Earlier in the year while surfing online for kayak fishing tips, I ran across the Boondoggle over at Yakangler.com. Based on the description (a weekend of camping and kayak fishing with like-minded folk) and the location at Merritt Island, FL, I signed us up immediately in August.
The plan was to take Friday off, leave Thursday after work and fish all day Friday, Saturday, and early Sunday.
As work would have it, I had a last minute trip to Vegas until late Thursday. After a delayed flight, I didn’t get home until midnight. Our options were sleep a bit and leave early or go ahead and get on the road. We opted for packing quickly and began our drive down from Atlanta at 2 AM.
The drive down was uneventful, thankfully, except for the pre-dawn fog in Florida. We arrived at the KARS campground late in the AM, checked in with the Boondoggle crew and set up camp.
We were beat and it was windy on Friday afternoon so we opted to chill on the pier a hundred yards from our tent.
It was great to relax and the fishing was good. We landed a small red, tarpon and the obligatory hardheads.
After a great conversation Friday night with local guide, Alex Gorichky, my son locked in on a particular species that he’d not caught before, which was the mangrove snapper.
Based on Alex’s recommendation, we hit the new boat ramp and pier at Jetty Park on Saturday. We caught a ton of fish, including a few keeper mangroves and a Jack Crevalle.
At sunset, we hit the beach and junior even hooked a small manta ray before we headed back to camp.
Saturday night we hit the tail end of the BBQ dinner and won a sweet Polar Bear cooler at the raffle. After the raffle, we stumbled our way back to our tent and passed out.
Sunday we fished a few minutes early, but packed up and hit the road by 10AM.
Final tally over four days:
- Hours driving = 16
- Hours of sleep = 10ish
- Hours of fishing = 18+
- Fish checked off the bucket list = 3 (mangrove snapper, tarpon & manta ray)
- Number of hardheads caught = too many to count
- Number of mosquito bites = ∞
It was a long trip with many hours spent on the road. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Are we going again to Flamingo in February 2015? Of course!