'COOLEST MOMENT OF MY FISHING CAREER' Kayak angler catches, releases sailfish with ‘B-team' tackle

Adam Peeples landed this sailfish Sunday while fishing from a kayak.

After trying all season to catch a sailfish, 28-year-old Adam Peeples landed his first Sunday from a kayak.

Peeples, along with five others in kayaks, were fishing about 1½ mile off the beach at Navarre. He said they had caught and released several red snapper, when he decided to drift off from the others and try his luck at luring in a sailfish.

He tossed out a live hardtail for bait on a circle hook and the fight was on.

“The initial hit was violent,” Peeples said. “He ripped off about 200 yards of line in about 30 seconds. I had to pedal to keep up.”

Peeples was a using a Penn reel on a 6-foot rod with 30-pound test line.

“The reel was one I bought at a yard sale,” he said, noting he had not even changed out the line on the reel.

“I paid $10 for it,” and it was his first time to use it.

“This was my B-team tackle,” he said. “My A-team tackle was at my father-in-laws.”

Nevertheless the reel and line held and the fight was on.

“He was pulling and in the air jumping,” he said. “He almost spooled me twice.”

About 30 minutes into the fight, his buddies came over and helped him get it in the boat.

“I finally landed him about a half mile from where I started,” Peeples said. The gang got some photos and then released the fish.

This was Peeples second time to kayak fish. He usually fishes out of Destin with his 22-foot center console boat.

“I just got lucky,” Peeples said. “I was in the right place at the right time.

“But that was the coolest moment of my fishing career by far.”