The great fishing of spring has arrived. The wintertime fishing was OK but I just felt that things were going to explode and have things be a lot better than they had been during the crux of “winter.” The winds of spring were a frustration for a lot of the month of March but things leveled out to where we were only fighting the wind a couple of days a week. The action was still decent on the windier days but definitely it was much more pleasant and fruitful on the lighter wind days. With all the species listed below, plus hordes of ladyfish, it has not been unusual for anglers on Strike Three Kayak Fishing trips to get to triple digits on number of fish caught.

Lures has been all we have used and the 12 Fathom 3-inch mullet has been the top lure for redfish. The SlamR for trout. These lures on a 1/8 to 3/16-ounce jighead has accounted for a majority of the catches the past month. The 12 Fathom line is great line of soft plastic baits. The SlamR and Buzz Tail Shad are also lures used on a daily basis but with all the baitfish filtering back into Tampa Bay area waters, the Mullet is king. This lure, hovered and moved just above the bottom is an extraction tool. With the return of the pinfish, you will go through some lures but if you do not pull when you feel the “machine gun” tap-tap-tap strikes of pinfish, you will get a lot more use out of your lures.

The silver trout action has been good and their size has been impressive. Areas down toward the mouth of Tampa Bay had silvers that stayed until July last year. The trick is to keep lures down on the bottom. If you are not keeping the lures in contact with the bottom, you won’t catch any. Silvers saved the day once this week. After six weeks of easy action it just wasn’t that good. I put this group of three on a silver trout hole and they caught them every cast for two hours, really adding to their action for the day. Gave them some big dinners as well.

Spanish mackerel activity is excellent. They are increasing in size every day. By kayak, the mackerel are being caught off the deeper grassbeds around the Skyway area and at pretty much every Gulf pass. Up your leader size to at least 30-pound fluorocarbon to prevent cutoffs. Move the lures at a more brisk pace than for your shallow water species targeting. If we can get periods of time with less wind this should only get better. It hasn’t been as good as it normally would be in April but it will come. The Skyway: Pier manager, Jamie Foster, tells me that things are really incredible out there now. And they will be for a long time to come. I’ll throw a Silly Willy with a teaser attached in a loop knot for both species. For the mackerel, keep that lure jiggling or “rising and sinking steadily through the water column”. For pompano, keep it down bumping up and down off the bottom. Get on out there to take advantage of some fast action out there.
After the harsh weather of January, we have had a great stretch of weather, allowing things to normalize in the Florida fishing scene. Water temperatures have climbed back up in the 70’s, there are massive baitfish schools. Everything is pretty much right on schedule. The next seven weeks will be among the best all year.

As always: Be careful out there!

Neil Taylor
Guide Services-Tampa Bay Region
Strike Three Kayak Fishing
(Cell) 727-692-6345

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