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Thursday Trip!

Jim aka Jellhobie

Best top water Snook. 35"


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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.



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Scalloping From The Yak

Andrew Nitz

Tony (skinnywaterangler) and I met up with Matt (Salty Panda) in Bayport a little before 7 AM on Saturday. We were waiting for a couple of Matt's friends to arrive so we took our time loading up the kayaks. This gave us a chance to chit chat about fishing this area, come up with a loose plan for the day, and witness the boat ramp clusterf**k spectacle of opening day scalloping. When we arrived there was a line of about 5 boats waiting to put in and by the time the rest of our party arrived it was backed up all the way out into the road. Throughout the day we probably saw over 200 boats in the area.


We launched at 7:15 into calm waters and an outgoing tide. The lush grass in this area seemed like it would hold plenty of trout and reds.

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Tony almost immediately hooked up with a small trout and continued to get hits on his mirrodine but didn't find anything of size. I fished a couple of islands with no luck and picked up only a lizardfish on the grass flats. We drifted/paddled with the outgoing tide for an hour or so fishing the grass and keeping a close eye on the bottom, hoping to see some scallops.

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After another hour of drifting/fishing/looking with no success I decide to start moving west more deliberately. I had been watching the boats head offshore all morning and knew that they were all heading to the deeper grass beds. I could just make out some of the boats on the horizon.

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Tony and I paddled a couple more miles west and started seeing a few more boats come into view. Some boats nearby had stopped to do some recon but none were staying very long. We decided to move North, away from the boat channel a bit and found some nice, thick grass in 5-6 feet of water. It was time to get in and see what we could find. A 30 minute search only yielded 3-4 scallops which was a little disappointing, but we at least had some practice getting in and out of the kayaks with our gear.

After moving west another 3/4 mile or so we hop in for another dive at approximately the same depth. We were able to scare up a dozen good sized scallops here but we still weren't finding the numbers we were looking for. Our plan was to continue diving every mile or so until we got heavy into the scallops. We were still a few miles from the big groups of boats so this would have taken a few hours at the pace we were moving. As we were moving west to our next dive Tony made the right call - "F**k it, let's go straight out there.".

So we paddled...

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..and paddled...

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...and paddled...

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until we finally reached the closest group and anchored up. I couldn't get a decent picture of all the boats but our group had 60-80 boats in a square mile or two. Looking Northwest we could see groups of boats strung out until they disappeared in the horizon. There were probably 150 boats in view.

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We dove here in 10-12 feet for about an hour and managed a gallon and a half of 2" scallops. Had we moved around the edge of the group for a couple hours we could have limited, but we had enough to give us a sense of accomplishment and we were pretty wiped.

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It was almost 1:00 at this point. We knew we had a long paddle home and wanted to get in before the tide started whipping out. An hour and a half into the paddle and still a couple miles from shore a very dark, very large, very thundery storm was building over land and seemed to be moving our way. With my shoulders and Tony's legs burning we worked our way in as fast as our bodies would allow. I reached the launch area at about 3:45, exhausted, but relieved that the storm could not manage to push off shore. I turned to wait on Tony who was about 20 minutes behind me.

While I waited in about 3 feet of water, drinking the last of my water and taking a much needed rest, a jumbo sized manatee decided to surface for a breath about 2 feet in front of my kayak. He didn't seem to notice me, then submerged and continued munching on grass and moving right underneath me. I took a couple of panicked, thrashing paddles backwards which got me out of the way just enough when he spooked. What a way to end the day... I had had enough and paddled back to the launch.

All in all we estimate we paddled 15 miles Saturday. We were fortunate to have the tides in our favor and decent winds most of the day or the paddles in and out would have been much tougher. The seas never got above 2 feet or so but the boat chop was a constant and had us bouncing this way and that all day. The boats were courteous enough to us, though we were always worried about running boats while we were diving. They don't seem to worried about following the 300 foot rule. We stuck together and used a pull around dive flag in addition to the full size dive flag on my kayak.

This was definitely a bucket list item checked off the list. I would do it again but not until later in the season when the scallops move in a bit closer and the boat traffic is not so heavy.


Sunday I returned and met some friends at their river house on the weeki wachee. We loaded the boat and were moving down the river by 10:30. Having scouted the area on Saturday we knew exactly where to start and on our first dive we put about two gallons in the cooler. We made a few dives moving northwest, had a few beers, and enjoyed another gorgeous day on the water.

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We came in, cleaned the catch, and swam with some manatees in the cool waters of the river before enjoying the fruits of our "labor".

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The nature coast is truly a special area of Florida. I will definitely be back to explore this area some more.


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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.


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Strip, Strip, Bam!

Walt Ruda



Well, I got lucky and am blessed to catch such a beautiful fish on a gorgeous morning. I have been testing out the new Old Town Predator MX, which I purchased to stand up in and it has a comfy seat. Wanted a basic kayak with no hatches and open cockpit – perfect for fly-fishing. We were seeing fish roll here and there so I let myself drift as I blind casted to get more comfortable standing and casting. Then about a 150 feet from me, 3-4 poons roll and are heading straight for me. I am thinking if they stay on course, I might have a chance. Still casting, they surface again about 75 feet out and still on course. I have a cast out there and retrieving when I think – do I pull in and cast again or hope I am in the zone. I chose to be patient and leave the cast out there and strip slower. I had about half the line stripped in and my fly was probably about 10-12 feet down with my sinking tip. Then it happened – STRIP, STRIP, STRIP – BAM!!! GAME ON! I set the hook while still standing, and I don’t know when but I am sure I sat my butt down real fast as she headed west. I remember just trying to make sure the 30 foot or so of line in the kayak did not get tangled in my feet and hands as it shot out through the guides like a bat out of hell. I was into my backing in a heartbeat. Got about 4 or 5 beautiful jumps from her, and after 19 minutes she was boat side and lipped. After a quick pic and a little reviving, she shook from my hand and was off. She surfaced about 30 seconds later for some air and seemed to wave good bye with her tail as she swam off. So glad to see that.
Broke my Sage rod again for the second time, but the experience was priceless!
Want to thank UT and Mark for the assistance and pics….

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Keep It Ezy!




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Teach Him The Art Of Reeling And Cast

 Adrian  Correa


                             


               
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The Future!

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!

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