5 Tips To Keep Warm During The Winter Season

5 Tips To Keep Warm During The Winter Season

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.


Mariner-Sails: Leading the Southwest In Everything Kayak!


It is a well established fact that I have a tackle, gear and gadget addiction. I also know that there are many like me in the kayak fishing community. As most, I am an impulse buyer, meaning I’m at a place of business and see the product, purchase the product and then use the product. I get real frustrated when I make a purchase and have to wait the fourteen days for free shipping. Heck, with my track record I may have forgotten why I wanted the stuff in the first place. I am also a huge last minute guy. As tournaments or appearance draw near I always need that one last thing and there is not time for ordering. What a kayak bass angler to do when he’s impulsive, in a hurry and doesn’t have the time or knowledge to install items correctly? He goes to Mariner-Sails.

I want to spend a segment and tell you why Mariner-Sails, in Dallas Texas should be your one and only stop for kayak fishing merchandise. Yes, they carry every name brand under the sun and are knowledgeable about each product they represent, but what separates them from the rest of the pack is that they have it in stock. When you walk into the shop you are overwhelmed by the scale of kayaks and supplies they have to offer. I have deemed them the largest, most knowledgeable kayak supplier in the Southwest. For all those folks reading in the Southwest this is your one stop. For those of you that are out of town they have an excellent website that’s easy to use. This site gives you pricing, specs, sizes and all the information that you need to make an informed decision. You may ask what if I have a question. Well pick up the phone and call, (972) 241-1498; make sure you speak to Shaun Russell or Dave Potts. These two guys are lights out when it comes to answering your questions relating to any kayak fishing product.

So, if it’s not enough to have the largest stock in the Southwest or to have an available help line to discuss you questions you can add service and warranty. Mariner Sails takes those two items to the extreme. You can search all over fishing forums and see the testimony of all the folks who are not only satisfied, but are raving fans of Mariner-Sails. I have seen the team jump hurdles and crawl under wire to satisfy customers in a warranty situation. The great thing is your never alone wondering what’s up. Mariner-Sails offer excellent follow up and communication so you know exactly where you are in the process.

I say the above 448 words to say that not many people go to the lengths to satisfy, support and educate their clients. The shop offers numerous support seminars that educate you from water safety to catching a limit of crappie and everything in between. When you are looking to make that kayak or kayak accessory purchase make sure you call the team at Mariner-Sails.  These guys are the only people I trust with my Hobie Pro Angler 14’s.

Remember that when you are in a hurry and feeling impulsive and need over the top service call Mariner-Sails. You will not be disappointed and heck you may see me in there loading up another basket of greatness. I have learned that when you’re doing business you want to make sure you’re dealing with folks who know what they’re talking about, treat you fairly and have it in stock!



Cold Weather Gear Available At Mariner-Sails

The time has come to put away the shorts and grab the jackets and hoodies! This is not my favorite time of the year because I don’t like the cold weather! However, fish still bite in the winter months and to take advantage of the opportunites you must be geared correctly to be comfortable and safe on the water.

Last week Mariner-Sails gave me the opporunity to showcase a few items in this short video clip. The great thing about the gear at MAriner-Sails is that it available in every price range. Take a few minutes and look at the great winter line and feel free to stop in and try it all out. The guys at the store will be more than happy to help you out and answer any questions you have on these excellent products!


First Steps Into A Bright Future


Last week we spent some time recapping personal experience during the Texas Kayak Bass Fishing Open Championship. Still one, if not the best, kayak fishing tournaments I have been associated with. This week I want to focus on what statewide, regional or even national tournaments do for the kayak fishing community.

Here are a few quick takeaways on why I believe large statewide or regional tournaments will accelerate the growth of Kayak Bass Fishing.

