Bienville….day ahhhhh one….day ahhhhh two, ahh three…..
How many days does it take to get to what kayak fishing is really about to me?
Some of you may not understand the reference to an old commercial, ‘cause you ain’t that old, but it was about the chocolate center of the Tootsie Pop…Google it…but that is what my day on the water was like; getting to the gooey center…the best part of it all!
While the Ten was setup for a big day on Lake Purvis (good job on day one guys!), those of us not in the top ten set out on the two other lakes in search of a big bass. It seems many had the same idea; to push off shore at seven a.m., and make the mad dash to the spot where the Jeff Fader had just kicked our butts in the KBF Tenvitational.
6:59 and you could see everyone leaning toward their kayaks. In my head it looked like bobsledders moving back and forth before the run toward the hill…my story, my visions.
6:59 and a half…how can I beat a Torqeedo to the spot?
6:59 and three-quarters…everyone looked around…everyone knew where everyone was headed.
7:00…now kayak fishing is not a sport designed for shot gun starts; so there was a lot of “bump”, “sorry”….”hit your paddle”, “sorry”….bumper boats on a mission.
I broke free!
One motor in front of me…and a pedal yak. I cranked the Hobie into overdrive and passed the motor kayak (the Mirage Drive is an awesome thing!) and almost caught the pedal yak before we reached the channel.
Then I made an error; I stopped on the entry side ( mostly because I was out of breath!). As I watched the graph for fish and made a few casts….a steady stream of kayaks went past me.
I saw Casey Reed catch a fish halfway down the channel and heard excitement on the other end.
I pedaled through to find a pile of kayaks casting to a single location and wearing out the bass! Slamming ‘em!
Then it happened.
I got to the gooey center.
“Come on. Cast over here.”
Casey Reed, Russell Johnson, Corey Dreyer, David Kittrell, Jim Williams, Arlie Minton, Micah Marbra, Tim Issacs, Barry Davis….others I am sorry I don’t know…but tell me their names please…were sitting in the “honey hole” (some showed up later) slaying em and inviting any who passed down the chute to join.
We all fished and I witnessed several giants caught, but I wasn’t catching any. At one point they had several fish on and wanted a picture…so since I was doing nothing else (and they kept reminding me)…I took several.
For the rest of the day we, seriously competitive anglers; joked, laughed, encouraged each other…talked good and bad about each other…ok, mostly about my inability to hook a fish…
At one point we decided to leave the spot alone for a bit and dispersed. I passed Florida Jerry and Matthew Brannon who told me what they were catching them on…Matthew going so far as to offer me a bag of baits when I told him mine were in the truck.
…we shared what had to be one of the greatest days of fishing I have ever experienced….and I didn’t catch a fish until late in the day! But by that point, it wouldn’t have mattered if I had skunked…it was an amazing day of fellowship and camaraderie that, to quote Russell – “we will remember (this day) for years to come”. Yes the fish were swarming, but it became so much more than that…sounds kinda silly, but the day took on a life of its own. And it was everything that drew me to the kayaking community sitting in a few hundred square feet of water.
Chad Hoover and KBF (or something bigger?) brought us together on Bienville Lake 14….and today reminded me that the soul of kayak fishing is a beautiful thing….
….the gooey center.