Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Brazos Bassin!

     I really needed to fish some new water. Something different from the same three or four lakes and ponds that I usually go to. I had been eyeballing the Brazos river for sometime now, but had no clue where to start. I called up my buddy and fellow Hornedfrog Alum, Guillermo to ask for advice. I didn't get much advice, but what I did get was a full blown invitation to join him on the river the next weekend. Done! 


      I called up my good friend Cody J. to ask if he wanted to make the trip with me. We left Dallas around four in the morning and met up with Guillermo in the small town of Whitney. We grabbed some ice and a little breakfast and headed down to the river. We unloaded our gear right below the Lake Whitney dam and already the scenery was worth the drive. We started our 10 mile paddle and I wish I had the words to describe how awesome this trip was. We saw beautiful landscapes, caught nice fish, had a great shore lunch, and best of all I got to share it with good friends. 


 If you haven't had an opportunity to make it to the Brazos below Lake Whitney, I strongly encourage you to go. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Top 5 Must Buy Kayak Fishing Products for 2014

     With summer finally upon us there is no better time to indulge in some new gear for your warm weather fishing adventures. Here are 5 new products that will help you get the most out of your time on the water this season.

Wilderness Systems Ride 115X

     The Wilderness Systems Ride 115X Kayak has all the steadiness and adaptability you would expect from a Ride 115, however it’s now loaded with innovative features tailored for anglers. Wilderness Systems added strong aluminum transport handles with foam sleeves, bonus scupper tubes within the standing zone for better support, and a more user friendly paddle rest. There is also a detachable center console that reveals a large passage going through the hull. Its battery storage area and bottom transducer mount allow you to quickly and easily set up your fish-finder head mount, transducer and battery.

Sperry Ricochet Bungee

     This new water shoe from Sperry combines the flexibility and sensitivity of Sperry’s SON-R technology with a rugged, lugged outsole for increased traction and durability. An adjustable bungee lace system gives these shoes a secure fit, but also allows for easy on and off. All-in-all, it’s one of the best outdoor Kayaking adventure shoes you could ask for this summer.

Garmin VIRB and VIRB Elite

     Garmin, is a brand that you have undoubtedly used to navigate unfamiliar territory at some point in your life. They recently came out with two different models in the action camera market. The “VIRB” and “VIRB Elite”, both offer a water resistant case, and record in a variety of HD and non-HD modes with a still picture option. Our personal favorite feature of the Virbs is the on-board menu screen that offers instant replays of your footage. Both cameras come equipped with a number of cables and mounts to get you started filming your fishing trips, but there are also plenty of extra accessories and specialized mounts that you can purchase from Garmin.

Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Kayak

     This new inflatable Kayak was designed with the needs of the Kayak Angler enthusiast in mind, but it is still extremely versatile and ideal for beginners. It is also a great choice for experienced Kayakers who want to bring it along on a trip because it is extremely easy to deflate and keep in the trunk of a car or the bed of a truck. The StraitEdge also incorporates an aluminum bow and stern frame which is great for improved tracking in open waters.

Goal Zero Sherpa 50 Recharger with AC Inverter

     How many times have you been out on the lake and tried to snap a picture of the catch of the day only to find that your camera is dead? What do you do when you are on a multi-day river trip and you have no way to call for help in an emergency because your phone died days ago? The Goal Zero Sherpa is the perfect solution to all of these potential difficulties. This lightweight, portable power supply acts as a standalone electronics charger when your miles away from electricity, so you will never be stranded out in the open water.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Get To Know Your Kayak

     Wilderness Systems Regional Manager, Jeff Little has put out two great videos lately and I feel like I should share them. The first video is all about stability, and knowing how to find the tipping point in your kayak. The second is about picking the right kayak for you. Like I said they contain quality information for the experienced and novice paddler and kayak angler. Enjoy.

Monday, June 9, 2014

It's An Honor!

      I don't think that my kayak fishing story is at all unlike most other anglers out there. I didn't come from a bass boat background but I have been fishing my whole life. Where I was raised, bass fishing was unnecessary because we didn't eat them, and hunting for catfish was very normal for us. I didn't really start targeting bass until I got in my first kayak.

     My father had an old sit inside kayak that he used to take to the coast once a year just for casual bay touring, but nothing really serious. My dad told me one day that he was going to sell it and asked me if I wanted it. I said sure, I live a hundred yards from Lake Lewisville, maybe I'll take it out. My buddy Cody J. told me that he had been thinking about getting a kayak to fish from, so we said screw it, let start kayak fishing.

