Kayak mothership trip… the words can evoke a variety of emotions and feelings depending on your views of kayak fishing. Some view it as a waste of time, regressing to a primitive form of fishing especially when a boat is available, but this could not be any further from the truth.
Just to provide a little background: Kayak fishing offers anglers an incredible degree of stealth on the flats, enabling them to sneak up on fish that never knew they were there thus making it possible to get fish highly pressured, lock-jawed fish to eat when at times they seem to not want anything. It also makes it easier to keep the bite going when you find a school of fish because you are able to pull a few more fish out of the school without disrupting and alerting them of your presence. Additionally, it provides anglers a great amount of independence because they are not bound to the same craft as other anglers. Each kayaker is able to fish a flat independently of each other without overwhelming the flat and shutting down the bite.
Like anything in life, this choice has its tradeoffs. Typically when you kayak fish an area you are committing to that area, good or bad, you are there. The good news is that the small footprint left by the craft should keep the fish present relaxed and eating, the bad news is if there are no fish there, then it will require a significant amount of time and effort to relocate. Mothershiping kayaks on a boat allows anglers to make big moves if fish are not present and explore areas that are too far of a paddle for a day of fishing and fish the area you can never get to.
That being said, you can imagine that we were all excited when Jason Stock, Cameron Schurlnight, Mike Torregrossa, and I got together for a mothership trip on Jason’s 26ft Hanson bay boat. Jason is starting to offer mothership trips as part of his charter business and wanted us to come along to use us as guinea pigs to work out the logistics. Thankfully there was not much to figure out because the Hanson is a perfect boat for carrying kayaks.
All of our equipment fit nicely and we had plenty of storage to spare
Now this is where the mothership really paid off because it was only a few minutes boat ride to get to areas that would not be practical to paddle to in a day trip.
Mike and Cameron roughed it out on the bean bag
When we arrived near the flat we wanted to fish, we used the trolling motor to ease our way in closer.
Unfortunately, the first location we checked out was a bust, so we tethered the kayaks together and towed them behind the boat to the next location.
This time, we were on the fish.
Turned out to be a fantastic trip that I can’t wait to do again.
If anyone is interested in more information on how go on a similar trip, contact Capt. Jason Stock on his website jmsnookykayakcharters.com
13 fishing Envy 7’3″
Medium Heavy power
Extra Fast Action
Lure wt. 3/8- 3/4 oz
Line wt. 8-14 lb
13 fishing’s Envy line of rods is the companies highest offering in their product line. Priced at $250 dollars, it breaks into a category where refinement and attention to detail is expected, and 13 fishing does not fall short in any way. The rod has every bit the appearance of a Japan Domestic Market (JDM) rod well above its price point. The rod is equipped with a downlocking real seat that is very comfortable to hold and leaves no exposed threads to the touch. I tested the reel seat on a variety of reels (Shimano Stella 4000 FE, Daiwa Ballistic 3000, Quantum EXO 30) and all reels fit securely. The rod handle is built with a combination of cork and EVA foam. This combination was quite pleasing to the touch. The cork did have some signs of pitting after a couple months use, but still felt like quality cork, perhaps not the highest grade but still one that would be acceptable for a rod at this price point.
The rod handle is garnished with various winding checks and carbon scrim accents that add to the aesthetics of the rod.
The hook keeper is located on the top of the rod, opposite to the guides of a spinning rod. The hook keeper held baits well and did not get in the way while fishing.
The rod has a split grip and the butt of the rod is made out of EVA with a couple different winding check accents to add to its visual appeal.
The thread work and epoxy is very clean on this rod. The guides used are black recoil guides finished with a titanium tip. While more elaborate thread work could be possible, overall, the workmanship is of very high quality.
I was not able to weigh the rod to see how heavy it is, I can say that it is a light weight rod. It is not the lightest rod out there, but it being heavy is not something that comes to mind when holding it and it kept fatigue at a minimum while spending the day throwing lures on the water.
Now to the real world tests…
I tested this rod over a couple of months in brackish water targeting bass. The rod performed well when casting baits in the 3/8- 3/4 oz range that it is rated for. I first started using this rod to throw jigs into heavy cover that was submerged at a depth of about 10-20 ft. The rod proved to be very responsive and sensitive and was able to tackle resident bass out of the structure with ease. While fishing, we occasionally bumped into snook which proved to be a greater test for the rods power. Again the rod performed well and we were able to pull the fish out of cover.
