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9th Annual Fish_N_Munch Report



T
he 9th annual Fish_N_Munch at Joe Island was this morning. Around 20 HardCore kayak anglers launched into the darkness at 6am.
As we approached the lush grass flats and mangrove islands of our destination, the water was full of life. Acres of mullet and bait fish were nervously scattering as they avoided predators.
Many Snook, Trout and Redfish were caught as well as Bluefish, ladyfish and other drag pullers.
After a hot morning of doing our favorite thing, we met back at the launch to get our "munch" on! We always have a nice spread of food and this year was no exception.

The best part of these gatherings is the camaraderie that comes from being part of a group with the same interests as you. Thanks to everyone who came out for making it a success.





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Personal Best Snook

Russ (Lime Cider) Caipen



You know it's summer in Florida when overnight lows stay in the 80's and afternoon thunder storms are almost a guarantee.

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I usually like to fish early in the morning but I noticed that there was a nice low tide in the evening, so I decided to go fishing for a few hours. 
It was nice to be on the water after a hot, hard, day of work. Sipping on a cold sud, jamming to reggae and throwing a top water plug are my favorite forms of relaxation. Unfortunately, we are experiencing our summer grass kill right now so the top water thing wasn't happening.

 I decided to tie on a Mission Fishin, weedless, jig head with a D.O.A. shad tail. The tide had bottomed out and the flats were exposed so I moved to the outer edge of a sandbar where the water starts to drop off.

 I was casting parallel to the bar and hopping my lure across the sandy bottom when I felt that desired thump. My 8lb. braid came tight and drag started screaming. the fight was incredible! There were no jumps and I thought I had a huge Red but was ecstatic to see this Snook come to the side of my kayak. 

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My board is 36" and the fish was hanging over by about 6".

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The only other Snook I've ever caught over 40" was in 2006, so I'm calling this my Personal Best Snook.

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HardCore Kayak Anglers Club's Annual 
Tarpon Fish_N_Munch

Russ Caipen

Around a dozen guys met up at the beach for the annual Fish_N_Munch. We launched into a calm Gulf Of Mexico as the day started to break over the condo skyline.

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A drop of the sabiki rig brought your choice of bait and and shortly thereafter, Tarpon were rolling all around us.

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We were still grouped up pretty tightly when my rod doubled over and drag started screaming. A large Tarpon had eaten my pinfish and the fight of a lifetime was just beginning. The fish jumped a couple of times but for most of the fight it just dug down.

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My 8' heavy action Star rod stayed bent and the drag was tight on my Spheros 8000. I knew my 80lb. braid, matching fluorocarbon leader and 8/0 Gammy were up for the task so I put the heat on this fish. Tarpon will fight to their death if allowed to, so I always try to whoop and release them within half an hour. 

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This Tarpon was big and strong and would not give up! At the 1 hour mark I locked my drag and would not let the fish go any farther. It was then that my favorite big rod snapped in half. I didn't quit pulling though and a few minutes later the fish surfaced beside my kayak.

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As I put my hand in the 100 lb.+ Silver King's mouth, it shook it's head and the hook popped out. :scratch:The fish sat there for a moment and then kicked it's tail and swam away strong. No glamour shot with this Tarpon but I will never forget the fight.

Special thanks to PJ DuBose for hanging with me through the fight and Tony Spagnola for the photos. :worthy:


HCKAC TOURNAMENT SERIES EVENT #3
May 14th - Fort Desoto and Bay Pines



FIRST PLACE
WINNER OF $340 CASH
"ChucksT1" - Chuck Statham
75.5 Total Inches

Snook 21.5" ● Redfish 29.5" ● Trout 24.5"

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SECOND PLACE
WINNER OF $204 CASH
"ocean prowler" - Daniel Murphy
72.0 Total Inches

Snook 38.0" ● Redfish 23.5" ● Trout 10.5"

