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In August of 2017 I was living in Gulfort, MS and got a last minute phone call from a buddy at 7pm asking if I I wanted to head fishing off shore out of Navarre, FL in the morning. Like any sane person I said, absolutely what time do you want to meet? He told me, meet at the kayak shop at 3am and we’ll head out. Crap, not a whole lot of time to sleep or prep, but who cares when you’re going out to the Blue Water for pelagics. So 3 am hits and we set out for the 2 hour drive out to the Emerald Coast hoping to launch right at day break. When we arrive the conditions could not have been more ideal. A light north breeze coming in off the land helped lay down what little surf there was making our launch incredibly easy. 

Once we launched, we  went about 1-2 miles off shore and were able to get a bit of live bait on Sabiki rigs, provided we could get the fish in the boat before the Spanish Mackerels and Bonitas picked them off. We probably lost a 3-4 rigs due to getting bit off, but that means the fish are out there and they are hungry. With our bait tanks stocked we started to head out to the 7 mile mark, trolling a duster rig and with a live bait on one rod and a Yo-Zuri 3-D Crystal Minnow on the other as a test to see which they liked better.  

As we started to move up the beach and the sun got higher the bite turned on. It wasn’t a feeding frenzy, but more like a steady feed. Catch one, re-bait, paddle for about 20 minutes and boom, another fish. There seemed to be no difference between the live bait and the Crystal Minnow. All told between the 2 of us we boated about 10-12 fish at bagged 4 of them including my P.B. King Mackerel. 

Once the sun got up higher we made a mad dash for the beach, and ultimately home. The bite had started to slow and the heat was picking up. No sense in getting fried and baked 7 miles off shore for a few more fish. On the return paddle my buddy kept shouting something to me and I finally made out a few words, “ Look behind your boat!” he says. Not really something you want to hear when you’re miles off shore in the gulf. Reluctantly I turn around and look to see whats tailing me, half expecting to see a shark or dolphin eyeballing me and the Kraken. Instead I see 2 remoras cruising behind me, and once I slowed down they came right up under the boat trying to figure out what I was. It was quite a neat experience to have sea life willingly come up to you and check out what you’re doing. After a few minutes the remoras finally decided I want worth their time to hang out with, so we continued back to the beach. 

As we arrived just before the surf we stopped to plan out our landing, not because the surf had changed, but because the beach was now full and our launch location was taken over by a huge group of people. Sitting right outside the break gave us time to scout a better landing zone as well as find a calm area in the surf to enter the beach at. Luck for us the best spot to recover from was only about 20 yards away from where we launched. I started in and all told it went very smooth, once the folks on shore saw I was coming in they made a hole for me to beach and were very excited to see what we caught out there.

Looking back on this trip I have to say it was one of my favorite trips. A spontaneous phone call late at night lead to a great day on the water. If you every get one of those last minute calls, go for it, say yes and do it, get out there and explore the world! 

You can check out the video of this trip at: