The grassy flats off of Pineland are some of the most productive fishing waters in Florida. This vast area holds redfish, trout, snook and tarpon as well as huge numbers of ladyfish, jacks and sharks. Recently there was a break in the chilly, windy Florida winter weather so I met up with fishing buddies Jerry, Ryan and Tyler for some Pineland flats fishing.


We launched into beautifully calm water. There was a slight cool breeze and the morning air was crisp. We headed south toward Cat Key looking for redfish breaking the surface with their tails. The water was clear and between 2 to 3 feet deep. As we approached out target area, we fanned out and began our hunt.

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Jerry struck first with a fat Pine Island trout. Tyler drifted across the flat and was catching trout as well. I noticed there was not much tailing action and no activity related to reds at all. Pretty soon, I joined the trout party as well.

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We were catching trout on topwater lures, jerkbaits and Gulp shrimp. They were hitting the baits hard and when the hook was set, they would hit the surface and violently shake their head all the way to kayak. Ryan got into the action on the slow drift north toward the launch. At one point while casting at one of the few tailing reds that we spotted, I landed five fish in five casts. All were trout and ladyfish.


We ended the morning before noon just in front of the Pineland launch with a couple more trout off the oyster bar. We met another kayaker there who had great luck with the trout as well. It was a spectacular speckled trout day and I already look forward to my next Pineland trip!