Friday, March 1, 2013

River action winds down, but Sarasota Bay heats up

Patrick O'Connor of Rotonda battles an airborne Myakka River snook. (Photo by Steve Gibson)

February was a month of diversity.
The weather fluctuated from balmy to brisk. And the fishing ranged from hot to lukewarm.
Author shows off a  river snook. (Photo by Patrick O'Connor)
We stopped fishing the Myakka River by the second week of the month. The action slowed to a crawl, so it was time to head back out to Sarasota Bay, In fact, the last four river trips produced only 14 snook. That might sound like a lot, but that's 24 hours of fishing.

On one of the last trips to river, I did manage a 37-inch snook. In addition, Patrick O'Connor of Rotonda caught a nice fish.
Dan Benbassett of Riverview joined us for a bay outing early in the month and experienced a variety of action. We totaled 14 spotted seatrout to 17 inches, four Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, pompano, jack crevalle and all the ladyfish you wanted. Most of the fish were taken on D.O.A. CAL Jigs with D.O.A. paddle tails.
John Kis, a winter visitor from New York, had a field day fishing the deep grass areas off Stephens Point in Sarasota Bay. Kis managed a load of seatrout to 18 inches, bluefish, pompano, Spanish mackerel, flounder and ladyfish.
New Native Watercraft owner Pete Walocko of Sarasota found plenty of trout on his outing off Stephens Point. He caught and released 30 trout and a pompano.
 Fly angler Chuck Dodd of Virginia performed long-wand magic on his outing, fishing the deep grass off Stephens Point. Dodd caught spotted seatrout, bluefsih, Spanish mackerel, pompano and a load of ladyfish on Gibby's Big Eye Baitfish and another synthetic minnow imitation.
Pete Walocko christened his new Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 in grand fashion. Twenty spotted seatrout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish slimed his new camo-colored boat. He caught all of his fish on D.O.A. CAL Jigs and paddle tails.
Frank Jablonsky of Venice had a fair outing near Buttonwood Harbor, he caught spotted seatrout, ladyfish and a Spanish mackerel on D.O.A. CAL Jigs and MirrOlure MirrOdines. Most of the action took place over the deep grass just east of Whale Key.
Travis Carmel joined us for a half day off Stephens Point and quickly got with the program. He landed plenty of seatrout, plus bluefish, mackerel and pompano.
Dr. David Hough of South Bend, Ind., had a fair day on the deep grass off Stephens Point, catching seatrout, bluefish, mackerel , pompano and a small shark on D.O.A. CAL Jigs and D.O.A. Deadly Combination.
Fly angler Derek McNeil of Colorado found slow going with the fly rod on a six-hour trip. He did manage a few trout, but did much better when he switched to a spinning rod and jig. It was just one of those days when the fish were keyed into the jig. McNeil caught a load of trout and a lot of ladyfish.
Dick Combs of Bartow had a fun outing in windy conditions on the last day of the month. He started the day by catching a snook on fly. We moved out over the deep grass off Stephens Point where he caught spotted seatrout to 16 inches, ladyfish and mackerel. He ended the day catching a mess of silver trout inside the Stephens Point Basin. Most of his fish came on Clouser Deep Minnows. He was using a Temple Fork Outfitters 7-weight BVK rod and matching reel with a clear, intermediate sinktip line.
We anticipate getting back into the large trout in March. In addition, we expect redfish action to improve on the flats around Sarasota Bay.
Night fishing for snook should remain consistent.

Steve Gibson
Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing
(941) 284-3406


  1. nice blog, I'm now following you

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Steve, what kind of kayak is that you are using? It's beautiful and looks well equipped for days on the water! Check out my fishing blog when you get a chance. I'd love to hear your feedback.

    1. Scott, I use Native Watercraft Ultimates and Native Watercraft Slayers. I will check out your blog.