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THIRD PLACE
WINNER OF $136 CASH
"Fishvision" - Rick Taylor
67.85 Total Inches

Snook 25.25" ● Redfish 27.1" ● Trout 15.5"

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"LARGEST SNOOK WINNER"
$25.00 WingHouse Gift Certificate
"skinnywaterangler" - Tony Spagnola

Measured in at 27.5 inches

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"LARGEST RED WINNER"
$25.00 WingHouse Gift Certificate
"Tailhooker" - Kasey Arrowsmith

Measured in at 30.3 inches

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"LARGEST TROUT WINNER"
$25.00 WingHouse Gift Certificate
"Tide1on" - Steve Burke

Measured in at 20.75 inches

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"CONGRATS TO ALL OUR EVENT #3 WINNERS!"




A few stats...
Anglers that signed-up: 34
Tokens submitted for review 29
Anglers that caught fish: 28
Total fish checked-in: 57 (YTD: 162)
Slams checked-in: 10 (YTD: 24)
Snook checked-in: 16 (YTD: 56)
Reds checked-in: 17 (YTD: 43)
Trout checked-in: 24 (YTD: 63)
Payouts & Gift Certificates: $755 (YTD: $2455)
Anglers that have not missed an event: 25
Disqualified Fish: 0 (YTD: 0)

Complete Event 3 Results
"IMAGE COMING SOON"
Series Championship Anglers = Black Font


Also, Thank you WingHouse...
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They're located at... 
7790 US Hwy 19 Pinellas Park Florida 33718 
(click address for interactive map)

(727) 547-WING

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HCKAC TOURNAMENT SERIES EVENT #2
April 9th - South Shore and Downtown



FIRST PLACE
WINNER OF $400 CASH
"Tide1on" - Steve Burke
73.8 Total Inches
Snook 35.3" ● Redfish 21.8" ● Trout 16.7"

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SECOND PLACE
WINNER OF $240 CASH
"MustyMerk" - Merrick Westlund
69.4 Total Inches
Snook 30.5" ● Redfish 23.9" ● Trout 15.0"

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THIRD PLACE
WINNER OF $160 CASH
"ChucksT1" - Chuck Statham
69.05 Total Inches
Snook 26.25" ● Redfish 26.3" ● Trout 16.50"

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"LARGEST SNOOK WINNER"
$15.00 Salty Shamrock Gift Certificate
"Fishvision" - Rick Taylor
Measured in at 28.2 inches

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"LARGEST RED WINNER"
$15.00 Salty Shamrock Gift Certificate
"ocean prowler" - Daniel Murphy
Measured in at 28.3 inches

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"LARGEST TROUT WINNER"
$15.00 Salty Shamrock Gift Certificate
"Tacofizz" Xyrile Sagpao
Measured in at 19.5 inches

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"CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR EVENT #2 WINNERS!"




A few stats...
Anglers that signed-up: 40
Tokens submitted for review 33
Anglers that caught fish: 30
Total fish checked-in: 59 (YTD: 105)
Slams checked-in: 8 (YTD: 14)
Snook checked-in: 24 (YTD: 40)
Reds checked-in: 13 (YTD: 26)
Trout checked-in: 22 (YTD: 39)
Payouts & Gift Certificates: $845 (YTD: $1700)
Anglers that have not missed an event: 32
Disqualified Fish: 0 (YTD: 0)

Complete Event 2 Results
"RESULTS TO BE POSTED SOON"
Series Championship Anglers = Black Font

Thanks to all who braved today's wind!


