Category Archives: Kayak Fishing

Fishing Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay fishing is one of the most exceptional places in the state of Florida to fish. An amazing fishery that consist of both feeder canals and tidal flows from the Gulf of Mexico. Due to these elements working in unison, the fishery is highly active all year long. For kayak anglers and boaters alike, the skinny water fishing is second to none on the west coast. The fishery is also part of the massive adult Tarpon migration every year in the Summer, as well as an awesome Fall cobia run.  Continue reading Fishing Tampa Bay

Kayak and SUP Angler Highlights July 2013

This Month: Bang! Pow!

Every month we will showcase some of the best and most notable catches from the paddle fishing world. Kayak and SUP anglers who do it big on what is probably one of the most technically complicated platforms on the fishing planet.

This month started with nasty local weather and little to show around the fishing community, but Bang! Pow! out of nowhere the catches started flooding in and these kayak and SUP anglers show how to get it done!

When the angling gets tough, the tough Go Hard.

54″ Wahoo

Kayak Angler: Jameson ReddingWahoo on a Kayak
Sponsors: Jackson Kayak, Manley Rods, Orca Coolers, Great Outdoor Provision Co., Bending Branches
Location: Pensacola Beach, FL
Species: Wahoo
Length: 54in
Weight: No Estimate
Reel: Penn Battle 5000
Rod: Ugly Stick Inshore 7’6” MH
Line: 30lb Power Pro
Leader: 30lb fluorocarbon
Bait: Dead Cigar minnow on a duster rig

Photo Credit: Josh Henson

From the Angler:

It was an awesome day on the water with 20+ Kings caught.  Drew Gregory, Brooks Beatty, Michael Ethridge, Josh Henson and myself had launched early and with the help and guidance of Josh (local Jackson Kayak pro-staffer) we had managed to get into the fish.  It was almost lunchtime when we decided to start the paddle in and when I got about a mile or so from the shore my line started screaming off the reel.  After a few very long and fast runs it came by the yak, and I saw the blue stripes.  Wahoo, I yelled as Josh paddled over to me while also fighting the biggest king of the day (25lb).  He grabbed my kayak and after 15 minutes of fighting he was able to get a gaff in it for me.  We were thrilled to say the least!  It is a trip I will never forget!


75″ Tarpon

Big Tarpon from a KayakKayak Angler: Donny Miley
Sponsors: Tailin’ Toads, The Wilderness Way, Reel-Fin-Addict Kayak Guide Service
Location: Panacea Florida
Species: Tarpon
Length: 75in est.
Weight: 125lbs est.
Reel: Shimano Baitrunner 4500
Rod: Shimano Teramar XXX Heavy 8′ Spinning Rod
Line: 50lb Diamond Braid
Leader: 60lb Diamond Fluorocarbon
Bait: Live Grunt

From the Angler:

I peddled two miles to a sandy shoal that is know for funneling tarpon. I staked out and waited for fish to cruise by. After jumping a few fish I finally brought this beast to the boat. The fight which was caught on camera took about 30 minutes. After taking a few well deserved photos I released the fish unharmed. Although, I was extremely tired the fish actually jumped while I was trying to revive it with my mirage drive. I think it was just letting me know who really won.


24″ Sheepshead

Sheepshead from a KayakKayak Angler: Rob choi
Sponsors: Ocean Kayak, Werner Paddles, Kokatat, Maui Jim, YakAttack, Hook1
Website: Angling Addict
Location: Chesapeake Bay, Florida
Species: Sheepshead
Length: 24in
Weight: No Est.
Reel: Curado 300EJ
Rod: Medium Heavy Trevala S
Line: 50lb Braid
Leader: 50lb fluorocarbon
Bait: Mole Crab

Photo Credit: Joe Underwood

From the Angler:

I was out at the CBBT 1st island, soaking bait for big uglies (black drum) while messing with small triggers, croakers, black sea bass, and oystertoads on my sheepshead rig.  I thought I had a trigger bite my mole crab when I set the hook on something big.  The drag run had me thinking it might be a behemoth trigger or maybe… then I saw the stripes of the convict.

