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:)

Snook still on the beaches!

Headed out a little later than usual, due to the tides. We had a nice east wind so, I decided to paddle straight to the beach before the wind decided to switch. As soon as I came over the hump of the beach I saw my first line sider (snook) of the day. I threw a fly right in front of its face and it immediately turned on but, missed!  Spooking him, I headed down the beach where there were tons of snook... Mostly small ones but , a few pigs in the mix. After catching a few fish I new the tide was coming in fast and would hopefully have a good shot at Mr. Red Fish! I shot back over to the bay side to look for the schooling reds. Finally I get anchored up on this point where they normally come through. Just as I get all set up, here they come! Unfortunately they were just out of reach for the fly but, I manage to throw a jerk bait at them. Boom Fish On! There were red fish all around me when I realized I had a huge Jack instead of one of the many red fish around me! lol! By the time I was able to land this Jack the school of red fish had moved on. Oh well... It was't the fish I was looking for but, still an amazing fight!:) Wind was really starting to pick up so I decided to take off. Till next time FISH ON! FISH ON!

Over slot Red fish in 6 inches of water, in the Predator 13

 Decided to head out on he water with good friend Capt. Pat Horrigan. We took out Old Town's Predator 13 and Ocean Kayak's Prowler Big Game 2. Both amazing boats!  Launching right from his back yard was a huge plus. All we had to do was paddle out this little creek and we were on this beautiful flat. The reason why we were heading out was to do some filming for sponsors. We were trying out Yo-Zuri's new 3DB top-water and the Yakgear Luminal LED spot light. As soon as we came around the corner, the water looked very alive. I saw what looked like a school of mullet, but when I stood up it was hundreds of red fish! Heart pounding I immediately cast out the 3DB, but no love. They were a little bit spooky because we were in six inches of water, so we had to let them calm down a bit. We didn't have much time because the sun was going down and we had thunder storms all around us. lol!  After throwing the 3DB for a while and having fish follow it up but not committing my confidence was dwindling. Soon as I almost gave up, BOOM!!! Fish ON! I knew it was a nice fish. It blows me away how hard a red fish can pull in only six inches of water! Finally the wore the fish down but, the sun had set and it was completely dark. The red fish was well over slot. Thank goodness for the Yakgear Luminal LED light because with it, I was able see everything I was doing and safely release the fish. As we made our way back, we couldn't believe the amount of light the Luminal LED light put off... We could see red fish everywhere scurrying around by the grass line. What a beautiful night of product testing.

Summertime Fun!!!

      The morning started out threatening to rain, as it always does about every summer day! We decided to paddle on while it began to sprinkle lightly. I always say the fish are already wet... if my clients don't mind it, I sure don't! Unless there is bad lightening or wind... By the time we reached the first spoil island the rain had blown by and I was already seeing tons of bait  moving. I really wanted to stop but, headed further north so we could ride the wind back. We reached the first spot where tons of mullet were coming through in between two spoil islands but, no bites.  Deciding to paddle over to the other island was a good idea because Austin had his soft-plastic get smashed! After a few seconds of drag ripping out, the huge snook came up and gave a big head shake. When the fish spit the lure out, our hearts sank. Not soon after though, Alexzandria hooks into a nice red fish. Ended up being a half inch of being on a dinner plate;)  As we paddled around the island, we could hear fish busting bait in the mangroves. Picking up another red fish that was an inch short, we continued on the hunt. As we came around the corner, Austin hooks into  nice snook. It was jumping all around his yak, so I paddled over as fast as I could with the net! Unfortunately it came unglued before I reached him:( We started making our way back towards the launch but, it seemed like every spot I wanted to hit had lots of boat traffic. The weekend warriors! Making a quick little pit stop to a spot that I didn't plan on going to because of the way the wind was blowing, ended up being a great idea! Austin ends up hooking into a Monster Red fish! After a long red fish sleigh ride I decided to attach my yak to his, to slow the fish down. Finally wearing him down he landed the beautiful red fish. Wow! Nice fish but, to big for the dinner plate!lol!  Right after that Alexzandria caught a trout that was and inch shy!Lol!  Unfortunately we weren't able to get them a fish for dinner plate because the fish were either to small or to big. None the less a great day on the water with great people. Thanks again Exude soft plastic and MirroLure for making this day a SUCCESS!

