Kayak Fishing

By: Eric Henson

As people begin to sprinkle into Sarasota for the beautiful weather, here in SW Florida this time of year, the two main questions I get are: how is the red tide and how has it affected the fishing?

First, I would like to explain what red tide is. Red tide is known worldwide as an algae bloom. This phenomenon not only happens on our coast but on many coastlines all over the world. It is caused by the upwelling of nutrients from the sea floor. Red tide is found in oceans, bays and places where freshwater meets saltwater, but it cannot thrive in freshwater purely because of its salinity. The algae blooms are fueled by wind, temperature, nutrients, and salinity. This is why storms play a huge part in the growth of a bloom. Anytime we have a hurricane in Florida, you can always bet we will have a devastating red tide in the near future. AND even worse if we have a warm winter!

Now, there are a lot of different “man-made” things that contribute to us having worse or higher elevations of red tide as well, but that would be a whole separate article. If you would like to see what you personally can do to help, go to www.captainsforcleanwater.com. They are an amazing group of people who are actually taking action to help the waters that we love so much. I encourage you to take a step to see what you can do to help.

To circle back and answer the two main questions from earlier, question #1- The red tide is getting pretty nasty in some spots and not bad in others. There are some dead fish lingering “mostly mullet and bait fish” in certain spots but, for now we have plenty of clean water around this area. And still some really nice fish to be caught!

Question #2- Fish are a lot smarter than we think. Most of the strong healthy fish will swim as far away from the red tide as they can which means there should be lots of good fish to catch when you find them. This is one of my favorite times of the year to fish, so let’s stay positive and catch some fish while we still can. I would like to especially thank each and every one of you out there who are already doing their part to help the cause. THANK YOU!!! We all have to do everything we can to save one of the most incredible fisheries on the planet before it is too late. Get involved in any way you can because that is the only way we will get through this – together!