Artificial lure fishing…Read More
Get ready because spring is on its way and the fish are fired up! Even though we didn’t have much of a winter this year, most of the fish will still be following their normal patterns. The fish that did push back into warmer waters will be heading back out to the grass-flats looking for a good meal.
Redfish- Although you will still see a lot of single and doubles hanging out, be sure to look for them to be grouping up into small schools… Most of the schools will be mid to upper slot fish with some over-slot fish mixed in. Early in the mornings I will throw top-water and sub surface baits like the Mirro -Lure Top Dog or the new Yo-Zuri 3D Inshore Series . And even though it is towards the end of the shrimp run, I will still be targeting them with the Monster 3X 4 ¾ X-MOVE pretty much throughout the whole day. The water is still very clean and clear and it makes for an outstanding sight fishing bait.
Trout- These fish will be fired up and eating in just about any part of the water column from super skinny to 5-7 ft. of water. Most of the slot fish will be schooled up on the grass-flats in the 4-7 ft. range and your bigger over-slot fish will be in the 1-3 ft. range. I like to use top-waters and hard baits like a Mirro-Dine early in the morning to cover lots of water until I find them. Once I’ve found one I will slow down to work them pretty hard because there are usually more close by.
Snook- The snook that pushed into the backwaters will be pouring out of the creeks and rivers onto the grass-flats. I like to stage up near the mouth entrances and plug away at them. Again I like to use the Monster 3X X-MOVE but with a little bit heavier jig head. With the stronger currents and the little deeper water, you want to make sure that your bait is getting down into the strike zone.
This is the best time of the year for weather and fishing so get out there and enjoy it. Be sure to stay safe and be courteous of your fellow anglers while on the water. There is plenty enough water and fun for everyone! : ) 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
This can be one of the hottest times of year where the outside temps and water temps are at their highest. The fishing can be RED HOT as well if you plan your trips out right. I like to get out on the water earlier and finish up before the hottest part of the day.
REDFISH- They are really starting to heat up large schools of redfish growing just about daily. You can find these fish in the shallow grass flats early in the morning and then look for them cruising the outer edges once the sun gets up over head. Remember to be stealthy because if you scare one, you have scared them all. I like to target them with top water lures like the Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil first thing in the morning. Then I switch up to soft plastics like the Monster 3X X-SWIM or suspension baits like Mirro Lures Mirrodine.
SNOOK- My favorite place to target these fish is with a fly rod off the beach close to the passes as they start to migrate their way back to the flats, creeks, etc… The set up I primarily use for this is an 8 wt. St. Croix rod, TF 70 3-TAND fly reel, Teeny’s 8 wt. kayak series fly line, with a Seaguar fluorocarbon leader 30# tippet. Look for groups of smaller fish close to the shoreline with larger fish lurking around I a little deeper water. I’ve been catching some nice snook on River Bum’s purple tarpon toad early in the morning and then switching to gotcha flies later.
TROUT- Look for these fish to be hanging on the grass flats in deeper pot holes around the 4-7 ft. range. Most of these fish are in schools averaging about the 15-19 inch range but, perfect if you are looking for dinner. I always like to start throwing top water plugs like the Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil because they are a blast on top water!. Then I move onto soft plastics like the Monster 3X X_MOVE.
So this summer beat the heat! Not only do we need to take care of ourselves from the heat like staying hydrated but, also take care of the fish… If you are practicing catch and release, spend a little extra time to reviving them. “Quick tip” Fish can be a little sluggish on hot days so don’t be afraid to cast out an ole trusty piece of cut bait. It might just do the trick! Till next time… Be Safe, Stay Hydrated, and have fun! Tight Lines and Tight Knots to all.
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 them a call at 941-504-134
Being a Kayak fishing guide here in Sarasota, FL I have to make the decision every day, artificial or live baits...Both can be extremely productive if used properly and in the right scenarios. I usually try to feel out each of my new clients to find out how much fishing experience they have and to see what type of fishing and baits they would be most comfortable with. The most common response to my series of questions is, "you are the captain...whichever you think will work the best!" I wish it were that simple! : ) Generally, though, if someone has less experience I usually start with the live bait and then work them into artificial lures.
Live and/or cut bait is really hard to beat! My go-to live baits are hand picked shrimp and or white bait. When working with live shrimp, I like to mostly tail hook them with a 1/0 or 2/0 circle hook. I then usually free line them. If they are sitting in grass too much, I'll rig them under a popping cork. Leaving just enough line under it to keep the shrimp just above the grass level. Every couple of minutes or so I'll give the popping cork a couple of rips across the top of the water to attract the fish. If the fish aren't on a good bite, I like to pinch the tail off to release more scent into the water. Red fish can't resist it! For white bait (green backs or pilchards) make sure you use the right size hook to match the size of your white bait. They are a delicate bait. You want that bait to swim as naturally and freely as possible. I nose hook them and try to cast them as few times as possible. If you are anchored in a spot where you know fish are there, it always good to chum with the extras. You know what they say... if you chum they will come! For cut bait I use mullet, lady fish, or pin fish. Freshly frozen will work but always try to use fresh fish from that day whenever possible. Then take the whole fish and cut into 1inch chunks and use a 2/0 circle hook or up depending on the fish you are targeting. Soak it in a hole or a spot where fish are known to hang out and wait until it's Fish On!
Being on a kayak you are limited on how much space you have and how to keep live bait ALIVE! Artificial baits when mastered can be extremely productive. Most of the time they are easier to cast and you can catch multiple fish on one artificial bait. Being able to cast farther means you can target the fish farther away without spooking them. When throwing lures you also cover much more water. You are able to reach fish that you might not of had a chance at while waiting for the fish to come to your live/ cut bait...
The first artificial bait I start clients on are soft plastics. These are probably the most versatile of the artificial baits. Soft plastics are easiest to learn and catch many species of fish. Either rig them with a jig head or a weedless hook depending on the bottom of the water you are fishing. If you are fishing in 2 ft. of water or less I would generally use a 1/16 oz jig head or 1/16oz weedless hook. Right now I am still catching tons of fish on shrimp pattern soft plastics like the Montser 3X Shrimp in the most natural colors as possible. As the white bait starts to move more into the the bays in the next couple of months, I will be using more bait fish patterns like the Monster X-Moxe and Exude's shads. I always start out working them slowly and then speeding them up until I find out what speed the fish are chewing. For suspension hard baits I like to use Mirro Lure's MirroDines and Yo-Zuri,s Jerk-Baits. Keeping your rod top down, start out slow with the twitch-twitch-pause, then speed up from there... Top water is by far one of my favorites! Seeing the fish exploding sometimes clear out of the water is an amazing thing to see! I like to use Yo-Zuri's (3DB) and Mirro Lure's (Mirro Mullet). You can make long accurate casts with these lures. As the lure hits the water, always let it sit there until the ripples dissipate, then start your retrieve. These lures are heavy and when they hit the water the fish will move away from the lure and then turn back on it to investigate. If you immediately start retrieving the fish will sometimes keep swimming away. After the the ripples leave, a lot of times the hit will come very soon, just as you start to walk the dog with the lure. But, make sure you always work it all the way back to the kayak because some fish will follow it all the way in and blast it right at the boat. Walking the dog... You must point your rod tip to the water as you continue to make short twitches with your rod tip. Remember, always start out working it slowly and then work it faster until you find that magic speed at which they are eating.