Monday, August 18, 2014

Fishing with Jason Stock

This week I was lucky enough to receive an opportunity I couldn't pass up...a chance to fish with my buddy, Captain Jason Stock of  ( ). I decided to make the long drive down because I had a kayak tourney in Pompano later in the week. I drove to Greenville SC first to the Confluence Outdoors headquarters, home of Wilderness Systems Kayaks and Adventure Technology Paddles.

I was invited to take a tour with the marketing director, Evan, as he showed me around the office to meet the fantastic team who supports our pro staff and goes above and beyond to ensure we are taken care of. It's always great to meet people who you have "known" for years and shake their hands to say thank you. I was able to take a tour, but wasn't allowed to photograph the entire manufacturing process due to confidentiality, but it was amazing nonetheless. I was shown the very secret room where they develop prototypes, move on to the molding and finishing stages, and finally end up with the finished product. It really is an impressive operation.
Confluence Marketing and Communications Manager Evan and I.

I then made my way down to Bradenton Fl to fish with Jason. I arrived and met him at the dock with the boat ready to go to work. Everything was in place, and no sooner had I put my things away, we were on our way. Jason stopped and caught bait, where he turns to me and said "I know you don't want redfish, but they should be popping." We made a couple drifts off a point and caught a small jack. Then we focused on gathering more bait for later in the day and for the reds. Once we had enough crabs, we head back to the point and he smiles and says there's the meat -- aka oversized redfish. We make some casts and the reds look but don't eat. Jason said it was the tide, as they are waiting for it to turn and as it slows the reds eat, all oversized with the largest mid 30s.

Jason bending the sticks for once!

Solid Red
Photo Credit: Jason Stock
We decided to change it up, but first we pick up Jason's buddy Luther. We head offshore and anchor, almost immediately spotting a school of big permit. He sets two lines and says I can throw a lighter set up, but I'd have to lay the wood on a big permit so I don't get wrecked up with the small set up with a 5000 series Shimano Stradic spinning reel. I set it up and we watch the clock...nothing. As soon as we begin questioning the spot, my little rod bucks and doubles over. I take over and both Jason and Luther begin coaching me through landing my first permit. Let me tell you, I was undergunned and this fish really worked me, crossing the anchor line four times! We finally got him within Jasons reach and he handles the fish into the boat. A giant permit!

We let her go and kept fishing, Jason getting one then Luther next.

Luther begins bailing Spanish Macs and we decide to make a move for snapper. We catch three or four before things start dying down. The two then tell me its been a bad day and ask me to come back later in the year when the fishing gets good. Are you freaking kidding me?!? I thought it was an awesome day!
If you are ever in Florida its worth your time to look up Captain Jason Stock on ( ), I promise it'll be worth it!

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