There’s no secret that redfish are my favorite fish to catch. It doesn’t matter how large or how small they are, they’re going to put up one heck of a fight. It also doesn’t help that they’re a beautiful fish, and the spots are pretty cool too. I’d had a tough time spending time on the water lately with family obligations, fighting the weather, and working, but decided Sunday morning was going to be mine regardless! I’m so glad I took the time for myself, and found myself some Sunday Morning Redfish.
I’d had the goal of fishing both Saturday and Sunday. The tides were perfect, and I was definitely due for some rod bending. The was only one problem though. The wife had family plans, so that would cut into my fishing time. Then arose another problem. A cold front rolled through North Florida, and brought with it some pretty nasty winds. Saturday the forecast was calling for winds in the 20-25mph range. Not really conducive to kayak fishing, unless of course it’s a tournament day. I thought Sunday was going to bring more of the same, but the FISH GODS smiled down upon me and the winds laid down a little bit, enough for me to sneak out in the cold and get on the water.
I have to admit that it was tough getting out of bed that morning. It was a tad chilly to say the least. The temp wasn’t that bad, but throw in the wind, and the wind chill would get ya in a hurry. My bed was warm and toasty, but it’d been a while since I’d had the pleasure of a solo trip, and I was dying to get after some redfish. My alarm went off, and I grudgingly got out of bed. I’d had all my gear packed up and ready to go the night before. Predator MX kayak? Check. AT Fish Stix paddle? Check. Power Pole Micro? Check. Okuma Fishing rods and reels? Check. MTI Adventurewear PFD? Check. I had all my gear, just needed to layer up a tad to protect myself from the winds and chill in the air.
I stopped by my local bait & tackle shop and grabbed some shrimp as I had a spot in mind where all ya gotta do is put a shrimp on a bottom rig, and it’s on. I got to the launch and quickly set about getting everything unloaded so I could paddle out to my spot. I get everything set up and start heading that way. About a 1/2 mile into the paddle, I realized that I’d left the remote to my Power Pole Micro in my truck. Here came the debate, do I paddle back and grab it or simply push on and make due. Heading back would easily cut short the time I’d get at my honey hole, yet pushing on would mean really no way to anchor myself. I pondered this for a few moments, then grabbed my measuring board to see if I could manually raise and lower the Spike. Luckily, this would work, although it did add a little aggravation. Yes, I was in that kind of dire need to get on the water and bend a rod. With my problem somewhat solved, I pushed back further into the creek.
I thought about stopping and pitching a paddle tail lure at a couple of oyster mounds along the way, but never saw any movement so I pushed on. I got back to my honey hole and the tide was just about perfect. Last of the outgoing tide is exactly where I wanted to be. I quickly set up, and pitched out some bait on my Okuma Citrix rod. A few moments went by, and while only a few minutes, it felt like a lifetime without a bite. That ugly feeling of getting skunked started to creep into my head, when all of a sudden the rod doubled over! FISH ON! I reeled in a lower slot redfish around 19″ to start my day. After a quick picture, she was released for another day. I knew then I was in for a heck of a day in my gut.
I started catching redfish after redfish after that. There was a couple of smaller black drum mixed in there to add a little bit of a different flavor. The redfish were of varying sizes, mostly in the 19″ to 24″ range with a few smaller ones mixed in to keep me honest. The beauty came towards the end of my day. I was sitting there grinning from ear to ear with how the day had gone so far, when all of a sudden, my Citrix rod doubled over. And when I say doubled over, I’m talking like the rod tip about touched water. I grabbed the rod, and immediately knew I had a pig on the other end of the line. I was in for a fight. I worked the fish in close to the yak, and she’d reward me with a nice long run. This went on for a few minutes before I finally tired her out enough to grab her with my Fish Grip Jr’s. My forearms were cooked, but you’d never had known by the way I was hootin’ and hollerin’ in pure joy! I got a couple of hero shots to commemorate this beauty, then laid her on my measuring board to get her actual size. She was easily the chunkiest 31″ redfish I’ve ever caught from my yak. I got her back into the water as quickly as possible and she swam off no worse for wear. I only stayed out a little while longer and ended up catching a few more redfish, and one pretty decent sized tilapia before needing to head back in for the day.
I ended the day with 27 redfish, 2 black drum, and 1 tilapia, a sore arm, and the biggest smile you’ve ever seen in your life. While I know better than most, you’re not always going to go out and have an epic day catching redfish or any other species, but it’s the days like I had which makes it so much fun to go out fishing. Hopefully, I can get a small glimpse of this on my next fishing trip.