Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DIY Anchor Chain Silencer

     If you're anything like most kayak fisherman, a top priority is flying under the fishes radar. Most people are drawn to kayak fishing for the more stealthy approach than the alternatives. However, there are situations and challenges that we run across that can cause more racket than intended. The most common example for me is my drag chain anchor. I typically carry a few different anchoring methods wether it be my claw anchor, brush clip, or stake out pole. I always have my drag chain handy, and I probably use it more than the others. 

     One problem is the loud banging that it makes when I pull it out of the water and drop it back on the deck or just when I'm trying to untangle the usual mess of line that its attached to. Regardless of the situation, I almost always make more noise than I intended. I have looked everywhere locally that I can think of to find the length, and diameter heatshrink needed to cover my drag chain, but no luck anywhere. I can order it online but I will have to spend more and order more than I want to. A buddy recently showed me a very easy, and cost effective way to accomplish my goals. 

     Items needed: Drag chain, zip ties, 1 standard bicycle tire tube, small section of rope or cord

Step 1: Cut your tube a little bit longer than your section of chain
Step 2: Use some liquid soap to lube the inside of the tube for easier installation 
Step 3: Tie your cord onto one link of chain to pull it through the tube

Step 4: Once the chain is fully enclosed in the tube, seal off one end with zip ties

Step 5: Tie a loop or attach a carabiner to the tag end of the cord for anchor line attachment

Pics courtesy of Kayakfishingohio.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Trip Report: Lake Mineral Wells

     I was fortunate enough to get out to some new-to-me water this past weekend. My good friend, Alan Sladek, of Kayak Bass Adventures invited me to do some much need camping and fishing at Lake Mineral Wells State Park. Everything worked out perfect for the weekend that I was able to get away and spend some quality time on the water.
     After a long night of grilling, laughs, and a few beverages we woke up to a dead still morning. No wind to speak of. Got on the water about 7:30 and the waters temps were hovering around 79 degrees. Surprisingly, the bite was slow in the first hour and a half or so, but quickly picked up around 9. With bluebird skies and zero wind I started to think the whole day was going to be a bust, but all the sudden it was on. I threw squarebill crankbaits off an on during the first two hours with no success at all. I had two baits working for me and I consistently and successfully threw those the rest of the day. My GrandeBass Rattlesnake on a shaky head, was on fire the whole day. I used the watermelon and black Rattlesnake alternating as they got ripped up, and it didn't seem to matter the color. To change it up a bit, I also tied on a Baby Brush Hog in the rootbeer color, and very similar success. My last fish of the day turned out to be my personal best from a kayak, 8.65 pounds and 23.5 inches. I loved this lake is all hard bottom and littered with trash or debris. No mud or muck. The lake is easily covered by a kayak and the traffic is very kayak friendly. It helps that the water levels are so low that the boat ramp is off limits. 

     I highly recommend this park as a fantastic get away with excellent scenery and fishing. Take a few friends and a few kayaks and take a trip to Mineral Wells State Park.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Conseal It!!

     I was finally able to install my pre-cut kit of Conseal from Kayak Fishing Gear.  I've been sitting on it for about a week now and I'm pretty excited how it turned out.  I talked to Chad Hoover from Hook 1 and right now it looks like they have four colors in three different patterns, and they are adding a camo color soon as well as another pattern cut in. 

    The pieces fit perfect on each part of the kayak that it corresponded with and installation was a breeze.  I started off with a good over all washing of the entire yak, followed up with a good towel dry.  Next I cleaned all surfaces that were going to have the Conseal on it with regular medical grade alcohol.  That all dried perfectly while I unpacked the box and laid out all the pieces on the ground to get a birds eye view of the whole kit.

     After the cleaning and full lay out, I did a full dry fit on the kayak.  I'm not sure what I expected but every piece fit perfectly in the corresponding place.  It was very easy to peel and stick the pieces and simply lay them where they are supposed to go. 

    Installation was very easy and fast.  From first peel to last stick my total install time was about 20 minutes.  I decided to go with Conseal over other similar products because I know first hand the outstanding customer service that always comes along with Chad Hoover and his company.  I couldn't be happier with how the finished product looks on my kayak.