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Wednesday, 30 March 2011 02:00

The Tale of One Eyed Jack

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The Tale of One Eyed Jack Photograph by Bill Howard

At one time or another, we have all had a favorite lure. When I was growing up and my father got me interested in fishing, it was a wooden frog lure. I was all beat up, but I loved using it. I caught many a bass on that lure. Now once I got introduced to saltwater fishing, I always liked using a red head, white body top water lure. Mostly Mirrolures, my father-in-law uses nothing but. I gradually switched to Zara Spooks, settling on the Spook Jr’s, I really like the action and sound they make. So as I headed out this past weekend with my friends Greg and Joe , it was no coincidence that I had a red and white Zara Spook Jr tied on. But this was no ordinary lure, this was One Eyed Jack. More about Jack later, on to the fishing…

Saturday broke near perfect, no wind, flat calm conditions. The tide movement could have been better, but as we paddled out we could see plenty of fish moving on the flats. While debating which flat to fish, I looked over to some exposed oyster bars and couldn’t believe my eyes. I told the guys to look over to our left, and then I asked them “Which way, right or left?” It was a unanimous “left”. There were so many mullet, you could have walked across them. It turned out to be a good decision. Casting top water lures into the mix, it was non-stop action all morning. To quote Greg, “I have never laughed so much on the water”.

Most of the fish we caught that morning were smaller redfish and trout, but there were some huge blowups, so I knew it was only a matter of time before one of us hooked up with a big one. Just like I thought, Greg hooked into a really nice 31” red.



Joe got in on the action as well.

Both of these guys have a great passion for fishing, relatively new to the kayak angling scene, it’s been great fishing with them. I think we lost count on how many fish we caught that morning. So what does this have to do with a beat up lure you ask? Well, sometime during the fray that was Saturday morning, I got a huge hit on Jack, and the drag started screaming. And just as quick as that, the fish was gone, but something didn’t feel right. You know that feeling you get when the line breaks? Well I had it. My trusted Jack was gone, probably stuck to the mouth of some bruiser redfish. Oh well, it happens. And just like the bite was over and we packed it up and headed home.



Well later that afternoon Greg and I both got the much coveted kitchen pass for Sunday, so we hatched plans to head back to the same spot. Maybe, just maybe those fish would still be there. Greg brought his 8 year old son Robert along, so I was really hoping we could get back on those fish. We met at O-Dark Thirty, only to be greeted with a stiff breeze. No worries, the fish would still be there, we would just have to change out tactics a bit.

Shortly after getting on the spot, it was fish on. A big school of reds had pushed onto the flats, nearly running over Greg and Robert. Trying to catch the rising sun for an interesting picture, I had Greg snap some quick pics. My poor coaching yielded some not good pics, but let’s face it, you’d rather see the fish than my ugly mug anyway.


It wasn’t long after the Robert hooked up with his first redfish.



We had two more shots at those redfish, then like that they were gone and it was time for us to be heading in.


But here’s the thing. As we were wading the flats, Greg call over and say, “You won’t believe it” “But I found Jack”. After nearly 24 hours of being declared MIA, One Eyed Jack was back in my tackle try, where he belongs.

Until next time………………




About the Author: Bill Howard is a Pro Staff Member at Yakangler.com, as well as Malibu Kayaks. He is also on the Columbia Sportswear Pro Team. Bill is an avid photographer and writer, contributing to numerous websites and publications in the Tampa Bay area.

In 2008 he completed a 17 day, 129 mile trip around Tampa Bay raising nearly $4000 dollars for the American Heart Association. He is also a board member for the Tampa Bay Chapter of Hero's on the Water.

Read 7121 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 April 2011 16:17


# treehugger 2011-03-30 17:01
Bill, great story and photos to go along with it! Fantastic photo of Robert sitting in the back of the yak!!! That one is going to get you a prize! :-)
# Pam 2011-03-30 17:29
Indeed! A great story. I have a fav lure story too, but I'll wait awhile to write it. Bill's a tough act to follow!
# Hammerhead 2011-03-30 18:41
Great Article! Favorite lures are hard to come by. I lost my favorite Rapala, that I saved up my allowance to buy back in 7th grade. A big nasty pike finished it off, at least it died in battle. :cry:

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