Winter has the majority if us tucked into bed and dreaming of spawning spring bass. For those that venture out, the winter season can yield outstanding results. The key to winter fishing is being comfortable. When you are comfortable, warm, you can cruise the lake and look for those stubborn and lethargic winter monsters. Todays post focuses on the five things kayak anglers can do to keep warm when the winter season raises her mighty hand.
1. Base Layer: The top layer we prefer the heavyweight 1/2 zip top by Columbia Sportswear. The Omni Heat technology uses your own bodies heat to maximize warmth while wicking away moisture. Columbia has two weights of tights that we prefer either the mid weight or heavyweight depending on temperatures. Base layer has to be tight to your body so that you have maximum opportunity to keep warm.
2. Mid Layer: When deciding on the mid layer decide how you want to look when you roll into the store to buy the morning coffee. We prefer to wear our tactical fishing pants or jeans. The Columbia Sportswear Blood & Guts pant offers comfort and stain fighting material that holds up for an entire fishing season. Up top we roll with a tactical fishing shirt covered by a fleece vest or long sleeve fleece depending on temperatures.
3. 3/4 Layer: This layer is what you should put on once you arrive at the ramp. When fighting the elements you need a quilting effect so that you ensure the insulation is working it’s magic. We have found nothing better to keep you warm than the fleece pant. When you are standing in the wind, cold water or flying across the lake in boat nothing keeps you warmer than fleece.
4. Outer Layer: This is where the rubber meets the road and we prefer the breathable hip wader, Columbia Sportswear Bugaboo Jacket, stocking cap, gloves and boots. This is the performance level that cannot be compromised. The waders allow us to launch and keep us dry if we slip in. When you pair the Bugaboo jacket with it’s element resistant qualities, the hip waders and boots you have an excellent system to keep you warm and dry.
5. Dry Bag: A change of clothes is key will be needed if disaster should find you. A good dry bag offers not only clothes, but a blanket, fire materials and a spare car key. Being prepared will save your life.
Winter is a great time to be out on the water. Some of the years largest fish are caught from January through April. When you decide it’s time to chase winter bass follow the five tips and you will be warm and ready to land the fish of a lifetime.
KEEP LIVING THE ADVENTURE!
The regulars who read this blog know that I have a massive addition to tackle or anything shiny and new! That is why when I found out about Supernova Fishing Lights I went crazy and had to have them on my Hobie Pro Angler 14. I have also come to know Dez Davis, owner and major domo who leads this, genius, product to the market. There are so many great characteristics about Dez and my favorite is that he can always be counted on to educate, talk and support the kayaking community about his product. Here are some reasons that I feel that Supernova Fishing Lights are the only choice for Kayak Bass Adventures.
The Supernova Fishing Light is different than other LED lights because they are 100% incased and sealed making them submersible and 100% saltwater safe. Simply said they are going to last, last, and last.
The Supernova Fishing Light is easy to install. That is a huge deal for me because I am not a guy who knows his way around anything mechanical. Just ask Shaun Russell. Seriously, these kayak fishing light kits come with plenty of wire so you can reach the hard to get to spots without having to splice. Dez thinks forward with his products and makes them easy to use.
Multiple colors are available and custom kits can be tailored for your personal tastes. I like to use the blue strips because they light up structures at casting distance and the UV qualities work well in lighting up your line so you can see the slightest tick. The green is another favorite because it is bright and attracts baitfish, usually by the thousands. I personally use green for my cockpit strips as they render color the best. White strips are available for tank wells so you can locate gear or an adult beverage while stalking your favorite honey hole.
The biggest reason Kayak Bass Adventures chooses Supernova Fishing Lights is because they are 100% assembled in Texas, USA – Baby. Dez keeps it local and that’s saying something in a market where people are always trying to save a buck and cut costs by importing. The safety aspect is a given. In a kayak in the early morning or late evening you want to be seen and Supernova lights you up! If you looking for a set of the best LED’s on the market you need to check out, http://www.supernovafishinglights.com and tell them Kayak Bass Adventures sent you!
