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Little Gasparilla 11/10 thru 16th

TrevfishinTrevfishin In my mind I'm in my kayak fishing, unfortunately physically I'm at work :(Posts: 677 Officer
This was my first time staying on Little Gasparilla Island, very cool place and environment. Love the seclusion it offered and lack of people. There were 6 guys on the trip and we rented a 21' Hydrasport to get us around, amazingly enough no one got hooked the entire week! It's bad when you preplan where the hospital is on the way down "just in case".

Since we were new to the area we kind of poked around checking some spots here and there. Spent a lot of time running from the dolphins, seems like every spot we went to the dolphins were just minutes behind. We hit the railroad trestles, the Boca Grand Bridge at night, the flats around Bird Key, Novak Reef, the flats basically in the middle of the island and did some trolling through the Gasparilla Pass. We were never able to find the big schools of spanish, but did manage to catch a few. The lady fish and catfish kept up busy though. The Bird Key flats produced some rat reds and smaller trout. Caught a couple of Pompano on the flats near the center of the island. Learned that live shrimp is key to catching anything and everything.

I had brought down my kayak as well and took it off the beach a couple of times and didn't catch anything. Had a small live jack on and almost drifted out the Noval Reef and nothing hit it. The Lady Fish kept us busy on the beach side and one of my buddies caught a flounder, but that was about it for the beach.

I hit the flats just about every morning till noon throwing top water and paddle tail grubs. Got into a mess of blues one morning that was very entertaining to the point my forearms were hurting. It was fun to watch them pop the skitterwalk out of the water and go after it. All the blues were the 3-5lb range and great fighters. Caught one trout off the topwater and saw a couple of reds hit it but no takers. Was getting frustrated with catching all the grass when I threw the paddle tails. Used DOA Terror-eyez one day and caught three snook. Had a decent size snook on after it hit a skitterwalk but threw the lure back at me and laughed. I caught a 19'' trout trolling back to the house, he went well with the spanish I had caught a couple of minutes earlier on the way back in. For the week on the flats from the kayak I ended up with 3 trout (2 keepers), 2 reds (1 keeper), 4 snook, 1 aggressive pinfish, 1 small lizardfish, 1 spanish and 15 blues. Saw several dolphins, scared the heck out of a manatee and saw one sea turtle while drifting on the beach.

Needless to say we had a great trip and will probably be going back again next year around the same time frame. Thanks for everyones help and tips leading up to the trip, much appreciated. Sorry no pics, after losing two cell phones to the Gulf, I stop carrying electronics with me while paddling. Maybe I'll invest in a Go Pro within the next year. Also any good tips to prevent catching more grass than fish? Thanks!

Replies

  • LMMMFM2015LMMMFM2015 Posts: 12 Greenhorn
    Always a great read
  • NailerNailer Posts: 312 Deckhand
    Good stuff there. Sounds like a lot of fun.
  • DemarzacDemarzac Posts: 204 Officer
    Great report. No place like LGI.

    It may be a "time of the year" thing, but we've had great success with topwaters and weedless spoons in the shallows for big snook in May and June on the intracoastal side, especially around docks and mangroves at dusk and at night. They seem to work well on overcast days as well.
    "If you want to play an up-tempo, fast-skating game, we can play that game. If you want to muck and grind in the corners and along the boards, we can play that game too."-Famous Coach
  • TrevfishinTrevfishin In my mind I'm in my kayak fishing, unfortunately physically I'm at work :(Posts: 677 Officer
    Yeah, the topwaters helped locate them, but only had one snook hit a topwater, all the others were taken on a Terror Eyez. Stuck with topwaters until the sun came out, which on a couple of days it wasn't until 10 or 11 until that happened.
  • gasparillagasparilla Posts: 358 Officer
    Glad you enjoyed yourself - sorry the fishing wasn't more productive. Let us know next time you head down and we'll give you some more specifics . . .
    Cheap, fast, reliable - pick two . . .
  • DemarzacDemarzac Posts: 204 Officer
    I've always been a little hesitant to use TerrorEyez around there precisely because of all the seagrass. Gotta figure out a way to make 'em weedless 'cuz they sure look great and are definitely effective.
    "If you want to play an up-tempo, fast-skating game, we can play that game. If you want to muck and grind in the corners and along the boards, we can play that game too."-Famous Coach
  • TrevfishinTrevfishin In my mind I'm in my kayak fishing, unfortunately physically I'm at work :(Posts: 677 Officer
    Gasparilla, Oh, it's all good, I appreciate the help prior to the trip and don't expect anyone to give up their honey holes either. It was my first time in the area, I'll be back and find some more productive areas. Which while trolling the island side of the flats, I marked between two houses where I was getting consistent hits that accounted for on 13'' trout and a 18.5'' Red, oh and a spanish. It wasn't until the last day did it dawn on me that the forked tail tailing fishere were pompano...oops. Like Demarzac said, my biggest frustration was getting bait that had not already been swallowed by all the grass to the fish.

    Demarzac, what I learned is that while using soft plastics like the TerrorEyez you start reeling before it hits the water...and reel fast as this will keep it above the grasses. One guy did show me to how to rig Gulp shimp with a weighted hook and keep it weedless as well, but didn't end up with any Reds. Didn't learn that until the last day though. That's the learning curve I guess.
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