  1. This style of event was exciting due to it being hosted on a neutral field and having no off limits. I like the fact that I didn’t have to commit multiple weekends for pre-fishing. I also thought anyone had the chance to win due to the selected lake.
  2. When you put a group of talented folks together great ideas are born and successful strategies are discussed. For me, this take away doesn’t include fishing. I really enjoyed talking with guys and brainstorming how to improve the sport and continue to map a path for success in Texas and the Southwest region.
  3. Names with faces. For me this was a great opportunity to put names, handles and faces together all at once. Kayak fishing is a community and whenever you can create relationships, other than online, it drives the bond deeper. I new quite a few folks before going, but it were the folks I met for the first time that had a huge impact on me.
  4. Great causes bring together everyone’s resources. Having Heroes on the Water benefiting from out raffle not only helps their organization, but it gives the sponsors a sense that our community is one that gives back. It’s always great to honor folks who have sacrificed for you. I believe the kayak community is one of the most generous and genuine groups out there; eager to help those in need and honoring those who deserve honor.
  5. Tournaments are about payouts and this one didn’t disappoint. To continue to create awareness and grow our tournament trails we have to have large purses for the winners. Kayak angling reminds me of the X-Games, before it became main stream. I believe with everyone’s help we can grow next years’ field to over one hundred and offer the payouts that will attract more folks into the sport. We have some great mouth pieces and promoters, but it’s going to take everyone sharing and inviting new guys for this thing of ours to really take off.

In summary to grow our sport we have to have: Exciting Events, Talented People, Relationship Driven Community, Causes Bigger Than Ourselves and Large Payouts.  I feel these criteria were all represented on Lake Houston County. Again, hats off to all the organizers and for everyone that took the time to participate in the event. It’s going to be great to look back in five years and say that you fished the first Texas Kayak Bass Fishing Open! We are on the threshold and it’s up to us to promote and bring it through the door. By growing the sport we all benefit. I look forward to your thoughts, feel free to chime in and leave a comment.


It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times!

The Hobie Pro Angler 14 Is A Solid & Stable FIshing Platform. This Kayak Allows Anglers To Carry Everything They Could Need For A Great Day Of Fishing

The Hobie Pro Angler 14 Is A Solid & Stable FIshing Platform. This Kayak Allows Anglers To Carry Everything They Could Need For A Great Day Of Fishing

Great Fish Using TFO GTS 7'-3" Heavy Rod. Great For Pitching Timber

Great Fish Using TFO GTS 7′-3″ Heavy Rod. Great For Pitching Timber

The world of sports is full of the folks that want the experience of being a pro, thus most all major sports operate a fantasy camp. These camps are designed to give you the experience of being a pro, for the weekend. You get to hang out in the locker room, play on the field and use all the facilities the big club uses. You are granted the feeling of being big time. This last weekend the Texas Kayak Bass Open Championship was held on Lake Houston County. This gave me the opportunity to feel like a big time bass pro. I spent weeks preparing, got to make a three hour drive to a lake that I have never fished and to also meet new and exciting people in the world of kayak bass fishing. The entire event went off without a hitch it was an excellent time.

I always enjoy discovering new thing and fishing new techniques. For the open championship I had received some information that the quality fish were holding in 12 – 15 feet and were right up against timber. Thursday afternoon I hit the water and used this pattern. In ½ day of fishing it didn’t disappoint, rendering 18” fish, right after another. My concern was that I didn’t have enough 10” Rage Tails to finish the weekend. I decided it was time to roll in a see if others had made it in. I called it a day and left them biting. Day 1 = Success and I was pumped.

It wouldn’t be a tournament without good food and great company. I had the privilege of sharing a room with Kayak Legend, Shaun Russell and Rod Building extraordinaire, Walker Nelson, and Media Giant, Chris Payne. We had an excellent time talking strategy, eating good food and just blowing off the hassles of life for couple days. As the night wore on more folks started coming up and it gave me the great pleasure of meeting the guys from Austin. I really like that crowd because they are diehards for the sport. It’s real cool to put out an open invite for an afternoon fish and have twenty guys show up with short notice. Congrats guys on the way you’re living the life down in the Cap City! Now time to sack out and get ready for the all day pre-fish.

