Every Fall, we get a great run of bull Redfish offshore of Port Canaveral here on the Space Coast of Florida that are within kayaking distance. It's a great fishery in a beautiful area that literally IS the Space Coast. Instead of condos as far as the eye can see, your backdrop contains towering launch pads and other NASA facilities when fishing in this area commonly known as the Canaveral Bight. My buddy Geoff and I decided to give it a shot and make the long haul up north for some bent rods, big fish, and good times.
We met up before sunrise at the Port Canaveral boat ramps to allow ourselves plenty of time to dial in the yaks and get all our ducks in a row. I tossed the net a few times and filled up the iced down cooler with bait. All was right with the world and as soon as safe light was upon us we made our break. Paddling east out of the mouth of the port was made a little more beautiful by the sun cracking the horizon, partially covered by clouds so you could get a good look at this orange fireball without going blind. We made our way out of the mouth and hooked it north past the jetties, digging in for the long haul up to the bight.
The paddle didn't take as long as expected but unfortunately the guys with motors on their boats were able to make much shorter work covering the 4 miles of open ocean than we did. But as we approached the mass of at least 15 boats, we began to notice that most every boat had a bent rod or two. Great, we thought.. They're here, and they're hungry. We wasted no time finding our little spot in the madness of boats and getting a drift established while bouncing bottom with our dead menhaden. It took all of two minutes for me to get hammered and just like that the fight was on.
Right off the bat I could tell this fish was heavy. He was stuck to the bottom and didn't want to budge. I am used to catching bull reds in 2-3 feet of water where you can see them, so trying to pry them off the bottom in 40 feet was a different experience altogether. It took some elbow grease but he finally gave up the bottom and came up in the water column, giving me a nice "Space Coast Sleigh Ride" as he towed me around in the open ocean. A few minutes later he was whooped, landed, photographed, and promptly released.
The swell kicked up a bit on the way home and it took a good couple hours to get back. We landed exhausted, yet all smiles after a very memorable trip and THAT is what it is all about. Get out there and make yourself some memories on the water!