Artificial lure fishing…Read More
Red tide and Redfish!Read More
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!
Most people who fish, do it for many different reasons. Some do it to escape from the everyday grind, some do it just for the pure beauty of being on the water, and others for the shear thrill of hunting different species of fish. But, if you are out there to find the best fishing challenge, when it comes to saltwater fishing the fish that comes to mind for pound for pound hardest fighter would be the Jack.
There are many different species of Jacks all over the world and are they are all known for their long hard fights. The Jack Crevalle is one of the most popular species that lives here in our local waters. Generally, they travel in large groups and don’t discriminate on what they eat. Look for schools of bait getting blasted in every direction and most likely it’s them. They will eat anything from bait fish to crustaceans. My favorite thing that I like to pitch at them are top water lures like the Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil. Their top water assaults are ferocious and if the first one misses it, keep on working it because there is going to be another one right behind waiting to explode again! Then the second thing I like throw are Monster 3X Paddle-X soft-plastics with a 1/8 oz. jig head. Swim it very fast with slight twitches and hold on when it hits! These fish pull like a freight train as you start to look at your reel wondering if you have enough line. When they start to swim in a circle in either direction, this means they are starting to slow down but, even when they start to slow down you still have a good fight ahead of you. The last but definitely not last way I like to target them is with a fly rod. Once you’ve hooked one these fish on a fly rod, you will be hooked for life. They will have you into your backing in seconds! Most of the time it doesn’t really matter which fly or what lure you are throwing as long as you work it fast.
You can find these fish from deep in the backwaters all the way out to the gulf. Just make sure your tackle is up to par when playing with these guys because they will surely test it. I hope that on your next trip you run into these tackle testing machines and have some fun. 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!
Fishing in the Florida Keys.Read More
Black Drum fishingRead More
As you probably know, Florida is one of the best fishing destinations on earth. It is unique with beautiful lagoons, lush grass-flats, long rivers/creeks, deep blue-green coastal waters, and lakes/ponds in just about every direction you look. There are many ways to fish on them: by boat, by foot/wading, or by canoe, but my personal favorite is by kayak. I love the freedom of being able to put my kayak in just about anywhere and leave as little imprint on the environment as possible. Plus, they are super stealthy and I can get to places that many people can’t get to… I want to give you guys my three top places to fish in Florida and why…
1st- Tampa/ Sarasota, FL
I choose to live here because of our beautiful Gulf waters and the amazing fishing. Besides Sarasota winning best beach in the world just about every year, it is home to some of the best tarpon fishing in the world. We also have some of the most beautiful, lushest grass-flats that I’ve seen anywhere. And our water clarity is pretty good all year. This makes for an outstanding inshore fishery for snook, redfish, trout, and tarpon. Because we are on the central gulf coast, it does take a little bit to get into some deeper waters for offshore fishing. But there are plenty of nearshore reefs on the way out with lots of great fish to be caught like grouper, snapper, cobia, kingfish, etc…
2nd- Mosquito Lagoon/ Indian River, FL
This place is a very unique fishery. It is home to some of the largest trout and redfish I’ve ever seen! It isn’t really tidal driven like most saltwater areas, so the wind and rain play a huge part in the water level and clarity. If you are any type of fisherman whether fly or conventional and like to catch redfish and trout, this place is literally a dream come true. If you put your bait anywhere near a fish over there it is going to get crushed!
3rd Florida Keys
This place is an incredibly beautiful chain of islands that has the best of both worlds inshore and offshore. Literally pick an island, head out in any direction and you can find just about every fish Florida has to offer. They are well known for their tarpon and bonefish fishing. I also love that it still has that old Florida feel.
Be adventurous and go check out what all Florida has to offer. Also please respect and take care of our water so that everyone can enjoy. Tight Lines & Tight Knots! 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 941-504-1349
Snook- These fish are really starting to feed heavily to get fattened up before winter. Look for them near the mouth’s of creeks and rivers. Once you have located them, get ready to hold on tight! They will eat just anything that crosses their path. If you see them busting baits near the surface, start out by pitching top water lures like the Yo- Zuri 3DB and be ready for crazy aerial assaults.
Redfish- This is a great month for redfish. The large schools will slowly start to break into smaller pods and don’t be surprised to find large fish by themselves. You can also find them hanging around the mullet schools. My bait of choice in this situation is Yo-Zuri’s new Inshore Series in the mullet pattern and it is great for covering lots of water. Play with the speed and retrieval twitches until you figure out what speed they are eating that day.
Trout- Big trout are here! They have been on fire in the deeper potholes in the 4-6 ft. range but, don’t be surprised to see them creeping in the shallows as well. Most of my big trout lately have been caught on the Monster 3X X-MOVE 4 ¾ with 1/16- 1/8 oz. jig head. Once you catch one or two, I would stay close to that area because there will probably be more.
I hope everyone enjoys the cooler air and beautiful waters. Be Safe! Tight Lines and Tight Knots to all!
When it comes to fishing, learning to properly land your catch is critical. We all have a great story about the huge fish that we almost landed… but there’s no photographic evidence (or dinner on the table) because we lost it while trying to get it into our boat. Learning to land your fish can be the difference between a good and a great day. There’s nothing like catching the fish of a lifetime and as soon as it gets next to the yak, it comes unglued… This usually happens when you try to lift the fish into the boat with your rod or you try to grab it with your hands next to the boat. There are many different types of tools that you can use to land certain types of fish in different types of situations. The two main tools that I use to land fish are a good landing net and lip grippers. These two tools can improve your game and help you successfully land more fish.
Landing Net- This is the number one thing that I depend on in tournaments when it is most critical to land the fish. When picking out a net decide on what size fish is the average that you will be targeting. The last thing you want on your kayak is a huge clumsy net that is always in the way of your paddling or fishing. For inshore species I like to use the EGO Slider 2 17” or 19”. Reasons why: First, it has rubber mesh that is easier on the fish and is extremely easy to remove the hooks from (no tangled mess). Second, it has an extension handle that makes it easy to use for reaching out on kayaks or when using a fly rod with a long leader. Third and most of all it floats! : ) People ask me all the time what if I catch a huge fish? Trust me I’ve landed 40+ inch fish in this net. Most of the time if you get a large fish’s head in a net it will break it will and give up, giving you complete control of the fish.
Lip Grippers- I use lip grippers on an everyday basis! Either to land a fish or after just to remain in control of the fish. A lot of times I have a bungee tied to the grippers so I can let the fish rest in the water (to lessen the stress put on the fish) while I decide to get out a measuring board, camera, etc… They have many different varieties out there from floating ones like Fish Grips to ones that you can actually take weight measurements from like a Bocca Grip. None-the-less, they all work great for keeping control of your fish.
Until next time, keep control of your catch and land the fish of a lifetime! Tight Lines and Tight Knots to all!