Saturday, September 11, 2010

Everybody has a Limit

Even me!

I have been pretty vocal about how I'm not bothered by alligators while kayaking in the salty marsh. Since Tracy was a little under the weather, I decided to leave the Second Honeymoon in dry dock and launch the plastic navy for an early morning assault on McNab Lake. It has been a while since I have paddled all the way in and I was looking forward to finding some willing reds or maybe a flounder or two.

I was greeted by a beautiful sunrise at the launch site. God is good! I saw two gators near the launch site but wasn't particularly bothered by them. There had been quite a bit of rain lately so they were venturing out further than normal.

I waited until full light before paddling out and was greeted by several more gators. In fact, I counted more than a dozen in the first two corners! I fished for about an hour and was contemplating going on to the lake when I spooked two more gators that were hiding on the bank just a few feet from the yak. (click the pic above to see two between me and the Jeep)

My better judgment finally kicked in and I realized that it would be foolish to risk a problem as I was paddling alone and the toothy reptiles were everywhere I looked. I turned back and started paddling for the launch when I got the real wake up call.

If you have never dug your kayak paddle into a submerged oyster reef and felt the jagged bite of the reef on your blade it probably won't seem like much but if you have, you can imagine how that felt when I did! I think I set a new record for sprinting to the launch with a fully loaded 14' kayak.

I wasn't going to give up that easily and after checking in with Tracy, I pointed the Mobile Tacklebox west and headed to Turtle Bay. Along the way, I did my good deed for the day by removing this little guy from the roadway and sure death.

From what I can tell it is an eastern mud turtle.

He looks quite content to stay hidden in his shell.

When I arrived at Turtle Bay the wind had picked up and I had a stiff paddle to the "tubes". The local sentry was keeping a close eye on me!

He and all his buddies weere perching on the old pier pilings which usually means there is bait close by.

I fished the strong outflow from the marsh with no success. This seemed pretty strange as this was almost identical conditions to the time earlier when Tracy and I had smacked the flounder.

I paddled down the shoreline to the small creek where I had scored on a flounder once before and I was rewarded with "supper" this time too. He took the Gulp Jerk Shad out in front of the mouth of the creek.

I went back to the tubes and fished a while longer and finally hooked up on a decent fish but he cut me off on the submerged rocks. I kept grinding and eventually landed a 19" red to call it a day.

Don't try lipping a flounder - you had better bring a net!

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