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Sarasota Kayak Report - Steve Gibson

October 1, 2014

September was a very good month for Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing.

We spent a majority of the time in southern Tampa Bay around Joe Island. We had numerous trips where clients caught slams (snook, trout, redfish).

Snook were the most prevalent fish in the backcountry. We caught snook on virtually every trip, including one outing where we totaled 23.

We caught snook on a variety of lures, including MirrOlure Top Pups and MirrOlure MirrOdines.

We found the best snook action from just before dawn to an hour after.

Jack and Marnie McKnight joined me for an outing on Tampa Bay. These first-time kayak anglers did pretty well. They caught 40 spotted seatrout, plus jack crevalle, flounder and a bonnethead shark on Top Pups and MirrOdines.

Vinny Caruso of Bradenton had several good outings and slammed nearly each time. On one trip, he caught 11 snook. On another, he landed four redfish, 25 trout and a couple of 5-pound bluefish.

Steve Manning of Sarasota joined us late in the month when the action was really going on. We caught 23 snook, 40 trout, four flounder, plus jack crevalle and ladyfish.

Fly fisher Chuck Dodd of Virginia, a repeat client, joined me on what I anticipated would be a great day. But the action slowed down. We worked hard to catch 20 trout, four snook, four flounder, a jack crevalle and ladyfish. Clouser Deep Minnows and Gibby's Baitfish Fly produced best.

We're experiencing what I call the fall transition. That's a period when the fish begin to more toward their winter haunts and when they begin to feed heavily. I've noticed quite a bit of surface action over the past couple of weeks.

Sarasota Bay action has been slow, but I anticipate improved fishing as the weather cools.

I fished fresh water on a couple of occasions. I spent a day on lake within the Fakaunion Strand State Preserve with fly-fishing pro Joe Maher (joemahler.com). We caught a variety of fish, including largemouth bass, bluegill and Mayan cichlid. I hooked a hefty bass on a 3-weight fly rod using Joe's Straw Boss Fly. The bass broker off after a few minutes.

Water levels at most area lakes and streams are significantly up after a rainy month. We anticipate strong action when the water begins to subside.

OCTOBER FORECAST: We look for continued strong action on spotted seatrout, snook and redfish in southern Tampa Bay. In addition, flounder, bluefish, jack crevalle and shark will be somewhat plentiful. In Sarasota Bay, the month should see improved action, with trout and redfish taking the spotlight. Night snook action should be good around lighted docks.

We would be remiss if we didn't acknowledge out sponsors: NuCanoe, MirrOlure, D.O.A. Lures and TFO.

I am so glad that NuCanoe came along. I have three Frontier 12s. They're undoubtedly the best fishing kayaks I've ever used. Their stability is unparalleled. And their cushioned, 360-degree swivel seats are wonderful. What I appreciate most about the NuCanoe is it's roomy, simple cockpit.

You can check out NuCanoe at www.nucanoe.com

If you're interest in a trip, please give me a call at 941-284-3406 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Steve Gibson

Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing



About Steve Gibson:

Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing ownerSteve Gibson is one of the most experienced anglers in southwest Florida.   Gibson has been fishing for 45 years and nearly 35 of those years in Florida.    
A professional outdoor writer and photographer, Gibson's writing and photographs have appeared in several publications, including Florida Sportsman, Gulf Coast Angler, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters, Saltwater Fly Fishing, The Fisherman, Cabela's Outdoor Magazine, Paddle World Magazine, Blood Knot and Florida Fishing Weekly.   Steve is a Jackson Kayaks endorsed guide.

Gibson resides in Sarasota with his wife, Kathy, their daughter, Morgan, and their Jack Russell Terrier, Jack.

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