Kayak Fishing Report for Pine Island Sound for the Week of 4/2/11
<p>Ben Miller, of Tacoma, Washington, was first up on Tuesday. Ben had the misfortune of drawing his fishing day right behind a cold front, and cold fronts always kill the bite for a day or two. Tuesday was no exception. We had a very early low tide, and the water was already moving for a while as we got our first destination. It didn't take long to realize the fish weren't in much of a playful mood.
We worked on them hard, and it was pretty much lockjaw. We did catch two keeper trout, as well as other under slot trout and lots of ladyfish. So, we didn't go the first part of the morning fish-less.
Having been an early tide, the water snuck up on me as we fished, and I realized it was time to turn our attention to redfish. Maybe they'd eat. We fished several places. I would park Ben on a spot and then move to another spot nearby to see if I could find a bite. We did best on our last stop of the day. We finished the day with seven redfish, and they weren't easy to come by.
But, Ben was a great guy, a good fisherman, and patient with the conditions, and we had a great time. Even when the bite is tough, fishing from a kayak is still fun and adventurous.
I was scheduled to fish Thursday, the 31st, with Steve Ritchey, from up in Bradenton. But, Wednesday was not a good weather day, and I had all eyes on the big weather system that had been brewing to our north for some time. It as big and had a lot of energy, and I didn't frankly believe the weather forecast for our Thursday of 5 to 15, with gusts to 20. My gut kept telling me we'd be sorry if we went.
Well, all I can say is trust your gut. What a wild ride Thursday was for most of Florida. Central Florida really got pounded with wind to 90 mph and tornadoes. It blew here in Ft. Myers all day long with gusts to 38!! We got very little rain, which actually passed through Thursday night and Friday morning and was south of Naples by wake up time. The forecast was for calm in the morning and 10 to 15 from the west in the afternoon.
I met Billy Thomas, of Vienna, Virginia, at the Circle K at John Morris and Summerlin, and we rode out to Sanibel in my van. By the time we got there and got the kayaks in the water we already had our 15! I wasn't too surprised. We were fishing behind one of the strongest late season cold fronts we've seen in a long time. The barometer dropped like a rock to 29.72 inches. Not only did I expect it to blow fairly hard from the north, but I figured the bite would be shut down.
The first thing we noticed as we hit the water was that it was the color of sand. All the water spilling through the pass was bringing in all the sand churned up by all the wind and waves of Thursday. That was going to be a problem if it was that way a mile away on the flats. And, it was. As we got out there the wind was northwest, which had us looking right into the morning sun, and you couldn't find pothole early on.
We tried to find the larger holes and fishing them. We mostly got ladyfish, with a couple of flounder thrown in, including a nice keeper. It was half way through the trip before I found a trout.
The tide was coming in with a vengeance, and we made a big move to fish some holes that have been full of redfish. I parked Billy on the first hole after I caught a redfish, and established the fish were there. But, would any more eat? I moved on to the next hole to see if I could find a bite. While I explored several holes a short distance away, Billy got a snook from that hole. But, that was the last fish that bit, there. I never got a bite.
We made another big move to another area. I knew that if we found redfish that would eat it would be there. The wind had been howling in the low twenties all morning, and had moved around to nearly north. We got to our spot and I anchored Billy off my port side a short distance way, and we went to work. I stuck with the DOA Cal shads, but gave Billy a tank of Gulp jerkbaits in New Penny. I usually don't get them out unless the reds won't eat anything else.
Well, Billy proceeded to kick my butt. I used a Gulp for a while just to catch a few fish, but went back to the DOA. He caught eight redfish to my four. I let three get away! He loved catching those reds, and loved the Native Ultimate, and swore he'd buy one as soon as he was out of grad school and settled.
Billy was an experience kayaker, and kayak angler. It really showed, too. He's the first person in a long time that I didn't have to coach at any level. He knew exactly how to handle the tackle and keep it out of the water. And, he knew how to wiggle those worms!We had a great time together, and as a team we Slammed. Billy promised to be back for a repeat performance as soon as possible. Can't wait.
I've got three trips next week, with mid-morning to mid-afternoon tides. Hopefully, there will be lots of fish to talk about next week.
Ben Miller with some nice trout.
Billy Thomas shows off our redfish and flounder
About The Author: Captain Butch Rickey
Company: The Bar Hopp'R
Area Reporting: Backcountry fishing and flats fishing in the waters of Pine Island around Sanibel Island, Captiva Is
Bio: Capt. Butch Rickey spent much of his youth growing up on Sanibel and Captiva, near Ft. Myers, and has fished the waters of Pine Island Sound for much of his 60-plus years. Capt. Butch specializes in light tackle live-bait fishing for snook, redfish, tarpon, and trout in Pine Island Sound, but will be happy to accomodate any other type of fishing you want to do. You'll enjoy fishing the beautiful clear water of the shallow grass flats, mangrove keys, potholes, and oyster bars. You'll marvel at the wildlife on, in, and above the water. You'll see Florida as you always imagined it would be. A Barhopp'R trip will satisfy the fisherman, hunter, and sightseer in you. Capt. Butch is an instructional guide, and gives you only the best Shimano Stella reels and St. Croix Legend and G. Loomis rods to use. Butch is U.S. Coast Guard licensed, insured, experienced, and provides fishing license, bait, ice, digital camera, cell phone, and lots of advice and coaching when needed. He will work hard to put you on the fish.