Great Time At Kayak Bass Adventures Bash 2014

Great Time At Kayak Bass Adventures Bash 2014

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Kayak Bass Adventures is pleased to announce that we just raised over $20,000 for Heroes on the Water – our chosen charity and a fabulous organization committed to helping our injured military personnel.

The funds – $20,812.65 to be exact – were raised at our Second Annual Poker Tournament on October 2 hosted at the Colleyville, Texas home of Terry Sandlin, a principal of Sandlin Homes. This is the second year in a row that we held this fundraiser for this worthy cause, bringing our total raised to almost $50,000.
I first learned of Heroes on the Water at a bass fishing tournament – and was so touched by the veteran’s story and so impressed by the organization that I wanted myself and my fellow bass fisherman buddies to do our part. Heroes on the Water helps our nation’s veterans from all branches of the military unwind using the therapeutic qualities of fishing from kayaks. Founded in 2007, this unique fishing program gives these warriors a chance to decompress from the stresses associated with combat and the rigorous physical and mental rehabilitation they must endure when they get back.  Guided fishing trips are hosted for these veterans by Heroes on the Water and held in local communities around the country. Funds raised at our Poker Tournament will go directly to help hold more events.
I can’t think of a better way to support our community as well as our military than this worthwhile cause. It was an honor just to be involved. I have experienced such joy from my fishing that I am always looking for opportunities to share it with others and what could be better than combining honoring our serviceman with the opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy nature?
At the event, participants enjoyed a fabulous dinner, played poker and took part in a raffle. Top prizes included an Ipad, gift cards, exclusive fishing equipment and a Hobie kayak. The winner of this grand prize kayak kept the love flowing and donated it to the Heroes on the Water organization. For more information, visit their website at http://www.HeroesOnTheWater.com and consider your own fundraiser as well!
I would like to extend some special thanks to our sponsors and those who donated raffle items including
Title Sponsor- Valley-Dynamo, the largest manufacturer of pool tables, air hockey tables and foosball tables
Table Sponsors – Valley-Dynamo, Mariner-Sails, Champs Americana, Dominic Via, Guild Mortgage, Sandlin Homes.
Partner Sponsors – Hot On Homes, Anderson-Hanson-Blanton, Perry Hix, The Getz Team,
Product Sponsors – Temple Fork Outfitters, Smith Optics, Brute Outdoors, Hobie Fishing, Xcite Baits
And of course, to our poker players for their participation and donations!
If you missed the fun this year, mark your calendars for next September and be sure to join us again!

Three Steps To Great Father & Son Time On The Water

Three Steps To Great Father & Son Time On The Water

Fishing is a big deal to me. I have tried for a couple of years to instill that passion in my twelve year old son and finally he has caught the bug. Spending quality time on the water with my son is important o me because it is something he and I can share for a lifetime. I love looking at the photos and reading posts on forums about how a dad of 79 and son in his early 50’s are still getting it done in kayaks. My hope is that my son and I can share this bond for many years years to come. Here are three things I have observed about my son and I’s fishing relationship.

  • Let The Game Come To You. I have learned that by having my son innate the fishing conversation he takes it more seriously and is a better listener when receiving instructions.
  • Fish On A Kids Terms. I can fish for hours in any type of weather, kids usually cannot. I found that by breaking the trip up into segments of 1-2 hours help hold attention and will not burn out your child.
  • Don’t Take It To Seriously. Remember you are fishing with a kid so don’t beat them down with over the top instruction and always encourage them, even when they backlash your best bait caster!

When Jack and I head to the lake I want to make sure he has a great time, learns a few things and enjoys being outside. I learned by taking the laid back approach to fishing with my son works best for all of us and fosters great memories and anticipation of our next trip. Of course it always helps to have great fishing action whether its fishing for bass or catching a ton of perch on Ultralight equipment. For all of us Dads out there I know there are no better words you can hear on the the lake than when your son yells, “Hey Dad I got one!”

KEEP LIVING THE DREAM

Why I Kayak Fish

Stalking Shallow Water Bass In Silence

Stalking Shallow Water Bass In Silence

There is something about getting up before the sun and heading out to the lake. For me it really doesn’t matter if the fishing is hot or cold, but what matters are the surroundings and beauty of what the morning brings. People ask me why I kayak fish. Here are three reasons why kayak fishing works for me.
First, the kayak I use is the Hobie Pro Angler 14 and the way that it glides across shallow water is critical for my style of fishing. With the mirage tucked against the hull I can cruise some pretty skinny water. Kayak fishing allows me to stalk the fish in pure silence. It allows me to see nature unfold in slow motion waiting for the moment of impact.
Secondly, kayak fishing keeps you in shape. Whether you decide to paddle or pedal it doesn’t matter, you are active and burning off the bad decisions from the start of the week. By loading, unloading, standing and sitting it builds your core muscle and helps with balance. Those few things there contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Third, the moment of impact is why I kayak fish. When you are working a grass line with a top water frog or stripping an Xcite Baits Ubershad through grass or pads the blow ups and violent strikes are out of this world. Pure Adrenaline!
We would love to know why you kayak fish and what you’re doing to support and grow the sport. Feel free to leave a comment and continue to do the great work of promoting a healthy life style that is awesome on the environment.

 

KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!

Great Times On Lady Bird Lake

I spent eighteen years in the Austin area. All of those years were spent doing everything but fishing “The Bird”. As I always say, it’s better late than never. This day trip to mecca of urban fishing started early and had the glow of anticipation.
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I want to say thanks for those that gave me some direction as to tactics and places to start fishing. Without a community of good people giving great advice the trip would have not turned out as well as it did. Thanks to the Keep Austin Fishing Group, Guillermo Gonzalez and Ken, who I met at the AHS launch.
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What I enjoyed most about my time on Lady Bird Lake was the people jogging, bike riding and hanging out on and around the bridges that span over the river. At one point I was fishing under the bridge with a group of no less than 75 people looking over me. I thought to myself what a great time for a giant hook set and on cue it was delivered. The crowd went wild and for a split second I felt like Randy Howell fishing the classic. That experience was cool!
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All in all it was an awesome time and I would encourage those that are thinking of making this trip to do it. There are some giant bass in that lake and the scenery is unreal. I have had a ton of great fishing experiences and this one rates with the best of them. Looking forward to heading back down sooner rather than later.
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!

Hopkins Outdoors Update 3/8 – 3/9 Gilbert Complex

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The Spring is heating up with pre-spwn bass being caught all over the area lakes. The prespawn is also heating up on the Gilbert Complex for Hopkins Outdoors. Over this weekend I had the oporuntiy to spend a lot of time on Stump Patch, Spring Lake and Cold Water Lake, here are the results.

Saturday:

Lake: Stump Patch

Weather: 45 Degrees, Winds From The North 15 – 18 mph

Water Temp: 51 – 52 Degrees

Technique: Chartrusse Square Bill Crank Bait

Area Fished: Timber Near The Dam bouncing the bait ff the timber in 6-7′ of water. Fence Line Near the duck blinds produced fishing the weed line. Made our way back shallow and found a fish on isolated timber in 3′ of water. Overall 3 fish with the largest being around 3 pounds.  

Lake: Spring

Weather: 45 Degrees, Winds from the North at 18 – 20 mph

Water Temp: 49 – 50 Degrees Saturday , 50 – 52 Sunday

Technique: 3/4 oz Carolina RIgged With 17# Main line and 6# leader using a #3 straight shank hook on ZZ Custom Bait Threadfin Shad. Also used Chartrusse square bill crank. Due to current water clarity I didn’t use aything over 12 test line. Water Visibility at 5′.

Area Fished: Fished the reed lines on the North side with the square bill running it on the outside of the reed line. This technique produced 4 fish from 2 – 4 pounds. Fished the South Side of the lake focused on throwing up to 3′ and bouncing it down the drop offs from 8′ – 10′ the fish came on the first drop. Sunday, 3/9, fished the square bill again with similar results. Sunday, as the sun came out I fished the rock piles to the right of the ramp. These rocks are in 3-5′ of water and it drops to 12′ shortly in front. Had great sucess with Carolina Rig in the rocks positioning the boat on the pump house side and throwing toward the ramp.

Lake: Cold Lake / Sunday Only

Weather: Blue Bird Sky & 63 Degrees

Water Temp: 55 – 57 degrees / Cloudy

Technique: Deep Diving Rapala DT 16 / Red, Carolina Rig ZZ Custom Threadfin Shad, Texas Rigged V&M Bait Swamp Hog & 1/8 Shakey Head w/ Trick Worm.

Areas Fished: USed the deep crank as a search bait on the Northwest side of the lake. The bottom is up and down with depths from 7-15′, lot of good drops, Fished the area where they are releasing water into the lake with the craw and missed 2 bites. Moved to the rock piles on the South end and fished the deep side from 4 – 9′. This area looked the best but had zero result with shakey head or c-RIg. Moved to the pump station and pitched the walk way, barge and behind the barge with the reslut being 1 15″ bass. The bite was real light, due to conditions. I know this lake will heat up once the water level rises and pumpimg activities cease. it’s difficult to catch bass when the water level is in a constant state of flux.

General Thoughts: These are excellent lakes that will produce quality largemouth bass. Larry and Mike are deadset on managing these lakes correctly. It is up to all of us to measure the fish and record yyour catch. By dong this we will have accurate reports that will lead to big bass. Every fish I caught was in excellent condition and were pre-spawn. I look forward to meeting each one of you out on the water and if i can be of assistance to you don’t hesitate to ask.

KEEP LIVING THE DREAM! 

Classic Thoughts!

Bassmaster

 

Getting up on Sunday morning I felt that someone had rolled back the calendar into January. I had great anticipation of having some warm, predictable, weather to work with in trying to locate some of those big female pre-spawn bass. However, with ice on the ground and wind chills in the single digits I logged onto the computer and landed on Bassmaster. to review footage from the classic.  This year I decided to follow the classic live thru their online presentation via blog and GoPro live camera’s on the pro’s boat. It’s amazing what we can learn these days from online videos.

