Monday, January 28, 2013

The One That Got Away: My Hawg Trough Modifications

     I fished in my first NTKBF this fall at Purtis Creek and didn't fair too well, but I did get some great advice from a fishing buddy of mine, Bryan Row. I had been having some problems with my fish jumping off  my Hawg Trough before I could get the picture snapped. I was struggling with holding my fish on the board, trying to look through my camera to take the pic, and hold the identifier in the picture. CPR (catch,photo,release) is one giant multitasking nightmare for me.

     After getting some great advice from Brian about modifying the measuring board to add bungee cords to hold the fish down. I really liked this idea of freeing up one hand to take quality pictures without worrying about your fish jumping off. There are many ways that this can be done to accomplish the idea to suit your own needs. I know that the way that I rigged mine is different from Brian's and Chris Payne's but it was the same concept that I adapted.

    First I bought a pack of small bungee cords with the metal hooks on the ends. I cut one end off and burned it with a lighter to keep it from fraying. I drilled holes large enough to pull the cut end of the bungee through and tie a knot so that it doesn't pull through the hole and the knot doesn't show. I stretched the bungee to about a foot cut small notch so that the hooked end of the bungee easily be slipped into the notch while trying to hold a fish on there.

      So far the "X" pattern has worked well for me and has served its purpose. I know some guys like to use a criss-cross look and others prefer one strap across the middle. The possibilities and adaptations are endless so I encourage you to toss some ideas around and if you see that losing fish is a problem for you then hopefully you will find this helpful.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Is DIY Dead?

What a great time it is to be a kayak angler. I have only been kayak fishing for a little over a year now but from where I started to where I'm at now is a universe of difference. For me, one of the biggest draws of getting into kayak fishing versus another small watercraft was the DIY projects that could be infinitely modified and applied to fit your kayak. My first kayak was a blank canvas in my eyes and whatever I had laying around in my garage at the time was my paint. The ultimate DIY project that was constantly evolving and growing was the coveted tackle storage milk crate. At the first kayak fishermen get together that I attended the first thing I did was walk around and look at everyone's crate and take mental notes of things I wanted to add or change to mine. I guess it can be contributed to how fast this sport is growing in popularity and how main stream it's becoming but it kind of seems like new products are coming out everyday that slowly squeeze out the DIY kayak projects. Theres no doubt that most of these products look clean and organized and really give your kayak a professional look and I really like the majority of these products myself, but I'm having a hard time giving up the creative freedom and ingenuity of rigging out my kayak.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chad Hoover - "Uncensored"

I wanted to write something short and quick about the speaking event last night with Chad Hoover. Leading up to last night I had been looking forward to hearing him talk and getting to shake hands with the "Godfather" of kayak fishing. What I took away from last night was much, much more than that. First I think that I should thank Aris Tsamis for being such a gracious host and for putting together a great event for kayak anglers. In addition to meeting Chad last night I also had the privilege of meeting his son Austin and Wilderness Systems Pro Staffer Bobby Clark. Last night was really cool for me because Chad Hoover and Bobby Clark are two of the first names that I was introduced to when I started kayak fishing. Chad was both funny as hell and inspiring throughout the night. I don't know why, but out of everything he said last night this quote is what stuck with me the most, "The next time your buddy calls you up and asks you to go fishing, load your shit up and go. Don't be lazy!" He was talking about how we tend to get in lazy ruts where its really easy to stay on the couch and chill out rather than load up a truck full of gear, get up early, and drag around a heavy kayak to the water. I think this resonated with me because I have been guilty of exactly that and "just load your shit up and go" will be my new mantra when I am feeling lazy. I appreciate Chad taking the time to visit with all of us that were in attendance last night, enjoyed meeting new friends and catching up with old ones, and thank you again to Mariner Sails for hosting a great night.

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's Show Time!!

     I had the privilege of getting out of the house yesterday and hitting up the 2013 Texas Tackle & Hunting Show. This is the first time that I have gone to this show and I'll be honest it was mainly because of the appearance of Troy and Chase Landry from TVs Swamp People. I first arrived at the Mesquite Convention Center around 9:45 and went straight in to the rodeo arena to say hello to some friends of mine. My good friends at Mariner Sails were setting up their area for the days upcoming visitors and guests. All of their display kayaks were shiny, clean and set up with all of the finest rigging and all of the gadgets that anyone could want on a kayak, looked like 007's kayaks.
          I hung around for about an hour with these guys watching slowly as the line to get a picture with the "King of the Swamp" got longer and longer. I headed out to venture around the various booths and displays around the arena and convention center to see what was what. I had brought some cash with me and there was no way I was bringing any of it home with me. After browsing around everything for about an hour I wandered back to the arena to say goodbye to everyone and I noticed that the line to meet the Landry's was well down from earlier so I took advantage and got my place in line. It was a short wait of about twenty minutes and I had gotten a pic and an autograph of the great guys from one of my favorite TV shows.
         Overall I had a great time and the whole show was an awesome experience. I was able to buy some good looking new baits that are guaranteed to catch big fish, we'll see. I was able to get a great new Under Armour fishing shirt for $20, great price. I will definitely be going back next year, see you then.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Why The Blog?

I have recently been getting a lot of encouragement from my friends in the kayak fishing community as well as my wife about starting a blog just for fun. After I decided to start this one and played for two days with getting the page looking halfway decent I kind of started to slow down and ask myself what I really wanted out of this particular venture. I don't have near the experience in kayak fishing or fishing knowledge in general to be giving advice or facts about the "right" way to do things. When I was growing in in rural East Texas our way of fishing was the Sabine river bank and stink bait for catfish. I started to wonder then what business do I have in even starting a blog about something that I have so little knowledge about. I then came to the realization that my blog doesn't have to be the ultimate guide to kayak fishing, it just has to be about my growing knowledge and experiences in this sport as I continue to evolve my skills, techniques, and tech savyness on the water. As I write my second ever blog entry I realize my main goal with project is to be a good ambassador for this sport that has most graciously taken me in and shown me what it has to offer.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

First blog attempt

This is my first official blog attempt. After a fishing trip this morning a buddy of mine suggested that I start a blog of my kayak fishing experiences and thoughts as a way to lead to possible sponsorships in the future and open doors in general. I am a complete rookie at this so it will probably look very amaturish until I get the hang of it.