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8th Annual Joe Island Fish_N_Munch

Predicting the weather in Florida during summer is always a crap shoot but odds are that it will rain on any given day. Our local radar showed a front heading our way the night before the 8th Annual HCKAC "Birthday" Fish_N_Munch and the forecast called for early morning storms. Mother nature decided to prove that meteorologists are only guessing what she will do and several HardCore kayak anglers also decided to call their bluff.
The skies were dry when we met but clouds were speeding by as winds were near double digits from the north and west.

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The tide was high and fish were staging up at points and cuts waiting for bait to be flushed from their mangove hideouts. Snook, Reds and Trout were in attendance and everyone caught fish... except for Fishvision who only caught 1/2 of one. ;laugh:

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FishinFox had a hot hand and scored a slot Red plus several Snook.

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Luck was with us and we got several hours of fishing in, but storms were racing toward us so we got off the water to get our "munch" on.

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Big thanks to those who came out! Cheers to another 8 years of HardCore kayak angling. :toast:
Moments after this pic, the sky opened up and we had to scramble loading up.



The 'Goon



Andrew Nitz

Just a quick report.


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Launched at biolab road a little after 7 with Tony (skinnywaterangler) and my buddy Doug who is pretty new to kayak fishing. The launch was crowded and some wonderful human decided to drop a raunchy #2 directly in the middle of one of the two paths leading down to the shore, so getting our gear to the water was a real pain.

The wind was low which was nice, but the majority of the grass was dead, the water was a milky brown and visibility was 2-3 inches. Having spent several trips paddling laps around the whale tail flat, the east ridge, and into the far south lagoon with varied success, I decided to concentrate on the flat that I'd had the most success with reds on. There was mullet everywhere but after 3 drifts in 4 hours we had only managed one small trout and had only seen one big red. Tony was not doing any better out on the whale tail flat. At around 11 we paddled about halfway to whale tail and set up another drift. This time we started seeing the big wakes I was used to. I threw several colors of jerk bait and paddle tail, gold spoon, chug bug, mirrodine, and gulp shrimp at around 10 fish but couldn't coax a bite. The few fish that actually saw the lure immediately darted in the other direction. It was supremely frustrating to say the least.

At around 1 we were all pretty discouraged, hot, and ready to pack it in. Tony had some cut ladyfish from a previous trip so we decided to give it another hour with the cut bait and hope to get lucky. I paddled to the west side of the lagoon toward some good sandy patches and started dropping my cut bait on a gold jig head into the patches. About 20 minutes in I saw two big wakes heading right for me from about 20 yards out. I threw my cut bait a few yards in front of the fish but they swam right past it and closer to me. I figured the fish would spook when they got to me but they just changed direction by a few degrees and kept on cruising, passing by me maybe 6 feet from the kayak. I sat still and let them go by then tossed my cut bait past the fish behind me. This time one of the pair made a quick move, gobbled the ladyfish, and game on!

After a 15 minute fight in shallow water I was able to get the fish boatside and get the lip grippers attached. The fish hung just a bit over my 40" board. Cut bait or not, I was more than happy for the tug.


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