This Month: Cobia and Wahoo, Gulf Coast Style
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.
Our opening month could not start much better than this. We have two members from Team Primus out of Navarre Beach, Florida who prove to do it big and in pairs. These anglers truly Yak Hard!
55″ 70lb Cobia
Angler: Doug Richardson aka YAKNTAT
Fishing Team: Team Primus (Kayak Wars)
Location: Navarre, Florida
Reel: Penn 550 Spinfisher
Rod: St. Croix Mojo Inshore heavy
Line: 50lb Power Pro
Leader: 40lb Flouro
Bait: Pink 3oz Bucktail jig, tip with a piece of hardtail
From the Angler:
Caught in 60ft of water 1 1/2 miles off the beach on natural bottom.
54″ 36lb Wahoo
Angler: Robert “Ginzu” Long
Fishing Team: Team Primus (Kayak Wars)
Location: Navarre Beach, FL
Reel: Calcutta TE 401
Rod: 7’6” St. Croix Mojo Inshore Heavy Power
Line: 30lb Power Pro Slick
Leader: 40lb Wire on King Rig
Bait: Dead Cigar Minnow
From the Angler:
I rolled out this morning to get a little time on the water, since I have to work an evening shift today. I had visions of landing another Cobia after seeing my boy’s slob from yesterday. Well, it didn’t take long. I had a 25lb Cobia decide to hit my Yozuri deep diver after I got out past the second bar. Fought a short fight and had him yak side. Hit him with the gaff and he flips out doing the gator roll. In the process he slips off the gaff and bent out the treble on the lure and off he swam. I was livid. Cussing at no one for hours. Pulled up one trophy snapper on a spot, then moved to another pulling the only live bait I had, a big hardtail. Well somehow he wiggles off, so now I am stuck pulling nasty cigsicles I had. On the way to our famed Trigger hole I see some birds working the water pretty hard. I start heading that way when I notice an odd thump on the King rig. Bout to get even more upset cause I figured it was remora time. Pick up the pole and start to move a little more when I feel deadweight grab the bait. It felt substantial, so I did my Bass fisherman impression and set the hook as hard as I could. That’s when shit hit the fan. 200 yds of line came off my spool in seconds. I could see smoke coming out of the reel. I start hauling ass towards the fish to try and catch up. The only time I have ever seen line move that fast was when I accidentally hooked flipper. 15 minutes I’m working this fish. I take some line and he hauls ass again. All this time I had no idea what it could be. There was no jumping and I couldn’t see color till he came along side the yak. When I did finally see him, all I saw were stripes. Big stripes! I’m kinda upset that my main GoPro didn’t start recording when I hit the button. But I did get footage from my front camera right when I landed him. You will get a chuckle out of my antics. I got a little overzealous in my celebrating. 36lbs and 54″.I don’t know if this year can get any better, but it’s been a hell of a ride so far!
If your looking for Biscayne Bay trout, then Bird Key is your answer. The grass flats located to the South of Bird Key is an absolute breeding ground for Sea Trout in the area. This last trip proved so yet again. With kayak launch sites out of either Pelican Harbor Park or Morningside Park, a Key Biscayne kayak angling adventure is not very far for Miami residents.
Launching at dawn I found myself at the stall of low tide. I did paddle around to not encounter much but some very small trout out of the grass flats, and a few jacks outside of the grass line. As high tide moved in, fishing turned around. The sweeping tide brought in the big fish, namely trout averaging from 20-25″ on the big side, with just under slot trout to be had all around and in between. A natural colored DOA shrimp will pretty much cover all of your needs, while a top water will slow your bite but increase your quality of fish. I had a few big slams that broke my leaderless 12lb test, I went through an entire set of DOA’s on this day, but managed to complete the day at the peak of high tide with a happy little list of catches. The peak also slowed fishing off the grass as everything continues to sweep North with the rising water levels.