Matlacha Tournament Fishing

   Matlacha is one of the coolest places in the world to fish this time of year. Snook Red fish, and Tarpon are on fire! As we launched out the first day we immediately started seeing tarpon rolling everywhere. I new it was going to be a great day. We wanted to start fishing right away, but the spot we were heading to was pretty far away so we kept paddling. Finally we arrived to the place where we we were heading. Mullet and other fish pushes as far as you could see moving around the first spoil island. Slowly pushing towards them as quietly as possible, we made our first cast at one of the huge pushes. Jimmy's top-water spook gets crushes! Line peeling out , we thought huge red! Nope huge jack! After he got the fish to the boat it took a few minutes for things to calm down again. Next my line with the Exude soft plastic starts peeling out, then goes air borne! Snook! Right after that line start ripping out again which it happen to be the man in the red suit. Nice Red Fish! We push slowly along the edge working the mullet when all of a sudden, Jimmy's line with the Exude sot plastic starts screaming! The fish started to whoop him, getting behind him and pulling him into the mangroves. Once I realized how big the fish was, I paddled over with the Go Pro for some video. Finally Jimmy got turned around and was able to turn the fish around. Now it was a fare fight as he got the fish into some open water. As Jimmy gets the snook boat side, he starts to pull the fish out of the water. I cant believe how big the fishes head was! The pic we took, gives the fish size no justice. That hog was a beautiful fish! That a boy Jimbo!  Not minutes later minutes later I had another nice red fish peeling off drag. The rest of the was back and forth snook ,red,red, snook. What an amazing day! Almost forgot that I did catch a small jack ,and a huge red fish nailed him twice right next to the boat!  Any way to see video footage on this, check out my Eric Henson Youtube page. The next day (tournament day) we went to the same spot. Unfortunately not the same fish!lol! We did catch some decent fish landing us in 5th-6th Place but nothing like the pre fish! Till next time Fish On Fish On!!!

Early Bird gets the Worm!

       We headed out on the water about an hour before the sun came up. Paddling to our first spot was pretty interesting! lol! Due to the new moon it was pitch dark and the tide was extremely high. Basically paddled till we hit the spoil island. Then we sat quietly to listen to the water. Once we heard mullet moving and loud slurps of bait getting romped on, I new we were in a good spot!:) Not soon after I hear hooting and hollering... then I see Jimmy's head lamp come on. Huge red fish!!! My heart was pounding form all the excitement but, now I was ready for a bite!  The sun was just starting to reach the horizon, when all of the sudden my new Paul Brown lure gets crushed! Line was screaming off the reel as I watched the sunrise. Doesn't get much better than that! Finally as the fish got close to the yak, I saw that beautiful bronze body light up from the sun. Smiling from ear to ear I pick him up for a quick picture. As I go to release him, I realized that he hit the lure so hard it bent it in half! lol! Man! Well after that we posted up side by side, on the corner of this spoil island and caught so many red fish that we lost count! Boats were pulling up trying to get as close as they could to catch one but, we were the only ones catching fish!!!lol! Crazy! Some days are just like that!:) Another great day on the water!!!

Summer Days!

       The night before I checked the weather and it said rain ,rain, rain! I told Gabe and Elizabeth that we would just go for it! I figure I would check the weather radar in the morning and make the call then. I woke up, checked the weather and it looked good:) Deciding to take them north because of the boat races in Sarasota, turned out to be a good call. Not near as much boat traffic on the water! We paddled out about 7am. on the hunt for redfish where we had caught large numbers the day before. Both Gabe and Elizabeth had never kayaked and fish at the same time. They picked up on it really fast. As soon as we anchored up, Elizabeth had a little shark chasing her bait all the way back to her kayak. It soon stole her bait and headed off!lol! Not much time later Gabe caught a nice redfish with two spots on its tail. They ended up catching a couple of trout and lady fish before we decided to head to the next spot.. Leaving the spoil islands to head over to cove, I notice lots of mullet and ballyhoo getting romped on everywhere. After working the area thoroughly we ended up picking up a nice 24'' redfish on MirroLures lil johns soft plastic. Paddling towards the launch area, we seen someone wadding pick up a nice fish. Helping us decide to keep trying for more fish:) When we got to the next little cove, we spread to cover more ground. As soon as Gabe hooks up on a ladyfish, Elizabeth yells over fish on! I paddle over to see what she had and it was a nice redfish hanging from her line. We had thunderstorms in the distance all day but, now they were closing in all around us!  Making a dash for the launch, Gabe and Elizabeth started to race! Not sure who won but, they both beat me:) Taking clients out like them, make my job very pleasurable! They listened well, very respectful, extremely nice, and we just had a great day on the water. Thanks again for another beautiful day on the water:)

Tournament Season!

