Saturday, March 26, 2011

Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing montly report

Denton Kent caught a nice snook on fly.

Matt Fleischhauer of Illinois landed a dandy pompano.

Chuck Linn of Oklahoma shows off one of three monster trout he caught on topwater plugs.

It doesn’t seem possible, but March is almost gone. Wow!

Fishing has been really good over the last month, with a variety of species cooperating in both fresh and salt waters. Anglers fishing with Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing have been getting spotted seatrout to 7 pounds, pompano to 3, redfish to 9, snook to 6, bluefish to 2, flounder, ladyfish and a load of other species.

In fresh water, we’ve been getting some big bluegill, stumpknocker and bass to 2 pounds on fly.

Fly angler Dave Sutton fished with me and wanted to target bluegill. We managed to catch a bunch on the Manatee River. We used popping bugs, nymphs and, of course, my Myakka Minnow. All fish were taken on light fly rods and floating lines.

We launch out of Ray’s Canoe Hideaway and usually paddle upriver. We then float back and fly fish along the way. The scenery is gorgeous and fishing often very good.

The trip of the month in salt water was on March 24 when Chuck Linn of Oklahoma joined me for a 6-hour outing on Sarasota Bay. Chuck connected on a 4-pound spotted seatrout right off the bat on a topwater plug. We figured that fish might be the day’s top trout.


Chuck caught a number of larger trout, including a pair that went slightly more than 6 pounds and another that weighed 7.

What a day.

In addition, Chuck caught and released a small redfish and lost a bull red.

It was a nice trip on a beautiful day.

The day prior, Jerry Amato of Sarasota and Cleveland, Ohio joined me and caught a good number of spotted seatrout on flies and jigs. Jerry also added a number of leaping ladyfish.

On March 21, repeat clients Mark Fleischhauer of Illinois and his son, Matt, fished Sarasota Bay near Stephens Point. Action during their six-hour outing was pretty steady. They caught spotted seatrout to 18 inches, ladyfish, flounder, Spanish mackerel and pompano. All of the fish were taken on D.O.A. 1/8-ounce CAL Jigs with gold paddle tails.

John Kis of New York, another repeat client, fished Stephens Point with me on March 20. John tried fly fishing for snook around light docks just before dawn, but didn’t connect. The tide just wasn’t conducive and the fish weren’t hungry.

However, he still managed plenty of spotted seatrout, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and bluefish on CAL Jigs.

Denton Kent, a winter resident, fished his second trip with me and had a fine day. Denton started the day with a 23-inch spotted seatrout on fly before daylight. He then added a 27-inch snook and another large trout before dawn.

During the day, Denton caught and released a plethora of fish, including spotted seatrout, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel. He might have caught some other species, but I can’t remember!

Fly angler John Garcia of California fishing Stephens Point with me on March 12 and had a very consistent day, catching spotted seatrout to 4 pounds, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and bluefish.

John Garrity of Toledo Ohio and his son joined me for a “windier-than-expected” day on Sarasota Bay. The wind was expected to blow around 6-12 mph out of the south. But, as usual, the wind didn’t read the weather report. Still, they managed to catch spotted seatrout, ladyfish, flounder and Spanish mackerel on CAL Jigs.

Avid fly fisher Chris Bentsen of Redmond, Wash., fished the west side of Sarasota Bay on a windy day. He wanted to target redfish and managed one small red on a spoon fly. He also caught some spotted seatrout and ladyfish.

APRIL FORECAST: The wind should lie down a little and the fishing should actually improve. I look for spotted seatrout, ladyfish, pompano, bluefish and Spanish mackerel on the deep grass flats.

Large redfish action should be good on the shallow grass. In addition, I anticipate larger spotted seatrout on the shallow grass.

Snook will be available at night and before dawn around dock lights. This is a great chance for fly anglers to get a snook. We also get spotted seatrout and an occasional redfish around the lights on fly.

Freshwater fishing should improve drastically. Bluegill, shellcracker, stumpknocker and bass will be the prime targets.

Also, snook will begin to hit the surf. Prime day for sight-fishing snook in the surf is Mary through August. This is sight-fishing at its best and my specialty. I’ve been guiding anglers to snook in the surf for more than 20 years.

These trips book up quickly, so I suggest that you book your trip early.

As always, I’d like to thank my gracious sponsors: Native Watercraft, D.O.A. Lures, Temple Fork Outfitters, Peak Fishing and Economy Tackle.

Please feel free to email or call me if you have any questions.

Steve Gibson

Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing

(941) 284-3406

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