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Rail Blaza Selfie system, New Zealand based but now available in the US via Yak-Gear.com

Rail Blaza is a New Zealand based company that makes a universal mounting product. They are available on the US  now through Yak-Gear.com.

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The bottom of the camera mount is  a thumb screw so you won’t have to scrounging around for a screw driver or key everything you want to mounting your camera. As long as the camera is not too heavy you can move the swivel based to whatever angle you like for the best angles.

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In theory you can mount these things anywhere but for our purpose we will be talking about using them in fishing boats and kayaks.

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One of the problems with kayak fishing or fishing alone (amongst other things) is when you get a good catch you want a good photo to share with friends and social media.  If you’re like most people 90% of the photo is your crotch or ridiculously hunched over.

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With the advent of  Rail system they have a  camera mount kit with a universal tripod screw of 1/4-20. This means pretty much any camera  will work with it as log as it has a tripod mount. These  kits are versatile as they get with rails, bar and flat surface mount kits.

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The based is an 8 point star mount so it will not spin randomly on you. The lock mechanism allows for quick lock the unit as it will not fall out .

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Bellow are some examples of the photos that I used the camera mount on a boat and kayak to get  some selfies while fishing alone.

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Above is a I have it mounted on my grab rail with the camera at eye level.

 

Bellow I have it mounting on the deck with the camera pointing down a little.

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Besides the camera mounting kit they have a variety of options. Options like rod holders, gps, phone,  lights, etc.

They come with stainless steel hardware to minimize rust so you wont have to run all over town looking at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace looking for them.

I will be using the other accessories as I get it mounted but for now very happy with the camera selfie system.

If you have any interest you can check it out at Yak Gear.com .

 

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SuperNova Fishing Lights

After seeing many posts on social media my interest in fishing lights on kayaks was growing. Finally, I was able to see them in person on a friend, Jeff Gabrick’s Hobie while launching in the dark down in Matlacha during a tournament. I decided I needed to research a little further and find out what they were all about. There have been multiple posts regarding fishing lights on facebook, fishing and kayak forums and the name that kept coming up was SuperNova Fishing Lights out of Austin, TX. The website is very informative and they have plenty of selection with multiple sizes, colors and applications. I reached out to the owner, Dez Davis, who happened to be participating on day two of a bass tournament but still made time to take my call. We talked at length regarding his products and applications before I let him get back to flipping frogs. Dez is one of the most down to earth guys that you can come across willing to talk you through what you need and then make it happen. The LED systems that they provide are fully submersible–and saltwater ready. The applications vary from the original SuperNova LED Fishing Light with 290 green 5050 SMD LED’s that are packed in a 24″ waterproof tubing , dock lighting, boat / kayak external LED strips all the way down to small 4 LED strips for cockpit lighting. I chose to go with the Basic Kayak Lighting kit which included: BasicKayakKit

  • Set of 2- 28LED Light Strips, 20″
  • Toggle Switch with Waterproof Boot
  • 3M Adhesion Promoter
  • 6′ Extra 22 AWG Wire and Heat Shrink
  • 2 Wire Management Mounting Pads
  • In-line Fuse Holder and 5-amp fuse
  • 6 Tie wraps

This kit only comes in 2 colors, Blue and Green. I went with the blue. My package arrived 3 days after ordering and included everything pictured on the site.

 

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The installation was pretty easy and as far as electronics go about a 2 on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the hardest. Follow the included wiring diagram and you will be fine. Since I also have the Power-Pole Micro Anchor , I was installing a 2 prong quick connect kit to make it easier to install and remove my battery when not on the water. I ended up hardwiring the two power feeds together into the new quick connect.

 

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First step was deciding where I was going to mount the LED strips. This kit normally is mounted on the outside of the hull but since I have the Hobie PA 14′ I decided that I wanted to really light up the cockpit and mount the strips under each accessory board just forward of the seating area. The placement of the LED in the image below shows the length compared to the accessory board.

 

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I used a 3/16″ drill bit to drill a hole where the power leads would enter on the inside of the kayak’s hull. The next step was to figure out a location for the waterproof toggle switch that would be out of the way but would also not be hard to get to. I decided to mount the switch right below where the edge of my seat reaches.