On a different occasion we found some fish concentrated in deep underwater structure that were readily eating plugs. While not ideal for this application due to its extra fast taper, the rod still performed well and was able to pull the fish out of structure. Although we did loose a few fish to “short” strikes and fish going airborne and throwing the plugs. This would be a problem mittigated by using a model with a more moderate action than this extra fast stick.
Perhaps my favorite application for this rod is throwing large frogs into lily pads and brush using 20lb braid. The rod proved to be excellent at casting frogs and even more so at pulling them away from trouble.
Overall, the Envy line of rods does its name justice because its “JDM like” styling is sure to turn some heads. That coupled with good performance and many features will make this rod a contender in the industry.
I recently took my wife out sailing in Ft. DeSoto. She had never sailed before and was excited to hear my feedback of just how nice it was to sail now that I had the Hobie sidekicks installed on the kayak. I had sailed a few times without the sidekicks and it worked just fine. The only downside is that every time there was a strong gust I would have to quickly lean in the opposite direction to avoid getting blown over. The sidekick totally eliminates the need to balance yourself to avoid ending up in the water.
Now that I had the sidekick rigged, I felt comfortable hitting the water with my wife on a windy day to let her try it out. She has not had any major sailing experience. Thankfully the setup on the revo very intuitive and easy to use. It only took a couple of instructions on the beach and within a minute, she had it down and sailing away.
The only downside to letting her use the sail is that I never get to use it anymore. I am saving up for a second sail and set of sidekicks so we can make the most out windy days where fishing would be difficult. It is really nice to be able to spend some time with her on the water. Typically I have a really hard time just going kayaking and not fishing but early mornings and fishing are not really my wifes favorite activity. Sailing on the other hand is a great activity we both enjoy doing and for once I am actually not disappointed when there is windy day.
Here is the video:
Tampa, Florida – February 23rd 2012 – The Hard Core Kayak Anglers Club, one of the largest Clubs in West Central Florida, has announced the dates for the five events of their third annual tournament series which will take place in a variety of locations along the West Coast of Florida. The series aims at promoting the sport of kayak fishing and conservation through its catch, photo, and release format with 100% of the $20 entry fee paid out to the event and series winners.
Hobie Fishing, the series title sponsor, will award the Series Angler of the Year with the top prize: A Hobie Revolution 13. In addition to a kayak, the Series Angler of the Year will be awarded a trophy and cash prize. Second place Angler of the Year will walk away with a trophy, and a HOOK1 Slam Pack (Est. $500 value) a consisting of a variety of products carried by HOOK1 KayakFishingGear.com, the web’s one stop kayak fishing resource to kayak angler’s world-wide. Third place angler of the year will awarded a YakAttack Slam Pack (Est. $500 value) consisting of a variety of YakAttack’s industry leading accessories for the kayak fisherman in addition to a trophy.
Individual events will pay out cash prizes to first, second, and third place determined by the largest slam. Each event will pay out 100% of the entry fee’s collected with collected with 50% for first place, 30% for second place, and 20% for third place and sponsor donated contingency prizes will be awarded to the largest redfish, snook, and trout.
Other event sponsors prizes and gift-cards include: Wang Anchor, Aqua-Bound Paddles, O’brien’s Irish Pub, Aqua-Dream Living Spoons, Pro-Cure Scents, Aquateko, Crank-Bait-Coverups, Skinny Water Culture, Breathe like a Fish, Action Watersports, Economy Tackle, Canoe Country Outfitters, Masthead Enterprises, and Dogfish Bait and Tackle.
Event dates and locations:
Event #1 – March 24, 2012 – South Shore of Tampa Bay
Event #2 – April 28, 2012 – Weedon Island and Upper Tampa Bay
Event #3 – September 15, 2012 – South of the Skyway
Event #4 – October 13, 2012 – St. Joseph Sound and Northern Counties
Event #5 – November 10, 2012 South Shore of Tampa Bay
To sign up and for more information regarding the event, please visit http://hckac.freeforums.org/hckaclub-tournaments-f17.html
So I finally got around to making a kayak fishing clip. The first of what I hope will be many more. Enjoy
I’ve had my kayak for over four years now and it’s been suitably modified from day one. One of the first modifications I fitted was a stern light powered from a 12v SLA battery mounted within the kayak. The majority of my fishing tends to either be at night or from day into night.
