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The Three P’s

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Fall fishing is upon us. Here in Louisiana we are starting to see lower temperatures and more pictures posted on social media of coolers filled with specs and reds. In light of this, my local kayak fishing club hosted a “Pot Luck” Tournament, in which the angler with the biggest fish would take it all. The morning of the tournament we hit the water with great hopes of taking advantage of Fall fishing.

From very early it was evident that our expectations would be dashed. It turned out to be a tough day for both kayaking and fishing. The sun was hidden by dark, overcast clouds. The water level was unusually high from fresh water drainage, which greatly affected salinity. To top it off, we had to fight a strong current and wind that made paddling difficult and the water dirty.

The tournament was held in a place that is unknown to me for the most part. I have fished the area on a few occasions but am somewhat unfamiliar with the territory. I had a plan and stuck to it initially. After awhile, I realized it was not going to be an easy day. I fished locations where I thought the fish would be but they weren’t there. In fact, there were no signs of anything, not even baitfish. I decided the only way to have a shot at finding a monster fish was to keep moving and to look hard for him. This is where I would like to share a constant lesson I am reminded of… the three P’s. “Patience and perseverance pays off.”

After my hopes were dashed of pulling in fish after fish, I went to work hard. I worked the area and I worked it as fast as I could because, as you know, in a tournament there are time restraints. Needless to say, I moved constantly and put some miles on the kayak. As time ticked away, so did my chances of finding the big one.

When it was almost time to start heading back to the launch, my eyes found a beautiful sight in the distance… a big tailing red in a shallow flat. I was overcome with excitement and my heart started pounding; this was my chance! I quietly eased within casting distance of the monster. I stood up and grabbed my rod without making a sound. I knew I needed that perfect cast which was going to be difficult due to the wind and the fact he was tailing right up against a structure. I made the cast just over the top and to the left of the tailing red… perfect. I then pulled my chartreuse colored swimming mullet and laid it down in front of his nose. The lure had not even come to a complete rest on the bottom before he inhaled it. My line started screaming and it was time for a “Cajun Sleigh Ride.” This red was not going to come willingly. I fought and fought. Just about when I would think he was tired and get him near my yak, he would make another run. After a nice battle, I was able to get him in my net. I had landed a 25.5” redfish and he was a fat one. I took some photos and in the soft side cooler he went. As my adrenaline settled, I looked up to see three more tailing bulls in the same shallow flat. I looked at my watch and it was eleven o’clock. I had to be back at the launch by twelve and I knew I had at least a forty five minute paddle to the launch. I decided to make another cast and I hooked up on a black drum. I released him and again looked at my watch. I had to go back. It was hard to leave that place, as I watched those huge tailing reds. I had found the big fish but I found them late. As I paddled away, I was comforted in knowing that I at least had one in the yak.

After check in, my 25.5” redfish was enough to land me in the winner’s circle and with the prize money. I narrowly beat Jaime Bryant who measured a very nice 23” red. There were a few others that were able to bring in some nice hauls for the dinner table but just not of any size. In the end, we all had a great time on the water fishing together with the added fun of friendly competition. More importantly, I was reminded of that age old lesson: “Patience and perseverance pays off.”

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Shane has been kayak fishing since 2009 and is passionate about it. Inshore saltwater kayak fishing is his addiction of choice, however, he enjoys the occasional offshore and freshwater trip as well. He mainly fishes the inshore lakes, bayous, and marshes of Southwest Louisiana but does venture into other territories. Shane is a member of the Hobie Fishing Team and holds Pro Staff positions with YakAngler, Lucid Fishing, and Ship To Shore Co. He was also the founding president of the Lake Charles Kayak Fishing Club. "My simple goal for this blog is to promote kayak fishing as it is something I love. I will post articles, reviews, videos, photos, and basically all things kayak fishing." ~Shane [Shane Coleman] (