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Poling the flats in our Native Ultimates!

Posted by Nathan Raycroft on August 28, 2010 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Kaleb and I met up in Beaufort at the water’s edge and launched around 6:00 a.m. yesterday morning specifically on the hunt for some nice redfish while poling around in our Native Ultimates. Kaleb brought his fly rod, and I was eager to watch him cast, hook-up and land a red on the fly. I have always thought about taking up fly fishing, and back years ago when I lived in Florida, used to say that would be the best tackle to take a redfish on.

 

Started off the day throwing a Zara Spook with several blow-ups on the lure, but no hook-ups.

 

 

Not 30 minutes into the day, Kaleb locked into a small bluefish (on top-water I believe), and later followed up with a small redfish. We both kept watching fish blow-up on our top-water baits, the majority looking like more bluefish, but a few that appeared to be some smaller reds.

 

 

We moved through the creeks on an incoming tide and poled through the grass in just 6”-8” of water in the search of redfish. I was working one shoreline and Kaleb was across the creek on the other. I saw him stop and stake-out, then grab his fly rod and make a couple of casts to a redfish that was holding up in the grass. In later conversation he informed me the fish had essentially belly-flopped onto his fly like a person trying to jump out of the water, and then never turned back for the fly. As I came out of a small separated pool of water and through the shoreline’s grass, Kaleb pointed out that there was just a large “blow-up” of a fish on bait 30-40 yards up the shoreline I was working. I continued slowly poling up the grass line and turned the corner to a nice cut that was pushing water into the creek I was in and over a large oyster bar and there it was…an obvious redfish-on-wake leaving me. I crouched down quickly and placed my paddle on the bow skirt of my Ultimate, picked up my rod and reel and pitched a jerk shad out in front of the leaving wake. Without so much as closing the bell I had to immediately set the hook as the line was leaving me and held on as the fish stripped yards of line off the reel, it screaming the whole time. Kaleb heard either the reel screaming or my “hollering” and started paddling my way. Just as he paddled up, I was able to land a very nice and healthy 24-3/4” redfish. After a couple of pictures, the fish was released to fight another day.

 

 

We continued on about 100 yards and saw a very large blue-tipped, flag-shaped tail of a redfish tailin’ in grass that wasn’t 6”-8” deep! Kaleb and I both stopped in our tracks, then re-situated to allow Kaleb a perfect fly-casting position with the wind at his back versus off the side. He staked out and made one precise cast, dropping the fly right in front of the redfish! The fish lunged out of the water at the fly and fell just short of it, leaving us both speechless, and hearts pounding as we started searching for the fish. About 30 minutes later, we saw another fish tailing and after a couple of casts by Kaleb, the fish left the scene without so much as even a thought about chasing the fly. This happened once or twice more through the day, with no successful hook-ups on the tailing reds.

 

 

By 1:00 p.m. the wind started to pick up and it was time to call it a day. Overall, you couldn’t have asked for better weather or scenery. It was a great time chasing redfish and watching them “tail” in the shallow grass. It has been at least a year since I have seen a redfish tailing and rooting like these appeared to be doing, and that sight alone made the whole trip worth while.

 

I hope you enjoy the above fishing post and pictures and thank you for visiting AnglersNook.net! Allow me an opportunity to share my passion for kayak fishing with you in my next trip here on the Crystal Coast!

   

Nathan

  

Anglers Nook Guided Kayak Fishing (www.AnglersNook.net)

 

Native Watercraft Endorsed Fishing Guide (www.NativeWatercraft.com)

Branches, LLC. ProStaff Member (www.BendingBranches.com / www.AquaBound.com)

Columbia Sportswear ProStaff Member (www.Columbia.com)

O' Canada - My future kayak fishermen!

Posted by Nathan Raycroft on July 18, 2010 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

This blog post is being written specifically for my children and to document their fishing experience while we were on vacation at the family Cottage in Ontario, Canada. My daughter Brooklyn and my son Reece enjoy fishing with me locally, but had an even better time fishing in Canada. Granted, these pictures were not taken during kayak fishing specifically, but are worth posting for sharing my excitement for my childrens fishing and ‘catching’ experience.

