The Marsh Monster Beat Me


Some days the marsh can be an absolute monster. Travis Billings had one of those days last week. Here is his story.

On a recent kayak fishing trip here in South Texas, I had one of the most frustrating days I can remember while out on the water. Everything seemed to be going wrong for me. I have never encountered a day with that much frustration and aggravation. It totally defeated me.

First, my battery for my electronics was not working, I know I charged the battery the night before but I guess it didn’t charge for whatever reason. No problem though, I’ll just get my spare out the truck only to find out this battery wasn’t powering up either. Now I know this is a good battery with a good charge so it must be something wrong with the wiring. But I didn’t want to waste fishing time troubleshooting so off I went without my electronics.

After launching my Ride 135 into the beautiful dusk of the Texas coast, I reach to engage my rudder. As I pull on the bungee, the bungee snaps, leaving me with no rudder. At this point I have no electronics or rudder. No big deal because the wind was minimal and I knew the area enough to go without GPS. So FISH ON!!

As I’m paddling to my spot I notice a huge tree lying across the marsh canal. As I get closer I see a spot where a limb barely sticks out the water. I thought that if I can get some good speed I could glide over it. I made it across but almost turtled. This may have been the only thing that went right all day.

As I follow my buddy into a lake, he glides right on in and I come to a complete stop on some oysters. After pushing, sliding, shaking the yak, I realized that I have to get out and push myself off these oysters. I slide out of my seat onto the oysters and push my kayak right off these oysters. At this point the only thought going through my head is that I need to lose some weight!! As I attempt to reenter my kayak I step into some mud and sink hip deep. After about 10 minutes of getting out the mud I manage to get back into the kayak and into the lake.

I put all this behind me and start fishing finally. Fishing was tough to say the least. I only had two bites and missed them both. After getting stuck on oysters and having to exit the kayak to free myself several more time and having no electronics, no rudder, reels knotted up and no fish, I was completely discouraged and defeated. I paddled back the launch with my tail tucked.

The day was not a total loss though. I got to fish with buddy, saw a beautiful sunrise, got in some exercise and soaked up some Texas marsh. Make no mistake about it, I WILL BE BACK!!  On the drive home I wondered what others do when everything seems to stack against them.

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