Why would we subject ourselves to this kind of insanity after a dawn to dusk, hard paddling slog the day before? Because it’s not every day that you get to fish a legendary place like Mosquito Lagoon with two of the East Coast’s premiere kayak fishing guides.
That’s right. We were meeting up with Dee Kaminski and Redfish Chuck!
The Chipmobile was on the road at 3:15 – Our goal being get past Daytona before 5:00 AM so that we wouldn’t get stuck in race traffic. We didn’t even stop for coffee before Daytona. We ran into very foggy conditions about halfway there.
Now, they did warn us that we needed to stop before we arrived at the put in and apply large amounts of Deet since it’s not called Mosquito Lagoon for nothing. And of course, yours truly was too busy having a smoke and fixing coffee and lost out on the chance to slather on the bug spray. As soon as I got out of the Chipmobile, I was covered by these useless critters. As you can imagine, I applied the good stuff very quickly.
We quickly put our gear together and launched into the mist in search of the giant redfish that Mosquito Lagoon is known for. It was a special trip for me – I wanted my first fish on the board for Kayak Wars to be a good one. The water was crystal clear! Brad (The Clone) hooked up with a redfish on his first cast – his third cast yielded a nice trout – all within 5 minutes of launching.
Then it was my turn – my kayak being towed through the water by something. Then nothing…then there it goes again….is that the bottom? Wait it’s a flounder! Oooops! I had foul hooked a dinner plate sized stingray right at the base of the tail! As I tried to wrestle it and figure out just how I was going to get the hook out, screaming like a little sissy, Chuck came over and unhooked it for me.
The 7 of us paddled out into the Lagoon, scanning for wakes and tails. Chuck and Mark (LandingCrew) split off to the left a bit and Dee and everyone else went to the right. I kept looking for signs of life and checking to see if either party found fish.
Who was going to find fish first?
Then, as I paddled over to where Chip and Dee were fishing, they told me that Chip had landed a 32 inch specimen!
We picked up the school again and started playing redfish rodeo – we herded them around but couldn’t get them to eat.
Then, The Clone hooks a nice trout and another redfish….now, we have them nailed down…not the big beasts, but fish….and lots of them.
We were all throwing some sort of soft plastic lures and hooking up on just about every cast.
LandingCrew got a nice 24 inch redfish on one of his hand poured baits.
It was one of those fishing days that you dream about – fish hammering your lure on every cast – when you cast and the fish jumps out of the water to grab it in midair….
Even though I didn’t get to capture the moment – Chuck picked up his first redfish on fly. He was a happy man indeed!
I picked up a money fish. After I removed the hook, I put him on the measuring stick to get a photo for Kayak Wars and he swam right off the end of my stick and back into the water….lesson learned – next time, keep it hooked until you get the photo, dummy.
I had to stop and take a break for a while. My hands were killing me from reeling in so many fish. Everyone had lost count of how many fish we caught….by conservative estimates, around 200 from about 7:30 til the bite shut off at 1:30.
We let the wind push us back to the put in. I actually dozed off in the gently rocking kayak, content with one of the best days fishing of my life.
If you’re even remotely into kayak fishing, you need to plan a trip with Chuck or Dee. I’m not just telling you to hire them to take you out because they’re my buddies…they’re really good at this and they care whether or not you catch fish.
Just don’t forget your bug spray!
To read more articles by Rob, please visit: http://www.abadbackcast.com/