Fishing is dependent on the elements and that has been the story. March rolled in with vengeance and the wind has not let up since.
Still, we?ve been able to get out and experienced reasonable success on spotted seatrout, redfish and snook. Most of the action has been taking place along the east side of Sarasota Bay.
Jerry Pazar of Colorado fished with us recently and caught a number of spotted seatrout, ladyfish and small jack crevalle on fly rod. He used a 6-weight rod, sinktip line and Clouser Deep Minnows. We moved a little north and anchored the kayaks, got out and began to wade an area where I?ve been landing redfish and snook. Jerry caught and released a 27-inch redfish on a Gulp Shrimp on a light jig head. Later, he hooked a monster jack crevalle. He fought the fish for 20 minutes before the loop in the loop knot broke. We estimated the big jack at 25 pounds.
Kirk Klingensmith of New York joined us for a day of fly fishing. It was a tough day, with the wind blowing hard out the south. A late-season cold front slowed things somewhat. Kirk caught ladyfish and small jacks on flies. He landed a 27-inch snook on a Zara Spook.
MAY OUTLOOK: Snook are beginning to spread out along the beaches which is good news. Beach snook fishing is my specialty. I?ve been sight-fishing snook in the surf for 25 years. Last season was one of the best ever for beach snook, and I?m hoping this season approaches last. Typical beach snook is 21-24 inches. However, we landed a number of snook in excess of 30 inches last year. On a typical morning, my anglers will get shots at more than 100 fish. Typically, we use 7- to 8- weight fly rods, sinktip of floating lines and D.T. Specials or my Wide-Eye Snook Fly. In addition to snook, my anglers often encounter spotted seatrout, mangrove snapper, jack crevalle, ladyfish and an occasional redfish. You don?t have to be a fly-fisher to join in the fun. Spinning enthusiasts get their share on jigs, MirrOlures, D.O.A. Shrimp and plugs.
All that?s required is a cap, polarized sunglasses and a desire to catch fish and have fun.
May also means excellent flat-fishing opportunities from southern Tampa Bay to Pine Island Sound for redfish, spotted seatrout and snook.
In addition, we should continue to do well on seatrout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish and jack crevalle on the deep grass flats.
May is also the last month that I?ll be taking anglers to The Everglades to fish for the exotics (oscar, Mayan cichlid and peacock bass) and native species such as largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker, stumpknocker and speckled perch.
If we get some rain, freshwater action should pickup in local lakes and rivers.