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Paddled several miles offshore with my eight year old daughter Valentina between my legs hoping to find her a big enough fish to win the annual Kayak Connection tournament in Santa Cruz.

Well, a strong south swell totally shut down any bite for us at all. : 9

Then ran into my good buddy Andy…when we told Andy that we hadn’t caught anything at all yet and really just wanted to catch something…anything!…Andy bust out the little tackle and all of a sudden Valentina was cranking in Kingfish after Kingfish!!

: )

I tied on a sabiki and the Kingfish catching continued and she also got a big old Jack Smelt, and some of the abundant Anchovies that were schooling around.

My buddy Dan paddled close by at one point and gave us a raised fist of approval when he saw us hooting and hollering and her screaming and laughing as she cranked in a nice one.

: )

Back at shore she weighed in her Jacksmelt (10 ounces!), which turned out to be nowhere near enough to win the whole tourney (thank goodness!) but it was enough to win the junior division (she was the only entrant!!), and a sweet new Kokatat PFD as a prize!!!

Huge thanks to Andy for helping make her day so special, and to Dave and Jess Grigsby for the awesome tourney and stoking her out with a much needed PFD upgrade!!

Had a blast seeing old friends and making new ones and enjoying the great BBQ put on by Dave over at Kayak Connection.

Hopefully next year we will get a few more youngsters fishing out there!!

I feel very lucky that she enjoys spending time fishing out on the yak with me. : )