Gary’s Seven Hour Kayak Fishing and Wildlife Observation Trip Report, Florida

Here’s a new report from Gary Rankel:

Was out for 7 hrs yesterday in hot weather and sun.

Ran into lots of redfish yesterday, but most were pretty spooky.

redfish hooked near fishing kayak

redfish caught in fishing kayak

I did manage to get this beautiful 10 pounder on top water just as the sun was coming up.”

redfish caught in fishing kayak

Also got a few sea trout and jack crevalle.

Jack caught in fishing kayak


Sea trout caught in fishing kayak

Sea trout caught by Gary in hisfishing kayak

I just missed my “West Coast Slam” as a nice snook shook my topwater lure while airborne about 20 feet from the W (sorry I couldn’t snap a picture of that).
I also ran into a visitor who was really interested in your new W 500 (I think he thought he had just found the perfect mate). He entertained me for a good 20 minutes, repeatedly coming right to the side and of the W to get a good look.

manatee nearing Gary's fishing kayak

manatee near Gary's fishing kayak


More kayak fishing with Gary >

4 Comments

  1. Jeff McGovern

    Watch those manatee. They are a real problem when they decide to come up under your kayak. At the 2007 Kayak Classic one tilted my W and made off with an $80 net. I hooked it almost 5 months later about 100 yards from the spot where the beast took it. It had been pretty well ruined since manatee have no regard for good tackle. Hey otherwise nice looking fish day. Great way to fish too with artificials. That topwater bite is the best. Nothing quite beats a plug blown off the surface then made away with. I can feel that pull now.

  2. Rox

    How awesome is that.
    Beautiful fish and some awesome pictures of the Manatee. 🙂
    Doesn’t get much better then that. 🙂

    Tight Lines and Happy Paddling All.
    Rox

  3. Gary Rankel

    Hi Jeff…….Your manatee experience surprises me – with the thousands of manatee encounters we have on the Nature Coast each year, I’ve never heard of a problem. They’re such docile creatures – I’m sure yours was simply trying to scratch his back and meant no harm, not that that matters when you’re in the water trying to recover your fishing gear or bailing out your kayak. I rarely fish in more than 5 ft of water and normally use topwater from first light to past noon. My idea of deep water fishing is my No. 13 floating rapala which dives 2 ft down. I may not catch as many as the live bait and Gulp guys, but I’ll take my one surface explosion to their more numerous underwater taps anytime.

  4. Jeff McGovern

    Hey Gary,
    The manatee are the one thing I warn folks about more than anything else while in the kayak. Unless of course you count gators but that normally means someone has gotten stupid with them. The manatee of course are not out to harm someone but their size can be an issue when they put it in the wrong place. We try and stay away from them to avoid losing gear. We did have one fellow last year that hooked one on a topwater. He did get his lure back but was pretty well spooled in the process. The beast came right up under a Zara Spook he had rehooked with sharp Owner trebles. Sure enough it got snagged. I don’t think the manatee had any idea. You are so right on the topwater work. Nothing quite beats that level of excitment. So far as deep water, if the paddle does not touch it’s really deep for me. Our snook hole has a couple of deep parts no paddle has ever reached. Maybe that’s where that big gator lives.

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