It is Tuesday night. I am already planning for the weekend with fellow Hobie team member Ryan McNeal. We are watching radar and wind reports from South Florida to Texas in search of some decent fishing conditions. We’re willing to travel far and wide to find them.
Northeast Florida is going to give us the best chance. Now it’s just a matter of getting up and executing. We meet up in Navarre after work on Thursday night, double check our gear and head out for the five-hour drive. We arrive at 3 a.m. only to find the gates at the state park don’t open until 4. We catch a quick nap in our trucks. Groggy but excited for what the day holds we make our way out on the water..
A beautiful Florida sunrise greets us as we pedal out. A short while later I’m standing and making drifts in my Mirage® Outback when the water turns brown. A mixture of redfish and black drum take off from under me, stirring up the mud.
There are so many I can feel them hitting my hull as they pass underneath. I spot a couple moving away. With a solid cast in front I get a taker. The large black drum drags me all over until I get it landed safely.
Ryan and I stop to take a quick picture before releasing it, then head back after the school. We catch a few slot reds from it, a couple of trout, and another black drum. As the day progresses so does the wind. Reluctantly we call it and drive back towards the panhandle of Florida to regroup.
We wake up early and decide to drive over to Alabama to fish in my old back yard. It proves to be a great decision. The tide is just starting to fall in the creeks as we arrive, pulling the bait out with it. We anchor off the mouth of the creeks and watch fish busting the bait down the grass line. We join in, slow rolling soft plastics down the creek. The redfish can’t get enough. We have nonstop hook-ups all afternoon on our artificial baits. We have a blast catching and releasing over 20 reds and find a couple of nice trout on the way in.
Hobie Kayaks are easy to travel with. We just strap them down in the back of the trucks and go. There is no excuse not to get out and explore new waterways, finding adventure. Remember, you can’t catch fish if you’re sitting on the couch.
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