Luck, we all need it at some point. Any angler will tell you that there’s always a little luck involved when out fishing, and if they don’t, then they’re simply lying to you. Just because you caught fish here today, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll catch them there tomorrow, hence a little bit of luck is involved. Now don’t me wrong, skill is definitely one of the key ingredients, but you always need a dash of luck.
Luck was definitely on my side recently on a kayak fishing trip to my old stomping grounds. I was in dire need of one of those epic days of tearing up the fish to reboot my kayak fishing psyche. Everything was lined up perfectly for me. Drop the kids off at school, yak and gear already loaded up in the truck, so I could head straight to the water. I stopped by my local bait store, and loaded up 2 dozen mud minnows into my Engel 13QT Livewell Cooler, and headed to the launch spot. On top of that, I was definitely in one of those rare, nothing can get ya down, types of moods.
I quickly launched my Old Town Predator MX yak into the water, and started paddling off to where I wanted to fish. Not minutes into my paddle, I noticed a small pod of about 4 dolphins playing in the small bay. I stopped to grab a quick pic, and thanked the fish gods that these dolphin were here and not where I was going to be fishing. Once I got to my spot, I quickly set up and first cast landed a small redfish. What was unique and great about this small redfish was the amount of spots on her, 17 in total. I’d never caught a redfish with this many spots. I caught a couple more redfish, then pushed further back into the creeks to search for tailing reds. At my next spot, I quickly caught a couple of smaller redfish, but the bite died out so I decided to return to my initial spot as the tide was finally beginning to turn around.
As I started my way back I noticed a skinny creek with a ton of oyster mounds in the back, so I decided to pole up in there to check it out. Not even 2 minutes in, I noticed a nice redfish cruising along with part of his back out of the water. I quickly stopped and pitched out a mud minnow towards him. I also pitched another mud minnow on a jighead towards the oyster mound that was behind me. As luck would have it a stingray swam over and took the bait in front of me, so I reeled it in. Of course, they go crazy so I’ve now got this ray who’s wrapped himself around the back line, which now as a redfish on it. I get it untangled, and low and behold, there’s a stud redfish on the back line still! I fight the redfish in and land her. She’s 26.5″ and weighs a little over 7lbs!
I finally get back to where I initially started and set out 3 lines. After about 10 minutes and nothing I started reeling them in. The first rod I reel in the line, then lay the rod across my lap with the mud minnow barely laying on the ground in the water. I start reeling in the second line and realize the first line has moved. I easily picked up the rod and immediately go “what the heck???” There was a flounder basically sitting under the yak who grabbed the mud minnow on the rod laying across my lap! I tried setting the hook, but the flounder let go so I went back to reeling in the other lines. I went to lift up the rod that was laying across my lap to put it away, and that dadgum flounder was on it again! This time I was prepared and landed the fish, it measuring right at 17″. Talk about having just a tad of luck on your side!
At this point, I had my redfish and my flounder, so I turned my sights on getting a trout to finish up the slam. I’d be trying to complete the Angler Recognition Program that FWC had recently instituted, but could never close out the 3rd species for whatever reason. This time I was on a mission, and hoped I’d have a little luck on my side. I went to a spot where I’ve caught trout in the past and set out some lines. Of course, I started catching small redfish, one of which was another multi-spotter with 14 spots. I was beginning to think that lady luck had snubbed her nose up at me. I was down to my last mud minnow so I headed to another spot, where I’d always caught trout. I set up and pitched out a mud minnow on a jighead, then slowly started my retrieve. About 10 feet from the yak, a trout hit the bait. Of course, it hit it so hard that it ripped off the last mud minnow. Lady Luck wasn’t gonna shun me again! I reached into my tackle box and grabbed the best lure on the market… a Bass Assassin Chicken on a Chain 4″ curly tail!
I quickly rigged it up on a chartreuse 1/8oz jighead and pitched it out, working the lure back to the yak. After a couple of twitches, I had that coveted trout on the board! While it wasn’t the biggest trout I’ve ever landed, it was refreshing to have achieved the goal for the day, even if it did take a little bit of luck to get her done! The final tally for the day ended up being 10 redfish, 1 mangrove snapper, 1 trout, and 1 flounder. It was a great day on the water, but realistically, any day on the water in my yak is great!