We’ve all experienced a rough week, and I was no different this past week. I’ve always been a firm believer in the best cure for a stressful week is a little water therapy, and by this I mean, getting out on the water in your kayak to wet a line, catch some fish, and enjoy the scenery and serenity of being out on the water. This was exactly the prescription I had ordered for myself to cure my ails, a little redfish therapy.
Saturday was the day I decided to take for myself. It happened to work out perfectly; a perfect early afternoon low tide, bluebird skies, and just enough of a breeze to keep the bugs off me and somewhat cool. The wife and kids pretty much understood that Saturday was going to simply be “daddy’s day” and decided to go hang out with the grandparents. I can’t stress enough how perfect this day was set up for some “me time”! I enjoyed sleeping in a little bit, ate a nice big breakfast, then headed to the garage to rig up my rods and add a little rigging to my Old Town Predator MX kayak. Once rigged and ready, I loaded up the yak, my Okuma Fishing rods, Grizzly 16 cooler, and Aqua Bound Manta Ray Carbon paddle into the truck, and I was off. My first stop was my local bait and tackle shop to stock up on some mud minnows, but realized I’d forgotten my Frabill Flow Troll bucket. Luck and destiny were definitely on my side as a buddy who works at the shop had one I could borrow. Once loaded up with bait, I unloaded the Predator MX at the kayak launch, and headed out in search of my redfish.
On my paddle out to my “fishing spot” I came across a fellow kayak angler, and we exchanged pleasantries. He asked if I’d had any luck so far today, and I quickly stated that I’d just got out on the water. He then went into letting me know how slow the bite had been, as he’d been on the water for about 6 hours with only a couple of nibbles. This quick fishing report didn’t bother me at all, as I knew in my soul that today was going to be a good day on the water. As I entered the area that I’d planned on fishing, I noticed a couple of gentlemen who were camping out on an island and fishing from the bank. They too, had succumbed to a slow day of fishing with only a couple of mullet that they landed in the cast net, and a 17″ flounder. The tide was still outgoing, but nearing low tide and I quickly set myself up for my first cast.
I readied two rods, one with a bottom rig and the other with a simple 1/4oz jighead for my mud minnows. I casted both rods out, reclined in my seat a little, and kicked up my feet to relax. It wasn’t long before my rod doubled over, and I was reeling in my first redfish of the day. She measured out at 22.5″, and back into the drink she went for another angler to fight on another day. A few moments later, my Okuma Helios rod doubled over, and I reeled in another redfish, this one measuring 20.5″. After a quick photo and measurement, she too was released to fight another day. I then proceeded to reel in a couple of undersized redfish, then landed another slot redfish, this one measuring 18.5″ long. All fish were quickly photographed, then safely released. I’d landed 5 redfish so far in roughly an hour’s time, and still hadn’t hit low tide. In fact, I’d had a few other redfish spit the hook when reeling in, and barely missed out on a couple of double hook ups as well.
As the tide was nearing dead low, I experienced a small lull in the bite. I was just about ready to pick up and move to another spot when my Okuma Helios rod doubled over once again. This time I knew it was the best redfish I’d hooked into so far into the day. This redfish went on a couple of nice runs and stayed down in the water column. As she neared the kayak, I was able to finally get a glimpse, and she was a beauty, measuring at least around the 28″ range. I got her next to the kayak, put on my Fish Grip Jr. and grabbed my T-Reign Pro Sheath pliers to remove the jighead from the redfish’s mouth. In the excitement as I removed the jighead the redfish jerked, and broke loose from my grip and self released. The fellows who were camping had both watched all the redfish action, and I pretty much had my own little cheering section for the day. I’m not above admitting that it was pretty cool hearing those guys whoop and holler at the show I was putting on.
Once slack tide hit, I decided to move back to another area that I’ve had good luck with as of late. Upon entering the area, I quickly noticed the water level was lower than normal, but I decided to get set up to ambush any redfish who entered the area. I love this new spot. It’s set up perfectly to ambush redfish as there’s a narrow entrance, flanked by the bank on one side and a massive oyster mound on the opposite side before opening up to a small flat. I set myself up just past the narrow entrance, pitched out a mud minnow on my Okuma TCS rod that I’d rigged up with a popping cork which would float behind me on the flat. I then put a mud minnow on my Okuma Helios rod that was rigged with a 1/4oz jighead from Bass Assassin Lures. I pitched out the mud minnow on the jighead and as soon as it hit the water, I had a fish on. I quickly reeled in the fish, only to notice a nice 16-17″ speckled sea trout on the other end of the line. The trout was quickly released and I put my last mud minnow on the jighead and pitched it right back in the same area. Again, the bite was almost immediate, and I reeled in another redfish around 17″. Out of mud minnows, I switched over to a Savage Gear TPE Manic Shrimp, which was pre-rigged on a Okuma Citrix rod. Just before I was about to cast the shrimp out, I looked back and noticed my rod with the popping cork moving around a little, so I grabbed the rod and set the hook. Of course, this is where the “Fish Gods” quickly reminded me that they’d decided I’d had enough fun for the day, as I reeled in a small sting ray. After a quick and safe release, I decided to not test my luck any longer, and started paddling in for the day.
As I neared the launch, I noticed a couple of kayak anglers near a sand bar on a point, and one of them out messing around with his kayak. I paddled up to check if everything was okay, and quickly realized it was one of the anglers I’d just met recently while at the Inshore Xtreme Challenge tournament. It seemed his kayak had a small leak, and his yak had taken on quite a bit of water in the hull. I beached my kayak on the shore, and set out to help him bail the water out, so he could safely make it back to the launch. During this process, I learned that his wife had caught her first redfish earlier in the day, a hefty upper slot redfish! After we got his kayak taken care of, we headed back to the launch. All in all, it was a great way to spend some “me time”; getting some serious redfish therapy, helping out a fellow kayak angler, and enjoying a memorable day on the water.