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Florida What else do you need to say? A crown jewel in recreational fisheries in the USA. Let the pioneers of kayak fishing help you explore this amazing state.

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Old 02-20-2011, 08:32 AM
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Default Annual Everglades Kayak Fishing Paddle-In

February 19, 2011. The glorious day had arrived.

For the kayaker and yak fisher this free event is the Running of the Bulls, Mardi gras and Academy Awards all rolled into one.
It's a time to meet friends old and new. A chance to fish the productive waters of The Ten Thousand Islands. A place to
clear your head and navigate one of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. The Paddle In showcases all that is right with
our sport. It is truly a celestial event in that, for one brief change of tides, the kayaking stars align. You should go to
the next. Yes, I'm talking to you.

Captain Charles Wright and crew had once again set the stage for an exciting day of adventure, family fun and fishing.
The weather was beautiful with a light morning breeze and temperatures from the mid 50's to high 70's. This days tides
called for an early launch and midday return.

My companions and I, I Fishhead, arrived at the Everglades City Ranger Station before dawn and rigged our vessels under
the full moon. I Fishbro and Ned were a little nervous about being the first on the water but I used my leadership skills
to calm them and took point on the marvelous journey to Indian Key.





My friend Ned is a total newbie to kayak fishing. It was wonderful to watch his reaction to all the new experiences. I particularly
enjoyed seeing the expression on his face when we both were almost de - yakked by a bolting manatee at the mouth of Indian Key Pass.
It was priceless but Ned gathered his courage and pressed on just as do we all hooked on kayaking.





We land on Indian Key and marvel at approaching flotilla following our party of trailblazers. One by one the adventurers slide onto
the beach.








Now satisfied that we've made safe the way forward for all attendees, we decide to launch and fish the western point of Indian Key.
Enormous amounts of Ladyfish were landed along with Spotted Sea Trout and Jack Crevalle. Ned was quite happy catching the Ladies as
any newbie would be. Look at his face. Amazing.






Fearing we would miss lunch we returned to the beach to sample some of Miss Vicki's conch chowder and delicious brats. The crowd had
thinned out some. The return launch window was closing and many had already started the voyage back to Chokoloskee Bay.

I was happy to see an old friend, Bugdoc - aka RDS on the beach. My friends Scott and Steve had made the journey in Mokais. The mother
ships were peacefully anchored. Tall tales and barbs were traded as the aroma from the bubbling cauldron of chowder whetted appetites. I had
been carefully considering an internet handle for my new buddy Ned and his actions on the beach brought forth an idea.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you "I Chowderhead". Pretty good huh?







It was time to depart. The breeze had freshened and become a slight head wind for the return. No matter, the Fishhead party and Bugdoc party
hastened forward as pathfinders of old. These friends of mine know not fear. Seeking only high adventure, camaraderie and a view of the world
few are lucky enough to enjoy we pressed on. Onward into Indian Key Pass, through the endless maze of mangroves, avoiding predators and Mokais
alike, we forged ahead already dreaming of our next expedition. What could make this day better? Only one thing. Emerging into Choko Bay and
running broadside into Critterdog. I had feared the worst for Critter... that he didn't show up. Not that he was lost at sea. Because
like a bad penny Critterdog always turns up.



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Old 02-20-2011, 08:33 AM
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Clickable Pix of the Day:



















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Old 02-20-2011, 08:34 AM
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:36 AM
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:38 AM
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Nice pic Fish, wish I could a been there.. I see iFishBro now has a purty new to him used Trident.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:05 AM
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I wish you coulda come to buddy.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:33 PM
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It was nice to bump into Steve again. My buddy Doug and I went out through Sandfly Pass so we could fish our way over to Indian Key for lunch. There were probably at least 100 people at the launch, but by 11AM when we got to Indian Key almost everyone had left already. There was a large contingent of recreational paddlers (i.e. no purpose). After initial catches of Lizardfish and Sailcats, I caught a Spanish Mackerel and a rat red, Doug got a couple of small trout and ladyfish. The old Fishhead fleet was out in force.

I'm glad to see someone besides me gets bumped by manatees- I've had 3 close encounters so far this year.








Doug with small trout




Captain Charles Wright

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Old 02-20-2011, 02:30 PM
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So not many fishermen mostly recreational paddlers? At least it was a big turnout and looked like you all had excellent weather. I think Capt Wright has made a pact with the devil all his latest Paddle In events have had great weather, low winds and beautiful blue skies



I take great offense that my friend (who needs enemies) Stubb, has created this Rule and had it printed for the event Canoes are not torture devices! At least mine is not
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:08 PM
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Looks like a good time! Maybe next year....................
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