It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone! As you get older you begin to think about everything that went into the year that was from new friendships, opportunities and the experiences you had on the water. It’s funny that whenever you take time to reflect you seldom remember the negative. This year was an outstanding year for Kayak Bass Adventures achieving some benchmarks, analyzing setbacks and having a great time navigating the map to Living The Dream!
We would like to think all of our partners that make Kayak Bass Adventures happen; from our product relationships to our production company and to our financial backers that saw the passion and took a shot on us this year. We look forward to continuing our relationship while we navigate the higher roads leading to the summit. We realize that without the support of our friends, partners and backers that we could not do what we do.
Mariner-Sails, Xcite Baits, Hobie Fishing, Supernova Fishing Lights, TFO Rods, Plano, Power Pole, Yak Attack, Hydrowave, Smith Optics, Brute Outdoors, Valley, Heroes On The Water, Mystery Tackle Box, Sandlin Homes, EV Photo, Occasionally Genius, Anderson-Hanson-Blanton, Texas Pro Lake Management, Hopkins Outdoors
To all our friends and audience that we met this year thank you guys for your support. Our top priority for 2015 will be to continually produce content that’s worth your time. Looking back it has been a big year and we look forward to what is to come. There is plenty of opportunity out there for those wanting to Live The Adventure!
Happy New Year!
Who says all kids do is hang on the phone and hover around video games? All it took to get this guy out on the water was an invitation, turned out he’s a natural. The next generation depends on you.
Everyone knows that Xcite Baits produces world class soft plastic baits. More people are learning that Xcite has launched into the hard bait world with XB-1 and XB-1S. Today we are focusing on the XB-1 Silent squarebill crankbait. The only way to get the latest tips, tricks and insider information on using the XB-1 is to speak with BASS professionals. This week we hit the road and spoke to Randy Sullivan and Tim Cline. Hold onto your rod because you are fixing to get the full skinny on these great baits.
Sitting down with any professional you can learn quickly that they want consistency. Touring pros have no time to fine tune or try new baits when dollars are on the line. Sitting with Tim we looked at the XB-1S and he said, “To perform at a top level you have to have consistency in the baits that you throw. Xcite Baits made the XB-1 silent perform in the same as the, original, XB-1. Just minus the rattle!” Consistency is the name of the game and the reason why this bait is consistent is due to the testing that goes on with each XB-1 that is shipped. These baits are tuned and tested, making them out if the package ready.
One of the great questions we are asked is when do you use a silent crankbait? Randy Sullivan says he determines it by the amount of fishing pressure that the lake is receiving. Both Tim Cline and Randy Sullivan both agree that you need to use these baits when you fishing clear water. Clear water calls for the subtle presentation. Randy told us, “The XB-1S delivers that subtle action that big bass can’t pass up on.” Tim likes using this tactic on clear, blue bird, days. Tim says silent running baits are deadly with post frontal conditions, “You get more bites on these baits when the bass are in a bad post front mood.”
Randy says, “Hit something!” Put yourself in the best position and target timber, rock, or the shallow bank bottom. The pro always has the bait in contact with something and that is what triggers the strike. Another thing to think about is where your bait is in the water column and you can affect the depth by using lighter or heavier line. Our pros prefer to use 15 – 25 pound. Tim says that he uses the heavier line in shallow situations to keep it from digging in and hanging it up. Randy was telling us that speed plays a big role in your success. All agree to use the stop and go retrieve for maximum result. However, both pros say if that’s not the ticket try different speeds.
Learning is a huge part of bass fishing. Xcite Baits is committed to teaching and showing our customers techniques that best suit our baits. When you decide to use Xcite Baits you are part of the family and our goal is to give you the information that you need to bring Xcite-ment right out of the water. Thanks to Tim Cline and Randy Sullivan for sitting down and taking the time to visit with Kayak Bass Adventures!
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!
Let’s talk tackle! It is well documented that I have a tackle addiction. All I have to do is look at forums, facebook ads or any fishing magazine and I have to try it or at least acquire it for my collection. This leads me to another problem. Tackle organization, what to carry with me on the trip and how to store it. If I have learned one thing from tournament fishing is that you have to be organized and have a plan. When I first started fishing tournaments I had my tackle everywhere. You can call it inexperience, but my kayak was a mess. When I first took up kayak fishing I wasn’t fishing in a platform that allowed me much storage or much stability. The old yak was much like a counter balance system, anything that was added needed to be added with equal weight to the other side. I never knew what they might be interested in so I carried a little of everything. As you would figure out whatever I had the least of is what the hot action was on and thus once that bait was gobbled up the action for me went cold.
The start of the 2013 season found me in the Hobie Pro Angler 14. This kayak has ridiculous amounts of storage. Hobie thought forward and included a compressed tackle deck at your feet so now I could keep things organized. Yak-Attack came out with the Black Pac so I could really be organized. However, old habits die hard and I found that my tackle was in the same shape it was when I was paddling the big box store kayak. Yes, I once paddled. Even though I had great resources for a management system I failed to act and spent more wasted time digging thru my new organizational system to find anything. This equaled less fishing time, less fish and more frustration. Yes, I had a great tackle collection, but that’s all it was. I decided to research how the top guys organized themselves and why they organized themselves. With that information collected a change had to be made.
This off season I spent several days taking all pieces of tackle: soft plastics, hard baits and terminal tackle out to formulate a plan. I found out that for me to be organized I needed to use the Plano water proof boxes, that come standard on the Hobie Pro Angler 12 & 14, as my terminal tackle boxes. This gives me quick access to hooks and weights and C-Rig set ups. I then turned my attention to my Black Pac and organized the hard baits by size and function, clearly labeling the Plano boxes. The giant hurdle was the soft plastic situation. What on earth am I to do with the several dozen soft plastic bags? Enter the Plano Molding 3600. This roomy soft sided tackle system afforded me enough room to place all my soft plastic, separated by bait type in zip lock bags – thanks Mike Whitaker for the tip. It also affords me the ability to carry extra terminal tackle. This tackle bag is loaded with pockets, Plano boxes and has helped me conquer the tackle organization situation that I needed. With all things organized I found myself with more tackle so I went further and broke it down by season. So now when I hit the water in the Spring I’m not loaded with my winter or summer gear. We’re keeping it simple in 2014 and so far it’s paying a great dividend.
Final note, last week my brother asked me about where to find fishing information in the Austin Area. I directed him to the Keep Austin Fishing Facebook group. I spoke to him this morning and he referred to it as his fishing church. He wanted me to say thanks for the information and tips on the local lakes, as well as welcoming him to the group. That is what this community is all about!
KEP LIVING THE DREAM!
These are some of my most favorite days of the year. I am not talking about Valentine’s Day, but pre tournament day. I realize that the entire free world is celebrating the good fortune of their love life today and I as well will pay tribute to my wife and family; who without their support none of this chasing the dream business would be happening. So to my family, thanks! To my fellow competitors I wish good luck on stop #2 of the Capital City Kayak Fishing Tournament.
Pretournament days are always fun because I spend the majority of it thinking about strategy, reviewing maps and mobile apps. I fill my brain pan with so much information that it’s bubbling over with anticipation. The only problem with filling you head with so much detail is that it causes the ever present second thoughts and is this strategy right? For example early this week, while the polar vortex was upon us I was greatly concerned about water temperature. Well, as the sun has warmed our souls and made us feel that bedding fish are upon us my concern is still water temperature. Yeas, the sun is nice, but it’s going to take a string of bright sun to warm up the familiar structure that these big bass enjoy hanging out in. So confusion will be a great part of the strategy. You then mix in this week’s edition of Bassmaster Magazine and review what the pros are throwing and it leads to more second guessing and concerned thoughts for this weekend’s action. I love articles, because you never know the real context of which they were written. It seems I only pay attention to the double digit picture and assume the strategy will work for me, in Texas on Lake Lewisville in 40 degree water. Can you say hopeless!
Confidence breeds’ confidence and skill is the name of the game. Whatever your reading and whomever your listening to make sure they have local knowledge of what is happening in the area that you will be applying your craft. One thing that can’t be overlooked is the quality of your equipment and the support of your team who stands with you. Whether you are an army of one or you stand with the top names in the industry everyone is equal when the gun sounds tomorrow morning. I always feel blessed to have a great group that keeps Kayak Bass Adventures on the water and in tip top shape. These folks are: Mariner-Sails, Brute Outdoors, TFO Rods, Supernova Fishing Lights, Hobie Fishing and Columbia Sportswear. What’s great about these partners are that they are not an exclusive club, but friends to every kayak angler on the water. Be sure and support their efforts, because whether you know it or not they are supporting you.
So if you take nothing else from this post remember this: Don’t stay up to late celebrating your Valentine’s Day because over celebration can lead to a long unfocused ay on the water. Lastly, remember that we are all out as a community to support kayak fishing. SO if you see a first timer, share the love and spend the time showing them the tournament ropes. I always remember the great folks who took the time with when I first started and they are now some of my closest friends!
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!
Last week I admitted that I have a small tackle addiction and I appreciated all the great comments I received. Bottom line, now that I know that I don’t stand alone I feel much better. This week I want to get some feedback on colors. Every time I roll into a tackle shop or am looking online at new baits I get not only sucked in by the bait, but also by the color. It’s not enough to have a jig trailer in green pumpkin, but now I must also have it in dirt; seriously dirt. I can hear you saying please step away from the soft plastics sir. Well I didn’t. I fell prey to the chunk jig trailer with the dirt color scheme. I have always heard that lures aren’t designed to catch fish they are designed to catch fisherman. I realize that bait companies must make a buck, but seriously some of these colors are out of site. I’m not saying that you may not have a need for exotic or custom color from time to time, but whatever happen to just watermelon, green pumpkin, black & black. Well, they are still around you just have to rummage through all 1000 different combinations from every bait company to find the basics. I am taking a stand! No longer am I going to be sucked in by the wild and crazy, I’m going to simplify, that is until a Sharelunker is caught with the wild and crazy. Then all bets are off.
I have decided to only carry the basic shades for soft plastics, crankbaits, spinnerbaits. By limiting my selections it will confuse me less. My goal this year is to bring simple back and keep the line longer in the water; where the fish are. Colors have always been a great debate and I would love to know where you stand and how you manage the color crisis. There Are No Magic Colors!
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!
I love tackle! You can almost say that I have a habit that would rival those who are hooked on other substances. Seriously, my tackle bill has grown and grown, so I have been placed on a budget by the high command. With new budget in place this has lead me to new soul searching. No more are the days of looking at Bassmaster, FLW or Bass Angler Magazine to find out what the latest is and then roll to the local tackle shop for a purchase. I’m going to miss those days, but now I might be able to retire before I’m dead.
Looking deep into the SD cards from the 2013 season I saw the same pattern emerge every time I was holding a quality fish. The pattern was that I caught it on a jig. Not just any jig but a Santone Jig. I have always known that jigs are big fish baits but for some reason I would be sucked up by the perfumed inner thigh of what was trending. Well, no more. I have decided to become a minimalist when tackle is involved. Heck, I purchased enough last year for the entire 2014 season. However, one thing is clear and that is that I will be upgrading my collection of Jigs. As I am writing, I am reviewing the 2014 catalog for Santone and man it looks great! The catalog is loaded with new colors and everything you could possibly need for your jig needs. Upon further review, the jig is now my confidence bait! Santone Lures provides the quality and reputation that I depend on when the big fish comes knocking. So if you’ve been placed on a budget and need to examine which baits produce the biggest fish then take a look at Santone. There’s a reason jigs are tied on and sit on the front deck of every boat from FLW to Bassmaster Elites.
Do find yourself getting caught up in the tackle marketing wars? If you are like me and are a sucker for the next great thing, take a deep breath and put it down. Keep it simple with some of the most proven tactics. That is what Santone Lures have done for me. They have helped me minimize my options, think less and fish more. I would love to hear your thoughts and what is working best for you. Whether you agree or disagree it, heck we’re all chasing the passion. I hope your 2014 season is off to a great start and that you have the opportunity to land the fish of your dreams this year.
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!