   The Summer is heating up, as tournament season comes into full swing! I have been gone almost every weekend this month for tournaments. Landing a couple top 10 places, I have to thank Mister Twisters soft plastics EXUDE and Mirro lures hard plastic baits! Couldn't do it with out them! The last month has produced some really nice fish. Tons of snook, redfish , and trout! I even had an encounter with a few black tip sharks one tournament. I was fishing close to the sky way bridge ,when I rolled up to this sandbar. I immediately stood up to see if there were any fish laying on it. Looking to my left, I see five 3-4 ft Black tips circling a stingray. Hearing of people catching Black tips sharks on top water lures, it had always been on my bucket list to catch a shark on top water. Picking up the only rod I had top water tied on, I made the cast. Twitched it twice and one of the sharks turned on it. Twitched it again and he hammered the the bait! FISH ON!!! It was peeling off drag on my little 4000 Sustain. It went air born twice before finally wearing down. Amazing fight! Now I had him and had to decide how to unhook the shark safely. I managed to place its head into the net. Using the metal bar on the net as shield to keep its head from swing up an biting me, I was able to remove it carefully. I manage to snap one picture and before the second pic he trashed, slipping out of my hands landing back into the water. What an amazing experience!:)  Here are a few of pics and till next time FISH ON! FISH ON!

Is it a good sign if your first cast, you catch a catfish!!!

     Corinda had never been kayaking and fishing at the same time. She already had great fishing skills and good kayaking skills but, never put the two together. We headed out on the water in the later part of the morning, due to the tides. As I was giving her the low down on how to retrieve the the jerkbait, she managed to catch a fish on her first cast! It was a catfish and I wasn't sure if that a good or a bad sign!lol! Needless to say she picked up the kayak fishing pretty fast! We paddled on to the first spot, and anchored up. No bites:( Moving along to the next spot Corinda asked me "Have you seen any manatees lately?" Not two seconds later she had one 5ft in front of her kayak. Next thing you know 4 more popped up!  They followed us for the next 20 minutes or so spooking all the fish around us. We decided to pull the yaks up on land and walk across to the beach side to check for snook and flounder. The gulf was like glass and the most beautiful blue/green I had ever seen. Reminded us both of how lucky we were to live here! Needless to say didn't see any fish, so took a quick dip into the water to cool off and headed back to the back waters. We had been on the water for almost two hours and no fish yet except ole catfish! It was time to get on some fish! Pulling up to our next spot, we tucked behind a spoil island to get out of the wind. Couple cast and we hooked into our first snook! Then, two more nice snook right behind that one! Finally we found fish. Continuing to work our way around the spoil island, we ended up missing a GATOR trout and landing one decent trout for Corinda's Dinner Plate!:) Then we decided to hit one more spot because afternoon showers were getting close.  Corinda takes a few cast and BOOM Fish ON! Another nice Snook to end the day. The day started out interesting but, ended up being another fun day in Sarasota Bay!

The calm before the Storm!

