May 4, 2016 Fishing Report.

May 4, 2016 Fishing Report.  April was a bit slow for redfish, but great for snook.  I probably had 10-12 blow-ups from big snook in the last few weeks which is far above my average for this time of year.  I managed to get 6 or 7 to my yak, but the others were fun prior to jumping and throwing my topwater lure back in my face.  Looks like they’re recovering nicely from the hit they took from the cold 2010 winter.   If you’re seeking a tussle with some of the big gals, look for a nice current coming around a mangrove point.   Try to get out there in the next few weeks before the summer heat turns our inshore area into a bathtub.

Letter in today’s Citrus County Chronicle.

April 3, 2016.  My following letter appeared in today’s Citrus County Chronicle.

Here we go again – another massive fish kill in a 40-mile stretch of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, including the once popular and productive Mosquito Lagoon and Banana River areas.  Viewing and smelling the thousands of rotting fish floating belly up last week did more than turn my stomach.  So much for my planned kayak fishing trip there this Spring.
This latest, but not first catastrophe in the lagoon resulted from another round of heavy rains sending waves of nutrient rich runoff into it.  The over-abundant nitrogen and phosphorus levels caused blooms of brown algae which depleted life-sustaining dissolved oxygen for fish and other marine life.  The Florida State budget has allocated more than $72 million over the last three years, and over $20 million this year, to remove muck, a result of this runoff, from the area.
Further south, other ecological disasters exist as a result of water discharges from Lake Okeechobee, long polluted by runoff from nearby sugar cane fields.  Billions of gallons of water released from it into the St. Lucie River in recent weeks have reached the town of Stuart to the east, while discharges into the Caloosahatchee River hit the towns of Fort Myers and Cape Coral to the west, fouling the St. Lucie / Indian River Estuary on one coast and the marine area around the popular Sanibel and Captiva Islands on the other.  The resultant fish kills and associated public uproar prompted the Governor to declare a “State of Emergency”, and led the state to redirect further releases toward the Everglades, where only a couple of Indian tribes and a few environmental groups could be expected to do much complaining.
While the prognosis for Kings Bay and nearby waterways may be less dire than these cases, well-documented deterioration has occurred.  Rather than focusing restoration on a comprehensive watershed management approach aimed at restoring spring flows and curtailing nutrient input into the bay, well-intentioned officials and groups continue focusing on a misguided 7-year, $40 million weed and muck removal program.  At the same time, our county commission refuses to prohibit the continued importation of tons of sludge from distant sewage treatment plants for application on county lands.  This sludge not only contains huge amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus, but also heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and, who knows what else.  Guess where they’ll end up?
The Southwest Florida Water Management District recently recommended a detailed and comprehensive $175 million basin-wide management program to restore Kings Bay and our precious river systems.  How about placing fund seeking priority on that, rather than on the $40 million proposed for weed / muck removal, so we can more fully address the causes of water quality deterioration rather than its symptoms.  There is only so much funding to go around.
Let’s be proactive in solving our environmental problems and not join others seeking massive amounts of limited funds for never ending aquatic weed whacking and muck dredging programs.
Gary Rankel

Wind Knots

April 1, 2016.  The following explanation provided by Capt. David Rieumont of Guy Harvey Magazine Online Fisherman is one of the better explanations I’ve seen for preventing wind knots with braided line.

There are many variables that can cause wind knots. The rod and reel that your using to start.  Not all rods and reels are created equal when it comes to being braid friendly.  Most of all the new equipment being made is braid friendly.  The newer Shimano bails will not close by a spring, they have to be manually closed.  The spools are cut and shaped to wind and cast braided line more effectively. The gears and internals also. The closing of the bail by hand and the tugging of the braided line immediately after closing the bail is another thing that helps.  The brand and type of braided line you are using also can make a difference.  The line to leader connection and the knot that locks them together can cause wind knots. How does the knot that connects your line and leader effect the amount of wind knots you get?  If you bring your line and leader knot down through the eyes, that connection has to be very tight and slim with no tag ends exposed.  If it is not, when you load the rod to cast the line, the leader will excel through the rod eyes until the knot ticks, touches or catches one of the smaller rod eyes.  This will cause the leader to slow its acceleration or stop, where now the braided line will pile up behind the leader in a big wind knot.  I find this to be one of the biggest cause of wind knots with most anglers.  The weather, the weight and shape of your bait or lure has a lot to do with wind knots.  Obviously, if the wind is blowing directly at you, an overhead cast directly into the wind can cause the braided line to ball up into a wind knot.  A side cast will help eliminate throwing directly into the wind and cut down on the wind knots.  Light lures with a large wide surface area, can turn the wrong way on a cast and cause a wind knot.  Just like you mentioned, even angler experience makes a difference.  The list of causes is long.  There are some braided lines made that are consistently worse then others.  You can fiqure this out by process of elimination by trying each companies braided line with your equipment or use someones who already has success with less wind knots.The important thing is the more you know what causes wind knots, the less likely they are to happen.





March 31, 2016.  A few of our club members have asked to try paddling my Wavewalk kayak, so I’ve arranged to meet them at the Lake Hernando boat ramp next Monday, April 4 at 1 p.m.  Anyone interested is welcome to meet us there.

Fishing Report

February 24, 2016 Fishing Report.  After a pretty slow winter fishing season, things should start picking up once we get into late February and March.  The water will be warming up, and the bite should improve significantly.  Spring and fall are the best fishing times of the year here.  Don’t forget the Lions Club Kayak Fishing Tournament on April 9.

Tip of the Week.  If you’ve been frustrated by frequently having to re-tie lures to the end of your line,  you might want to try the No Knot Fas-Snap product.  They’re no bigger than the split rings that often come attached to your favorite lures, and make changing lures a breeze. I use them all the time and haven’t lost a lure with them yet.  Just make sure to get the Xtra Large size.

Kayak, Fishing, Nature Coast, Club, Florida