The Kayak Report, Neil Taylor


Posted 7.1.2017

Baitfish are still around in huge schools, but a lot of inch to inch and a half long sardines.   Blue crabs which had been missing for some time are now being seen regularly in local waters.  Because of this, lures like the rootbeer colored 12 Fathom Scarface shrimp have been a good item to try for redfish and snook.   Floating weeds have been a perpetual problem for the past two weeks.   Those same weeds have also led to some redfish and snook catches.   With all the heat, these fish have been laying under the tree limbs.

The abundance of baitfish inside Tampa Bay after the storm is incredible.   Along the backside of the barrier islands, things are tougher.   Sands shifted in some areas changing the currents for future fishing in those locations.    In the shelter of Tampa Bay, things did not change as dramatically.  Redfish were there and eating, something that wasn’t happening in those areas when the slimy algae was present.

The baitfish left some of the coastal areas but inside Tampa Bay there are huge numbers of a variety of baitfish, many of which resemble the 12 Fathom Mullet.  Juvenile mullet and creek chubs are everywhere.  Areas with spartina grass on the shorelines are great options for catching redfish because this is also where these baitfish like to stay.  Speckled trout action leveled out somewhat, a seasonal expectation but there are going to be great trout caught, just not in the middle part of the day.

On one trip last week, the baitfish got hit so hard by a school of jacks for so long the water looked like glitter from all the scales from the baitfish that were eaten.    Deion was there:  I let him cast into it until he was tired of catching them.

Same day:   Right after we got in kayaks.  I pointed at a disturbance and said “Sawfish”.  I only see them once every other year and usually it is one fish.   Deion paddled over.   Three sawfish and I would say they were breeding.    The ones I usually see, same location, usually half the size.  These things were huge.     It has kind of become a National Geographic situation out there.     We are seeing EVERYTHING.    Big turtles?   They used to be rare now we are seeing them almost every day.

Flounder action did not accelerate to expectations but a few nice specimens ate 12 Fathom lures rigged on 1/8 or 3/16 ounce jigheads.

Pompano trips have dominated.   We have had 30 pompano days three trips in a row.  I don’t think that has ever happened before.  They increased in size.    They are in good numbers.    The fish “up the Bay” according to my sources just hasn’t happened yet.

Big news:   Kayak Fishing Skool for July 27:   6:30-7:45 PM   NEW LOCATION:  8th Avenue Pub, Safety Harbor.   This is a great move.   Now, food and drinks at Skool, we will have a great time here.   Best food in the county plus ANYTHING you could possibly want to drink.

Be careful out there.

Neil Taylor
Owner and guide:
(Cell) 727-692-6345
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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 and eventually became that web site’s owner.