As I’ve stated in the past, due to work, I don’t always get to have Saturdays off. Fishing with friends usually revolves around whether they can take a weekday off, or if somehow I manage to get a Saturday off. This past Saturday was one of those days. I originally took the time off to fish BCKFC’s Trout Challenge. But as the dates drew closer, my good friend Trey (who’s been researching and wanting a kayak for three years) finally got himself and his family a Jackson Kayak Big Tuna! Trey’s boss, Chad, also picked himself up a JK Big Rig. And if that wasn’t already enough, Karl (who still fishes with me frequently) finally bought himself a Big Rig as well. Add to all of that another good friend, Andrew, and I had to pass up the tourney. I was excited about getting to take my friends out on their new (and old, Andrew) kayaks and hopefully catching some fish!
As we pulled up at the roadside launch, we were met with similar winds to what Karl & I found in PAC a few weekends ago. It was a brutal south wind, and we were launching from the north of our fishing grounds. It wasn’t completely unexpected, as I had been watching the weather forecasts. I planned to have us launch and paddle into the wind and when we would be ready to leave, we would be able to just ride the wind back. One thing I didn’t account for was the high tide, which had the water almost touching the road (it did touch later in the day).
We paddled and fished all morning with nothing to show between the five of us. As we were spread out, I went the furthest south and tucked into a cove to get out of the wind. By this point, I was just anchoring down and blind-casting, not worrying too much about the slow action. Eventually Trey, Karl, and Chad paddled up and we decided to take a break. Karl kept fishing but the rest of us snacked and cracked a few jokes. I checked out a tide table and saw that in another hour or so, it should start falling. Andrew paddled up, and Chad went to break out the sandwich supplies. That’s when he and Trey realized they’d left the bread in the back of my truck. I offered to go grab it and headed back. The paddle to the truck wasn’t bad, but heading back to the spot was a work out. Still, my Cuda 14 owned the wind and the chop! I was back within five minutes of leaving.
After eating, we started back out heading further south. That’s when it happened, Karl hooked up with the first fish of the day. Unfortunately, Karl was having some problems. He had his rear anchor down and the fish got the line tangled in it. I paddled over to aid in making sure the fish was caught. I netted the 23″ red, and then worried about the anchor. I almost had forgotten that this was Karl’s first fish in his own kayak! It wasn’t long after that, Trey hooked up with his first red in his own kayak, a 20″!
I was the next to hook up on the inside marsh where there was some moving water. He was the smallest one so far, coming in only around 17″.
Karl and Andrew broke off from us and headed to another area. I knew of a spot that I figured would give Chad his first kayak red, so we headed that direction. Once there, we all started casting and I hooked up again and this one would be an upgrade! After a nice fight, Trey netted the 26″ for me, and then helped me release him. Almost at the same moment, Chad had one on! This one would come in around 16.5″, but no worries. Everyone but Andrew had at least one by this point, and this was Chad’s first time fishing in a kayak so I was happy he had one, and so was he.
I figured there was potential for a few more fish in this spot, so I headed to a particular feature I knew about and made one cast. Yup, there was another one!
After a few more casts and another food break, we headed on to find Karl and Andrew. By this point, the wind was picking up. Karl told me that he had one more red and a black drum, but also had missed a few. Unfamiliar with this particular section of marsh, I just started taking blind casts at choke areas with moving water and points. Eventually, I noticed a canal shielded from the wind. I paddled over there and made two casts and on the second one, fish on! It was another 23″ red. No complaints here!
I then paddled back to Trey and gave it to him, stopping and checking in with Karl on the way.
The action was pretty slow for us the rest of the day. The only person who was skunking to our knowledge, was Andrew. But Andrew found a point and was anchored there pulling up smaller reds on every other cast. Back at the launch, we measured them. Being in a Big Tuna, Andrew was able to cull his fish later thanks to the “Tuna Tank” live well in the center of the kayak.
We all had a great time, despite the brutal winds, and everyone caught fish! Hopefully, we all get another opportunity to head out again soon!
FINS Windtamer was the line of choice in these conditions and the lures attached to it were gold spoons and inline spinnerbaits.