I have fished all my life; grew up offshore fishing in Belize and Guatemala. When I first moved to Florida I started out wade fishing and fishing piers before I made the transition to kayak fishing. I have been kayak fishing a little over 4 years and absolutely love it. My kayak is a Hobie Revolution and for the most part target snook, redfish, and trout.
What type of equipment do you normally use? Rod, Reel, Line, Leader.
I am a bit of a gear head and own different set ups for specific techniques. Most of the time I carry 3-4 rods with me.
For throwing unweighted or lightly weighted soft plastics I use a G. Loomis BSR 852. It has an incredibly fast action and casts light baits with ease. I have it paired with a Ci4 stradic 2500 and 15lb daiwa samurai braid. I use either yo-zuri pink or seguar premier as leader material. My go to lb test is 20 lbs. When targeting snook I bump it up to 25.
My topwater rod is a custom rod built by Phinla of PS Custom rods. For this rod I selected a SC6 casting blank built as a spinning rod. This specific blank was designed for throwing topwaters. It is very fast in action which gives me great control of the top water. It also has a progressive action when loaded offering lots of forgiveness needed when using trebles. I paired it with 10 lb suffix braid and a stradic fi 3000 reel.
For twitch baits such as Mirrodines and sebile stickshadds I use 7 foot TFO ML Hero’s on the Water rod. This rod does everything well, it is a fast action rod but the slowest of the ones I own. It is perfect for twitch baits because the rod is extremely forgiving when using treble hooks. If I only take one rod with me, this is the rod. It can do everything well. This rod is paired with a Stradic 3000 FI and 10 lb suffix braid.
My fourth rod 7’2 shimano cumara. This rod is my long range rod, it casts a mile and most of the time it has an Aquadream gold spoon attached to it. It’s paired with a Stradic 4000 and 15lb Cortland Masterbraid.
What was your biggest fish caught? What did you catch it on and how did you use that lure?
My biggest fish caught of the series was a 25 inch snook. I caught him on a DOA paddle tail and owner twistlock hook.
What type of area do you look for when targeting that species?
Ambush points with fast moving water. Presenting a lure with the current usually results in a strike if the snook are there.
What lures did you use for the Dynamic Duo?
Sebile stickshadd and a DOA paddle tail with an owner twistlock.
What lure did you use for the My Lure is Better than Your Lure?
I was not able to fish this event due to scheduling conflicts.
How did you rig the Gold Dart?
Weedless on a 3/0 owner twistlock.
What lure / lures did you use for The Tackle Box?
Unfortunately I only fished the second half of the day, but I used a DOA shrimp.
When targeting the Big Three, Snook, Redfish and Trout, what type of area do you look for during the following seasons:
Winter: Negative tides in the middle of the day = warmer water and more active fish.
Spring: I spend a lot of time fishing passes and flats in the spring. I look for tidal movement with major or minor solunars when I fish.
Summer: The fishing is good during the summer but most of my fishing happens at night, in the early morning or late afternoon because the water temps are too high in the middle of the day.
Fall: In the beginning of the fall I spend most of my time in the flats or passes. As the fall progresses and temps drop I move to the backcountry where the water is warm.
If you could give one tip for using artificial lures, what would it be?
Take some time to get to learn the lure you are using. Cast it out and work it in different ways while watching the lure. By doing this you make the lure more versatile because you are then able to apply it to more situations.
About the Author: Bill Howard is a Pro Staff Member at Yakangler.com, as well as Malibu Kayaks. He is also on the Columbia Sportswear Pro Team. Bill is an avid photographer and writer, contributing to numerous websites and publications in the Tampa Bay area.
In 2008 he completed a 17 day, 129 mile trip around Tampa Bay raising nearly $4000 dollars for the American Heart Association. He is also a board member for the Tampa Bay Chapter of Hero's on the Water.