26" snook from this past weekend's DOA Paddler's Tournament.

The weather has been breaking it’s winter patterns and the flats are finally starting to gradually warm up; along with it, the big snook can be regularly seen by themselves or in packs. I recently saw one of the biggest snook of my life, unfortunatly spooking it with my kayak but having the opportunity of seeing it’s massive girth and length in the crystal clear incoming water, easily in the upper 40’s, if not 50’s in size. The same day I saw multiple snook in over slot size near docks, in shallow water, and chasing large mullet, not giving up until it’s appetite was relinquished. My experience is once these big girls see you, the game of catching them is far gone as they will quickly elude you with a swift kick of their tail. The key is trying to make as long cast as possible in the direction you think they’re in, and also bumping up your leader in size, using at least 40-50lb if targeting big girls; I like to use a minimum of 30 on the flats. We landed some mid 20’s on clear MirroDines and a few slots on Vudu Shrimp.

Pops getting his first slot snook out of a kayak!

Smaller snook like to find refuge around structure such as mangrove roots, drop offs and similar areas. When the sun comes up you will find them in the shadows, usually in multiple numbers in the same spot – so if you catch one, recast and most likely you’ll catch a few more. Jamie Patterson recently pulled in her biggest snook to date, a 35″ beauty on a gold spoon!

Trout bite in the area has been mediocre as we have hit up a few of our regular spots and no sizeable ones to be seen. However with the warming morning flats, the topwater bite should pick up…one of the best times of year, seeing a trout going for a Skitterwalk or Spook. A few new areas in Ft Pierce area we reconned for the DOA tournament and saw many over the 23-24″ range, sticking a few with Logic Lures scented baits in the Natural color. You should start to find them in post spawn sizes; normal sized heads but shrunken and wrinkled bodies, almost like liposuction! Sandy Sanborn had good luck trolling a spoon to pick up a few trout on a recent trip.

The redfish bite so far has been the best in quite some time. We’ve caught a few on pretty much every trip on the flats, including a first redfish on fly! One of the biggest redfish I’ve seen in this area in years was a good 32-35″, clean in color, looking like it came in fresh from the ocean. They’ve been eating Logic Lures, Vudu Shrimp, and a few on Zara Spooks!

First redfish on fly!

There has been good catches of flounder reporting around the area including the Ft Pierce inlet on live shrimp. Pictured are some great catches by Quang Tran Vo and Shawn Townsend, locals who preferred to use a jighead to get the shrimp on the bottom with some great results, also getting a variety of species including reds, snook, snapper and more.

Kayak fly action from Danny Cabo

Upcoming Tournaments:
IFA Hobie – Titusville, FL – April 27, 2014http://www.ifatours.com/kayak-tour/kayak-schedule/
SWFL Kayak Angler Festival – May 2/3, 2014http://swfkaa.com/?page_id=1906

Upcoming Events:
South River Outfitters, Kayak Fishing With The Pros, April 26/27, 2014. http://www.southriveroutfitters.com/

That’s it for this report. Post your pictures to our forum and we hope you have a great weekend!

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