Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Spadefish and stupidity 9/15 (late report)

My plan for the day was to catch some spadefish before the cold front hit and sent them on their way. I knew the front was coming around 8pm so I assumed I had all day to fish. I paddled out, met up with Kayak Kevin, and fished with him for sheepshead for an hour or so with no luck at all. I started getting antsy so I decided to switch it up and target some spades while I had the chance. It was a steady 10-12mph winds all day but it wasn't enough to discourage me. I fished a few pilings back from the 1st island and landed 4 nice spades up to 14" and lost a couple that were easily larger than that...They are hard to stop sometimes!

I got a call from Kevin around 4:30 (who was much smarter than me and stopped fishing around 1pm) telling me that there was a big storm coming and it was about 2 hours away. Like the idiot I am I figured..."That gives me about 30 more minutes to fish!" That thought honestly could have been fatal.

I could see the storm way off in the distance, but it knew it was still a long ways away because it was still clear on the water. I started paddling back at about 5:00 and within 15 mins of paddling, I saw a wall of wind. It was such a fast wind that I could see the white caps coming at me and it literally blew my hat right off my head as soon as it got to me. I looked over at my favorite hat in the water and thought "This might be bad".

The temperature dropped about 10-15 degrees as the wind switched to the NE. At first it was just the wind and white caps, but after a few minutes the white caps turned into rollers and those are not to be taken lightly in a kayak. I was at the 2nd boat channel when it hit (about 2.25 miles from shore) and it never got better. I'm guessing the wind was a steady 30mph with 40mph gusts and the waves were at times as high or a little higher than my head. As I was about half way to shore, the waves were coming at me in sets so I tried to time it so that the biggest waves hit the pilings before I paddled to the next set of pilings. At times the waves crested as I was getting lifted into the wave causing the wave to break over my ENTIRE kayak. The only thing I could do was lean into it and hope it didn't roll me. Some of the waves picked me up and started to carry me. At those times I had to lean back, dig my paddle in the water behind me to act as a rudder, and surf the wave till I could paddle back closer to the pilings for cover. It was like that for about 45mins til I got to shore.

Just as I got to shore it started to rain a little. I hurried to my truck and backed it up to the public beach access where I had my kayak and as soon as I got out of the truck the rain dumped harder than I can ever remember. I was wet before, but I was soaked after that. The lightning crashed and the rain poured, but i didn't care because I didn't lose any gear aside from my hat and I survived!

It was a lot worse than it looks in this me.

I know it doesn't look bad, but try paddling through it in a 12' kayak.

15 minutes later it was gone...flat calm...figures.

Monday, October 3, 2011

15,000 hits!

Thanks everyone! I'm diggin this blog thing :)