After a rough start of the classic mistake of putting my alarm on PM instead of AM, I arrived to one of my regular kayak fishing spots on the west side of Tampa Bay (St Pete area) and launched at 6:45 AM. Met up with a buddy and his friend and started making the paddle to see if we could find some fish post Isaac. It was still a bit breezy, but we tucked ourselves into a back bay area and started chucking top water. A few blow ups but limited action until around 8 AM when I took my lighter rod and started skipping a jerk bait at the mangove edges and I scored a small snook.
Then moments later in the same spot I hooked a really small red on the Zoom Super Fluke. (not even picture worthy...or so I thought).
My buddies then took off to go try to sabiki up some live bait as the area we were in generally holds some juvi tarpon and they were pretty dead set on trying to get a tarpon. They left, I didn't move, and moments later caught a small trout...again not picture worthy, so I thought. I shot a group text to Stormy and Snookmeister to rub in that I had caught a quick slam. With one of the 3 of us fishing at what seems like nearly all times, the texts fly at all hours with pics of our catch, predominantly snook, which makes it fun and ultimately makes someone jealous any one of us are catching snook and the other(s) aren't!
Moved around minimally (50 yards), and kept casting the mangrove edge near a drop off. Got my set up with my top water on it stuck on a mangrove, so left it stuck as I didn't want to blow up the spot I was fishing as I knew some good snook held there. So kept casting the fluke and had a nice snook take it, the fluke ripped off the hook, and then the snook shook once and it came unbuttoned. I went to sit down in my yak to put on another fluke, and proceeded to sit right on top of my other reel...broken handle :banghead Uggh, oh well back to fishing with only my smaller set up, 8 lb braid, 30 lb leader, Spheros 4000, and 7ft St Croix Premier.
Still fishing the same mangrove area with ledge I then caught another trout and a small jack from a school that busted through...still not thinking picture worthy. Shortly later my buddies return having not found bait and not hooking any tarpon. They were a bit dejected, we were chatting a bit while still casting, and all of the sudden...WHAM!! I turn to see a good size fish flying out of the water. At first I thought it was the 40" mama snook I have been dying to land, but the second jump and it was easy to identify...a 25 give or take a few lb's juvi tarpon had hammered the white Super Fluke. After an absolute nail biter on the light gear (mostly the braid at 8lb), the fish did a run under the mangroves, I jammed my rod 2 ft in the water hoping to have that 8lb not get sliced on a barnacle, and out the other side comes the tarpon to a tail walking final jump. After about 10 minutes I boated the little tarpon to complete the Grand Slam...my first. Ended up getting another more respectable red (19") and snook (23") (pictured below) both on the Super Spook Jr. to make it a bit larger grand slam. Would have loved to have that tarpon be about a 100 lb'er, but I will take it from a yak!! Also this is likely the first time I wish I took a pic of a 12' trout! haha, oh well
Capt. George Gozdz
Host "Reel Time with Florida Sportsman"
if you ever want to trade a spot or two id like to get on some baby poons..i can put you on big fish of the other 3...
Trout don't count anyways so no need for a pic of that lol
is that the spook you lost last night when we were getting bait?
Secretspot- let's be in touch. As I am sure you know, tarpon are finicky fish, and the juvi's aren't much of an exception (they learn young!). I know a few spots where they are at, but it doesn't always mean they want to play.
Stormy- Yea that was the spook that I then lost the next day with you. I was just building up some good mojo on it in the last month, tons of snook caught on it, and now I have to start fresh with another one! You actually watched me lose my last one before that to that big a*$ snook out at Weedon- maybe you are trying to jinx my lures??!!
Are they still hassling y'all even after the RNC? I know which spillway you're talking about.
I haven't been back since the helicopter incident. Still a bit shook up. Lol
Tarpontine: Thanks for the update. It sounds like you are guys are having some great success working that area lately. Keep it up. Did you catch the snapper on arti's or live bait? I was fishing CPB last month and caught a nice 12" mangrove on a rapala. It is fun when you can get them on artificials.
Dooze- I have got the snapper on the super spook jr recently, but yesterday was on whitebait. They are fun little fish to catch though- and quite crafty with those teeth!