Family is of the utmost importance in my life. Add that to my passion of kayak fishing and you’ve got yourself the best of both worlds. I absolutely love family fishing with the kids, but it’s also great to get that time away with your significant other to simply enjoy the outdoors, and have a bit of fun. That’s exactly what we were able to accomplish recently; enjoy kayak fishing the family way.
We’ve had a tough go of things recently when it comes to kayak fishing. It’d been over a month since we’d had the yaks in the water, and getting after some quality fish. You name it, and it got in the way of some family time on the water. Way too much work and travel? Check! Rain storms every afternoon? Check! Too many honey-do’s? Check, check, and check! I suppose the “fish gods” decided to take pity on us, as Saturday cleared up and turned into one of the best days that we’ve seen in weeks. Clear, blue bird skies, calm winds, and perfect tides is what awaited us on our family trip.
Our party would consist of myself, my wife and Yak Outlaws partner, Kaycee, and my mother in law, Karen. We introduced Karen to kayak fishing last year, and she’s absolutely fell in love with the sport. This trip would be all about the family way of kayak fishing for sure. Once the plans for our trip were solidified for our family way kayak fishing trip, I quickly set away with getting all the gear readied the night before. I loaded up 3 kayaks, Old Town Predator MX, Wilderness Systems ATAK 140, and my Native Watercraft Slayer 13 Propel. Kaycee and I then set up getting our rods rigged, along with our essential gear. It truly is the family way when it comes to getting ready to kayak fish with us.
Grandpa showed up that morning to watch the kiddos while we set off to grab some bait, and head to the launch. We quickly unloaded at the launch, and set off in search of a great day, the family way. We paddled roughly a half mile and I instructed Kaycee and Karen to set up and start pitching their lures and bait towards this dock. Karen set up re-rigging one of her rods, while Kaycee set up and pitched a shrimp on a bottom rig towards the dock. I positioned myself on the other side of the dock, and before I could get a line in the water, Kaycee was hooked up. It was a strange fight, and we all thought it might be a stingray by the way the fish hugged the bottom. It wasn’t until Kaycee had the fish near the yak that she realized it was a stud redfish. I pedaled over to assist with a measurement, and snap a couple of quick pics. The fish was a solid 26 inches, but the girth made it look a lot bigger! That’s how you start the day off on a kayak fishing trip; first cast, solid fish!
Invigorated by that first fish, we all set up again ready for another shot at a quality fish. I headed back to where I initially set up and casting out a shrimp. It wasn’t a minute that passed by that my rod doubled over and I began a sleigh ride of my own. I immediately knew it was a quality fish simply by the way it took off on runs and stayed down. Luckily I remembered to turn on the GoPro to capture the fight as Kaycee and Karen weren’t even paying attention to this epic battle. Just about as I was about to land the fish, Kaycee realized what was going on, and paddled out to get some pictures. It was a beautiful redfish, measuring a little over 27.5 inches! Catching redfish on light tackle is always an exhilarating experience and tons of fun.
We hung out at that spot for a little bit in hopes of Karen joining the fun, but the bite died down. We headed off to try another spot, and it wasn’t long before Karen started catching fish herself. Working a small cut, she quickly landed 3 small rat reds to get the skunk off. We worked that area for a few, then headed deeper in the creek. The tides were extremely low, but had started moving in pretty good. We started working a flat as the tide pushed more water. I was throwing a Savage Gear TPE Manic Shrimp lure on my Okuma Helios rod and reel combo. I pitched the lure in between 2 oyster mounds, and started working it slowly across the bottom, twitching it every so often. After about 2 twitches, a redfish nailed the lure. After a quick fight, I landed the just under slot redfish and snapped a couple of quick pics.
Since the tide had started moving in, we decided to push back even further and looking for redfish as they pushed back further into the marsh. We tried one area, and it was simply dead, so we pulled up and headed to another area. Karen had yet to land a solid redfish for the day, so we were trying to get her hooked up. I set them up across from a nice small channel with a large oyster mound at the entrance. Karen had just said, “I just wanna hear the drag scream.” and it happened. Her rod bent over and that fish was peeling drag. Unfortunately, it headed right for the oyster mound and broke her off before she could get it turned around. We decided to cut our losses at that point and head back to the launch so we could get the gear cleaned up before heading to a family cookout.
All in all, it was a beautiful day on the water, the weather was perfect, everyone caught fish, and we enjoyed it as a family. There’s nothing better that spending time on the water kayak fishing, especially if it’s together… the family way.