The photos really don't do the waves justice. We had sets maxing out over 6ft that would build very quickly and close to shore. After stowing and tying everything down, everyone timed their launches well...
except for me.
After studying the waves for over 10 minutes I thought there was going to be a lull in the set and took a chance. I pulled the kayak out, sat down, and took one paddle stroke... just in time to see a massive wave build quickly and crash right on top of me... throwing me out of my seat. Luckily, I wasn't hurt and had everything in the rod pod.
My second attempt was smooth with far less drama. I quickly found the others on the greener side of the breakers and joined in getting equipment out and ready.
While catching bait, we immediately realized that we were surrounded by gray suits. The toothy bastards chomped on everything we threw out. Although entertaining at first, they became quite the nuisance.
Both eels and baitfish intended for cobia didn't stand a chance. The sharks demolished everything and put a slow burn in our muscles. Dealing with hook removal and/or retying became a time consuming chore and as hours went by our hopes for the target specie sank deeper into doubt. We went farther and farther out into the vast Atlantic and continued to get harassed by sharks. To make things worse, clouds rolled over and took away our already limited ability to visualize our ambitious goal.
I eventually picked a spot to anchor up and everyone gathered around. We got into a few more sharks and then...
Alex Britland's first ever big red just short of 43" (Photo credit: Seth Goodrich)
Losing line fast!
47.5" Release citation Red Drum
Justin Mayer caught three up to 45"
As I'm releasing a 38"er Seth Goodrich hooks up
Seth with his first Big Red 42.5"
Alex with a 46.5" citation )Photo credit: Seth Goodrich)
The action was incredible and lasted for a good while. We still had sharks mixed in, but when one of us hooked up with a drum, we knew it. The signature head shakes and ensuing sleigh ride were more than enough to put the elusive cobia on the back burner.
Big jigheads and bucktails with various soft plastics got the job done as well as fresh cut bait on the bottom.
William Ragulsky with a 47" citation (Photo credit: Seth Goodrich)
Rod diggin' with my tongue out!
44" with no spot on one side of it's tail.
The finally tally was 11 big reds between the 5 of us ranging from 38" to 47.5". Three personal bests were crushed. Three citations were registered. The number of sharks was ridiculous with the biggest going around 4ft.
From left to right: Seth, Alex, Justin & Billy
On an ending note, I was the only one who ate a wave on the way out and I was the only one who turtled in the surf on the way in. Good times none the less...
It was a day none of us will ever forget.