Weigh-in, seated with backs toward camera, Vicki Howard, Bill Howard, other side of the table Todd Llewellyn, Greg Becker.
With my dismal showing at the Salty Fly, I vowed to pick up the fly rod a bit more and try to improve my casting. Not that I haven’t caught some nice fish on the fly rod, in fact my first saltwater fly fish was a nice 30” redfish. But not using it as much as others, my casting abilities are not on par with what they need to be.
So February faded and Marched roared in and with it some windy conditions that kept me off the water for a while. But when it did die down, fishing conditions have been good. Just this past weekend I fished the Erick Bell Memorial, hosted by Paddle-Fishing.com. I fished with Greg Becker and as soon as we got on the water, I commented to him that this would be a good day for the fly rod, as it was flat calm. As we got to our spot, we were greeted to tails waving all over the place. As always, I had a dilemma. Take pictures or fish? As it was tournament day, I choose fishing. Glad I did, my 29” redfish was big enough to take first place in the redfish division.
It turned out to be a good day for both Greg and I, as he took second place in his first ever kayak fishing tournament.
Left to Right – Mark 3rd, Chris 1st, Greg Becker 2nd.
So, why the title of “Curse of the Fly Rod”? Well it seems like anytime you bring the fly rod with you, the wind picks up and makes it difficult for the intermediate caster to enjoy the day. Thus was the case for last Sunday. Greg and I thought we could get out for a few hours, bring the fly rods along and possible get in some tailing redfish action. Well, that’s not the case. We were greeted at the launch by a stiff 10 knot North wind. But you know what; the wind didn’t dampen the redfish bite. All morning long it was “Fish On”. While most of them were rat reds, we did manage to catch a few slot fish.
As the days get a bit longer, the water has started warming up, and the fish are chewing. It’s really a great time to be on the water, Tarpon are coming out of their winter haunts, the King Mackerel will be off the beaches soon as well. April looks to be another busy month, I’ll be meeting with the Kayak Fishing Radio crew over in the Mosquito Lagoon, another tournament and a camping trip to Cedar Key rounds off the month.
Until next time…………
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.