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Had a plan in mind all year of where I wanted to paddle to and explore the day before the 8th Annual Gimme Shelter Kayak Fishing Tourney.

This was my 5th year in a row up at Shelter Cove so have been trying to explore new territory each time I’m up there looking for bigger abs and fish and adventure and excitement.

I got confirmation from several people that this area had potential for fun times and big ten inch “trophy sized” abalone so I was super excited!

Had some gear troubles at camp and launch (weight belt snapped, FF not working, dive watch battery died) but tried not to stress and to stay focused on my plan.

Conditions on Friday morning were stellar with flat seas, no wind and excellent 10-15 foot viz. : )

Paddled to the target area with my buddies Joe and Dave and at first we weren’t finding a lot except for some nice blacks so I picked off a few to bring back to help feed the camp.

Moved the yaks a few times and start seeing a few chunky abs scattered here and there and I take a meaty 9.5 and a 9 but really want to try and get a 10 so held off and keep on looking before popping my third…

Come across a cool boulder that had a swim through cave in the middle of it…swim in and peer around and am not seeing anything but then peek over to the left and there is a nice big ab just waiting for me. : )

After gauging it looks like it might be a hair under 10, but I decide I want it anyway so go to work with the ab iron.

Took me several tries to finally get the iron in far enough to pop him free, and then on the surface when the ten inch gauge clicks on the shell I am STOKED!!! : )

When I swam the ab to the yaks, turns out Joe had got a 10 as well and batt had taken one he thought was just shy (which back at beach turned out to click at 10) and so he kept on hunting for abs while Joe and I went to a spot where I was confident I could get uni for camp.

Joe stayed on the yak and I dove around until I found a nice uni honey hole and then I went to work bringing them up 3,4,5 at a time and handing them to Joe to shove in the goodie bag. After I had gotten 30+ uni loaded up I jumped back out, Dave showed up with another 10 in his yak and we all paddled in to shore to celebrate!!

Next day I fished the tourney and the seas were quite a bit bumpier but I caught some nice fish and managed to finish in the top 15 out of 218 registered anglers…

Not bad for a guy who hardly ever uses a rod and reel!!

; )

Bite was actually pretty slow for me but I enjoyed the fish I did catch on my light spinning tackle…alway fun to get a bendo!!!

Best part of tourney day was fishing with old and new friends and just enjoying the beauty of being OTW at Shelter Cove.

The whole weekend was awesome with great people and amazing food and tons of fun and my only regret was that i couldn’t stay up there longer!!

Here is a little vid and a few pics.