 

From the dock, Brooklyn and Reece rotated lures throughout the day, catching small largemouth and smallmouth bass right in front of the cottage. When the fish stopped ‘taking the bait’, they would change up lures from small crappie grub-type jigs to chartreuse colored jigs, to Berkley earthworms (similar to Gulp products). I would go kayak fishing early in the morning and return to find them both awake fairly early for them, and standing on the dock trying to catch the next ‘bigger’ bass.

 

 

On the pontoon boat, it was no different. They both would change between rods rigged with different lures, and if I caught a fish, they would ask to have the same lure put on their rod. Many times, immediately after the hook set, I would turn the rod over to them to finish fighting the fish while the other would grab the net to land them.

 

 

Reece and Wendy were fishing on the front of the boat while Brooklyn and I were on the back. I was watching Reece present his lure with a ‘reel, reel, twitch, reel, reel, twitch’ presentation as I showed him. I signaled Wendy for her to witness, and we smiled about how focused he was on what he was doing. Just then, I hear him holler ‘Dad, Ive got one’ and turn around to see him leaning back, with his rod bent from the pull from a very nice fish. The last picture below is the bass that Reece caught from cast, to retrieve, to hook-set, to landing him, all by himself! This sure was a proud moment for me as a dad who loves to fish, and one who hopes to continue spending time on the water with my family doing what I love. There is no doubt that he enjoys it as much as I and that Brooklyn is finding a special place in her heart for time on the water as well.

 

 

I am a big advocate for introducing others to fishing, and remember the people who introduced me to fishing. I remember the first big fish, and dream about the next one. I offer that taking a kid fishing, specifically when they are your own, will heighten the fishing experience, especially when they catch a fish and their face-of-focus becomes covered with a grin from ear to ear! Let this blog serve as a challenge, one to push my fellow fishermen/women to introduce their child, or a kid, or someone new to fishing, and if possible, to kayak fishing! You may be surprised who has the best time on the water, them, or you!

 

 

Take the Anglers Legacy Pledge at www.takemefishing.org and pledge your commitment to introduce someone new to fishing this year!

 

To the readers, I hope you enjoy the above fishing post and pictures and thank you for visiting AnglersNook.net! Allow me an opportunity to share my passion for kayak fishing with you in my next trip here on the Crystal Coast!

 

Nathan

 

Anglers Nook Guided Kayak Fishing (www.AnglersNook.net)

 

Native Watercraft Endorsed Fishing Guide (www.NativeWatercraft.com)

Branches, LLC. ProStaff Member (www.BendingBranches.com / www.AquaBound.com)

Columbia Sportswear ProStaff Member (www.Columbia.com)

 

"Qaulity" time on the water!

Posted by Nathan Raycroft on June 26, 2010 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

This past Saturday my friend Luis and I had the chance to get out kayak fishing together. Luis is the Quality Control Manager for the Company we work for, and one of the best in the “biz”.

 

We launched from a favorite local fishing hole around 7:00 a.m. with warm weather, slick-as-glass water, and a falling tide. As the day progressed, the weather stayed relatively the same with the only real change being that “warm” turned “warmer”, yet a light breeze kept the real heat at bay.

 

We paddled around searching for the deepest holes and steepest-sloped banks we could find in hopes of picking up a few flounder in the kayaks. With little time having passed, Luis shouted out that he had just lost a fish. While lifting a nice flounder out of the water and onto the bow of the kayak, his flounder slapped his body against the side of the kayak, spit the lure from his face, and flew Luis the “peace out” sign while entering the water! Unfortunately, this fish was only bettered by Luis when he landed a small croaker much later in the day.

