I quickly put Atlanta traffic in my rearview and drove into the night to reach our destination. Upon arrival, we stowed our belongings and broke out our kayaks and gear for some dock light fishing. Docks that were normally hustling and bustling with the ending life cycles of minnows and the death dealers who lurked below the glowing surface were strangely quiet. The wind was too strong for fly fishing, so I broke out a small twitch bait and quickly put two keeper trout in the boat. I also hooked up with a berserk lady fish that, on a short line, leapt out of the water like a deranged tether ball and smacked me in the face.
A cloudy day dawned as we paddled into a large lagoon after trout, redfish, and the 6’bull shark that circled under my Jackson Kayak “SUPerFISHal” paddle board. It is truly breathtaking to glace down and see a large shark under your paddleboard. Corey could not see it - and that brings forth the question, “How many sharks are right under my boat that I never notice?” Moments after the shark disappeared, the bottom dropped from under my popping cork with the pull of a stout 18” trout.
Fly fishing was high on my agenda, and I spent the remainder of the day battling the wind, my back cast, and the sink-tip fly line. I was near to giving up when my first saltwater fish on the fly fell for a red-and-brown shrimp fly. I cast to an isolated stand of sea grass well outside the weed line, and three strips in a feisty hardhead catfish hammered the fly and fought like a little devil.
The towering black thunderheads that shadowed our morning paddle were ushered away by blistering, post-frontal winds so strong we had to walk our kayaks back up the shoreline to the launch. The workout earned us a fine meal, and a Shrimp Basket never leaves you wanting!
Our last day was spent in the surf, trolling for kings or whatever else happened our way. Unfortunately, winds in excess of 20mphbrought rolling waves that tossed our river kayaks and broke waves over their bows. No fish were brought to hand, but we took in some amazing sights: dolphins off our bows, cruising sea turtles, blitzing kingfish just out of range, and a giant leaping manta ray. The waves grew with the wind, and I cared little about fishing and more about simply keeping my boat right-side up. Crashing waves broke over the side of my boat and made the paddle in an arduous task. We collapsed on the beach exhausted from fighting the huge breakers back in, watched the sun sink over a cold drink, and beat a trail to a neat little taco stand we passed on the way in. Out-of-this-world fish tacos served as a fitting tribute to an amazing trip with a great friend.