Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pompano top the list of good April action around Sarasota Bay

Pete Walocko of Michigan shows off a fine pompano he caught on a MirrOdine near Buttonwood Harbor.
Fishing was good for Southern Drawl Kayak clients during March. We caught a variety of fish in a variety of situations.

Once again, pompano topped the list. This year has been the best pompano action since 2009. We landed pompano on almost every trip.

Strange as it might seem, we caught most of our pompano on 14MR MirrOdines. Now, I'm told that pompano do not eat fish. They usually eat shrimp and other crustaceans. They might not eat fish, but they eat the heck out of MirrOdines, a lure that's supposed to resemble a scaled sardine (also known as whitebait or pilchard).

Why question it?

We also caught quite a few spotted seatrout during the month.

Redfish had a surge when they showed up on the shallow flats. We caught redfish on gold spoons, MirrOdines, MirrOlure Lil Johns on light jigs and topwater plugs (Zara Super Spook Jr.).

In addition, we caught jack crevalle, loads of ladyfish and a few snook.

Most of the action took place in and around Buttonwood Harbor off Sarasota Bay.

Pete Walocko and Richard Ives started things off early in the month. These two winter residents from Michigan had a fair day. They caught 25 spotted seatrout to 19 inches, three pompano, three Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, sugar trout and ladyfish on MirrOdines.

Derek McNeil of Colorado did fairly well on fly rod. We caught 15 spotted seatrout to 22 inches, pompano, Spanish mackerel, sugar trout, ladyfish and jack crevalle. An olive-and-white Clouser Deep Minnow on a sinktip line did most of the damage.

Maureen Grose of Venice joined me for a shortened outing on a windy day. We cut the six-hour trip down to four hours because of heavy wind. Still, Maureen was able to land a fine pompano. We also caught spotted seatrout, ladyfish, mangrove snapper and a small snook on MirrOdines and Lil Johns.

John Kis of New York had a fair day. We landed spotted seatrout to 20 inches, pompano, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish on MirrOdines.

Ray Esboldt of Minnesota caught spotted seatrout, Spanish mackerel, sugar trout, jack crevalle and ladyfish on MirrOdines. Largest trout of the outing went 4 1/2 pounds.

Bill Suda and Pete Borg of New York booked a pair of trips. But we were only able to get one in because of thunderstorms. We fish Buttonwood Harbor and totaled 35 spotted seatrout, ladyfish, jack crevalle, sugar trout and pompano on MirrOdines.

Vinny Caruso of Bradenton joined me on a windy day. We had to fish Longboat Key canals to get out of the wind. But we managed snook, spotted seatrout, jack crevalle, ladyfish and croaker on MirrOlure Lil Johns. We also hooked a large snook that we couldn't keep out of the pilings.

On an outing to Joe Bay off southern Tampa Bay, Vinny Caruso of Bradenton and I combined to catch snook to 25 inches, redfish to 27 and a load of spotted seatrout to 16 on topwater plugs, MirrOdines and Lil Johns.

April forecast: I look for improved redfish action on the flats, with the best action taking place early and late on topwater plugs and spoons. Snook should make a good appearance in the backcountry and start to show up along the beaches. Also, spotted seatrout, jack crevalle and ladyfish should be plentiful.

Steve Gibson
Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing


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