Kayak fishing Addiction

 

In the Spotlight:

 

 

Kayak Angler, Barrett Fine

 

 

I met Barrett at the Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Association's 2012 Spring tournament when he showed me the catch of a lifetime, a Sailfish on a kayak caught and photographed during the tournament. I would Like to introduce you to Barrett as he tells his story.


It took me 20 years to get stationed in Florida, but it’s been a great two years since arriving.  I had fished my whole life, but never anything like what we have here in the Gulf Coast.  I took up kayak fishing almost immediately, and the learning curve was pretty steep.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn as much as I can from anyone who will slow down enough for me to corner them with questions.  The first year I fished mostly bays and the sound for trout and reds, eventually moving offshore and catching my first king.  My kayak fishing addiction was incurable after the drag started screaming with my first king on the line. 


Shortly after my first year in Florida I deployed for 5 months.  When I got back I was more determined to get into the sport and bought my Hobie Pro-Angler.  This past year has been an amazing one as a member of the GCKFA.  Fishing the club’s spring tournament was my first local event, and early on it turned into a memorable one.  My fishing partner and I hooked up very early with a pair of Mahi-Mahi, we were all smiles once the fish were in the yaks, but a short while later I had another strike and the fight was on.  My drag was pulling very steady and almost immediately I knew the day had just got interesting, I was staring at an unhappy sailfish that was heading south in a hurry!  I pedaled giving chase not to get stripped of all my line and lucky for me he tired after a 30 minute tug of war.  Landing, reviving, and releasing a healthy 85” sailfish is my top fishing achievement.  I later caught a king and spanish mackerel to finish 10th in the offshore pair category.  The club’s Master Angler Program has been a hobby of mine.  Trying to catch ten different trophy sized species of fish is a challenge to learn as much as possible about the many different fish in the area.  In the last year I’ve had a red snapper and king mackerel come up just short of the minimum but caught eight qualifying fish to include:  sheepshead, spanish mackerel, red drum, little tunny, mahi-mahi, sailfish, tarpon and most recently a 9 lb triggerfish.

 
   

My addiction is already spreading through my family, both my son and daughter love fishing off the back of my kayak in the Gulf of Mexico, catching king mackerel, little tunny, and spanish mackerel. 


I truly enjoy taking new folks out to share the addiction.  I’ve even been known to share lures with friends to make sure they get in on the action when the fish are biting.  Watching someone light up going for their first salt water sleigh ride when they catch their first king or bull red is almost as much fun for me as it is for them, but making sure they’re out there learning how to fish off a kayak safely is just as important.  I’ve already pulled one distressed fisherman out of the water and towed him to shore, and that’s one too many. 

 

I’ve met some amazing people and lifelong friends on the water fishing, through social media and my involvement in our local chapter of Heroes on the Water, taking wounded vets out to enjoy what we love to do and give back to some very deserving people.


 

In the next year I hope to learn and share more with my fellow kayak fishing addicts and hopefully transition into a position that matches up my skills and the sport I’m addicted to, when I retire from the Air Force next summer! 

 

 

 


 

Anglers in the spotlight

 

  • Barrett Fine
  • Brandon Barton
  • Oliver Hurst
  • Linda Cavitt
  • Doug Richardson
  • Chad Skeeles
  • Landon Mace
  • Will Knight
  •  

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    Contact the Kayak Fishing Addiction if you would like to be presented "In the Spotlight", all kayak anglers are welcome to tell their story.