Report by HCKAClub Pres Russ Caipen:
Around 20 HardCore kayak anglers met up at the waters’ edge just before the sun came up on Saturday morning. Conditions couldn’t have been any better as we launched into the calm Gulf Of Mexico in search of BIG Tarpon! Bait was thick and a single drop of the sabiki resulted in a well full of threadfins, pinfish, pumpkin seeds, horse minnows etc.
There was a slight ripple on the surface of the water but pods of “rolling” Tarpon could be seen up and down the beach! Before the sun could clear the horizon a loud “FISH ON” rang out! Joey aka Sharkbait got one heck of a surprise when he used his light tackle set up to throw a bait at some feeding fish
! It was a spectacular fight and Joey actually wore the fish out and had it boat side several times touching the 20lb. leader when it finally broke off. That’s a Tarpon landed.
It is such a great feeling to be on the water with your friends and have feeding fish around you. It’s even better when guys that have never caught one from a kayak, do! John aka jds_0325 was one of the guys that came out just to see how we do it and ended up getting first hand experience with a big fish!
Joshua Maitland aka Yak Slammer was there throwing flies and taking advantage of some photo ops.
John and his 140-150 lb ‘Poon!
Dave aka merlyn was in town from Michigan and got to witness John landing his Tarpon.
Being Memorial Day weekend, many people had other obligations that kept them from making it to the “Munch” at Coasters Bar and Grille. Those of us who did make it enjoyed some great food and drink while talking about the morning’s events. Our bubbly, fishing waitress Jamie gave us some of the best service I’ve ever experienced. Believe it or not, she “leied” each one of us and showed us her tackle box.
Special thanks to Dale Snead with Operation Still Waters, and veterans Edgar Colon and Frank Wade for joining us! You guys are reason that we are free and we will never be able to thank you enough for your sacrifices.
This report written by Mark Knowles of the HardCore Kayak Anglers Club
Hats off to Mark Nichols, Jerry McBride, and the entire DOA Lures team for putting on yet another great tournament ! As always, the tournament was well thought out and the Captain’s bags included a full Plano box of about 50 DOA lures, hooks, jig heads, Deadly Combo’s & accessories that were identical for each participant, a vinyl 321fish measuring board, and a commemorative T-Shirt. Also included in the entry fee was a BBQ lunch that was catered in for the weigh-in.
The HCKAC had a record 19 members participate in the DOA Tournament on April 21, 2012. Many folks bunked up at the River Palms Cottages & Fish Camp where the Captain’s meeting and event was held, others selected nearby local hotels, and yet others opted to camp out. Some folks arrived Wednesday night or very early Thursday morning to get 2 days of pre-fishing in, others arrived on Friday morning early to get in 1 day, and some even arrived Friday night just before the Captain’s meeting with no pre-fishing opportunities. Talk about a mixed bag !
The River Palms is a quaint little place with a group of small cottages on the property. Pricing for the tournament was reduced to $89/night for a single room with 2 queen beds, a small fridge, microwave, & coffee maker.
Other local prices ranged from $60 upwards of several hundred depending on how extravagant you wanted to be. The guys that camped had their prices down to something like $10/person for several nights. There were some local freshwater ponds on the Savannah Recreation camp area and the guys pulled out a few bass.
The weather controlled most of our pre-fishing actions. The wind wasn’t too strong most of the time, but the afternoons were challenging. The best time of day for the winds was the early mornings, but you couldn’t always get the fish to bite at sunrise. Most guys were successful in getting slams or doubles on Thursday. Friday was a bit tougher, but several HCKAC members recorded slams or doubles while others like myself struggled. Tournament Day was supposed to be the worst with very low pressure plus high winds from the SE at 25 mph from late morning and into the evening with lots of rain predicted as well. OK….so all of the weather guys were 100% wrong. It was lightly sprinkling at 0630 launch time and quit less than 30 minutes later. The wind actually died to almost nothing, but was changing direction constantly 360 degrees. Go figure. It did make the fishing the most challenging of the weekend. About 1:30, most everyone had packed it in and headed for the weigh-in.
