On August 11, 2013, some of the finest kayak anglers in the mid-Atlantic will gather in Swansboro, NC for the Airborne Angler Adventures Yak-Master Classic. The tournament will benefit Heroes on the Water and St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and the entry fee is a modest $25. Competitors are to receive captain’s bags and shirts, and there will be raffles as well.
In the mad rush, a few very important items had been forgotten, as usual. My Heroes on the Water hat and Strike King sunglasses were on the kitchen table as I stepped out into the chilled night air. Not even four hours ago the girlfriend had left the house, giving me permission for the adventure I was about to embark on: to drive all the way to Pointe a la Hatche, LA and fish the marsh. My good friends Casey Brunning and Jason Austin were fishing the BCKFC’s Redfish Rumble tournament, while I was there to learn, watch, and fish for fun.
Well before even a hint of sunrise, I met up with Bill Howard and Greg Becker to get another lesson in my flats fishing class. We readied our gear, and Greg handed me a VHF radio to communicate with the group. I put it in the bag on the back of my seat and we launched into the bay. As we paddled out, I had one goal in mind: to find my first ever snook.
Cash prizes await the winners of the 2nd Annual Nature Coast Challenge with a minimum payout of $200 for the longest redfish, $200 for the longest trout, and $200 for the longest trout-redfish slam. Kayak anglers should have no issues finding fish in the rich, un-crowded waters of the Withlacoochee and Waccassa Bays.
Saturday, March 16 saw thirty eight anglers show up to compete in the fourth tournament of the Paddle-Fishing.com Challenge Series, “Seeing Spots in Upper Tampa Bay”. These tournaments have always been designed to take anglers out of their comfort zone and this one was no different. The tournament director for this event, Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo, called on “Nut’s Hookers” to supply two bucktail jigs, one each in brown and white, for each angler.
January has ended and February is here; before I know it I will be at the Boondoggle over in Merritt Island. I’m really looking forward to meeting so many of you from the YakAngler Nation, and getting some down time. After the last year and all of my medical issues, it will be great just fish and relax with folks that enjoy the same thing I do.
Southwest Florida is riddled with great opportunities for kayak fishing. It’s very likely that you may fish a great area, and not revisit it for a while because there are so many more spots to go. That was recently the story of Pineland for me.
I had made plans for another “Last Trip of 2012”, but high winds and the flu kept me off the water until the 12th of January. I called up Team Becker, and we made plans to meet up at the local park. Greeted with a low tide and a slight breeze, we launched in search of some redfish.
YakAngler member Dave (dfwagnerjr) from Kentucky came down to Florida recently on a short vacation. He told me he wanted to see what the Gulf had to offer, so we made plans for a morning trip to Estero Bay. I picked him up at the hotel and we drove along the beach to our launch.
How many seasons had it been, he wondered. It was getting harder and harder to remember. He couldn’t remember his younger years when he was small and vulnerable, scared of his own shadow at times. Thinking back to those times, it all was a fuzzy blur. He had always been able to feel the change in the season coming - the daylight grows shorter, the water temperatures start to drop, food is harder to find - but this season crept up on him.