This week I had a kayak fishing charter with Lee from Chicago.  Lee hired me last year for a fishing trip, and he caught some nice size trout the last time.  We launched my sit-on-top fishing kayaks at the 19th Street kayak launch site.  I like this launch site for several reasons.  I usually catch some nice keeper trout,  it’s easy to launch a kayak, and I can usually get out of the wind especially if it’s blowing out of the east by fishing the west side of Hoagens Key Island.

We started the day fishing the mangroves on our way towards the grass flats.  We fished with a 5” camo color Gulp Jerk Shad on a weedless hook.  We had a lot of small snappers bite our soft plastic baits, but no snook or redfish, which we were hoping to catch.

When we got to the grass flats, Lee switched over to a Cajun Thunder cork and shrimp combo fishing 3-4 foot of water.  Lee caught several small trout and some nice keepers, ranging from 16-18 inches.  I usually set up my clients with a Cajun Thunder Cork and live shrimp because it’s the easiest way for people with limited experience with saltwater fishing to catch trout.  Most of my clients are visiting our area from the northern states.  Some of them have experience catching bass but haven’t fished our grass flats before.

I usually fish with my clients if I only have one or two people, if I have any more than that, then I don’t fish.  Yesterday I had a chance to fish, and I was using a Gulp soft plastic and a topwater plug.  I caught a 20” trout on the topwater plug, and I had five other hits.  I was using a brown and orange Skitter Walker.

Shark warning for fellow kayakers.  While we were fishing, yesterday Lee was telling me about a news report he heard about a kayaker in Hawaii that got attacked by a Bull Shark.  A man had his legs tangling in the water when a shark came by and bit off his lower leg.  The man bled to death before he could get help.  Don’t ever put your feet in the water when kayaking, especially when fishing because of the bait and fish in the water.

When kayaking, paddleboarding or wade fishing be careful and beware of your surroundings