February 16 Lowtide Redfish Action

I paddled out in my kayak yesterday on Tampa Bay in some very windy and chill conditions. The area I had chosen was an area I was all too familiar with, but have no visited in several months. The wind was blowing a stiff 15-20 out of the NW and the tide was extremely low.

I struggled for the first hour unable to find any cooperative fish. I relocated to some deeper grass flats with deep potholes and began working a Gulp Shrimp on my new Gary Loomis signature series rods (which I love) and found redfish laid up in the potholes. After breaking the first one off, I waded back to my kayak to retie then made my way back to the pot hole where I had just hooked up. Almost instantly I had one on, and proceeded to catch 4 on consecutive casts out of the same pot hole. I continued to wade the flat and caught 4 more from 18-27 1/2″ in the next couple hours.

I decided to paddle in after having only been fishing for a couple hours, satisfied with my days catching and knowing that I will be able to come back to these fish at a later time. Takckle used today was; 3″ new penny Gulp Shrimp rigged to 20 lb floroucarbon leader on a 7′ 6-12lb TFO spinning rod and 3000 Shimano Sustain.

I entered my largest redfish of the day (27.6″) into an online fishing tournament for the month of February hosted by www.321fish.com, it is a month long combination of most inches of one redfish and one trout. This redfish was good enough to move me into first place with a combined inches of 50.2 (27.6″ redfish and 22.6″ trout).

With Spring right around the conrner the action should really start to heat up. Redfish schools will begin to move in from offshore to take up their summer haunts on the inshore grass flats. These fish average in size from 30-34 inches with fish upwards to the mid 40 inches being caught as well. When a school is located it can be non stop action with 20+ fish days very possible. Snook fishing will also begin to pick up with the warmer weather, their population was devastated by this years cold winter, but they should be hungry and more than willing to eat once the water temps rise. “Gator” trout are being caught regularly, with several fish over the 25″ mark having been caught lately. Trout fishing should continue to stay strong into Spring, and begin to slow down as the Summer months bring with them higher temps.

Check back for more reports, pictures, pointers and announcements soon!

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