 

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After verifying all leads and grounds were  correctly connected….and the lights came on, I made soldered all of my connections and then used the provided heat shrink tubing. I then secured all loose wires with the provided wire ties. All of the power and ground leads meet up in the bow just behind my Hobie Sail Mount tube.

 

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Once everything was cleaned up and fully installed it was time to test it out in the garage.

 

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These lights are bright. You don’t lose any night vision when on the water because of the high placement of the LED strips under the accessory boards .   I have enjoyed using the light on early morning launches in the pitch dark and have been out a few times for dock lights after hours. I would recommend SuperNova Lights to anyone who fishes from a kayak or boat. Regarding the battery in the install images, I chose this battery because I did not want to have to worry about charging the smaller and lighter batter every time I had a road trip and drained it using the Micro or the lights. Call it what it is…. LAZY and simple. I have had the battery for 2 months now and have not had to charge it once…. but it is a lot heavier than the smaller kit battery available on most kayak sites. Here is one kit available online at Austin Kayak that goes for $112 plus shipping.

Fishing the 2014 Sticken Pigz tournament and catching a 28″ Florida Trout

This past weekend I had the chance to fish the 2014 Sticken Pigz redfish/trout tournament in Bradenton Florida with Capt. Andrew Purcell and his team.

The tournament is a friendly tournament that only cost $75 per boat. Most boats had 2 to 4 people on it and you can use bait if you wish. This year the 64 team roster was the largest ever for the tournament.

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I met up with Andrew and the team at the ramp at 6:30 to register and have the captain’s meeting. By 7am everyone was off and running to their favorite spot.

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The conditions were slick calm when we got to our first spot. A shallow flat with an incoming tide. We had two guys using top water one person using jigs and me with a mirror dine.

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With the favorable conditions I could see mullet all over. To me mullet is considered bait and my theory is that predators love to hang around bait.

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I did my best to work shallow but I was getting hung up on grass so I worked deeper and deeper to almost waist high. The bite was slow us guys using arties but I finally caught a jack and then a small trout at about 15″ which I threw back.

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From fishing the tournament last year I knew a 15″ trout would be a total waste of time. It is a live bait tournament so these guys were hauling in some giant trout at over 6lbs and measuring in the high 20′s.

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As the sun got a little higher the mullet started to become more active. This was a good sign and gave me a bit of confidence. Casting deeper my Mirrodine got inhaled with what I thought was a large jack. When the fish got closer I realized it was very nice trout. It made such a splash everyone turned to look. A couple seconds later what estimated to me a 23″ trout came off 10 feet from me. I was quite upset as that was very nice trout, or so I thought.

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Disappointed I continue to work the same angles and two cast later I got hammered by even a larger fish. This fish was strong fish and there was no head shake so immediately I thought it was a nice redfish.

When he start to zig and zig the redfish notion started to fade. When the fish came up to shake it’s head it was confirmed this was the largest trout of my life if I was to land her.

Now a bit shaken I lighten the drag as not to pull the hook. Without a net or Boga grip in hand I was a tad nervous but remained calm.

I remember to put my feet together so the fish could not run in between them. After what seemed like an eternity I grabbed her by the back of the head and landed my personal best sea trout.

At this point our team was ecstatic and we are now headed to find us a redfish.

At 28″ and the huge back we knew it was tough to upgrade. We wanted to get to a redfish flat to get the beast Redfish that was in the slot of 27″.

We caught the trout so fast we showed up too early to the new flat as the water was still quite low. We tried the same strategy of splitting up to cover more ground but all anyone could manage was jacks , rat Red and lady fish. We decided to make another move to a flat with more water.

This time everyone stayed in the boat as we slowly drifted in the almost dead calm waters. At this point my arm was getting fatigue from all the casting and decided to sit and take a break while the other three guys continued to fish.

It did not take long for a fish to get hooked and some one screamed “grab the net!”. I got up to get a net and immediately saw it was a redfish. It however, looks to be well over the slot of 27″. It was so tall a fish this wide normally would 29″. I netted the fish and we measured it and incredibly measured under 27″ the Florida max limit.

We were done and it was only 11am. The fishing was not the greatest but the fish we caught were pigs and exactly what we need to be in the runnings. We spent the rest of time taking photos, getting lunch and got back at the weigh in at about 2pm.

