Cool water trout fishing...

 Although it is still a little chilly in the morning, once the morning sun hits the water the fish begin to wake up. Depending on the year little by little February water temps will start to rise up as each day passes. With water temps rising the fish will start to shift into their next phase of season.  Some species will be starting to spawn but, first and foremost the fish will be on the hunt, looking to fill their stomachs after being a bit sluggish form the cold winter.

    One of my favorite fish to target this time of year is the Speckled Trout also known as the Spotted Sea Trout. The adult spotted sea trout are anywhere from 19-32 inches and from 3-15lbs. They can be caught in large numbers once you have located them. The average size this time of year is about 16-20 inches, but don’t surprised to catch some well over 20 inches. We locals call them “Gator Trout” once they make it over the 20-inch mark. In our area you are allowed to keep four over 15” with one of them being over 20inches. Although, I do release most trout over 20” because they are either already full of eggs or they are getting ready to start spawning any day. Plus, they are much better tasting when they are under the “Gator Trout” size…

   There are many different tactics to catch Spotted Sea Trout. My absolute favorite way to catch them is on top water “walk the dog” baits like the Yo-Zuri  3D Inshore Pencil. They do have paper thin mouths so, make sure not to rip the lure out of their mouth when they strike it. Feel the weight of the fish and just reel. If it’s a cold morning and they are being lethargic, I like use a soft-plastic shrimp like the Monster 3X X-MOVE. Work it extremely slowly to entice the bite.  Between those two baits, one of them should be your golden ticket to success!  As always please be safe! Take care of your local waters and respect all the anglers on the water. There is plenty enough water out there for everyone to enjoy. Tight Knots and Tight Lines to all! 

Being prepared for cooler days on the water...

 Now that things are cooled off, it is time to bundle up and get out on the water. Some of the coldest days of the year have been where I have caught some of the biggest fish of my life. It is all about timing and preparation. Watching the weather is always my first step to planning any fishing trip. I try to calculate the weather, wind, and tides for the area and species of fish I plan to target. The weather patterns this time of year can be tough to predict. Checking multiple weather apps and stations will help you zero in on the true conditions. With generally having high winds this time of year, you really have to pick and choose your spots wisely. For winter time tides, always remember the strong winds can play a huge roll in the tides. N.E. winds will push all the water out of the bay and southerly winds will keep the water in the bay more than usual.

     Being protected from the elements outside is my next plan of action. Anytime you see me on the water I will be completely covered up with long sleeves, long pants, buff, gloves, hat, and sunglasses. Many of the amazing new materials they use for clothing nowadays help regulate your temperature and wick water to keep you dry. On cold days, I like to dress in layers. The first layer soft and moisture wicking. Second layer is warm and fuzzy. Then something that will break the wind and keep me dry. On super cold days I will even throw on my waders. Also a warm hat and a buff can do wonders. You can always peel layers off but, you can’t put them on if you don’t have them!

     Almost all fish are sensitive to high pressure systems but some species are more than others. Snook are one of my favorite fish to target right when the high pressure system is starting to roll in. Although it can be extremely harsh conditions with high winds, this is one of the times that they get really fired up! Some of my largest size snook and numbers come during this period. A day or two after the cold front hits the high pressure will start to let up. This is when I love to target redfish and trout on these brisk chilly days. 

     This winter remember to watch the weather, dress accordingly, be safe, and have yourself a great time out on the water. Tight lines and Tight knots to everyone!  Eric Henson is the owner of Casting Kayaks LLC. a guided kayak fishing company out of Sarasota Florida.  He specializes in inshore light tackle or fly fishing from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor. To book a guided fishing trip with Eric check out his website www.CastingKayaks.com or give him a call at 941-504-134

Eric Henson

 Now that things are cooled off, it is time to bundle up and get out on the water. Some of the coldest days of the year have been where I have caught some of the biggest fish of my life. It is all about timing and preparation. Watching the weather is always my first step to planning any fishing trip. I try to calculate the weather, wind, and tides for the area and species of fish I plan to target. The weather patterns this time of year can be tough to predict. Checking multiple weather apps and stations will help you zero in on the true conditions. With generally having high winds this time of year, you really have to pick and choose your spots wisely. For winter time tides, always remember the strong winds can play a huge roll in the tides. N.E. winds will push all the water out of the bay and southerly winds will keep the water in the bay more than usual.