Friday came and we were up with a bang! We all decided on 5:30, but as is when you’re excited it turned to 4:45. No worries, lot of gear to haul down to the ramp. Guess we weren’t the only folks that we ready because the water glowed with the looks of SuperNova Lights. Man these are very and definitely going to have to invest. Loaded gear and decided to try a different pattern for the morning. Word had it that there were large schools of big bass that hammer the shad right at first light. Enough said, I was on it! Hauled over to the spot, thanks to K.J. for the intel, but it didn’t happen for me. I quickly decided to dance with the one that brought me and head back to the timber. First flip and BAM, another 18” the pattern held all day and at the end of the day I was on 92”. What a day. I was already thinking of what I was going to do with all the prizes. I should have known that the end was near.

Saturday, D-Day, started with a calm fog over the lake. I figured this is different, but I didn’t sweat it. I pedaled the Hobie Pro Angler 14 right to the spot and waited on 6:00. Still no wind and began to get concerned. Time to fish so I attached to 10” Rage Tail and started flipping, by the 5th flip I had hooked and boated a nice 15” fish. I hate fishing in the dark, fumbling for the board, securing the fish, taking the photo. However, everything went great and I was stoked to be on the board. I had grand visions. I released the fish and then had the moment of sure panic. Did I or Did I not have the ID card in the picture?  I fished for the camera and son of a gun no ID, means not on the board and back to square 1. The morning yielded little other than rain, sun, light wind and calm. This effectively shut my pattern down and I knew I was toasted. I managed two keepers, with ID, and a ton of 10-12” fish. I realized that I

had put the eggs all in one basket and that doomed my day when the conditions changed. I was now looking forward to weigh in and the long drive home.
The overall experience was great. Bobby Clark did an excellent job as tournament director and I thought it was one of the better kayak events that I have attended. I remembered my thoughts of fantasy camp on the way home. For two and a half days I was a pro angler and I had checked all the boxes for a good a time: Friends, new experiences and success. Although I didn’t win it was worth the price of admission. Congrats to the winners and as Arnold says, “I will be back!”

Awesome Weekend With The Mariner-Sails & Hobie Team

Kayak Bass Adventures Bash 2013-1

I recently had the opportunity to work with some folks that have never been around kayaks or kayak angling. This opportunity came in part to the Hobie booth that was sponsored by Mariner Sails at the Rockwall Boat Show. The event was great and I was even able to brush up on my personal product knowledge, which is always helpful. I took many things away from this weekends event and here are just a few.

First, the Hobie line up is simply outstanding. It is great to work with a manufactuer that understands all components of the market they serve. I spoke to several folks who had no desire to fish, but a desire to go fast and have a kayak with superior handling so I reffered them to the trained pro’s from Mariner-Sails. My fist love is to the anglers so I didn’t venture far away from the Outbacks, Adventure Islands and Pro Anglers. One of the greatest improvements in the line up was making all the fishing kayaks Lowrance ready. This one feature has saved me time and numerous headaches from trail and error.

Secondly, how fast weather can change on the water. Most of you reading this post are expierenced anglers and kayakers but we need to be reminded to always watch the sky. Good times can turn rough in meer seconds. Make sure you get the jump on the storm and that you are proactive in your safety and the safety of your party.

Lastly, people have a strong need to belong to something. Whether it’s church, sports teams, fishing teams or whatever. I was asked over again about what clubs, organizations and forums are available to the beginner. I was quick in my response of the Mariner-Sails Fishing Club, Texas Fishing Forum, Paynes Paddle Fish and other social sites. Community is what kayaking angling is to me. I know we have a great time competing and talking smack but at the end of the day we are all a community!

The reason for the picture of my kayak is because she is beatuiful when she’s all shined up! Ready to take on the Texas Kayak Bass Open, October 5th, 2013. Hopefully some live updates and live tweeting from the event. Stay Tuned….