February 21, Flats Permit Surprise!

This past Sunday, February 21, I was out on the flats in my kayak on lower Tampa Bay when out of the corner of my eye I noticed two sickles standing out of the water. Having fished offshore by boat before in this area for permit, I recognized these sickles almost immediately. Intuition told me it couldn’t be possible – that we don’t have permit on the flats here in Tampa Bay, especially not in February – but on this particular day the temps were pushing into the 70’s and this one permit had managed to find his way up onto this particular flat, where he was slowly cruising, and tailing his way along.

I only had two rods with me, one rigged with a jig head but no soft plastic body on, and one with a gold spoon. I opted to throw the gold spoon thinking I had nothing to lose, and not wanting to make any noise fumbling through my tackle box trying to find the right plastic to present to this fish. Well, my instincts didn’t fail me, I loaded up and made the perfect cast out ahead of the fish. I let my spoon sink to the bottom, then jigged it up and began retrieving it. At the same time as I was jigging my spoon up, the fish’s fins disappeared from the surface of the water. At first I thought he had spooked, but before I could gather my thoughts to think any further it was fish on!

After an incredible fight I landed this awesome permit! Far from my biggest, but my first one sight casting on the flats, and right here in the bay. Just another example of the things you might encounter on a kayak fishing trip with me on the flats of Tampa Bay.

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