By Jill Toler
It’s 7:53 am; where is Fishing Buddy?
Evidently, she is sitting in the driveway waiting for me to get it in gear so we can begin our day. Today; Saturday, October 24, 2015, is the first day of kayak fishing for me. I had hoped to go sooner, but when you own a business sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
The preparation for this day began last week when I knew I was lacking some stuff that other folks have on their kayaks. I installed an anchor trolley, some rod holders, and a couple of soft spots at either end of the saddle gunwales. I used pool noodle for the soft spots and Command brand strips for rod holders. I wasn’t sure about the rod holders, but they have worked out great. Simple, yet effective. Prior to installing the new stuff I totally snaked Steve Anderson’s paddle holder idea and made some of my very own. I used thin, flat aluminum bar and bent it to the contours of the kayak. I filed smooth the sharp edges and covered parts of the holders with good ‘ole duct tape. After all that work I felt way more prepared to use my kayak for catching.
I decided my first outing should be somewhere familiar and protected in case the wind blew a gale. Jan and I chose Lee Landing on the Upper Broad Creek of the Neuse River. The Neuse is brackish down my way, so we knew that we could potentially catch anything from sunfish to drum or speckled trout. Fishing Buddy gave me some advice about packing for the day and what to take and what not to take. I reorganized 3 times before I was satisfied with my choices and included flies and gear for typical salt and fresh water fishing. I also remembered the camera, yay for me!
We arrived at our destination, unloaded the kayaks from the vehicles and then loaded the kayaks with stuff. Fishing Buddy got on the water first and I followed eventually. I really need to work on the “scoot”. Alas, I was afloat and paddling toward a dock. My second encounter with a dock went a lot better than my first encounter. I slipped my fly rod from the holder and made a cast in anticipation of getting bent; I would have to wait a while before being bowed up. I paddled, cast, and repeated.
I hoped to catch some trout, so I started fishing with a black and orange clouser fly. I then changed to a chartreuse and white clouser fly after no strikes or hook ups. Fishing Buddy had changed from a tutti frutti fly to an all white with gold flash clouser fly and caught a bass on a sunny bank. I decided to go with a white wooly bugger, but that didn’t work too well either. We were both throwing intermediate lines and even though I usually throw a floating line when fishing small poppers, I decided I was going rogue. The wind was blowing me around pretty good, so I backed my kayak up into some reeds while I tied on that awesome little popper and when I was all tied up I eased over toward the sunny bank and made a cast between a cypress knee and a clump of reed grass. Float, strip, pause, strip, pause, BAM! FISH ON! I knew it was a bass because he commenced to pulling me toward his lair and I went to hollering. I was so happy that I evidently failed to see two folks paddling a canoe get close enough to join in the celebration. Unfortunately, my Fishing Buddy had paddled up the creek so she missed the whole scene. The nice canoe folks assured me that they would convey the good news when they got around the bend.
The remainder of the trip was spent catching pumpkinseeds and bass. I did manage to land a reed fish; they are very elusive you know.* 🙂 happy It was 2:00 pm when we arrived back at the boat ramp. We got loaded up and helped a fella get his boat trailer backed down the ramp to retrieve his boat, it was his first time and he needed a bit of guidance.
I had no idea that I had fished for 5 1/2 hours. I learned a lot today and will tweak some things for my next trip. I am so tickled with my kayak and I am so anxious to go again.
I have attached some pictures.