Day 267

04/16/2012

0 Comments

 
Daily Miles: 32
Total Miles: 2,377
Fish Caught: None

Since David had to drop me back off in Port Orange this morning he picked me up at six-thirty so that he could get back to work at a decent time. We said goodbye and I loaded my kayak before getting on the water about a quarter after eight. I paddled all morning through Daytona and into the canal north of Daytona. For a couple of hours I had a little current against me, but I stayed out of the channel and made decent time considering. Around mid-afternoon I hit some favorable current again and made good time all afternoon. The wind was also quartering behind me, so that helped. The last hour of the day was spent paddling against current, so I stopped for a bathroom break at a county park before paddling another half mile to a spoil island. It has been a long day and I’ve covered some ground, so I’m sure after I cook something to eat I’m going to fall asleep quickly.

Picture
Tile artwork on the bridge in Daytona Beach
Picture
Big boat moored on the canal
Picture
Jay, a kayaker I ran into this afternoon
 

Day 267

04/15/2012

0 Comments

 
Daily Miles: 0
Total Miles: 2,345
Fish Caught: None

There was not much to report today. I got up around nine and walked to a big church down the road for the morning service. I had some burgers for lunch and spent the rest of today in my motel room watching tv and napping. So nice to have a day like this off the water. 

 

Day 266

04/14/2012

0 Comments

 
Daily Miles: 0
Total Miles: 2,345
Fish Caught: Two redfish, two trout

David picked me up early this morning, right round six-thirty. After stopping for some snacks and ice, we drove north to the Guana River State Park, which has Lake Ponte Vedra, a brackish lake with redfish, trout, black drum and flounder. At the launch we met David’s buddy, Scott, who was joining us for the day. Scott and David are members of the Irish Water Dogs, a kayak fishing group that works with different charities, particularly veterans and wounded veterans. They host fishing tournaments, take veterans fishing and try to be a bright spot in the community. Anyway, after introductions and unloading gear, we paddled out into the shallow marshy lake. The forecast got the wind wrong today, so from the start we had a stiff southeast wind to deal with. We spent the morning paddling south on the lake, stopping every couple of hundred yards to stake out yaks to the muddy bottom and soak live bait or Gulp while throwing artificials. I started getting small hits on my artificial right away, but nothing would set the hook. About twenty minutes into the day I had something big slam my lure and take off before the hook came out after a few seconds. 
Picture
Me and David before we launched
Picture
David on the water
Picture
My new friend Scott
About an hour later I caught the first fish of the day, a sixteen inch red, on a Gulp shrimp that I was letting sit on the bottom. After letting him go I moved spots and put the shrimp out again while I changed lures on my casting rod. In the middle of changing lures my shrimp rod got slammed and line started screaming off the reel. My drag was a little too loose, so by the time I picked it up there wasn’t much line to work with. I finally got it tightened and gained some line back and had a five minute fight with a twenty-five inch redfish. It was fun, but David and Scott were nowhere in sight, so a nearby fisherman named Zach was kind enough to paddle over and snap some pictures for me.
Picture
Redfish #1
Picture
Redfish #2 at 25 inches
Picture
My cameraman Zach paddling away
Shortly after that I caught a fourteen inch trout, which was some kind of weird speckled/weakfish/sand trout hybrid. To round out the day I caught an eight inch speck. Turns out that Scott had some excitement too, almost losing a rod to a fish. He also caught a few fish and David caught a small redfish on the way back to the launch. We headed back around one-thirty and didn’t really even have to paddle as the wind was blowing about twenty miles an hour. After loading up, we said goodbye to Scott and headed back to town where David dropped me off at the motel for the evening. I’m spending tonight watching tv and relaxing

 

Day 265

04/13/2012

0 Comments

 
Daily Miles: 17
Total Miles: 2,345
Fish Caught: None

I got up at a decent time this morning and waited til a little after nine to shove off, the time when the tide turned. I had good current all the way to New Smyrna Beach, but strangely it switched when I got a few miles from the Ponce Inlet, so I ended up fighting current for a couple of hours. Luckily, the strange switch meant that I had current with me on the other side of the inlet, so I cruised a little easier for the rest of the afternoon. The wind kicked up in the afternoon, and although it wasn’t in my face, it was just enough to keep me annoyed. 
Picture
Coast Guard station at Ponce Inlet
Picture
The lighthouse on the north side of Ponce Inlet
Around four o’clock I reached the overpass at Port Orange, the city just south of Daytona Beach. A fellow named David Hernandez has been after me to fish with him when I pass through St. Augustine and we have been in contact for the last week, so I gave him a call. He agreed to pick me up in Port Orange so that we could fish tomorrow, so I spent this afternoon unloading my kayak at a city boat ramp and looking through maps until he got there. He had a trailer for my kayak when he arrived, so we loaded it and put my gear in the back of his truck. On the way back we stopped at a Denny’s and he bought me a burger, which was awesome because I didn’t have much to eat today. When we got back to St. Augustine he put me up in a motel room, which surprised me a little, but I don’t have any complaints. We’re supposed to fish tomorrow and I’m planning to take it easy on Sunday since I’ve been on the water for over two weeks, so I’m looking forward to the rest. After he checked me in and I unloaded most of my gear, he took my kayak back to his house, along with all of my dirty laundry. The motel didn’t have public laundry facilities, so he did it at his house; what a guy! Now I’ve just got to sort all my fishing gear for tomorrow.

