Apologies for being late in posting this. Even though I’m not -that- busy with school this semester, I’m still having trouble finding time to write. This report is from back in August, right before school started.
My dad and I got down to Pensacola Beach right at dawn to discover the Gulf was doing its best impression of a mirror. Such rare events hardly ever happen to us, so we quickly took advantage of it and launched the kayaks in record time. I was after another King Mackerel from the kayak and I wouldn’t have been disappointed in another Tarpon either.
I trolled diving plugs around for a while with no luck and soon switched to a sabiki rig to catch bait. I realized I’d left my bait bucket at home, so I was forced to improvise with a plastic bag.
Let my live bait sit for almost an hour with -nothing- picking it up. And if it was even possible, the water slicked off even more. I soon decided to paddle out to a nearby buoy in hopes of picking something up. I slow trolled a live cigar minnow behind the yak and just as I rounded the buoy, something picked it up. Almost immediately, I was cut off on the buoy chain. So I rigged up another cig, cast it out, and failed to pick anything up. As I paddled back by the buoy, I looked down in the water and saw probably six or seven remora that thought my kayak was a big yellow shark. I watched the fish for a while, and noticed that one of them looked funny. It also had something sticking out of its mouth…
My king rig! And it wasn’t some dumb remora, it was some dumb Cobia. A VERY tiny Cobia. Like, maybe 20 inches long. He refused to spook and just kept swimming around the buoy and my kayak. After trying and failing to get the Cobia to bite again, I resorted to the one thing that usually works for me: Snatching. Now, some of you may be wondering, “Why would you snatch a baby Cobia? You can’t even keep it”. Well, I knew this, and since it was so young, I actually wanted to try and get the king rig out of its mouth (and get my king rig back…win-win). After only a few tries with a second wire king rig, I got the treble hooks right into the Cobia’s side. I’d like to say he put up a good fight, but it was over almost faster than it began. He we bonkers, dove straight down, and pulled the hooks right out. I never saw him again. I got a little video just prior to the snatching episode. I thought it was kinda neat seeing all the bait under the buoy.
After that, I decided to paddle back closer to shore. One thing I should mention is the abundance of Jellyfish. There were honestly hundreds of thousands of them. So many, in fact, that every time I’d make a stroke with my paddle, I’d hit one. And any time I got going some decent speed, my rudder would hit one and bring the yak almost to a halt.
There was a shocking lack of fish that day. No spanish jumping, King skying, or Tarpon rolling. Nothing. Just remora and one weird Cobia. I blame the jelly fish, but who knows. One thing I do know is that for the first time in almost 10 years of kayak fishing, I got a little sea sick.
Now I’ve been sea sick a few times in my life, but it’s always been on bigger boats and in rough water (like 5-7ft seas). This day was weird. There was hardly any wave action, but the boat still rocked slightly. I think the thing that really messed me up was the fact that the water and the sky blended together so I couldn’t find my horizon.
|Just looking at the picture makes me feel funny|
I didn’t get to the point of upchucking, but I really didn’t feel good. So with the lack of fish, and slight sea sickness, we decided to call it a day. I would have liked my last Gulf kayak trip of the summer to have been successful, but it at least gives me something to look forward to for next summer.