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Updated: 03/13/2014 02:59:30PM

Matlacha Yacumama

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kayak away • bryan stockbridge

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It was a cold, brisk Sunday morning. My fishing partner Dan and I decided to go out at dawn on our kayaks and head out to our favorite spot on the water. I love kayak fishing, especially at sunrise. Nothing beats getting on the water early in the morning when the sun is just peaking over the horizon and everything looks so calm, clear and serene from shore.

As I slide into my kayak and paddle out, I’m immediately captivated by the slow-moving fog floating across into the horizon and the feel of the cool mist on my face as it permeates over the warm waters of the sound. Sometimes the fog gets so thick, that you’re lucky if you can see the bow of your kayak as you’re paddling out. But it’s worth it, even if just to get a glimpse of all the wildlife, especially the birds. There are birds feeding in the shallows, flying overhead, resting in nooks in the mangroves and even swimming right by your kayak. If you’re a birder, this is definitely the time to be on the water. It’s also feeding time for large predators like the tarpon. And out here in the pass, you’d be surprised how big they get, and what a ruckus they make when they’re on the prowl. Last time we were out, we paddled right through a school of tarpon tearing up some mullet. It was an all-out feeding frenzy, and all you could see were shiny, silvery scales glimmering in the sunlight as they whizzed by our kayaks chasing their prey. Now I understand why they call tarpon the silver king.

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