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

New Beginnings!

John was freshly retired and looking for a new Adventure. He picked up a nice used kayak that he modified to fit his needs. I could not believe some of the ingenuity that he came up with... The one thing that stood out to me the most was the up raised seat he designed out of a luggage rack! Great Job!  He was new to kayak fishing and wanted to learn the basics. After teaching him a few tricks and techniques about rigging fishing gear/kayaks, we headed out on to the water. When showing new people to artificial fishing, I always start them out with soft plastics. Showing them different colors, size jig heads, hooks, and speed variations for certain situations. And Why?  I began showing him what to look for and where to look for that prized fish. Before  you know it, he put it all together and hooked into a Nice red fish. After a nice red fish sleigh ride from a beautiful lit up up fish. John had fell in love with kayak fishing! We ended up catching a only a couple of red fish and a few trout but, he was ready to rock n' roll in the future on his next kayak fishing adventure! Great Job John!

On The fly!

    The Fishing and weather has been Great!  Fly fishing this time of year is great because the water is starting to clear up, making easier to sight fish. Although you can see them better, they can see you better!Lol! So taking a stealth approach is a must. Match the hatch with your fly, and make sure its the right fly for the water column you are fishing. I have been Catching tons of trout in the 3-6ft depth.  Snook and reds  have been in super skinny water, which I have been catching most of them on top water flies. Keep an eye out for huge Jacks coming through.  They can be a lot of fun on the fly rod! Till next time... Fish On! Fish On!

The Red Fish RUUUUUNNNN!!!!

  The last couple of days, there have been insane numbers of red fish!!! This is the time of year where they group up in large numbers to get ready to spawn, eating just about anything that is in their path! I cant even explain how sick it is watching these red fish exploding your top water! The explosions are so big that it literally looks like killer whales chasing the lure across the water. I had to swap out my top water baits to the Yo-Zuri Shashimi 3DB with thick circle hooks because, we had two separate Heddon spooks have all six hooks completely broke off! Every single fish was over slot but, It still sure was fun!  Yo-Zuri coming through as usual!:) We both lost red fish in the 40+ inch class due to hook failure! I have some great video footage that I will be posting soon... Don't worry clients my new kayaks are almost here:) Should have you guys on the water by next week:)