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Fishing With The Snook Cowboy

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On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 6:37PM | By: The Snook Cowboy

I bet you didn’t expect that last cold front that came through, did ya? I didn’t either. It can get pretty cold in Florida. That being said, the techniques for fishing are going to change. As I write this the water temperature is in the fifties again, like it was last year.

The fish are freezing their butts off right now, which is why they have made their move to the rivers, flats, and back-bays. The inshore waters are shallower, have vegetation absorb light and  heat, and provide protection from most of the usual anglers.

The waters in the winter time are notoriously skinny around here and it behooves one to have a boat that drafts only 12 inches of water or have a kayak.

I personally fish out of a kayak around here. I fish from flats boats when I want to go for a boat ride but when it comes to catching fish, You can’t beat a kayak.

The first couple of times I went out, I went with someone who knew the waters and took the time to show to me and explain why the fish were where they were at. It took a little while to digest the fact that you can catch monster Reds in only eight inches of water on the backside of a flat, but after a couple of trips I was sold.

Kayaks are very stealthy. There is no mechanical noise like a trolling motor. I know some people have them, but most don’t. There have been more than several occasions that I have been able to paddle right over a Red before he even knew I was a threat. Also you are very close to the water line so there isn’t an imposing contrast on the skyline. Fishing from a kayak also gives you complete access to any hole you want.

How many times have you driven past a lagoon and wished you could get back there?? More than once I know, because I used to be the same way. Now, I get to fish those lagoons and bays like I wanted to years ago.

Fishing the flats and back bays offers you a variety of ways to fish. You can use weightless/weedless plastics and top-waters, as well as bobbers and live bait when you have enough water to use them. Cut bait is especially good to use this time of year because no self respecting fish is going to turn a way an easy meal.

Snook season is and will be closed until at least September. Maybe longer if we get hit hard again this year. The weather should moderate and the water temps will level off into the low to mid sixties for the rest of the season. We will be booking guided kayak fishing trips from Pine Island Sound and Estero Bay this year and slots are going fast, so make your reservations early. Our trips are all day trips for a fraction of the cost of our competitors’ 1/2 day charters.

The manatees have made their move into the Imperial River in Bonita Springs. This is the time of year that we promote our manatee kayak tours from the Liles Hotel on old 41. The difference between manatee park and us is you get up close and personal in their natural habitat as opposed to having a fence and a power plant in the background. You can book a tour seven days a week, and this is a great family and guest experience. To book a tour, simply go to or call 239-938-5342. I hope everybody has a great month and we’ll see what the weather holds for us this season.

Love & Light.


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