The key to these grass flats is this: Time of day and water temperature did not seem to play much of a role, which is the opposite of sites like Flamingo, a swinging tide is key. For an incoming tide work the grass flats edge on the North side of the field, staying in that zone of 2-3 feet while casting out away from the grass edge and working your bait back in. Once this tide peaks work the edges towards the sea wall on either side, or go for some different varieties in the channels. On an outgoing tide do all of the above but be stationed at the South end of the grass flats. These tips will keep your day active.
Pelican Harbor Marina
1275 NE 79 Street
Miami, FL 33138
Park: Sunrise – Sunset
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., seven days a week
Boat Ramps: Open 24 hours
The Size Matters Trout Tournament! this past weekend was a good success with over 30 kayak anglers showing up to assess their trout catching skills. The tournament was a catch, photo, and release with onsite judging. Prizes were given to anglers with the largest single fish photographed, and a special prize was awarded for the smallest trout recorded. This was dubbed the “Guppy Award” and though the position did not pay out cash, it did offer the angler a unique Guppy Award trophy, and miniature fishing rod gag gift, and a free Hibiki Bait Stick donated by The Clever Angler (www.thecleverangler.com).
The day of fishing itself did hold some challenges. A steady head wind, sun and heat, and tide finicky trout. Though small trout could be had all day, the larger trout did not seem to arrive on seen until the tide started moving in across the grass flats in front of Bird Key. Other fish were on scene including decent sized Jack’s and even a large barracuda that smacked my rod against the side of my kayak just before breaking the 12 lb mono.
This was the first of many tournaments to come from event planner and coordinator Tom K. (aka. Trout Killer). Tom did not fish and instead spent the day preparing barbequed food and icing down drinks that he donated himself. The next tournament scheduled is still to be announced, but I can highly recommend Tom’s future tournaments to anyone from novice to pro. Keep an eye on our events page for the next kayak fishing tourny.
Top fish were in the 22-24″ range. While one angler had a winning 25″ fish, with witnesses, but a corrupt camera file when it came time for judging. The Guppy Award was won with a 9″ trout.
Heading out at the break of dawn was a wise choice as fishing stalled within 3 hours of sun up. That being said, this fishing report will show that it was a fun filled 3 hours. With some playful Jack’s, a trout, but most importantly the Snook were biting and big Tarpon were all are around. Unfortunately, after having battled the biggest Snook of the day the severely frayed 10lb test simply gave under the light touch of my finger tips. He slowly swam away and I was a little disappointed as to not have had the opportunity to get a good look at him. However, I am sure he will be fine and will fight another day. After the sunrise festivities, I started paddling further out and around into Snake Bight, here I caught a good head wind, but decided to fight it for a straight hour paddle so I could drift fish my way back. Of course the wind wound up being too fast for this and I wound up sailing right back out at too high a speed to correctly work my baits. On the hook back around to a wind safe zone was where I first noticed some active Tarpon herding schools of mullet. I gave them a long and hard attempt, but top waters and jigs were just of no interest to them.
As the day wound down, the Tarpon stayed active, but nothing else was interested in either the hard or soft baits. Though, I had one big channel hit with about three straight drag pulls that got off before it even made a splash (DOA Shrimp). My opinion is that this was a good size Red, though I cannot confirm that for this fishing report. The only other thing to note was the fact that this was one day after some hairy weather, so the water was dirty with loose natural debris. With this, it was nearly impossible to bring back a hard bait clean. Twice I had those Snooky yellow fins appear right behind my bait just as the bait caught some sea weed.. and those fins would slowly sink away. One last attempt on the camp ground side of Flamingo was made, here is where I stretched my legs and I did some wade fishing. Tarpon again all around pushing mullet towards shore, and again – no interest in what I had to offer. A final Lady fish hook up sealed the fate of the day and I headed home. Final opinion for right now, fish dawn and fish dusk – It’s worth every penny of effort to get out there, even just for these short periods.
See the VIDEO