Redfish and Kayaks

After a brief safety meeting, organizer Danny Wray’s horn sounded and the majority of 523 registered kayak and similar non-motorized watercrafts launched from Bridgeside Marina in Grand Isle. “To Ride the Bull”, bull redfish that is. It’s the largest number of kayakers ever enter into a fishing rodeo. This one for catch and release of redfish. Red was not only the shade as the palate of boat paints were likened to a giant box of colored pencils rolling across a tabletop.
#130817_0023.  The horn sounds and boats head into the Bay.
I stood atop the Grand Isle Bridge holding an umbrella over my camera looking across Caminada Bay as the fishermen paddled and peddled to their favorite fishing spots. It rained, misted and occasionally stopped all morning. The wet hardly bothered most of the tough fisherman.  Hook up! I saw the fishing pole bend on a boat below.  The kayak which was tied to another was quickly released.  The lucky person rode the bull, the big fish pulling the kayak. After reeling in in, photographs were taken, and she released it without getting it weighed for the tournament. Perhaps she didn’t think it was big enough, or maybe she was not a competitive person. The winner was Jeff Gleason of Folsom, Louisiana with a fish weighing 32.96 pounds.

#130817_0086 Catching and releasing a red fish.
Just after noon the tide was moving out through Caminada Pass to the Gulf. Those paddlers who were near the mouth of the bay struggled against this current. Strange, August in Grand Isle and shivering cold boaters were returning to the pier, some dead tired.

Michael Mathews and The Backpacker of Baton Rouge crew were there with kayaks and GoPro cameras.  They were title sponsors. Friday night there was a GoPro Red fishing Film Festival.  Films were self-portraits of Kayakers catching fish.

Life is good.  Life has changed from cane pole fishing on a ten foot bateau with maybe a Kodak Brownie Camera of yesteryear.  To a lime green peddle powered fishing kayak with a shockproof, waterproof miniature video camera that can be shot remotely from a smartphone. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just get outdoors.

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