Tarpon fishing from kayaks!Read More
Redfish have been in full force the last couple of weeks. Schools of hundreds of them scouring all over the flats! Some days they have been a little tricky but other days eating anything you throw in front of their face. This was the perfect week for Leolla to call me and say that she wanted to surprise her husband for his 40th birthday with a kayak fishing trip. She told me they had some fishing experience but had never fished off a kayak. I told her that I would love to take them out and introduce them to kayak fishing.
Leolla told me that its was a surprise when we spoke earlier that week. As they pulled up I walked up to the truck to introduce myself. The husband at that time still didn't know what was going on or who the heck I was! lol! Then Leolla blurts out... We are going Kayak fishing! He was super excited to try kayak fishing. I gave them both a quick run through of the kayaks and we were off. I decide to use shrimp that day because of it being their first kayak fishing experience. The husband was just saying, "I would be happy if my wife catches fish..." Not even a second later her first cast and boom fish on! Slot redfish:) As I went over to assist and put her fish on ice, I look over and see his rod bent over with the drag just screaming off! Literally within the first 5 minutes we had a slot redfish and he landed a 30+ inch redfish. I told him you were suppose to save the big fish for the grand finally.;) He said to me, who's to say that will be the biggest fish... I said I like the way you think!:) Next thing you know people started pouring in around us so I decided to move. Usually I don't like to leave fish to find fish but, it worked out this time. The birthday boy ended up catching an even a bigger red than the first one. Totaling four over slot redfish ,with the largest being over 33 inches! Also a few trout. The wife caught 1 slot red fish, a few nice trout, and a shark. I ended up cleaning a redfish, trout, and a flounder for them because they were having a birthday dinner at Walt's. Leolla spoke with them earlier that day. Walt's Fish Market lets you bring your catch in and they will cook it for you.:) A great ending to a nice B-day of kayak fishing. They are already thinking about buying kayaks.:)
Kayak Wars is a year long tournament that is held world wide. Team Get Bent Fishing is in the US Southeast Division. We blasted off the tournament with a great start! The fist week we managed to land 6 red drum over 20 up to 29 inches, 13 trout over 20 inches, and 24 snook over 20 and up to 37 inches. The first day we caught 5 trophy snook which is any snook over 32 inches. We are aloud to use live bait but, all the fish so far have been caught on artificial lures like soft plastics (Exude's Darts, Mirro Lure's Lil Johns, and intimation shrimp), suspension lures (Yo-zuri's Shashimi Jerk-bait, Mirro Lure's Mirrodine), and Top-waters (Yo-zuri's Pecil , Heddon's Spooks). For inshore, I usually stick to 15-20 lb braided line with 20-30 Seaguar Fluorocarbon leader depending on the targeted species and clarity of the water. We only get to fish together once or twice a week so strategically picking spots is crucial! Also choosing our gear has has to be top notch, so we have the best chance possible. My kayaks of choice are the Old Town Predator 13 for inshore and Ocean Kayak's Prowler Big Game 2 for the offshore. Both Outstanding kayaks for the Southeast Region's waters. Paddles of choice are between Bending Branches Angler Pro, Angler Ace, and Aqua-Bounds Manta Ray Carbon. All these paddles are exceptionally light weight and cut through the water with ease. For my kayak accessories I depend on Yak-Gear. They have everything thing you can imagine to make kayaking more manageable. (Anchor Systems, Rod Holders, Lighting, Camera Booms, etc...) For eye wear I can't even imagine being without my Costa Sunglasses! The 580 Green Mirror or Amber are my lenses of choice, helping me see incredibly more on the water. Last but definitely not least is Buff USA. Their buffs and gloves are comfortable and provide great UV protection to keep me on the water longer. Being equipped and organized is one of the biggest keys to success on the water! All though we are still looking for one more teammate, we are all very passionate about fishing and hope to continue on this epic adventure! Up above are teammates Adam Calderon, Patrick Nespeca and I with trophy snook.:)
First off sorry it has been a while since my last blog. Had some computer issues that I had to take care of...
