Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tarpon, snook and permit were the stars of the April scene on Sarasota Bay

A.J. Menard of Sarasota stands with ease to fight a fish in the NuCanoe Frontier.
April was a good month for Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing. For the most part, the wind and weather cooperated.

During the month, we caught a variety of species on fly rod and spin, including tarpon, snook, spotted seatrout, redfish, jack crevalle, ladyfish, flounder and permit. In addition, we visited The Everglades and caught oscar, Mayan cichlid, largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker and stumpknocker on fly rod.

This redfish made A.J. happy!
Most of the action took place in Sarasota Bay around Buttonwood Harbor. That's where Howard Beemer of Fort Myers and son-in-law Jim Wies of Illinois caught snook, seatrout, jack crevalle, ladyfish and sugar trout on MirrOlure Lil Johns on light jigs and MirrOlure MirrOdines. The bite was slow and we had to work for fish. However, Jim was able to land his first snook.

Bob Tait of Sarasota had a good day on fly rod. He caught snook under the lights and jumped a tarpon. It was that lost tarpon which prevented him from obtaining the rare Super Slam (snook, trout, redfish and tarpon on fly). He added a 29-inch redfish shortly after daylight, then caught a number of small seatrout. He also caught a lookdown on fly. The fish were caught on Gibby's Snook Shrimp, DuPree Spoon Flies and Clouser Deep Minnows.

Ash Amirian of Longboat Key and Jack Perrone of Naples joined me for a day of fly fishing on Sarasota Bay. Wind made things tough, but the duo combined to catch spotted seatrout, jack crevalle, ladyfish and flounder. Most of the fish were taken on Clouser Deep Minnows.

Longtime client Kirk Klingensmith of Corning, N.Y., fished two days and did well. He caught six snook on fly around lighted docks on Gibby's Snook Shrimp. He later added spotted seatrout, jack crevalle, ladyfish and flounder on Clouser Deep Minnows.

A.J. shows off his first permit
The following day, we headed to Alligator Alley where we fly fished for a variety of species. We caught 70 oscar, 25 Mayan cichlid, eight largemouth bass, 15 bluegill, 10 stumpknocker and a pair of shellcracker. All fish were taken on Gibby's Myakka Minnows.

A.J. Menard of Sarasota joined me for an outing around Buttonwood Harbor. Fishing was tough, but A.J. caught redfish to 24 inches, permit to 3 pounds, spotted seatrout, ladyfish and jack crevalle on MirrOlure MirrOdines, MirrOlure Lil Johns on light jigs and gold Johnson Silver Minnow Spoons.
Fly angler Robert Marcus of New York City caught his first snook on a Gibby's Snook Shrimp and had a couple of others on. He also tangled with ladyfish and jack crevalle. A very slow tide hurt his chances.

May is filling up, but I do have openings.

MAY FORECAST: Snook should start spreading out along the beaches which should lead to some excellent sight-fishing opportunities for fly fishers and spin anglers alike. Night snook action (along with tarpon and seatrout) should be good around the stronger tides. We expect improved redfish success on the flats. In addition, we anticipate excellent action for shark, snook, redfish and spotted seatrout in southern Tampa Bay.

If you're interested in a trip, please call me (941-284-3406) or email me at

Steve Gibson
Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing