Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunscreen is your friend

Hey everyone just wanted to throw out a friendly reminder that the sun is killer out there right now and the reflection from the water does not help at all. Don't leave home without your sunscreen your skin will thank you for it.

On that note I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful summer. There are plenty for fish to catch out there and plenty of water to kayak. So do not get discouraged if you are stuck in the office all day and the only surfing you are getting in on is internet surfing... but hey sometimes we'll take whatever we can get right?
Maybe you can take an afternoon off from work or find some time after work to throw out a fishing line and cruise the water top in your kayak. The days will start getting dark earlier and earlier so take advantage of days we have right now with the day light lasting longer into the evening.
Right around dawn the mosquitoes come out- some joke that the mosquito is the Texas state bird, the size of some of those suckers you can see why.

So don't forget to grab your sunscreen, before grabbing fishing pole and loading up your kayak.
Have a kayak fishing experience and would like to share it? Post it in the comments section for all to read. I'd love to hear what's going on out there in the water.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 17.2010- Pictures from Fishing/ Caught our Limit,,,,

Videos also posted from this trip!!
Port Aransas,tx 7-17-2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kayak Fishing tips and my own personal experience.

Aspects of Kayak Fishing:

First things first, you will want to be prepared for carrying your fishing equipment with you.
Rod holders are essential for carrying your fishing pole with you on your kayak.
There are various rod holders to chose from. From Flush mount rod holders to
“rocket launcher” rod holders it is good to know what kind of rod holder you want for your specific fishing reel so as not to damage your equipment, ie scratches excessive water damage.
You will want to make sure your reel is kept up out of the water. You will get water on your reels, but you want to keep it down to a minimum.
For holding your fishing tackle, your tackle box that you use on your boat or out on a pier may not work when in your limited space kayak. For sit on top kayaks a lot of people will mount a milk crate which can also be fitted with rod holders. This has proven to be an effective means of traveling with your fishing gear.
You will also want to think about a paddle leash, or paddle keeper since you will not be holding your paddle while your fishing, it would be a bad situation if you dropped your paddle while in the middle of the water.
Remember to always know where you are. It is really easy to get distracted while fishing and this makes it easy to lose track of time and placement. This may seem like an easy distraction to avoid, but very important non the less.
Now your ready to catch fish, what will you do once you have caught them.
This really depends on what kind of fishing you will be doing.
How will you store your keeper fish? One option is using a stringer, another is having a fish bag which you can find at most kayak retail outlets.
There is also of course catching and releasing the fish you catch.
Let me share with you an experience with kayak fishing I have had.
Once I started kayak fishing, I fell in love. Kayak fishing is one of my favorite things I have ever done.

Why I love kayaking!

Kayaking has also proven to be a great way to spend quality time with family and friends.
One of my favorite days out in the kayak was with my dad throwing top water plugs fishing around oyster reefs looking for redfish. As our kayaks were slowly cutting through the water stalking our prey the water was boiling from the bait jumping, every cast resulted in a massive explosion from the redfish
attacking the top water lure. We caught our limit many times over on that memorable day. That proved to be a day to remember with my dad, I'll always remember the huge smile on my fathers face since he had to move away from the coast and can no longer enjoy these days out on the water.
It has proven to be days like this that keep me coming back for more. I have passed on my passion for the water to my son. He is 6 years old and has caught more fish in his 6 short years of life, then most adults. He appreciates every moment out there and has proven to be what I had always hoped for in having a son, he's proven himself to be a true fishermen. My dad and I spent hours together on the water growing up. If ever a problem arose and we needed to talk things over, we grabbed our fishing poles, loaded up our kayaks and hit the water. It just seems like time slows down out there. Like nothing else is going on in the world, as if there are no problems. An easy escape from reality is something to take advantage of in days like what we live in today.

If you have had a secret interest in kayaking and kayak fishing I urge you to do what you can and get on the water. 

When done properly kayak fishing can be one of the most enjoyable experiences you will ever have.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kayak care and maintenance!

