It’s the annual spring fling—the snowbirds leave and kingfish arrive. Not that anyone along the Central Gulf Coast is shooing away our northern visitors, but just about the time their cool season visits are wrapping up, local anglers start preparing for the spring king run.
Get down with a floating line. We prefer to fish topwater flies like Gurglers and similar patterns on 7- to 9-weight outfits and weight-forward floating lines. But, there are times when it’s more effective to fish the bottom, as in deeper creeks, potholes and channels.
Where teamwork and paddle craft meet. Fly fishers see a picture of a drift boat and think Rocky Mountain river trout fishing. But lately there has been some talk among fly-fishing folk that the drift boat might be just right for Florida bass fishing, too.
It’s not the most glamorous bass tactic, and you’re not likely to see it on the cable TV fishing shows. But there’s a reason why slow-trolling live shiners is the bread and butter technique for bass guides from Lake Okeechobee to Talquin–it works.
Staking poles, drift chutes and how to slow down really big fish.Hooking a large fish on a kayak opens a whole new challenge: the kayak sleigh ride. Kayak sleigh rides can be a blast; they can also take you miles from where you want to be or into a jungle of mangroves and dock pilings. Knowing how to put the brakes on can save you the fish of a lifetime.
An expert’s secrets for catching great-eating crappie. This year, there was a surprise crappie spawn on the St. Johns River in January, centering around Dunn’s Creek and Crescent Lake. A few savvy fishermen found those fish concentrated in shallow water.
A hard- or soft-body toad is absolutely tantalizing to bass near cover. Working the bait on the surface in-between a mat of grass or stretch of lily pads produces exciting strikes from bucketmouths. It’s why the baits are so popular amongst bass tournament anglers, and why a number of lure-makers are producing impressive amphibian imitators.
Spoil the reed and spare the fish. Let’s face it. Dropping even the smallest anchor in a tidal creek or wilderness canal can turn off the fish. Whether it’s the splash, or simply because fish sense your presence, they can be frightened by anchors, particularly in tight quarters.
Mixed-bag action during the spring migration Wreck fly fishing is fun and rewarding, but purists will need to check their mindset at the dock. For dependable action, chumming is key. Frozen block chum and freshly cast-netted baitfish really get the snappers, jacks and mackerels prowling the upper portion of the water column.
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