      I started learning as much as I possibly about paddle techniques, kayaks, all things bass fishing, and completely submerged myself in the culture. I have read several books on bass fishing, kayak fishing, and paddling. I know there is a significant learning curve that comes with sheer experience, I wanted to gain as much general knowledge through books as well as having on the water experience. I like that way that I chose to learn because I was simultaneously applying what I read in a book to reel life application.

     I did my due diligence and researched several kayaks for my upgrade from my dads hand me down. I demoed several kayaks, and had a list made out with my favorite kayaks ranked. I looked at kayaks with cool colors, lawn chair style seats, built in features, and every other wrong reason to pick a kayak. After demoing every kayak on my list, and crossing off every kayak one by one. I tried the Wilderness Systems Ride 135 and it just felt right. I felt like a rock in that kayak and I knew I was finished demoing.

     I've been a fan of every Wilderness Systems kayak that I've been in. In my opinion, the Wilderness Systems fleet has a kayak for every body type, every preferred water, for every situation. You know you are getting a great quality kayak for a very affordable price. Recently, I was asked to join the Wilderness Systems Pro-Staff and I couldn't be more thrilled and ready to run with it. My hope is that my passion for kayak fishing and Wilderness Systems kayaks is what caught their eye. I started this blog and help out at the events that I do because I love this sport and I wish someone had opened my eyes to it 15 years ago.

     I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent Wilderness Systems as a pro-staff team member. This is a group that I have admired for quite some time, and it's a real honor for me to be able to call them teammates.

Monday, June 2, 2014

How Should I Hydrate?

     In my job I regularly combat heat illness, dehydration, and the various signs and symptoms that accompany them. I get asked all the time, "Which is better for me, water or Gatorade"? My answer is always different based on the level of activity, environmental conditions of the activity, and duration of activity. I recently was asked a question that I didn't have an answer for. I have never been asked this question before, and I was truly stumped. "Is Coconut water better to rehydrate me than water or Gatorade." Huh, that is a new one. As far as I'm concerned, coconut water is a recent trend in hydration choices that has really made an impact in the market just in the last few years. I don't know if coconut water is better than anything else or just on the rise because of current marketing campaigns. 

    I sought out a nutritional expert that could give me some insight into this question. I contacted several dietitians, nutritional professors, and several other nutritional experts, but I wound up with the same answer every time, "I do not have enough information to give you an educated answer." Finally I contacted Amy Goodson. Amy is the dietitian for TCU, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, and USA Track & Field Dietitian Consultant. I think her resume speaks for itself. She agreed to answer a few questions for me, so heres what she had to say.

Does Coconut Water have health benefits?
     It is a great source of potassium, which is an electrolyte and essential in the body. With approximately 480 mg per 8oz serving, coconut water compares in potassium to about 12oz of low fat milk. It does contain small amounts of other nutrients also and supplies about 10gm of carbohydrate per 8oz, which is fine for the average person drinking it as a low-calorie beverage, but a little low for those participating in exercise over an hour long.

What are the most important nutrients and electrolytes to consider for rehydration?
     Rehydration consists of fluid, sodium chloride and potassium primarily. When a person sweats, sodium (salt) is the primary electrolyte lost in sweat and thus the one that needs to be replaced during and after exercise. Yes, potassium is also needed, but not in the amounts that sodium is. Sodium is needed to prevent cramping during exercise and also to maintain blood sodium levels. If you are a salty sweater, as indicated by the white lines on your clothes, hat, or shoes after sweating, then it is likely that you will need more sodium than the average person.

Does it matter when you load up on electrolytes, before or after activity?
     There is no specific electrolyte recommendation before activity. Typically with athletes, or people that we know to sweat in large amounts, we recommend that that the individual consume salty foods before the activity. Foods like pretzels, crackers, popcorn, jerky, and salting your food can be great ways to intake sodium in addition to eating foods like strawberries, bananas, avocados, and low-fat dairy for potassium. And of course, drink plenty of water.

Do you think coconut water is a current trend that will fade away or is it here to stay?
     Many of the coconut products, be it coconut water, milk, or oil have become heavily marketed products in the last few years. As anything, it will lose steam eventually, but I suspect it will remain on the market and likely popular as a low-calorie, flavored water beverage.

     I think the logical conclusion to prepare your body for the demand its going to face. If you plan on being out in the sun all day, chances are your going to sweat a lot and lose sodium in the process. With all that salt coming out you need to replace it, unfortunately water and coconut water have very little to offer in the way of sodium. I will continue to pack my large Gatorade when I go out with a few carb and salt pack snacks to ensure that my body will continue to function at the level that I need it to.