Ft. De Soto Reds, Specks and Sharks

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – Spent the morning with Bryan Hendricks, Steve Putbrese and Bill AuCoin paddling around the shallow, brackish waters of Ft. De Soto Park casting for redfish and speckled trout and finding a few.

Capt. Jason M. Stock www.jmsnookykayakcharters.com was in command.

It went something like this:

“Redfish! Redfish! 11 o’clock off the bow! 30 feet! Cast! Cast! Cast!”

Capt. Stock (left), 26, and already with six years of guide experience under his belt, becomes highly excitable at the sight of a reachable fish.

Kayak fishing seems to be Stock’s first love and he can guide up to four kayak anglers at once (we fished from two of his well-rigged Wilderness System 160 boats www.wildernesssystems.com) but he’s recently added a skiff to his angling arsenal.

By the time he was strongly encouraging me to cast! cast! cast! at the redfish he’d spotted I’d swapped places with Hendricks, who had started the morning with Stock aboard his skiff but moved to a kayak and joined AuCoin and Putbrese paddling around another slice of the park where they encountered some friendly speckled trout.

Stock and I were headed to Jack Ass Key when we found ourselves suddenly surrounded by redfish, so we stayed put.

Caught a couple, missed a couple, landed and released a small shark and generally had a grand time. 

Unfortunately the weather changed a few hours later. The rain was brief but a 20 plus MPH northwest wind has dimmed fishing prospects for tomorrow.

No complaints. One calm 70-degree December day is about all one can ask for.