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Thread: Tampa Bay - 2 new species

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    St Mary's County
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    831

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Mike,

    I've seen John catch many nice-sized fish there. But indeed one of the interesting things about Tampa fishing is variety. One day I caught 8 species on the fly during a trip with Neil Taylor including one of those gaff-topsail catfish that John has pictured in this thread. I didn't know what kind of fish most of them were and had to ask Neil to identify them. I've also caught a lot of specks and ladyfish larger than 20 inches and a few snooks over 20 inches that towed my kayak right into the mangrove roots. As for pompano, here are two that ripped line from my reel faster than any legal striper I've caught:

    Attachment 22479 Attachment 22480

    I have not exceeded 20 inches on a redfish yet, but I hope to do that on my next trip south.

    Attachment 22483

    And of course you cannot discount the scenery we see on our visits there. Here's a "guest" on one of our outings photographed by John Rentch:

    Attachment 22481 Attachment 22482

    Tampa is a simply a great location for a year-round kayak fishery that is relatively "close" given the daily Southwest Airlines flights from BWI to Tampa that are reasonably priced. True, I have not caught any huge fish there, but to be honest, I wouldn't want to while sitting in a kayak. I'd like to have to more boat around me than a kayak before tackling the blacktip shark that John landed or the 30 pound jack that Ron caught.
    Mark, I was more curious than questioning. In my head Florida should produce monster fish compared to the bay, big trout, shallow water big redfish and whatever else is patrolling the shallows. Your real world experience is a reality check on my fantasies.
    Mike
    Pro Angler 14 "The Grand Wazoo"

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    2,853

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    Mike,

    Its an exceedingly enjoyable location for light tackle anglers, especially when winter is howling here.

    We often start the day targeting reds or snook in the shallows. Were really in the hunting mode when we do that casting to likely spots near the mangroves. Its not unlike fishing a Delaware pond shoreline for bass. Were target casting and I love it. Its rarely continuous action but the promise of hooking a decent snook or red and feeling their saltwater power is worth the hunt.

    Then well close the day in more open waters seeking specks on grassy flats. We want pullage before going in and specks can provide frequent hookups. In fact, I think of specks as the white perch of Tampa Bay. Theyre in fairly predictable sites and when you catch one there is usually another close by.

    Im sure if folks go off shore from Tampa or use bait, they routinely catch larger fish than we do in kayaks. But I could not be happier with the kayak fishing our guide Neil Taylor has shown us there.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,868

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    After completing four trips last week in the Tampa Bay area I ended up catching 15 different species of fish on lures and medium spinning tackle. The strong winds kept the tides from coming in as well as they should have, which curtailed the bite. I was unable to find any redfish but did manage a few snook and plenty of specs. Here are the fish species.

    ladyfish
    bonnethead shark
    gafftopsail catfish
    hardhead catfish
    spanish mackerel
    speckled trout
    snook
    bluefish
    jack
    mangrove snapper
    mullet (this is a filter-feeding species that does not normally hit lures)
    lizardfish
    needlefish
    blue runner
    pompano
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    2,853

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    Good trip, John.

    The mullet is a real surprise.

    The bonnethead shark is one I never heard of.

    Your list is impressive.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,868

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSer View Post
    Congrats on the new species's, John! How many does that make now?
    So far for 2017, I caught 48 species -- 7 of those were new ones. My lifetime total is 102 species (and hopefully still growing). Since I seem to struggle at catching large trophy fish, I found my niche at getting a variety of species.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Burke, VA
    Posts
    285

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    Not a bad niche to have. Congrats!


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    -manny

    Hobie Outback
    Wilderness Systems 130T

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