Monday, July 29, 2013

Seatrout plentiful in July; redfish and snook should take the August spotlight

Spotted seatrout were the name of the game in July for clients of Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing.

We caught and released several large trout, including one 6-pounder during the month.

Most of the action took place near and around Buttonwood Harbor on the west side of Sarasota Bay.

Keith Kosco of New York is a happy camper.
Keith Kosco of New York picked a slow day to fish, but did manage a few seatrout, including one that tipped that scales at 6 pounds. Most of the fish were taken on MirrOlure Lil Johns on 1/16-ounce jig heads.

Exploratory trips earlier in the week had resulted into trout to 6 pounds, redfish to 29 inches, snook to 24 inches and flounder.

The highlite of the week was an 8-pound permit that went for a Lil John.

Randy Ruskey of Peoria, Ill., and his sons, Eric and Jon, had a pair of fair outings. On the first day, we fished off Stephens Point on the east side of the bay and managed 30 trout to 19 inches and a pompano. The second day was spent drifting the deep grass off Whale Key along the west side of the bay. We landed 20 trout to 17 inches, jack crevalle and ladyfish.

Later in the week, I caught redfis to 26 inches, trout, snook to 26, jack crevalle and flounder on jigs and MirrOlure MirrOdines.

David Andrews of Charlotte County  joined me for an outing off Stephens Point. David managed 12 trout and a ladyfish on flies (Clouser Deep Minnows).

Vinny Caruso of Sarasota fished with me in Lee County near Matlacha and had a memorable day. We caught redfish to 21 inches. trout to 24 and jumped a tarpon we estimated at more than 100 pounds. It was the first tarpon Vinny had ever hooked. He used a Sebile Stick Shad to entice the big fish.

I caught a 26-inch redfish and 20 trout in Buttonwood Harbor on a scouting mission prior to a trip with Dr. Everette Howell of Longboat Key. Dr. Howell managed a dozen trout to 18 inches on Lil Johns and D.O.A. Cal Jigs with gold paddle tails.

Randy Truman of Sarasota and his son, A.J., caught trout to 18 inches, flounder and bluefish off Whale Key on the west side of the bay. The fish were caught on D.O.A. CAL jigs and golf paddle tails and MirrOlure MirrOdines.

Andrew Adler and Michael Adler of Sarasota fished the deep grass off Whale Key and experienced some very slow action. We totaled 10 trout and a few mangrove snapper on D.O.A. CAL jigs and gold paddle tails. The fishing was slow, but the scenery wasn't. We had a pair of manatees swim around our kayaks.

I recently switched to Jackson Kayaks ( I now own a 14-foot Jackson Cuda, two 12-foot Jackson Cudas and a 12-foot Jackson Kilroy.

I have one (1) Native Watercraft  left for sale. I have a 12-foot Ultimate Basic. The boat sells for $799 new (plus tax). I'm selling it for $600. I bought it in October, so it's still under warranty. It comes with an anchor trolley system.

Please let me know if you're interested in the Ultimate.

August should see an increase in redfish on the flats. In fact, we could encountered large schools of large redfish. One of my favorite trips is southern Tampa Bay. I like to hit the water before daylight and cast topwater plugs over the grass and along the mangroves. This usually produces noteworthy redfish and snook.

Matlacha is also a possible outing -- especially if we get negative low tides. When we do, tailing redfish are usually easy to find. Tarpon action should be good there, too.

Beach snook action should heat up in August, with sight-fishing the name of the game for those interested in fly fishing.

And don't forget night snook trips. This is perfect for those who like to sight-fishing for snook at night in pleasant conditions.

Please call me or email me if you're interested in booking a trip.

Steve Gibson
Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing

(941) 284-3406

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The fleet is up for sale and Southern Drawl June report

Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 is a great fishing platform with all the bells and whistles.
 Sorry for this delayed report. When Kathy and I returned from vacation, the computer wouldn't work. It was still under warranty, so we returned it to Best Buy where it was diagnosed as a "fried hard drive."

