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Thursday, 20 September 2012 09:18

Going Big in the Wide Open

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Going Big in the Wide Open Photograph by Rob Choi

The mindset was that if we were lucky, one of us might get a shot at a cobia. The five of us knew going into it that finding mister brown of respectable size in a kayak is no easy feat. Yet, we all trekked out to the beach to take our chances. Our realistically curtailed expectations quickly found a serious deterrent as we stood there stupefied at the much higher than expected surf. As luck would have it, that wouldn't be the only curve ball of the day.

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.

Kayak Fishing Surf Launch 1

Kayak Fishing Surf Launch 2

Kayak Fishing Surf Launch 3

Kayak Fishing Surf Launch 4

Kayak Fishing Surf Launch 5

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.

Shark under a kayak

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 holding a bull redfish caught while kayak fishing

Alex Britland's first ever big red just short of 43" (Photo credit: Seth Goodrich)

Hooked up with a big redfish while kayak fishing

Losing line fast!

Rob Choi holding a 47.5 inch redfish

47.5" Release citation Red Drum

under water redfish release

Justin Mayer with a huge kayak caught redfish

Justin Mayer caught three up to 45"

Seth hooks up with a nice redfish

As I'm releasing a 38"er Seth Goodrich hooks up

Seth bowed up

Seth screaming

Seth with his first big redfish

Seth with his first Big Red 42.5"

Alex 46.5 redfish

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.

Billy holding a big bull redfish

William Ragulsky with a 47" citation (Photo credit: Seth Goodrich)

 Fighting a huge redfish from a kayak

Rod diggin' with my tongue out!

Bullredfish with no spot

44" with no spot on one side of it's tail.

Underwater redfish release

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.

The boys

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.

Read 6958 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 September 2012 10:20
Rob Choi

About the Author: Rob Choi is an avid kayak angler from Richmond, VA and although he lives close to the mighty James River, he frequents the Chesapeake Bay more often. His addiction to the salt has earned him a reputation among the locals as the fish junkie with reckless abandon to logic, time, and societal norms in his pursuit for the “tug that is the drug”. What he lacks in long term experience, he makes up in his passionate dedication to the sport now. He shares his love of the sport through his blog, www.angling-addict.com, as well as being a prostaff member at Ocean Kayak, Maui Jim Sunglasses, YakAngler.com, YakAttack, Werner Paddles, and crew member of HOOK 1 and Kayak Bass Fishing.

www.angling-addict.com