Guided Kayak Fishing


My son's first redfish!

Posted by Nathan Raycroft on October 20, 2010 at 7:25 PM

My son Reece turned 7 years old Saturday and he and I spent the day visiting some local tackle shops and distributing more business cards. While at The Reel Outdoors on Emerald Isle, Reece spotted a rod and reel combo that as he stated was “just his size”. Many tackle shops sell either “kids” rod/reel combos or “adult” sized ones. The combo that Reece found was a “youth” size and though his natural ability allows him to handle a smaller adult-sized set, I thought this would be a perfect gift for his birthday. After a full weekend of birthday gatherings and time spent together as a family, the business week resumed and it was apparent that as it progressed, that new rod and reel combo was itching a hole in Reece’s hand just waiting to get wet!


So with the weather fair and the first opportunity arising, I left work early on Wednesday evening, picked up Reece from the house and headed towards Queen’s Creek in Swansboro. After launching, we headed to the nearest island with a cut passing through it and began the hunt. Specifically, we were hoping to find redfish and/or flounder at this location. I told Reece during the first couple of casts to put his bait as close to the bank and surrounding oyster bars as possible and then begin the usual retrieve. While demonstrating, I said “watch how close I put this bait”, and after the first twitch, I hooked and landed a small 14″ redfish. Reece’s eyes were as big as basketballs as he asked for the net and proceeded to land my fish for me.



He was smiling big and said “I can’t believe you called it, Dad!”



We went to another marsh wall that is common for holding flounder and were able to hook-up with one fish, presumably a flounder, but lost it just seconds after the bite. With the sun setting fast, we made our way back towards the launch and Reece called out that he wanted to hit another spot, pointing to an “L” shaped island that held a small island in the inside corner, creating a small creek passing in between. We paddled in the back creek of the set of islands and Reece said “Dad, look at all the bait fish” as a pile of bait kept exploding in the water and scurrying away. He directed “paddle closer, Dad”, and I did as directed.



While standing in the front of my Native Ultimate 14.5, he leaned to the side to peer around the next corner of the grass edge and made a long cast, holding his rod out to the side to keep his line out of the grass. ”Paddle closer, Dad, but be very quiet” he said. The lure hit the water and Reece started the retrieve. In an instant, Reece yelled “I got one, Dad!” and the fight was on!


I grabbed the net and asked him to bring the fish to the left side of the kayak, and he fought the fish and directed him right to the net. Once landed, we confirmed the fish was another nice redfish. This one provided me with one of the proudest moments in my kayak fishing experiences as Reece landed his very first redfish, this beautiful 15″, four-spotted trophy.



He smiled from ear to ear and looked at me for my response…I grabbed him and hugged him with all I had, advising him that I was so proud of him and so happy that I could be with him when he caught his first redfish!


I say often that there is nothing better than putting someone new in a kayak and putting them on fish. Even after some recent successes and opportunities to do just that with my mom, my dad, and some of their friends, this outing lands itself on a shelf of highest elevations.


At the end of the trip, Reece offered that I might need to purchase the Native Ultimate 16′ so that “we both can have our own seat”. I figure it won’t be long before he’s paddling his own!


I’ve offered in a previous post a challenge for my fellow anglers to introduce someone new to kayak fishing, specifically if its your own child or another young person in your life. Again I commit that you might just be surprised as to who has the better experience; them or you!


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


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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1 Comment

Reply Hartamaks
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