Battle in the Bahamas

APRIL 6-11, 2016

Following our amazing adventures in New Zealand, we traveled back in time (crossed the international dateline) in hopes of continuing our lucky streak in the Bahamas. Upon our arrival it was evident that the sea gods wanted a little pay-back for their generosity in New Zealand.

We met up with Capt-Esteban Gutierrez of Blackbeard Fishing Company, Luther Cifers of YakAttack, and 50 mph winds upon our arrival in the Bahamas. The winds, and accompanying torrential downpours and rough ocean, lasted for two days. Our goal to “Battle in the Bahamas” in the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament was beginning to look as washed out as the walls we were staring at inside our hotel room.

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Making the best of crummy weather – waiting for the winds to die down with Esteban and Luther

On the third day, the clouds parted…but so did our guide. Being nowhere to be found, it turned out he saw an opportunity to take the money and run. To say we were a little let down would be an understatement.

By this point, the sea gods had their fun. The tides turned with the arrival of our host Joe Hector who, along with his wife Maria, run the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament. Within minutes, we had a boat, the weather cleared and we were off!

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Lined up on the beach getting ready for the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament

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Esteban hooked into a nice dorado!

We hit the water and were amongst almost one hundred kayak anglers from around the world who were hooking and landing some monster fish.I found it really cool to see other folks paddling the JK Kraken in the tournament. There were plenty of Kraken 13.5 and 15’s on the water and those anglers proved that you don’t need peddle drives or a huge boat to haul in the big ones—a Kraken paddler even took largest fish in one of the 4 categories. The JKrate bait tank was clutch on this adventure because if you didn’t have bait, you didn’t have fish.

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Plenty of these babies all around the tournament.

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Trying to get something on the line during the tournament

However, the hardest part about shooting in these big tournaments is seeing so many folks without PFDs. When we heard excuses like, ‘it’s too hot’ and ‘I don’t find them comfortable’, I took the opportunity to show off the Kokatat SeaO2 features that mitigate the reasons for complaints. Hopefully next year we see more anglers wearing proper PFDs…

Probably my most electrifying angling encounter in this tournament was with a massive sailfish that charged my boat and threw the hook in the blink of an eye.

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In the end, we had a fantastic trip exploring the island, meeting many great locals and characters from the global kayak angling community, and enjoying incredible food. Joe Hector and the folks from The Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament were fantastic and we can’t wait to work with them again.

 

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