Posted by David Kuhnke
Took a trip out to the beautiful Ft. Desoto Park down on Tierra Verde. Pat, one of my friends from school wanted to get out on the water so I picked him up at 6am and we headed down to the park. We arrived around 7am paying the 35 cent toll we entered the fort, parked and launched as the sun was coming up. It was a cooler day as a cold front approached, but with the sun it was very comfortable. The only problem was the wind, clocking at around 15-20 knots it was going to be a pain all day, and it sure was. It was a super low incoming tide so we had to get out and walk across a flat that usually had enough water to paddle. We started throwing topwater lures, and I had a few blow ups but no hook ups. The wind was making us cover the flat way too quick and the chop was giving the lures a hard time so we looked for shelter on the leeward side of an island where it was much calmer, we continued fishing. Pat had something large that was pulling some drag but it spit the hook.No other bites so we moved on and had to paddle against the wind. We eventually decided to anchor up at an edge of a flat, where the depth dropped from 2ft to 4-6ft. There was a mix of sand pot holes and grass. This was an ideal trout area so we gave it a try. Pat had no anchor so he rafted up to me and we began to work the area. I had the first bite while using a weedless 1/8 oz weighted gulp jerk bait in new penny color. I reeled in a small trout.We kept fishing and pat hooked up to a nice trout. A few cast later I hooked up with something, it turned out to be a foul hooked lizardfish, no picture needed for that mistake. Pat continued to fish while I dehooked the ugly lizard fish and he caught another good sized trout. Pat then caught another trout of the same sizeI finally ended up catching a small southern flounder while we were paddling back to the launch against the wind. We called it a day around noon and at the launch three herons awaited our return.Overall it was a good day, nice to be out at one of my favorite spots in the tampa bay area. The fishing could have been much better if the wind was working on our side, but the scenery can't be beat.
Ventured by my local marina and spotted at least fifty snook sunbathing right next to the catwalk in the marina, with out a care in the world. I snapped these photo's some of the snook in the mix are at least 40", now we know where all the big mama's are hiding. Snook season closed on December 1st so please be careful when handling and releasing any snook.
Took out my neighbor for his first kayak fishing trip. We Launch just after dawn, to a cool overcast sky, very surprised as there was no wind at all. We started off fishing a barrier island. I was using a Spook Jr. and Alex was using a Yozuri Silver Minnow, so we could work every water column. Third cast had a huge blow up, and a nice 28 in snook took me for a short lived sleigh ride around a channel marker. I landed the Fish and Snapped a pitcure and released it safely back to fight another day.
I took a trip on over to the beautiful weedon island preserve
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I paddled down the kayak trail casting a topwater lure and had a few tries but no hook ups. There were large schools of mullet everywhere and wind made more tough fishing. White pelicans and seagulls were bombarding the water as there were large schools of glass minnows. On the other side of the flat from the pelicans there were large oyster bars, where i caught two rat reds under 18inchs on a jig head and a doa paddle tailI ended the day seeing many birds including a roseate spoon bill:There were also many snowy egrets, ibis, and osprey to name a few:
Knowing there was going to be quite the feast today, and being on a break from all the school work at Florida State I decided to go out and try out the Gandy flats. It had rained yesterday so i thought the bite would be on today. I started the day at sunrise. Launched on to a gloomy flat with a solid 15 mph wind. I knew I needed to search for spots protected from the wind. I started fishing on the leeward side of a mangrove island, first cast, pitching a bone colored spook jr, i had a huge blow up knocking the spook at least four feet out of the water. Most likely one of the the large breeder Snook that have been around the area. ill catch her next time. I kept working the flat on the leeward side of the island and finally caught a small 20 inch Snook behind a seawall.
I casted again in the same general area, and captured another cookie cutter snook on my bone colored spook jr. Shortly after the sun finally poked its way past the clouds and the bite turned off. I managed to get some nice pictures with the great lighting:Going to Weedon Island Preserve tomorrow, will post report on the trip.
On march 14th my girl friend and I decided to go out to catch some trout on the intercoastal side of honeymoon island. Another couple decided to take the run out with us as it was a very beautiful day. We started out of Clearwater and took the 15 minute run to the beautiful grass flat behind honeymoon island. There was heavy boat traffic but there was not a soul on this grass flat! I wanted to make the fishing as easy as it could be so i rigged up each rod with a 1/8 oz mission fishin jig head and tipped it with a 3 inch gulp shrimp in new penny color. We started pitching the jigs and connecting with a fish almost every cast. The wind started to pick up and the fishing started to slow down. After 2 1/2 hours out we caught almost 15 trout, most of them caught by my buddy nick. Great day on the water.
*This fishing trip was not out on a kayak but i have done it before. You can launch from the honeymoon island bridge and you will be right on the grass flat.*
The bait of choice: