Thursday, February 9, 2012

We're now a member of the Aqua-Bound Pro Staff

I am happy to announce that I have been selected as a member of the Aqua-Bound Paddles Pro Staff.

Aqua-Bound is a premier paddle manufacturer and offers a variety of paddles to meet the needs of kayak anglers and recreational paddlers of all skill levels.

I conduct kayak-fishing seminars throughout Sarasota and the state each year. One of my messages is that prospective kayak anglers should buy the best equipment they can afford. It makes no sense to purchase of good kayak, but select an inexpensive paddle. That’s like putting economy tires on your Porsche!

For my use, I selected Aqua-Bound’s Surge Carbon Kayak Paddle. It’s strong, very light (24.5) ounces and attractive. Mine will be 230 cm in length.

Please check out the Aqua-Bound website at

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January offers hot snook and redfish river action

Al Ewert of Connecticut shows off a hefty Myakka River snook that he caught on a D.O.A. 4-inch jerk worm and jig.
For the most part, January was a good month for clients of Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing.

Concentrating on the Myakka River, clients caught a variety of fish, including snook, redfish, largemouth bass, spotted gar, Florida gar and tarpon.

The year started with repeat client Al Ewert of Connecticut. Using a D.O.A. CAL 4-inch jerk worm on a 1/16-ounce jig head, Ewert connected quickly on a hefty river snook. We were fishing my deep-water pattern of which few anglers are aware. I discovered this pattern by accident.

In addition, Ewert caught small redfish, bass and gar. We added a 35-inch snook at mid-morning.

John Garcia, a fly angler from California, and his cousin, Daniel from Sarasota, had a good day, but had to fish hard to succeed. Garcia managed a pair of nice snook and a 28-inch redfish on fly. Daniel caught gar and a 3-pound largemouth bass.

On a busman’s holiday, I hit the river and landed 7 snook to 33 inches, 2 bass to 2.5 pounds, a 28-inch redfish and a gar. All fish were taken on a CAL Jerk Worm and jighead.

John Mallia and Jim Hoffman of Buffalo, N.Y. joined me for two tough days of fishing on the river. But the persistent and hardcore anglers succeeded. Mallia managed snook to 28 inches, gar and a bass. Hoffman connected on snook and bass, but lost a hefty snook at the side of the kayak.

The following day was tougher. The group managed one 25-inch snook, 5 bass to 2.5 pounds, 5 gar, a ladyfish and a small tarpon – all on jigs.

Key to the river success is persistency. Those who keep their lures in the water usually are rewarded. It’s tough fish, but can pay off in quality fish.

Dick Badman of Pennsylvania joined me and had a very tough day. Snook, bass, gar and tarpon were absent. However, we did land a 32-inch redfish.

John Mallia and his son, J.D., fished Palma Sola Bay and did well. The duo managed 55 spotted trout, 10 flounder and several ladyfish on CAL Jigs with gold paddle tails.

John Skivington of New York fished the Myakka River and had a smattering of success. Snook had lockjaw, but he caught bass and several gar. We also caught a small redfish and a plethora of ladyfish.

Dick Badman of Pennsylvania fished Sarasota Bay and did well. Casting flies, Badman landed spotted seatrout, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and pompano. We were fishing the deep grass off Stephens Point.

Tom Miller of New York joined me for a river outing and had a good time. He caught a few bass and hooked a gar. In all, we totaled five largemouth to 3 pounds and a few ladyfish.

Mike Green of Cartersville, Ga., and I got out on the water at 4:30 a.m. and had a good day. He caught two snook – the first of his life – and several spotted seatrout on fly around dock lights. After daylight, he managed a number of spotted seatrout and ladyfish. We also landed a nice pompano.

Woody Calloway of Legacy Paddlesports, videoman John, Bobby Harless of Punta Gorda, Mark Lozier, a Native Watercraft-endorsed guide from Virginia Beach, Va., and Dave and Lisa Harper of North Port fished with me off Stephens Point. We caught a load of small spotted seatrout, ladyfish, flounder and Spanish mackerel on jigs.

River action slowed down toward the end of the month, but we expect it to improve – if we get some cold weather.

If not, we’ll concentrate on fishing the deep grass in Sarasota Bay.

A good alternative is to get out on the water a couple of hours before daylight to fish around dock lights. On a solo trip, I landed a redfish and spotted seatrout on my first two casts. I later lost a snook at the side of the kayak. After daylight, I caught spotted seatrout, ladyfish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano and bluefish.

Freshwater trips also are an option. The Manatee River is producing good catches of big bluegill and hefty channel catfish.

Lake Manatee is yielding bluegill, shellcracker, speckled perch, a few bass and large channel catfish.

I would like to thank my sponsors: Native Watercraft, D.O.A. Lures, Go Fish! Sportsman Sunscreen and Peak Fishing.

The season is booking up nicely. Please book your trips at your earliest convenience to assure your day(s) of fun on the water.

For those of you who enjoy social media, you can get daily fishing reports from me on Facebook and Twitter. Please “friend” me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @gibby3474.

Steve Gibson

Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing

(941) 284-3406