Tampa based HardCore representation
The “HardCore” table at the weigh-in
Out of 120 anglers, only Mr. Bob Gallot turned in a legal slam to take 1st place and a new 14’ Hobie Pro Angler
Our own Chuck Statham took 2nd place and elected to receive a new Humminbird 385Ci chart plotter/fish finder
Jeff Harrell of Finatic Design walked off with 3rd place and a new Ocean Prowler 13 kayak
Logan Narcowich took the Junior division title
And the luckiest guy of all was Chip Gibson. He won a new Ocean Prowler 13 during the raffle
Here’s a few more fish that were caught over the long weekend.
Rick Klosicki and a monster 28.7” Trout on Tournament day
Ron Henderson with a 30” Thursday Snook
A2OZ’s 27.8″ Tournament Day Snook
Jose’s 15 lb Jack on light tackle
Ridgeback’s 30.7” Tournament Day Snook
A2OZ’s fat Friday Trout
Please feel free to add any pictures you took at the tourney to this post.
Once again, big thanks to the Mark, Jerry, and the full team at DOA Lures. I recommend that you get your reservations in very early next year after the tournament date is announced. The event was capped at 120 anglers and I was told there was in excess of 25 on the waiting list.
Written by Mark Knowles ( Tournament Organizer) of HCKACLUB.com:
On March 24, 2012, the Hard Core Kayak Anglers Club, based in West Central Florida, kicked off their highly anticipated 2012 Tournament Series presented by Hobie Fishing. The Tournament Series consists of five individual inshore slam events (Snook, Redfish, & Spotted Seatrout) over the course of 2012 in the Tampa Bay area and promotes the sport of kayak fishing and conservation through a catch, photo, and release format.
The 1st place winner will receive a new Hobie Revolution 13 courtesy of Hobie Fishing and a cash award from the HCKAC. 2nd place will receive a $500 prize package courtesy of sponsor Hook1 and 3rd place will receive a $500 prize package courtesy of sponsor YakAttack.
Below is the list of all of the very generous manufacturers and organizations that are supporting the 2012 HardCore Tournament Series. Their involvement and support has been nothing short of exemplary. Thank you very much for all of your contributions !
The first individual event of the five-event series was held on the “South Shore” of Tampa Bay, FL, and was a huge success in regards to angler participation. Of the sixty HCKAC members that signed up, fifty-one participated in the first individual event with thirty-five of those anglers choosing to enter the full five-event Tournament Series.
The check-in and distribution of the Captain’s Bags for the tournament began bright and early at 0530 in the parking lot of Mama Iguanas in Apollo Beach, FL. The Captain’s bag contained a unique scoring token by YakAttack, scents from Pro-Cure, and an “Invis-Swivel provided by AquatekO. Smiles, greetings, handshakes, stories, and encouragement mixed with coffee set the light mood for the morning. Air temperature hovered around 65 degrees and destined to get to the low 80’s by midday. Inshore water temperatures were in the mid-70’s. The wind was calm, but a weather front was anticipated late morning that would push the wind gusts from the SW towards the 20 mph mark. The weather coupled up with an early morning minor solunar and good flowing tides set the stage for very favorable conditions for the anglers. Upon getting checked-in, everyone loaded up and proceeded traveling towards their publicly accessible launch locations within the designated boundaries hoping to be back at Mama Iguanas by the 2:30 p.m. deadline with a slam large enough to be in the winner’s circle.
Angler’s started to slowly drift into Mama Iguanas around 1:00 p.m. to turn in their YakAttack score card tokens, get re-hydrated, and to grab some lunch. There was definitely a “buzz” to the conversations as many of the anglers had caught some very nice slams. As the 2:30 deadline approached, the Tournament Committee busily tallied all of the scoring data that was turned in and Adrian “DayumSon” got all of the video, microphones, and electronics set up for the UStream live feed for the awards ceremony.
After all of the results were tabulated, it was very evident that the day was a “fish catching” success. Of the fifty-one anglers, twenty-one of them presented slams, which is a significantly higher percentage than typical past tournaments. Twenty-five Snook, thirty-four Redfish, and forty-two Trout were checked in. One of the Snook, five of the Redfish, and approximately fifteen of the Trout were over-slot.
Long time HardCore member Rick Klosicki took top honors for the first tournament with a cash award of $510 and a $75 Hook1 gift certificate. Rick finished with a personal best slam of 82.9 inches for the day. Rick’s catch consisted of a 32.5” Snook, a 27.9” Redfish, and a 22.5” Trout. He also has the current top spot on the leader board for the 2012 Series Championship.
Here’s Rick’s Snook and Redfish in his typical “fish moustache” pose.
HCKAC member Chuck Statham, well known in the HCKAC and Tampa Bay area fishing community for his strong kayak tournament finishes, took 2nd place with an 80.0 inch slam. His total was comprised of a 28.5“ Snook, a 29.75” Redfish, and a 21.75” Trout. Chuck received a $306 cash award and a $75 Hook1 gift certificate. He currently ranks 2nd on the leader board for the 2012 Series Championship.
Marty Meakin, a consistently strong contributor to the HCKAC since its inception, recorded a 79.25 inch slam to take the 3rd place award consisting of a $204 cash award and a $75 Hook1 gift certificate. Marty completed his slam with a 34.5” Snook, a 23.5” Redfish, and a 21.25” Trout. He currently ranks 3rd in the hunt for the 2012 Series Championship.
The “big fish” sponsor awards were given to the anglers other than the 3 slam winners above for the longest fish of each species. Tide1On (Steve) posted an upper-slot 32.4 inch Snook and received a Wang Anchor, Dodge (Olin) caught an over-slot 29.25 inch Redfish and was awarded a new paddle from Aquabound/Bending Branches, and Silver K presented an over-slot 24.75 inch Trout to take home a VisiCarbon Pro light/flag combo from YakAttack.
After the main awards were given, we proceeded directly into the sponsor’s raffle. Our sponsors have been very generous with providing high quality and high quantity prizes. Again, let’s thank them for all of their support and generosity.
AquaDream spoon 6-pack
If you weren’t able to attend or missed the awards & raffle event, here’s a link to go view it
The 2nd leg of the 5-event series is right around the corner on April 28, 2012. The boundary area is Upper Tampa Bay, Weedon Island, and the Ft. DeSoto area. A sign-in post with the official boundaries will be initiated by the Tournament Committee in the next few days on the HCKAC Forum.
Until then, Keep it HardCore !
As many of you have already read, Sam posted a write up on fishing from the DragonFly Stand up paddle board. I had taken some video with the GoPro and Canon Vixia while on the water so I could make this quick video review. Check it!
I had a great opportunity to help film the G.Loomis Skiff Challenge that took place last Sunday Feb 26th. The day prior I enjoyed “Live streaming” the SaltyFly. What a weekend it was!
I know the hard work Sam puts in behind the scenes and the smiles, camaraderie, laughs, smack talk, networking,etc. showed in what can be coined the” Super Bowl weekend of Fly Fishing” events.
When Sam gave me his memory card from his camcorder and asked if I could edit this six plus hour event, I had some resolve and hesitation. I knew I had to do this event justice. With the footage I was able to get ( over five hours) and Sams’ footage, I decided to make a “Highlight Film” of this event. I had fun picking out footage and cramming it in to 10 minutes , but here is the end results. I have to say, these Fly Anglers know how to work it.
We can’t thank G.Loomis, HellsBay, ABel Reels, Scientific Angler, and Carbon Marine enough for this event and I hope this too becomes an “Annual” event coinciding with the SaltyFly.
My good friend Kapers has been a wade fisherman since growing up here in St.Petersburg, FL. He recently starting getting into kayak angling and through the HCKAClub, he has learned a wealth of kayak angling knowledge.
Kapers has been hiring kayak guides to learn how to fish different areas and target fish other than redfish. Well a few weeks back he called me to join him on a trip with PhatFish Kayak Charters Guide Derik Burgos to catch what he had never seen in person….The Linesider aka Snook.
We also had the chance to paddle the “Adios” by Diablo Paddlesports
here is a quick review ( 1st part)I did, to give you my insight about this Kayak.
