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Ft. DeSoto by kayak

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Ft. DeSoto by kayak

Postby Can'tCatchAnything » May 18th, 2017, 1:17 pm

I got called for jury duty down in Brooksville on Monday, will be visiting college friends down in St. Pete and fishing around Ft. Desoto. Might make the paddle out to the skyway bridge or explore the mangroves for my first snook. Going to stick to the basics, a huge topwater plug, a weightless DOA jerkbait, and the popping cork when the 2 aforementioned tactics fail to produce.

Hope I catch something!
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Re: Ft. DeSoto by kayak

Postby Steve Stinson » May 18th, 2017, 2:10 pm

Fort Desoto is a good place to kayak, but watch out around the Skyway. All of the water leaving Tampa Bay on an outgoing tide flushes under that bridge and you will quickly find yourself out in the Gulf if you attempt to kayak it at the wrong time.

I grew up fishing Tampa Bay and moved up here in 1994. There are some good mangrove creeks and flats along both sides of the Skyway that are a bit more sheltered. Also - Bishop's Harbor on the inside of the Skyway, south end is good. Bishops Harbor has a dirt ramp (May be paved by now) that launches right into the cove without crossing any big water.

When I left Tampa, the fishing pressure in the bay was so heavy that you had to fish live greenbacks (Spanish Sardines) to catch any decent sized snook or reds in the daytime. They would hit plugs at night when visibility was more limited.
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Re: Ft. DeSoto by kayak

Postby FUTCHCAIRO » May 18th, 2017, 2:12 pm

HEY C.C.A. IF YA WORK A TOP WATER PLUG LIKE A LUCKEY 13, DALTON SPECAL SILVER FLASH, OR A SILVER CAPT. ACTION SPOON, UP CLOSE TO THE MANGO'S AND AROUND THE CAUSEWAYS BETWEEN TAMPA AND ST. PETE YOU WILL PROBABLY GET YOSELF A GOOD SIZE SNOOK OR BIG RED FISH AND MAYBE EVEN A NICE TROUT. THOSE ARE MY OLD STOMPING GROUNDS ABOUT 70 YRS AGO.
PA
SEMPER IF
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Re: Ft. DeSoto by kayak

Postby silverking » May 18th, 2017, 3:03 pm

A buddy and I fished the CCA Tampa All-Release Challenge back in 1994 before the net ban was approved. Each contestant is given a box of lures and can only use those to compete. We fished the inside mangrove islands off Ft. DeSoto and I caught the third-place snook (37 inches) on a DOA BaitBuster and I also caught a nice red. We ran all over and couldn't find a legal trout anywhere so I missed out on the slam category. I couldn't fish the next year but another buddy also caught the second-place snook in the same area, also on a BaitBuster. The white bait enthusiasts have made it tougher, I'll agree, but if you put a plug in front of a snook's nose and work it correctly they will still eat on occasion.

Realize lots more pressure down there now and Steve is right the currents can be treacherous so be careful. Hopefully on your trip you'll be able to catch that Slam.

Have fun and post up a report.

BTW, when the judge asks you the typical jury screening questions, tell him/her that the defendant is guilty as sin and should be shot at dawn. You'll probably get an extra day to fish. :wink:
"Sun rise and sun sets. Since the beginning, it hasn't changed yet." Little Feat
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Re: Ft. DeSoto by kayak

Postby reelbad » May 18th, 2017, 8:45 pm

silverking wrote:A buddy and I fished the CCA Tampa All-Release Challenge back in 1994 before the net ban was approved. Each contestant is given a box of lures and can only use those to compete. We fished the inside mangrove islands off Ft. DeSoto and I caught the third-place snook (37 inches) on a DOA BaitBuster and I also caught a nice red. We ran all over and couldn't find a legal trout anywhere so I missed out on the slam category. I couldn't fish the next year but another buddy also caught the second-place snook in the same area, also on a BaitBuster. The white bait enthusiasts have made it tougher, I'll agree, but if you put a plug in front of a snook's nose and work it correctly they will still eat on occasion.

Realize lots more pressure down there now and Steve is right the currents can be treacherous so be careful. Hopefully on your trip you'll be able to catch that Slam.

Have fun and post up a report.

BTW, when the judge asks you the typical jury screening questions, tell him/her that the defendant is guilty as sin and should be shot at dawn. You'll probably get an extra day to fish. :wink:

That's funny SK, I just finished jury duty last week. The State Attorney ask someone in the selection group if he thought any body was above the law. He stated yes, Hillary C.. and John Podesta. He went home.
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Re: Ft. DeSoto by kayak

Postby Can'tCatchAnything » June 1st, 2017, 1:44 pm

I met with a buddy and we put in at the Skyway pier north. There was a strong east wind, so we had some protection for a bit. I was throwing a spook jr and was catching some nice trout. My buddy, a spoon, and was getting towed around by some nice jacks. Then we paddled east under the Ft DeSoto bridge to fish the mangroves. Getting into some monster ladyfish in between. We were after our first snook though, and never got into one. It got real hot so we paddled to the Ft DeSoto North Beach and swam.

We started slowly making our way back, hitting the mangroves again. I got a bit frustrated at searching with a spoon so I started padding along mangroves, looking into holes and around corners. I paddle towards a likely hole and spook one right out of it. I saw 5 or 6 actually holding about 10 yards off a point around a mangrove, facing the current, and sure enough I spooked them away. One thing I'm good at is making a terrible presentation at a holding fish.

The wind changed direction. We're still about 2 or 3 miles from launch so we kick it back. It worked out nicely, the incoming tide and west wind got us back before the afternoon showers got underway.

Next day I met with an old friend to fish Bayport. We're throwing pilchards in the creeks and get into some nice reds. Caught my biggest red right at just under 27. It's a lot easier to fish from a boat than a kayak, I don't think I've caught a fish standing up this year until then. I was throwing a popping cork around a dock before we got the jon boat out and finally caught a snook, at a whopping 14 inches, but there it was.

Definitely a different area than the big bend.
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