near the Hardee-Manatee County line and empties into Charlotte Harbor.

Designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic river, the Myakka is home to some fine winter snook fishing. In addition, largemouth bass, bluegill, speckled perch, gar, redfish, spotted seatrout, tarpon and other species inhabit the river.

One of the great things about fishing the Myakka is that you never know what’s going to hit your lure or fly. You might hook a 5-pound bass on one cast. It could be a 20-pound snook the next.

We usually launch at Snook Haven, a quintessential Florida riverfront restaurant/bar located at 5000 East Venice Avenue, Venice, Fla. Telephone number is (941) 485-7221. To get there,take Interstate 75 to exit 191. Head west about a mile and turn left at the Snook Haven sign.

There’s a $5 launch fee, but Snook Haven usually is closed when we arrive. So, we pay the fee when we’re done fishing.

We like to fish the outgoing tide. That’s when snook and other species seem to bite the best. We also have good luck on the slack tide. The incoming tide usually isn’t so great.

We begin fishing just as soon as we launch, targeting fallen trees and stumps along the deeper sides of the river. Generally, the outside bends of the river are deepest.

For this fishing, medium, to medium heavy tackle is best. We load our reels with 15-pound braided line and use 25-pound fluorocarbon leader.

Our lures of choice include Bagley’s Bang-O-Lure, D.O.A. 5 ½-inch jerk worm, Bomber Long A, D.O.A. Shrimp, and D.O.A. BFL.

Fly anglers won’t want to have anything less than an 8-weight rod in their hand. Floating and sinktip lines are preferred. Those using floating lines will want at least a 9-foot 12-pound leader with 25-pound fluorocarbon shock tippet. For a sinktip line, use a 6-foot, 12-pound leader with a heavier tippet.

Cold is the key. The colder, the better. The river is an excellent place during times of nasty weather. And nasty weather often means decent snook action.

Snook migrate up the Myakka when the water begins to cool in late fall. They’ll remain in the river until spring. Snook are not very tolerant of cold water, so they move up coastal rivers in search of warmth.

I first began fishing the Myakka in the 1970s. During those days, I was targeting mainly largemouth bass in the portion of the river that runs through Myakka River State Park. I began targeting snook in the 1980s.

One trip that stands out was when Capt. Rick Grassett, Capt. Jonnie Walker, Capt. Roy String and I fished the river on a cold, overcast December day. We caught several hefty snook on plugs and soft plastics. Top snook went about 12 pounds.

I also fished the river a couple of times with Dave Miller of Bass Tamer Guide Services (941) 915-9073. Miller is a bass guide who fished Lake Istokpoga and other lakes most of the year. If we have a severely cold winter, he’ll head for the Myakka.

No matter if I catch fish or not, I love fishing the Myakka. Her banks are lined with stately oaks and cabbage palms. It’s the way Florida looked hundreds of years ago.

A great thing about the river is that you won’t encounter many boats. And if you do, they won’t be speeding. It’s slow or idle speed throughout Sarasota County.

Most days, however, we don’t see other anglers.

We do see wild hogs, deer, osprey, bald eagles and maybe even an alligator or two.

The worst trip I’ve ever had on the Myakka was pretty darn good!

This winter hasn’t been too terribly bad, but we’ve had our share of cold weather. Snook are up the river and they’re blasting topwater plugs, jerk worms and suspending plugs.

If you’re looking for something different, you might want to give the Myakka River a try.

Give me a call at (941) 284-3406. I’ll be glad to introduce to the river. You’ll enjoy kayaking the river and catching snook.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spotted seatrout have been providing a bulk of the action

John Mallia of Buffalo, N.Y., lands a hefty spotted seatrout on a D.O.A. CAL Jig with gold paddle tail.
Randy Honaker of Centerville, Ohio is a happy fly fisher.
I have been fortunate to have found a bunch of cooperative fish.

For many, fishing has been tough because of cold weather, cold water and wind.

My clients and I have been able to fish a somewhat protected spot and catch a bunch of fish. Over the last six weeks, clients are averaging between 40 and 60 fish per outing, including spotted seatrout to 24 inches, ladyfish, redfish, flounder, sheepshead and sugar trout.

The action has been very consistent and steady.

John Mallia of Buffalo, N.Y., fished with me twice and did well each time. Mallia caught and released plenty of spotted seatrout and a few redfish, flounder and ladyfish. Most of his fish came on a D.O.A. CAL Jig with a gold paddle tail.

Mallia tried the fly rod on one outing and caught 20 spotted seatrout on my Big Eye Baitfish.

