Kayak fishing Addiction

 

 

 

In the Spotlight:

Kayak Angler, Landon Mace

A.K.A. sharkpunch

 

Hello kayak anglers, I am Landon Mace I am originally from the West coast. I fished growing up, but never really got serious about it until I turned 20. In my youth I had a buddy that started to do a lot of Bass fishing, so naturally I gravitated towards it, fishing has been a passion ever since. I spent about three months of solid fishing, before I joined the Air Force and got sent off to basic training. Went through training and found out I had received orders to Germany. Unfortunately, I was unable to fish for the entire deployment. After the three year assignment, I received orders to Florida.

As you can expect I never fished saltwater in my life, hadn't the slightest clue; other than hearing that fishing for inshore species, was very similar to Bass fishing. At least I had something going for me. I arrived in Florida this last December and didn't really get my feet wet till about January. I spent many fishless weekends down at the local jetties and local spots that I could find on maps. I have always been self-taught when it comes to just about every hobby I have had in the past 5 years. Not that I would prefer it that way, it is just how it has always worked out, especially being in the military. Military as many of you may know has members from all different walks of life, and not everyone shares your exact interests. Fishing has been one of those things. Let's just say, thank goodness for the internet.

 

I finally decided that I wanted to find a way to get out on the water. After a lot of research and seeing how large the community was, kayaks were my answer. This last March, I picked up my first kayak, the Freedom Hawk 12. Being a Bass fisherman, I wanted to get something I could stand in. I started to make my way out into the local bayous of the Choctawhatchee bay. Absolutely love catching Redfish and Speckled trout. Reds are a blast on light tackle. Saved some money and decided I wanted to upgrade the kayak and picked up the PA14 in June. I am a true weekend warrior. Unfortunately, being military and having a commute home from work every day, I am unable to do much fishing during the week.

 

I fished inshore for a majority of the year and finally decided to make the plunge offshore at the end of September. This past month of fishing has been absolutely phenomenal! I decided one Saturday to stay close to home and head out to the local beach here in Destin. I check the forecast and it showed slight chop with a NE wind. Launch around 0630 and head out in search of some bait. Bait was pretty hard to locate, mainly because I don't have a fish finder yet, but I end up snagging some threadfins after about a half hour. Put one on the duster rig (green and yellow skirt) and troll out.

I was heading out about a mile or so and I was sitting in 60-70' of water according to my Navionics app. The wind gradually picks up during the next hour and a half and it turns into 1-2' swells. Still manageable with the PA14, so I continue trolling for another twenty minutes. Finally, I decide I might as well head in and go hit up the bay since I wasn't having any luck at all. A couple minutes pass by and finally something.

Rod gives me one bend, followed up by another. Reach over and pull the rod from it's holder, tighten the drag down a little bit, reel in the little slack, set the hook, and.... a beautiful chaos erupts! Next thing I know 5 or so feet of sailfish comes exploding out of the water. I will be honest; I was slightly dumbfounded and struck with disbelief. Do I really have a sailfish on the other end of my rod?!?! The fish smashes back into the water and reality set in. I could see my duster standing out like a sore thumb against the sail's gorgeous colored body. The sail starts jumping like crazy about 30 feet out and starts to make a jumping beeline right for the left side of my yak.


I felt a slight rush of panic as it continued to head directly for me. I kept my cool, while continuing to reel and keep pressure on it. Luckily, the sail decides to turn right and make a run. Drag starts screaming and I'm losing line quick. I feather the spool and make my drag adjustments till I find a good spot. Now it's time to go for a little ride. I finally get around to getting the GoPro turned on and trying my best to get some footage of the amazing acrobatics. 15-20 minutes pass as he pulls me around and continues to try and spit the hook. It starts to slow down and the jumping seizes. It's getting tired, and by now, so am I.

The sail finally surrenders and allows me to pull it up, get in a few poses for pictures and remove the hook. I try to quickly get it back in the water and start the revival. I spend the next several minutes peddling around, getting the oxygen flowing on through. I feel it's body coming back to life and giving me a slight kick, letting me know it's time to go. Grab the tail, feel one last little kick and away it goes. The adrenaline throughout the fight had me shaking, but after the release, I had a fish high like you would not believe. I was absolutely stoked! I guess the video at the end kind of embodies that. I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the pedal in. This is an absolutely amazing experience that I could not possibly ever forget.

Next weekend, I decide to head back out to the same area and see what I can manage to hook. Bait was pretty easy to find, but all the cigs were too small except a few. Morning didn't yield much, other than a pretty nice 25.5" Spanish Mackerel.



Trolled out a couple miles and couldn't find anything. Headed back in about a mile out and see a few Blackfin tuna jumping, but that was the length of their top water excitement. Decide to troll parallel to the beach and see if I can target in on their zone. After about 10 minutes, I get hammered. Line starts stripping fast and once I slow it down, I can feel that tuna thump. We play the game of give and take, until it finally subsides and I get it in the yak. Rig back up and decide to head back to the beach so I can get the tuna cut up. On the way back in, I hook up back to back, with two nice King Mackerels.

 

Kayak fishing has been absolutely awesome. It is the perfect craft for those that enjoy being on the water and having that level playing field that you get from a kayak. If you want to get on the water and are on a tighter budget, the kayak or even a SUP is the way to go. You will not regret it. If you want to see any of my future reports with videos search the Pensacola fishing forum for my user id “sharkpunch” or “lando15” for Youtube.com



Good luck!


 


 

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.