The hard drive was covered, but, according to Best Buy, the data on it wasn't. We had to agree up front to pay $100 for them to "try" to recover what was on the hard drive.

Fortunately, the problem turned out to be a bad mother board. It took two weeks, but we're back in business and have all of our photos and other stuff.

Annie Ewert of Connecticut fished out of the Ultimate Basic
Before I get into fishing, I need to let you know that I'm selling four kayaks. Reason is I'm getting a new fleet. They're in excellent shape with minimal wear and tear. All are sand color.

I have a 14.5-foot Native Watercraft Ultimate (my personal boat) which is immaculate. It comes with an anchor trolley and bow spray skirt. The boat sells for $1,299 new. Spray skirt is $119. Anchor trolley is $39. Total cost new is $1,457. I bought the kayak in November, so it's eight months old. I'm selling it for $1,100. Check the boat out at

I have a fully equipped Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5.  This is Native's newest sit on top. It comes with an anchor trolley, scupper plugs and bow hatch cover. This boat sells for $1,279. The hatch cover is an accessory that sells for $99. Anchor trolley is $39. Total new is $1,407. I'm asking $1,050. Read about the Slayer at

I also have two Native Watercraft Ultimate Basic 12s with anchor trollies. They sell for  $799. Total new with anchor trolley is $838. I'll let each of them go for $650. Here's the skinny on the Native Ultimate Basic:

Please contact me if you're interested. My phone number is (941) 284-3406. In the past, my boats haven't lasted long after I put them up for sale.

I already have my new fleet, so you can take possession immediately and being fishing tomorrow!

June is usually a slow month, so that's when we take vacation. We spent a week in Traverse City, Mich., where I fly fished for carp. Before you sneer, realize that fly fishing for carp is rapidly gaining in popularity. 
And Grand Traverse Bay is perhaps the place to go. I fish a large sand flat at the tip the Old Mission Peninsula where the water is knee deep or less and offers firm footing.

Carp swim onto the flat in June to spawn. They remain on the flat until about mid-July.

These fish are huge, fight hard and make long-determined runs.

This is all "sight-fishing." However, it's important to understand that it's a waste of time to target schools of fish. They're only interested in spawning. I target the single stragglers. Cast the fly about 10 feet in front and begin to move it slowly as they approach.

I caught more than 50 carp over three days. Most of the fish weighed more than 20 pounds. My biggest fish weight an estimated 35 pounds.

I also caught a number of chunky smallmouth bass when the card action slowed.

I used a 6-weight rod, floating fly line, 9-foot leader (10-pound tippet). Crawfish patterns work well, but I did best on brown, bead-head Wooly Buggers.

For information on the great Traverse Bay carp fishing, contact Scott Pitser and the Northern Angler Fly Shop in Traverse City at (231) 933-4730. The shop offers guides services and has everything you need. The Northern Angler website:

After Michigan, we flew to San Francisco. We rented a car and drove to Sacramento where my sister lives. I was "surfing the Internet" one night a few months ago when I discovered I had a sister that I didn't know. I contacted her and found out my dad and her mother were married while they were in the Navy. They divorced shortly after they got out.

It was nice spending time with Carole and her husband, Don.

We spent time in Sacramento, Lake Tahoe and Reno. Nev.  After we left Sacramento, we drove back to San Francisco and toured Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf prior to out flight back to Sarasota.

June fishing around Sarasota Bay was pretty fair. We managed decent catches of spotted seatrout to 6 pounds, redfish to 28 inches, snook to 30 and a variety that included flounder, mangrove snapper, ladyfish and jack crevalle.

July fishing usually picks up with redfish taking the forefront on the shallow flats and along grass edges. We also anticipate good action on spotted seatrout, snook, flounder, jacks and ladyfish.

Beach snook action should improve as the weather settles.

Let's go fishing!

Steve Gibson
Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing

(941) 284-3406