Proper maintenance and care for your kayak:
Your Kayak is a major investment. Your kayak is Something you will want to take care of because with proper care your Kayak will give you many years of use.
Simple maintenance,
* 1st thing is you will want to take just a few mins when you get home and rinse the yak with fresh water- this is especially important for those in coastal communities who kayak in salt water. Saltwater is so corrosive it has been known to make plastic rust ;) all kidding aside, saltwater to your kayak is like sugar to your teeth- make sure you rinse your kayak inside and out.
*Another aspect of KAYAK maintenance is making sure your kayak is dried out after every use. If the water is let to stay in the yak, it will start to smell from mildew.
*It is good to never store heavy items inside your kayak. Your kayak is not made for being a place for storage.
*You do not want to keep weight in your kayak, it is not good for the plastic, the plastic on your kayak is designed to displace the weight while in the water.
*It is good to use a cleaner- such as 409 from time to time. This is not something that is a must after every use, but an occasional wipe down with do a lot of good.
*Scratches: All repairs should be done by a properly trained professional, but if you chose to do this yourself, here are some tips! Minor scratches can a lot of times be fixed with an iron on low heat. Again, doing this on your own without proper training can cause some serious damage to your kayak, it can burn it, you can make the damage worse etc. So caution is advised.
*For larger scratches or deeper scratches, hairline cracks and minor pinholes can be fixed a few different ways. One way is if you ever modify your kayak, such as cutting a hole in your yak to make a rod holder, you can take that extra piece and use a torch to heat up the deep scratch slightly and take your scrap piece to heat it up til it melts then work it into the seep scratch or pinhole- and now you have a fix. There are lots of products you can buy that are designed to fix scratches and minor holes.
*If you do not have a scrap piece from your kayak, Ocean Kayak sells polypropylene bars that can be used for repairs.
*Storage: your kayak SHOULD NOT be stored in the sun, if possible, avoid storing your kayak out doors in general. But if you do have to store it outside, they make covers with uv protection. Try storing in the shade, many have found it useful to hang their kayak from the fence with straps. Where ever you chose to store it, it needs to be in a manner where non of the plastic will be compressed.
*Remember while in the water to avoid oyster beds, as these will scratch your kayak and can cause some pretty serious damage.
Kayaking can bring you many years of enjoyment with proper care and maintenance. Once you start kayaking you will be hooked for life, so take good care of your investment and enjoy all it has to offer.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A little story, my Last Whitewater rafting experience

I am going to veer off the path I usually stay on with Kayaking and let you in on a seldom told story of the last time I went white water rafting about 10 years ago.

So, let me give you a little bit of a background before getting into the actual story. This is in Southern Idaho. I was much younger then, (with no kids to think about) and always up for a good time. Unlike many at that age, my good time in Idaho included white water rafting on the snake river, rock climbing in the canyon- take your choice there are plenty,snowboarding at the local ski resort a short 45 mins away, etc. So, here we are on a family camping trip, and we meet up with some friends who we would frequently go rafting with. Now, on a side note, my dad was never really comfortable with this, it always made him a little nervous but the gentlemen who cared for us rafting was very reliable and safe so going was rarely an issue.
So, this camping spot was about an hour outside of Boise about 3/4 hours form where we lived. We load up to- go on this raft ride and my dad decides he just was not comfortable with us going this time around. After talking things over we convince him to just come with us. Let me tell you I am so happy we did.
We had no idea there had been some major flooding in the area, and the river was deemed a danger to be on. Not knowing this, we load up and are on our way.
We get going and immediately realize how much faster the water was moving then normal and how many tree's had been knocked down in the way. All of us were a bit nervous but happy to be on the water. Once the raft really gets going we realize the danger we were in, avoiding tree branches at face level and the almost uncontrollable speed of the raft.
Our leader Alex managed to get us close to shore and said 'on the count of 3 everyone get out... 1,2,' and my brother was out of the raft! Yet, he was the only one to make it out. As Alex jumped out of the raft to pull us closer the water was deeper then it seemed at he was sucked under the boat. As his terrified wife is screaming for him, he pops his head up, as she continues to yell for him to get back in, he strongly yells 'I have to find a way!!!' We are able to get Alex back in the boat with us and we were on our way down this treacherous path with my brother left in the distance behind us, not knowing where on the river we were, he just ran beside on shore as close as possible.
Things at this point get very scary, we run over a large branch from a fallen tree and it punctures a nice little hole in the bottom of the boat. As Alex' wife can handle just about no more, she yells back to my dad "Say A prayer with us!" My dad yells back "say your own!"(say your own has become a staple saying in our family from this point on)
Not knowing how much time we had with suitable air in the boat some quick thinking had to take place. We are now able to direct ourselves about as close to shore as possible and my dad jumps out holding a rope and pulls us up on shore. We are all sitting there a bit stunned at what we just experienced. The raft is quickly losing air, and we now notice, we are on an island! Yes a small Island meaning we had to get back in the water to get on to solid ground. I am not sure if I have mentioned this, but Alex' wife is paralyzed from waist down. So as you probably guessed, we have to figure out a way to carry her across the water, and walk to the street, which was visible so maybe only half mile from us. Alex and my dad decide a place for us to cross and here we go again.
Swimming as strong and hard as I ever have in my life, we make it across and start walking to the road. A car pulls over and said they could see us dragging the raft and carrying a person and offered us a ride to wherever we needed to go, so we head back to camp.
It was a very quiet ride back, as everyone just sat there, I imagine just reflecting on what we all just lived through together.
My dad would not allow us to go back on out white water rafting after that day and although at the time I argued that was one back experience out of 100... I am now thankful to at least have that as my last memory of white water rafting,it was quiet the ride, it was quiet the day and I guess as of right now this is all I have to say.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No Shoes- No Phones, No computers... just you and your kayak

Where I live we are no more then 10 min's to the water. I needed to go over to Port Aransas today, which is a cute little island that you access by a free ferry-only a 3 min ferry ride, but still nice-anyways I am on my way out to the island and I am crossing over the causeway, a two lane road surrounded by water, I look to my left and see a group of kayakers. I instantly feel jealous. Yes Jealous that they were enjoying the ridiculously hot day in their kayaks, and I was stuck in my car with A/c blowing and my phone ringing non stop. Yes I would have gladly traded my artificial air, for the humid salty air they were clearly enjoying.
It was a beautiful sight to see though, they were graciously cruising around the channel with the beautiful lighthouse gleaming in the far distance behind them.
If I could have, I would have stopped right then and their and snapped a picture, but for now, for today it is only in my memory and now in yours.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

River Kayaking- My favorite means of transportation

I really do not have a whole lot to say on river kayaking, we really only river kayak when we go camping and it is a blast!
One of my favorite river Kayaking trips was when we went camping and we took a midnight run down the river. We had brought head lamps for light, but once we got to the water we realized the moonlight was more then enough for us and we just cruised in the silence of the night. It was something else!
I know people who enjoy searching out different places to kayak, and one in particular place is here in Texas.
A scout leader leads a group down the river in kayaks, fishing along the way. It is about a 3 hour ride and when they get to where they are going it is a secluded cave area where they pop a tent, light a fire and cook the fish they caught. Although I have never had the privilege of taking this trip, I can not wait until my son is old enough to enjoy something like that, so we can find our own yearly tradition.
Another popular kayak trip I have heard about is also here in Texas up in the Kirrville area, where there is a group that takes a weekend long kayaking trip down the river stopping at night to sleep under the stars getting up in the morning and starting all over again.
Those are pretty mild kayaking trips that I just refereed to, there are some much more exciting kayak river trips you can take down crazy rapids, also kayak
But as for me and my kayak, we stick to the local rivers of southern Texas, enjoying the scenery and chilling out with friends. Remember if you are looking to do some casual kayaking, check out your local river for a smooth glassy ride.

Kayak Fishing, The most fun you will have catching fish!

Kayak Fishing really is so much fun!
I have heard some really great stories of Kayak fishing in Alaska, being pulled down the river in the Alaskan forest by massive Salmon... but that is a different story for a different day.
Since salt water fishing is what I know, salt water Kayak fishing is what I will speak of.
First you need to decide what kind of fishing you would like to do.
Will you be throwing artificial lures, live bait or the becoming ever more popular fly fishing?
Depending on the kind of fishing you choose, Kayak choice is very important. For instance, with fly fishing you will want a kayak stable enough to stand up on. If you will be traveling long distance to catch your fish of choice, you will want to choose a faster kayak.
If you will be carrying a lot of gear, you will want to choose a kayak that can carry a lot of weight.
You could even consider a kayak from factory that is set up for fishing like an “angler package” but if you are interested in going that route, it is much cheaper to rig your own kayak, you'll need to spend sometime doing research and make sure you shop around to get the best deals.
No matter what you fancy, be prepared.
Never, ever ever apply sunscreen in your kayak, the fish will smell it and will steer clear.
Safety is of the utmost importance since it is so easy to get distracted with fishing and forget you are in a kayak.
Once you are heading to your spot, remember to creep in slowly to sneak up on the fish, you don't want to spook them before even having a chance.
Kayak fishing is one of the most enjoyable means of fishing, so no matter what kind of fishing you choose or what kind of kayak you choose, make sure you always have fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kayaking,even with a broken toe

Well, I thought I would share a picture.
This was from last summer, and my son and I were heading out to paddle around the back bay. We stopped in at the local gas station to get some drinks and snacks and on our way in, I slammed my toe in the door going in and I would have never guessed that pain! I broke 3 toes!!! So I went into the DR got an x-ray just to make sure I didn't do some major damage, (one toe was just hanging there) so the dr bandaged up my toe (no different then I could have done myself) And we still hit the water. It was actually one of the nicest days we have had out there.
Moral of the story... Not even broken toes can keep me from the water!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kayak paddling- The safety guide

One of the most important things to remember while on the water is Boat safety.
Boats are not listening for you, and cannot always see you.
This means you must, and I mean must be watching and listening for boats at all times while Kayak Paddling. Why is this so vital? It very well could mean your life. For example, you may remember reading my story about going to the lighthouse trails, and on my way to the light house trails I crossed the boat channel. If I was not watching for boats coming, I could have been in grave danger thinking I could paddle faster than the boat coming down the way. The boat- like a train, cannot slam on their brakes for you, in this instance you must be constantly aware of your surroundings while on the water, in your kayak. This would not be a major concern on most recreational river spots and now that kayaking is becoming so popular there are many trails dedicated solely to kayak paddlers. Just as there are sidewalks or special provisions for bikers, the same is true in many areas for those of us who love to kayak. Some have a passion for cars and love to drive fast, get where they are going and look good while getting there. Others prefer a bike for whatever reason, whether it is for saving the environment, saving money on gas and other vehicle expenses, or for the daily exercise. The truth is, it does not matter what you chose as long as you get to where you are going. The same comparison can be made between the Kayak and the boat. The kayak is not for everyone, it is a slower means of getting where you are going, it takes work getting there and the Kayak is certainly not as shinny. But unlike a boat, you do not have to worry about investing thousands and thousands of dollars into buying, and maintaining a boat and Fueling your boat with expensive- toxic gas, and losing out on the pure enjoyment of kayak paddling.
So we have explored one aspect of kayak paddling-boat safety and your role in maintaining the peace while on the water.
Another area of concern is this- proper safety gear while kayak paddling. Especially for beginners! Why is this so important? Think about this, when you watch a baby, and he is just beginning to walk, you will notice he is unsure and unstable while testing out his new walking equipment. As he learns his balancing skills he may fall often bump into things and learn the wisdom of caution.
We can relate the same learning curve to a brand new kayaker. Here you are with new equipment learning a new acquired skill. The first time or two may be a little unbalanced, maybe even flipping your kayak over a time or two. It is very important to be equipped with the proper safety gear such as life jacket, whistle and even a cell phone for those unexpected moments. Whether a skilled kayak paddler, or just a beginner it is always the best to error on the side of caution then to find yourself in a compromising situation that could leave you injured or have a bad taste for the sport of kayak paddling.
So remember to always have fun on the water, and enjoy the beautiful moments in your kayak.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Places, spaces and traces of Kayak Paddling

Kayak paddling takes you places you would never imagine getting to.
I will give you an example from experience.
One day, a friend and I wanted to take the kayaks out. We live on the gulf of Mexico in South Texas and I had heard about a spot called the Lighthouse trails. If you looked at the Lighthouse trails on a map(made by locals for Kayakers) It looks something like a maze.
So, on this day, my friend and I, load up our kayaks and we head to what is locally referred to as the flats, unload the yaks into the water get all our gear ready, drinks, snacks etc. and we're now in the water. As we start paddling across the boat channel we see Dolphins no more then 5ft away from us, it was a crystal blue day with minimal wind, and seeing those Dolphins was by far the best way to start our Kayaking adventure.
So, a short cruise across the channel, and we are now in the trails. As we are paddling our way back through the trails, we are at times in water no deeper then 2 or 3ft. No boats have access to these areas so the fish are sleeping quietly, thinking they are all alone, so as we paddle back there it spooks them and they start jumping out of the water, I kid you not, it looked like the water was boiling from all the ruckus they were making, it was so cool. Also on our adventure back there, we saw birds I had never seen before, and the water was so clear you could see the sandy floor, I lean back in my Kayak and think, yes, this is the life.
Finally we make it through "The trails" and low and behold, there is an old lighthouse I had never noticed from the road before. It was BEAUTIFUL. There were three houses built on stilts around it, and a man came walking out on the enormous deck and asked if he could help us with anything.
After explaining we were just paddling around he told us that a major grocery store chain owned the property, and old lighthouse and he was just the caretaker. So we were on our way.
As I mentioned earlier, these trails were like a maze, so need I say we got a bit lost on our way back. We ended up in some very shallow water that was covered in Oyster Beds, now, something you should know is Oyster Beds are like kryptonite to Kayaks. So we back paddled our way right out of there. As we realize we have now been on the water for nearly 4 hours it was time to rest, we found a nice deep swimming hole, anchored our kayaks, secured our paddles and took some time to enjoy the cool water.
We at this point are now pushing 5 hours of being on the water and are exhausted, and decide to paddle back across the channel, and load up the kayaks into the truck and head home after a refreshing day on the water going to places we had never been, fitting in spaces we had never seen, and leaving our traces on that lovely day, Kayak Paddling through the Lighthouse trails of south Texas!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What Kayak and paddle is right for you?

