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Monday, 10 December 2012 08:27

Farewell to a good friend

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Farewell to a good friend Photograph by Bill Howard

I had the very good fortune to meet Joe Lineberry a few years ago after he was stationed at MacDill AFB. He was an avid freshwater fisherman, but was somewhat of a novice when it came to saltwater kayak fishing. After winning the National Championship of the Tropic Bay Kayak Fishing ClassicS this year, I would say he has come a long way in a short time. It was with deep sadness that we met this past Saturday to fish for what I hope wouldn’t be our last time.

See, Joe is retiring from active duty (US Army) and moving up to Canada, where he will run a fairly large marina and resort near Ontario.

Four of us - Tom Coffey, Greg Becker, Rik Llewellyn (owner of Paddle-Fishing.com) and I - joined Joe at the infamous Cow Creek on a calm and foggy morning. With not much of a tide to work with, I think we were all hoping for a good topwater bite due to the low light condition. It took some time to develop, but for a short time it was off the chain I had several large snook just crush my topwater lure, only to miss it each time. How this happens I will never figure out. I did connect with a really fat slot redfish that hit my “Super Spook Jr.”, but missed it. As I was reeling the lure back in really quickly to make another cast, he hit it like a freight train.

bill with a redfish

Greg was next to get some action. He missed a connection with another large snook, only to have its little brother take the lure on the next cast.

Greg fighting a snook

greg with a snook

As quickly as the bite turned on, it was over and we all went off in search of more fish. We ran into a large school of ladyfish, and all took turns playing with the “Poor Man’s Tarpon”. On an ultralight rod, they are a load of fun! Of course, I found some interesting subjects to take pictures of during the day, as well.

morning dew on a spider web

egrit stalking the mangroves

As the day wore on, the sun came out and the wind died down - and when that happens, it can only mean one thing when you are fishing around mangrove trees. The gnats and no-see-ums came out and drove us all crazy, so we went looking for some open water and a little bit of breeze. Nothing much more happened; a few small snook, one or two blow ups on the top water, but nothing spectacular.

And before we wanted the day to end, we were back at the launch loading up. One more group shot, and it was time to say goodbye. I hate saying goodbye, so like the tag line on most of my articles, I just told Joe, “Until next time…”

kayak fishing crew

Left to right Bill, Joe, Barnacle, Rik, Greg

We will meet again my friend.

Read 6877 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 11:31


# Alfgar 2012-12-14 14:40
What do you mean "Farewell to a good friend"? You make it sound terminal. Instead you should have said, "Hey! we just got a new place to go fishin' in Canada!"

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