It’s a legal requirement for a kayak to be fitted with a fixed white light that provides 360 degree light and is visible for 2 miles whilst navigating/anchored at night. At that time there was very little available within the UK with regards to kayak lighting, little has changed to be honest. The Scotty light springs to mind, though to be honest its performance left a lot to be desired. I ended up fitting a detachable light designed for small boats and yachts with an uprated LED light.
A few weeks ago I read a couple of online articles where a new kayak light was mentioned, namely the VISICarbon Pro manufactured by YakAttack in the USA. Normally I’ve read any available reviews in advance of handling new tackle and equipment, though in this instance I hadn’t, hence I had no pre-conceived opinions. The unit arrived quickly and was neatly packaged, also enclosed was a RAM mounting kit.
With the unit out of the packaging it was time to have a close look. There was the light assembly, flag, product guide/instructions and a YakAttack sticker, though what really impressed me was the presence of a credit card sized customer service card with full contact details. That wasn’t something I’d really across before, nice touch.
The light assembly is a four piece affair, the lower three sections are of a similar length with the final section being the light itself.
The lowest section is similar is design to a rod butt, foam covered and approximately 1 3/4” in diameter. The design of the lower section allows the VISICarbon Pro to be fitted to most ‘rocket’ type rod holders. At the base of this particular model (CP2) is a 1.5” ball which also allows it to be mounted to a 1.5” RAM ball (Kit RM2 required).
A Scotty ready model (CP1) is also available with a Tallon flush mount. The lower section will also fit to many standard flush mount rod holders.
Above the lowest section is an elastic lanyard that serves two purposes. It allows the unit to be secured to the kayak to prevent loss should the kayak capsize or the unit be inadvertently dropped overboard. Secondly, with the unit collapsed it can be used to bind the unit together keeping it compact, it also aids stowage.
The centre two sections of the VISICarbon Pro are of carbon construction, similar to what you’d find at the lower end of a light spinning rod. The finish is good and there are a couple of graphics to compliment the appearance. The narrow diameter will keep the drag effects of wind to a minimum. The upper section is the light itself, more on that later.
What have the four sections got in common?, well, they’re all connected with an elastic shock cord that passes from the lower ‘butt’ section to the light, passing through the two middle sections.
The cord is under tension and allows the sections to either be quickly locked into place, or to be broken down into a compact size for easy storage. The principle is the same a used on many lightweight tent poles, though applying it to the light was most intuitive. When snapped together the unit is 48” long which when mounted vertically will comfortably put the light above head height.
Stowage, this is where yet again the unit proves to be most innovative. The red flag, which measures 18” x 6”, also doubles up as a stowage pouch.
There is a opening at one end, secured with Velcro, this allows the collapsed unit to be slipped inside and secured.
In this configuration the unit is very compact (14” long) and can be stored within a rear mounted crate or large centre hatch/rod pod with ease. It also fits into my dry box which is just perfect. As a result you can take the light afloat and fit it as required. It also allows the unit to be removed and stowed prior to a potentially difficult surf landing.
Getting back to the flag, attaching the flag is simplicity itself. The VISICarbon Pro uses ‘Silent Snaps’ to allow the flag to be attached to the light in seconds, it really is that simple. The ‘Silent Snap’ system comprises of two small elastic loops with a plastic tab on each. Pulling on a tab allows one end of the flag to be inserted.
The process is repeated on the other end resulting in the flag being securely attached to the light.
It’s very secure, the flag will not blow off and it’d happily survive a capsize. That being said, I’m not going to put the last statement to the test anytime soon!
That leaves the light itself.
The light unit has been custom made for the VISICarbon Pro and sports of section of reflective SOLAS tape with high visibility orange tape positioned at either side. The tapered clear lens houses the LED module. As standard it comes with a two LED module, though additional modules can be purchased to enable this to be changed to either a one or four LED module. Clearly this will vary the light output and battery life as a result. Again, this is an option I’ve not seen made available on any other kayak light.
There’s no on/off switch, operating the light requires a simple twist of the clear lens in order to make the internal contact. It’s simplicity in itself and by removing a mechanical switch it has removed a potential point of failure. The clear lens is removed by unscrewing it from the light unit.
