I would like to start by expressing how honored I am to be selected to be a part of the Adventure on the Water team! Ordered my Predator 13 and have been chomping at the bit to get it wet. It came on Monday (6/16) and I promptly took it out the next day to get a feel for it (and happened to catch a low twenties inch snook to put the first bit of slime on it!). Today, the plan was to take it out for a bona fide fishing trip and see what she can really do. I am thoroughly impressed with this kayak, it is a true fishing machine! Wanted to break it in proper, so I took it to a great Redfish hole of mine on the flats of the beautiful Space Coast of Florida, which I am prefishing for a local tournament coming up on Saturday.
I approached my target area under perfect glassy conditions. Standing on the wide deck of the Predator, I poled around in the crystal clear water, slowly scanning the bottom for signs of life. Just as I suspected, my friends were indeed home! Wasn't long before I spotted the first fish of the day, who had no qualms about smashing my Banks Lures Flats Creeper after placing a precise cast in his direction. After a nice little tug-of-war, I boated my first Red in the Pred! A nice 31" specimen. Before I could even get the fish released, I had already spotted another one with a little more meat on his bones. Poled into range and fired out a shot, ripping the lure by him. As the lure passed, the fish engaged it, and threw a wake like a submarine behind the poor little swimbait. I watched my lure disappear in an instant, set the hook, and fish number two was ON!
This guy had a little more pep, making some long and strong runs and really burning the drag! He put up a wonderful fight, and after about 15 minutes, Red number two hits the deck! He was about 37" and looked like he swallowed a basketball! Very healthy Redfish who kicked off in wonderful shape to continue to restock this area with his kin. At this point, the wind really started screaming out of the east, which turned my happy Redfish, who were riding high at the surface and acting aggressively, into sulky beasts who immediately laid down and held bottom. I continued to try to get them to assault my plastic, but they were having none of it.
I love to fish artificials, and that is what you will catch me doing 95% of the time. But today, I really wanted to have a banner first outing in the Pred, and in order to do so, I had to adapt to the mood of the fish. This meant feeding them rather than fooling them. I netted up a few mullet and chunked them out, storing the newly acquired ammo in my cup holder. I continued to attempt to get the fish to eat my lure, but upon many denials, my other rod was at the ready baited with a chunk for a quick follow up cast. I proceeded to catch 8 more quality fish in the next two hours, with two hitting the 40" mark, all sight casted to.
The fish were so thick in this area, I had the luxury of being able to stake off the kayak, stand up, and wait for fish to come within casting range to flip them a bait. It didn't take long to feel the burn in my shoulders from multiple large and angry Redfish! It may not be quite as challening to get a fish to eat natural bait, but it is still an adrenaline pumping thrill to put that chunk where it needs to be, and see a Redfish as long as your leg tail on it and devour it in two feet of water. Storms were flanking me from both the East and West, giving me a not so distant lightning show. I decided to pack it in, very satisfied with a succesful morning in the Predator.
Started back south and made it about 10 push pole strokes before I spotted another 40" Redfish, laid up in a sandy pothole. I threw my bait past him about 10 feet and creeped it into range. He happily devoured it, and proceeded to burn my drag and empty my spool to the point where I had no choice but to pull the stake and chase him down, reminiscent of a Tarpon fisherman in Boca Grande Pass! This fish fought me tooth and nail, but after about 20 minutes, eventually saw things my way and came aboard the Pred for a quick photo-op, ending the day on a great note!
At this point, I took nature's cue of thunder and increasing wind and doubled back to the launch point. I paddled into a 15-20mph crosswind with ease in the Predator. With a small rudder adjustment, it was like the wind was not even there. I can't explain how incredibly impressed I am with this unit. It performed well above my expectations and made the day of fishing not only extremely efficient, but very comfortable as well. After a stellar day on the water today, I am already anxious to get the Predator floating again, and have another Adventure on the Water to share with you!
Just a little note, I will be getting a camera boom tomorrow to mount my Drift Innovations Action Cam to the kayak, and hopefully get some great video for you guys. These pictures are somewhat crude as I was fishing solo today, but bigger and better things as far as multimedia go are coming in the near future. Thank you!