Had great trips with two folks this weekend. On Sunday I fished with old friend Richard McDavid, who has been out of action for a while due to severe eye injury. Richard is a long-time member of the Gainesville Offshore Fishing Club and is one of the great barbecuers of all time. We went out for a trip on Saturday and fished some flats early in the morning with topwater plugs. We found a good number of slot-sized fish but never could find any large ones.
We caught several limits of keeper trout, all on topwaters and the occasional fish caught on suspending plugs (I was using a Mirrodine XL, Richard a suspending Bomber). After the tide came in we ran to several redfish spots and caught some nice fish on the strong incoming tide.
We ended the day with ten keeper trout and many smaller ones, and five redfish.
On Monday I took out Kay Eoff, a retired physicist at UF. Kay suffered a hand injury recently but he assured me he would be able to fish. We left the marina around 9 and fished the same flats as the day before, but slightly further along in the tide. Kay fishes with baitcasters and all day used two lures: a cork and jig rig with an amber tail and a silver Sprite spoon with a single hook on it. I was fishing a Super Spook Jr. and we both found several really nice trout, with the largest being five pounds, the second largest 4.5. We also caught a number of smaller fish which were released. As we had our limit of over-20 inch trout, Kay was ready to try some redfish and the water was high enough to run to some of our structure spots. We found a number of redfish around some offshore rock bars; most were small, but we found one six pounder and a five pounder with the smaller fish. By now the tide was flooding and the seabreeze was blowing at least 15 knots so we tried one of the creeks to get out of the wind and strong tidal current, but there was nobody home. Turned out to be a fine day and Kay got some fish to take home.
The grass is still slow in filling in on some of the shallower flats, and pinfish are just starting to show up in good numbers, which will draw the larger fish into some of the shallower areas. I would say we’re about 2 to 3 weeks behind because of the very cold winter that killed back more grass than usual. But things are getting better every weekend.