A few days ago we took a family style fishing trip to chase some redfish. We caught a break between the cold fronts that rolled across the southeast and took full advantage of some amazing weather. The trio included myself, my wife Kaycee, and my mother-in-law, Karen, who’s been bitten by the kayak fishing bug. All three of us simply wanted the chance to get out on the water and enjoy an amazing weather day, but little did we know that it would turn into an epic Sunday, family style.
As most of you in the south know, the weather’s been terrible over the past few days & weeks. Well, Mother Nature took some pity on us and gave a day with low to nonexistent winds, perfect tides, and calm temperatures. We all decided to make a day of the trip, and we’d meet up at the yak launch around 8am. The plan was to give the kids to their granddad while we all went fishing, then all meet up later in the day for a cookout and some BBQ. I don’t know about you all, but that’s about as good as it gets in my book. We all met up, and pushed off from the launch and headed to a spot where I’ve always had great fishing on a mid day low tide. Low tide for that day was around 10:30am, and we would be hitting it about perfect.
We took our time paddling back to the fishing hole, enjoying the scenery and chatting, and the quality family time. Well, I took the lead and the women folk chatted up a storm. On our way back I decided to rig up a popping cork and pitch at a couple of oyster mounds on the way back to the hole. I pitched at a few with no luck while Kaycee & Karen caught up with me. We decided to head on back to the spot, and test our luck on some redfish. We arrived at the area and I immediately noticed there was a lot more water on the flat that there should be with the time of the tide. I also noticed some bait being busted out on the flat so I set Karen & Kaycee up, and stood up in my Old Town Predator MX yak to pole slowly around the flat and see what I could scare up. Almost immediately a bruiser of an upper slot redfish cam swimming towards me. I never had time to react and he spooked out. I pitched in the direction he was heading but to no avail. I tossed at a few more redfish busting bait with a paddletail lure, but received no takers. I even watched a beautiful 26″ redfish follow my lure the whole way almost back to my yak before she turned off. As luck would have it while I was poling this flat I could hear Kaycee and Karen hollering at hook up after hook up.I poled my way back to them so I could get some of that fun and enjoy some family time. Little did I know that Kaycee and Karen had already gotten pretty deep into an epic family fishing trip with multiple redfish hookups before I even got back to where they were. Karen had already landed a awesome looking slot redfish, as well as her personal best redfish at 33″. Kaycee had also landed a few reds herself, so I was dying to get in on the action. I’ve taken Karen out a few times before, but we’ve never had one of those trips that you talk about for months on end. I had a funny feeling that this family trip would turn into one of those kinds of trips.
What’s truly amazing is we were sitting in a small area, really only wide enough for 3 kayaks to sit and fish comfortably and pitching into a small area. The beauty of this fishing spot is it’s perfect for a mid day low tide during the winter months. As luck would have it, we planned our family fishing trip at the right time. We sat in that same spot for roughly 4.5 hours and just kept landing redfish after redfish. We even had a couple of double hook ups and even a triple hook up or 2 between us. While we caught a few small redfish, they were all mostly in the mid slot to upper slot range with a few over slot redfish.
I swear Karen was like a kid at Christmas with how excited and giddy she was with how the bite was going for us. There were a ton of laughs shared on our family trip, and the redfish were plenty. I honestly didn’t get to fish as much as I wanted to as I took up the part of playing guide with helping get pictures and helping release redfish. To be honest, I didn’t mind a bit as long as this family trip kept reaching higher in how epic it became. Kaycee slimed up her Wilderness Systems Ride 115X kayak with some beautiful fish, and Karen finally got to experience an epic kayak fishing trip. I actually got to enjoy sitting back and watching Karen & Kaycee competing with how many redfish each had caught. Karen would catch a redfish and call her number, then Kaycee would follow suit with another redfish of her own.
It was truly an epic day on the water, but more importantly was the time spent with family enjoying the outdoors and having a blast while doing so. That’s the soul of kayak fishing in my opinion. We fished that day until around 2pm and headed back in to grab some dinner with the rest of our family. We ended the day with a grand total of 59 redfish, a black drum, and a speckled sea trout, but the memories and time spent together as a family is where we truly won. I’m already looking forward to our next family trip, but we’re still grinning from ear to ear from the day we experienced on that epic Sunday where we lit into the redfish, family style.