By Ken Schultz
I was a new staff member at Field & Stream decades ago when I made my first summer-time visit to Florida. I’d been at a tackle show in Atlanta and rented a car to drive to Cocoa, where I was meeting acquaintances to fish for largemouth bass at a fish camp. It was late July and I arrived via the air conditioned car late at night, went right into an air conditioned mobile trailer, and did not experience midsummer Florida’s real steamy conditions until the next morning. At dawn when I stepped outside the trailer, my glasses fogged up and the humidity grabbed me in the chest, reminding me of the hothouse in a botanical garden. My first thought was, how am I going to make it through the day?
I made it through several days, as it turned out, and caught the largest bass of my life in the process, a near 12-pounder. Since then I’ve managed pretty well in hot, humid, and even jungle/rain forest fishing situations.
But it was hotter than hell when I got to the Gulf Coast last summer for
By Ken Schultz
Recently I was exchanging emails with an old friend and mentioned that I was going to be in Florida fishing from a kayak for redfish and seatrout. He commented that it seemed to him like everyone is going fishing in kayaks these days. Saying “everyone” is hyperbole, but fishing from kayaks has really gotten popular.
I can’t claim that I was in the forefront of this growing movement, but I’ve been keen on that watercraft ever since I first sat in one almost two decades ago. And the first kayak I ever got into is one that I bought on the recommendation of an Adirondack guide friend, who said that the size and cockpit of the Loon 138, then a relatively new kayak model from Old Town Canoe Company, made it very good for fishing. He was absolutely right.
I bought one in early March of 1999 and when I put this 13-foot kayak into the water at a local pond, where the ice was still melting, I quickly found
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