Kamaron's granddad turned 90 years old this past Veterans Day, so we headed to Wrightsville Beach one last time this year to celebrate with him. He is in great shape for a man of his age, and still goes hunting and fishing when he can. Coincidentally, the NCKFA was hosting a small tournament at Fort Fisher the same weekend, so I could see no reason not to take my little plastic boat down with me and see if I could find some fish. William Ragulsky was also going to be in the area on other kayak fishing business, so we decided we would get together and try to plunder another kayak from a N.C. tourny. This would be a CPR event, with the combined total length of 1 redfish and 1 speckled trout being measured, hence the name Spots and Specks.
This was a very informal tourny, with the registration and captains meeting held the morning of, at the public ramp into the Basin @ Fort Fisher. Lauch time wasn't until 8:00. Billy had won the Hook, Line, and Paddle tournament with a trout from the fort, and I had fished here a bunch in the past, so we knew we could find fish, it was just a matter of finding bigger fish.
We started the morning trolling the wall that separates the Basin from the Cape Fear River with a 3" Bayou Thumper and Mirrolures. There are several places where the wall has broken apart, and the current rolls through carrying bait back and forth from the river. It didn't take long to get my first bite, and with the head shakes, I was sure it was a trout... until I saw those beady yellow eyes.... Damnit! Bluefsih.
Billy ended up way out in front and I eventually lost track of him, as his boat is much faster than mine. The tide was moving out pretty fast now, and having my specks, I went in search of my spots. I found a very shallow cut between a grass island and the shoreline with a muddy bottom. This looked promising, so I slowly worked my way in, keeping my eyes peeled for signs of activity. There was only about 18" of water and it was crystal clear, but the breeze was blowing a little, and I couldn't get the sun at my back, so spotting the fish was proving difficult. As soon as I entered the creek, I paddled right over a redfish and he spooked, leaving behind a cloud of muddy water. After spooking 3 or 4 more fish, I finally spotted one ahead of me slowly cruising around waiting for the current to push bait to him. My heart was beating like the first time I shot a deer. I made a perfect cast and he immediately hit the Thumper, but it was a short strike. Luckily, I hadn't tried to set the hook, and just kept my retrieve steady. He was chasing the bait- couldn't have been more than 3 or 4" behind it. I paused my retrieve for a split second and he short struck again. At this point he was only 15' from the kayak. He saw me and disappeared into a cloud of pluff mud. I worked my way throught the rest of the cut, a spotted a few more, but was unable to cast to them before they spooked.
I met back up with Billy, and we worked through the same area one last time looking for a redfish, and found one more, but Billy made a bunch of commotion and that fish was long gone. I'll let him tell you the story, if he wants. We trolled our way back to the ramp and both picked up a few more small trout, but nothing worth keeping.
KC Kayaks. I took home dinner, so I wasn't empty handed.
NCKFA puts on a few great tournaments every year, and the Wrightsville Beach/Cape Fear/Fort Fisher area is fantastic place to kayak fish. Check it out if your looking for a new fishing destination.