People often ask who your favorite angler is.  My response is that I really don’t have one. I enjoy following the top pros through social media and enjoy seeing how they are catching their fish, plugging the sponsors and just what it takes to be a full time touring pro at the elite level. With the technology of the day the arena of social media puts you up close with the pro in the boat on the water. I pay close attention to what they are saying and even closer attention to how they are modifying their baits to coax that big fish to bite. These guys are tough and stay out on the water long past dark, sometimes not in the most hospitalable conditions. I know the guys preparing to fish the Southern Open this week found themselves in some of the harshest temperatures of the season. The remarkable thing about these anglers is that they demonstrate the ability to catch fish in any condition. Every time I have grand thoughts of myself as a pro I just look back to lakes like Grapevine and Lewisville to remind me that I am nowhere close.

The most important take away, for me, was mental toughness. I will admit that mental toughness and confidence in what I am doing play a large role in my tournament fishing. If most of you are like me you can get mired down in second guessing, sticking with a failed strategy to long and throwing dead. What I mean about throwing dead is not having the confidence in each cast and just chunking and winding. My goal for 2014 is to surround myself with “Classic Quality People” that I can observe and learn from so that I can begin growing more confident and understanding why things are the way they are. I also have to remember that I can put myself around the fish, but if the fish chooses to be locked down due to weather conditions I must change the presentation. Should changing the presentation not work, I just need to realize that today’s not my day and hold my head high as I enjoy nature and hanging out in the Hobie Pro Angler 14. It’s also important to be a “classic” type person. There are thousands of people who bass fish and they are at every level. When you are active in the social networks be mindful of the folks watching you. Take time to answer their questions, share your tips and take the time necessary to include those that are new to our sport. I would be nowhere today without the guys who took an interest in me and answered the dumbest of my questions.

I think the following dialogue between Harry Hogge and Cole Trickle, from Days of Thunder, sum it the best.

Harry Hogge:      What do you know about stock car racing?

Cole Trickle:        Well…watched it on television, of course.

Harry Hogge:      You’ve seen it on television?

Cole Trickle:        ESPN. The coverage is excellent; you’d be surprised at how much you can pick up.

Harry Hogge:      I’m sure I would.

Take advantage of all the avenues that are afforded to us in this age of information enlightenment.  Watch those videos, make friends with a pro, take someone under your wing and bring them along. Bassmaster showed us how you can take a fishing tournament and bring it to life with real time updates and access into the minds of the top pros. To be better we must pay attention and be willing to learn; you never know the tip you see today could boost you in the AOY standing in your local scene.

KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!

Mariner-Sails: Leading the Southwest In Everything Kayak!

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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!

 

KEEP LIVING THE DREAM

Lake Lewisville CCKF Stop 2 – Special Thanks!

Tournament fishing is where it’s for me. I love the competitive spirit and getting together with everyone for a full day of “Live Action” on the area lakes. That is just what Capital City Kayak Fishing Tournament Series delivers. Stop two happened last Saturday on Lake Lewisville and we all know the result. Congratulations to Todd Hiley on his great win. The conditions were rough with water temperatures in the low to mid 40’s. I was hoping to pull off a little magic, but all I pulled was my shoulder from throwing the Flash Mob Jr all day.

My tournament day was far from perfect and started with a major equipment failure. I would like to thank Brian Row for helping me figure out the electrical issue and getting me out on the water. I realize it’s a tournament and that there is money to be won, but Brian went over the top to take time to help and show me where the problem was. As many of you know I am not a hammer and nails guy, but in times like these it pays to have friends who are.  After issue one was handled issue number two raised its head. Yep, my trusty battery went out and left me in the dark and basically fishing by instinct. For those that know me most of the times my instincts are opposite of what the fish are doing, however, another good friend to the rescue. Tournament Director Beau Reed let me use his battery and at least I was able to have power for another hour. That is until the Humminbird drained his battery as well. Like I always say it’s your intentions that matter most and Beaus intention was clear and that was to help me out of jam. Thanks Beau!

When I think of kayak tournaments I think of NASCAR, due to having teams, secret alliances, egos, and the occasional drama. However, I also see the human side of our sport and that is those guys’ in the know, helping guys who want to know.  This is the most important part of the sport. There are statistics across the board showing paddling as one of the fastest growing sports. With continued help from the faithful and good promotion from the media guys in our ranks and the willingness of the angler to help those who may be new I feel we can grow the tournament scene to large numbers. We all have to be committed to do our part. Whether your part is to try and win all the money, help people who are new or just make observations through video or blog. When we all work together for the good of the sport then great things will happen.

I just realized that I pulled out the soapbox and rambled. Sorry about that but, I support the above and what the heck else could I have written about when we only had one score able fish? Anyway, great tournament and I am looking forward to battling those secret alliances on Purtis Creek. All I can say is come on water temperature.

KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!

 

Valentine’s Day – No, It’s Pre-Tournament Day!

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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!