The first day of daylight savings time may be my favorite day of the year.
It's synonymous with warmer temperatures, beautiful weather and fish biting. It also means an extra hour of light at the end of the day, allowing many who work Monday through Friday to "sneak out" after work.
When sneaking out, it's best to do it as effortlessly as possible. How can you stay dry, not have to unload and load the boat, keep costs low and still catch fish? That's where the kayak has found a nice niche.
If you've fished in a kayak, you know it's a great way to stay stealthy, get shallow and catch fish. You also can cover a lot more water than wading. Here are a few spots with easy access for anglers looking to sneak out with a kayak for a few hours (in no particular order).
A. -- Palma Sola Causeway. As you drive west toward Anna Maria Island on Manatee Avenue, easy access to Palma Sola Bay is available from the causeway. If you launch on the west end of the causeway where the new boat ramp is, you can head south toward the small island. There is lush grass all around where trout hold. Oyster bars and deep holes around the island are known for big snook and trout.
B. -- Manatee Avenue Bridge. From the eastern edge of the bridge you can pull off the side of the road to launch. Heading north one mile will take you toward the bulkhead of the Manatee River and the mouth of Perico Bayou. These areas are a staple in springtime flats fishing. There are deeper potholes and grassflats on the edges, so drifting this area is a good way to catch fish.
Heading south will take you toward the mouth of Palma Sola Bay. Along Prices Key, there are some very deep holes cut out of the flats. At lower tides, fish will use these as ambush points. Many anglers with boats can't access these areas, so kayaking could be a great option. The flat to the west toward the channel is known for big trout.
C. -- Leffis Key. Near the southern point of Anna Maria island is a small preserve called Leffis Key. There is a boat ramp that has fishable water right in front of it. The edges of the channel are a popular area for snook in the late spring and summertime.
If you paddle across the channel, there is a large grass flat about a half mile to the northeast. This flat is a staging area for schools of redfish as they move in from the gulf. They will work around the island in front of the Starfish Restaurant and AP Bell.
Want more places to fish? Stay tuned for next week, as I will go in-depth with more areas. If you want to submit an area to fish from a kayak, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
See a map of these launch points with this story at Bradenton.com/sports.