Day 2 of the Yakangler.com/Kayak Fishing Radio Fishapalooza started with Scott and I meeting up with Javier at IHOP for breakfast at 5am. We had to meet everyone at the bait store at 6am.
After everyone arrived I discovered that I forgot to phone Aaron to tell him where to meet up…I remembered the night before but, with no signal I just plain forgot. “Apologies buddy, I was pretty tired to say the least!” We headed out to the south end of Bio-Lab.
Driving down a dirt road with a kayak trailer on the back is never a fun time. It was an obstacle course of potholes and we could only make out faint tail lights ahead in the dark and dust.
We arrived at the put in, which really isn’t a put in at all….just a small cut from the dirt road to the water below. We had to wade our kayaks out through the muck of decomposing sea grass (which doesn’t emanate a very pleasant smell) and we were off to what Chuck referred to as “The Hump” – a shallow area amid a deeper grass flat.
When we arrived, Chuck found the fish….a school of around 20 large redfish…but there was a line of boats already staked out around the hump and were already casting to them with gusto.
Off to another spot….looking for waving tails or “waking” fish to show themselves. Big redfish push a wake when swimming in the shallows and it makes spotting them a whole lot easier. We checked a few different areas and cast to deeper spots but it didn’t appear that anyone was home. There was an abundance of bait fish and mullet milling about, but we didn’t spot any big redfish.
We paddled up to a deep spot and finally started catching fish – not the big reds we were searching for, but keeper sized trout with a few ladyfish mixed in. I was fishing the Mirrodine with a medium retrieve when something stopped it cold! Had it on for a few seconds but it managed to shake off. Didn’t get a look at it, so I’m not sure what it was. Javier had a keeper trout that he was hold up for us to see when it shook itself loose and fell back into the water – Sorry man! A few fish later, he brought in a Sea Robin, which is a strange, alien looking fish, complete with crab legs and bird wings. I’m pretty sure I would have exclaimed “What the fuck are you!” if I’d have brought one of those to the boat too.
I’m not sure if this is funny or not – maybe you just had to be there – but Chip had a trout that he was trying to unhook. Opened up his hatch to get the pliers and the fish fell off – right into the open hatch and into the hull of his kayak. It was pretty humorous to see him trying to get that poor trout out, worried all the while about the teeth on it.
Then, it hit!
Something had smashed my Mirrodine and was on! It pulled my anchor loose from the bottom and pulled over my stakeout pole! It’s a blue fish! I’ve never caught one of those before. This one was only about 15 inches but was really giving me a yank. Of course, in true blue fish fashion, it emptied its stomach contents when I had it next to the kayak and ended up coming off before I could get a photo…but MAN! What a fish! I’ve got to get into some larger specimens for sure!
A short while later, we paddled back to the put in happy for another fun time on the water. Along the way, on a shallow, grassy flat with holes in it, we could spot redfish taking off out of the holes before we could get into casting range. Chuck told me that, most of the time, there would be a fish or 2 in every single one of those holes. Since the appearance of this section looked to me like grassy fields on the surface of the moon, that sounds like a lot of fish to me!
It’s always amazing to me when I go to Mosquito Lagoon and see NASA right in the middle of a beautiful, pristine wilderness and catch fish with the Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad in the distance.
We stowed our gear, did the best we could getting the smelly muck off of ourselves (I need one of Choi’s pump up sprayers), and had a beer while we watched an alligator with its tail and head up, eating something.
We said our goodbye’s and mentioned a few places for our next get together…
Maybe a night fishing trip to my neck of the woods?
About the Author: Rob DeVore is a Pro Staff Member at Yakangler.com and an outdoor writer from the Tampa Bay area. He writes for various fishing publications and is the host of The Late Show on the Kayak Fishing Radio Network. Rob also is the author of ABadBackcast.com