At the weight in, to make everyone on our team nervous another team came in with a longer trout and a longer redfish. We decided to weigh in last as that was our strategy.

The leading team weigh in at 15.58 a new tournament record so it was quite nerve racking. Their trout came in at 7.5 our trout was 7.17 talk about nervous. Our redfish was shorter but it looked fatter so it had to do it for us. Otherwise we would have to settle for 2nd place.

Our redfish fish weight in at 8.52lbs. This let us edge them out by only .11lb at 15.69lb a new tournament record, winning the largest redfish calcutta as well as the overall.

We took home the gold, set a new tournament record as well as me landing my personal best trout. It was a good weekend.

An Image Roundup of Recent Story Trips

 

 

 

An Image Roundup of Recent Story Trips

By

Jan S. Maizler

Here are some images of trips that took place through the late Winter into early Spring and stretched from Florida’s Space Coast to the Keys.

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Jb's

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Some of the guides involved were Justin Price, Butch Moser, Butch Constable, Hai Truong, Gus Montoya, Rob Munoz, David Accursio and Martin Carranza. Thanks to all !

Impressionism

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While perusing the jaw dropping masterpieces at the Alte Pinakothek, Art Museum in Munich;
I stumbled across this simple 1874 bridge piece by Claude Monet.
Shot at : F / 2.8, 1/80 sec, 1,000 ISO and @ 85 MM
How easy it is to just do a quick look over and keep walking to the next piece of art, but closer inspection and understanding yields more.
The impressionism movement, was initiated in the late 1800s in the greater Paris area.
Highly criticized, specifically by La Academy Des Beaux Arts,
Monet and others were frowned by their nouveaux and unconventional style.
Who would know that in later years, one single painting would fetch up to 60 million dollars, at Auctions.
As a photographer, I like studying composition and light, and how they both interact and balance with one another.
One can learn a lot by observation alone.
As you admire this painting, you can see the numerous different colors and shades of the blues in the sky and the water and grass.
Towards the right side, you can even see reflections of the small boats on the water’s surface.
That Impressionism style was :
The short / thick strokes of paint to accurately capture the essence of the subject; rather than exact details
The colors are applied side by side, with very little mixing and very little black paint, creating vibrancy
You can see that the play of light from object to object is carefully laid out
Most of the works were done in early morning or late evening, to capture vibrancy of color and of shadows,
as high noon sun would be too harsh and affording little shadowing angles.
I appreciate the Impressionist style of paintings, because they arrange their composition so as to get your attention;
with the main subject commanding your interest, but with a relaxed boundary between the subject and background
almost like a snapshot; as if you yourself, were actually there…

Rick De Paiva

www.pbase.com/hdp

Mr. Tackle jighead an afternoon in the sun.

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After forgetting to take the drain plug out of my Ranger for a week I came home to a boat filled with rain water. Yup happen to the best of us. This by itself isn’t too bad but I had left the battery switch on the trolling motor and it quickly corroded the connectors to the point of uselessness.

Lucky for me it did not burn out the motor just the connector.(if you can call this lucky) One of the battery was toast as well, only putting out 3 volts.

Not so funday Sunday afternoon was spent running around buying and installing battery, electrical on the boat. Not to mention I had wait 30 minutes for the boat to completely drain as well.

Ugghh.. one more thing to deal with. Damn boats, you love them but at times you just do not want to be an owner.

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Mr. Tackle, a tackle company based out of Florida sent me some sample jig heads to try out. As usual I let it sit in the corner for a few  months(yeah I know, lazy).  I finally had a chance to give them an honest test a couple days ago.

I fished them in Orlando, Texas and recently right here in Tampa Bay.  Bass, Red fish, Black drum, trout, jacks, and snook were caught with them. I have used them on a popping corks, on regular plastic as well as gulps. So far they have proven to be very durable with a very sharp hook.

The hook at first glanced they look a bit awkward compare to your standard jig head.  After a few fish the hook design prove to work quite well. The point was sharp and despite the thin diameter was quite strong even after I used pliers to unhook a fish.  I went on to the website and  find out they were 4/0 Owner hooks that have a wide gap, XX strong shank with a triple-edge Cutting Point. High quality stuff indeed.

