Sarasota Night Life 2011

August 7, 2011  |  Reports, Trips  |  Share

Another beautiful day on the water

While vacationing in Sarasota last month, I was of course able to find some time to hit the water for some fishing. Being down there and not fishing is just morally wrong, and in my opinion should be illegal. Plans were made with none other than Steve Gibson of Shallow Pockets Fishing for an evening trip with hopes for tarpon before dark and then some snook and trout under the lights. Crazy weather and tides had us guessing when we headed out, but Steve put me up close and personal with some rolling tarpon with a 12wt rod in my hand.  Let me tell you fellow freshwater guys out there, when you first see one of those prehistoric beasts rolling up close, it is one hell of a rush.  Once the jitters wore off and I was able to focus, I began the daunting task of casting the 12wt to some tarpon. As I wore myself out with the lumber, the fish were rolling less frequently and giving me a lesson as to how many factors have to be perfect to get them to eat a fly. Fly fishing for the Silver King is a very humbling experience to say the least. As I said, so many things need to go your way: fly, cast, presentation, and the like, not to mention some luck. Every time I hit the saltwater I improve some more aspects of my game, and with Steve’s help, I am confident that I will enjoy a sleigh ride courtesy of a big tarpon via the fly. Hey, and guy can dream, can’t he? 

After my shoulder workout, we headed for some grass flats to kill some time before dark and trick whatever was hungry. It wasn’t long before the lights began to come on, and we were off to a light to find some trout.  I must say it was quite a relief to put the 12wt away and cast the 9wt for a change, which at that point felt like a toothpick. Steve was right on the money as usual, and my first cast to the dock produced a trout with many more to follow on subsequent lights. Just like Babe Ruth, Steve called his shot on the light that would hold the snook, and he was right on. As luck would have it, the snook were as tight-lipped as the tarpon, but I had plenty of shots at a number of high quality linesiders. After the snook lights, we kept moving and found more than our share of trout to stretch the line and beat up some flies before heading in.

All in all it was another great experience on the water with Steve, who knows his quarry and  local waters like the back of his hand. We could not have asked for better weather, and it was awesome to find a bunch of fish willing to crush a fly. Steve’s new sleds are top-of-the-line, I was paddling a new Jackson Coosa, and I must say, it was a great rig. You can spend hours in that kayak and be good to go once you get out. If you are ever in Sarasota and the surrounding areas, do yourself a favor and give Steve a call and get out on the water with him at least once while you’re there. Whether you prefer fly or spin tackle, Steve will put you on the fish. Day or night, kayak fishing in the salt is sure to have you addicted, so get out there and enjoy!


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