Also here is a report as a virgin who had his snook cherry popped would write
My First by: Kapers
My First. I’m sure you all remember your 1st. Your 1st Kiss your 1st love, your 1st car, your 1st Kayak. The list could go on and on. But I’m here to talk about my 1st. I haven’t had alot of time to fish lately this thing called life has kept me off of the water and from doing what most of us here love to do and that’s fish. Yet again I found myself contemplating on where to go. I knew where to go if i wanted to get on red fish or trout. But my heart longed for the young lady that’s affectionately known as a line sider aka Snook.
In my 25 plus years of fishing all across Florida I have yet to have 1 of those young ladies grace me with a bite. I knew if I wanted to have a close encounter I 1st needed to learn how to woo , tempt and catch the eye of young lady that so many are after. I knew i needed to bring my A game. Which apparently I did not possess. So I reached out to Derick Burgos of Phatfish Kayak Charters with the hopes of learning the skills to lure the prize that I have sought after for so many years. I heard he knew what it took to lure such a beauty our way. He agreed to take me out and teach me his ways.
We arrived out our destination around 7am on April 17th. It was an out going tide the water temps and weather were perfect. We launched the Diablo kayaks and swiftly arrived at the spot that may be holding fish. After some brief coaching As instructed i cast my line with excitement towards the mangroves. As the lure hit the water all i heard was “nope” reel it in and try again. Cast to the mangroves I was instructed to do…And i simply replied if I cast any closer Im going to get hung up on the branches. “If you’ve never gotten hung up before then you’ve never fished the mangroves” I was told. I mumbled underneath breath and let out a sigh and cast towards the mangroves. Just like i predicted in the bush my lure went. I retrieved the lure back and was instructed to do it again. This occurred 3 more times and each time I got the same response “ again” .
I felt like the karate kid and Derick was Mr. Miagi. On the 4th cast the lure gently landed in the water just under the mangroves. “Now you’ve learned how to control casting distance and lure placement” . Thank God for polarized shades because if he couldve seen the look in my eyes , lol.. Cast after cast my lure hit the so called “sweet spot” and i worked it as instructed. Still mumbling under my breath “I know how to fish “ Then out of nowhere zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Yup just that long. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz lol. My heart started racing with excitement with the hopes that this was the prize I’ve so longed for. As the fish exited the water shaking her head leap after leap , I wanted to scream with excitement. But i opted to giggle like a little girl. Within minutes she was landed and safely in my hands. This was repeated a few more times but I just couldn’t manage to get them to the Diablo, but it was still an amazing trip.
I learned 2 things that day. 1) how to fish for snook in the mangroves 2) instruction is needed sometimes in life whether we like it or not there is always something to be learned from another. To some of you catching snook on a regular basis is the norm. But for me she was my 1st and i will never forget that. I end this by Thanking an amazing guide Derick Burgos and to the members of the Hardcore Kayak Anglers Club for allowing me the opportunity to learn from you.
Here are a few photos taken by Adrian (Dayumson):
You’ll have to stay tuned to see this…………..
I thought I would share this report by a fellow Hardcore Kayak Anglers Club member. His name is Robert and is known as “Scrumpy” and he hails from the United Kingdom. He always posts some interesting reports with great scenic photography and some interesting species of fish that is caught. It’s nice to see how people from around the world spend there time fishing. This is one to check out:
I’d managed to book a pound of fresh lworm from the tackle shop. High water was 5pm and I was running a little late… Nigel Mansell has nothing on me
I was on the beach ready to launch shortly after 1pm. The tides had off the neaps and the forecast movement was 10.1m
Conditions were just about ideal, not too far from millpond conditions, though these were actually achieved later in the day. I paddled straight out into deeper water until I found a good run of tide before turning and paddling eastwards for almost two miles. I was anchored up about a mile offshore with baits in the water by 2pm. Baits for the day were either lugworm and squid or mackerel and squid, both mounted on a 6/0 pennel rig.
I’d taken two 1lb boxes of squid out with me, the first one thawing in the footwell during the paddle out. It was still solid 30 minutes later, nothing to do with the air temperature being zero!. As I often do I dipped the box into the water for a second to aid the thawing process. The end of the box opened up and a cube of squid floated off downtide . I slipped anchor and made chase, it was almost in my grasp a couple of minutes later, though it slipped into the depths before I could make the final grab. I’m questioned my choice to take two boxes of squid… you see, there’s always method in my madness
The first 20-30 minutes were fairly quiet with only the odd knock here and there. The codling finally started to appear, all a reasonable size, and with a running tide it was good sport.
