With a freezer full of grouper, I figured it was time to do some inshore sport fishing. Launched before sunup from the Redneck Rivera and followed the birds. There was small silver bait fish everywhere. It almost looked like it was raining from them popping the surface. Zara Spook junior in bone color was on the menu all day. Even the catfish were hungry for a top water lure. I drifted the mangrove line and found these 4 little guys. Plus a couple small trout.
I did learn that when throwing top water with birds diving everywhere, if you see a bird focused on your lure, just stop reeling. The bird will not dive bomb if the lure isn't moving. At least that was the case for me all day.
Welcome to the Core!
The HCKAC is based around the many anglers that have chosen a kayak as their main method of fishing!
We stay very active, hosting a yearly tournament series, online tournaments and "Fish_N_Munch" gatherings to keep you on the water and catching fish.
There are no dues to join but your donation goes toward the betterment of your club.
20140901 Laboring Day jbdba01
5-6 reds, 6-7 jacks, bunch of ladyfish, 1 snook, one mullet that sky rocketed like a mackerel.
So it's Labor Day and we don't have any family who are officially parts of unions or other trade affiliations so it's BBQ, or BBQ and beer, or fishing, BBQ, and Beer, or fishing, BBQ, beer, and kayaking with the family.
Being a sound man I listened she who must be obeyed and opted to take the family kayaking after I fished a bit.
The morning started out with a beautiful sunrise...again. There was a slight breeze, but not too bad. Recon from a fellow agler had me paddling a bit more than I like, but a man must do what a man must do.
Continuing my paddle I saw good bit of bird activity. There were pods of birds and fish busting bait in multiple locations. I knew that this time of year the Reds will follow schools of Jacks, the bullies of the flats, and pick up their scraps. The trick was casting behind the school or get to the bottom fast enough that the Jacks didn't hit the lure. With that in mind the topwater plug was out of the mix - plus who wants to catch a bird?
I cast in several times and was rewarded with fish on every cast, but none were Reds. After 5-6 of these guys and 5-6 lady fish I opted to just take some photos. I wasn't to keen on losing paddletails to Jacks and lady fish...
Bait, birds, and fish did not seem to mind I was there. Here was my proximity.
This is my favorite shot - if you look on the bottom right you'll see a Jack and bait flying out of the water.
With water still pouring out of the bay I opted to see if I could find a snook. I really didn't target them this year but suspect I should have. Lots of people hammered some big girls.
Here's the water I was hitting - there's a cut between those trees that looks fabulous. Throwing a spook and a riptide rootbeer paddletail results in...wait for it...nothing.
With the heat building I pushed back out to the open waters and hoped for some snook and/or Reds. I found a plethora of mullet and as has been my experience with the huge schools, huge does not always equal Reds. I worked the school pretty hard and was eventually rewarded with this nice 24" red. If you look closely you'll see that his side has been raked the shape of a bottle nose dolphin. Seems he managed to get away from Flipper and after seeing him on the measuring board with those scars, today he would manage to escape the frying pan. In the words of Napoleon Dynamite - "Lucky." Back he went.
I continued to work the big school of mullet and had a solid thwack. Getting airborne the fellow below fought bigger than he was. Call it 18" (maybe more). By now my fellow kayaking colleague had shown up and I hollered over in my best Rick Murphy - "That's what I'm talking about." A courteous chuckle followed. Perhaps I've worn that line out.
He replied back - "You going to close out that slam?"
"Which one the trash can or inshore? All I need is a trout and/or catfish."
I kept working the fish, but after a while threw in the towel and started heading back to the launch site. I had agreed with the spousal unit I would meet her half way. She's a true Kracker woman born in Miami (Miama for true natives) who can offload the kayaks by herself, but won't get me a beer when asked. "Do I look like Edith Bunker?" is the typical reply to my requests.
I answered that question incorrectly once. Key word being once. Cold beer bottles are slippery when flying through the air at 30 mph.
Daughter is pretty tough too - she overnight camps in Ocala in the summer - without A/C.
About 11:30am I get the call that they are almost there. "Oh and Dad...Mom forgot the keys." I didn't complain too much because wife and daughter were bringing some much needed slop and beverages. I bid farewell to my partner in crime and said I may be back. Maybe.
At the truck I unlocked the truck, gave them the paddles, unloaded the other two kayaks, got the water and coolers, and moved out. We opted for a fine Publix "sammich" on the water. We tied up together and dined an al fresco meal and pre/re-hydrated.
We pushed about looking at Herons, Osprey, Terns, Rays, Mullet...the usual suspects.
Just as I was pointing out that an Osprey was about to hammer a mullet my phone rings. I see it's my buddy..."Yell-o...? 10-4. Thanks for the recon be out there in 5. See you next time." Seems the fish showed up and he was "outty".
I really wanted to get my daughter on some fish and I knew these fish were hungry.
We pushed a good 1/4-1/2 mile out - call it 4' deep. Winds had died and heat had increased. Ahhh...yes FL in summer. 92 degrees, 0 wind, 90% humidity. The Doldrums had set in. I watched for approaching T-storms - they should be here soon I thought. I made the mental note of "Watch your 6; this ain't yea ol' stinkpot."
