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.

KEEP LIVING THE ADVENTURE!

The Changing Tides

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 TVIMG_1023.

LIVE THE ADVENTURE!

 

Dare To Dream Big!

Remember when you were a kid and your parents said that you could be anything you wanted to be, if you tried hard enough? That sounded great to a twelve or fourteen year old kid, but as you aged and you had not found a direction you might have heard your folks or others say just do something! You may be wondering why I would start a fishing blog post with a those sentences? Well, I feel that in our sport, kayak fishing; we need more people daring to dream the impossible.
As I cruise and talk to folks on the road I always hear, “Man, I would love to be able to make a living at this outdoors, kayak fishing thing.” That dream sentence is smashed less than ten seconds after it’s said by the one who has the dream. That is a shame! Others will say to the dreamer, “there are only 5 people in the world who make a living riding a kayak”. These folks need to stop limiting hopes and dreams of those who want to climb the rope and make it to the top. So there are only 5? Is there room for more?
Dreams are great things and they are yours, don’t let the haters, trolls and others who prey on stealing your joy get you down. Those people wish they had the intestinal fortitude to give it a shot. One thing I have learned about haters and trolls is that they lack heart! When you have the heart and the courage to pursue the mission through to completion, no one can stop you. Dreamers who dream the big dream have to be focused and stay the course or else it remains just a dream. Here a five tips to help you stay on course:
1. Write down your end goal. How does it look when you achieve the dream?
2. Step through your dream detail by detail – call it a strategic plan.
3. Be willing to put the ground work in and stay on course even when you feel that you are failing.
4. Seek wise counsel & surround yourself with a team of encouragers.
5. It’s your dream and you have to nurture it. No one can deliver it for you.
Remember the kid who wanted to be the Astronaut, policeman or Professional Kayak Angler? It’s still in there and may just need to be unlocked. There is plenty of room on the stage for as many people who have the courage, the dream and the desire to help grow a limitless sport!

LIVE THE ADVENTURE!

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Secrets of the Squarebill

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 Good, Bad & Ugly – Lake Grapevine

Tournament season has started and all I did last week was look forward to the weekend so I could get out and show the field what I had learned in the off season. There had been several reports posted on forums showing that bass have been caught, in January, on Lake Grapevine. I had visited with some local powerboat guys and felt comfortable about my strategy as well as the tips they had give me. Hold on – those tips and pictures came at the tail end of a warming trend. As I checked the forecast I see that a massive cold front is coming through and temps will most likely be in 20’s at takeoff. I decided to roll anyway, in hopes of cash and prizes coming my way, heck the Elite BASS pros fish in this kind of weather why I can’t?

The 4:00 a.m. wake up call came quick on Tournament day. I had just tucked myself in less than four hours ago, what am I thinking? Check the temp – warming trend it’s only 30 degrees, game on! I go through the pregame rituals and grab some breakfast and coffee while rolling to the check in. The current temp is 31 – Still Game On! As I roll up to the check in I begin seeing all the guys who make this a great sport, my buddies on the tournament trail. We get out and tell each other how much we missed each other and that we are freaking crazy for fishing a non power plant tournament in DFW in January. After a little crying we all bundled up, signed the releases and headed to the secret launch locations.

It takes me a while to unload the Pro Angler 14, due to my addiction to bringing too much stuff. Side note, going to have to reduce as the Spring arrives and the water warms, but its 32 degrees and I don’t think the early morning bite is where it’s at. An hour later I am on the water and my tournament day has started! I figure with water temperatures in the low to mid 40’s I would work the jerk bait. I make my third cast, half way through the chorus of “You Make My Dreams Come True” by the “Great” Hall & Oates when my Jerk bait gets hammered. I put the giant hook set and feel the weight; good lord this is big bass and it’s only 7:45. After fifteen seconds I realized it wouldn’t be big bass and disappointment set in when the 7.5 pound blue cat made its entrance. Needless to say that was the last action I saw until 1:30 when another blue cat spoiled my hopes of landing a qualifying bass. I’m going in empty handed!

Three take a ways. First, Hall & Oates is leaving the fishing rotation. Second, you can catch several shad at once on the jerk bait. Third, Capital City Kayak Tournament Trail is a great time and I really enjoyed seeing everyone and catching up. If you haven’t heard I wasn’t the only one who struggled. Let’s just say that one bass took first, second and third. This means everyone is still in the Angler of the Year chase. I hope to see more of you out at Lake Lewisville next month.

KEEP LIVING THE DREAM! 

Happy, Happy, Happy New Year

With the New Year in full swing and with everyones hopes high for a fantastic year, I thought it would be fun to put out these resolutions to the Kayak Bass Fishing World. With clubs, tournament scenes and people trying to stand out in the sport egos sometime get in the way. I will admit that from time to time my ego steps in and i have to remind myself that this is my hobby and passion, not my job; so enjoy it!  Here are some resolutions that were forwarded to me from a co-worker and i thought they would fit the fishing world very well.

  1. Be Honest:   Tell the truth.  Do the right thing. Be trustworthy.
  2. Be Empathetic:   Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Listen. Care
  3. Be Appreciative:   Look for the good in people.  Express gratitude.
  4. Be Respectful:   Show care, concern and consideration.
  5. Be Tolerant:   Rather than judging others, accept their differences.

 

I hope everyone achieves what they want to achieve in this New Year!

