Ozello fishing - March 6, 2016

HalonHalon Posts: 143 Deckhand
I’ve been planning this kayak fishing trip for more than a week. The weather persons promised this was going to a be a good day, no rain and calm winds. However, the last day or two, the weather people changed their minds about the winds; from calm to 10-15 mph. Still going!

Ready to launch! I pushed off the bank at approximately 09:30 hours. As I paddled away from the launch site, I considered it has been a couple of months since I fished out of the kayak. So far, I haven’t recognized a crucial piece of equipment or supply I forgot. So far…

The day was beautiful with hardly any clouds. Temperatures began in the 40s. The weather people promised upper 70s later in the day.

Mental note, tide moving out. Hopefully, near the change. The low tide exposed many areas of rocks and oyster bars.

Continued tossing a soft plastic in the current and bumping it on the bottom across sandy patches during the retrieve. Followed an exposed rock and oyster bar continuing the same retrieve. BAM! Fish on!!! The short battle produced an 18” speckled trout. Touching it as little as possible, it was unhooked and released to fight another day.

Worked about a few small islands (only because of the low tide exposure) using the soft plastics and the top water lure. A small island (with mangroves, a true island) point looked promising due to the apparent sandy with rock bottom with current nearby. I cast to within 3-5 feet of the mangrove water line. Gave my 2500 class spinning reel a few cranks while twitching the rod tip. BAM!!! WOW!!! BIG HOOK UP!!! The fight was on! My first thought, a redfish! Then it took off stripping line and didn’t stop. I tightened the drag a bit to slow the fish. It worked! The power of pulling back on the rod brought the fish back toward the yak. I was able to gather line that was lost from the run. Not for long! Once it saw my yellow yak, another longer run! Fortunately, into open water. As it made turns I could feel the line twitch, probably from the line being struck by its tail or it rubbing on obstructions. I’m thankful that I changed the leader material (7’ length). After 5-10 minutes of battle, I got so see what it was, a redfish! Another run. Not as long as the previous, but still powerful. By this time, I could tell it was getting tired. Submissive, I was able to net it with my small net. More than half of the fish was not in the collapsible net. Quick photographs, unhooked, revived and it was off to fight another day!

The fish took me for I ride while we fought. I paddled to the location where we hooked up to find others. Either it was alone or the others were spooked during the fight.

Drifted with the wind while casting and bumping the jig off the bottom. A few minutes later, BAM!!! Fight to the yak. Other gear caused me to fumble getting the net. Speckled trout flipped the hook. Easy release.

Cast the approximate location of the first hit. BAM, again! The speckled trout threw the jig a few feet from the yak! ARG! Another cast, hook up! This time to the boat and into the net! Unhooked and released.

Before leaving I chatted with biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for a few minutes providing details of my trip such as the type, number, and size of fish, cost of trip without tackle or gear. Hopefully, the information will help with conservation efforts.

Today, two hours of fishing produced three speckled trout (18”, 18”, and 15”) and a 28” redfish. All of the fish were caught between 10:00 and 11:00 hours. The Solunar Table indicated that the major time was 09:30-11:30 hours.

Yes, it was an awesome day!

Halon

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