Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Snook the best bet in the surf; trout cooperating in the bay

Dr. Craig Amshel of Apollo Beach battles a bonnethead shark at boatside. (Photo by STEVE GIBSON)

We’ve been fishing mostly Sarasota Bay or fly fishing along the beaches for snook over the past month.

I would rate the fishing a 5.5 or 6 on a scale of 10.

In Sarasota Bay, we’ve mainly been concentrating around Buttonwood Harbor and
Stevens Point.

In Buttonwood Harbor, we’ve been getting spotted seatrout to 23 inches, flounder to 16, bluefish to 3 pounds, Spanish mackerel and, of course, plenty of ladyfish. All are being caught on D.O.A. CAL Jigs with gold paddle tails and D.O.A. Deadly Combinations.

At Stevens Point, we’ve been fish dock lights before daylight and getting snook to 24 inches and a few spotted seatrout trout on flies (Schminnows and Gibby’s Duster Minnow). After daylight, we’ve been fishing the deep grass off Stevens Point in Sarasota Bay and getting spotted seatrout to 25 inches, ladyfish, flounder and a few bluefish. All are hitting Gibby’s Big Eye Baitfish Fly and D.O.A. CAL Jigs with gold paddle tails.

Steve Legore of Anna Maria Island joined me on an outing in Buttonwood Harbor. We caught plenty of fish, but most were small. We managed to catch spotted seatrout, flounder and ladyfish on D.O.A. CAL jigs with gold paddle tails and D.O.A. Deadly Combinations.

Todd Dawson of Manatee County and Dr. Craig Amshel of Apollo Beach joined me for an outing in Buttonwood Harbor. The action wasn’t spectacular, but it was consistent. They caught spotted seatrout to 19 ½ inches, ladyfish, flounder and a 3-foot bonnethead shark – all on D.O.A. CAL Jigs with gold paddle tails.

Mike Texidor of Miami did a beach snook trip with me along Casey Key and caught his first saltwater fish on fly rod. Mike, a repeat client, caught a snook and a ladyfish on my D.T. Variation and Tom’s Greenback. The fish were plentiful, but very tough. Mike probably cast to more than 300 snook in calm and clear conditions.

Beach snook action is improving. I fished with Ken Taylor of North Port this morning and did well in trying conditions. We combined for nine snook on Gibby’s D.T. Variation and D.O.A. Shrimp. All of the snook were small. We fished the surf along Manasota Key.

I did a freshwater outing on the Manatee River and had a good time. We caught a number of largemouth bass and bluegill on Myakka Minnows. We also hooked seven larger channel catfish and landed one – all on Myakka Minnows.

I do tie D.T. Variations and Myakka Minnows commercially. They’re $48 per dozen (plus postage).

They’re great flies and I’ve been using them for years. If you would like to purchase them, please let me know.

I took a busman’s holiday this week and fished with my friend Rick Grassett of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Services. We fished the inshore Gulf of Mexico and had shots at 300 tarpon or more. Rick hooked one and fought it for 25 minutes before the hook pulled. He also had a couple of other tarpon eat the fly, but didn’t hook up.

This is fantastic tarpon fly fishing. I encourage all of you to book Rick if you’re desire to hook a tarpon on fly.

You can reach him at (941) 350-9790. You need to book him at least a year in advance for tarpon season (May-July).

I am sending this report out early because Kathy, Morgan and I and leaving on a 2-week vacation. We’ll spend part of it in Michigan and some in New York City. Kathy (our travel agent) has our NYC trip already arranged. We’re staying on Times Square and we’ll see Mary Poppins on Broadway, tour the NBC studios and take a bus/boat trip around the island.

As always, I would like to thank my sponsors: Legacy Paddlesports, D.O.A. Lures, Go Fish! Sunscreen, Temple Fork Outfitters, Peak Fishing and Economy Tackle/Dolphin Dive.

If you’re on Facebook, please send me a friend request. You can also follow me on Twitter @gibby3474.

Steve Gibson

Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing

(941) 284-3406

1 comment:

  1. Had a good time Steve. Always good to catch fish even in trying conditions. Gonna break out my flyrod when I don't have to test some new lures! The fly for beach snook is simple and effective. I had fun just observing you work it in the surf. As Yogi Berra says, "You can observe a lot by watching"! Have a great vacation and I'll see you when you get back!