A new venue! The camp ground we previously occupied wasn’t really ideal anymore due to price increases and the distance between people staying there. The Kayak Fishing Store had agreed with event staff from Jersey Cape Kayak Fishing (JCKF) to host the event at the shop. Camping as we call it J-Bay style allows all of the attendees to hang out and share the along with stories, food, jokes, pranks, and the commodore that Kayak Angers share. J-Bay style also means the camp is right near a launch area which is walk able. Most anglers will rig their kayaks up for a full weekend of fishing. Some will keep their kayaks ready to hit the road to fish in other places.
For me this year was the easiest commutes to Wildwood for a Jamboree as living in Delaware and working in Lewes its a ferry ride away. Although the ferry is about 1.25 hours its relaxing. On the way over I spotted Amy and her husband Gus and hung out with them for the ride over. Following that hit the Cape May Brewery for a sampler and a growler fill of a beer called Turtle Gut and a six pack of Devils Reach! Excellent!.
It was great having the venue being the Kayak fishing store. I arrived around the same time as many others. Scattered around were RV’s tents and car campers being set up on the grounds of an old boat grave yard which also houses the Kayak Fishing Store. There were kayak anglers from many walks of life and places. They came from as far north as Maine to as far south as Virginia. Captain Jim had arrived with the newly patched old moldy his pop up camper which we would call home for three nights. A bonfire was set and a Dutch Oven was placed into it. A 1/4 cooked roast was offered then there was a half stick bang to start off the festivity’s and fishing. The 7th Annual Cape May Kayak Fishing Jamboree was officially underway!
The next morning it was fishing time. Awaking prior to the sunrise the night temps must have went down to the low 30’s. As a few anglers were already out fishing with my camera in hand i awaited the fiery sunrise. The wind was stiff and cold.
As more people arrived we went out and fished the Herdon inlet Rock walls. The fishing was pretty good with our whole crew limiting out on Tautog. I had a beauty at 17.5″ Its not hard to limit out as each angler is regulated to keeping one fish over 15″ The tide starting moving again so we headed in to enjoy a fish fry along with some fresh steamed clams Dee raked from her home waters on Long Island. Fellow anglers stopped by our campsite and enjoyed some of our catch. Moving around camp there were some other excellent meals shared among the attendees present.
Saturday Morning meeting Charlie (Lunchbox) LaBar at the 2 mile launch we fished a bit in search of Stripers. While waiting for the tide to flow out hues of the sunrise glistened from the East. Marking fish was nonexistent along with no strikes on the line. Over the radio was one casualty a fellow angler went into the water trying to rescue a fishing rod. Fortunately he was ok. October presents cold air and water temperatures which for kayak anglers is a risk. The tide changed and we were sucked out the Cape May inlet. No paddling really necessary. Once at the tip of the southern jetty wall it was game on. Green crabs and sinkers at the ready drop a line. Around 15 total anglers made the trek to the ocean. Many tog were landed and it was a great time. A nice black drum was also landed had to be 25 lbs or so.
Just about the last ones out there we quit and headed back. Charlie was running his Torqeedo on 0% which amazed me because I have never ran mine past 20%. But he made it and kind of against the tide. IT was about 30 min before slack. Loading up and headed over to charlies summer home for a much needed shower.
Back at camp traded stories of the day. There was drones flying by taking the effect. Gary ward and Larry Newman were still fishing. I don’t think they even enjoyed a meal the entire time. They fished hard and wanted that calcutta more than anyone. The evening set in and it was time for dinner and prizes. The iconic seafood pasta and roast beef was served once again as a yearly feast. Three tables filled with prizes and a Pelican 120 kayak were up or grabs plus the Wolfpack beer raffle. This night the bonfire was amazing and photoed above. All kinds of strange graffiti appeared on a red ford. Ribs were grilling. The sole owner of everything ate everyone’s food and all was good.
Sunday morning was a pack up day for most. Best of all the calcuttas were awarded to Gary Ward and Larry Newman respectively as they got the bass and blues regions. I never got a final list of Calcutta awards but its a non tournament. All for fun and that’s they way it should be. If you have ever been to a boondoggle the jamboree is the same just the northern way.
Excellent job by Chris Parson The Kayak Fishing Store Prostaff team and JCKF!
Looking forward to october 2017 for the next one. Hope to see you all there.