First BTB Success

Who caught what, when, where, and how.

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walker
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:14 am

First BTB Success

Post by walker » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:05 pm

Hey everyone, I started kayak fishing a little over a year ago, and this is my first post. The large majority of my trips have been inshore. I haven’t fished BTB too many times, and I’m not very familiar with catching larger ocean fish. Advice is welcomed and appreciated.

I ventured out twice recently from south Jax Beach. My general goal was to catch something large that is not a shark. In the past, I have always failed.

On the first trip, I launched at around 9:30 on Monday 7/22. The surf, swell, wind, and weather were all relatively friendly. Though, there was a chance of rain later in the day. I threw a cast net a couple times in the surf even though I couldn’t see any bait. I didn’t catch anything but had some frozen cigar minnows with me. I caught two sharks on my 1.5-mile paddle south to the Ponte Vedra Club. I got to the red tops and trolled around for possibly an hour without a bite. The sky started looking a little sketchy, so I start heading back. On the way back, I came across an area that had somewhat regular pogie explosions. After a short time there, I felt something hit a bait through the kayak and turned around in time to see the back of a large fish break the surface of the water. The fish broke off after a long run. Following that letdown, an osprey grabbed my bait and continued to dive at it even after I reeled it back to within feet of the boat. Later, I got another solid bite near where I put in. The fish swam west while dark clouds moved closer. I would guess my reel had 450 to 500 feet of 30 and 20-pound braid in aggregate. When the fish was done with its first series of runs, my reel was hot to the touch, and likely had less than 50 feet on the spool. Knowing I couldn’t handle another run, I kept light but constant tension on the line with one arm and paddled with the other toward the fish. When I had a comfortable amount of line back on the reel, I start pulling harder on the rod, effectively pulling the boat toward the fish. I finally caught a glimpse. Sadly, it was another shark. It was, however, much larger than the 3-3.5 foot sharks I normally hook. I have measured those before and can grab them to remove the hook, albeit with some difficulty. There was not a chance I could safely handle this thing in a kayak. The picture is deceptive. I’m guessing it was five feet. It could have been more, but I’d be very surprised if it was less.
Osprey 250 (2).PNG
Osprey 250 (2).PNG (84.34 KiB) Viewed 348 times
Blacktip 250 (3).PNG
Blacktip 250 (3).PNG (119.08 KiB) Viewed 348 times
The second recent trip was on 7/31, and I launched at 6:30. The wind and swell were slow and low respectively. As with the first trip, I saw a lot of dorsal fins throughout the morning (porpoises, tarpon, and sharks). Running the same path as the previous excursion, I found myself in front of the red tops pretty quickly after catching one shark en route. I lost a fish that jumped six feet and snapped the leader around 7:30. Right after, I felt another bite and turned in time to witness the fish fall back into the ocean after blasting out on the strike. I had made up my mind it was a spinner while it was ripping line from the spool. I reasoned that they jump a lot and all I ever catch are sharks. The fish lost its initial energy after a couple runs, but it still took a while longer to get it close enough for a look. I was pleasantly surprised to see a kingfish. A bit later, I saw a tarpon’s back slide out of the water in the middle of a small cluster of bait. I managed to drift a cigar minnow right into the center of the activity. The drag started screaming. This fish was so much more powerful than the king. It took a couple hundred feet of line, jumped, and snapped the leader.
Kingfish 250 (2).png
Kingfish 250 (2).png (114.93 KiB) Viewed 348 times
4 feet and 30 pounds

Does anyone eat kingfish? I'm curious how seriously others take the mercury warnings. I think it tastes great, but both Florida and federal government websites put it on a short list of fish with the highest levels.

If anyone wants to join, let me know. I’m getting too comfortable out there by myself for my own good. Also, I'm going to need someone out there to photograph me with a tarpon when I eventually catch one.

SlotEnthusiast
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:26 pm

Re: First BTB Success

Post by SlotEnthusiast » Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:24 am

walker wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:05 pm
Hey everyone, I started kayak fishing a little over a year ago, and this is my first post. The large majority of my trips have been inshore. I haven’t fished BTB too many times, and I’m not very familiar with catching larger ocean fish. Advice is welcomed and appreciated.

I ventured out twice recently from south Jax Beach. My general goal was to catch something large that is not a shark. In the past, I have always failed.

