As much as people can talk about gear, fishing and kayaks on forums, social media and in person, absolutely nothing can duplicate the actual experience of getting in a kayak and seeing how it fits your body. That's why these demo day events put on by Massey's are so awesome - rather than having to pay to rent a kayak, folks are able to come by and try out several kayaks in a short time period, comparing them back to back. I was there representing Jackson, and people had some fine compliments about both the FlexDrive models, and the paddle kayaks, particularly the Mayfly. At the end of the day, my son got a chance to jump in a kayak (on dry land) and loved it. Thanks to Dave Woodward at Massey's for organizing this event.
Sunrise on the marsh
After a great early part of the summer doing a lot of sight fishing, the latter half hasn't given me much opportunity to get out in the marsh. Not that I'm complaining, since the biggest reason for that has been the almost three week trip I made to fish in Alaska, but I definitely have been itching to get out and do some sight casting. The weather looked great yesterday, so I made plans with Josh Reppel to get out and fish. I was working all day Sunday, so he took the reigns and planned out a route for us. Now, I'm sworn to secrecy as to the particulars of said route, but suffice to say, it was a good one. A lot of the grass mats in certain parts of the marsh have disappeared, and the water clarity (from everything I have been hearing) has not been great, but this was very fishable water that still held a lot of grass, and the sun and wind cooperated very nicely. I have been really loving taking a minimalistic approach to kayak fishing recently, and I didn't even change over my soft plastic crawfish rigged weedless from our last freshwater fishing trip. As it turns out, I made exactly one lure change the entire day, and that was only because I ran out of the Zoom crawfish that I had started with. The redfish were just in that mood - you know that redfish mood when they don't hesitate to smack anything that comes across their field of vision. They seemed to like the action of the crawfish lure when I gave it small pops, making the claws vibrate. Now, on a day like yesterday, I probably could have tossed a corndog at them and had success, but I was impressed with the crawfish lure - something I haven't used a whole lot in the past. One thing I like about it is that you can let it settle down on the bottom, crawl it a bit, then give it darting pops that create some vibration in the water. In any case, it didn't take long before we hit double digits and kept going. The fish were mostly great eating size - 20-24", with a few bigger fish mixed in. I ran into a 30"+ fish that managed to add what felt like 30lbs of grass on the line and gave me some sore forearms by the time I got him to the side of the boat.
In all honesty, there isn't much else to say other than it was a great day! A lot of times the best learning experience tends to come on days with LESS success, where you can note what worked and what didn't. I think out of all the redfish I cast at yesterday, there might have been two fish that declined the lure - the rest hit it with a vengeance. One highlight of the day was helping put a friend on his first redfish out of a kayak, then his first sight-cast redfish out of a kayak. That is always something great to see and experience. Although my phone died and lost my GPS track, I would guess the trip was in the 12 mile range, and it was indeed a hot one. I was down to the last couple sips of my 3 liters of water by the time we pulled back in to the launch.
I'm ready for trout and fall weather!