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


  1. Dave have you tried the captains seat by ultimate yet , just started reading your blog and really enjoy it hope to hook up when in your area . right now northern Canada is a bit cool so only warm thoughts of Florida will have to do for now ... gary

  2. Appreciate hearing about the good Trout fishing. The point on the anchored boats is well taken also. Any signs of the cold effecting snook?

  3. Gary,

    Haven't tried the Captains Seat. I use the Seat Riser in my boat and like it very much.

  4. Allen,

    Haven't seen or heard of any dead snook in the area. Keeping my fingers crossed!