Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Being A Responsible Angler Off The Water

     Today I exercised my constitutional right and privilege to vote. I voted for my local city officials such as mayor and city councilmen. I also had the opportunity to show my support and vote for Prop 6. Prop 6 is the, "Texas Right to Hunt, Fish and Harvest Amendment". 
     Prop 6 basically adds to the constitution that Texans have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, and that hunting and fishing would be the preferred methods of doing so. I know what you're thinking, "we already have that don't we.? The short answer is NO! We all currently have the right, with proper licensing, to hunt, fish, and harvest but that may not always be the case. Currently only 20 states have passed amendments protecting citizens right to hunt and fish, and Texas is next on the list for the November elections. 
     Why is this even necessary? At first it does seem like pointless rhetoric and unnecessary verbiage to an already lengthy document, but I do not want to wait until it that right is threatened to act. Special interest groups like PETA could protest and lobby against fishing, hunting, and harvesting wildlife in favor of more "humane" practices such as pharmaceuticals or TNR (Trap, neuter, return). PETA article on TNR.
     While all of this may prove a moot point in the end, I feel it is important to lock this security down now. PETA has also expressed opposition in sport fishing and in CPR (Catch, photo, and release) in particular. PETA article on CPR. This change ensures that fishing and hunting remain the preferred methods for harvesting wildlife and protect the Texas traditions. 
     Exercise your right to vote and be informed on what you are voting for. I did my part to ensure that my 3 month old son can one day feel the excitement and rush from landing a trophy bass without being told that he broke a law. Check these two links for more information on Prop 6. Ballotpedia , TSRA Prop 6 support. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Astral Aquanauts: Kayak Shoe Review

I have been in the market for a new kayak fishing shoe for a while now, and took plenty of time to read various reviews.  After reading several reviews, talking to anglers that I personally know, and performing the wifey style test, I had narrowed my search down to the Porters, Brewers, and Aquanauts all from Astral. I decided to go with Astral because of their long-standing reputation for great customer service and history of quality products. I previously wore the Water Spiders from Under Armour and I really liked them initially but over the course of a year didn’t seem to hold up well.

I was very excited when my Aquanauts came in the mail and didn’t want to wait until my next fishing trip, which was still a week away, to try them out.  I had an all day event at work that I had to be at, and I knew I would be on my feet all day so I figured that would provide a great opportunity to test out the long term comfortability of the shoe. If I could walk around for nine hours straight at work, six hours in a kayak would be a cakewalk. After three or four hours of great wear I started to feel a little rubbing where the tongue and the laces tie.  After a minor adjustment they were fine and I wore them comfortably all day.

Fast forward to my first trip in the kayak and a full weekend of sloshing around in the mud and the muck. This would be my second test because this was my first opportunity wearing them while wet. Wet shoes can always be a different beast and can sometimes be a deal breaker.  I was highly impressed with how fast drying they were just while sitting in the kayak and how well they drained. One of my biggest concerns with any shoe was holding silt and mud and having to have that sit in the show all day. I can honestly say I no collecting of mud inside the shoe and they were pretty well clean on the inside when I took them off at the end of the day. I fished all day the next day and again had zero issues and stayed comfortable throughout my entire trip.

I honestly say that I would recommend the Aquanauts to any and every friends. If my first two tests were any indication I will enjoy these shoes for a long time. I definitely feel that I made a great decision with my money.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Great Weekend of Fishing, Friends, and Cabins

     This past weekend I was fortunate enough to travel out to Lake Naconiche and stay in the fantastic cabins at Naconiche Farms Cabins.  I have to take a moment and rave about how awesome the accommodations are at Nac Farms. I was expecting a primitive shack with for walls and a floor, and that would have been fine for an overnight stay to fish my favorite Texas lake. A primitive shack is the farthest thing from what we got when we walked in. The cabins here are beautiful and full furnished. A brief run down of the amenities that these cabins come with: full kitchen, full bathroom with heated floors, sleeps 4, wifi, smart TV with Netflix, propane grill, and direct kayak launch access. this wasn't your typical "roughing it" weekend. Not only is the fishing some of the best in the state, which I will elaborate more on, but theres nothing like being able to come back from a long day on the water and take a hot shower, cook a hot meal and relax in style before doing it all over again. I cannot say enough good things about Phil and and Naconiche Farms Cabins.

     Not only is the cabins top of the line but Lake Naconiche is by far some of the best bass fishing in the state of Texas. This particular weekend was no exception! I will admit that none of us caught the lunker we were hoping, but this trip provided quantity over quality in abundance. The vast spread of standing timber proves to be a haven of sheltered bass and you dont have to wait long for that coveted tug of the line. Wilderness Systems Pro Staff Regional Manager Bobby Clark and I were able to get out for a few hours on the water on Friday. We landed somewhere around 8-10 fish each before heading in to get steaks on the grill. Saturday we got on the water early and it was on! I struck first with two 15 inch bass on a crank bait, but Bobby found his hot spot and began to pull them out as fast as he could cast. Bobby started throwing a soft plastic turtle and apparently that was on the menu for the day. After Bobby insist that I switch to a turtle I began pulling them out just as fast. It was one after another all day. Like I said before, no monsters but anywhere from 15-18 inches consistently. It was some of the most fun fishing I've ever experienced.