I’m finally getting a chance to write about my newest and most exciting (to me, at least) hobby – kayak fishing. I’ve always loved to fish. I grew up fishing on Kentucky Lake with my grandparents and my family. For about 6 years, almost every weekend during spring and fall, and almost non-stop during summer, we spent our weekends at our campground at Country Junction near Springville, TN. When I lived in Arkansas I attempted to fish in a few places, but I didn’t have a boat, and I didn’t know of any good places to shore fish, so it was a bust. Every since I moved to LA, I’ve made more efforts to get out and fish, and I’ve been much more successful here than I have been in the past.
The kayak fishing notion started started last year (2013) around August or September. There are much better shore fishing opportunities here, but still, it’s better to be able to actually get out on the water. My wife and I had been kayaking a few times, and we loved it. I started thinking to myself, “what if I get a kayak and fish from it?” I don’t have a boat. I don’t have a truck to haul a boat. I don’t have a place to store a boat. I definitely don’t have the money to purchase a boat, a truck, and a place to put it all. It made sense – a kayak is relatively cheap and I have a place to put it. I started looking online and came to find out that a lot of people go kayak fishing. I watched a lot of others’ videos, read their articles, and basically soaked up all of the information I could. I also came to find out that there is a huge kayak fishing community in Louisiana (http://www.bckfc.org/ is one I frequent). I finally came across a great deal on a used kayak last January (2014), and went for it. A month later, I had it kitted out and ready to fish.
My first kayak fishing trip was at Lake Pelba in mid-January. The weather was nice, in the low 70’s but fishing conditions overall were unfavorable. The weather had been super cold, so the water had not warmed up yet, the sky was overcast, and the water itself was super murky, probably due to a recent rain. I spent about 5 hours on the water and had a blast, but all I got was a baby bluegill.
I didn’t get to go again for two months, but when I did, I hit up the marsh in Golden Meadow, LA. Again, I spent about 5 hours on the water, and got a crazy sunburn (the kind of life-changing sunburn that will never let you forget sunscreen again), but this trip was even better than the first. After a little over an hour of being on the water, I hooked into a redfish, and we went for a ride. I fought with it for a few minutes, and it drug me about 20 – 30 yards, but I finally pulled it in. I’m pretty sure it was the first redfish I’ve ever caught, and it a great first.
A spent a few more hours on the water, catching nothing but a catfish. I wasn’t sure if it was a gafftop or hardhead, but it wasn’t really worth keeping either way, so I threw it back.
I finally paddled back, packed up my kayak and gear, filleted my fish, and headed back. The fillets that came off the fish were enough for four meals.
I cooked the fillets up with some butter and blackening seasoning and they were great. There’s nothing like sense of accomplishment that comes from paddling out, wrestling with a fish, pulling it in, cleaning it, and cooking it up as part of an amazing meal.
That’s my kayak fishing adventures so far. There will be many more.