 

KBA’s Best of 2013!

Where would we be without innovation? This year has been an outstanding year of Innovative products for the Kayak Angler. All of these new products have improved the fishing experiences for those that have used them. These products are ranked in no particular order, so I hope you enjoy Kayak Bass Adventures Best of 2013.

Kayaks:

Hobie Pro Angler 14: In my opinion this is the most outstanding fishing kayak on the market today. The Pro Angler has the size and stability to handle the largest bodies of water. Hobie has provided massive amounts of built in storage, from the front hatch with removable liner to the twist and seal hatch with retractable tackle management system. The crown jewel, for me, is the fully adjustable vantage seating. When you spend hours chasing bass it is helpful to have a seat that supports your back and sits high enough to give you fantastic leverage on fish. Lastly, this kayak offers multiple rod storage so you do not have to constantly retie your baits. The Pro Angler gives you six horizontal rod holders, along two vertical rod holders. For me the best kayak for 2013 is definitely the Hobie Pro Angler 14.

Hobie Outback: When I am not in the Pro Angler 14, I prefer the Hobie Outback. For creeks, rivers or small neighborhood ponds I feel this kayak gives me everything I need to be comfortable. Again, Hobie provides outstanding storage, above and below deck, the comfort of the Mirage drive for hands free fishing and the Lowrance ready mounting system for the fish finder. This kayak is light weight and allows me to handle with ease for loading and unloading.  

Kayak Accessories:

Yak Attack Black Pac:  This great innovation has changed the way I store my tackle and has greatly improved my organization on the water. The Black Pac is more than a milk crate offering you endless opportunities for rigging. A few of my favorite items on my Black Pac are my gear tracks. These allow me to mount my cameras in order to capture awesome video. I also have a spot for fish grips, pliers and marking buoys and the Hawg Trough. Kayak Bass Adventures believes this to be the best accessory of 2013!

Brute Outdoors: Nothing completes a Kayak more than a great cooler. The Brute Box is an outstanding product that offers thick insulated walls for maximum ice retention, two heavy duty cantilever latches, rubber gasket for extra tight seal, grab rails for easy carrying, over sized anti-skid rubber feet and multiple tie-down slots for cooler security. I have had numerous coolers and the Brute Box is for real! The Brute 25 fits perfectly behind your seat and allows for easy access. Lastly, the boxes are true to size, meaning that 25 – means actual 25 quart with room for long necks to stand straight up. The perfect kayak pair will be the Brute Box 25 on board and the Brute 50 back at camp. These are made in America and you will see the difference.

Yak Attack Zooka Tube w/ 8’ Parking Pole: I don’t use an anchor trolley because it doesn’t suit my style of fishing. I move a lot and try to cover max water. When I do need to hold a spot, such as grass, pads or timber I count on the Zooka Tube and 8’ Parking Pole.  I realize the primary function of the Zooka is for rod holding, but I have found it to be an excellent piece of equipment for the bass angler during the spring spawn. The reason I love it is because it is quick and easy to deploy and the 8’ Parking pole is a great weapon to push off gators or snakes that get to close for comfort. If you haven’t tried this application- try it.

Battery Pack & Pelican Case: I like simple and easy. This watertight case along with battery gives you security in knowing that you battery is safe from moisture and from the damage caused from dropping. When you have to charge it is charged in the case. I call this my battery brief case and don’t leave home without it.

Supernova Fishing Lights: These bad boys hit the kayak scene this year and took night fishing to the next level. I currently don’t have a set, but when the kayak goes into dry dock this season you can rest assure that we will be installing a set. I like these because they also go along with safety and being seen. I look forward providing a full report next season. From those that I know that have them, it was their Ah Ha moment for fishing after dark.  Great job Supernova!

Fishing Electronics:

Lowrance Electronics: You can’t go wrong with any of the HDS – Gen 2 series of products, enough said!

Hydrowave Mini: This is one of those products that will have doubters, but I have seen it in action and it’s the real deal. Whether you are a tournament angler or a weekend warrior you will put more fish in the boat when you fire up the Hydrowave.

Fishing Rods:

Temple Fork Outfitters: There is not a more quality, well balanced or greater feeling rod than the TFO GTS rods. These rods are lightweight, extra fast at the tip and have amazing feel. One of the things that make a TFO Rod is the tactical series guide with machined stainless steel inserts that are super-hard chrome anodized then swaged into a chromium- impregnated stainless frame. I say all that to say its tough and saltwater safe. TFO rod blanks are selected by Gary Loomis and engineered to the highest quality. I personally prefer the 7’-3’’ GTS in Medium, Medium Heavy, Heavy and X-tra Heavy. Can’t wait to tell all you guys what is coming down the pipe for 2014!

Outdoor Clothing:

Columbia Sportswear: We are all out in many different elements over the course of the season. I have found that Columbia meets all the challenges. A few things to check out is, anything in the Omni-Heat line as well all their performance fishing gear clothing. It’s highly important that you are comfortable and look sharp, Columbia Sportswear brings it all together.

Well, there it is – The Best of 2013! Hope you guys will check out these products and companies and discover the difference it will make in your fishing experience. There is one great retailer to look to when you are searching for quality kayak angling gear and that is the fine folks at Mariner-Sails. You will not find a more knowledgeable and helpful staff anywhere. Feel free to stop by the showroom or shop on line at www.mariner-kayaks.com.

KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!