Tag Archive: creek

A small, usually shallow stream. Kayak anglers like to fish in creeks.

Thanksgiving speckled trout

By Jill Toler

North Carolina

What do you get when you put a Sunshine W700 on a local creek, add a Dubiel Pop-N-Fly, a 7 wt TFO BVK fly rod, some Rio floating fly line spooled on a Lamson Guru 3.0, and a 20 minute paddle to just the right spot… a fat, sassy 18″ speckled trout.

What a trip. I went to the infamous Northwest Creek with a similar plan that I have unsuccessfully executed on four previous occasions. Fortunately, trip number 5 turned out a lot better.

I paddled into the wind to get to a point that I was hoping would be holding some fish, and cast the Dubiel Pop-n-Fly toward the reeds and grass. Pop, pop, pause, pop, pause, pop, pop, pause; over and over again while drifting and trying not to be overrun by the trolling motor brigade. I decided to make a move and fish between some docks that had some very unhappy bait flicking around. Cast, pop, pop, pause…FISH ON! Went on a little sleigh ride before I was able to gain control and scoop her up. Best feeling ever!

It’s been way too long since I have enjoyed my Wavewalk and I am very thankful for a little break and a great trip.

 


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Bonnie’s true fish story

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

Bonnie is a serious angler.  She fishes from shore, kayak, party boat, lobster boat, any shore, any boat, anywhere.
And, when she flies down from New England to the Keys to get her fishing fix, she fishes with me.

The wind picked up, yesterday.  This weekend, the wind is blowing, again.  But, the Wavewalk warriors are bringing fish and true fish stories (oxymoron?) back to my docks.
Fishing in the formerly inaccessible creeks that pass though the mangrove forest can be most challenging:
The new short Ricky Rods are really proving their worth horsing fish from the Red Mangrove roots.  Also, I am gravitating toward Red Cajun 8 lb. test line for low visibility and abrasion resistance.
The fish are so thick in these creeks that they even get caught by casting into the trees.
The fish, literally, come flying out of the bushes.
Don’t believe me?  Watch the video.

 

 

Larry offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

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New fish for my “Caught in this Life” list

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

Following a busy Wavewalk weekend, my own refrigerator had no fresh fish fillets for the grill pan. Though I, personally, like grunt flesh, my wife has been clamoring for snapper. So, while she went dancing in Miami, I threw the last of Sunday’s bait in the W700 and motored to my consistent snapper hole. Yes, she is a most fortunate woman.

After limiting out on legal size Mangrove Snappers, something grabbed my bait and took off down the creek.
The 8 lb. test Cajun Red line proved its abrasive resistance as drag screamed and the line went round the bend rubbing on mangrove roots. I yanked up the stakeout pole, threw it in the bottom of my trusty Wavewalk steed, and went for a ride with the big fish in charge of towing.
Actually, I was not sure it was a fish. The brute fought more like a snapping turtle. Away went the Wavewalk, pulled by the tide and a little submarine.
I worked that critter out of those tangled roots with a kayak style Ricky Rod and skill that can only be obtained from years of chasing fish. (Truth is, a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while.)
Somewhere, between handling the line and my balance as I bumped like a pinball back and forth across the little creek, I did manage to pull a waterproof camera from the Harbor Freight ammo box. The picture is not great but it sure is colorful.
Well, a new fish got added to my “Caught in this Life” list: a big old honker Rainbow Parrotfish.
They eat them in the Bahamas. I let this one go. Plenty of snapper for Mama.
And a couple grunts for Papa.

 

 

 


 

Larry also offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

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Fish of the week – barracuda

By Captain Larry Jarbo

Other than sharks, probably the most fearsome predatory fish that swims in the Atlantic Ocean is the Great Barracuda. These fish can grow over seven feet long and have razor sharp teeth capable of ripping human flesh to the bone.

Fortunately, these ferocious fish prefer to feed on smaller fish like mullet, ballyhoo, or grunts. Most barracuda attacks on people are cases of mistaken identity. The cuda mistook that silver Rolex watch on the swimmer’s wrist as a fleeing fish. Smart people don’t wear flashy objects or jewelry into the water.

Great Barracuda are found in the depths of the Gulf Stream, over shallow reefs, around shipwrecks, and throughout the back country creeks and bays. They are a good sport fish for kayak fishermen to target because they can be found in so many different environments. Though they may be found in schools in the ocean, Great Barracuda are predominately lone predators.

Both live and artificial baits can be used to catch barracuda. Large swimming plugs, surgical tube eels, and large plastic enhanced jigs will all catch these toothy denizens but I prefer live baiting them. In the deep, a short wire leader with a Goggle-Eyed Scad or Blue Runner swimming on a 3/0 – 5/0 hook is a good Barracuda bait. In shallow reef and back country waters, I use an empty twelve ounce Coca Cola plastic bottle for a homemade bobber to keep the bait (a pinfish or small grunt) out of the bottom.

Recently, the catch limits on Atlantic Barracuda in South Florida were wisely reduced to two fish per person per day or six cudas per boat. This is a most sensible way to protect the resource and the sport fishery that targets barracuda. Smaller barracudas (2 feet long or less) are good to eat seasoned and grilled but larger ones may carry Ciguatera poisoning due to toxins accumulating in their flesh from their own consumption of algae eating parrotfish.

The large cuda in the photo was caught on a kayak combo trip that included free mothership transport to the Gulf Stream. That day, we also caught a small shark, jacks, porgies, legal tilefish, and dozens of good eating grunts. Definitely, the four foot barracuda provided the fight and thrill of the day. After a battle on light line, the fish was too winded to be released. That predator provided dinner for the heron and pelicans at my dock, the head will become Stone Crab bait, and the fillets are fine shark bait for another adventure. Nothing goes to waste.

And, the picture will live on to encourage more people to experience the joy of fishing.

Fish and be happy…

barracuda-and-w500-fishing-kayak-Key-Largo-FL

4 ft long barracuda hanging from a white Wavewalk 500 kayak attached to the mothership.
 
Key Largo, FL, February 2016

 

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