Saturday, February 1, 2014

2014 Kayak Wars

Kayak Wars is an online yak angling tournament that runs from 1 February thru the end of December. This is a Team event competition but the organizers do acknowledge individuals from the various teams. A team needs at least a minimum of three anglers or a maximum of five. My team is called the ‘Pluff Mud Pirates’ in honor of the pluff mud that we have in the Lowcountry and of course the heritage of the area being famous for pirates like “Gentleman Pirate” Stede Bonnet, Blackbeard (Edward Teach), Anne Bonny, Calico Jack Rackham, and Captain John Murrell to name a few.

The ‘Pluff Mud Pirates’ will be competing in the Southeast section of Kayak Wars. The Southeast region is made up of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, & South Carolina. The main species that our team fishes for are Redfish which need to be a minimum of 20 inches, Flounder at a minimum of 14, and Trout. The trout species is the most difficult for the South Carolina area as it is tough for us to locate trout that are at 20 inches or more to record a catch on Kayak Wars. Normally a nice trout will go between 17 – just under 20 inches.

So on the first day of Kayak Wars I went to launch off from Filben Creek Landing. The conditions for this journey were not going to be ideal. A consent shower with light winds has happening. A threat of a lightening shore at 1 PM; this would mean that I would have to start paddling back about noon. The tide charts also indicated a super tide at 9:34 AM being at 6.4 feet. Low tide is scheduled for a negative 1.3 around 3:42 PM.

There is a small rail trestle that at high tide you will have to lower your rods so when you paddle under the tracks you don’t have to worry about damaging your rods. So I started under the rail bridge I had to lean forward so I would not hit my head on the wood structure. I expected this due to the high tide situation. Uff da!! What I did not expect was that my landing net was scraping across the wood structure. I was very lucky that I did not lose the net.

When I finally reach the Cooper River I paddled across toward the island and to paddle to the spot where the school of redfish is normally waiting. I anchored for a bit to cast towards the grass and of course casting out a whole finger mullet in the hopes that a redfish will take the bait.  Eventually I decided to pull up the stick-it pin and paddle toward the north and where Clouter Creek and Yellow House Creek flow into the Cooper River.

I planned to drift using a drift sock to slow the drift back to the area when the school of reds has been in the past. I actually was hoping that they might have been along the shoreline.  The first thing that I noticed using the drift sock is that the drift had been had slowed down by 50%. This provided the opportunity to cast more and increase any chance to get a fish. Unfortunately after the second pass of the drift it started to rain a little harder. So at this point I decided to paddle back towards the boat ramp and give up for the day.

So my contribution for Kayak War points for the Pluff Mud Pirates is starting off with zero points. If you are participating in Kayak Wars how are you doing?

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