The barb to hold the plastic seems to work fine with plastic and gulp. The sloping shape of the jighead also make it semi weedless when skimming the bottom off the flats.

They come in 1/4 to 1/2 oz sizes and various colors. (I would like to see them available in 1/8th size for a slower sink rate in skinny waters)

I am not sure what stores they are in just yet but you can check them out at these links.

http://www.mrtackleinc.com

https://www.facebook.com/mrtackleinc.mfg
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Fly Fishing Film Tour/Fly Tournament – Mosquito Lagoon, FL.

The good boys at New Smyrna Outfitters and Mosquito Lagoon Fish Camp are putting together a great event on Friday April 11th 2014.

The catch, photo, release fly fishing only tournament will be benefiting “Casting for Recovery” and is local fun fishing event held in the Mosquito Lagoon.

There will be contest awards, prizes and raffles that will be held at HT’s Pub 44 in New Smyrna Beach followed by the Fly Fishing Film Tour which is open to the public and is FREE to get in!
Mosquito Lagoon fly fishing tournament
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For more info on this event:
Fly Fishing Film Tour 2014

To enter the tournament:
Mosquito Lagoon on Fly III

- Capt. Willy Le
www.NativeFlyCharters.com

Tampa fishing with Lace, Brie and Capt Hagaman

I have been so busy with the Salty Fly 2014 this year I have not had much time to fish and worst of all much time to talk about fishing here on Saltyshores.

My fishing has been limited to 2 hours here and 2 hours there and less time to even write about it much.

Now that all that is over it’s time get it all going again for 2014 with fishing good old Tampa Bay.

Capt Jeff Hagaman
Called me up yesterday asking me if I was busy. Thought of not going did cross my mind. Since I would not have to tow a boat and he was cool with me being out only for a half a day I decided to get on the water.

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The weather was the best it’s been in a week this morning. A little chill in the air but a light jacket made for a very comfortable ride.
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One board today was writer Lace Allenius and Co-host of the Chevy Florida Fishing report Brie Gabrielle. Lace was doing an article with onshore offshore mag. Brie was here fishing and getting footage for the TV show. The weather could not have been better today for both of these task to be done.  With the great lighting I was hoping to get some good images to share with you guys.DSC_5830-Edit

After a very short run, we got on the trolling motor.  Once we moved into position the fish was already biting. Using available white bait Jeff had gotten earlier this morning the girls caught snook and trout using the free lined style.

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After things slowed we moved to find us a redfish to complete the Tampa bay inshore Slam. FYI snook, redfish, trout is our Slam.

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Once we got to the redfish spot Jeff got in his tower and trolling motor. This tactic did not take long to find the pod of redfish. I must say getting them to eat was quite a different story. Jeff switch to using cut bait and Brie did get an eat but it was quickly lost.

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An hour goes by with out an eat but the school of fish was quite happy and  hanging around. They were belly rolling and flashing in the shallow grass flats. Jeff explain that’s the problem. It is too shallow they need more water to get comfortable and start to feed.

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It took a while of following the school around on the trolling motor but finally they started to feed as the water level slowly rises.

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The fish was plentiful the bite was slow but before I had to leave we got a really nice redfish. Probably the largest one I’ve seen caught on the flats this year. Brie got the eat and reeled it in as I get my camera gear ready. For the most part the fight was captured with the go pro to use on the TV show. After they were done I got some cool shots of the red fish before leaving.

Glad I got out today now it’s time to pack and head out to to do some more fishing.

Thanks Jeff!

Salty fly 2014 presented by Hell’s Bay Boatworks Results

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Mike Hodge
mhodge7021@aol.com
352-672-2975

By MIKE HODGE

RUSKIN, Fla. — They came, they saw, they won a tournament and they made history. All in one day.

Bradenton-area resident Chris Hargiss and his teammate, Mani Pailer, dominated the 2014 Salty Fly with a back-to-basics approach. Others poled their way into position and threw from the bow with long presentations and sexy patterns. However, Hargiss caught his fish on foot with the simplest of flies — the Bendback.

That traditional saltwater standby led to a three-fish total of 83.25 inches, a Salty Fly record, just ahead of second-place Kapers Murph (80.1) and third-place Leigh West and Jay Wright, who amassed 77 inches.

