Tampa Bay Kayak Fishing Report

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We have had it pretty good. It is tough to not complain about having to run the air conditioner at the end of December but we have to be pretty happy overall with warmth. The wind has been annoying (for the second straight month). I don’t think I can remember a November and December that have been this consistently windy. Muscle tear in my right shoulder, it has made for an interesting month.

Red tide is something that has been a story for months. It is a bad news/good news kind of situation. The bad news is that we still have red tide readings and they are “inside the Bay.” The good news is that it isn’t killing a lot of fish. Fort Desoto has the highest concentration of algae. The fish kill is not substantial but when I went out there to look around it was most certainly a ghost town. No bait, no mullet and the people I talked to “no fish” in their fishing attempts. All the hope is that we dodge this one and do not have a major calamity.

The trout action has been pretty good. I went on my own one day and caught over 300 in about a four hour period. I think I only had one cast where I didn’t catch one. The numbers good, size has been OK and very good in specific locations. The huge trout of winter aren’t really happening yet but should start becoming more prevalent with a couple more cold fronts. But it is relatively easy to get some dinner size fish. For certain, the number of slot fish in the spring is going to be exceptional.

John, Mark and Terry put in a three day trip. The timing was perfect. The first day they fished in the wind, the last two days they had ideal conditions. They have to endure ice and unfishable weather for the next few months (Maryland) so I think they enjoyed the weather as much as the fishing. John, my best client for a few years now went 20 for 21 this year. We got him out 20 times in 21 attempts. He is a fanatic. He is a true sportsman and my kind of guy. Mark and Terry jumped up a level in skills. They made some changes the last two days that are going to make sure that they always catch more fish.

OK so silver trout and whiting? They’re in. Last report I said “it is too early.” Not a primary target, these are out there for those who like to have a lot of fish to eat. Like everything else, a little cooler weather and this fishing will get even easier as well. Bluefish and jacks have been a regular thing. South shore, much less than the last report but other areas have a glut of blues and a lot of jack opportunities.

As always: Be careful out there!

Neil Taylor
Owner and guide: www.strikethreekayakfishing.com

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Neil Taylor
Full time kayak fishing guide, Neil was an advocate for conservation since before the time he started guiding. Outdoor writer, speaker and radio show host, Neil connected closely with Captain Mel Berman and did many positives with Mel to promote ethical angling. After Mel passed away, Neil managed www.capmel.com and eventually became that web site’s owner.