  We headed out , knowing that rain was in our forecast. Being the avid anglers we are ,we decided to go anyways! It was very choppy and the water was extremely dirty where we launched. Heading against the wind north, so we could ride the wind back during the magic hour was the plan. It took us a good half an hour to find clean water. But, when we did there were birds diving on bait everywhere. Also lots of mullet moving down the shore line. That seemed to be the perfect recipe for the fish. I picked up a nice 26'' snook Immediately on a soft plastic by Exzude. Soon after Jimmy picked up another nice snook which we got some great Go Pro footage of. Nearly 5 min. later Jimbo had another solid snook that literally jumped into his kayak. lol!  Both fish he caught were on Exude soft plastics rigged weedless because of all the floating grass. I kept getting huge clumps of floating grass so I switched to weedless also. I slammed into a nice trout immediately. The Thunder storms were rolling in so we decided to head back to where the Snook were feeding. It was crazy because the uglier the sky got, the more the wind laid down. The sky was just about to fall on top of us when BOOM a Huge over slot snook smashes my Smoking Shad Exude!I had my drag cranked down because earlier we had been fishing docks and pilings. Forgetting to lessen my drag, ended up costing me a straightened hook! 30 seconds later Jimmy hooks up and gets snapped off. By the time we got rigged back up, Mother nature had other plans. Lightening and thunder was so insane we called it, and headed back in before we got ourselves in trouble. At least we were able to catch a few solid fish. Thank you Mother Nature:)

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Snook Snook & more Snook!

 The snook are on a tear! Eating everything in their path, to fatten up for the spawn. When the tides are high, you can find them on ALL the mangrove lines cruising for their next meal! And when the tides push out look for them hanging out in sandy potholes looking for an easy snack! I have been catching 90% of them on soft plastics, like Exudes Smokin Shad RT Slug, Mangrove Red Dart, Golden bream Shrimp. Working them with different size jig heads and speeds depending on the dept of water. Average fish 20+ with the occasional 30+! Now that the season is closed again, I've started catching slot fish again!lol! Today I caught 9-10 and had a slot 31 inch snook hang himself in the mangroves! Ate my Smokin Shad RT Slug, started screaming drag,and headed strait for the mangroves! While thrashing around in the mangroves he jumped and hung himself in the trees! Paddled over, rammed my yak nose in the mangroves , climbed through the trees and netted him! Got it all on Go Pro! Another exciting day on the water! Thank Again Exude!

Spring feeding Frenzy is in Full Swing!

     Lately the majority of my clients have been beginners. This is a great time for beginners to start fishing! The fish are in their transitional state and feeding hard! Some days eating just about anything you throw at them. The big trout will be here a little while longer until that water temp get warmer. Reds are starting to group up eating everything in their path. Snook are ransacking the flats,feeding hard on the fast moving tides. The water clarity has not been so good so I have bumped up my Flouro carbon leader to 30lb. Also big snook have been cutting through 20lb. like it was nothing! Here are a few pictures of father and son, new to kayaking. They learned a lot and had fun catching a mix bag of fish. 

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!!!

Mosquito Lagoon for the Kayak Fishing Classics tournament!!!

 I've been in Mosquito Lagoon several times but never in a kayak! If you haven't it is a must do! I had a tournament there this weekend so, we went up a few days early to do some prefishing before the Kayak Fishing Classics tournament. The first night we got there a front was moving in with 30 mph winds but, we had to check out the well known Haulover Canal for some night fishing. Heard the redfish and Black drum are so big that you can hear them drumming under the water. Didn't really believe it until I experienced it myself. Unbelievable! You could hear them everywhere!  It would make your kayak echo. Anyways unfortunately with the strong front moving in they weren't biting that night. We headed out the next morning to search the area. Still with 30-40 mph winds we decided to park one truck at boat ramp and one at another and drift down. We started seeing big redfish everywhere but, we were blowing right over them. Anchoring up was the ticket. Most of the fish were singles and a few were in groups of two. As I was drifting looking for reds I saw a school of about 30 redfish. All of them were hanging out in a large sand hole, so I anchored up. I immediately started tearing into reds! Most of them were small but, a couple pushing over 20 inches. They were beautiful with their bright blue tails and bronze bodies. We saw more fish after that but not many trout so we decided to call it a day.

The next day we decided to make a long paddle across the Lagoon to check out a spot where the tournament was won the year before. Saw a school of big reds on the way across but, the dolphins had them spooked! As we finally got across to the other side we saw tons of boats coming from one direction so, we paddled over to see what all the excitement was. As we came up to the boat we started seeing huge fish pushing on the flats and both boats had multiple rods bent ripping in fish. Heart was pounding! I was ready to catch some fish. We anchored up in the mouth of the little creek and started pulling in big trout after trout! I headed closer to the mangroves to get a cast at some sand holes I saw. Boom! FISH ON! I had to pick up anchor to chase him down because I was running out of line. The redfish felt like a 40+ inch red but only measured out at about 32. Still a really nice fish!!! We all were tearing the fish up. We even had a triple hook up between three of us.Two trout and one red. We didn't want to sore lip the fish for the tournament the next day so we moved on. Seeing lots of reds and plenty of big trout we thought we had a game plan for the tournament so we headed in.

