Tournament Season!

   The Summer is heating up, as tournament season comes into full swing! I have been gone almost every weekend this month for tournaments. Landing a couple top 10 places, I have to thank Mister Twisters soft plastics EXUDE and Mirro lures hard plastic baits! Couldn't do it with out them! The last month has produced some really nice fish. Tons of snook, redfish , and trout! I even had an encounter with a few black tip sharks one tournament. I was fishing close to the sky way bridge ,when I rolled up to this sandbar. I immediately stood up to see if there were any fish laying on it. Looking to my left, I see five 3-4 ft Black tips circling a stingray. Hearing of people catching Black tips sharks on top water lures, it had always been on my bucket list to catch a shark on top water. Picking up the only rod I had top water tied on, I made the cast. Twitched it twice and one of the sharks turned on it. Twitched it again and he hammered the the bait! FISH ON!!! It was peeling off drag on my little 4000 Sustain. It went air born twice before finally wearing down. Amazing fight! Now I had him and had to decide how to unhook the shark safely. I managed to place its head into the net. Using the metal bar on the net as shield to keep its head from swing up an biting me, I was able to remove it carefully. I manage to snap one picture and before the second pic he trashed, slipping out of my hands landing back into the water. What an amazing experience!:)  Here are a few of pics and till next time FISH ON! FISH ON!

Mosquito Lagoon for the Kayak Fishing Classics tournament!!!

 I've been in Mosquito Lagoon several times but never in a kayak! If you haven't it is a must do! I had a tournament there this weekend so, we went up a few days early to do some prefishing before the Kayak Fishing Classics tournament. The first night we got there a front was moving in with 30 mph winds but, we had to check out the well known Haulover Canal for some night fishing. Heard the redfish and Black drum are so big that you can hear them drumming under the water. Didn't really believe it until I experienced it myself. Unbelievable! You could hear them everywhere!  It would make your kayak echo. Anyways unfortunately with the strong front moving in they weren't biting that night. We headed out the next morning to search the area. Still with 30-40 mph winds we decided to park one truck at boat ramp and one at another and drift down. We started seeing big redfish everywhere but, we were blowing right over them. Anchoring up was the ticket. Most of the fish were singles and a few were in groups of two. As I was drifting looking for reds I saw a school of about 30 redfish. All of them were hanging out in a large sand hole, so I anchored up. I immediately started tearing into reds! Most of them were small but, a couple pushing over 20 inches. They were beautiful with their bright blue tails and bronze bodies. We saw more fish after that but not many trout so we decided to call it a day.

The next day we decided to make a long paddle across the Lagoon to check out a spot where the tournament was won the year before. Saw a school of big reds on the way across but, the dolphins had them spooked! As we finally got across to the other side we saw tons of boats coming from one direction so, we paddled over to see what all the excitement was. As we came up to the boat we started seeing huge fish pushing on the flats and both boats had multiple rods bent ripping in fish. Heart was pounding! I was ready to catch some fish. We anchored up in the mouth of the little creek and started pulling in big trout after trout! I headed closer to the mangroves to get a cast at some sand holes I saw. Boom! FISH ON! I had to pick up anchor to chase him down because I was running out of line. The redfish felt like a 40+ inch red but only measured out at about 32. Still a really nice fish!!! We all were tearing the fish up. We even had a triple hook up between three of us.Two trout and one red. We didn't want to sore lip the fish for the tournament the next day so we moved on. Seeing lots of reds and plenty of big trout we thought we had a game plan for the tournament so we headed in.

Then tournament day!  The wind had switched, so we decided to go a complete different way. Eight mile stretch that we were going to try and drift down with a light tail wind. Parking one truck at one end and the other truck at the other. Half of the area I had never fished before. So, we pushed out at sunrise. Heading down the west side of the lagoon we were seeing huge reds pushing wakes everywhere. The big reds were very spooked. Especially with three kayakers chasing them in a foot of water! lol! I saw a pelican about 200yds out so I headed over to check out to see if he was scoping out some fish. On my way I picked up a decent trout and forgot to put the tournament token in the picture with the fish! : (  As I paddled up to the pelican he got scared and flew off. Seconds after that I started seeing huge redfish tails flagging in the air. My heart started pounding! I took a couple of more strokes and picked up my rod and casted as far as I could. Took two twitches and BOOM! Fish ONNN... Line was peeling out and all of a sudden it went limp! The fish straightened my hook! My heart sunk but, I cast again in the same spot. BOOM again FISH ON! This one wasn't as big but it was still a huge redfish! I get him in and he measured nearly 35inches. Made sure I got the token in the picture that time! lol! Soon after we had boats pushing us off the school. My friends wanted to push on, but, the wind was blowing in our face.We were only a quarter of the way and we were 3hrs into the tournament. I made the decision to stay behind and try to find the big school of reds again. As I paddled back I picked up a lot of small trout but, nothing of good size. Soon after I saw the same boats working the school of reds so I paddled up to them and started casting. Boom! Another nice red, almost 26inches. The upper slot reds were in the beginning of the school and the huge 40+ reds were in the back of the school. As I sat there and waited for them to come back by I started feeling a little weird and shaky. I still had almost three hours of the tournament left but, I was obviously dehydrated or had low blood sugar. I made the decision to be happy with what I had caught and headed in. Put my umbrella up and sailed in. I drank lots of water and some Sprite and started feeling better when I got to the weigh in. I ended up placing 8th. I would have placed in the top five if I wouldn't have forgot to put the token in the picture of my first trout!  But ,I was very thankful to place in the top 10 considering I fished in a place I had never fished and missed almost half of the tournament from feeling sick. Over all, It was one of the coolest experiences of my life with all the beautiful wildlife and, of coarse, huge redfish everywhere!  : )