I think we’d all agree that the sport of kayak fishing is easily one of, if not, the fastest growing sport in the world, especially here in the US. We’ve seen an influx in new brands and styles of kayaks, as well as other manufacturers jumping on the proverbial bandwagon with products directed at the kayak angler. It’s all very good, as it provides more for the kayak angler to play with, but also aid in growing our great sport. The best form of advertisement is and always has been on the grassroots level through word of mouth. You take a buddy or family member out on the water in your spare kayak, and they’re hooked from that point on. This is exactly what happened in the case with my family. My mother in law, Karen, saw the enjoyment that my wife and I shared with the sport of kayak fishing, loves the outdoors and wanted to give it a go herself. I’d taken her out once for basically what turned out to be an exploratory trip out on the water, and she loved it! This last trip was to get her a little more acclimated to being on the kayak and actually fishing out of it, but more importantly, it was to get her on her first fish out of a kayak.
On Sunday, November 10th, we did just that. I loaded up the kayak trailer with our 3 kayaks, and proceeded to head over to the bait shop for some bait, and hit the water. We launched in Oak Harbor in Jacksonville, FL over by the Mayport area. This was only Karen’s second trip in the kayak and you could tell she was excited about getting out on the water again. We got all of our gear unloaded, and pushed to the boat ramp, and set off at a relaxed place in search of her first kayak fish. We stopped at a couple spots near some oyster mounds in hopes of getting on some fish. I quickly hooked up with the first fish of the day with a nice 17″ spotted sea trout, and my wife, Kaycee, got into a mess of small schoolie trout. The bite died off a little, so we moved over to another area. We found a nice cut surrounded by some oyster beds which would certainly land us in some fish with the incoming tide. We all staked (anchored) ourselves out and set out our lines. We were fishing with mud minnows, dead shrimp, and Saltwater Assassin paddletail lures. It didn’t take very long, before Karen was yelling fish on! She landed a potato chip flounder around 12 or 13″. She quickly got another line in the water, and within minutes it was a definitely fish on this time. Kaycee and I watched her excitement as she was pulled around a little bit in her kayak by a redfish. She finally landed the fish, and was awarded with her first kayak redfish, which was a hefty 21″. I think we could all agree that she was the one who was definitely hooked from that moment on. We finished the day out with a small, but decent black drum bite, before we called it and headed in for the day.
Kayak fishing is truly a family oriented sport. It’s a great way for family to get out on the water, enjoy the great outdoors, and of course, get on some fish! Tight lines!