When I first started kayak fishing many years ago, it was in a simple 10′ sit inside kayak. I’d bought a pair from one of our local big box retailers as a way for my wife and I to get on the water, and catch some fish. We’d go all the time together, all over the state of Florida, and we loved every minute of it. Since then, we’ve upgraded to higher-end sit on top fishing kayaks. We’ve also started a family, which ultimately means that our time out together on the water has been somewhat shortened.
So, every chance that we get to spend some quality time on the water, we jump at the opportunity. It’s a way for both of us to spend some quality time together, enjoying the outdoors and each other’s company. Of course, there’s a little bit of competitiveness involved as well, and we have fun seeing who is the better angler on that particular day. I’m always happy to admit that she normally gets the best of me, but every so often I get the chance to stand atop the family leaderboard. On a recently overcast Sunday, we were granted some away time from our sons as the in-laws agreed to babysit so we could spend some time together. We decided where we were going to fish, and after sleeping in a little bit, we loaded up the bed of my pickup truck with my Predator MX and her Ride 115X kayaks. We headed to our local bait & tackle shop, and grabbed some mud minnows and fresh shrimp. We took a leisurely paddle out to our first spot, as we were in no hurry to get anywhere. The plan was to simply enjoy the day ahead of us. Once we reached our first fishing spot, we pitched out our baits and chatted a little. It wasn’t long before Kaycee started getting nibbles on her bait, and after a few misses, she landed a nice little 16″ redfish. “Man,” I thought, “here we go again.” She was first on the board.
It wasn’t long afterwards that I pitched a mud minnow on a bottom rig and landed myself a nice little redfish as well, coming in at 17″. We worked this area for a little while, eventually deciding to head to another area as the bite had died down. I’d recently come across a nice little low tide area surrounded with massive oyster mounds that had been holding nice upper and over slot redfish, so we decided to head back to that area. Of course, our plan included slowly working the banks and oyster mounds along the way. We started heading deeper back into the creek when I noticed a nice swirl in a little cut just around an oyster mound. I quickly redirected my yak to inspect further. Just bait, but as I started to paddle on, I noticed a nice wake heading into that same cut, so I pitched a mud minnow on a popping cork on my Okuma Scott Martin TSC rod, and popped it once. There was a massive swirl around the bait, and an immediate slam on my rod. “Fish On!” I called Kaycee over to help capture some video and see the fish, and it was quite the blast fighting that redfish in such a confined area. She took several hard runs at my kayak, putting a serious bend in my rod, and going under my kayak a few times, but I finally landed her. She measured a nice 24.5″, and after a couple of quick pictures, she was released healthy to offer another angler some of the fun I’d just experienced.
We started paddling further back, and shortly noticed more movement on the banks. I casted at some bait being busted and tried to bring in a flounder, but couldn’t get the fish to fully commit. Kaycee too casted at some redfish cruising past some oyster beds, but they were moving along at a quick pace. We entered this newfound area, and I gave Kaycee the lead in hopes of her landing a nice upper slot redfish for the day. As soon as we entered, we spooked a couple of reds, and they pushed out in a hurry. We worked the area for a little bit while in those small creeks, and decided to move out to bigger water as the gnats (no see ums) were getting pretty thick. Out in the big opening, we noticed a lot of bait jumping around, and quickly set up in hopes of getting on some more fish. Kaycee popped a couple of small sting rays, and I landed a couple of small blue fish before we decided to call it a day, and go grab some lunch and a shower before picking up the kids.
It was a great day on the water, and I enjoyed spending the day with my wife. Add in the fact that I was top angler of the day, and it was a great experience. Spending time on the water in the kayaks with your wife is the best kind of marriage counseling you can get.