Paddle Power in March 2021

Spring is finally upon us. Consistent cold fronts give way to warming temperatures and many times a bit of a breeze. March is traditionally a very windy month, but March has also become one of our only consistent chances at our traditional sight fishing in the lagoons around our Space Coast. The lack of rain runoff and still, cooler temps allow the lagoons to clear almost to the point of our classic winter clear water pattern. This will afford kayak bound anglers a chance to enjoy the opportunity of seeing your target before you make a presentation with your lure or natural baits. Redfish and large sea trout are the main targets for this fishing, but don’t ever count out the chance to run across a snook looking to shake the winter cold and pounce on a well-placed cast.

Typically, we want a little sun to make this tactic a winner and it never hurts to find a little calmer water to aid in the ability to see into the water. Of course, a good pair of polarized sunglasses are a must. I live and die by my copper-colored lens from RCI Optics in these situations. The way a good pair of shades cut the glare and allow you to look thru the water. Good sunglasses cannot be understated and being able to pick out those subtle clues to a fish’s position will make you a significantly more productive sight fisher. For this fishing I prefer to stay with an artificial lure tied onto my lite river setup. I will always have some fresh dead or live shrimp to entice any reds or trout that have lockjaw, or to be sure I have a better than good chance if we happen across some shallow water black drum. For the shrimp I like to have a jig head at the ready with that shrimp threaded on the jig tail first. It makes for a great little package that can be cast accurately and at a distance. For my artificial it is hard to beat a soft plastic paddle tail predominantly rigged on a weedless style keeper hook. With the still cooler water and lesser number of baits around I will step that paddle tail down from the bigger summer baits to a 3-inch size.

The ability for you to stand is great if you have the balance and a kayak that will allow it, but it is not a necessity. Lack of vision can be overcome by proper working of an area. You must go slow and by slow, I mean painfully slow. This will allow you to react to a sighted fish and present your bait correctly. This is also a great way to find those groups of large trout that will be transitioning to their shallow water haunts from their winter warmer deep holes. This intel will become especially useful as we get into late spring/early summer and want to be getting those same fish to smash topwater plugs in the early morning light. For my kayak fishing charter clients this sight fishing game is one of the favorites, and it’s not as common of an opportunity these days, so don’t miss out.