Read more about tips and tricks for Sheepshead from Rob Choi: Sheepshead Tips and Rig


38″ Snook

Snook from a kayakKayak Angler: Mike Conneen
Sponsors: Harry Goode’s Outdoor Shop, Space Coast Kayak Anglers
Location: Beach of Patrick Air Force Base, Fl.
Species: BSnook
Length: 38in
Weight: No Est.
Reel: Penn 6000
Rod: Penn 7’
Line: 40lb Braid
Leader: 40lb fluorocarbon
Bait: Live Pogey

From the Angler:

Caught this Snook on the way back in from a Going Coastal Mothership Charter with Cptn Glyn Austin where we fished a wreck. We stopped to target tarpon in a bait pod off the beach and this guy was right up in the mix. It was a nice surprise.


84″ Sailfish

Sailfish from a KayakKayak Angler: Brian Nelli / Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters
Sponsors: Hobie Kayaks, DOA Lures, Eagle Claw, Victory Lures, Pelagic, Shimano, Engel Coolers
Website: Pushin’ Water
Location: Boynton Beach, FL
Species: Sailfish
Length: 84in
Weight: No Est.
Reel: Shimano Saragosa 14000
Rod: Shimano Tervala 30-65lb
Line: 30lb Braid
Leader: 40lb fluorocarbon
Bait: Goggle Eye

From the Angler:

Ate in 175’ off downrigger set at 40’


38″ Redfish

Redfish from a KayakKayak Angler: Dee Kaminski
Sponsors: Native Watercraft Endorsed Guide, Tactical Anglers, Aqua Bound/Bending Branches, Tailin’ Toads, Edje Joe Jigs, Big Fin
Website: Reel Kayak Fishing
Location: Titusville, Fl
Species: Redfish
Length: 38in
Weight: 25-30lbs est.
Reel: Shimano Sedona 2500
Rod: Custom BlackDog  Rod – Medium Fast
Line: 10lb power Pro
Leader: 20 lb Yozuri Flourocarbon (*a Yak Hard favorite)
Bait: 12 Fathom Buzz Tail – Pro Cure Blue Crab bait scent

From the Angler:

There were several reds plowing through the flat with their tails riding above the water. After catching up and making a cast into the zone, a smaller red picked up my lure just as it dropped under his mouth. He pulled me around in my Native Ultimate for 10 minutes. He was probably the most copper red I have ever caught.


96″ Sailfish

Sailfish from a Kayak in HawaiiKayak Angler: Andy Cho
Sponsors: Ocean Kayak ,Penn Fishing ,Aqautecko Knot2Kinky, Aloha Army, Pure fishing ,  Aquahunters
Location: South Kona , Big Island Hawaii
Species: Sailfish
Length: 96in jaw to fork
Weight: 94lbs
Reel: Penn International 12 vs 2 spd
Rod: Penn Stand up Mariner 6’0 30-80#
Line: Spiderwire Stealth braid 80 lb
Leader: Berkeley Vanish 60#
Bait: live Blue Goatfish

From the Angler:

The fight lasted 17 mins. It was an awesome fight right next to the yak the whole time. It did at least 5 full body jumps within 15 ft of the yak.


One Big Jack Crevalle

Jack Crevalle from a KayakKayak Angler: Robert Field
Sponsors: Yak Gear, Inc
Website: Yak Fish TV
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Species: Jack Crevalle
Length: No Est.
Weight: No Est.
Reel: Penn 309
Rod: Ugly Stik Tiger Medium Heavy 7′ 30-50#
Line: 40lb mono
Leader: 3′ 84# Malin Single Strand Wire
Bait: Rapala X-Rap Jointed Shad

From the Angler:

This Jack fought harder than any of the seven kings I caught this trip. These fish do not give up and he would burst off 50-100 yards of line in an instant. I hooked up with him about 300 yards from the first oil rig and he towed me right past the rig. He was safely released after a little revival and watching him swim off in 25′ visibility was a sight to see. Such a beautiful and underrated species!

From Yak Hard:

Angler Robert Field had a lot of fish to show us for July- We asked for the Jack specifically. As Robert mentioned “Such a beautiful and underrated species!” We couldn’t agree more. There is a lot more to this fish considered “trash” by most anglers. So much so, we are going to launch a series in hopes to change your mind about these magnificent fighters.. maybe eating it too..? That’s right, stay tuned! Thanks Robert for the submission, and we expect to see you around here again!


