Big Bend Kayak Report by Bill Howard

Big Bend Kayak Report

5 – 13 to 5 – 16 -2010

Day 1 “Anticipation”

Wow, where do you start when you spend three days in paradise?  I guess you start at the beginning.  My good friend Dave Robinson had planned a camping trip to the Big Bend area for some time, I met him on the road in Crystal River and we formed our two vehicle caravan the rest of the way to our campsite. A couple other friends, Tom and Justin would be joining us later.

Base Camp

So after getting the campsite setup, Dave and I were off.  Less than a mile and thirty minutes from the launch, we were on the fish.  We working a small cove and I spotted this tail pop up. Since I was shooting pictures I called Dave over. For several anxious minutes nothing happened. I just knew Dave was thinking, “This guy is nuts, there’s nothing over here” when all of a sudden I heard his jaw drop.

On the second cast Dave dropped it right in front of the “Big Ugly” and it was on.

The rest of the afternoon it was one tail after another.

Pulled hook!!

We poked around, never really getting out of sight of the launch, looking for the other species on our list, Redfish.

Day 1 comes to an end.

Day 2  “Un-Announced Breakfast Guest’s”

Day 2 dawned and since we were dealing with a low tide, (low tides up here equal not enough water for a kayak) we decided to have some breakfast before heading out. Our buddy Tom had arrived the following night, so we were just getting ready to grub out when our guest’s showed up. Now we had been warned about them before hand, but these guests almost ended up as part of the meal.

After breakfast we arrived at the launch to find someone has stolen all the water. No worries. Hoping would be right about the winds dying down later, we shoved off.

Finding some relief from the leeside of an island, Dave took the opportunity to break out the fly rod. His goal of taking a redfish on fly was not achieved this trip, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

Once the tide had come up, we went back to an area we hit the day before and the reds were there.

Dave with a beautiful multi-spot redfish.

Tom Coffee

All three of us had really good luck with 1/4oz Johnson Silver spoons.  Not too much later our ole friends who we had to come to refer to as the “Big Uglies” showed back up.

Dave set up on one and waited for the perfect opportunity.

Another great day came to an end.

This area is calm country; they farm them just off shore, so we just had to have some for dinner.

Day 3 “Going to School”

Dustin has arrived the night before, so today we would be following him around to a new area. This is Dustin’s home waters and he has the place dialed in. So off the four of us went on a 10 mile paddle in search of more of the same.

The tide was really low as we headed out, once we came back it had come way up and the area looked completely different.

Dustin is one hell of a fly fisherman and he did not disappoint.

He’s pretty handy with a bait caster too. While I was chasing more tailing “Big Uglies”, he was catching them with a spinner bait.

I had no luck what so ever with the black drum, but I did manage a redfish or two. These are really nice fish, they hit hard, are fat as a cow and just don’t quit.

Tom getting in on the redfish action.

Dustin with an absolute pig.

Like all good things, this day came to end way too soon.  Fellows, I enjoyed it. That’s a special place and we will most assuredly go back. null