What a Day…

by • March 7, 2014 • Fishing Reports, Fishing StoriesComments (0)2807

So, we’ve all experienced it at some point or another in our kayak fishing travels.  No matter how well prepared you are, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, Murphy’s Law is going to accompany you on a trip.  It’s your perseverance though, that will allow you to make the best out of a shotty situation.  This happened to our group on a recent Saturday morning trip.  It was my wife’s birthday weekend, and she wanted to spend it on the water and in the kayak.  Yes, I do count my lucky stars, and I am fully aware of how fortunate it is to have your wife share in your passions and actually want to participate in them.  We also had my wife’s mother, Karen, join us for this trip, along with fellow Yak Outlaws teammate, Buddy, and his neighbor, Stacy.  Stacy had just acquired his first kayak, a Predator 13 from Old Town, and this would be his maiden voyage.  The weather forecast called for a start of cloudy skies, but would soon break out to sunny skies, and the winds would be fairly calm around 5-10.  With this bit of news, we decided to hit up an old spot at Mill Cove in Jacksonville, FL.  We decided we’d depart around 730am, hit up Browns Creek Fish Camp for some bait, then headed to the launch to be on the water around 8am.  Sounds like a great plan, right?  Yeah, we thought so too…

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All is going well, loaded up, grabbed bait, and arrived at the launch.  We get everything unloaded, and portage our kayaks to the launch spot, get everyone launched and start making our way to the entrance to Mill Cove.  Buddy and I was bringing up the rear, and notice everyone else just sitting at the entrance.  Seems Mr. Weather Man had completely muffed the forecast yet again.  The cove was nothing but a nasty soup… whitecaps, rollers, and the winds kicking around 15 or so, and dead in our faces.  After a quick pow wow, we decided to paddle back, reload all of our gear and head to a different area that would offer some protection from the winds.  We arrived at our new location, and quickly unloaded so we could get on the water and catch some fish.  We decided to split up a little to cover more ground and find the fish.. All the guys took off together, and the girls took a more leisurely pace to look for fish.  We paddled to our first spot, and quickly set some lines out, and waited.  Stacy’s rod doubles over, and Buddy & I are stoked as we get to witness a newbie slime his new yak.  Well wouldn’t you know it, our good friend Murphy was still with us as Stacy lands a little stingray.  After some quick lessons on how to release a stingray, we decide to move along to another area, and this is where the day and our luck changed.

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The tide was super high, so we moved to a flooded area just behind a row of oyster mounds, and cast out a line.  We were all three backed into a clump of flooded grass, when all of a sudden, Buddy’s rod tip bounces a couple of times.  Then his rod doubles over, and he and I both think it’s a nice redfish.  It’s actually funny, because as his rod doubles over and he’s fighting this fish, he is slowly being pulled out of the grass into the middle of the creek and the sleigh ride began in earnest.  I had a line out with my rod in hand, so I quickly grabbed the GoPro with my free hand to start recording.  As Buddy’s being dragged out and away, he kept looking back telling me to come on.  It’s pretty funny when I’m sitting there with GoPro in one hand and my rod in the other hand with a line out.  I’m sure it looked pretty comical with me trying to reel in this line with one hand while attempting to hold the camera with the other hand and catch the whole thing on video.  I finally get the line in and now I have to attempt paddling with one hand while videoing with the other.  Aaaahhh, the things we do while fishing!

Buddy's red

I finally get out and Buddy’s landed the fish and coming back to meet me.  This being a G-rated site will not allow me to repeat the “choice” words that came out of my mouth once I saw this fish, but sufficed to say, I was overly impressed!  The fish was a monster sheepshead, measuring 22″ long.  We later discovered that she weighed a nice 10.5lbs!  We get back settled into the grassline, and get our gear ready, reinvigorated by the events that just transpired and ready for our turn at a monster fish.  Sadly, all that was left waiting for us were weakfish.  After a solid dozen, we decided to paddle back to another area as the tide was moving out to try our luck at chasing some redfish.  On the paddle back, we decide to amend our plans as the water was really flowing strongly at that point, running out hard.  We decided to head straight back to the honey hole and get on some redfish.  It was a relatively smooth paddle as we had protection from the wind, and I knew a few shortcuts to shorten the length of our paddle.

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We arrive at the “spot” and quickly start getting into some redfish.  Stacy finally properly slimes his new Predator 13 with a nice redfish, and soon afterwards, Buddy & are on the reds as well.  We laid into about 15 redfish by the time we were done, with 2 being loaded onto our Stinky Pants Fishing stringer to come home for a dinner.  At one point, I was fighting a redfish, and the wife was calling with some exciting news of her own.  She had just fought, landed, and released a hefty 31″ redfish of her own, and the excitement was pouring out.  What a way to celebrate your birthday!

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We all decided to pack things up and head back in soon afterwards for showers and a cookout of juicy burgers and beers.  All in all, everyone was happy with how the day turned out.  I simply said, what a day…

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