As all of you know by now, we are living in some crazy times. The corona virus swept through the United States has left many question marks for the future of small businesses and recreational fishermen alike. In our tenth year, EKFT started off with much excitement. In January, our record breaking Sailfish Smackdown tournament was a huge success and our confidence was at an all time high. Little did we know what was in store for the rest of 2020. Now here we are having to move the Exotic Roundup tournament to late September and unfortunately had to cancel Summer Slam 1, which was scheduled at the end of May.
With the beaches being closed, the recreational kayak fleet has mainly been launching from inlets, which is extremely dangerous for inexperienced kayak fishermen. Recently a young woman was trying to make it through Hillsboro Inlet and the current pushed her into the seawall, leaving her body scraped and cut from barnacles. Unfortunately, she had to be hospitalized. I recently launched through the inlet as well, witnessing two men on a tandem kayak getting flipped from a boat wake at the mouth of the inlet. Fortunately, there were people close by to help them. Some anglers defied orders and launched from the beach which resulted in fines and threats of arrest. So, the question becomes, is it safer to close down beaches due to the potential of catching the corona virus or for anglers to launch from potentially unsafe places?
At the end of the day, I feel it’s time to safely open everything back up and get back to work. Not only are we dealing with an unprecedented virus, but the middle class and our economy are suffering. I feel we all need to come together instead of being divided.
On to the good news. If anglers are able to get out there, the fishing has been some of the best we’ve seen in years. The blackfin tuna bite has been especially epic!
Summer Slam part 2 has been scheduled for August 29th and will be bigger than ever. We have increased prizes by adding more divisions and calcuttas. For more information on this event and what’s in store for the rest of the season go to www.extremekayakfihshing.com.