Lobster Mini Season!

Lobster from a KayakKayak Angler: Ryan Bancroft with Mike Xanders
Location: Biscayne Bay, Florida – Between Fishermans channel and The Rickenbacker Causeway
Species: Spiny Lobster, Panulirus argus
Length: 3.2 and 4.5 Inch Carapace
Weight: Varied
Reel: My hands!
Rod: My Arms and Legs!
Bait: Persuasion and a tickle stick

From the Angler:

My Buddy Mike Xanders and I paddled from the Rickenbacker Cswy to the shallow waters just south of Fishermans Channel in Biscayne Bay. We snorkeled depths between 7 and 10 feet  with about a foot of visibility. About an hour and a half after we set out, we eventually restored morale by finding our first lobster walking in tall grass. As the current slowed down, visibility and effort improved. We managed to land 8 keepers before the outgoing tide removed all hopes of limiting out. We were then “Boarded” by FWC and reporters from The Miami Herald, A process the caused us to drift from the strong currents about half a mile in the opposite direction of the truck.  All in all I say we paddled/dove about 6-7 miles. But in the end it was worth it to come home with a meal and to be on the front page of the Herald as a representative of the resilience and determination by Kayak Anglers.

FWC Boards a Kayak


SUP Kingfish

Kingfish from an SUPKayak Angler: Chad Paulsen
Location: Cocoa Beach Florida
Species: Kingfish
Length: No est.
Weight: 25lbs est.
Reel: Quantum Cabo 30
Rod: Carrot Stick
Line: 15lb Braid
Leader: 30lb mono
Bait: Storm Jig

From the Angler:

Great way to spend a birthday, mid morning paddle board sesh on the Bote HD. The Kingfish was caught about 3/4 miles off the beach right after landing four Bonita. Pristine conditions with a gorgeous flat glass ocean.

From Yak Hard:

I would like to thank Chad for the submission and am very glad to break the SUP ice with this great Kingfish catch.

Vertical Jigging Tip – Slam ’em on the Drop

Vertical Jigging Tip

Turning the vertical jigging drop into just as much a part of the technique as the retrieve can double up your hook up opportunities. I am always searching for ways to improve on VJ techniques here amongst the internet. One way that I have adopted was to take one of the assist hooks and rubber band it to the jig. This is not my invention, but I did employ this as part of my jig set up and have found the idea to be fruitful. I also took my own twist on the idea that I believe improves on the original concept. But, before we begin that, let’s see why to rubber band down your assist hook. Bear in mind that there are hardcore vertical jiggers that have insisted on only using one assist hook. These arguments are valid, but for this set up you will need to use two. And if you choose to roll with it and give it a shot, I guarantee you will be putting both assist hooks right back on every jig you own. So, next – the dynamics:

Why rubber band your vertical jigging assist hooks? Well, its the dynamics of the drop. Have you ever dropped your jig down and along the way seen a moment where the line from the open bail speeds up a moment, and have even stopped to check this? Well, that was a hit on the drop, and it never snagged fish lips. Why? Well that’s rather simple.. you hooks were no where near the jig. See why:

When you drop the jig your hooks are dangling along, but as soon as the much heavier jig reaches its own terminal drop velocity the assist hook are now trailing it. See the vertical jigging series of pics below to see this flow.

Vertical jig dynamics initial in action Vertical jig dynamics initial in action

As you can see, by the time the jig reaches terminal speed the assist hooks have dragged to above the lure. So, on the vertical jigging drop, direct hits to the jig can result in a hit and spit. Since your bail is open, all the angler sees is a slight momentary increase in speed during an open bail drop. This is noticed as soon as it is too late and usually the angler just continues the drop. You can turn these jig dropping hits into hook ups by simply taking one of the assist hooks and banding it to the body. The article I saw just showed to strap a rubber band around the jig and around one of the assist hooks. This works, but the rubber band slips every so often and must be readjusted. With a slight variation of rubber band placement this becomes a non issue.

