Kayak fishing Addiction

 

 

 

In the Spotlight:

Kayak Angler, Doug Richardson

A.K.A. YAKNTAT  

 

 

Doug is currently in the Air Force, with 20 years of service to our country. Doug is stationed at Hurlburt Field, Florida and is planning on retiring from active duty near the end of 2012. Please allow me to introduce you to a fellow kayak fisherman as Doug tells his story

I couldn’t have asked for a better place to retire than in the Panhandle of Florida.  I purchased a house in Navarre knowing this is where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.  It became evident that fishing was very popular, thinking it would be the best hobby for me to enjoy in this great location.  I grew up in Venice Florida and in my youth I mainly surfed along with a lot of scuba diving in my free time.  Growing up in Florida you can imagine that I’m naturally drawn to the water, but  I haven’t really fished much in my younger days, except for  the occasional catfish or bass.  After being here for a while I decided to fish the Navarre pier and quickly became frustrated with people casting over my line.  I didn’t really know people fished out of kayaks until I noticed a few guys from work that always had kayaks loaded on their vehicles.  I started asking them a million questions maybe even annoying them after a bit with my thirst for knowledge about the sport.

 

The guys finally just steered me towards the Pensacola fishing forum where I learned the most about kayak fishing.   I immediately started combing craigslist daily for a deal and ended up with a pelican 116 kayak that the former owner rigged complete with a fish finder.  It did the job but was taking on a lot of water in the Gulf, so I sold it and bought an Ocean Kayak Trident 11.  I thought this is what I had been seeking and should meet all of my kayaking needs.  Happy about my purchase I got to tag along with a friend from work that had a Hobie Outback.  I laughed to myself and thought what a waste of money.  I soon learned that I couldn’t keep up with this guy.  He wasn’t even breaking a sweat and was using both hands for fishing not touching a paddle.  Well that’s when I started bugging my wife that I needed to take a new course of action or I would never be able to keep up.  I might have been in trouble If she knew then that my Kayak fishing addiction was starting.  I put a Hobie outback on lay-a-way at Surf & Sail in Fort Walton Beach. I was so addicted I paid it off way ahead of schedule so I could get started.  A few months later I ended up trading someone on the forum for a Hobie Pro Angler.  I love this kayak and it is a true Cadillac!



I had no idea where to go fishing,  so I ended up past the Navarre Pier for my first trip and hooked my first King Mackerel measuring in at at 37”, (the king in the photo below measured in at 48").  My heart was racing for the fight and I couldn’t get over how my drag was screaming.  I was so excited that I immediately peddled in and went home to show off my catch.  I then started fishing for bull reds in Pensacola bay and started landing 38” Bulls that pulled me around.  I was so hooked by this point that I fished through the whole winter with a few other serious anglers.  It was about that time when I decided to join the online Kayak Wars tournament with some close friends. 




We told ourselves let’s not take it too serious and just have fun with it.  We’ll even call ourselves team Shipfaced for a laugh.  This quickly became another addiction as we watched our team move up into the top 10 and eventually to our current #2 position.  Since February 2012 our team has loaded just under 500 fish.  I decided to go camping with the Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Association (GCKFA) at Grassy Point and entered into the GCKFA 2012 7th annual spring tournament.  I didn’t place in any category with the tournament but had the best fishing day of my life.  I started fishing with a friend at daybreak.  We were focusing on Kings and Spanish for the day.  After fishing for about 15 minutes we both got hooked up and soon realized these fish were jumping out of the water.  I had to take a double take, and guessed Dolphin (mahi mahi)?  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  Sure enough it was a dolphin.  I pulled out my gaff and stuck him.  He shook so hard I drop the gaff but still managed to pull him into the Yak.  We both laughed and said ok now we just need to catch a sailfish or cobia, wouldn’t yea know it Ha, Ha, 20 minutes later my friend starts yelling at me from a distance.  I turn around and I see a Sailfish tail walking on the water.  I couldn’t believe it.  I quickly chased him down and filmed half the fight with my Go Pro camera.  He caught and released the sailfish and we couldn’t believe that this just really happened.  The rest of the day I pulled in five more Dolphin.  My cooler wouldn’t shut and was extremely heavy.  I really almost forgot about the tournament at this point and went in for the day.  I couldn’t stop smiling for almost 24 hours.



 Today I mainly go offshore, because you never know what you’re going to catch.  I have a lot of species left on my list to catch and try to go out fishing four times a week even with a full time job and family.  I’m very excited about the sport of Kayak Fishing and have watched it grow in just the short time I’ve been involved with it.  Future plans include fishing the Miller lite kayak and paddle board fishing tournament on August 18th 2012 in Pensacola. I plan to get more involved with our local club and continue to fish local tournaments as well.  Kayak fishing is therapy for me and I have a blast doing it.  If you see me fishing out there please introduce yourself and feel free to talk to me about kayak fishing.  I’ll be the guy with tattoos everywhere. 

 

From the Florida Sportsman Magazine:
(Referencing the on-line tournament)
Florida Sportsman Yakntat with a nice kayak grouper from the Panhandle area. Yakntat might have been the best bottom-fishing angler in this tournament, catching grouper, snapper and other species.




Videos provided for your viewing pleasure.






















 

Tight Lines!

 


 

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.