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Dan and Linda, Upper Tampa Bay

Posted by derick on April 10, 2016

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 The happy couple!

 There’s nothing like getting a happy couple out for a nice day kayak fishing the flats of Florida. Beautiful scenery, fresh air and perfect temps make for some of the best attractions Tampa Bay offers. Just ask Daniel C. and his girlfriend, Linda who took advantage of that on a special birthday fishing charter for her.

 Daniel is an accomplished kayak fishing angler, and fellow Hardcore Kayak Anglers member, but Linda had a different story. This was her first time fishing from a kayak, so being considered a “newbie” a little special care was needed. After teaching her some paddling techniques, we began our journey. (Did I mention it was really windy?)

  After a little adjusting, Linda was off and ready to slay some fish!

 Daniel had his own kayak and worked most of the oyster bars and mangroves. At our first stop he lands a small Flounder and Linda comes up short.

 On to next hole.

 There, Linda quickly got a follow all the way to the boat by another Flounder but no take. So far Dan 1, Linda 0.

 Her luck quickly changed as she began to catch fish after fish, species after species, and a surprise monster Pinfish that I thought was a Mangrove Snapper! Biggest one I’ve ever seen caught on one of my charters in the flats!

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Linda and her  monsterous Pinfish!

 Dan didn’t come out empty handed, although Linda had the upper hand that day (Sorry Dan!). He definitely got some rod bending action as well.

 Mangrove Snapper, Sheepshead, Pinfish and Catfish kept them busy for hours and began to slow down towards the end of the trip. Perfect timing in my book and another great day for PFKC as well! The couple went home happy, and best of all, with great memories!

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Derick Burgos



April Fools' Weekend Wrap-Up

Posted by derick on April 5, 2016

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  I've been a little busy so I figured I'd do a quick wrap up on this past weekend’s kayak fishing charters. High winds and rain didn't stop my guys from getting out for a wonderful experience fishing the flats of Tampa Bay.

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 I had Christopher W. and his girlfriend from Corpus Christi, TX. out for some deep water bridge action. The tide was incoming all day with North winds at 20 mph. Chris had a lot of fun catching his first of many Snook and a nice Black Drum, Sheepshead and Mangrove Snapper.

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 The bite was good most of the trip on the outgoing tide then completely shut down just after the shift. Perfect timing as the day was just about over but not before the happy couple bagged a nice Drum dinner!

 Jamey W.'s trip was a little different. We fished the flats near Ft. Desoto targeting Redfish and Trout. The water temps had dropped considerably over night from the cold front and made the day a little tough. Tons of Redfish and Trout flooded the grass flats but seemed to have a serious case of lockjaw.

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 Throughout the day, Jamey got lots of strikes and a couple Redfish with this one being his first one ever while plugging a Dawgwalker by Unfair Lures. The Trout were a little shy though and not eating at all except for a short strike or 2 and a fish that spit the hook last minute! 

 Great job to both Jamey and Christopher and congrats on their first Snook and Redfish! I'm totally sure I will see them again on the water again!

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Derick Burgos 




Dan P. Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Trip Day 2

Posted by derick on April 3, 2016


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 Day 2 with Dan P. and this time he brought his wife to join in on the fun. After catching Snook and Redfish on the fly on our last trip, he was determined to complete an unofficial inshore slam so Trout was on the menu.

 The tide was incoming the majority of the trip and was slow on the bite making it a tough morning. Once the fog lifted and the Sun came out, everything changed. The bay came to life as we saw the birds begin to dive, Mullet jumping, Dolphins feeding and even a couple of Sea Turtles but best of all we saw bait!

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 After a tough morning with only a few Catfish, we moved on to the mangroves. Instantly, we saw several Redfish and Snook over 36” that Dan strategically placed his Seaducer in front of but got rejected. This went on for a while with only one follow but no takers so we continued our search for Trout. Didn’t take long before Dan’s’ fly rod doubled as he hauled in his first Speckled Trout of the trip. Moments later, his wife was on, then Dan again. This went on and on for the rest of their trip as they caught Trout and Ladyfish which Dan found very exciting.

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 The day ended with smiles as the Print couple walked away knowing they had made the wise decision to book a kayak fishing charter in Tampa Bay. Not only will they go home with pictures, they will be going home with memories.


Derick Burgos



Dan P. Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Trip

Posted by derick on March 31, 2016

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 Daniel came down from Pennsylvania in hopes of catching a Tampa Bay Redfish on fly. That is pretty much a species on many anglers’ bucket lists from all over the world. To accomplish this, one must have series patience and to also be able to accept occasional rejection.

 Redfish, Red Drum, Bull Reds, whatever you want to call them are one of the most skittish, stubborn yet intelligent fish to roam the waters of Tampa Bay. One must be at the right tide, in the right position and using the right lure and let’s not forget the right size leader, before having even the slightest chance in catching one. That may be the reason anglers from all over come here to get a shot at one of our “Mangrove Pumpkins” on fly.

 Moments after launch we stopped along a very productive shallow cove that is protected by overhung Mangroves adjacent to a slight drop off. I directed him to get out of the kayak and approach the cove but to stay low. Being a 30 year fly fishing veteran, Dan knew exactly what to do and crouched down low ready to shoot his line on command. I gave him a target and 2 swift roll casts later BAM, SNOOK ON!

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 Dan landed this 26” beauty like a champ but not before getting his floating line tangled in the mangroves, a fisherman’s nightmare! I quickly jumped out of my kayak and rushed in to save the day. Once the line was free the Snook zipped in between my legs before giving up. He was no stranger to Snook, though. He frequently fishes in Belize for Juvenile Tarpon and monster Snook so we continued our hunt for Reds.

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 The rest of the day was not so easy, Dan had a few short strikes and several shots with no takers before we found the payload. A small pod of BIG Redfish guarding a shaded creek mouth.

 Once again, Dan the man, got in position and tossed the fly right on target! (Man I need to learn from this guy) Strip, strip, pause…., BOOM! Redfish, Baby! He fought the fish for about 10 minutes as it darted up, down and all around the shoreline in search of deeper water or structure. No can do, this baby wasn’t going anywhere. He was as determined as I to land this fish and he did.

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 After a few photos we decided to end the trip and head back to launch. Dan was super excited to have caught his first Redfish which left me feeling accomplished. “Congrats Dan!”


Derick Burgos





Pam W. Redfish Tampa Bay Trip

Posted by derick on March 29, 2016


 So I had the chance to get Pam Wirth, lady angler for the Fishbrain Ap out this morning in the backwaters of Tampa Bay. The trip was originally planned to search for Juvenile Tarpon but between the wind and the lack of participation from the fish, we decided to move on towards the mangroves in search of Redfish or Snook.

 The conditions were less than favorable. There was absolutely no incoming and a storm brewing just miles away offshore heading right towards our location so we had to move fast.

 Most of the bait we saw were very small Glass Minnows and Creek Chubs so Pam tied on a Gold Pearl Tan Dawgslider by Unfair Lures and plugged it gracefully along the oyster crusted shoreline. Several blasts and a short-strike or two later, Pam was rewarded with this almost-personal-best Redfish at 30.5"! 


 After a quick CPR, (catch photo release), we decided to move back towards the launch since the storm was closing in.

 On the way back, I assisted Pam in sight fishing this big Jack Crevalle in 8" of water! 

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 Altogether the day was not bad at all considering the bad conditions and short time on the water. Pam was definitely happy and that is what it's all about. 


Derick Burgos



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