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From the Editor: Wake the Kids, Take Them Fishing

Columnist tells us about "wake-surf-fishing" with the kids. Say what?

From the Editor: Wake the Kids, Take Them Fishing

Get those hands on spinning rods and tow ropes and the phones and game consoles might soon be forgotten. Wake-surf fish, rinse … repeat.

  • Note: Jeff Weakley is Editor In Chief of Florida Sportsman magazine.

I’ve reported in this column on the fishing exploits of the neighborhood kids.

We’ve had kayak armadas in the backyard lake, skate-fishermen shredding the cul-de-sac, bass tournaments, Easter Egg hunts for lures. I’ve seen kids build a trolling motor out of a weed whacker and a fan blade that would hold with the best of them.

So, I figured I’d update on our latest.

Wake-surf-fishing.

Say what?

On calm days, fishing up the beach on my 20-foot center console is one of my favorites. I’m looking for Spanish mackerel, pompano, cobia, jacks, tarpon, all sorts of fish that cruise just outside the breakers. It’s kind of hyper-mobile surf fishing.

The other day it hit me. I’m running and gunning for fish. Why not take the kids wakesurfing while I’m at it?

I grabbed a few of the boys, threw my 6-0 soft top in the boat, a tow rope in the fish box, and we went for it.

Offshore winds, clear water and a gentle swell made for perfect conditions.

It was great stuff. We traveled at 16-19 mph, a good speed for watching for fish, and reasonably efficient with my motor trimmed down. When I’d spot mackerel busting on top, I’d back off the throttle, shut off the engine, and holler at the wakesurfer to paddle to the boat. He’d climb in and I’d hand him a spinning rod.

The boys traded off and we repeated several times. The surfers quickly figured out the lightning-fast whip retrieve that works best with mylar jigs. They also figured out how to carve top turns on the wake and came up with some weird and creative maneuvers like “Seated Buddha Ollie” and “Backside Faceplant Sinus Flush.”

Finally, the boys had noodle legs and my fish box was near to overflowing with Spanish (I smoke the fillets and share with the neighbors). We called it a day and agreed to go again the next calm weekend between cold fronts.

Recommended


Tarpon fishermen: I apologize in advance.

Everyone else: Get some kids on the water, by any means necessary. “Wake ’em up” if you have to!

Best thing about wake-surf-fishing?

You’ll have a stoked cleanup crew on the brush duty. My boat has never looked so clean.





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