Redfish North & South!

   The redfish are everywhere! From North Sarasota Bay to South Sarasota Bay!  Look for them in groups. Once you find them anchor up and don't move. They are feeding extremely hard on the fast moving tides.Have been picking most of them up on soft plastics but they have been tearing after the ol top water also in the middle of their frenzy! 

     It had been a while since Rebecca had been catching any good fish. She was getting bites but not getting the fish hooked. I had her cast out and just practice setting the hook without a fish on, just to get the feel of a proper hook set. Within minutes she set the hook into nice upper slot redfish! The fight was on! I coached her to keep the tip up and not to reel against the drag. She listened well and after a great fight, she had a beautiful redfish kayak side with a smile ear to ear:)  We continued catch redfish after redfish till we lost count. Also landed almost a 19 inch Flounder in the mix. Another great day in Sarasota bay!!!

Bradenton on Fire!

      Started out the morning heading south do to the wind. On our way out Chris started catching trout after trout! I was right behind him catching nothing,until BOOM! Fish On! I wasn't sure what it was till it came up and gave me a nice head shake. Nice Snook! After a great fight, I got him to the yak and realized it was hooked pretty deep. The snooks mouth was so big I was able to put my hand down his mouth a gently remove the hook. Lucky for him it was about a month shy of snook season because he would have been coming home to mamma! Mine and my wife's favorite fish to eat! He was able to swim off to fight another day. We ventured off to the flat where I had seen lots of reds a couple of days before. Before we got there I seen a couple of redfish cruising so I threw my top water at them.They were all over slot fish so my heart was pounding! I seen one turn on it and was coming at it like a freight train! You wouldn't believe the wake it was pushing up behind the lure but, he wouldn't eat it! I cast one more time and after a couple of twitches he crushed it! It looked like a killer whale eating my bait! My drag was screaming out line! The fish had to be over 35 inches. I yelled over to Chris to get over here and cast. As he pulled up next to me the lure popped out of his mouth and almost hit me!lol! I take a look at my lure. Three hooks were straighten and one of the back hooks completely snapped off! Wow, my heart sank. Less that five minutes later Fish on, Fish on! Another over slot redfish but, this one was on a jerk bait. I backed the drag off so I wouldn't lose this one.Lol!  Finally after a grueling battle I landed him.Snapped a couple of pictures and did a cool underwater release with the go pro. After that we moved on to THE SPOT! We start seeing reds everywhere , in groups of two and three. And every once in while we saw schools of 15-30 reds but ,they were very spooky. We did manage to catch a couple of more redfish and trout which was a blast! Another great day on the water:)

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Rain Rain Go AWAY!

               As we launched out we could see huge rain clouds rolling in off the gulf. Looking on the radar, it looked like it was all heading north. Not even ten minutes after launching ,the rain began. We threw on our Frogtogs and paddled on. When the rain picked up I broke out the ol umbrella! Paddle in one hand and umbrella in the other !lol! When we arrived at the spot ,the rain had lifted but the fog was rolling in behind it. Oh well,the rain had stopped! Time to fish.  The water was dead calm and when I stood up redfish just scattered in every direction. My heart was pounding. I told Otis" drop your anchor"The redfish are everywhere! We started casting at them but they were very spooky. Every time we casted a jerk bait or a lure at them they would literally run from it. It was eating at us so we decided to move on and try to sneak up to them on the way back. Soon as we crossed over the sandbar we started picking up nice trout. Working the deeper ledge and potholes seemed to be the ticket for the ol trout. It was time to head back and sneak up to the redfish QUIETLY!lol! We took a few nice long blind cast and BOOM! Fish ON! As soon as my jerk bait hit the water a huge redfish smashed it. It was a very long cast, and had lots of line to recover. Line was peeling out drag and had to tighten it down before he spooled me. I kept saying to myself PLEASE DON'T BREAK!  I managed to turn his head and get some line back but it felt like my line or rod was about to snap at any second! I eased up on him a little bit and let him self wear down a bit before getting him next to the kayak. When I got him to the yak, I knew he was way over slot. So I got some more great footage with the Go-PRO and got a cool underwater release. After that we continued fishing and the bluefish rolled in! It was literally fish after fish until our arms couldn't take it anymore! We decided to head in after what turned out to be decent day on the water. Sometimes you just have to wait it out!:) 

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Fishing on fire in Sarasota bay!

  The day started out good because one of my best friends and I were on the water ready to catch some fish! We headed out early in the morning with a beautiful sunrise in the distance.  We were blessed with great weather- wind was blowing hard the day before.  We headed down the intercoastal searching for some big snook.  Casting towards the mangrove lines we managed to catch a few monster jacks.  They put up big fights- my buddy's yak was spinning in circles- we had a good laugh about that one- got a great video of it as well.  I will post that video on my youtube channel (search eric henson casting kayaks on to see it) in a few days.  We paddled on and picked up a couple of huge 'doormat' flounders- kept a fat one for dinner. : )  As we came up to a grass flat we started picking up lots of trout- a couple over 20inches!  My friend (visiting from TN) really wanted to hook a redfish and the day was almost over.  I took him to a hole where redfish hang out- he casted and BOOM- redfish on!  Over 27inches- put up a great fight!  What a great way to end a wonderful day.  We didn't manage to catch any snook, but we caught a ton of fish and ended up with a great fish dinner! : )

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Vamo on fire!!!