Randy Honaker of Centerville, Ohio had an excellent outing. Honaker, an avid fly fisher and excellent caster, managed 40 spotted seatrout to 17 inches on Clouser Deep Minnows.

On another outing, Honaker caught and released a small snook and had several other follow-ups and short strikes and a pleasurable outing on the Myakka River. He was using Clouser Deep Minnows.

Ken Taylor of North Port, Fla., had a very good outing. Taylor, who might be D.O.A. Lures biggest fan, caught and released 75 spotted seatrout on a 1/8-ounce CAL Jig with gold paddle tail, 4-inch D.O.A. jerk worm on a 1/16-ounce jig head and a D.O.A. Shrimp.

I fished the bay on my own one day and had a really good time. It was a day in which the big trout were on a good feed. I managed 80 trout, including 25 of more than 20 inches. The biggest fish was a 25-inch trout. All came on the CAL Jig with gold paddle tail.

I even caught three redfish, including a 25-incher.

The Myakka River is a great place when the weather is bad. It affords us a chance to get out of the wind.

Snook move up coastal rivers during the winter to seek warm water. The Myakka River annually gives up a number of large snook.

We use heavier tackle than normal. We prefer medium-light to medium TFO spinning rods with 25-pound fluorocarbon leaders. We’ll cast D.O.A. 5 1/2-inch jerk worms, CAL Jigs, 4-inch jerk worms and D.O.A. Baitbusters.

Fly anglers won’t want to cast anything lighter than an 8-weight. Sinktip or floating lines work well. Flies of choice include Clouser Deep Minnows, Big Eye Baitfish, Gartside Gurglers and Puglisi patterns.

In addition to snook, we also encounter largemouth bass, Florida gar, tarpon and an occasional redfish and spotted seatrout.

You just never know what might take your lure or fly.

Scenery is quite amazing on the river. The banks are lined with stately oak trees and cabbage palms. Alligators often will sun themselves on the banks during the day.

My schedule is pretty hectic these days. If you’re interested in a trip, please contact me as soon as possible to assure yourself a day (or two).

When the water temperature moves up into the 60s, I look for pompano, bluefish and Spanish mackerel to be plentiful on the deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. In addition, spotted seatrout, ladyfish, jack crevalle and even gag grouper will be available.

For intrepid anglers, we’ll hit the water before daylight and cast for snook around lighted docks as the weather warms up.

Last time out, I caught a redfish, snook and spotted seatrout (a Saltwater Slam) on fly before dawn.

As always, I would like to thank my generous sponsors: Legacy Paddlesports (Native Watercraft), D.O.A. Lures, Temple Fork Outfitters, Peak Fishing and 7Eye Sunglasses.

Steve Gibson

Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing

(941) 284-3406

D.O.A. Lures really are 'deadly on anything'

Ken Taylor of North Port, Fla., perhaps D.O.A.'s biggest fan, lands one of many spotted seatrout on D.O.A. CAL Jig.

Disclosure: I am sponsored by D.O.A. Lures.

Opinion: D.O.A. Lures ( are the best on the market.

Of course, there are some who will say that my opinion is based on the fact that D.O.A. sponsors me and that I get them for free.


Few things are free and D.O.A. Lures are not free. I get them at a reduced price because I’m on the water 200 days a year.

It’s nice to get them for a good price. I go through quite a few because I use them when my clients are spin anglers. The D.O.A. CAL Jig is simply the best on the market. The jig head is quality, from the paint to the eyes to the ultra-sharp hook.

Most often, I use the 1/16-ounce jig head. I like it because it doesn’t bomb to the bottom. So, we’re not always tangle up in the grass and other debris. I’ve found that it makes a lot of sense to go as light as I can in most fishing situations.

I like to couple the jig with D.O.A.’s paddle tails. I prefer the paddle tails because they’re tough, appeal to the fish and vibrate nicely through the water. My colors choices (in order of preference) include: gold glitter (313 on the D.O.A. color chart), night glow (305), copper crush (321), root beer/gold tail (411) and avocado/red tail (412). I use gold glitter at least 80 percent of the time – especially in clear water.

If the water is deep and/or the current strong, I’ll switch to a 1/8-ounce jig. It gets down just a little better.

The jigs have been awesome over the last six weeks. My clients and I have been averaging 100 spotted seatrout per trip – most on the CAL Jig.

I also like D.O.A.’s 3-inch shrimp in night glow, gold glitter, glow/goldrush belly (309) and stark naked (420). This size is perfect for the bay and for sight-fishing snook in the surf during the warmer months.

