Grip and Grin: Battle In The Gulf

Tyler Sacca was fishing in 40ft of water when he saw this jack crevalle in front of him and hooked up. Photo: Tyler Sacca
Tyler Sacca was fishing in 40ft of water when he saw this jack crevalle in front of him and hooked up.

“It was mid-summer,” said Tyler Sacca. “Me and my friends Dylan and Chris woke up at dawn and headed to the Gulf in hopes of catching some monster fish. We dropped our kayaks in the water on Navarre Beach relatively close to the fishing pier. It was a beautiful morning and the water conditions were perfect for kayak fishing. We spent most of our morning in about 40ft of water catching the usual king mackerel, mahi mahi, and bonito using frozen cigar minnows.

Around mid-afternoon we decided to head out to deeper water and try our luck. We trolled a little over a mile offshore when we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a huge bait ball. You could see the bonito and jack crevalle blowing up on top of the water chasing the smaller bait fish. My friend Dylan spotted a large jack directly in front of me, so I grabbed my rod, a Shimano Spheros 8000 with 30lb Power Pro braided line, and cast about 20 yards in front of my kayak.

Within seconds the jack swallowed my cigar minnow and the fight was on! The fish took off like a rocket dragging my kayak about 100 yards before diving straight to the bottom. I would gain a few feet of line and the fish would take it back. It felt like I was trying to pull a small car off the bottom of the Gulf. The fight went on for about 25 minutes until I was able to get him close enough to the kayak to see how large the fish really was. Once landed, I snapped a few photos and released the fish. To this day my my fight with the jack is one of the toughest fights I have ever experienced while kayak fishing.”

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