Also, We appreciate all the staff at the...
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They're located at...
6186 N US Highway 41, Apollo Beach 33572
(click address for interactive map)
(813) 938-5282



   
                                               
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HCKAC TOURNAMENT SERIES EVENT #1
March 5th - Upper Tampa Bay, Dunedin & North



FIRST PLACE
"Fishvision" - Rick Taylor
68.1 Total Inches

Snook 27.25" ● Redfish 24.6" ● Trout 16.25"

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SECOND PLACE
"olinfins" - Olin Satterfield
67.0 Total Inches

Snook 21.0" ● Redfish 22.0" ● Trout 24.0"

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THIRD PLACE
"redfish" - Jesse Wright
61.25 Total Inches

Snook 21.3" ● Redfish 22.25" ● Trout 17.50"

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"LARGEST SNOOK WINNER"
$25.00 Beef "O" Bradys Gift Certificate
"LimeCider" - Russ Caipen

Measured in at 30.0 inches

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"LARGEST RED WINNER"
$25.00 Beef "O" Bradys Gift Certificate
"CampDC" - Daniel Campana

Measured in at 29.0 inches

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"LARGEST TROUT WINNER"
$25.00 Beef "O" Bradys Gift Certificate
"Jsammy" - Jason Sansom

Measured in at 24.5 inches

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"CONGRATS TO EACH OF OUR EVENT #1 WINNERS!"




A few stats...
Anglers that signed-up: 39
Anglers that caught fish: 25
Tokens submitted for review 29
Total fish checked-in: 46
Slams checked-in: 6
Snook checked-in: 15
Reds checked-in: 13
Trout checked-in: 18
Payouts & Gift Certificates: $855
Anglers that have not missed an event: 39
Disqualified Fish: 0

Complete Event 1 Results
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Series Championship Anglers = Black Font

Thanks to everyone who fished today!


Also, "THANKS" to all the staff at...
Beef "O" Brady's Oldsmar
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They're located at...
3980 Tampa Road Oldsmar, FL 34677 (click address for interactive map) Street View
(813) 814-7999


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Tourney Slam!

Russ Caipen

As the HCKAC Slam Series Tournament #6 approached, I spent a little time pre-fishing and planning. High winds and a bottoming out tide were on tap so it looked like it could possibly be a tough day on the water.
My plan:
1. Target a Snook in the deeper, darker "backwaters".
2. Move to grass flats that are protected from the wind for a Redfish.
3. Hopefully have time to move out to the deeper, unprotected, patchy, grass flats for a Trout.

At launch time I made my way through the mangrove tunnels to an area that holds winter Snook. About a half hour into casting my topwater plug, I got a 21" linesider. Normally I would take that and move on to the next species but it was still very early so I kept on fishing the calm waterway. At 8:00am a large wake came up behind my lure and the water exploded! This beautiful 30.5" Snook made my drag scream as the fish jumped completely out of the water 4 times with gill rattling, leader sawing force. I was shaking with excitement when I was able to reel the fish to my kayak.

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After a quick measurement and a couple of pics, she was revived and released. I then began my trek to the draining flats of Tampa Bay. My plan to fish the protected flats went out the window because the tide was too low. I had to drag my kayak a few times to get into deeper water. When I did reach fishable water the wind had the bay and me rockin'!
I was still throwing that red and white "Chuggin' Spook Jr. into the whitecaps when I saw a decent Redfish follow it all the way to the kayak before spooking. Knowing that the fish were here, I stopped and got out of my kayak to fish the area without bobbing around. Tethered to my kayak in a couple of feet of water, I made another cast into the chop. Almost immediately my lure was inhaled and there was a lot splashing going on. I was pleasantly surprised with the familiar head shakes and drag pulls of a nice Trout so I loosened my drag to avoid pulling the hooks.

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Now I'm really starting to get excited with 2/3 of my goal. I stayed right where I was and kept casting the plug but wasn't getting any attention. I had another rod rigged with a white jerk shad on a weedless jighead which I decided to throw to try and entice a Red. With the wind at my back, I made a long cast across the flat and a few twitches later it was fish on! At just after 10:00 in the morning this 24.5" Redfish rounded out a 78" slam.

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I was off the water by 11:00. I went home, cleaned my kayak and gear, showered, ate, took a nap and went to the "weigh-in" at 2:00pm. Got to love it when a plan comes together!




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