By Neil Taylor, Strike Three Kayak Fishing

September exits and October rolls in.   The final week of September was exceptional.   Great action in the kayaks for a wide variety of species:  Spanish mackerel, flounder, trout, redfish, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, sharks.   

The rush of the busy season is starting.   September is always kind of difficult for taking trips, not because the fishing isn’t good, but a variety of things like school starting back up; the malaise of the long, hot summer.   But October turns the page.   There is almost a fever to going fishing “before it gets cold.”   Now, I’ll dispute that too.  If you buy the right clothing, there is no “too cold.”   Nonetheless, I enjoy October and November because it means a lot of time on the water.    The action has been good and will continue to get even better as October progresses.   

Pompano and black drum action still “off” after what was a fabulous mid-summer of easy action.   Don’t fret, they will be available again before winter sets in.   Not much to report here.   You can get some fish but it is truly a battle.

Trout:  It is just not a great situation for that species yet but that should go off as soon as we have a significant drop in air and water temperatures.   Our most prevalent fish:  They are not hard to find.   They are not hard to catch.   A 1/8 ounce jighead with any plastic tail will catch them.    I use 12 Fathom SlamR’s for trout.   It is also my flounder bait.     Swim them down just above the grass and the trout eat them whenever they see them.  

Redfish are around but just not in the numbers they used to be.    It is a fact.    If you go to the right area, some can be caught.   If you go to the wrong area:   you aren’t going to be dealing with any redfish.        

Silver trout and whiting made an early appearance, then, disappeared again.   With one or two serious cold fronts, these two species usually become easy.   

Fisherman’s Night:  Fourth Thursday every month at my house.  This is the last one of the year.   Thanksgiving and Christmas, too busy to get people out those dates.   The grill is going:   October 24 at 6PM.     Come on over!

Call to book a trip if you want to get in on the fun. 

As always: Be careful out there!

Neil Taylor
Owner and guide: 
www.strikethreekayakfishing.com
(Cell) 727-692-6345  LivelyBaits@aol.com
Owner and site administrator:  www.capmel.com

Poachers are common thieves.    See a poacher, report a poacher!

If you suspect a wildlife or boating law violation, report it to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Reward Program: 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Cell phone users can reach us at *FWC or #FWC, depending on your service provider.

Most cell phones allow users to send text messages directly to an email address. You can text Tip@MyFWC.com; standard usage fees may apply.

Supply as much detailed information such as the location of the offender, the boat description, number of people on board, clothing, vehicle information and give the dispatcher your phone number.      Do this discreetly.   You do not want to have direct contact with these people.

First date: January 25, 2020

The idea surfaced and I decided to move forward with it. The Captain Mel Classic will remain in the spring. There will be a second one in the Fall every year. This year, it will be in winter. Moving forward it will be in October or November. A date for the first one will be announced soon.

The format: A trout tournament. Bonus species: Redfish. $3o registration. $10 for redfish. Payouts, farther out because there is no “combined inches” payout like in the Classic. Details on that will be announced after it is discussed in Committee.

“Terrific Trout Tampa Bay”A new event.    It will be in the Fall in the future but the first one will be this winter.    Low cost, buy in:  No charity, total payout.     Trout the main target makes payouts higher.    A buy in for longest redfish, the bonus species.   


The Classic format is popular.    This one will be a little different.    Trout, our most reliable species:   “Longest” fish will win the cash payouts.    That will go down to many winners with the last winners getting prizes from my sponsors.     No charity, higher payouts.    One species, higher payouts.     Length is the decider in a photo-release contest.    


Your input requested.    For the Classic, five divisions.  For this one, four.    Dropping Junior.   The kids can select one of the other four and compete.    Keep Open?   Keep No Motor?   Keep Ladies?   Keep Fly?    Have no divisions and it is everyone against everyone?     Please let me know your thoughts. 

Participation will be good.    I figure:   A Fall date every year spreads the two out good for me.    This year, the Fall upon us, I figured a wintertime date gives me more time to promote it.   
Thanks for everything and let me know if you are interested in being involved.Buy in will be $30, same as the Classic.   Buy in for Redfish, $10.    No charity, payouts will go farther.    No combined species, payouts will go farther.   
Sponsor donations will dictate what happens.   I might use them all for prizes to winners.   If I get what I get for the Classic, I’ll probably have the raffle.   I have told the sponsors they are not expected to donate.  So, I anticipate some will, some won’t.      I’d just assign donations to winners.   Cash paid out first, then prizes for smaller fish caught.   Again:  I am just talking my thoughts.   I haven’t discussed it all in committee yet.
Note:    The site for this one will be different.   Nelson’s Sports Bar in Clearwater.     I will keep the Captain Mel Classic at the Fat Cat Tavern.    Having this one at Nelson’s puts it 400 yards from my house.   On 590 at US 19.    Southeast corner.   

Neil Taylor

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.
Neil Taylor

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