Florida Kayak Fishing

Hot backcountry, Everglades action

May 15, 2007

Things have been hectic for Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing over the last two months. Business has been good and fishing hot.
The best action has been taking place in South Florida where we've been targeting oscars, Mayan cichlids, bass, bluegill, stumpknocker and shellcracker.
Federal of Fly Fishers master certified casting instructor Dusty Sprague of North Port fished with us recently. The day was slow by South Florida standards, but we still totaled more than 100 fish. We caught 50 Mayan cichlids, 20 bass, 30 bluegill and 25 stumpknocker. All came on 4-weight fly rods, floating lines, No. 10 chartreuse popping bugs or No. 10 Myakka Minnows, and 5X and 4X tippet.
On a recent outing in Sarasota Bay, Dave Ginberg of Marietta, Ga., battled wind and tough conditions. He caught and released 12 ladyfish on jigs in a canal that runs along Longboat Key. We were able to get outside at mid-day off Bishop Point. There, David hooked by lost two jack crevalle that we estimated between 20 and 30 pounds. He lost the first one after a lengthy battle because the jig hook straightened. He hooked another on a Rapala Skitterwalk, but wasn't able to stop the fish.
Just prior to that, Will Huibregste of Indiana had a food day in Bishop Harbor and southern Tampa Bay. We waded the sand bar that runs just out from the mouth of Bishop Harbor and he hooked a number of redfish and landed a 23-incher. He later added several spotted seatrout, including a 21-incher. He finished the day with several small snook on the MirrOlure MirrOdine.
I joined Joe Bursel of Sarasota, Phil Waguespeck of Venice and Preston Jones for Snead Island for a Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers outing to Alligator Alley. We fished a canal near mile marker 41 that offered fast and exciting action.
We used small chartreuse poppers, sinking flies and Myakka Minnows to catch and released more than 500 fish. It was as fast and furious as I've ever experienced.
We fished east of the boat ramp in the morning at did well, catching Mayan cichlids, bass, bluegill, stumpknocker and shellcracker. The action really heated up after lunch. We fish west of the ramp. Preston and I fished a cut that led to another canal on the other side of Alligator Alley. We fished the shoreline and around the bridge pilings and caught a fish or had a hit on virtually every cast.
With the wind blowing out of the west, it was an easy drift back. I fished a gold conhead Myakka Minnow, my sinking baitfish imitation, and chalked up another 80 bass, oscars, Mayan cichlids and bluegills.
If you've never caught an oscar or Mayan cichlid, you're missing something. Pound for pound, they're two of the strongest fish in Florida's fresh waters.
When fishing around structure or heavy vegetation, we've found that 4X tipped (about 7-pound test) is the way to go. 5X tipped (4.5 pounds) is just a tad too light.
Oscars and Mayans are strong, incredibly crafty and can make exciting runs to cover.
The South Florida adventures are winding down. Heat, rain and bugs will force us to take a hiatus until November. We will run South Florida trips until the end of May.
Our fishing forecast includes redfish, snook, spotted seatrout and flounder. We predict good action on all four in Joe Bay, Bishop Harbor and Pine Island Sound over the next two months when the tide is decent.
In addition, beach snook fishing should pick up as soon as we settle into our easterly breeze pattern. Look for increased numbers as the water warms. We offer guided beach snook trips at $150 per outing.
We also offer spin-fishing and fly-fishing trips. We supply all rods, reels and tackle. Of course, anglers may supply their own. We especially like working with beginning fly and spin anglers.
We had a number of new saltwater fly-fishers in spring and all caught fish.
If you have any questions on our trips or in general, feel free to e-mail us or give us a call.

Steve Gibson
Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing
www.kayakfishingsarasota.com
(941) 284-3407