What works best for me is to fish the D.O.A. Shrimp the same way you’d fish a live shrimp. I cast it out, allow it to sink to whatever depth I want, then SLOWLY work it back. I’ll simply raise my rod tip to slowly move the shrimp along, then lower it and reel in the slack.

As Mark Nichols, originator of the D.O.A. line, has often said, “When you think you’re fishing it slow enough, then slow down some more.”

The hit often feels like a “thump.” It’s akin to a bass taking a plastic worm. When you feel the hit, make sure there’s no slack in your line, then set the hook.

The D.O.A. Shrimp is magical when fished under a cork. D.O.A. packages the duo and calls it the Deadly Combination. And it is deadly.

A few years back, I had Chad Pennington, now a quarterback with the Miami Dolphins out in Sarasota Bay. We were fishing the deep grass off Stephens Point and using Deadly Combinations. The two of us caught 80 spotted seatrout and 16 Spanish mackerel.

It was a wonderful day and a testament to the effectiveness of the Deadly Combination.

The beauty of the combo is that you won’t spend time getting your lure out of the grass. In fact, you don’t even have to worry about it.

Here’s how you fish it: Cast it out, allow the shrimp to sink, reel in slack and “pop” the cork once or twice. The cork creates a disturbance on the surface and the beads on it click and clack. Fish in the neighbor hear the commotion and swim up to investigates.

That’s where they see the shrimp. And they usually inhale it.

When the cork goes under, reel up and slack and set the hook.

Years ago, I work in a local tackle shop. We sold live shrimp, but there were times when we would run out or could get any. Anglers would walk into the shop with their bait buckets in hand only to be told we had no shrimp.

“Damn, now I’ll have to go home and mow the lawn.”

Most would shrug, turn around and walk out.

That’s when the proverbial lightbulb in my head was lit.

I walked over to the tackle aisle and grabbed a bunch of D.O.A. Shrimp. I arranged the packages on the counter. When a disgruntled shrimp angler would discover we had no live shrimp, I’d point to the D.O.A.’s.

“You don’t need live shrimp,” I’d say. “You can use these.”

I’d explain how to use them, and at least half the people walked out with one or more D.O.A.’s to try.

I sold 96 D.O.A. Shrimp that day.

D.O.A. Shrimp are great for sight-fishing. I love to toss one in front of a snook or redfish. They’re also wonderful when fishing around and under docks. You can actually “skip” them deep under docks. The shrimp are effective for fishing potholes and deep grass.

The Baitbuster is an interesting lure. It’s a mullet or large baitfish imitation that comes in three models: shallow runner, deep runner and trolling.

Capt. Rick Grassett of the Snook Fin-Addict Guides Services in Sarasota and I visited Nichols in Stuart a few years ago and did quite well on the Baitbuster. Fishing the St. Lucie Inlet, we totaled a dozen snook from 5 to 17 pounds.

Nichols was disappointed and apologetic.

“What’s the problem?” Grassett asked.

“Well, you guys didn’t get a 20-pounder,” Nichols replied.

What he didn’t realize is that it was the best snook outing Grassett and I had ever experienced at the time.

And all of the snook hit the D.O.A. Baitbuster.

I fished D.O.A. products the other day on the Myakka River. I caught a nice snook on a 5-inch D.O.A. jerkworm (root beer with gold flake) and several fish on a 4-inch jerk worm (root beer with chartreuse tail) on a 1/16-ounce jig head.

Late last summer, I launched my kayak at Ponce de Leon Park at Punta Gorda and was greeted by tarpon everywhere. I jumped eight and landed one. Every tarpon hit a root beer TerrorEyz.

The D.O.A. line of lures is simple the best going.

Try them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lack of etiquette on the water is quite common

I’m no snooty elitist. Nor am I holier than thou.
John Mallia of Buffalo, N.Y. caught a load of trout despite the traffic.

I am a reformed smoker, but I don’t care if you light up in your home or car.

I am concerned, however, about the lack of etiquette on the water. I’m talking about those who move in on an area you’re fishing.

Seems to happen all the time.

I was out the other day with a client and we were drifting down the edge of a channel, casting into the depths. A powerboat with three anglers aboard passed right in front of us, cut the engine and began fishing 20 feet away.


I would never paddle in front of anyone and then start fishing.

It was funny, though, when they didn’t catch any fish. They watched as my client reeled in trout after trout.

“They’re killing ‘em,” one said.

No, we weren’t killing the trout. We were releasing them. We do not kill fish to eat. We realize our fish would probably cost around $376 a pound based on the cost of our equipment, boats, vehicles and what have you.