Fall fishing was excellent with everything in it's transitional state. Now winter is here and the fishing is still great if you are using the right tactics. First off don't worry about getting on the water at the crack of dawn to catch the early bite because it is nonexistent. Even with the warmer days heating the water temps up, the fish are still in their winter time patterns. If you are on the flats look for fish to be sitting in super skinny sand holes trying to warm up, and if you are in the backwaters look for the darker areas where the water is going to heat up faster. Once you have located the fish, slow our presentation down if you are using artificial lures. Most of the bait has moved out except the large schools of glass minnows. Exudes shrimp pattern soft plastics, smaller Yo-Zuri swim baits (Sashimi Jerk-baits), and crustacean looking flies are my baits of choice this time of year. Also remember what I said about SLOW YOUR ROLL! The winds have been pretty heavy lately so make sure you are not blowing by the fish. I use Yak-Gear's Anchor stick or Drift anchor, connected to my Anchor trolley to slow my presentation down. If you put all these techniques together, you will have great success. Until next time Stay Warm! Fish On! Fish On!
John was freshly retired and looking for a new Adventure. He picked up a nice used kayak that he modified to fit his needs. I could not believe some of the ingenuity that he came up with... The one thing that stood out to me the most was the up raised seat he designed out of a luggage rack! Great Job! He was new to kayak fishing and wanted to learn the basics. After teaching him a few tricks and techniques about rigging fishing gear/kayaks, we headed out on to the water. When showing new people to artificial fishing, I always start them out with soft plastics. Showing them different colors, size jig heads, hooks, and speed variations for certain situations. And Why? I began showing him what to look for and where to look for that prized fish. Before you know it, he put it all together and hooked into a Nice red fish. After a nice red fish sleigh ride from a beautiful lit up up fish. John had fell in love with kayak fishing! We ended up catching a only a couple of red fish and a few trout but, he was ready to rock n' roll in the future on his next kayak fishing adventure! Great Job John!
My love for paddling and fishing began at a very young age. I grew up on a beautiful lake in DeLand , FL. My dad bought a red Old Town Canoe for us to paddle around the lake. My next door neighbor on the lake was a Pro Bass fisherman who regularly stocked our lake with all types of freshwater species. When I was 9 years old, my dad and neighbor bought me my first spinning reel for my birthday. I was blessed to have this great introduction to the water at such a young age. I spent much of my childhood on that shiny red canoe paddling the lake every day, catching Largemouth Bass, Stripe Bass, Speckled Perch, and Blue Gill.
I moved to the west coast of Florida when I was 14 years old. I hadn’t ever really done any serious saltwater fishing before that, except off of docks, beaches, and piers. We had left the canoe with the lake house when we moved. I continued fishing from land and from friends’ boats, but I kept thinking about how fun it would be to get back to paddling around catching fish. As soon as I was old enough to get my first truck, I was ready to get something to paddle! Kayaks were just starting to become popular for fishing, so, I invested in my first kayak. It was called the Dawn Tracker by Ocean Kayak. At the time it was one of Ocean Kayak’s top of the line sit-in fishing kayaks. Man, when I got in the water with that thing, I felt invincible—the unlimited places I was able to go with it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many fish that I caught out of that yak.
Now, over 15yrs. later I am a Pro Kayak fishing Angler and a fulltime Kayak Fishing Guide. The proud owner of Casting Kayaks, LLC out of Sarasota , FL. Through the years I have tried out many different kayaks. Then recently my good friend Pat let me borrow the Predator 13 to do some filming for sponsors. When I sat in the P13 the first time I couldn’t believe how comfortable it was. I couldn’t believe how nice it handled for being a large, wide kayak. Then as I began to fish out of the yak, my mind was blown-- everything on the kayak was so well thought out. Everything I wanted in a kayak, the P13 had! Towards the end of the trip I took the Prowler Big Game 2 out for a spin and it solidified my confidence in Ocean Kayaks. I immediately knew I was ready to change my whole fleet. I pride myself in using nothing but the best products. I’m very thankful to have my new fleet so I can give my clients the best possible experience every time we are out on the water.
One of my greatest enjoyments in life is helping friends and clients experience the beauty and thrill of kayak fishing. Teaching them how to use different types of lures (I specialize in artificial baits) and watching them catch the biggest fish of their life! My mission in life is to get anyone and everyone into a kayak on the water and to show them my life through their eyes… to bless them as I have been blessed. Experiences like these can be life changing.