Many of my close friends and fishing buddies know me for my many “life lesson” slogans which I picked up from some of the most inspirational people throughout my life. As I sit in front of my keyboard and reflect on the past weekend of fishing, one slogan comes to me, “keep an open mind.”
Driving in to Titusville as the red sky slowly fades.
My good friend Paul Rivera and I spoke earlier in the week about heading off the beach this past weekend in search of only who knows what. As the week progressed the weather and wave predictions continued to look worse for us Saturday morning. When Paul called me up on Friday to discuss launch locations I told him we still need to check it out, if we get there in the morning and it looks rough, we would head elsewhere and figure it out. The old me would have researched, planned and stressed about backup plans, instead I decided to keep an open mind and go with the flow.
We originally planned to wake up early and meet at the launch an hour away from home around 6:30 a.m. Instead, I was woken up at 6:15 a.m. Saturday morning by a text message from Paul, he slept in and was just about to leave home, we both slept though our alarms and neither of us stressed about it. The skies were red as the sun began to slowly show, I kept telling myself red sky by morning sailors take warning. I also reminded myself liquor before beer, you’re in the clear, just my ADD kicking in. We both arrived at the beach at the same time and were greeted by forceful pounding waves. Continuing to keep an open mind, I asked Paul if he wanted to check the lagoon across the street and have a go at it. He was equally as willing to go with the flow, but met me with some hesitation as that location can be heavily fished and has not produced well in the past. I haven’t fished that area in years, but I used to primarily fish it back when I first began kayak fishing, so I wanted to check on some of my old honey holes. With a blow of the conch horn, we were off.
Shortly after launching, we begin adjusting tackle and tying on our lures of choice. I decided to go with a top water plug on some green 8 lb. Fins Windtamer Super Braid before the wind picked up too much, and I’m a sucker for those top water strikes. My plug was averaging 4-6 strikes every return, boating four or five dink trout including Paul’s hyper ladyfish. Shortly after, I hook on to something that felt like a stick, as it comes to the boat I became very puzzled studying a Top Pup lure hooked to my plug. I see there is still line attached, so I begin pulling it up only to be greeted by a freshly dropped rod and reel combo in great shape. I take a few casts with it to test the condition and end up landing another dink trout. Laughing hysterically I told Paul it’s time to move on to some larger trout around the corner.
After a very short paddle, we get to a fishy looking spot and Paul hooks in to a nice 20” trout. We snap a few photos, he blows his conch horn (much to the dismay of the skiff creeping too close in to our vicinity) and we’re off for more. I wanted very badly to keep paddling back to one of my old favorite fishing holes, but we were strapped for time.
We split up, keeping an open mind, I paddle out to some deeper water with a grassy bottom and plenty of pot holes. I stake out and begin working my zoom super fluke coated in mullet scented Pro-Cure. On the first cast the water explodes the second my lure hits the water and I am greeted with a VERY nice fight. Knowing it was a trout from the head shake, my stress level intensifies, knowing how soft their lips can be. I eventually boat it and notice the hook was buried way down in her mouth. I was able to successfully dislodge it snap a few photos and release her to fight another day.
After catching several more in the same spot, I couldn't get over how hard they were hitting the lures causing them to get deeply hooked in ways I was not happy with. So I wrangled up some finger mullet with a cast net, tossed them in the livewell on my Malibu Stealth and decided to switch over to circle hooks to avoid hurting these breeders any more. Shortly after doing so, I toss a circle hook on to the combo I fished up earlier, toss a finger mullet out and leave it in the rod holder. I then tossed on an Unfair Lure Paul Dinkum Shrimp lathered in Pro-Cure (only has one treble hook) out to a large sand hole and was greeted with a strike immediately As I am bringing this trout to the boat my other rod begins to go off, DOUBLE HOOK-UP! I boat a nice 28″ trout on the lure and 26″ trout on the mullet. Some might say that’s being greedy, but I had to put some points up on the board for Kayak Wars.
Paul and I continued to pound on the trout until the wind picked up and we had to quickly get out of there and head over to a friend’s fishing seminar at Kayaks By Bo (Vickie Sallee, Fish Like A Girl). Had we not kept an open mind, we would have skipped fishing that area and went to somewhere we were more familiar with, or we would have been stubborn and continued stalking the shoreline in search of singles. Since we kept an open mind, our expectations were low and our fishing was successful.
Fishing Florida Radio
Founder of The Barbie Rod Challenge
The HardCore Kayak Anglers Club is based around avid anglers that have chosen a kayak as their main
method of fishing. The goal for this club is to have fun, catch fish,
and become the best anglers possible !
Our main chapter is based in
Pinellas County, FL. We also have a South Florida chapter and a chapter
based in the U.K.
to preserve our local fishing resources through conservation, "catch and
release", and re-nourishment/ clean-up efforts. We are very active in
our fishing community. The club participates in many local tournaments
and hosts a 6-event tournament series annually.
you have the passion to fish, you're HARDCORE already!
There are no dues to be in this club but donations are appreciated.
By Russ Caipen
Mr. Nature Coast
Life has been busy up here in B'ville and have not posted in a while. Got this 32.5" Snook yakside @ 7am
Then got into about 15 to 20 tails with no cooperation until this 29" red wanted to eat some DOA .
Personal Best Red!
Hi guys, this is my first fishing report since moving from Arkansas to Florida last year.
My pops and I hit the Fort on a weekday last month to see if anything was biting. The tide was pretty low when we got there and we weren't seeing any actvity. After a couple of hours, the tide came in and mullet started jumping all over the place. My dad was chunking a Mirrodine XL around and hooked up to something good.
He didn't know what it was at first because it ran so fast and didn't jump. He was surprised that it was a Spanish Mackerel and told me that he doesn't usually catch them on the flats. It was a cool looking fish.
After he let it go, we worked a huge school of mullet and that's when my Spook Jr. got crushed! The fish had me going all over the place and I thought that I would lose it but I let it run until he got tired out. It was my personal best Redfish at almost 27".
After that we caught some ladyfish, jacks and Trout.
It was a good morning.
Once In A Lifetime!
Yesterday I went out for a ride in my kayak, hoping to put a trout on the leaderboard. When I arrived at my launch site I realized I had forgotten my measuring board. Oh well, just means I know I'm going to catch a big one. Fishing in the wind was tough, I managed a few small trout and one - what would have been a contender. I decided to hit up a little area I had some luck in last April/May. For the first time in about six months I decided to use live bait. I cast netted up some perfect sized pinfish, and sent one out under a popping cork to ride the current. A long time later, I finally got a strike... I've caught quite a few sharks from my kayak, they always make you a little nervous. Yesterday I had one of the most awesome, and most stressful catches I've ever had. When I finally got it boatside I realized what I had. I caught a Sawfish. It was about 4-5' long and fought like a sting ray. It felt like it kept suctioning it self to the bottom. After a brief but extremely stressing few minutes, untangling my line from it's rostrum (yes I googled that). This prehistoric little monster flailed its mighty sword, and just like that was another memory. The 20lb leader line snapped. I manage to get a few pics with my cell and my gopro.
Teach Him The Art Of Reeling And Cast
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.