Then tournament day!  The wind had switched, so we decided to go a complete different way. Eight mile stretch that we were going to try and drift down with a light tail wind. Parking one truck at one end and the other truck at the other. Half of the area I had never fished before. So, we pushed out at sunrise. Heading down the west side of the lagoon we were seeing huge reds pushing wakes everywhere. The big reds were very spooked. Especially with three kayakers chasing them in a foot of water! lol! I saw a pelican about 200yds out so I headed over to check out to see if he was scoping out some fish. On my way I picked up a decent trout and forgot to put the tournament token in the picture with the fish! : (  As I paddled up to the pelican he got scared and flew off. Seconds after that I started seeing huge redfish tails flagging in the air. My heart started pounding! I took a couple of more strokes and picked up my rod and casted as far as I could. Took two twitches and BOOM! Fish ONNN... Line was peeling out and all of a sudden it went limp! The fish straightened my hook! My heart sunk but, I cast again in the same spot. BOOM again FISH ON! This one wasn't as big but it was still a huge redfish! I get him in and he measured nearly 35inches. Made sure I got the token in the picture that time! lol! Soon after we had boats pushing us off the school. My friends wanted to push on, but, the wind was blowing in our face.We were only a quarter of the way and we were 3hrs into the tournament. I made the decision to stay behind and try to find the big school of reds again. As I paddled back I picked up a lot of small trout but, nothing of good size. Soon after I saw the same boats working the school of reds so I paddled up to them and started casting. Boom! Another nice red, almost 26inches. The upper slot reds were in the beginning of the school and the huge 40+ reds were in the back of the school. As I sat there and waited for them to come back by I started feeling a little weird and shaky. I still had almost three hours of the tournament left but, I was obviously dehydrated or had low blood sugar. I made the decision to be happy with what I had caught and headed in. Put my umbrella up and sailed in. I drank lots of water and some Sprite and started feeling better when I got to the weigh in. I ended up placing 8th. I would have placed in the top five if I wouldn't have forgot to put the token in the picture of my first trout!  But ,I was very thankful to place in the top 10 considering I fished in a place I had never fished and missed almost half of the tournament from feeling sick. Over all, It was one of the coolest experiences of my life with all the beautiful wildlife and, of coarse, huge redfish everywhere!  : )

Redfish Gone Wild!

    We started out the morning with just a little bit of time. Don want to sneak one last fishing trip in before his long drive back up north. The light wind was at our back so we slowly drifted on the look for reds. Don got a few nice hits from trout but nothing was sticking. Finally we came across a huge school of redfish! They were literally all around us. Don cast right in the middle of them and gets smashed  but It came unglued. The reds were pushing up wakes in like six inches of water, so Don takes another shot at them in the shallows. BOOM! FISH ON! Line starts ripping out. There goes Don on a redfish sleigh ride!lol! After finally wearing him down we get measurements. 30 inches and a fat one at that! Dons biggest fish ever. We were able to pick a couple of more off the school before Don had to head back to shore, for his return ride home. Nothing like a huge redfish to think about on your ride home:) I couldn't stand to leave knowing that those redfish were still sitting over there. So I paddled back over there and posted up. They were very spooky, so I lathered up the ol jerk bait with a little Pro Cure. Redfish cant resist it! Fish on! Fish on! More over slot reds:) Another great day on the flats!

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BIG Trout in Sarasota Bay!!!

              Head out On the hunt for big trout! February is always my favorite month for BIGGGG TROUT! You will find big trout in all your normal trout spots this month. I have a few spots, where I always get them in February. Most of my big trout I catch are on jerk baits with a 1/16oz jig head. You can find them schooled up in big wholes or edges of channels. Most of my big trout, I've been sight casting them in potholes in 2ft depth. The majority of these fish are 20 inches and larger!:) The biggest one I've caught so far this month is about 28 inches but, I know there are some bigger mamas out there!:) Till next time, Fish On, Fish On!

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