Gary’s Labor Day Kayak Fishing Trip Report, Florida

Had a relaxing Labor Day on the water with my W500 except for the effort I had to expend keeping this snook out of the mangroves.  He treated me to a few cartwheels before bringing him alongside, so I rewarded him with his freedom.  Also got a few small trout and redfish giving me a Labor Day Slam.  The 500 is great – it’s nice having way more room in a kayak than you need.

Snook in Gary's fishing kayak

Redfish hooked - Gary's fishing kayak


9 Comments

  1. Jeff McGovern

    Sweet looking snook. How close to legal? We had a heart breaker here when one of the guys landed a 27.5 inch one right when the season opened. No way would it measure to the 28 inches required. At the High Bridge area near Flagler there have got to be a huge population of snook wearing YoZuri Crystal Minnow bling right now. We have all donated to the cause, I’m ready to start using 50lb leader since my normal 20 and 30lb is getting hacked to bits.

  2. Gary Rankel

    Hi Jeff……One of these days, I’ll bring a fish home for dinner (I still haven’t tried a snook, red or trout as I’m not a big fish eater), but, so far, I’ve been letting them go. Don’t know if mine made the 28-33 inch slot, but it may have. I did lose one of my $17 Skimmers yesterday – I think a red took it into an oyster bar. For now, I’ll stick with the 20 lb flouro and keep my fingers crossed. I’m sold on the Skimmer and my chug bugs and other topwater lures are now gathering dust.

  3. Rox

    Nice job landing that snook. 🙂
    And Congrats on the Labor day Slam! 🙂

    Tight Lines
    Rox

  4. Jeff McGovern

    Hey Gary, when you get the desire for some fish those reds, snook and trout can be mighty tasty. The reds are best cooked on the grill leave the scales on the filets and cook them without turning until the meat is white and flaky. We call that reds on the half shell. The snook need to be skinned for sure or the taste will be awful. The nick name years ago before people knew that was soap fish since they taste like soap. Skinned they are wonderful grilled or broiled. The trout can be handled like a fresh water fish just by regular filet and skin methods. Winter weather is coming so the fishing should be off the chain soon.

  5. Gary Rankel

    Thanks for all the culinary advice, Jeff. I’ve been an avid fisherman my whole life, but never cared for the taste of fish, so I released everything except a few for relatives and friends. As a federal biologist assisting Indian tribes manage their fisheries resources, I’d often have the opportunity to fish with tribal members, and quickly developed the reputation as this crazy white eyes who fishes all day and doesn’t eat fish. I have tried grouper since moving to Florida and now can say I enjoy one fish – they taste just like chicken. But the least bit of fishy taste will turn me off. I will, however, give trout, reds and snook a try one of these days, especially if I hook one deeply (which doesn’t happen too often using topwater). Can’t wait for the cooler water and air temps.

  6. Gary Rankel

    Thanks, Rox. Snook are a blast.

  7. admin

    Native north American people lived for thousands of years side by side with native arctic circle people, so why didn’t they adopt the kayak design, or create a similar design? (E.G. sit-in in Canada, the Midwest and New England, and SOT in the South)
    It would have been easy considering kayaks’ method or fabrication (skin stretched over a wooden frame) is nearly identical to that of canoe making.
    I believe the answer is simple: They had no need for kayaks, whether in cold or hot climates. The different canoe types and sizes they used were good enough for all matter and purpose. Additionally, the prospect of getting stuck inside a narrow, tube-like boat wasn’t appealing… and there was no particular advantage to a paddle-board style watercraft (I.E. SOT kayak), except if you could easily build it from reeds, like these native south American fishermen have been doing for thousands of years:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wfQSJSkE1w&feature=related
    (note the different sitting positions used)

  8. Gary Rankel

    I never really thought about your question before, Yoav. Perhaps the Pacific Northwest tribes required larger boats and more manpower for their salmon netting and whaling operations. It would have been alot more work to build 5 or 6 kayaks to accommodate the same number of people that one canoe could handle. Perhaps the Chippewa people in the Midwest felt the same way in netting operations for Great Lakes species. Had you been around at that time, I’m sure they would have appreciated being able to obtain a 15 or 20 foot Wkayak to assist in their subsistence operations – then you could have posted a video of them standing up while attempting to harpoon a gray whale.

  9. admin

    Gary,
    For me, the W is first and foremost a personal boat that solves problems that we as modern individuals have, and accommodates our special needs.
    Whether in the new or old world, people of pre-modern civilizations were considerably shorter and skinnier than we are, and younger too – in average. Needless to say they were also in better shape, in most cases, and used to sit and work in various positions that we’re no longer familiar with.
    All this means that they had much fewer problems with small boats, canoes and kayaks, as well as fewer requirements than we have. For example, fun wasn’t a requirement back then 🙂
    Yoav

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