Driving towards Port Aransas had my attention filled with how I was going to be able to compete in a fly fishing tournament for redfish when I have a big zero on this species to date. If it wasn't benefiting a good cause (Casting For Recovery) I am not sure I would have fished the Lydia Ann Fly Masters tournament to begin with.
Arriving at Tarpon Shores Marina I was greeted with a strong gusting wind and high water as I waited to pay my entry fee. After talking to a few fisherman coming off the water and finding out that the fishing had been tough actually made me feel better. I tend to compete better under tough conditions because to me it levels the field. After dinner and checking into the hotel, I proceeded to get my gear sorted and tied on some new leaders for the next day. 4am was going to come soon so I hit the sack.
Having only fished this area twice before I had settled on fishing the Light House Lakes section. With its narrow trails and hidden lakes I figured the wind wouldn't bother me as much so I took my SUPerFISHal in order to navigate the area while standing and be able to see more fish.
Paddling to the back of the lakes and entering the trails, it didn't take long to start seeing reds cruising around. I was amazed at how many would come up to the fly and then turn away without inhaling it. Pretty frustrating but that's why they call it fishing.
A good effort was given and although the results weren't good it was still fun to do. The weigh in showed proof to how tough of a day it was with a lot of skilled saltwater fisherman drawing blanks as well. Listening to conversations made me feel better about my approach as many people saw and casted to fish with the same results that I had throughout the day.
This was only the third time to use the hybrid paddleboard but it wont be the last. Really enjoyed the ability to stand and cast to the fish that were easier to see because of this. It's not the fastest but it is very stable and a great platform to fly fish from. For the long paddles I just take a seat from my kayak and lay it on the deck to sit on while paddling. When the destination is reached, it is just put behind the cooler to clear the deck area for standing and poling around.
The cooler I use on it is a K2 Cube. At 30 quarts it makes a great seat to rest on and a good poling platform. It also left me with a cold drink after three days of one bag of ice in 100 plus degree weather.
Hopefully the tournament is offered again next year, i'll be back.