Well after the great success of the first trip, with my son catching his first Redfish at 46", we figured we should get out there again during Christmas break before school got back in. So again we loaded up the kayaks and off we went to Haulover Canal in the Mosquito Lagoon. I could tell he was very excited after the success of the last trip, plus this time we had live Blue Crabs. This is the preferred bait of the Black Drum, another monster species that frequents Haulover.
We first set up in the same spot that we were in a couple weeks prior, a sandbar that is about shin deep on the edge of the channel. South winds were making this a miserable place to be set up. We had to cast south in order for the baits to be in the channel, and the south wind was making it so our lines wouldn't lay right and therefore almost impossible to present a bait properly and detect a strike. After an hour struggling on the bar, we made a move just inside the mouth of the canal out of the hammering wind.
This proved to be a great move. About three minutes after we got situated and laid out baits, a rod doubled over. I pick it up to make sure the fish is hooked well and hand it off to my son. This fish was BIG. You can pretty much tell how big a fish is based on how heavy he is when you try to turn his head, and we had no leverage on this guy at all even with the stout tackle we were using. We passed the rod back and forth for about 20 minutes without making much headway on this beast. After a few more minutes pass, the fish finally starts to come our way.
It comes up to the surface about 10 feet in front of us and we both lay eyes on the biggest, nastiest, meanest Black Drum either of us had ever laid eyes on! If I had to guess I would say he was approaching 60lbs. I had the spool palmed and was trying to ease the fish in so my son could net him. Suddenly the fish woke back up and made a hard dive for the bottom, and of course since I had the spool palmed, something had to give, and we pulled the hook. We were pretty devestated but I told my son how we were lucky to even get to see it, and it wasn't a mystery fish. We knew what had defeated us and we wanted another shot NOW!
We laid out our blue crab chunks once again and not long passed before another rod was bent and screaming. I set the hook and handed the rod off. I could tell this was a nice fish but absolutely nothing like the last one. My son had his hands full but eventually got this nice Black Drum to the net!
A quick photo and off he went back to the deep to make more babies. We promptly set out our two rods again and within minutes we got another hit! Dad winched this one in.
Over the next hour we flat slayed the Drum, also adding two solid Redfish to our tally. All fish were released in great health.
The bite suddenly dropped off just like that, and we loaded up and made the short paddle back to the launch, completely content with the epic day we just shared. It doesn't get much better than that! Time on the water with your kids is great, but the fish are just a bonus!