The Flying Kayak

Hunting, Fishing, Rambling, and Complete Outdoor Hilarity

False Starts

How many times has it happened to any outdoorsman?

You plan ahead, check the weather, moon phase, tides, you pack up, load the gear, make sure everything is in proper order and all around prepare for a fishing/hunting trip. The actual day finally comes for you to go on your adventure so you wake up at some ungodly time of the morning (which coincidentally is my bed time while away at college) and head out…

Work truck stuck in a pond

Only to find you should have stayed in bed.

Something, somewhere, amidst your all planning and scheming has gone awry.
-You looked at the wrong tide table.
-The engine on the boat won’t start.
-Someone stole your tree stand.
-12ft seas are a bit much for your 18ft boat.
-Kayaks need paddles?
-That wasn’t a two piece rod when you left home.
-You forgot to put the plug in.
-The truck doesn’t start.
-You left your bow release in the truck.
-Dinner the night before was chili, but for some reason there’s frozen chili in the cooler and the chum is missing.
-Hell, fire, and damnation is raining down from above and getting struck by lightning again doesn’t sound appealing.
-Your stomach feels like you’ve eaten a bomb and you blame the weird tasting chili from the night before. -When on ‘vibrate’ mode, your cell phone alarm tries and fails to wake you up with its quiet buzzing.
-The 30-06 shockingly won’t accept 3 inch shotgun slugs.
-The weather man said ‘calm’ conditions so the category four hurricane isn’t a big surprise. And the list goes on….

Funnel cloud on a ‘calm’ day

Every outdoorsman (or woman) has their fair share of false starts. It’s something that just happens. It’s part of the hobby. This year, I’ve only had four notable false starts. The first one was my trip to the Everglades in February. Even though we did catch fish and I did have a great time, the weather tried its best to be terrible. For MONTHS prior to us taking the trip, the weather in south Florida was warm and humid and the fish were assuredly almost jumping in the boat. The -day- we decided to leave, a cold front came through and began setting record low temperatures for that time of the year and proceeded to turn the fish bite completely off. One week sooner or later and it would have been gold. The next came when a buddy and I got the truck stuck in some sand for about 4 hours (that’ll be its own write up).

The other two false starts have been over the summer. Obviously, the day a few weeks ago when I flipped the yak. I also had another one this morning. After a hot, tiring day of working outside yesterday, I helped load everything into the truck, tie up leaders, and get ready to kayak fish in the gulf this morning. I didn’t get to sleep until 12:15 and then got up four hours later to go fish. On the drive out, the sky was a constant flash from a storm located right offshore from where we wanted to launch. By the time we arrived, however, the storm had moved off so the threat of rain/lightning was gone. Unfortunately, the wind had kicked up -very- strong out of the west and even though the water was relatively flat, small rollers were coming to shore sideways. Launching would have been a nightmare and I -really- didn’t want to flip again. Rather than risk it, we headed home without unloading anything with plans to try it again tomorrow. Essentially, I got to do all of the fun exciting things that go along with fishing without -actually- getting to fish. The only way to have made it better is if someone bloodied up my kayak and threw a bunch of fish in my cooler to clean.

Bottomless cooler of fish (not to complain really)

Sometimes that’s just how it goes. Anyways, I hope to limit the amount of false starts I have the rest of the year and get some quality fishing/hunting in. It’s always important to remember that without terrible hunting/fishing trips, you’d never know when you had a good one.


  1. OK , now I’m intrigued. How did the truck end up in the pond?

  2. Heh,

    Long story short: I tried to drive the truck through the pond to reach the trees in the background. Two days, three trucks, and one tractor later, it finally became unstuck :)

  3. If I had a dime for every time I screwed this one up “You looked at the wrong tide table” . . . I would be a rich, rich man.

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