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It's all about the, Boondoggle!





My oh my, how a year quickly comes and goes as we all know. It was in a snap of a finger before we were loading up the 4Runner for the Columbus Day Boondoggle 2014 to take the quick trip up to Kars Park, compared to umpteen hours driven by some out-of-staters. To be honest, after last year's Boondoggle, my first, I was thinking this year's would have exponentially more kayakers, but to my surprise it didn't seem as packed, maybe because the "skeeters" kept them away!

My good friend, Karl, came along on this year's adventure and you could tell he was right at home, bringing along his camping equipment he'd used for more than a decade. Luckily I had cut up more than enough firewood, not knowing the mosquitos were going to be as bad as they were, to keep a comfortable perimeter of smoke around our site. Unfortunately, it wasn't as cold as last year and there really wasn't much need for any heat, except for the mesmerizing flame to remind you what camping is all about.

Again, the term "Boondoggle, officially means "an unnecessary or wasteful project or activity", and it was just that, and wonderful. Anytime you surround yourself with like minded people who have the same interests, it usually means you're going to have a good time, and again, this year didn't disappoint!





After a smorgasbord of potluck style food was gathered from everybody conveniently in front of our campsite, our dinner plans of ribeyes & veggies were put on hold until the following night. Steve Grafton even brought over his homemade, kick-butt, kayak tiki bar which was a great hit and gathering spot.

The next morning the smell of sausage and peppers filled the campsite after we eventually woke up and joined my fishing buddy, Vickie, to get on the water and get some lines wet. Bill Cochran wasn't far behind, wielding his buddy whip via a paddle board, something I can't wait to do in the near future. We worked a few islands in search of trout and reds, quickly finding a bunch of over ambitious trout barely larger than our lures. Not long into the trip, Bill lets on that he's got something on the end of his fly, and after I hear the words pompano, my ears perk up and my mouth begins to water. Casting a few times next to his board, not wanting to get caught in his line, I was hoping to pick up on some other few pompano he had spotted while following his around, unfortunately no other takers. BUT, none others were needed for dinner as this was one of the biggest pompano I've ever seen in my life, let alone taken on a fly/paddle board. Yes, we found a way to keep him cool in the hatch of my Hobie. Not long after, Karl spots a moving disturbance in the water not far off, which kicked up the anticipation and excitement of landing a Space Coast bull red. Sadly, the school split when it came near and was lost in the deeper murky water.



Over the course of the trip we ended up seeing a good few dozen redfish, eating, cruising, and spooking as our kayaks slowly crept through the calm, flat water of the sun scorched day, with a few monster trout mixed in between that didn't want much to do with our lures. We did end up fooling a few reds to commit to lunch via the end of our line, all within the slot range. Sights included countless dolphins dancing in their pods, the normal cruising of manatees down their runway, and more catfish than the number of stars in the sky, those pesky things. It was time to head in after a much needed day of just relaxing on the water, bending a few rods, and having a good time with friends.

That night was the infamous Roshambo, put on by Woody for a brand new Native kayak and the rest of the raffles for countless goodies. This event never disappoints as Woody takes on a few hundred eager kayakers to win a free boat by simply throwing a rock, paper, or scissors. He has a strategy, and this year I think it was revealed a little bit, as it took longer than usual to beat the crowd and whittle down the numbers to the final two, let alone to beat one of them.

As Sunday morning rolled around, the thoughts of returning back home to responsibility crept in and we called it a successful trip as we packed the truck back up to head home. The thoughts of the next two Boondoggles, Flamingo in spring and Louisiana in the fall keep the excitement rolling for the few hour ride back home. Until next time, enjoy our wild America! (who got the plug?)

 





 







 

Feel free to contact Mark for any further questions or information by clicking on his contact page. Boondoggle's official website, is here.

 

 

 

 

 




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