I just happened to catch my biggest snook in 12 years, this 35 incher that was almost too big for my measuring board. To top it off, I got her during our annual catch-photo-release kayak fishing tournament, leading to a first place finish for biggest fish, a nice trophy, a new fishing rod, and a $200 check.
Life is good.
BTW, another little known benefit of the Wavewalk, is its cockpit design which better supports a measuring board while photographing fish prior to release. This task really requires 3 hands, and is much more difficult to accomplish in mono-hull yaks where it’s harder to stand up or, otherwise, get farther away from the fish with a camera to capture it entirely on the board, while keeping it from jumping off, so judges can verify its length.
Maybe it will be possible to have a measuring device inscribed or attached to the platform of your new S-4 vessel, making it even easier to get this job done.
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.
The easterly trade wind has been blowing hard for more than a week.
This is Spring Break in South Florida. Many of the local tour, fishing and diving boats that take people to the reef and blue water have to turn away customers because of the 6-8′ waves that are pounding the reef line.
There has been some seriously lost business and most disappointed vacationers.
In Key Largo, we have had wonderfully productive trips fishing our Wavewalk W700 tandem kayaks in the narrow creeks that flow through the dense mangrove forest here in the heart of Pennekamp Park. Because of the tight quarters and many non-combustion zones where internal combustion motors are prohibited, many of these areas rarely see a fisherman.
This weekend, two groups booked Wavewalk kayak fishing adventures with me –
Issac brought Julio, Daniel, and Darren for a Good Friday afternoon trip. They caught about 30-40 lbs. of keeper fish (Mangrove Snappers, Bluestriped Grunts, and Sailors Choice). I filleted out and boxed enough fish for a panko fried fish platter with black beans and rice that they had cooked up at the Blackwater Siren Restaurant before leaving our island. And, they had a big bag of fish for a big fish fry in Miami.
April who was raised and worked in the Keys, brought her son Keith Jr. and crew Kevin and Joey on Easter Sunday. After a most slow start to the day, we found fish way up Smugglers Run (a creek named for the infamous Keys past when “Save the Bales” was the slogan of the day.).
Those new kayak Ricky Rods got a real workout dragging fish from beneath the mangrove roots. April caught the most fish but everyone got their share including the pelicans who got a bucketful.
We really had to travel some distance to find the calmest possible conditions but we ended an all day trip having caught over 100 fish.
Everyone who tours or fishes with me in the Wavewalk portable boats is amazed how comfortable and stable these vessels are compared to conventional kayaks.
It is not too hard being the best fishing kayak guide in South Florida with the best fishing kayaks that are available, anywhere.
Remodel season (the season in between ducks and fishing) is officially over! The honeydos are certainly not all accomplished but I have enough off of the list that I was able to get out and go fishing. American Lake is open year around so there is not big fishing season opening day on this lake but it was my opening day.
It was windy and gusty which made it a challenge to keep a real constant speed (something the kokanee like) but I was able to make it work.
The kokanee were a no show (it is early in the year to catch them consistantly) but fortunately the trout wanted to play!
Yesterday, I took my W700 and a couple rigged Ricky Rods to little Snapper Creek that is virtually inaccessible to any other vessels. Only a motorized kayak can easily go the distance to get in there and back. Within a half hour, I had my limit of 5 legal Mangrove Snapper (over 10″) in my fish bag and hit the dock before a storm rolled in.
Wavewalk and Ricky Rod teamed up to put the limit of good eating snapper on my dock. Looks like we have a winning combination –
My first fishing rod that I purchased in the Keys in 1974 was a solid glass Ricky Rod. That rod set me back six bucks and has caught more species of fish than all my other rods together.
When I ran bottom and chumming charter and commercial fishing trips from my 25′ six-pack diesel powered Kencraft in the 1980’s, Ricky Rods with American made Penn spinning reels put fish in the boat on every trip. No skunk in the box with a Ricky Rod in hand.
About 3 years ago, on a Sunday morning, I spotted the Ricky delivery van at the Yellow Bait House in Key Largo. I pulled over to talk to the old timer who was delivering tackle from the Ricky company.
After telling him how great my first rod still is and how much I like Ricky products, the octogenarian looked at me and said, “Well, I am Ricky!”
Amazed at how the owner of a big Miami company would take such a hands on approach, I listened to his story.
Mr. Ricky came from Cuba many years ago to escape the oppressive Castro regime. He built his company with hard work and fine products that are still reasonably priced. And, he invited me for a personal tour of his company. My buddy, Peg Leg Dan, wants to go with me. He has been fishing a Ricky Rod for as long as I have.
Last week, at the Yellow Bait House, I spotted some short 48″ rods that are perfect for kayak fishing in tight quarters. Yes, they are Ricky Rods. Mr. Ricky is still innovating at eighty plus years old.
So, I bought one and came back for two more.