kayak fishing

Summer Fishing in the Bay

Summer fishing in the bay is like most fishing anywhere in the summer. Fish will be in the shallows early morning, move to deeper water as the sun rises, and finally moving back into shallow water as the sun sets. Obviously, this is all dependent of tides too. Once the water starts getting into the high 70’s you’ll start seeing more bait show up. Pin fish and LY’s are most plentiful during the summer months. Easily caught with a cast net, these bait fish are perfect for catching Red fish and big Trout. If using artificial, you try to mimic the bait as best as possible. Big paddle tails, or suspending twitch baits work well during the summer months and just about everything will eat it.

Start off early morning with a top water plug of choice and if possible have a live bait swimming behind the boat. It can be tricky, especially if both rods have fish on them. You’ll just have to figure that out on your own though! As the sun rises the fish go deeper. That’s when you should move to a suspending bait or something you can keep either on or near the bottom. The key is keeping the bait in the strike zone and working the bait to entice a strike. It has to look realistic before they’ll even look at it. Presentation is key! As sun sets the bait will take refuge in places they can easily hide in. Grass beds, docks, floating or submerged structure all sound like perfect spots to hide to me. About an hour before sunset, try to start throwing top water again. Usually you can forget about the live bait, unless fishing that exclusively. Target the areas mentioned above, more than likely there is something waiting to ambush prey. Hope this helps if you’re having trouble catching fish. Remember to check the tide and be proactive, move around if one spot doesn’t produce. You never know what could be waiting just around the next bend!

A Few Days of Fishin'

Well after being skunked in Palm Harbor and Clearwater on Spring Break, I finally got on some fish. It all started when me and my buddy TJ went fishing mid-week. We started fishing some structure. Top water was a bust, so we moved to slow sinking baits. We worked a few docks with little success. Then we rolled up on some small juvenile Tarpon. We both threw at them a few times and then backed off and changed up baits. TJ ended up getting a solid Trout on a D.O.A. Split Tail Shad with a weighted 1/8 oz worm hook. I skipped a big 6” paddle tail under a dock, gave it two quick rips and let it sink. Did that again, once more. After the third time I saw two black silhouettes jet out from under the dock. The first one turned away, as soon as he did that the second one lunged at my bait and BOOM. I was hooked up on my first Tarpon. My heart was racing, knees shaking, PURE ADRENALINE! After a few jumps and knocking my GoPro almost off my kayak, I finally get it in my kayak. A few flops later, it self released back into the water. BUMMER….. Even though it shook the hook in my kayak and I never got a picture with it. It’s a memory I’ll never forget.

On Friday my wife and I went out looking for some Red Fish. We had just the right amount of wind to drift about a qtr mile flat that varies in depth, with a lot of grass beds. Bait was around, not swarmed, but some good school’s. While drifting this long flat, every now and then I’d see a Red or a few Trout bolt out from grass beds and pass over the sandy bottom moving to another grass bed, or chasing bait. My wife ended up catching a small flounder about 10.5”. A good sign that they are moving again. After about an hour I was standing and looking for fish while drifting. I saw a blue tail and a slight silhouette. I tossed my ZMan Electric Chicken Paddle Tail a few feet in front of it. As soon is I made my first twitch, that Red wasted no time going after my bait. Hooked up! I didn’t measure it, but it was close to slot of not a little over.

Saturday I took my neighbor friend Jack out to Crooked Island. We only planned on being out there for a few hours, just to check some areas and see what was around. Jack didn’t have a Fishing License, so he was just there to try out the kayak and see what he was missing out on! Needless to say it turned into a Red Fish Frenzy. I managed to catch 7 in about an hour or just short of an hour. Heck I caught three in less than 7 minutes! Overall, it was a good week of fishing. Found a few new spots to fish, and got my first Tarpon!

Spring Is In the Air

Good evening anglers! The bite is starting to pick up! The flats will soon be swarmed by bait and big predator fish waiting. Water temps are still in the mid to high 60’s. Every time I’ve been fishing, I’ve seen quite a few Red Fish and caught a few this week. Mainly trying to figure out if they’ll hit top water yet. Had two fish on top water Tuesday, both over slot Red Fish. They were sluggish hitting the plug, but they did go after it. I haven’t thrown a poppin’ cork yet because I like to use LIVE bait under them and haven’t seen any big school’s of bait fish yet. In time that will become the go to, nothing like a poppin’ cork and big ole LY underneath. That’s Trout and Red Fish CANDY!!

Pompano and Spanish haven’t really showed up yet. A few small school’s have made it into the bay and surrounding beaches. I feel like the magic water temp for those fish is a steady 70 degrees or above. I did hear from a local in town that he caught a Pompano off shore opening day of Trigger Fish in 120’ of water. Last year it was around the first week of April before they started running heavy on the beaches. Never know until we start catching them though.

Intro & Guide Report

Hey guys and gals! I just wanted to give a quick introduction to the business and give my first guide report. First things first, WELCOME!! Kayak Fishing Port St. Joe is a guided kayak fishing service. I provide everything for the duration of the trip (except your drinks and snacks). Regardless if you’re an experienced angler or its your first time, I’ll make your experience a memorable one! You’ll meet me at the launch point, which will be determined usually the night before your trip. I recommend arriving to the launch point 10 minutes prior to your scheduled trip time. After a short intro and safety briefing, we’ll be on our way. We’ll pedal our Native Kayaks to the fishing grounds and get the lines wet. While we are on the water I don’t fish, I’m there for you and to stay on the fish. I may give instruction that requires demonstration. Every situation is different, as is each guest. If you want me to fish with you, I will, but only after you have caught some fish and the trip is drawing to an end. At the end of your trip if you’ve kept any fish within Fl Regulations, I will clean and bag those for you.

On to the fishing report! Water temps are staying pretty steady around 65-67 degrees. Some fish are being caught on the flats. Nothing to brag about, mostly smaller trout and some short red fish. Spanish Mackerel should be starting their migration into the Panhandle soon. Hopefully the cold weather will be gone after this weeks front. I’m looking forward to the Spanish run this year more than ever! Also hope the Pompano come back and we have a good solid Spring run again this year. Easy fishing from a kayak right there! Looking forward to seeing you folks on the water! Until next time, Tight Lines!