     This morning headed out on the water a little late because of the cool weather. We started paddling out to the mangroves to see what was biting. First mangrove line we saw lots of mullet moving but, not one bite! We head to the next stretch and casted out the top water.It got crushed as soon as it hit the water. Snook on!:) We continued catching snook after snook with a couple of small trout in the mix. Now all we needed was a redfish to finish the slam. We paddled on to the next mangrove and on my way I see a 35-40 inch snook floating dead in the water. :(  As we pull up in between two islands, there are mullet everywhere! The water is super skinny, six inches to a foot. I take a long cast with the top water and boom a red fish crushes it! I struggled to get the go pro on and got a little slack in the line. I reel the slack in and put pressure back on the fish.Pop! The lure comes out and almost hits me in the face!  My next cast is into like six inches of water where I had seen redfish cruizing the mangrove line. Couple of twitches of the spook jr. and it gets SMASHED by a nice redfish! It was unbelievable watching the whole fish come out of the water and inhale my lure! The fight was on!  When I got him close to the boat I realized he had completely swallowed the whole lure. So, I decided to bring him home. Then we paddled over to turtle beach, got out to stretch out legs and take a few casts on the beach side for flounder with jigs. We ended up catching 6 flounder within 1/2 hour. Then we jumped back in our kayaks and made our journey back towards the launch. We picked up a few more nice sized snook on the way home. Great day! 24.jpg

40+ inch redfish in Sarasota Bay (The Hunt For Red October)


 Well my day started out cooollllddd.... It was the first cold snap of the year. I decided to head out at sunrise like I normally do and it was not a good idea! lol! I didn't catch my first real fish fish till 11 am! Before that I had caught 3 lizard fish and 1 ladyfish. :( Once the water warmed up the fishing started getting a lot better. I picked up a few nice size trout. The jacks were everywhere I casted and my arms were tired from catching so many. So I started scouting out the area. Poling across the flats during the extreme low tides, you always find nice holes that you don't normally see on the higher tides.  Meanwhile as I'm poling along I see this huge red log laying in the water. I take a closer look and see that it is a monster redfish! I pick up my pole with the redfish pattern mirro lure and cast it right in front of its face. Twitch it once and out of no where a jack comes up and eats it right out of the reds mouth. Now I'm quietly trying to real this fish in without spooking the red as the wind is pushing me further and further away. I take the fish off the hook. Pick up another rod with a golden bream lil john. Lather it up with some pro cure inshore sent. Put the Go Pro on and go on the hunt for red October. As I'm heading back, I'm praying I hadn't spooked him? Finally I see him out of the corner of my eye sitting right next to 2 other smaller redfish. I pick up my pole. Make a short cast right in front of his face. He turns his head and sucks my lure right up! FISH ON! My heart drops into my chest and the fight is on. The first time he comes to the top of the water I couldn't believe how big he was. I was praying to myself. Pleaaaaasssseeee don't break or come off. As I was reeling him in, other redfish started following him up. If there had been someone else with me, there would have definitely been a double hook up! I finally land him. My heart racing like crazy! I quickly throw him on the measuring board . When I first measured him I thought he was 39 inches but when I went back and looked at the pictures, I realized he was almost 42! I was in all! I put him back into the water to revive the beautiful bull when two guys and a dog came out on the flat. They were nice and snapped a couple of more pictures for me. I then turned the Go Pro back on for the great release. It was truly beautiful watching the redfish head back to nature for another day:) 

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40" Snook and Schooling bullredfish in Sarasota Bay

 Started my morning off heading north in Sarasota bay on the east side, trying to stay away from the winds.  I was picking up a few small trout,when I looked to my Left and saw explosions on top of the water with birds diving on them. I paddled as fast as I could to get over to them. I turned the Go Pro on. Hoping for them to be the school of redfish I had been on the hunt for the day before, while fishing the IFA Redfish Kayak Tournament. As i got closer I saw the bronze bodies lit up everywhere!!! I take a long cast at them and my mirror lure jerk bait gets smashed! Now there are literally hundreds of redfish swimming all around me. While reeling the redfish in there were other reds trying to take the bait out of its! Trying to keep my eye on the school, I finally land the fish. It was lit up beautifully bronze, and had a big ol fat belly. I release the fish and paddle back over to them. This time, I take a cast at them with my top water plug. They were exploding all over it! After catching a few fish I ended up hooking into a monster size jack, that pulled my kayak around for what seemed like an eternity. I finally land him and when I look up to see where the school went they had vanished.  My arms were burning! I was thinking to myself, thank goodness for good reels and St. Croix Fishing Rods! I checked all my knots and bent all my hooks back into place. lol! So I start to paddle back keeping an Eye out for the schooling redfish. I pulled up to a creek and decided to check it out. The last time I was in this creek , I had about a 4 ft. snook follow my top water plug all the way to the kayak. At the last minute, it almost jumped in my boat trying to eat the lure! Anyways ,I am paddling hard because the current was ripping out. I get about half way up the creek and decide to start fishing. I catch one snook hanging around a dock and  just let the current take me down the creek. Fishing all the way down, I come to where the mouth of the creek opens up. I take a cast right on the edge of the mouth. I feel a thud which felt like I hooked the bottom. The current ripping me out. Then the fish realizes its hooked and my line starts peeling the opposite direction towards docks.:( I manage to turn its head and in the mean time wedge my kayak up in the bank of the mouth of the creek. Then remembered to turn on the Go Pro in the middle of all the craziness. Still not knowing what I had hooked, I see this huge head surface. Snooky Snooky! I thought to myself how am I going to land this fish in these circumstances! Finally I land the monster! So beautiful with that big mouth and long black stripe running down its body. Take a few pictures and release her. I start paddling back in thinking to myself that I cant wait to see the video footage when I get home.That was the end of another beautiful day in Sarasota Bay!

  By the way I'm still trying to figure out this whole Go Pro thing. Will be loading videos soon and I have started a YouTube page:)  

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