Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Despite the wind, April produced a variety of fish

Marshall Dinerman of Atlanta had a reason to smile after landing his first redfish in nearly six years.

April continued where March left off -- windy.

Extremely windy.

John Weimer shows off a fine peacock bass.
In fact, I have yet to walk the beach in search of snook in the surf. I hope it's not too long before the windy subsides and conditions get right for my favorite form of saltwater fly fishing.

That doesn't mean we didn't fish in April. Au contraire! We got out many times and did pretty well.

In salt water, we fished Sarasota Bay, catching a variety fish. Marshall Dinerman of Orlando caught a 28-inch redfish on a Live Target pilchard in Buttonwood Harbor. He said it was his first redfish in nearly six years! In addition, we caught snook, spotted seatrout and ladyfish.

Dave Marshall of Port Charlotte caught a pair of snook on MirrOlure Lil Johns on light jigs from a Longboat Key canal.  Later, he added his largest redfish ever -- a 30-incher. He used Lil John on a jig. We also landed another snook and one of the largest mojarra I've ever seen.

Todd Dawson of Bradenton fished Sarasota Bay off Stephens Point and did well. We caught 25 spotted seatrout to 17 inches and a small gag grouper, using D.O.A. CAL Jigs and gold grubs.
Dave Marshall and his Sarasota Bay redfish.

I got out on a solo trip and had a very good day. Using an 8-weight fly rod, I bested five snook to 26 inches around dock lights. I used a small, white shrimp imitation. After daylight, I caught a pair of redfish, six spotted seatrout and four more snook to 30 inches on a MirrOlure topwater plug and MirrOlure MirrOdines.

I fished Buttonwood Harbor on another occasion and caught 12 snook, 10 spotted seatrout and two redfish on flies, jigs, MirrOdines and topwater plugs.

Peacock bass action was extremely hot in April. John Weimer of Sarasota joined me for two trip to The Everglades . We walked in to a small lake and caught 130 peacock bass to 4 pounds on Junior's Craft Fur Minnows and Myakka Minnows. We also caught largemouth bass to 3 pounds, oscar, Mayan cichlid, hand-size bluegill, gar and tilapia.

The walk-in trip (the walk is easy) is one you won't want to miss. However, I expect conditions to be right for the trip for only a few more weeks. Once the rainy season (June through August) begins, the walk will be impossible because of high water and mosquitoes.

I also fished Lake Manatee on a couple of occasions, catching bluegill, largemouth bass, shellcracker, speckled perch and shellcracker on popping bugs, nymphs and Myakka Minnows.

MAY FORECAST: I look for beach snook action to take off once we get conditions conducive for sight-fishing the surf. For this, I used 6-8-weight fly rods, intermediate sinktip lines and 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. My fly choice is my Gibby's D.T. Variation, a creation I've used to catch more than 5,000 snook in the surf over the years. Bay fish should remain good for spotted seatrout, snook, redfish, ladyfish and jack crevalle. We'll continue to fish The Everglade for peacock bass, largemouth bass, oscar, Mayan cichlid, bluegill and other species until conditions get too tough. Locally, Lake Manatee, the Myakka River and Webb Lake should produce good results (largemouth bass, bluegill, speckled perch,  channel catfish, sunshine bass).

My beach snook trips are filling up quickly. So, it might not be a bad idea to book ahead of time. Call me at 941-284-3406 or email be at steve@kayakfishingsarasota.com.

As always, thanks to my generous sponsors: NuCanoe, Aqua-bound, MirrOlure , Temple Fork Outfitters and D.O.A. Lures.

Steve Gibson
Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing

1 comment: