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.