Manatee In The Tampa Bay (November Is Manatee Awareness Month)

The West Indian Manatee better know as the sea cow are mammals that inhabit the Tampa bay area waters. They are elusive and beautiful animals. Manatee can weigh over 700 lbs and can grow to almost 12 feet long. Over the Years I have come across them while out on the water. They are very curious and have come very close to flipping my kayak. Here are some pictures:

"Birds Nests" A Anglers Worst Nightmare (Tangled Line)

We all know that line loops and tangles in our reels are the worst thing to deal with when we're on the water. These tangled messes are better known as "Bird Nests", as they resemble a seabirds nest. Tangles are even more prevalent now, with the ever so popular super thin braided lines. Over the years I have figured out some ways of stopping a reel nightmare of a mess.

1. Don't not turn the crank to close the bail. Instead flip the bail closed by hand. This will take a while to get use to if you are not familiar with this procedure, but it is a worth while technique to learn.

2. Close the bail right before your lure hits the water. This pulls excess slack out of your line, which is the main cause of the loops deep down in your reel.

3. If you do have a loop in the line, do not open the bail and strip the line. Instead loosen your drag and keep the bail closed, then pull the line out with the bail closed until the loop is gone. This will save you much time when a loop appears in your spool.

4. Match your lure with a correct rod, if you use a light lure, such as an artificial plastic. You should match a light lure with a rod that has larger guides. A heavier lure should be matched with a rod with smaller guides.

These four basic tips will help any kayak angler in preventing the dreaded birds nest.

Winter Kayak Fishing

Winter is in full swing, cold fronts bring hot bites. The cooler water has resulted to fish moving to skinnier water and becoming more active. The snook moved into canals and river mouths, to staying in the warmer water. Sheepshead bites starts to go off as the water cools, try any rock pile in Tampa Bay. Red fish will break up from there summer schools and move along mangrove shore lines, especially ones with oyster bars located beneath. The trout bite also rises, in the grass flats. With low tides very common in the winter the only way to fish is in a kayak! Get into the warmer shallower areas that those noisy, destructive power boats wish they could get into! With the large tide changes that occur in the winter Crabs, crustaceans, and bait fish are flushed out of creeks and flats turning the bite on. Fish changing tides right and you cant go wrong!

be safe, wear a PFD, practice catch and release and get out there and catch ya some!

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