 

Day 264

04/12/2012

0 Comments

 
Daily Miles: 8
Total Miles: 2,328
Fish Caught: None

Once again I got a late start today. The wind was still strong out of the northeast today, so I had to fight it for the first couple of hours. I finally reached a section where the spoil islands gave me some cover from the wind and shortly came to a little campground with a bait and tackle store. I stopped for the afternoon to charge my batteries and got a coke and a snickers. I spent the afternoon at the little store before paddling back out to one of the spoil islands for the evening. This one was used by locals for camping and had a picnic table and grill/fire pit. I did see some more manatees today, so that was once again one of the highlights of the day.  I’m spending this evening looking over maps and relaxing after another long day. This wind just takes it out of me.

Picture
Bald eagle I saw this morning
Picture
I stopped at the Indian Mound Fish Camp to recharge my batteries and get a snack
 

Day 263

04/11/2012

0 Comments

 
Daily Miles: 11
Total Miles: 2,320
Fish Caught: None

I slept in this morning til nine or so before getting up and getting on the water. The late start didn’t help with the wind having switched to the northeast over night and building quickly. Today ended up being miserable, pushing against the wind all day in shallow water. This area is some of the best redfishing in the world, and I did see some large redfish in the shallow grass flats. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stop today with the wind and my late start. Around mid-afternoon I made it to the Haulover Canal that connects the bay to Mosquito Lagoon north of Cape Canaveral. The tide was ripping through it, so once again I had to strain just to make my kayak go anywhere. I did get to see probably a dozen manatees in the canal though, just feet from my kayak and swimming under me. It was the one highlight of the day.
Picture
The Haulover Canal
Picture
Cove where manatees were rolling
After pushing through the canal, I paddled for another hour or so until I was just exhausted, both mentally and physically. I finally found a spoil island that was open with some trees and stopped for the day. I’m cooking some supper and recovering from what has been a very long day. 

Picture
Looking north from my spoil island for the night
 

Day 262

04/10/2012

0 Comments

 
Daily Miles: 29
Total Miles: 2,309
Fish Caught: None

After I got up and packed this morning, I stopped at the little park down the beach to put a little juice in my batteries before shoving off. I also saw the park director and another guy that I met yesterday working on some of the park’s landscaping. They loved what I’m doing, so we talked for a little bit yesterday and he even brought me some cold water. Around ten I said goodbye to them and shoved off the beach and started heading north. It was calm for the first part of the day and around two o’clock I stopped at a marina in Cocoa Beach to refill my water and I also walked down the street and got a sandwich for lunch. I soon got back on the water and made good time as a southeast breeze kicked up in the afternoon. I saw the old NASA buildings and launch sites way off this afternoon.  By six, the wind was blowing pretty good so I threw up my little sail for an hour and promptly made it to Titusville about an hour before sunset. I stopped on a little island north of Titusville that the locals appear to have named “Poppy’s Island”.  It’s a great spot to camp, so I’m cooking supper before it gets too dark. The wind is really howling right now too. 

Picture
The NASA complex on the horizon
 

Day 261

04/09/2012

0 Comments

 
Daily Miles: 0
Total Miles: 2,280
Fish Caught: None

I woke up with a headache this morning and just didn’t feel great, so I stayed where I was for the day. Unfortunately it looks like this is going to change some fishing plans I had for tomorrow, but not much I can do. 

 

Day 260

04/08/2012

1 Comment

 
Daily Miles: 0
Total Miles: 2,280
Fish Caught: None

I woke up this morning planning to attend a church for Easter services this morning, but all the churches I had picked out on a map ended up having 10 am services instead of the 11 am services that I was expecting. So I ended up walking around for two and a half hours this morning and found no church service to go to. I ended up back at my campsite and I’ve spent this afternoon updating the blog. I realize that there is still a lot to update on the blog, so I’m just asking for your patience. I will try my best to update everything between Tampa Bay and Miami this coming week. 

 

Day 259

04/07/2012

0 Comments

 
Daily Miles: 0
Total Miles: 2,280
Fish Caught: None

I spent most of today in my hammock, hiding from these ridiculous winds. I did venture down the road to a convenience store for a sub sandwich and some ice cream. I also charged some of my electronics at the little park on the beach. It has not been much of a day.