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Kayak fishing can take you to many remote and picturesque waters. But every once in a while, it takes to something even better. A place where fish are plentiful, powerful and above all else…exotic. The Florida Everglades is one of those rare places.
After working on ‘Bass on the Road’ last year with some good friends, we had to decide where our next adventure would take us. After a short debate we came to realize the pristine waters of south Florida were a no brainer. After months of preparation, logistics, and impatience the time had arrived. The only thing standing between me and the fishing trip of my dreams was a near 12 hour car ride and 800 miles of highway.
The last decision to be made would be which kayak would aid me in my quest to fulfill this lifelong dream. I contemplated the Cuda 12 for its maneuverability, in conjunction with the speed it offers. I also thought that the Coosa would perform very well in the tight quarters and shallow waters of the Everglades. After going back and forth I chose the Coosa as my weapon of choice. With that settled it was time to hit the road.
Once I arrived the fishing began almost immediately. Thanks to tons of prep by the crew (which consisted of Bob Bramblet, Jim Van Pelt, Eric Hughes, Rob Devore and Rob Lee) we were able to get lines wet very quickly. A canal near out lodge was too inviting to pass up. We unloaded out kayaks and found ourselves fighting small snook in short order. Having only landed a snook once before, this trip was already a success. ‘Bass on the Road 2’ was becoming a reality!

The next day we set out after more snook, tarpon and hopefully a peacock bass. Hiking and dragging our kayaks back into the Everglades was quite a chore. It did, however, land us a remote and untouched fishing spot for the day. With temps soaring towards the century mark we tried to make the best of a quickly fading morning bite. After chasing tailing tarpon for the better part of the day I managed a solid hookup on a small fish. After 3 quick jumps the tarpon politely returned my jerk bait to me via airmail. Having never hooked up with a silver rocket, I had realized a dream. I had just hooked and jumped my first tarpon. As far as I was concerned, the trip was now an undeniable success.

In the couple of days to follow several of us would land quality snook, peacock bass, Oscar, tarpon and even large mouth bass. Our goal of catching an Everglades slam had been accomplished even despite the powerful storms, stifling heat, unrelenting insects and unforgiving terrain. Combining such sought after species with amazing fellowship among great friends made for a week long memory that will stay branded on my mind for years to come.