     Being protected from the elements outside is my next plan of action. Anytime you see me on the water I will be completely covered up with long sleeves, long pants, buff, gloves, hat, and sunglasses. Many of the amazing new materials they use for clothing nowadays help regulate your temperature and wick water to keep you dry. On cold days, I like to dress in layers. The first layer soft and moisture wicking. Second layer is warm and fuzzy. Then something that will break the wind and keep me dry. On super cold days I will even throw on my waders. Also a warm hat and a buff can do wonders. You can always peel layers off but, you can’t put them on if you don’t have them!

     Almost all fish are sensitive to high pressure systems but some species are more than others. Snook are one of my favorite fish to target right when the high pressure system is starting to roll in. Although it can be extremely harsh conditions with high winds, this is one of the times that they get really fired up! Some of my largest size snook and numbers come during this period. A day or two after the cold front hits the high pressure will start to let up. This is when I love to target redfish and trout on these brisk chilly days. 

     This winter remember to watch the weather, dress accordingly, be safe, and have yourself a great time out on the water. Tight lines and Tight knots to everyone!  Eric Henson is the owner of Casting Kayaks LLC. a guided kayak fishing company out of Sarasota Florida.  He specializes in inshore light tackle or fly fishing from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor. To book a guided fishing trip with Eric check out his website www.CastingKayaks.com or give him a call at 941-504-134

Eric Henson

Kayak Fly Fishing

 

 

 Please check out my blog and others http://riverbum.com/blog/ 

Please check out my blog and others http://riverbum.com/blog/ 

Kayak Fly Fishing

Posted by RiverBum Pro: Eric Henson on February 05, 2016

Kayaking and fly fishing can be a beautiful marriage. They complement each other in so many ways. Fly fishing for example, you must be extremely stealthy and you have to use most of your senses. Eyes, to engulf your surroundings and zero in on your target. Mind, to evaluate the wind, speed, and direction for the perfect cast. Then your body, to feel the load of the line bending through the eyes and then as it transmits the energy through the rod. Kayaking is nearly the same with a stealthy approach where you need to utilize your senses. Eyes, to see your surroundings and take the desired path. Mind, to process the wind, current, and speed to get you to your destination. Then your body, to transmit the power and energy through your paddle as you glide through the water. Both kayaking and fly fishing are a full body experience and I can’t think of a stealthier way to do both…

People kayak for many reasons. Some for the sport, exercise and health. Others to sight-see and to enjoy nature to the fullest. Many kayakers go to places where most boats or people can’t get to. I kayak to do all of these things and also for FISHING! Kayaks are one the most quiet/stealthy ways to move through the water with little disturbance. They can take you to places that you didn’t even know existed. There is no other feeling in the world like being in a remote area, where all you can hear is the wind pouring through the tree tops, birds squawking on the shoreline, and water as it pushes through the blade of your paddle. Just when you are wondering to yourself if anyone has ever been here before… a fish pushes out from the mangroves. Your heart starts to flutter and knees begin to shake as your mind starts to race towards a plan of action.

Similarly, people fly fish for many reasons. Some do it for the beauty and artistry. Others for a more primitive feel of fishing. Lots of people fly fish for the sheer challenge of it. I do it for all of these reasons and much more. There are so many motions that a fly angler goes through to landing that special catch. First picking the right rod, reel, and line leader for the task at hand. Then choosing just the right fly that matches the hatch of the area and the targeted species. Once you’ve managed to located the fish, now all of your primal hunting instincts start to kick in. You feel the direction of the wind in your face as you determine the direction of the tide for the perfect cast. You listen to the line as it loops back and forth, trying to sync your breathing. The line lays down onto the water and then the fly to follow with the slightest splash. The fish turns on the fly, you hold your breath as you begin to strip your line. Strip, strip, and BOOM! Fish On! A huge sigh of relief exhales. The sound of the screaming drag sends chills down your spine. When the fish finally makes its way into your net, you are filled with emotions that are indescribable!

The similarities between kayaking and fly fishing make for a fantastic joint venture. I believe that those who are drawn to fly fishing would definitely love the fun and challenge of trying it from a kayak. Look me up if you are ever on the west coast of Florida and I’ll show you how it’s done!

Tight lines & Screaming Drags!

Eric Henson is a RiverBum Pro, and the owner of Casting Kayaks LLC, Eric Henson has over 30 years fly fishing experience and frequents the waters of Tampa Bay down to Charlotte Harbor in Florida. His favorite targets are redfish, snook, trout and tarpon. Read more on Eric at his website and blog.

Website: www.CastingKayaks.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CastingKayaks 
Blog: castingkayaks.com/new-blog/