Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snook, redfish and bass slamming lures in the Myakka River

This 29-inch snook fell for a D.O.A. 4-inch jerk worm on a CAL Jig Head.

Fishing has been very interesting on the Myakka River. Most days, we’re able to take a river slam: snook, redfish and largemouth bass.

Not bad.

The beauty of the river is you never know what you’re going to catch. Could be a 2-pound largemouth bass on one cast and a 20-pound snook on the next.

Every cast could result in a monster fish.

Those fishing the river should realize that the fish don’t jump in the boat; you have to work for them. Key is keeping your lure or fly in the water. The more time you’re lure is in the water, the greater your chances of hooking up.

We’ve been launching at Snook Haven, 5000 East Venice Ave. It’s located about a mile west of Interstate 75 off River Road. The place is quaint. In addition, the restaurant there serves up some decent grub and they offer live entertainment on Thursdays and Sundays. You can also hop aboard a large pontoon boat to take a tour of the river.

We usually launch long before Snook Haven opens. We’ve been paddling downriver about a mile.

We’ve discovered a new pattern that has been paying dividends. I won’t divulge it here, but just say we’re taking snook, bass and redfish in areas you normally wouldn’t cast.

Today, I took Nick Walter, the former outdoors editor of the Bradenton Herald, out for a morning of fishing. Walter now is writing outdoors stuff for

I showed him my new pattern and it worked pretty well for the second day in a row. We caught quite a few bass to about 2 pounds. We also caught and released a small snook. The highlight of the outing was a monster snook that I hooked. It towed my kayak and made five jumps. The snook was so large it couldn’t get its body out of the water.

Walter figured the fish to be 39 or 40 inches. I estimated it at 30 to 32. It wore through the leader before I could land it.

Not to be dismayed. You can’t lose a big fish unless you first hook one.

Every day is different. On Tuesday, I landed four snook to 24 inches, four redfish to 22, four bass to 15. In addition, I hooked and lost a couple of big gar.

I landed a 29-inch snook on Monday and two smaller fish. In addition, I caught and released three redfish and several bass.

I’m taking most of my fish on a D.O.A. avocado flake 4-inch jerk worm on a 1/8-ounce CAL Jig Head. The key is to slowly hop it across the bottom.

In addition to fish, we’ve been seeing a few alligators, raccoons, otters, osprey, great blue heron and night heron.

The Myakka River is my favorite place to fish this time of year. It’s a great place to fish for snook, and there’s always the chance you’ll hook a monster.

Even if you don’t land a fish (that won’t happen), you’ll have a wonderful time. The river, which has been declared a scenic body of water, is one of the most picturesque streams in the state – if not country.

I expect fishing to remain steady until we get two weeks or so of warm weather.

Until them, you can find me on the Myakka River.

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