You take a rubber band (in my case mini hair rubber bands) and loop it through the lower ring of the jig, and then pull the tag end up to one of the assist hooks. In doing this, the rubber band is secure and will not move, and the assist hook can be aimed to whichever direction the angler chooses. See the following photos for an illustration.

jig assist hook band

jig assist hook banded start

jig assist hook banded loop

jig assist hook banded

With this set up you have an assist hook that remains snug to the body during the drop, you have the ability to aim that hook up or down, you have the ability to change band color to match your jig (the 4th jig from the top in the picture below), and there is an added action to this banded assist hook while in the act of vertical jigging. You can also band the rubber band around the body with the same looping technique (the 3rd jig from the top in the picture below). This will still last much longer in position as opposed to traditional banding. Give it a shot and I bet you will spend the few moments to rig all of your jigs this way.

banded vertical jigs for vertical jigging

Kayak Angler Highlights June 2013

This Month: Drum Roll Please

Every month we will showcase some of the best and most notable catches from the kayak fishing world. Kayak anglers who do it big on what is probably one of the most technically complicated platforms on the fishing planet.

This month we see some monster Drum’s, a stellar Kingfish, and a huge Wahoo from kayak anglers who pull some Yak Hard and land some slammin’ catches.

42″ Black Drum

black drum from a kayakKayak Angler: Donny Miley
Sponsors: Tailin’ Toads, The Wilderness Way, Reel-Fin-Addict Kayak Guide Service
Location: Panacea Florida
Species: Black Drum
Length: 42in
Weight: 35-40lbs
Reel: Shimano Symetry
Rod: G-Loomis Greenwater Medium Heavy 8′ Spinning Rod
Line: 15lb Diamond Braid
Leader: 6 foot of 60lb fluorocarbon
Bait: Half of a Blue Crab

From the Angler:
“I fought the fish for nearly 30min as it drug me thru the bridge pilings. It made one final run towards a dock and was landed with help of my friend Ben Colona. I had Ben take some pictures and then spent the next few minutes reviving the fish. The most rewarding part of the battle was watching the monster drum swim back to the bridge after being revived.”


45″ Red Drum

Ric Burnley Kayak Angler Red DrumKayak Angler: Ric Burnley
Editor: Kayak Angler Magazine
Website: Kayak Angler Magazine
Location: Eastern Shore, Virginia
Species:  Red Drum
Length: Estimated 45 inches
Weight: Estimated 40 pounds
Reel: Shimano Calcutta 700
Rod: Shimano Tescata
Line: 40 lb Power Pro
Leader: 50 lb Segar Fluorocarbon
Bait: 2-ounce jig and Gulp! twister

From the Angler:
“I paddled 7 miles, saw one school of fish, made one cast, caught one fish.  A big one.”


48″ Red Drum

Kayak Angler: Rob ChoiRob Choi big Red fish
Sponsors: Ocean Kayak, Werner Paddles, Kokatat, Maui Jim, YakAttack, Hook1
Website: Angling Addict
Location: Eastern Shore, VA
Species:  Red Drum
Length: 48″
Weight: Not weighed
Reel:  Shimano Sustain FG 5000
Rod:  Shimano Terez 7′ MH
Line: 50lb braid
Leader: 60lb flouro
Bait: Artificial

Photo By: Joe Underwood

From the angler:
Rob Choi put together a great story about this day of fishing and this catch at the following link:
Tardy to the Drum Party


kayak kingfish52″ Kingfish

Kayak Angler: Nathan Floyd
Team: Team Gone Fishing (Kayak Wars)
Location: Panama City Beach, Florida
Species: King Mackerel
Length: 52″
Weight: 35-40lbs approx
Rod/Reel: Penn
Line: 20lb mono
Leader: 50lb steel
Bait: Cigar Minnow

From the Angler:
“Caught approximately 3 miles off shore from a Wilderness Systems Ride 135 kayak.”


wahooo65″ Wahoo

Kayak Angler: Doug Richard
Location: Dania Beach, Florida
Species: Wahoo
Length: 60-65″ est.
Weight: 61lbs
Rod: Custom Conley 7’ Live Bait Rod
Reel: Penn International 12V
Line: 20lb mono
Leader: 30 lb Flouro to #4 wire stinger rig
Bait: Live Gog’

From the Angler:
“Hooked in 380’. Aprox 1 hr fight started in Dania and Fish was landed in front of Ft Lauderdale.”