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Trying to keep a day after Thanksgiving tradition  going the daughter and I hit the water.  With temps from 65-80 and winds 5-12 it had good potential, but also a good workout.

With the daughter with me today, to facilitate the launch I opted to use the boat ramp.   We cast off in 10-15 min; temps still in the 60's I bundled her up in waders so that she would have a good experience.  Cold, wet, and windy can be a miserable experience, and this was meant to be a fun trip. She's an experienced angler but not well seasoned and not quite hardy enough (yet) to grind through tough conditions.

The morning sunrise made for some good shots of her paddling and I took advantage of the clear day to get some shots.  I cropped the above; both came out reasonable.


We quickly found lots of fish activity.  Some of the mullets were the largest I've seen.

Amanda was throwing a white Aquadream Spoon and I stuck with the paddle tail.  Trying to get the day started out right I tied up next to her and we dropped anchor in about 2-3' of somewhat murky water.  

School after school of mullet kept coming by.  Several minutes passed when behind us we heard an extra ordinarily large crash. birds, but a huge swirl.

We both tossed out again - her to the 11 o'clock, me to the 2 o'clock.  We heard another very large crash, but at 9 o'clock - 10 yards off the port.  This time the swirl resulted in a great deal of commotion; mullet were scattering everywhere - a group of 5 to 6 were headed right at us.  They passed under the kayaks without much fanfare.  Behind them a single large bulge was pushing water.  At a very fast pace  it passed just under us and hit both kayaks hard enough that with a solid THWACK we here pushed upwards.   Coming off the starboard side the man in grey was chasing fish as fast as he could.

I laughed to break the tension - "Looks like a 5-6' shark.  Was that cool or what?"  
She replied - "Yeah, but it really rocked our boats."   
"Sure did - that was awesome.  Unless we're in 1' of water we won't wade today."

That was a first for me; I've been stalked, circled, slammed boatside when on fish, but never had one beat the kayak in hot pursuit.  Frankly it was pretty cool.  Just a reminder that we're not always at the top of the food chain.

We kept fishing the spot and more mullet came by.  I was working on her getting more distance on her casts.  "Throw it up as high as you can and let the wind take it.  There you go."  Suddenly THWACK - I was on; THWACK she was on.  

I made a really big commotion out of it - certainly more than I normally would.  "Double trouble, double trouble!!  BIG FISH Amanda.  BIG FISH.!!"  Neither of us were making any progress - these were mid 20's fish that were pulling for all they were worth.  "Let him run through the drag - no cranking.  Perfect.  Noooooo we can't let them cross....put your rod tip in the water he's going under the boat.  Atta girl - stay on him.  Get the rod in front of the kayak..."  More hooting and hollering and laughing.  "Ok - now use that fish grip and secure him like mine.  Photo time"

These guys were coming home to feed the visiting relatives.  At 24" and 25" they would feed a bunch of folks.

We tried fishing some more and split up.  I check with some colleagues and everyone was having the same issue - plenty of wildlife activity, but few bites.

I rounded out the day with a couple other Reds, and  we faced a pretty stiff and increasing head wind coming in.  I'm guessing 12-15 knots.  I asked Amanda if she wanted wanted a tow in, but she's a tough Cracker Girl and wanted nothing to do with help.   It was a long trek in - Google Earth shows it at 1.5 miles, but she toughed it out.  At the ramp we took a quick photo op; I text the wife "Blackened Redfish tonight."


Amanda wanted to try and filet up her own fish.  Some quick pointers from the old man...

She observed and then ran with the effort...


Nicely done...she may have this job from now on...

Mission accomplished...

Dinner served 5 and we had enough for one more sandwich the next day.  It was a pan full of awesomeness that could have only been exceeded by GA and FL wins over their arch rivals.

Somewhat like the fishing with the teams going 1-2 it was good enough to make a good day. Unfortunately it didn't seem to be enough for Mark Richt to keep his job.  Hopefully we don't end up like TN with a decade hiatus fro being a contender.  Looks like 9-3 and being the 8th most winning active coach isn't good enough any more.

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