Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tennis & Yak Angling

This journey takes Marian & me to Kiawah Island for some tennis and kayaking. Kiawah is named for the Kiawah Indians. The tennis event is the Prinella Haygood Memorial Tennis Championship. Marian and I will be playing the NTRP 3.0 mixed doubles. Marian will also be playing doubles with Jean, one of her tennis buddies. The memorial tennis championship is a fund raiser for cancer research at MUSC. Since this event did not conflict with the Jacksonville Classic, I decided to spend time with Marian and do some tennis instead of fishing with my buddies.

Friday morning Marian and Jean were playing their first doubles match. They did not do as well as they had hoped for. Not only that Marian aggravated her foot to the level she decided that she could not play our mixed doubles match later that day. She notified the organizers of the injury and a help needed to find me a partner for the mixed doubles. When Marian called me at work that she had to drop our event, I really was not all that upset. Then she mentioned that we could take the kayaks and fish the Seabrook and Kiawah area.
So when I got home from work I loaded the Jackson Cuda and the Old Town Predator MX that I had won in Jacksonville.  Marian did report that they managed to find a replacement partner for me.  So how I had to take some tennis gear along so that I can play the first match at 6 PM. The hardest thing about doubles is that you really need understand that person’s strengths and weaknesses to complement each other on the court. When we arrived at the tennis complex on Kiawah Island, Marian volunteered to drop me off and she would unload the baggage at the cottage that we rented for the weekend on Seabrook Island along with five other tennis players. The mix couples matched did not last very long. Gail and I lost badly against our opponents. Turning in the scores we found out that our next match is scheduled for Sunday. This meant that Marian & I could go kayaking and fishing on Saturday.
Since this weekend belonged to Marian, we slept in before we decided to head to Mingo Point on Kiawah Island. Mingo Point has an area where you can rent kayaks or you can also launch your own kayaks. There is a launch fee of $5 per kayak. Mingo Point allows you to launch into the Kiawah River. We decided that we would paddle towards Captain Sam’s Inlet. Marian decided to try out the Old Town Predator MX that I had won in a raffle at the Jacksonville Classic. She was really enjoying the Predator on this maiden voyage.  In my opinion the Predator appeared to track well.
We were hitting every little creek mouth and oyster bar along the way to the inlet with no success on finding any fish. Marian decided to paddle ahead and not fish but I kept working the creek mouths. As I worked the Kiawah River shorelines and the various creeks that are fed from the river, she paddled well ahead of me.  From a distance I noticed a feeding frenzy at the next creek. I paddled the Cuda in position in hopes that these fish feeding are some nice redfish.  I made several cast into the feeding area.  In no time I had a hit and in battle with a fish. As I get the fish near the surface, I notice that I had hooked a nice flounder.
The water was still boiling with fish feeding; at this time I thought that the feeding fish were flounder; so I paddled within casting distance to see if I could hook up another flounder. This time I had another hit and hook up but this time the battle felt a little different. Then the fish jumped out of the water. I had managed to hook up a ladyfish. A few more jumps and the ladyfish managed to throw the hook. A few more cast and another jumping ladyfish and another losing battle for me. I decided that I will have to leave these fish and catch up with Marian.
By the time I got to Marian, she was almost to Captain Sam’s Inlet. We drifted closer to the inlet since the tide was still going out. Both the Jackson Cuda and the Old Town Predator MX handled the breakers very well.  We paddled a little out in the North Atlantic Ocean and decided it was time to ride the waves back into the Kiawah River. Both kayaks handled riding the waves make into the river.
As we got make to the Mingo Point launch site it was getting close for us to go to the tennis dinner and silent/live auction. Sunday morning, I will be meeting up with Gail to play mixed doubles. Hopefully our performance will be better than the first time that we met.  We had a great performance the first set, we lost 7 – 5. The second set we lost badly. We had a great time and the folks watching the match definitely enjoyed the first set. Tennis has a lot of skill that I really don’t have. This is why I enjoy fishing as there is also some skill but some luck as well.
I had a great time on the Kiawah River and plan on returning to check out the area again. I would highly recommend this area for anyone in the search for flounder, redfish, and sea trout.

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