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

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