I had my posse line up behind me and stood up hoping to get a better vantage point. I handed my wife the camera and said, "Just take a bunch and let the camera do the work."
I didn't need to look too far because a cruising needle nose was greyhounding and a mess of fish were in hot pursuit. Reds? Doubtful. Jacks? Probably, and big ones at that. These were larger than normal individual explosions. Hopefully the reds would be in behind them.
We hunted around - almost like poon fishing on the beaches - the girls were wearing down, but I found a set and managed to drop one in. I had the daughter follow up but she had troubles throwing the paddletail far enough.
I holler over, "There they go. Chase 'em down and throw in front." Meanwhile this one came to the boat. Call it lower-to-mid 20's.
The daughter tried as hard as her arms would take her, but as I pointed out to her "Fish are fast." I was greeted with the evil/duh look that only a 15 year old girl can muster. With the gig up and girls fading as fast as Clemson did in the second half vs. Georgia (that's right I just went there), we decide to push in. I told her that we might see some fish on the way in, and lo and behold we did. Unfortunately we were stacked up three wide - good for screens, sweeps, and end arounds, not good for Reds.
Here are the X's and O's and play by play -
I opted to switch to an audible. "Honey, go wide left. 30 yards, down and out. Then stop paddling."
"Amanda - you stay home. Be ready for the call. I'm going to swing right."
Feeling the outside pressure the reds pushed back in.
The wife and I stuck with the game plan and we drift into position. The fish cooperated and corralled up confidence was high.
"OK Amanda let her rip." One cast, two cast, three cast...all in what I call the danger zone.
"Dad I lost sight of them."
"They're right in front you still coming. Keep casting sweetheart."
Damn...these fish were going to go right by. Just like Gurley did to Clemson - right up the middle and no one touched him. 100 yards of "eat some Georgia turf"...but I digress.
"Honey, I'm going to cast right next to you. When I get on, you need to cast right behind me - otherwise these fish will get away from us. OK? There will be fish following mine. You have to get close."
As soon as the paddletail landed it was game on..."Cast behind me sweetheart! Now! Don't worry about my fish. Cast!"
Things just didn't work out for her. I was sure that spoon would have worked. It looked just like the bait earlier, but for whatever reason they wouldn't commit. Curses - foiled again.
After releasing the fish, I looked over and said, "Well we wore those fish out like GA did Clemson. Let's head on in. You girls look beat."
We got home and I cleaned up the boats. I drank some cold adult beverages with my neighbors and talked more football. FSU this, FL that, GA...
SC and "he-who-must-not-be-named" is next.
Fall truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Right Stevie?
THE 7TH ANNUAL HARDCORE BIRTHDAY FISH_N_MUNCH
We had a good turn-out (14+) and some really good food. Fishing was good and the weather cooperated. Thanks to all those who came out for the fun and for those of you who couldn't make it. Well you missed a really good time and we hope to see you all next year for the "8TH Annual HardCore Birthday Fish-N-Munch". Here are some pictures from the day that Russ (LimeCider) and myself took. If anyone else took any pics feel free to add them here.
"Sunrise" The start of the day! Most already launched and were already fishing.
Started to look as if we may get some rain.
Ended up not having any rain (well maybe a few sprinkles) but, this is how it really turned out!
Proof fish were caught, Kevin (sparty) with a Snook.
Russ' (LimeCider's) view of where the Snook are!
Some of the good eats we enjoyed for lunch.
Let the feasting & the stories of the day begin...
Lastly, our group photo. But one question, where's the dragonfly?
Father's Day Gift!
Mark aka Lizard King
Let me start this post by giving all our fathers a big thank you.
My father, William, had always loved the outdoors. As a child, he lived on a farm. When I was young, dad would take me fishing and camping when he could. Even if just for a few hours at Gandy bridge. Later in his life, his health slowed him and kept him from doing as much. Dad passed away a year ago next week.
I have been feeling a little bit down because dad's date of passing was approaching. I haven't been fishing in a year. I had been fishing with my brother-in-law Wally, and our friend Tom, during the tarpon season in the past. Last week was the first time back and true to form Wally hooks up big. As I normally do, I take the photos. That's always me, catch the photo not the fish.
This week we made plans for father's day to meet at IRB to fish. I was to wake early to meet but was late. On top of that, Wally says people were having trouble with getting bait. Great, I'm late, no bait and feeling down. I was determined to enjoy this day. Dad would have loved it too.
My first attempt at catching bait rewarded me with a greenback, a pumpkin seed, and a pin fish. I should have been elated but I wasn't. The one thing that kept creeping into my head was dad. He would have loved this day.
One greenback was all I needed as I put a nice tarpon into the air! The whole time I was wondering if I had prepared enough to boat this large fish. It felt good to have Tom and Wally as backup. Dad must have known the funk I was in and added the fish to my line. It sure lifted my spirits. The fight lasted all of 25 minutes. The feeling of knowing that my dad had a hand in this day will last my lifetime.
Thanks, dad. I love ya pops.
Teach Him The Art Of Reeling And Cast
Steve M. Gibson
My boy Jacob and I took a quick trip around the pond in our new Emotion tandem. He quickly surprised me and stood up and said he was going to find us some fish. He will be a future HardCore member for sure!
Content copyright 2009. Russ Caipen. All rights reserved.