Welcome to the next aspect of Kayak Paddling. The big question at hand is simple- What Kayak and Paddle is right for you?
It really varies by person. Lot's of factors go into choosing the right kayak.
Some factors that matter- your weight, height and purpose for buying the kayak.
Why are these key factors? Simply put, at the end of the day, you want to have fun. The wrong kayak will make you miserable on the water.
If you go to a sporting goods store, get a sales associate to help you determine what kind of kayak and paddle is right for you. Ask questions, and even sit in a few, getting a good feel for the Kayak of your fancy. As mentioned in my first post, the right paddle can enhance your enjoyment on the water. You can pick up a nice paddle for under $50 but be careful some paddles can reach up to several hundred dollars and as a beginner kayaker, there really is no need to spend that much cash.
After determining the kayak and paddle for you, get online and do a little research for the best price, I can almost guarantee you will find what you are looking for at a fraction of the price the sporting good store is asking. Craigslist is also another excellent resource for buying used. Post an ad requesting to buy a used Kayak, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the cash you will save. When buying A used Kayak, make sure you check for holes, and severe oyster scratches this can effect the way your kayak moves on the water.

Why Is Kayaking for YOU?

The truth is, Kayaks are not for everyone.
This sport takes time and effort. But is so well worth it if you have an appreciation for the water, serenity and ultimate fishing. We'll take this one step at a time. Kayak adventures differ as far as where you live. I am from South Texas and we have tons of cool little back bays to take the Kayak out in. As well as close access to recreation rivers.
The reason it is so much fun down here is because on a Kayak you can paddle to places boats can not get to. You can kayak in areas that are only a foot deep in the water. You can creep back into secluded areas where fish are not expecting you and those fishing holes are virtually untouched. If fishing is not your game, the pure exercise aspect and feelings of peace and serenity on the open water while Kayak Paddling is unreal.
Another highlight of Kayak paddling, is after the initial cost the upkeep is minimal. Unlike a boat that requires constant maintenance and expensive gas, you pick out the Kayak for you, and your ready to hit the water.
If any or all of these examples sound good to you, then Kayak Paddling is for you. My next blog will contain information on where to find the best deals on kayaks, paddles,all accessories, and how to determine if the kayak is right for you.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kayak paddling- tools for beginners

There are a few tools Essential for being on the water, such as: Life Jacket and a whistle, these items are required by law. (at least in Texas)
But, there are also a few "fun tools" that make being on the water in your kayak even more enjoyable.
One of my favorite items I keep with me at all times in my kayak is my Olympus stylus tough 8010- Digital camera. This camera is amazing. waterproof up to 33ft, freeze and shockproof, in other words nearly indestructible and perfect for being in your kayak.(As A side note, if you are going to buy this camera, you will want to protect your investment with a silicone casing and floating strap, you can purchase both of these items as a combo, running you no more then $15.00)
Another must have for most, is a simple water proof box that you can clip onto something secure in your Kayak and keep things such as a form of identification, cell phone and maybe even a snack. This waterproof sealed box will not cost you more then $10 and it definitely is a must have.
The essentials list for your kayaking enjoyment can also include things as simple as a lightweight Paddle. This may seem like a small thing, but trust me when I tell you, your arms will thank you! When you spend hours on the water every little convenience helps.
You will also need to determine the right kayak for you. The right Kayak varies by person and will make a huge difference in Kayaking being a true enjoyment. We will get more into this in my next blog and explore the varieties of kayaks and why research is well worth your time when it come's to buying your kayak.

Kayak paddling for Beginners

Welcome to Kayak paddling for beginners. This site provides tips and techniques for beginning Kayaking in order to make the most of your time on the water.
If you have questions not covered in Kayak paddling for beginners please feel free to email your question to