Kayak fishing isn’t always about slaying the fish on each trip. Sometimes the fish aren’t hungry and sometimes our old friend, Murphy’s Law, has a funny knack for showing up at the worst of times. I started the year out getting out a lot more than I had the previous year, then it seemed like it came to a screeching halt all of a sudden. Sometimes life seems to get in the way, and your priorities have a way of switching on you. Life had finally given me a couple of opportunities to get out on the water and I took full advantage. The past two kayak fishing trips could easily be summed up as, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”.
Like I stated earlier, my fishing trips had become spread way thin. Too many home improvement projects going on, family trips, and just plain out crappy weather were all the factors. I decided I was going to hit it up on a Sunday morning. I was due, or at least that’s what I thought. I came prepared! I bought mud minnows, I bought shrimp, and I even had my favorite artificial lures with me. I was going to throw everything I had in hopes of having an epic day on the water. Truth be told, I was in dire need of a great day on the water.
I launched with my Wilderness Systems ATAK 140, and headed out to my first spot. I get set up, anchor up with my Power Pole Micro, and load a Carolina rig with a nice mud minnow. I casted out on a dock that typically produces on the outgoing tide. I then grabbed a rod that I had set up with the new Okuma Inspira reel and a popping cork and pitched a mud minnow under the dock. My hopes was to snag a fat redfish on the Carolina rig and a nice flounder under the popping cork. My lines hadn’t been in the water a hot minute when one of my rods doubles over and I heard that sweet sound that all anglers love to hear… the line screaming out! I grabbed the rod to set the hook, but nothing. Whatever had hit the rod had let go. I thought to myself, well that sucked, but at least I know they’re biting. I put another mud on my hook and casted out in hopes of getting another hit. I waited a little bit, and nada, so I picked up and headed to another spot. I set up and first cast out lands a just under slot trout. I thought to myself, heck yeah, now it’s gonna start to get good. I fished there for a little while longer, and nothing else took up my offering. I said, okay I’ll just hit another spot. I headed down this creek towards my honey hole, and I can literally see redfish cruising up and down the bank around some oyster mounds. I literally threw everything I had with at em… shrimp, mud minnows, Bass Assassin paddle tails, Savage Gear shrimp. Nada!!! I thought, I just couldn’t catch a break. I figured they’ve got to be eating in my honey hole, it has got to start getting good right? I snagged a small redfish in my honey hole… nothing else was hungry. I decided I was going to head back to where I saw those reds earlier and try my luck again. I set up about 30 feet off this oyster mound which sat about 15 feet off the bank. I loaded up a mud minnow on my popping cork and casted out to the right of the oyster mound. Not even a minute passed and something just completely annihilates it! Of course, just when I thought it was going to be good, it went bad. This stud fish decided to run behind the oyster mound, and peeling drag as he went. This fish had wrapped me around this oyster mound and I knew I was going to get broke off. Somehow, I’d managed a little bit of good luck, and my braid held. I unanchored, stood up, and easily poled myself around the oyster mound and untangled myself, and luckily this fish was still hooked up. I fought him for a few minutes before finally getting him yak side, and what a stud he was… This redfish was every bit of 35″ and he was fat! I reached down with my brand new Cuda fish grip and lipped this stud redfish. I had a deathgrip on this fish grip with all the adrenaline and reached up to turn on my camera for one awesome hero shot. Just then, this redfish gave one of the most violent head shakes I’ve ever witnessed. The Cuda gripper went in one direction and this beautiful stud went in the opposite direction. I’d just bore witness to the good, the bad, and the ugly in just a few minutes. Needless to say, I bowed out and simply said, you’ve won the day, and headed home frustrated beyond belief.
This past weekend, I’d set up a trip to take out a new family member, my cousin in law (for lack of not knowing the correct term) had just finished graduating from Marine Corps boot camp and his training for his new MOS (job). He’d been a kayak angler prior to joining the Marines, but hadn’t been in a yak in about a year or so. The weather looked perfect, calm winds, and we’d just had a nice cool front roll in so the temps were perfect! There was no way we weren’t going to have a good day on the water I thought. I’d decided we’d hit the water after lunch time with a low tide around 4:30. My goal was to hit this spot where a skinny flat would push out on the outgoing, then push back in on the incoming. We’d pretty much have a great shot at sticking a few fish. We set off from the launch with Daniel in my Old Town Predator MX and me paddling my Wildy ATAK 140. Daniel got the first fish of the day with a small redfish, and we were seeing them pushing everywhere. I knew in my soul it was going to be a good day. I broke the ice soon after with a small redfish myself. It then went a little quiet with dead low hitting, along with a super negative low tide. I decided to push up the creek a little bit and spooked a stud flounder off the bank. I casted out and within a few minutes had a quality redfish on the line measuring in at 23″. Once the tide started rolling back in, we pushed back and my rod doubled over! I knew this was a quality fish by the fight she gave. I got her to the yak and she was a solid 25.75″ I then caught a few more small redfish just under the slot, then another slot redfish measuring 21″. Daniel couldn’t seem to buy a bite, and I was catching them left and right. I ended the day with 8 redfish and 1 trout, finally happy to have had a good day on the water. We decided to head back as it was starting to get to dusk. The sunset was pretty epic on a pretty darn good day on the water.
I’d had some good, some bad, and some downright ugly, but that’s just kayak fishing, and I can’t wait to get back out there on the water.
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