 

While continuing the hunt for flounder, I poled across the occasional flat hoping to locate a nice redfish. With nearly 4 hours under our paddles now, there wasn’t a spotted tail to be found. I paddled over to another deep hole and launched out a new favorite lure, watching it hit with water with a thud and slowly falling under the surface. As with most retrieves, I started looking around the area to see if I could spot some “fishy” movement on or in the water, hoping to locate the next bite. I turned my eyes back on the incoming lure just in time to locate it and see a dark black shadow coming from the depths of the hole and with one quick flash of white, this 17-1/2″ flounder opened his big mouth and spread his gill plates engulfing the nearly 7″ long lure! He leaned his shoulders in and tried to fight the drag back into the depths he came from, but within seconds, he was boatside and in a net for the photo-op!

 

 

We continued on into skinny waters with our pursuit for a nice redfish with only 2 seen much later while poling through the opening of a creek, and them heading in the wrong direction. We paddled to the ramp together grateful of the beautiful paddling weather and thankful for the time out of the office!

 

 

With the week slipping right on by, the chance for an evening launch is nearly out of the question. Hopefully the trip West this weekend will allow for some time on Kerr Scott reservoir and tight lines with a few large mouth bass!

 

I hope you enjoy the above fishing post and pictures and thank you for visiting AnglersNook.net! Allow me an opportunity to share my passion for kayak fishing with you in my next trip here on the Crystal Coast!

  

Nathan

   

Anglers Nook Guided Kayak Fishing (www.AnglersNook.net)

 

Native Watercraft Endorsed Fishing Guide (www.NativeWatercraft.com)

Branches, LLC. ProStaff Member (www.BendingBranches.com / www.AquaBound.com)

Columbia Sportswear ProStaff Member (www.Columbia.com)

RaycroftArt.com goes kayak fishing!

Posted by Nathan Raycroft on June 17, 2010 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

My brother David and his wife Amy own and operate RaycroftArt.com, a very successful photography business in Anderson, SC. They and their two daughters came to visit last weekend for some much deserved R&R, and while here, I took the opportunity to get them out in the kayaks for some early morning kayak fishing.

We put in at Queen’s Creek here in Swansboro, NC, and after a short lesson in paddle strokes, lure retrieve techniques, etc., we were off on the calmest waters I have seen since the IFA Tournament in Surf City, NC. Within the first 10 minutes, David hollered out that he had hooked and retrieved a flounder all the way to the kayak before losing him boatside. His short conversation about the loss and quick paddle stroke to the next grass bank let me know he was serious about his search for fish, and his opportunity at putting his first ever saltwater fish in the kayak.

We paddled along a grass bed that usually produces nice flounder and trout, but came up empty handed. When we turned the corner of the island, the flat behind it was boiling with fish movement, and what looked like (and proved later to be) large mullet. I stood up and poled around the flat looking for signs of redfish, knowing David was especially interested in hooking into one. While on the hunt, I turned around and saw David standing up in his kayak (my wife’s 12′ Manta Ray), and casting his lure out in front of him like he had done it a thousand times. As soon as the lure hit the water, he brought a quick twitch to the rod tip and the water literally exploded on his presentation! He set the hook and started reeling the fish in, all the while trying to keep his balance in the retrieve. While trying to sit he landed on the side of the kayak, tipping it enough to dump him in the 18″ of water we were poling around in, with legs flying, but hands tight on the task at hand. He stood up, quickly untangled the line from the paddle, pulled the Buff from his nose and mouth to breath the intended air versus water-soaked cotton, and continued reeling in the fish. I paddled to him quickly and just in time to see him land his first ever saltwater fish, from a kayak on his first trip! A nice 17″ flounder was the prize, and one well worth the fight!

We laughed about the events that took place to land the fish, and about how calm he was in the middle of the “storm”. I couldn’t have been more proud and more excited to be able to get him out on the water and for him to gain an appreciation for what kayak fishing is to me. This outing is one that I will not forget anytime soon, and one that I am very proud to launch as the first Blog update on my new site.

We may not have caught any redfish on this outing, but there is no question that it won’t be too long before the next kayak fishing trip with David and Amy takes place!

I hope you enjoy the above fishing post and pictures and thank you for visiting AnglersNook.net!

Nathan

Anglers Nook Guided Kayak Fishing (www.AnglersNook.net)

Native Watercraft Endorsed Fishing Guide (www.NativeWatercraft.com)


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