Man, feels like forever since I've put up a report. Been waiting for something epic. These past couple months have been such an awesome experience: I've competed in several local kayak tournaments, went 2 for 2 on Tarpon off PAB earlier in July and even had the chance to venture offshore a few times with a friend from work. Can't complain though Sorry this was put up so late, but at least the future will be bright for others out there!
Last weekend, I had the chance to try my hand at something I've always wanted to do: Hit the beach out of my kayak. My good buds Nick and Jon helped show me the ropes, since they had already fished the beaches before. We launched around 7AM, heading straight offshore and growing hairs on our chest as we pummel through 2ft swells They had been telling me all week "Dude, we will just sabiki up a ton of Croakers when we get out there to use for bait". I'm thinking Hey, Croakers are awesome bait...until I see that what they thought were "Croakers" were actually Horn-Bellies...which I thought was trash, but hey we made lemonade.
Granted I had fished off the beaches several times out of a boat, I totally didn't have my kayak Sea Legs because the 1st hour I thought I was gonna chum...so they guys helped sabiki up a dozen or so baits and we started trolling south. Sure enough, 10 min. into trolling we are getting shark after shark (3fters or so). I hook into one, bring him yak side and sure enough, "ZZZZZ!!!" my other rod goes off. Hell broke lose; it wasn't easy trying to put the rod with the Shark on back in the holder while also trying to grab my other rod. Sure enough, in the pandemonium, an 80lb Tarpon leaps like 100ft off the back of the yak. CRAP! Fought him for like 2 minutes as he continued to make a B-Line straight offshore and finally breaking me off. It's all good, that's Tarpon fishing. We continue trolling along, Nick is hooked up again further ahead of us, as we make our way over my other set-up starts screaming like a fire alarm went off. I felt like I brought a knife to a gun fight as I see this 120lb Tarpon start Greyhounding like 50ft behind the kayak. Drag was WAAAAAYYY too lose for the hook up, so 10 seconds in he spits the hook. I mean, it's better than getting jerked out of the kayak, right? Pretty awesome show though
Nick hooks a few sharks, we are raggin' on Jon for not getting anything yet , and then I hear way ahead from Nick, "TARPON ROLLING!" We paddle over, he hooks up with another shark, and sure enough we are all surrounded by like a dozen or so fish all over 100lbs. I was out of bait, Jon was out of bait, and Nick didn't have a set-up rigged for bait. So I say, "Hey man, gimme a bait!" Turns out, he had one Behemouth sized actual Croaker in the live well. I paddle over to grab it and under his kayak was a GIANT Cobia.... I grab the bait, hook him to my heavy set-up, keep him in the water, open the bail as I get ready to cast...and It's gone. I'm waiting patiently to make a cast once I see him, and out of no where he comes right next to the yak and eats the bait boatside. Thank GOD I had the bail open. Next thing we know, I'm screaming like a little girl "HE ATE IT HE ATE IT HE ATE IT!!!!!!!!!!" and we all proceed to lose our S***. My rod starts smacking the side of Nick's yak, he miraculously gets his rods out of the way before we get tangled, I'm trying to finesse this fish because I have NO idea if the circle hook caught the side of the mouth, there are sharks circling our kayaks. It was absolutely insane.
30min into the fight, we finally get the head up on this beast. No gaff, no ice back at the car, but we are totally keeping this thing. 2 orange lip-grippers later and a lot of screaming, we haul him aboard.
Catching a shark off a kayak and your a man. Catching a King off a kayak and you did Awesome for the day. Catching a Tarpon out of a kayak and, well, your a serious BOSS and can totally tackle anything. But sight fishing a 40lb+ Cobia not even a mile off the beach in the kayak? That just doesn't happen What we thought was going to be a "See What's Out There" kind of trip turned into an Epic Event that will never be forgotten.
The festivities continued once we got home as well. No better way to make you feel like a Man than braving the elements, bringing home a trophy catch, spicing the catch up with mouth watering seasoning and topping off the evening with Cigars and Baileys as we watch the Gators take down LSU. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, guys. Big Shout Out to Malibu Kayaks and The Space Coast Kayak Anglers guys; doin' it BIG, y'all!!!!!!!