The sport continued through the flood and the action was pretty much non-stop. At times there were bites on both rods which made for pretty exciting fishing !
The mackeral/squid combo was working well and resulted in four thornback rays coming being picked up during the flood tide. They were a decent size, the best fishing pushing double figures. They fought well in the running tide, at one point I was convinced I was into a double figure cod, though this hope was quashed when the fish surfaced
It was pretty chilly despite the sun making a show from time to time. The prevailing wind eased off completely at times giving an oil slick appearance to the water surface. When I launched the air temperature was 1˚C and it never got above that throughout the session. In fact it dropped well below zero as the sun dropped behind the hills.
As high water neared the sport eased off, no real surprises there. I was still picking up the odd fish even at slack water which was a little surprising, though I was hardly complaining.
As the sun set the tide turned, it was a time to enjoy the best that mother nature has to offer. I do love a good sunset.. it was also time to light up as dusk approached rapidly.
Once the tide tuned onto the ebb the fishing picked up once more, though the codling were taking a back seat as the whiting were hitting the baits hard. I took five fish within ten minutes, though as soon as they’d appeared they were gone.
I poured myself a steaming cup of coffee and chilled. Once finished I dipped my mug into the water to rinse it and the tide pulled it from my hand… it’d served me well, there’ll never be another like it. Have you ever tried drinking hot coffee from one of those button operating flasks that allow you to pour it?…. well don’t, trust me.
The tide was ebbing hard, for a time there was standing waves next to the kayak. On the flood I was using 8oz of weight to hold bottom, though the ebb saw me going to 12oz, though I was soon onto a 1lb of lead. The tide was quite fierce, debris on the surface of the water was taking roughly two seconds to pass by the length of the kayak. The anchor was holding and I was happy to stay put !.
The fishing didn’t amount to much on the ebb. I was getting the odd hard bite, though it rarely developed into anything. I did manage three codling post the whiting fest, though they was smaller fish than what I picked up on the flood tide.
I fished three hours of the ebb tide, finally raising anchor at 8pm, paddled back with the tide. Despite a very leisurely paddle I was still averaging over 5mph. I hit the beach around 8:30pm and cleaned my catch. The codling contained small edible crab which seems to be the norm for these parts, though one codling was stuffed with whitebait. When I reached the car it was showing –3˚C… and it felt it !. I’d forgoteen my military issue artic socks and made do with some thick’ish wooly socks. My feet had chilled of within three hours and were positively frozen solid when I reached shore. It was halfway through de-rigging when the heat returned… did it hurt?, you betcha. I drove barefoot for the first 30 mins with the heater max’d out, it was like put your feet into a scalding bath, though I gritted my teeth and pressed on. I’ll not forgot my socks next time
It really was a cracking session, one of the most enjoyable in a long time. The fishing was excellent, I managed around twenty codling from 2-5lb, four rays and a few whiting. Though it wasn’t the fishing, it was the weather, the time of day and the atmosphere out there that made the session so enjoyable. I’d like to hit the water again tomorrow, perhaps I will, though the weather is due to pick up.. I’ll have to wait and see what the morning brings.
Happy New Year’s to all!.. I haven’t had the most stellar year in fishing, but this year I met new fellow anglers with the same addiction!!. Thanks in part to being part of the HardCore Kayak Anglers Club and Saltyshores!
2010 was a phenomenal year for some quality fish being caught. Camaraderie was the biggest thing I learned and being part of a group that shares the same passion is best to none.
Well to finish off the year a few of the crew and I headed out for some “Slobber Knockers.” What we like to refer Bull reds as. It was bitter cold, but we managed a few. I’m not going to write much, but just let the photos of fish say it all and I also did a VLOG of our excursion.
Thank you Sam and Saltyshores!. 2011 ……. FISH ON!!!!!!
Here is the VLOG… some language may not be suitable. This is Raw, nothing fancy.
Quick edit here. Nik made this Video as well..Freaking Awesome!… Thanks Brotha!