March 3, 2014
February is for love.
February for our northern visitors is for cold and snow.
February for Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing clients was for pompano.
We experienced the best pompano run in five years in February. Not since 2009 have we seen such numbers of the hard fighters around Sarasota Bay. The beauty of pompano is that they'll hit a variety of artificial lures and flies, fight hard and are great on the table. I don't kill many fish, but when I do it's probably a pompano.
Jeff Wagner and John Schultz of Park City, Utah lead the way. These two avid fly fishers caught a variety of fish on their full-day trip. Casting bucktail, olive-and-white Clouser Deep Minnows, the pair landed 12 pompano and hooked several others. In addition, they caught and released 30 spotted seatrout to 19 inches, six Spanish mackerel, a flounder and a bunch of hard-fighting ladyfish.
Repeat client Denton Kent spent a day with me on the Myakka River. This has not been a good year on the river and we told him so in advance. But he still wanted to fish the river "just to see it."
We landed a 30-inch snook and a couple of feisty channel catfish on MirrOlure Lil Johns on light jig heads.
Dave Kozera of Maryland joined me for a six-hour outing on Sarasota Bay. We launched at Buttonwood Harbor and fished a variety of spots. We landed 25 seatrout to 18 inches, six pompano, three Spanish mackerel and several ladyfish. We used D.O.A. CAL Jigs with copper crush paddle tails and MirrOlure MirrOdines.
Repeat client Everette Howell , a winter resident from Nashville, had a so-so day out of Buttonwood Harbor. We landed 20 spotted seatrout to 19 inches, a bluefish and several ladyfish on CAL Jigs and MirrOlure MirrOdines.
Charlie Gallmeyer of Grand Rapids, Mich., had a decent day on Sarasota Bay. We launched at Buttonwood Harbor and totaled 25 seatrout to 21 inches, six pompano, three bluefish and six Spanish mackerel on CAL Jigs, Johnson Spoons and MirrOlure MirrOdines.
Don Kozera of western Massachusetts (Dave's brother) spent a day with me. He started out fly fishing, but found slow action, catching a few trout and ladyfish. He switched to spinning tackle and the bite was one. We landed 30 trout, six pompano, a mackerel and several ladyfish on CAL Jigs and MirrOdines.
Fly fishers Jeff Wagner and John Schultz of Park City, Utah had a good day on Sarasota Bay. Using Clouser Deep Minnows, they combined to catch 25 spotted seatrout, 12 pompano, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and a flounder.
Repeat client Mark Allen of Minnetonka, Minn., had a tough day. He's a beginning fly fisher who is very persistent. He managed seatrout, ladyfish and catfish on a day that pompano were virtually jumping in the kayak!
I've been catching a majority of pompano on the MirrOlure MirrOdine, a small, suspending minnow imitation. What's strange is that pompano reportedly do not eat minnows or small fish. They're primarily crustacean eaters.
Over the past two weeks, we've taken more than 50 pompano -- almost all on MirrOdines.
March should see more redfish on the flats. We'll target reds around mullet schools on the incoming tide.
In addition, I anticipate continued success on pompano, spotted seatrout, jack crevalle and Spanish mackerel.
Snook also could show up at any time.
Also, thanks to my sponsors: Jackson Kayaks, TFO, MirrOlure, D.O.A. Lures, Economy Tackle and Peak Fishing. I appreciate all of you.
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.