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!
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!
Looking Good = Fishing Good!
You see all types of clothes being worn by the kayak angler, from swim suits to long pants it boils down to personal preference. Living in the south I prefer shorts because i can wear them pretty well thru November. I have sampled many pairs of shorts from board short to Larry Bird style short – short. I have found that the American Fishing Tackle Company or AFTCO for short offers me the best fit and the most comfort.
I stumbled across these shorts due to to the relationship with the Hobie Fishing Team, however, that relationship doesn’t sway my opinion. I have to have quality, style and functionality. The Stealth Fishing Short offers all of that along with outstanding comfort. One of my large issues with shorts is that either they are too baggy or too tight, crotch to long or way to short. Believe me when you on the lake and you spend more time correcting your shorts than mending your line you have a clothing problem. the AFTCO Stealth exceeded my expectations over a long, hard and hot season.
What makes the shorts functional is that they are 95%Nylon Dobby and 5% Spandex. They are also AFLEX 2-way stretch. That helps in a kayak because my shorts seldom get into a bind. The Nylon allows for movement and the spandex along with the AFLEX 2 way all the material to stretch in whatever direction you are moving. These shorts are extremely water resistant so when I am putting in or taking out the water slides right off and drys out in minutes.
Another great feature of the short is that they are stylish. After you have finished on the water you can head straight into the bar, restaurant or church and fit right in. Simply take off your sweat stained T-shirt apply a fresh towel and strap on your Tommy Bahama and you are ready to roll. The detailed stitching brings the patterns out and gives the shorts a style that is outstanding.
Kayak anglers are tough on clothes. I go through numerous shorts and shirts throughout the season. I can say that when I purchased the AFTCO Stealth that they have worn great and haven’t sustained any rips along the inseam or pockets. The reason the pockets are tough is because the short is designed with the reinforced pliers pocket. This pocket allows you needle nose to slide in with out getting in the material and ripping it or gouging your legs. These shorts have become the go to short for Kayak Bass Adventures!
For me looking good is fishing good. Being comfortable on the water allows us additional hours out pursuing our passions for big fish. If you are looking for one of the best pairs of shorts you will ever own check out http://www.aftco.com and let them know that Kayak Bass Adventures sent you! Question of the day are you a shorts guy or a pants guy?
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!
The fall season has opened up with cold fronts, swinging temperatures and hungry bass! Other than football there is no greeter thing than the fall feed up. Last week we hung out with FLW Pro, James Biggs and were amazed at his tactics for landing big fall bass.
We all know that seasonal patterns play a huge roll in where and how too fish. James Biggs keys on these patterns and samples where the fish should be this time of the year. “It’s time to move shallow and enjoy that spring time fall feeling!” Biggs told me as he cruised a shallow flat waving his cranking rod as it were a magic wand. I replied back, “Spring time Fall feeling?” I was quickly schooled in what this term meant to a FLW touring pro. Here are three quick tips to give you that Spring time Fall feeling.
- Big flat banks with isolated cover produce big fish in the Fall pattern. The most effective way to probe these flats is with the Xcite Baits XB-1, Silent, crankbait.
- Faster is better in the Fall. Speed up the retrieve and look for pockets of bait fish because when you find the bait you find find the bass. You are playing the ultimate reaction strike with fish in a feeding frenzy.
- Be versatile. Should the crankbait bite be nonexistent don’t be afraid to switch gears and go with a brown jig. These fall fronts can knock the bite down for a day or so and if you find yourself caught in this pattern slow down and match the crawfish pattern.
Our day wound up being a combination of the above with a front pressing down the crankbait was the action of the morning producing big fish and then as the front passed through it gave way to an ever so slow jig bite. I learned two things from this trip. First, the pros are pros for a reason. I fished the same bait the same way and over the same spots as James, but at the end of the day James Biggs delivered bigger fish and was on a more consistent bite. Second, listen to the pro. if they tell you to slow down, speed up or get the net heed the warning and do what you are told because it will ut bigger fish on the end of your line. The purpose of a coach is to make you better. For more information on James Biggs feel free to reach out to him on Facebook at James Biggs Fishing. He will be happy to answer questions, share tips or just talk fishing. One last thing, that Spring time Fall feeling is going to be the only fast action you get until next spring so hammer down and get yours this fall. Feel free to share your Fall fishing tips and let us know what is working for you!
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!
When we were kids and someone gave us a penny it wasn’t a big deal. Mainly it was a hassle and what can you buy with one cent. I thought this up and to the point that I was told about the power of one.
The power of one showed me that even when I think I’m not getting thru or doing something that is memorable I do still have an effect on people. That’s the key! Whatever you do and whoever you are in contact with have the potential to catch a part of your passion and spread the word. One to one, to hundreds, to thousands to millions – you never know.
Many of you know that Heroes on the Water is special to Kayak Bass Adventures. Below is the impact that one, small, event had for the organization. Whether you give of time, talent or money it is important for those who are spreading cheer, peace and good times on the water for some of Americas heroes. I would invite anyone reading this to check out Heroes on the Water. These guys are changing lives and you can help!
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!
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!
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!