The tournament format called for two redfish and a trout — total inches, photo release, fly only. Hargiss, a Palm Harbor native, won $1,500, which he split with Pailer.

The two fish together often, so Saturday they decided to work close to their home waters in Sarasota. Efficient and effective, they hustled back to tournament headquarters more than an hour before the deadline, which meant a long wait before the official results were announced.

“It was one of those days where everything lined up perfectly,” Hargiss said. “It shows that if you put in enough time, you’ll catch the fish you’ve been looking for. It was just a good day of fishing.”

All of the winning quarry were sight fished, a style of angling Hargiss honed while owning a kayak for several years before buying a Hell’s Bay skiff several months ago.

“(A kayak) makes you dial in on fish,” Hargiss said. “You don’t want to spend your whole day paddling and expending energy to find fish. You learn to pick your tides, the weather and the time of year for different flats. It makes you hone in on the finer points.”

Hargiss, 27, wasn’t the only angler celebrating Saturday evening. Murph was the first solo angler in Salty Fly history to place, and West and Wright were the first team to pull off multiple top-three finishes. The pair took third in 2012.

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7 Fly4Fishing Hargiss, Chris Pailer, Manfred 83.250
98 Team Solo Murph, Kapers 80.100
19 Osmotic Pressure West, Leigh Wright, Jay 77.000
43 RCI Optics Lau, Honson Le, Willy 73.500
21 *Tailing Loop Elkins, Bryan Elkins, Susan 72.750
91 *Cirrhosis of the River Kline, Eddie Phillip, Tim 71.750
15 Hung Over Sleeping Chouinard, Dave Hane, Colby 68.000
75 Raw Dawson, Brian Shapiro, Aaron 67.250
17 Green Flash Brue, Jeff Forde, Doug 63.000
18 Hurrah Dean, Marcus McClendon, Fred 60.250
84 CaptJared.com Simonetti, Jared Costello, Anthony 60.250
62 Flatz Slobz Angelo, Nick Chamberlin, Bryon 58.500
41 Wang Wilson, John Tylisz, Tom 57.500
31 Redzone Rylard, Alan Vidal, Pepi 49.000
55 Carbon Islamorada Parker, Steven Bandlow, Kelly 47.160
70 Don’t Hate Maher, Tommy Riordan, Jay 47.000
24 Hells Bay Boatworks Dierlam, Chris Hall, Brian 44.500
36 Blackbeard Ravelo, Chris Wior, Mike 42.750
99 The Smithereens Smith, Kevin Smith, Ron 42.000
37 Good Old Biggins Clarkson, Jon Rutledge, James 41.000
27 BARFLYZ Harrell, Jeff Redfish, Ryan 40.750
8 Imperial Polk County Palen, Walt Slager, Joshua 40.250
88 Tie one on Costa, Jared 0 39.000
92 Win Knot Hoffner, Alec Marcey, Brian 38.500
78 Team Cayo Harrington, Ryan Capt. Smith, JB 29.000
87 Backwater Creations Roberts, Brenton Ferrell, Stephen 27.000
14 Black Fly Curley, Ryan Dumas, James 23.000
44 Team Maverick Johnson, Charlie Yergens, Christian 22.500
52 BackCountry Summers, Cas Triano, Phil 22.000
82 Release Marine Kurth, Benjamin Oxnard, Brendan 22.000
35 El Dub Gaines, Barrett Kincaid, Chris 21.000
25 Omni Hippler, Travis Norman, Matt 20.000
48 Fin and Feather Miller, Ryan Wilson, Brent 18.500
59 Kamchatka Survivors Hermann, Jared Knowles, James 16.500
45 Tampa Bay Sight Fishing Reckenwald, Tom Mead, Blake 15.000
30 Prestige Worldwide Maitland, Josh Osgood, Richard 14.500
56 Sofa King Good Diez, Dan Vaccaro, Matthew 14.500

 

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http://www.facebook.com/saltyflytournament

Good Luck

DMC

 

Good Luck tomorrow to all you Salty Fly Peeps

Hope to see some of you tonight; I’m not fishing but coming to event.

Rick De Paiva

www.pbase.com/hdp