The Flying Kayak

Hunting, Fishing, Rambling, and Complete Outdoor Hilarity

Category: Bonito

A Look Back at 2012

So it’s a new year. And since I (sort of) keep up with my writing, I suppose I’m required to make some sort of post that reflects on the last year. Right?

Everyone’s doing it, after all.

2012 was bizarre to say the least. With the exception of graduating college, there was practically -nothing- that happened to me over the course of the year that I actually saw coming. So here’s a list of things I absolutely was not expecting in 2012 (Picture heavy):

My first pig.

Wishing I’d played football so I could tackle deer better.

Becoming a giant fan of craft beer.
Killing multiple deer with darts, yet failing to kill one with actual rifles/bows
Playing with awesome technology (including FLIR)

Sightfishing for Bonito

Having multiple writing opportunites open up
Being single for the first time in seven years
Nearly stepping on a giant rattler

Catching my biggest bass

Then doing it again

Getting a Facebook, Twitter, AND Smartphone (I’ve almost caught up with everyone else my age)
Discovering Tannerite

Making life-long friends in the middle of no-where
Realizing that fawns get eaten like hot-cakes

Killing my first coyote
Killing my first boar with a pistol

Going Crappie fishing for the first time

Getting VERY little kayak fishing done
Becoming an uncle

Fishing out of a Gheenoe

Catching my first Snook on the fly

Discovering Mullet isn’t good when grilled

Practically becoming a radio telemetry master
Realizing how important family and true friends are
Having the Jeep attempt to kill me on multiple occasions
Realizing the Jeep will float (for a second)
Discovering that bow hunting for pigs from the ground is easier said than done

Going on my first muzzle loader hunt

Getting momentarily burned out on hunting for the first time
Actually -wanting- to be around people/civilization
Confirming the fact that I absolutely -cannot- work in an office cubicle with no windows
Learning what “Business Casual” means
Becoming a firm believer in the ThermaCell

Getting paid to write
Getting a new girlfriend
Killing my biggest boar

Learning to play one of the greatest games ever invented:  “Stump Game” (I’d suggest googling it)
Learning that deer can actually growl
And finally,
Deciding to go back to school

Though this isn’t an exhaustive list, I feel like I’ve hit the big moments. I purposefully -don’t- write about everything that happens to me in the outdoors. It’s important to me to do this as I often find myself becoming disengaged as I try to take pictures, or failing to really appreciate the experience by rushing to write down the events. Certain things make it on the blog, while others are saved to be told first hand around a campfire, on long drives, or when the bite is slow. The love of simply telling a story often outweighs the love of writing about it.

2012 was a pretty wild ride and brought an absurd amount of unexpected events. If I could change just one thing, it’d be to get more kayak fishing done. I really barely got out in the bright yellow yak. So even though I’m never one to make a new years resolution, I guess if I -had- to, it would be to fish out of the kayak more in 2013. Sounds reasonable…no?

I will be back out in the woods again this spring to tackle unsuspecting deer. I’ve also got one more whitetail hunt planned before the season ends for good. I know that things won’t go at all like I expect them to in 2013, but I look forward to the unexpected. After all, the unexpected is what makes for good stories.

Stay tuned!

Sight Fishing for Bonito

With my latest beach fishing trip resulting in a total skunk, I wasn’t particularly excited about going back just to “cast around”. I was invited to do this today with my dad and his friend and I -almost- said no.

Boy am I glad I didn’t.

We arrived at the beach around noon and were met with a nearly flat Gulf. The wind was blowing strong from the north, and had managed to lay all the waves down. For those of you stuck some place where it’s cold, I apologize for the following pictures.

I soon began walking along the edge of the beach and casting a a jig out into the emerald green water. My hopes for Pompano or Redfish went away fairly quickly as it was pretty easy to see in the water, and I saw no sign of them.

Soon I noticed a lone Bonito cruising right along shore. I make a quick cast, and spooked him. He actually turned and went around my lure. I got my jig back and made another cast, this time a littler further in front of him. Two quick twitches, a splash, and my favorite sound of drag screaming; The fight was on.

He absolutely rocketed out to the first sand bar and then continued. I had to tighten the drag a little, then try to follow him down the beach. Soon I began to get nervous as my reel was looking extremely low on line and I could just barely see the fish. Luckily, the fish finally turned, and I started gaining line back one reel crank at a time. It took ten minutes, but I finally landed him. Since my dad and his friend were no where near me, I snapped a quick picture of him in the sand, and released him.

As I walked back to meet the others, I thought to myself how I was perfectly content with catching that one and only fish. I soon scratched that thought as I found out my dad and his friend had just lost two Bonito on the fly, and watched as my dad hooked and lost another.

I switched to a small silver pompano jig and watched the shallows. It was an amazing site to see as four Bonito came cruising down the beach, no more than 10 feet from shore. I made an almost awkardly short cast to them (so close I could have killed them with a rock) and watched as all four turned and chased my jig.

Once again, there was a splash, and my reel sang for a second time. This time I had people around to take pictures.

A few minutes later, my dad landed one on the fly.

And immediately after that, his friend got one with a fly as well.

I ended the afternoon by catching one last Bonito in a school of three. Once again, it put up an amazing fight, especially on light tackle.

I’ll be heading back out tomorrow to try for them again. This time, I’ll be using the fly rod and take the helmet camera. Hopefully I can come home with some blistered hands and more fish pictures!

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