If we wanted to eat fish, we’d head out to a pretty nice seafood restaurant and have someone prepare it for us.

We kept catching trout after trout. The fellows in the boat just couldn’t stand it. They started the motor, put it in gear and headed up the channel toward us. When they got to within a cast, they cut the engine and started fishing.

At the point, I’d had about enough. I wasn’t going to get into it with the morons, but I was going to get away from them. So, we paddled down the channel about 100 yards and started fishing.

Of course, we started catching, too.

After about 15 minutes, the boaters could stand no more. They allowed the current to push them toward us. I watched in amazement as they neared.

“I can’t believe you’re going to drift right through where we’re fishing,” I said to the skipper.

I got no response.

They did indeed drift right past us and right over the spot where we were fishing.

On another occasion, a guide, obviously on a scouting mission for his next day’s charter, anchored on the other side of the channel about 50 feet up from us.

No problem.

He tossed out a live bait and then set the rod in a holder. He picked up another rod and began casting a jig.

He watched in amazement as my client caught a dozen or so nice trout.

When he couldn’t stand it any longer, he lifted the anchor, started his outboard and motored out into the channel. He moved down the channel from us, then cut the engine and literally threw out the anchor.

He was now anchored in the middle of the channel (I think it’s illegal to anhor in a marked channel?). To make matters worse, the chop was banging against the underside of his bow. The noise wasn’t going to increase his production.

Meanwhile, we’re still catching fish. Our kayaks make virtually no noise. The fish don’t know we’re there.

I just wish my powerboat brothers would get on the clue bus. Respect others on the water and try to quiet things down a bit.

They’ll not only make people happy, but they’ll also start catching more fish.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

February is the time for pompano, bluefish and Spanish mackerel

The Big Eye Baitfish Fly is indestructible and quite productive.

Cold weather means cold water.
And cold water means we don't have a lot of variety in out fishing.
Until the water warms, spotted seatrout, redfish, ladyfish and flounder are pretty much what are available.
That will change when we get a few days of warm weather.
I look for pompano, bluefish and Spanish mackerel to show up in mid-February. And when they do, fishing over the deep grass in Sarasota Bay should be really hot. There were days last year when we took more than 50 fish per outing.
The blues averaged 3 pounds and we caught several around 6 pounds. Pompano went at least 2 pounds and several approached 5. Spanish mackerel ranged from 2 to a whopping 7 1/2 pounds!
This action is available on spin and fly tackle. Spin anglers should use medium-light rods, 10-pound braided line and 25-pound fluorocarbon leader. Top lures include the D.O.A. 1/8-ounce CAL Jig with gold paddle tail or D.O.A. Shrimp (glo or gold flake). I also like to use the Deadly Combination (D.O.A. Shrimp under a popping cork).
This is also prime time for fly anglers. I like a 6-weight rod, sinktip line and 6-foot, 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. My fly of choice is my Big Eye Baitfish, a nearly indestructible fly that is irresistible to many species.
I designed the fly with toothy critters in mind. It's made entirely of synthetics and will last all day, providing your leader isn't cut by a big blue or feisty mackerel.
The Big Eye is easy to tie.
Hook: No. 2 Mustad 34008
Thread: Fine mono
Body: Flexi-chord
Wing: White Fish Hair topped with chartreuse Super Hair.
Eyes: Medium or heavy Orvis Crystal Dumbbell Eyes.
Coating: Devcon Two-Ton Epoxy.

Clouser Deep Minnows will work, but they usually are history after one blue or mackerel.
When the blues, pompano and mackerel are here, we often hit the water about an hour before daylight to get in a little snook action around lighted docks. These fish are suckers for small, white flies.

But it will be trout, redfish, ladyfish and a few flounder until we get a warming trend.

Kayak stealth is the real key to fishing success

Ask around and you’ll probably discover fishing has been good, but catching tough!

Jason Beary battles another fish on fly rod.
Abnormally cold weather again is the culprit.

However, there are areas where fish congregate during the cold and make for easy pickings if you know where they are and you’re stealthy enough to take advantage.

My clients and I have been averaging 100 fish per outing over the last six weeks. That includes a low of 20 fish and a high of 250. Most often we’ve been getting at least 60 fish. The totals include mostly spotted seatrout to 22 inches, but we’re also getting flounder, redfish and ladyfish.

The action has been steady on both spin tackle and fly rod.

I’ve watched amazingly as those in powerboats visit the same spots, fish for 10 minutes and then head off for a honey hole 10 miles away. They usually show up, make a dozen casts and are gone.

