The day usually starts out early getting to the launch before the sun makes its appearance above the mangrove islands that are scattered throughout the water. Early, the water is like glass, there is no movement and it is silent, its as if the world hasn’t woken up yet. That is when I launch and slowly start to paddle to some of my favorite early morning spots looking for any movement in the water. The day always starts with me throwing the Zara Spook at the movement of bait fish on the top of the water. There is nothing quite like seeing the glass like water erupt with aggressive feeding habits of early morning redfish or trout. The top water excitement doesn’t usually last long, once the sun has fully risen the top water bite usually shuts down and then its time to break out the soft plastics and start looking for those elusive redfish. I like to work the bank but at the same time pay attention to what’s going on around me. Whether it be tails or scattering baitfish giving way to the drama that is playing out beneath the surface.
As the day progresses and the sun starts to rise higher in the sky I venture out away from the banks and start looking for the potholes within the grass beds. They are very easy to spot with polarized sunglasses, they are lighter colored areas within the dark grass beds. They always hold trout but also have surprise visitors every once in a while. I have found that the most productive times to hit these are on the lower part of the tides as they provide a deeper retreat for fish to hide in.
Once the hottest part of the day arrives I usually call it quits. Most of the fish have found areas to go and wait out the heat and all the commotion of the morning bite has all but ended. Once back on shore you can look back across the sound at the glass like water and start to prepare for your next adventure out and what surprises Pine Island Sound may have in store for you.
About the Author: Jim has spent the last 7 years kayak fishing the waters around Southwest Florida. Over the past year he has hit the tournament circuit pretty hard, fairing well placing top 5 in most of the tournament that he competes in. Jim currently holds pro staff positions with Aquabound Paddles, Riptide Saltwater Lures, Florida Paddle Sports, and Deep South Fishing Rods. Jim is also a Native Watercraft endorsed fishing guide.