10pm Friday night and Rudee inlet was completely deserted. Slick calm water and a dense fog made for an other-worldly ambiance as I took the first paddle strokes of my new Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.7. At 15 and a half feet long, it's meant more for open water rather than a small inlet, but I had to try it out. The acceleration and smooth glide had me geekin' to say the least. A full review and rigging post up will be up in the near future.
I wasn't quite sure what the plan was that night but I figured, like a party that I wasn't sure of, I can always leave and go home early. I ended up wildin' out until 9:40 the next morning. As long as I was back by noon, the boss lady was ok with it. So I hit up the lights first after slowly navigating through the fog. I was mildly entertained by small bluefish on little grubs n jigheads but thought about leaving if that was all Rudee had to offer. I checked a few other lights with little improvement until I found one with bigger shapes cruising around. I immediately recognized them as schoolie stripers and just as I expected, my paddletail got crushed as I swam it just under the surface. I pulled two off the light then they disappeared. After paddling around, trolling, checking other lights, and messing with more small blues, I came back to the same light and the stripers were there again swiping at little minnows. Again, I danced with a couple more before they would shy away. I repeated this process until I was satisfied with 6 stripers up to 23", all fat, strong, healthy, and released. By now it was about 2:30 am and I was thinking about peacin' out but then I heard a massive splash through the fog. Fast forward 4 more hours and I ended up with 4 or 5 blues in the upper 20" to lower 30" range with the biggest going 34". I also had one on that felt really
nice but I couldn't get her to join me in my new ride.
So as color streaked toward the east more and more people showed up. Before I knew it, it was down right crowded. As I paddled along, I heard my name and saw someone waving me over through the fog. It was Ryan Clark with a few really nice flounder up to 22".
He found a good bite and started throwing a flyrod with sinking line after that. Not too long, he had an 18"er on his own fly.
I'm not one to leave a hot bite, so I threw a little paddletail on 1/4oz jighead and...
Red Drum Chamber of Death
Shortly after that, I finished off my night/morning with a 17" flounder.
Bluefish, Stripers, Red Drum and Flounder....
I'd say the Ultra 4.7 maiden voyage was a success.