Paddle Power in December 2023

One of our area’s most appealing styles of fishing just so happens to be one of my personal favorite ways to fish – without question. As with most things you can make fishing as easy or as complicated as you desire. Sitting on the shore with some bait soaking and a cold beverage is worlds away from the complication of fly fishing or fishing heavy current inlets with lures. All have the same goal in mind but have completely different approaches and techniques. For me sight fishing is on the medium scale of complication, but success can only be described as awesome. Sight fishing is simply the act of sighting your fishy target prior to making the cast and then presenting your lure or bait to the sighted target. This type of fishing can often be described as feeling significantly more like hunting than fishing. Naturally, growing up fishing the lagoons surrounding Merritt Island shallow water fishing particularly for redfish fostered a great appreciation for this technique. Now is the best time of year to seek your prey in the clear waters of east Central Florida. Our recent stretches of clear water in many areas have sparked this once dormant side of our fishing, igniting thoughts of the way it once was.

Traditionally the cooler months of our year tend to be the best for this type of fishing with the clearest and lowest water levels we see. This lends itself to the perfect conditions to be able to spot fish from a long distance giving you ample time to make a good presentation. Unlike most fishing where the early bird gets the worm, sight fishing is best done between the hours of 10am-2pm when the sun is high in the sky to give you the best view. A calm wind will also help greatly in making your outing as good as possible. Obviously, kayaks pose a bit of a challenge if you can’t stand up. However, by becoming in tune with all things that enter your “visible” area and slowing down you can still accomplish this goal. I personally like to utilize soft plastic lures that imitate small baitfish or shrimp. With lures you can adjust your presentation to what the fish is reacting to and get the bite. If you want to try live baits in this scenario, I prefer shrimp or mullet. During these clear water conditions many kayak anglers will be looking to the shallows and hoping to sight some fish as the cool days come.