An overcast and windy day, it didn’t look like Corey, his fiancee Katherine and I were in for a great one. We left Baton Rouge around very early and hit the water about 7:30. We launched off of Tidewater Road and picked up a couple reds jigging Gulp! Among some cypress knees on the way into the Wagon Wheel. A thick cloud cover made me think a black/chartreuse Mirrolure She-Dog might be fun. I started working the topwater through the calm water on the backside of a small grass island. As a red surfaced and slurped at the lure, I forced myself to freeze, waiting not for the strike, but for the pull. We all saw him get it on the second try, and things were immediately looking up. Fighting the wind, the three of us posted up behind some Roseau Cane on the edge of the wheel and began casting out into the open. Immediately, trout were slamming Gulp! of all colors. The only problem was Katherine seemed to be catching them all. As we fished this one spot, we picked up 20 very nice specks with only one throwback. To boot, casting closer to the bank in the piece of calm water on the backside of a point resulted in very nice 25″-27″ reds. Even drum and flounder were pulled out of this spot.We saw the sun once, but fish were everywhere and we stopped by about 2pm once trout began escaping from the cooler.
Sitting in the middle of 600 foot deep Lake Fontana, Jared and Daniel would be the first to push “The Scout” to its limits. Loaded with gear, the boat managed to hold everything needed for a two-man camping excursion: two 60-liter backpacks, two fishing rods, a small ice chest and a medium-sized dry bag for their tents and sleeping bags. The goal for the first day was an exploratory five mile paddle to end up on their destination island, where the two would set up a full campsite and spend two nights. The goal for the second day was to fish and do absolutely nothing. At 16.5 feet long and weighing 78 pounds, the Scout is a true tandem sit-on-top kayak that can be dragged by one, or easily carried by two. When the guys reached their island, there was nowhere to safely dock; and the water was rising a foot every night because of the heavy runoff from all surrounding streams. No problem, as they hauled the boat 20 feet up the sheer rocky shoreline. After a weekend on the water, the Scout had been tested and approved. Stability was no problem, nor was space to fit all that gear, and after 10+ miles of paddling, the guys were already planning their next trip.