Monday, May 24, 2010
Ass Not In The Grass
Saturday, my buddy Keith and I launched our kayaks in a section of old Tampa Bay near the Christian College. We were on the hunt for the elusive redfish. The weather was beautiful, but a bit on the humid side. There was no wind and the water temperature was in the mid 80's.
My gut feeling about this particular area and the time of year was the absence of grass. I was reassured by another buddy that there is indeed grass there. He said the map I was looking at must have been shot in the wintertime and that he had waded there many times and it's very grassy.
We arrived at the launch site and put in. Water clarity was murky at best. There is a spot where two channels form a cross between 2 mangrove islands that I thought would be a perfect spot to find redfish with the incoming tide.
I plied the water with a dark crab pattern for a while, then a black and purple weighted bendback, then a chartreuse and white clouser. No dice.
We paddled over to some large oyster bars dotting the shore and spooked either a school of 30 inch mullet, or redfish, couldn't tell which...they kept coming back....until the dolphin showed up.
This time, I decided to stand my ground with the dolphin...it was very brazen and came within about 10 feet of me in the kayak, but decided to move on to other feeding grounds.
The oysters were really taking a toll on my leaders. Had to change them twice as they would get frayed pulling them through the oysters. I was concentrating on the outsides of the beds where the water was a bit deeper and the current would wash prey items near these ambush points, but no luck there either.
I spent the rest of the day sneaking around the mangroves, looking for tails or maybe snook...at one point, I paddled full speed about 200 feet to where I kept seeing tails sticking out of the water. These "tails" turned out to be a stingray.
Still, it was nice to get out on the water on a nice, calm day even though we got skunked.