Supernova Fishing Lights – Lighting The Future of Kayak Fishing!
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!
As a freshwater guy I don’t know much about tides, tidal charts, moon phases or anything else that could leave you high and dry and out of the fishing when you hit the salt. However, what I do know about tides is that they change. Change is good and we need to evolve in what we are doing in order to constantly grow. Think of it like this, when Gordon Gecko was walking in with the brick cell phone in the early ninety’s who would have thought that a few decades later we all would have more power in our hands than was on the Apollo 13 trip to the moon. Like I said change is good and evolving is paramount. Here is the new publishing schedule for Kayak Bass Adventures.
The blog will publish three days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. I feel that there is enough content across the industry to keep it fresh and conversational. Here is a menu of how the days will break out and what will be covered:
- Tuesday: Interviews with people within the fishing community. These could be fellow kayak anglers, FLW Pros, BASS Elite Pros or people in the Outdoor Retail sector.
- Wednesday: I will talk about fashion, gear, new baits or some type of fishing related product. I like fashion!
- Thursday: This will be a free for all with guest hosts, video blog or some sort of wacky life advice.
As you can see there is going to be a ton of action across Kayak Bass Adventures. I feel that the tide is rising for all of kayak fishing and especially kayak bass fishing, so jump on and ride the waves. I look forward to your comments and suggestions. As for tidal reports and conditions on the big water I leave that to my friends at 30 Miles Out and Yak Fish TV.
LIVE THE ADVENTURE!
Whether you’re in an office, a shop, behind a desk or in the great outdoors one thing lets people know that you are an angler. It took me some time to figure this out and one day on my way into a big meeting my client asks if I fished? I said, yes, how’d you know? He told me that no regular person would have a set of goggles around his neck like that unless he spent some time on the water. After saying this he goes into his brief case and grabbed his. We spent time talking fishing and eventually secured the business. We make statements all the time some are loud and some are subtle. There is no bigger statement you can make than with your eyewear!
Kayak Bass Adventures chooses to wear Smith Optics. Not only are they cool and fashionable, which is extremely important, they are functional on every level. We choose the Smith Optics Chromapop lenses for five tactical reasons:
1. Five times more scratch resistant than a plastic lenses.
2. Lighter than plastic and glass.
3. Anti reflective coating on the back of the lenses preventing sidelight reflections.
4. Smith uses free polarization which does away with the need of having a film or glue on the lenses.
5. Great fits & Large Selection; Very Stylish!
Whether you are inside or outside Smith Optics has a pair of glasses that will fit into whatever you are doing. Don’t forget that you make statements out there. Smith Optics makes a huge statement, with their lifetime warranty. You heard correctly, I said lifetime, for more insight or to find your local Smith Optics dealer check out http://www.SmithOptics.com. These glasses can do it all from helping you find common ground in a business meeting to giving you a comfortable fit, while protecting you from the flying hooks or harmful rays.
LIVE THE ADVENTURE!
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!
The stars aligned and it all came together for myself and a good friend to hit the water. I have fished with Eugene before, but he had never used a kayak due to his concerns about stability along with not being a great swimmer. I figured the best way to get him on the water was to let him have an opportunity to use the Hobie Pro Angler 14.
My goal was to get Eugene as comfortable and confident as possible so he could focus on fishing. After a brief demo of the Mirage Drive, Vantage Seat and Rudder controls we were off.
All I can say is that Eugene is a natural! He was able to put the kayak where he wanted to go and hold his position allowing him to catch his first kayak bass, in short order.
All his concerns about getting wet, being unstable and having to do a lot of work left the building and he just kept on catching fish.
People ask me about how we can grow the sport and increase participation on the North Texas tournament scene. My answer is to always be talking, posting and inviting others out to experience what we already know. This was an excellent case of a guy loving to fish and having no way to get of the bank. The Hobie Pro Angler 14 changed that for him. For more information about Hobie Products check out http://www.mariner-kayaks.com
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!