Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Backcountry Kayak Fishing

West winds have been the standard for the past six weeks, limiting fishing locations around the area.
Thankfully, action has been good along the west side of Sarasota Bay. Fishing in and around Buttonwood Harbor, Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing anglers have been catching redfish, snook, spotted seatrout, bluefish, ladyfish and jack crevalle.
Mike Hansen of Peoria, Ill., recently fished with me and did well. In fact, Hansen hooked and landed a 25-inch redfish on his first cast. That set the tone for a good day.
Admittedly, I didn’t think it would turn out so good. We faced a very high tide and full moon. But the fish apparently weren’t aware.
Fishing just off a sand bar south of Whale Key, we saw a shrimp jump from the water with a predator fish behind. Hansen and I cast jigs toward the boil and immediately hooked up. We landed a pair of 24-inch reds.
Spotted seatrout have been hitting 1/8-ounce jigs and D.O.A. Deadly Combinations. If you’ve never used the Deadly Combo, you should give it a try. It’s a D.O.A. Shrimp below a special popping cork. All you do is cast it out, let the shrimp sink and then “pop” the float a couple of times. Keep repeating. When the bobber goes under, reel in any slack and set the hook.
It’s just that simple.
Topwater plugs have been producing redfish and decent spotted seatrout inside of Buttonwood Harbor.
The Longboat Key perimeter canals has been yielding redfish to 30 inches. Most of the reds are taking jigs in cuts along the canal.
While paddling along the canal back to the launch, I noticed some breaking fish just offshore. Hansen and I paddled out and got into fish. He caught a couple of nice trout. We also managed a pair of 3-pound bluefish.
The weather has been hot, with frequent thunderstorms. We try to get out early to avoid the heat and storms.
We advise six-hour trips this time of year. We’ll hit the water a little after 6 a.m. and we’re back at the launch around noon.
Redfish, snook, spotted seatrout, bluefish, ladyfish and jack crevalle should cooperate over the next month. In addition, there’s a possibility of large Spanish mackerel and a few pompano.
In fresh water, bass, bluegill, shellcracker and channel catfish are the main fare. Speckled perch (crappie) won’t get going until late fall.
We feature 14.5-foot Native Watercraft Ultimate kayaks and Heritage Redfish 12-footers. We have all required safety equipment.
We’ve also picked up a couple of new sponsors: Dri-Grip Sunscreen ( and 7Eye Sunglasses ( Dri-Grip is an SPF30 sunscreen that is “fish friendly.” It leaves no scent on your hands.
In addition, we are sponsored by PowerPro and TFO Fly Rods.
Those fishing with me are entitled to a 20 percent discount on 7Eye fishing sunglasses.

Steve Gibson
Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing
Sarasota, FL
(941) 284-3406