On the first trip, I launched at around 9:30 on Monday 7/22. The surf, swell, wind, and weather were all relatively friendly. Though, there was a chance of rain later in the day. I threw a cast net a couple times in the surf even though I couldn’t see any bait. I didn’t catch anything but had some frozen cigar minnows with me. I caught two sharks on my 1.5-mile paddle south to the Ponte Vedra Club. I got to the red tops and trolled around for possibly an hour without a bite. The sky started looking a little sketchy, so I start heading back. On the way back, I came across an area that had somewhat regular pogie explosions. After a short time there, I felt something hit a bait through the kayak and turned around in time to see the back of a large fish break the surface of the water. The fish broke off after a long run. Following that letdown, an osprey grabbed my bait and continued to dive at it even after I reeled it back to within feet of the boat. Later, I got another solid bite near where I put in. The fish swam west while dark clouds moved closer. I would guess my reel had 450 to 500 feet of 30 and 20-pound braid in aggregate. When the fish was done with its first series of runs, my reel was hot to the touch, and likely had less than 50 feet on the spool. Knowing I couldn’t handle another run, I kept light but constant tension on the line with one arm and paddled with the other toward the fish. When I had a comfortable amount of line back on the reel, I start pulling harder on the rod, effectively pulling the boat toward the fish. I finally caught a glimpse. Sadly, it was another shark. It was, however, much larger than the 3-3.5 foot sharks I normally hook. I have measured those before and can grab them to remove the hook, albeit with some difficulty. There was not a chance I could safely handle this thing in a kayak. The picture is deceptive. I’m guessing it was five feet. It could have been more, but I’d be very surprised if it was less.
Osprey 250 (2).PNG
Blacktip 250 (3).PNG
The second recent trip was on 7/31, and I launched at 6:30. The wind and swell were slow and low respectively. As with the first trip, I saw a lot of dorsal fins throughout the morning (porpoises, tarpon, and sharks). Running the same path as the previous excursion, I found myself in front of the red tops pretty quickly after catching one shark en route. I lost a fish that jumped six feet and snapped the leader around 7:30. Right after, I felt another bite and turned in time to witness the fish fall back into the ocean after blasting out on the strike. I had made up my mind it was a spinner while it was ripping line from the spool. I reasoned that they jump a lot and all I ever catch are sharks. The fish lost its initial energy after a couple runs, but it still took a while longer to get it close enough for a look. I was pleasantly surprised to see a kingfish. A bit later, I saw a tarpon’s back slide out of the water in the middle of a small cluster of bait. I managed to drift a cigar minnow right into the center of the activity. The drag started screaming. This fish was so much more powerful than the king. It took a couple hundred feet of line, jumped, and snapped the leader.
Kingfish 250 (2).png
4 feet and 30 pounds

Does anyone eat kingfish? I'm curious how seriously others take the mercury warnings. I think it tastes great, but both Florida and federal government websites put it on a short list of fish with the highest levels.

If anyone wants to join, let me know. I’m getting too comfortable out there by myself for my own good. Also, I'm going to need someone out there to photograph me with a tarpon when I eventually catch one.

That sounds like a blast! I have a cheap tamarack and have never taken it out into the ocean, I’m not even sure it’s equipped for it. However, if the water is pretty flat I don’t see why it would be a problem. I’d love to go out there with you sometime and snap a picture of you with a tarpon! Shoot me a message if interested and we can figure out a good time

User avatar
JohnYaksJax
Posts: 14847
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:21 pm
Location: Neptune Beach, FL

Re: First BTB Success

Post by JohnYaksJax » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:00 pm

Hello Walker and THANKS for your super First post and pix of you trip and your first post!!!
Your "learning curve" has become a short one and a flat one also!! :cheers:

RE: Eating kingfish aka mackerel has been a debated topic for many years and by many "experts" and the jury is still out, altho most reputable posts have said to NOT eat it 3X a day and in normal amounts...AND, COOK IT WELL AND ESPECIALLY TO SMOKE IT ON A GRILL!!

Again, Congrats on your quick path to your first BTB kayak kingfish and WTG!! :salute:
JohnYaksJax

User avatar
JohnYaksJax
Posts: 14847
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:21 pm
Location: Neptune Beach, FL

Re: First BTB Success

Post by JohnYaksJax » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:02 pm

Hello Walker and THANKS for your super first post and pix of your trip!!!
Your "learning curve" has become a short one and a flat one also!! :cheers:

RE: Eating kingfish aka mackerel has been a debated topic for many years and by many "experts" and the jury is still out, altho most reputable posts have said to NOT eat it 3X a day and in normal amounts...AND, COOK IT WELL AND ESPECIALLY TO SMOKE IT ON A GRILL!!

Again, Congrats on your quick path to your first BTB kayak kingfish and WTG!! :salute:
JohnYaksJax

walker
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:14 am

Re: First BTB Success

Post by walker » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:08 pm

Thanks JohnYaksJax. I’ve been reading posts on here since before I even bought my kayak. You add a lot of value to this forum with your helpful comments. I may have done a poor job explaining my BTB history. Those were two recent trips with noteworthy events, but I have been in the ocean probably five times before, so I’m not that quick of a learner.

SlotEnthusiast, I sent you a message.

GaG8tor
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:40 pm

Re: First BTB Success

Post by GaG8tor » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:24 am

Very nice kingfish

shrimp_slayer
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:54 pm
Location: Jacksonville FL

Re: First BTB Success

Post by shrimp_slayer » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:54 am

Great catch! If you are going to cook it, I know that they make a really good smoked fish dip :thumbright:
Malibu Stealth 12 (2017)

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