Guided Kayak Fishing


I've got your fishing story...

Posted by Nathan Raycroft on October 23, 2010 at 7:40 PM

I was sitting at the house one night and received a call from a guy named Doug who was inquiring about a kayak that I was selling. When the conversation was over, we were off the topic of a pedal type vs. paddle kayaks and into discussions about getting out on the water for a fishing trip together. Now it was just down to deciding what date this would happen.


We locked in the date and decided to hit the water together. As Doug lived near me and on the way to the launch, I picked him up and off we went to our launch destination. During the drive, we joked about people’s fishing stories in general, and how many times us fishermen try to “one up” each other. This topic carried on throughout the day on the water, and many times brought on a good laugh.


As we hit the water we were greeted with slick water and the fall’s high tide. For the trip, this tide’s height and nearing tidal turn would allow for the perfect path to be taken. And with that, we made our way to point “A” in the trip, picking up a feisty 14″ trout to start the day.


As we continued on in the path, fishing was slow but bound to pick up. We worked several oyster mounds without picking up a fish for a couple of hours. We then made our way to a deep hole that generally holds nice trout and an occasional redfish on the edges of the drop. We made our first drift through and with the second or third cast, a trout was caught! Doug caught this nice trout on the falling tide and while taking the picture, we were swept out of the primary hole and paddled back.



Once back in position, the fishing took off again, with more and more nice trout caught in almost every other cast. We would land the fish, throw a few in the cooler, and paddle back into position. And with the “flip of the switch”, it was over. The bite dropped off and we moved on to the next point.



Doug had previously caught redfish, but never from a kayak. With that in mind, my goal was to be sure that he caught his biggest redfish ever, so that not only would he be able to claim that in his next fishing tale with the friends, but that he might also get to experience the proverbial sleigh ride that can sometimes be offered by a big redfish.


We stopped at another oyster mound and I turn from the scouting of redfish to see Doug hooked up and pulling in this nice flounder! No redfish…but a nice fish none the less, and now 2/3′s the way to an inshore slam!



We worked the upcoming creek both on the shorelines and in the deep holes and pockets that exist in the same. With every paddle we saw the mud clouds that are common of a redfish who has been sitting and once spooked, darts off leaving a mud cloud behind. My concern, having not physically seen any of these fish, was that we were being tricked by larger mullet that we had seen earlier in the day. But with the next cast, Doug wiped that concern away as he pulled in his first ever redfish from a kayak, this one at a fine 19″!



We celebrated in the moment as we mutually sat and admired how awesome these fish are, shook hands for a “job well done”, and continued on through the creek in hopes to find another, and possibly bigger redfish.


Having pushed through the primary path of water and into the back narrow tidal creeks, we slowed our approach as the water started to literally come alive. With every push of the Native push-pole I would catch the glimpse of the blue on the tail of a departing redfish and call out to Doug who would launch his lure in the path directed. I tried to remain calm as I saw a larger fish take off and politely shouted out to Doug “Hit the point of the bank on the right!” Doug shot his lure to the location said and it landed perfectly and in front of the leaving redfish. Without an opportunity to twitch the bait, the fish hit the lure and took-off! Unfortunately, this hook-up was short-lived as the fish spit the hook leaving us wondering what had happened. I knew this fish was larger than Doug’s prior fish, and pushed on in hopes we would catch up to it and/or it’s older family members!


With the turn of the creek and just past the point at which Doug had previously just locked into his last fish, I again saw a large boil in the water and a mud cloud develop as the fish pushed on. I pointed in the direction that the fish went and Doug again pitched his lure out, landing it several feet out and in front of the fish. Time allowed just a twitch or two and Doug’s technique proved to be spot on as the fish picked up the lure and took Doug for a rod bending, drag screaming ride! I started digging for my camera and was able to catch a few action shots for the memory of this catch!




Doug fought this fish perfectly, not ever putting too much pressure on the fish but also not letting it get out and around the nearing oyster mounds in the creek. With one swoop he netted this 24-1/2″ redfish and leaned back with a smile and sigh of relief that couldn’t have been bought!




I, in normal fashion, “hollered” out a big “Yeah!” as I was so happy for Doug and proud to have been able to assist in the day’s catch!



I finished taking a couple of pictures and Doug kindly released the fish to the water to live another day. Time had gotten the best of us and we made our way back to the dock, loaded up, and drove home.


On the drive home Doug and I discussed the fine fish caught, recognizing that Doug on his first kayak fishing trip had caught an inshore slam that had an aggregate length of nearly 60″! We laughed about different events that took place through the day and probably carried our mutual smiles from the launch all the way back to the house. Once home, we split up the day’s catches for what ended up being a fantastic dinner, and exchanged a handshake until the next time we could get out on the water. In closing conversation, I reminded Doug of the initial conversations of the day about “the biggest fish” and “the most fish” stories that we all love to share, and offered that I was pleased to be able to write that “I’ve got your fishing story…!”


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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