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How Do Busy People Relax? Go Kayaking!

Mom snapped this picture of me loading up the kayaks for a great day on the water.

I was privileged enough to recently have my mom and aunt visit at the same time and catch up a little bit. Life goes by way too fast and if you don’t make time to be with those you love, then there will never be time.

My aunt had not fished in over 30 years, so trying to convince her to fish and get in the water took a little persuasion. After she accepted my offer, I had to first finish my project that I had started the day before – installing a trolling motor to one of my kayaks.

One of the most relaxing spots I think to kayak here on the east coast is Round Island, just north of the St. Lucie County line. They have a nice park with a specific kayak launch separate from their boat launch, a wood bridge leading to sight seeing trails around an island, and a plethora of wildlife to enjoy.

Since artificial lures would be out of the picture for them, I figured live shrimp would be the way to get them on some fish and bend the rods. I stopped by a local tackle store along the way and picked up a few dozen and rigged up the poles with popping corks and circle hooks.

My aunt with her first fish in 30 years.

Getting everything unloaded was a breeze. I gave the larger kayak a quick solo test with the trolling motor. It brought a smile to my face and, I believe, boosted the confidence of my aunt getting into the kayak. Launching was easy, and in no time, the newly installed 30-pound thrust motor propelled the hybrid kayak for two. We also attached another kayak, with my mom aboard, to tow her out to the fishing grounds.

The serenity of the water and mangroves quickly put them at ease, and nature worked its magic, flushing away the busyness of life. Quickly the suggestion of doing it again was proposed to me, and we weren’t even fishing yet.

Once we got in our general area, I jumped out of the kayak in waist-deep water and started rigging my aunt’s hook with a shrimp. By the time I tossed it out and made my way over to my mom’s kayak, my aunt was already shouting my name and getting anxious. She valiantly reeled in her catch, which turned out to be a spiny catfish. The thing would not stop spinning on the line.

After letting the catfish go, I re-rigged her shrimp and set her back up with a good cast. While again making my way over to my mom (only a few feet away) that was patiently waiting, my aunt again was hooked up to, yes, another catfish! She started off pretty decent for not fishing in 30 years. Finally, I got my mom rigged up and also, about a few minutes later she had her catfish on. It started to get a bit ridiculous, because in roughly less than 30 minutes they had several catfish each. They are one of my least favorite fish to constantly be handling.

One of Mom's trout she pulled in.

After an exceptional catfish bite, I decided we had to move on to try for some different species. The action really turned on for my mom at the new spot, pulling in trout after trout. By this time, I picked up my pole and it was a challenge keeping up with her. I was using artificial bait and she was using her shrimp.

After a beautiful day on the water, my mom and aunt looked fully relaxed and ready to grab some dinner.  My job was done. It’s always nice to turn people on to the sport of kayaking and fishing, sharing what you love doing.

Until next time, keep the paddle wet.

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  • Marilyn

    What an awesome day to get away from it all! I call it "my escape". Mark has turned into such an awesome fishman and as well as kayak guide! I would trade this experience for all the tea in China!

  • Marvin

    Dawn, what a neat experience and day the three of you must have had. You certainly appeared to be enjoying yourself.