Thursday the 17th
Pam, Sam and I packed up the “Super Bestest Kayak Trailer Ever”and headed down to Atlanta. We would be staying at Chip aka “treehugger” house and all driving down to Jacksonville Friday morning.
After fighting the Atlanta traffic we finally arrived at Chips, an hour before KayakFishingRadio. Chip moved the studio down into the dining room so we could participate in that night’s broadcast. If you missed it check it out here, don’t the show live with ship was a blast; “I’d like to give a shout out to Sweetwater Brewing Company”. After the show everyone had a few more drinks then turned in for the night.
Friday the 18th
Original plans were to get on the road by 8am but we didn’t leave Chips house until 9-9:30am. We made a quick stop at Bass Pro Shops to pick up some saltwater tackle we didn’t have access to at our local tackle shops.
Right after crossing the Florida State line, my Explorer once again needed gas. I stopped to fill up and everyone else grabbed snacks including Chip.
We were the last of the YakAnglers to arrive in Jacksonville so when we pulled into our campsite everyone else was set up and already mingling. Scott “MountainDewMan” and Charlie “Harley” from the Irish Water Dogs had some sweet Irish Water Dogs schwag for us.
Everyone hung out by the fire where we planned the first kayak fishing trip of the weekend that next morning.
Saturday the 19th
The YakAngler crew was late; luckily Charlie and Scott hung out by the campsite boat ramp and patiently waited for our crew. I took out the new Gullwing Paddle to see how it preformed. I was impressed with the amount of power per stroke I was able to generate with my new paddle. "Full review to follow in a few weeks" Charlie and Scott took us through the winding grass “creeks” that wind all over the area for miles. Early on we ended up splitting into several groups. Rob was with the other groups and you can read his story here. “Read Rob’s Story Here”
Sam, Javier and I stayed up tide of the bridge; I felt the current and didn’t want to get sucked out when the tide turned. We threw everything, DOA shrimps, Redfish Magic Spinner Baits, Various Gulp patterns, even tried free lining live shrimp next to the grass… Nothing. We fished most of the day without even the hint of a fish other than the fact that we could hear the other group of kayak anglers hooting and hollering as they caught fish.
Sam was just happy being in Florida and observing the scenery.
As the tide turned we decided to start our paddle back to the boat ramp, Sam passed a kayak fisherman from the Jacksonville kayak fishing.com; he offered her a Redfish that he had gill hooked and was going to die. She took the Red because it didn’t seem like we were bringing any home that day. She asked him what he was using and he showed her a Supermarket bag of frozen shrimp. “Just fish the dead shrimp on the bottom, and you’ll pick a few up” the angler said.
So we beached ourselves on a deep channel where several other boats were catching fish. I rigged us up with two bottom rigs and “Live” shrimp. Finally the ice was broken and I hooked a decent 23” Red.
After releasing the Redfish we noticed how quickly the tide runs in Jacksonville. Our boats that only 20 min’s ago were merely stern beached were totally out of the water. We decided to head back fearing that it might be a long slog back to the boa tramp if the tide got any lower.
We made it about ¾ of the way back before we had to get out and drag out kayaks because the tide was so low. Luckily we left when we did, the other groups got back several house later and had even less water to paddle “Read Rob’s Story Here”.
That night after everyone finally made it back we had our Potluck dinner. Javier’s wife made some killer Chicken Teriyaki “with a Spanish twist”. Scott proved that not only is he Pirate but a Baking Pirate at that with his Campfire Peach Cobbler.
And Samantha’s Chicken and Steak Teriyaki was the bomb like usual. We ate and sat around the campfire telling stories about the Great Slog, looking forward to the next day.
About the Author: Mark "YakSushi" Watanabe is the Co. Founder of YakAngler.com and the Founder of YakSushi Media. He considers himself a mediocre fisherman and an unexceptional writer. He's the devoted father of two little "Sushi's" and everyday tech ninja.