What they don’t realize is their large boats give away their presence. The hull displaces a tremendous amount of water, sending out fish-alarming pressure waves. Also, their outboard motors are danger signals to the fish. Ditto for electric trolling motors.

I’ve even seen professional guides “throw” their anchors in the fish-holding holes.

Meanwhile, my clients are usually catching fish and enjoying steady action.

I’m convinced it’s mostly because the fish don’t know we’re there.

I had a fellow out from near Buffalo, N.Y., the other day. He has fly fished for steelhead and salmon around his home, but had never caught a saltwater fish on fly rod. After doing well on spin tackle, he wanted to try the fly rod.

He caught 20 spotted seatrout.

We had anchored along the edge of a channel where we had located a school of trout. We caught fish after fish because they had no clue we were there.

Many years ago, I figured I’d use my kayak to get to my favorite wading spots, anchor the boat, get out and fish. Didn’t take me too long to figure out I was less stealthy wading than I was in the kayak.

I rarely wade any more.

During November’s MCFF/CCA Fall Fly Fishing Challenge, I caught enough fish to win the Snook Division and Trout Division. You could only win one division, but it felt good to know that I’d caught that many fish.

I caught seven snook around one dock. I never had to make a cast of more than 25 feet.

Again it was a case of the snook not having a clue I was there.

And that makes a big difference.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Kayaks the key to fishing success

John Kis of Westchester, N.Y., had a field day on spotted seatrout, catching and releasing more than 50 fish.

I’ve always believed that we catch more fish from kayaks than when fishing from powerboats. It stands to reason because the fish don’t know you’re even there.
Jason Beary of Warren, Pa., with one of his 50 spotted seatrout.

This has been proven time and again. It has been especially true over the last two weeks. While many have struggled, my clients and I have been doing very well.

Despite the cold, we’ve been averaging 50 spotted seatrout per outing over the last two weeks. The trout are ranging from 13 to 22 inches, with most in the slot (15 to 20 inches) and over.

D.O.A.’s 1/16-ounce CAL Jig with a gold paddle tail has been the hot ticket. We’ve also been picking up a few fish on MirrOlure’s Tiny MirrOdine and a gold/glo D.O.A. Shrimp.

Fly anglers have had a tougher time. However, Jason Beary of Warren, Pa., caught several trout on a pink-and-chartreuse Clouser Deep Minnow and my Big Eye Baitfish Fly. The trout are on the bottom, so a slow, deep presentation is necessary. I would imagine a 300-grain sinking line would be a good choice.

Beary switched to spinning tackle in late morning and started getting hits on nearly every cast. The trick is to allow the jig to reach the bottom and then hop it slowly. The fish are cold and don’t want to expend a lot of energy chasing down the lure.

If you miss a hit, the key is to keep working the jig. Usually, you’ll pick up another in short order. I’ve lost as many as four fish on a cast before hooking and landing the fifth.

My wife, Kathy, joined me on New Year’s Day for a short outing. We only fish two hours because the wind started to blow and made things tough. Because of the wind, the incoming tide was really cranking. We anchored on the edge of a channel and worked the deep water. I switched Kathy to a 1/8-ounce CAL Jig in order to make it easier to get to the bottom and stay in contact with the lure. In two hours, we caught and released 20 trout to 21 inches.

Dr. Jon Smalley and his wife, Dr. Sharon Smalley, of Connecticut joined me for a half-day outing on Christmas Eve. The Smalley’s totaled 40 trout to 20 inches on CAL Jigs.

Jon Kis of Westchester, N.Y., fished a six-hour trip and did very well. He caught more than 50 trout to 22 inches on CAL Jigs. In fact, we anchored at the first spot and caught fish or had hits on nearly every cast for two hours.

We’ve found the fish to be extremely sensitive to noise and big boats. Several powerboats have fished the area and we’ve seen very few fish taken. A couple of times, we’ve seen powerboats literally “throw” anchors into the channel. Once anchored, you could hear the waves hitting the underside of their bow.

It was no wonder the fishing slowed noticeably!

Capt. Rick Grassett of Sarasota joined me for a friendly day of fun fishing recently and did well. He caught a few fish on fly before giving in to the wind and picking up a spinning rod. Rick and I totaled more than 80 trout to 22 inches, 12 ladyfish, four small redfish and a couple of flounder – all on D.O.A. CAL Jigs with gold paddle tails.

The cold hasn’t slowed the fishing much. The wind, however, has made it tough to get out on some days.

If you want to get in on this action, give me call. I’ve got a few days open over the next three weeks.

Happy New Year!

Steve Gibson

Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing

(941) 284-3406