May has come and gone, and while many could say that it’s the Merry Month of May, I beg to differ. May is 31 days long, and I only fished out of my kayak 3 of those 31 days. For any of you math geniuses out there, that’s less that 1% for the month of May. Of course, mother nature had a little to do with that, but come on! Only 3 days of kayak fishing the month of May?!?!?!I think it’s safe to say that I’m a bit disappointed with my time on the water in my kayak for May, or lack thereof I should say. Of course, you’d have liked to think that I must have had some great days fishing out of those 3 measly days right??? Yeah, not so much. It was lackluster at best. Now, I’m simply being a grump about not getting out on the water as much as I’d like (I think at least 6 days of kayak fishing a week, and 1 day to get everything else taken care of sounds about right?) anytime on the water is a plus. We all know that kayak fishing isn’t just about the fishing, it’s about the peace that comes with being on the water, and enjoying nature and the great outdoors. (at least that’s what I keep telling myself as I write this)
The month of May started out perfectly, as I hit the water for my first trip of May on the 2nd. I’d been dying to get on the water, but worried that the weather forecast would nix any chance whatsoever of doing so. I woke up that morning excited and ready to get some time on the water, but a quick look at the forecast brought about that obnoxious feeling of tackling “honey-do’s” instead of fishing. I spent the morning tackling yard work, but kept checking the weather app on my phone in hopes that the fish gods would smile upon me and give me a break from the storm that was approaching. At around 3pm in the afternoon, my luck changed and the storm blew right past us. I quickly grabbed my gear, loaded my Native Slayer 13 Propel into my truck, and made a beeline for the kayak launch. I knew in my gut that I was in for some great line pulls, rod bends, and tons of redfish. I peddled straight to my lucky redfish hole anxious to get my first red of the day. Unfortunately, the fish gods have a strange sense of humor. I’m sure they had trouble maintaining themselves as they rolled around on the floor laughing profusely at my situation.
On the way to my fishing spot, I trolled a lure in hopes of picking up a quick bite. Nothing. I stopped and pitched lures and bait and some great oyster mounds. Nothing. I went back to my redfish spot, pitched out a bait. Nothing. My bravado had lost all it’s air very quickly and I thought May isn’t going so well to start off with. Finally I felt a tug on my line, and I’ve never been so happy to reel up a small redfish. After a quick photo, it was released safely. And yeah, a photo so I could at least prove I didn’t get skunked. With renewed vigor, I pitched out another bait, and caught a couple more smaller redfish. At this time, I knew my luck had changed and that epic fishing trip I’d so eagerly wanted was back within reach. I pitched out another bait, and within seconds my rod doubled over. This redfish hit like a champ and I knew right away it was a quality fish. After a great fight, I pulled her up to my yak and put the Fish Grip Jr on her. After a quick measurement, I was ready to get a quick hero shot from my camera mounted up perfectly. Lady luck had pretty much blown me a kiss goodbye at this point. My digital camera was so dead, it wouldn’t turn on. Great I thought! I tried taking a quick pic using my cell, but was all thumbs at this point. I put the fish on my Stinky Pants Fishing stringer, and headed back to the launch with hopes of getting a better pic. Luckily for me, an older gentleman offered to give me that hero shot I’d wanted earlier at the launch.
My second trip of May didn’t come back until the 23rd. (yes, quite a distance thanks to a family trip to go to Disney… stupid mouse!) In all seriousness, family time is extremely important, especially when I learned that there was a nice lake on the property of our hotel. Of course, epic fail again as I forgot to bring my 5wt, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. So I hit the water on May 23rd, excited to get back on some fish. Again, I must have really ticked off the fish gods somehow… I tried my lucky spot again (which I’m really beginning to think it isn’t so lucky anymore) in search of redfish. I think someone forgot to send the memo to the redfish population of northeast Florida that I was on my way, and fully expected all to be ready to participate in some great rod bending fun. I fished all over in search of fish, and couldn’t find one taker. I finally picked up and tried another area, and finally got that rod bend that I’d been searching for. This fish hit like a champ, and put up a great fight. I finally got her to the yak, and readied myself for a quick measurement and a hero shot. (Yes this time I made certain that my camera was charged and ready!) She was a healthy 24″ redfish, and was safely released for someone else to hook into another time.
My last trip of May came a week later on the 30th. The weather in northeast Florida had been spotty at best in May with rain storms and gusty winds. My in-laws offered to watch the kiddos so the wife and I could spend some time together on the water, and my long time friend, Buddy, drove in to enjoy the day with us. We’d decided to fish some familiar areas and some spots we’ve never fished. I’ve always been a fan of exploring new areas while kayak fishing. We took our time getting geared up and ready, because, well honestly, we had no reason to rush. We grabbed some mud minnows and shrimp from our local bait & tackle shop, and headed for the launch. After a short paddle/peddle we arrived at our destination. I pitched a mud minnow under a Bass Assassin popping cork and within minutes the cork disappeared. I went to set the hook, but the cork came back up. I waited a second, then gave the cork a quick pop, and it dipped again. This time I set the hook and landed a nice little 15.5″ trout. I’m thinking this last trip of May is going to make everything alright! Of course, my luck hadn’t changed any from the rest of the month of May, because I soon as I landed the trout, I heard an all too familiar sound behind me. “Pooosh”, it was a couple of dolphins about 20 feet behind me. Needless to say, the bite pretty much died in that area. We decided to pick up and head over to a new area that we’d never fished before. As soon as we entered this creek, Kaycee spooked out a nice fish. Our hopes quickly picked up. Buddy and I explored a little deeper while Kaycee set up camp in hopes of the fish returning. A little while later, Buddy yells over to me, “that was a big redfish!”. A nice stud redfish had been busting bait, and swam right past Buddy as if he weren’t even there. Of course, quicker that you can say cast, Buddy and I started working the area with lures. Buddy landed a small redfish, but we couldn’t find the big boy again.
With the day getting away from us, we decided to head back to the launch area and work some more familiar oyster mounds in hopes of finding some quality fish. Buddy landed a quality trout over by some structure right off the bat. My luck continued to blossom as I missed a quality strike myself. We ventured further back into the creek once the ominous cloud overhead decided to move away. We hit up an oyster mound that has always produced quality fish in the past. My first cast, and bam, fish on. I landed a nice 17″ trout. Not a minute later, we noticed a nice flounder busting bait just in front of Kaycee. I yelled over to her to nail it, and she cast her bait perfectly. We watched the flounder take it for a minute, then spit it out, only to disappear. Buddy then hooked into a nice trout, which spit the hook once he got it to his kayak. We pretty much decided to call it a day and say goodbye to Murphy’s Law. I think we’d all pretty much had our fill of “if it can go wrong, it will go wrong” for the day.
So while May wasn’t as bountiful as I’d hoped, I still can’t complain too much. I got to kayak fish some, caught some fish, and enjoyed how amazing it is to simply be out on the water. Besides some kayak time on the water is always a heckuva lot better than no kayak time on the water right??? I can tell you this, June will be a lot better than stinky ole May!