Guided Kayak Fishing


Redfish, friends and personal bests!

Posted by Nathan Raycroft on September 5, 2010 at 6:15 PM

I had another opportunity to get on the water with my friend Kaleb Dutil and co-worker/friend Luis. Kaleb is a fellow Native Watercraft Endorsed Fishing Guide and is the Coordinator for the Cape Fear Chapter of Heroes on the Water, an organization that serves all military personnel who have been wounded, injured or disabled while serving on active duty, in the reserves or national guard. In this trip, Kaleb’s wife Danielle was also able to get out with us. As the day started, Kaleb and Danielle joked that she was there as the “photographer”, but as the day progressed, there was no mistaking the fact that she was there to show us how to catch nice redfish and flounder!


We were on the water at about 6:30 a.m. on a falling tide and unfortunately, one that had not gotten as high as the tides we saw just last week. We were hoping to get up in the grass for some tailing redfish but with the falling tides, realized we needed to stick with our usual fishing pattern for reds here on the coast. As we made our way through the first creek, I heard Kaleb say “Here we go!” as he leaned in on a very nice redfish that smashed his top-water presentation. He had tossed his plug near an oyster bed off the bank and with proven bad intentions a very hungry 24-1/2” redfish came up mauled the lure and attempted to run off with it. Kaleb set in on him and landed this beautiful redfish for a nice start to the day!



After getting a few pictures, I continued with my search for a redfish and hoped to find one willing to dine on my favorite Zara Spook Jr. It wasn’t long and I had a few signs of a fish chasing the lure on retrieve, but no hook-ups. I was just about to put the rod down and push down the shoreline further when I made another cast, and landed a small 14” redfish. Not what I was looking for in size, but I was hopeful I would find its older brother, father or grandfather during the rest of the day.


I floated the outgoing tide into the open bay area and worked the outside shoreline of the island. I met up with Luis there as he was chasing a large pod of mullet that was repeatedly broken up by what looked like small blue fish. Having no interest in that matter at the specific moment, I offered that I was heading back into another creek to get back “inside”, and invited Luis to follow me. He held back to work the pod of bait and I pushed on as intended. Just as I pushed past the immediate entrance of the creek where the outgoing tidal current was the strongest I saw a large wake begin to push further up the creek. I staked out and made a couple of casts…but nothing. So I pulled the stake-out pole and started moving up the creek more and again, saw the large wake slowly leaving me. I nearly talked myself into the fact that it might be a big ray, but it was too narrow of a wake and was pushing water like a nice-sized red. I staked out again…nothing. I pulled the pole and started up the creek and turned the bend just in time to see a large boil at a small oyster bar in the center of the creek. I staked out and pitched into the area where I saw the fish…FISH ON!!! I know you all will be surprised about this, but I let out a good “holler” as this fish stood still, fighting my every pull and not giving me any leeway. He then made a run at the oyster bar that was partially submerged and I had to lean in on him in hopes that he wouldn’t cut me off. About 3-4 minutes later, I landed the very nice 23-1/2″ redfish with 5 spots on its tail! Unfortunately, I didn’t have my GoPro camera or the mount for it and my other camera, so the pictures taken are as good as I could get at the moment.



Kaleb and Danielle were held up quietly catching a bunch of fish without me and too far off to provide me with an outside photographer opportunity. With my more familiar “photog” up catching fish in VA (skooteri), I released the fish and made my way towards Kaleb to see why he had been sitting still for so long, as if I didn’t already know.



When I got to where he was he informed me that he and Danielle both had been catching some nice fish, with Danielle catching her personal best redfish at 21”, and her first flounder at 17-1/2”! We all caught up and worked this spot for a while, with Luis following up with his first and second fish of the day; both nice redfish around 14”.



We decided to head back towards the launch with Kaleb leading and me following him and Danielle. All of a sudden Danielle shouted “I’ve got one” and her drag starts screaming as line is peeled out of her reel without hesitation. I tried to paddle closer to her without crowding her but the fish was pulling her away just as quick in a full-out sleigh ride! She finally lands the fish and to close the day, beats her personal best as caught earlier in the day with this very fine 25” redfish! As if there was any question going into the day, she put her stamp on the day and reminded us that she, too, was there to fish and if need be, show us just how it’s done!



As we paddled back to the launch we collectively discussed the fish caught for the day and the awesome events that took place. With “personal bests” broken twice in the same day, and “personal firsts” taking place, you couldn’t have really asked for more. I am thankful for another beautiful day on the water with good friends, and congratulations to Danielle for an excellent day of fishing!


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




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Categories: Saltwater Fishing

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