The lens itself contains a twisted diffuser to provide enhanced 360 degree light coverage. Two O-ring seals are present at the top of the light unit, neither of which are likely to fall off whilst changing batteries/LED modules. The LED module lifts out to expose three AA batteries housed within the unit.
These are easily removed and replaced as required.
YakAttack claim a battery life of approximately 100 hours with the 2 LED module. Clearly this would be dependent on ambient temperature as I’m assuming those figures were attained at room temperature. However, even if battery life was far less than quoted it’s still very impressive and would easily last several trips before replacement was required.
The light output itself is impressive for a two LED system. It wouldn’t be fair to compare it to my current light as that utilises an 18 LED (21W equivalent) bulb, though it’s certainly very useable and will easily surpass the UK requirement of being visible for two miles. There is the facility to slide the flag over the light to reduce light output. Whilst this may not be particularly legal or advisable in open water situations, it may be prove useful when fishing close to structure to avoid spooking fish.
The light unit is claimed to be waterproof to 1000 feet. I kept it fully submerged in the sink for one hour and the initial results were encouraging with no water penetrating the light unit.
The VisiCarbon also floats, trust me, I’ve tested it!
So is it value for money?. Well it’s certainly not cheap, though I’m a big believer that you generally get what you pay for in this world, and I certainly believe that this light is no exception.
Clearly, an awful lot of thought has gone into its design. What with its collapsible mast, multi-purpose flag, multiple lighting/mounting options and excellent battery life it’s well ahead of the competition. Though that’s not all, it has full spares backup where virtually every part can be purchased individually direct from YakAttack.
In my opinion the VISICarbon Pro is a high quality innovative kayak light that’s well ahead of the competition. Sure it’s not cheap, though with its superb functionality and unrivalled product support it should last many years with the correct care.
I had a great day on the water with Matt, Chris, and Timmy. One of the things I really love about fishing is that the learning experience never seems to end… I learned something new about a place that I felt I had pretty dialed in.
It took 3 hours of pushpoling the flat to figure out what these fish were up to but in the end my efforts paid off. 11 reds for the day, I sighcasted 10 of them.
This little guy was the epiphany fish… The day was looking grim, even thinking I might get skunked. I am so glad I snagged im in the face.
#8 of the day. A super fat 25 inch red.
The fatty of the day in the 32-33 inch range. He was busting a school of mullet. Hooked his big brother later which ate my plastic only a few feet in front of me, unfortunately the hook pulled. I am going to start hammering them when I set the hook from now on, I was very disappointing to have lost that last fish.
I also brought out the sail for the first time and man, what a difference it made. A usually fatiguing peddle turned out to be quite pleasant. I will be putting this sail to work much more often. I am really disapointed I let it collect dust for months.
Last Saturday I fished the final event of the Hard Core Kayak Anglers Tournament with a number of Anglers from the Tampa Bay area.
I figured that catching a nice snook would be the most difficult fish to catch out of the three species required to slam. With this in mind I hit the water at 6:30 in search of a line sider. While on the water I was fishing next to Mike Torrregrosa. We both landed a couple of small snook and continued fishing the deep drop-offs along the shoreline. A couple casts later Mike’s DOA paddle tail was inhaled by what appeared to be a very nice fish. Snook made a couple of nice runs and finally showed herself, after a couple more minutes Mike had a 35.25” beauty on his measuring board to snap a few photos for the event. This snook was the second largest he has ever caught, and to make it even better he got it on tournament day.
With his snook in the bag Mike T moved on to look for his redfish and trout. I continued fishing and landed a total of 7 snook with the largest being 27.6 inches. With time running out, I made the decision to head to the flats.
Once on the flats, it didn’t take long to find a redfish and a trout, unfortunately they were tiny. I moved along to another area where I commonly find redfish on rising tides. Again most of the reds I found were rats, with the largest being 19.5 inches.
At this point I only had an hour and a half to get back to the weigh in and started to worry that I would not make it back in time. With 2 miles to go to get back to the launch, I started pedaling my way back. One of the things I love about my Hobie Revo 13 is that I can move and fish at the same time. When I was halfway back to the launch, I hooked a 17.1 inch trout. I snapped a quick pic and continued making my way towards the launch.
All of my fish for the day came via the DOA Gold and Glow paddle tail rigged on a owner inshore jighead
Thankfully I made it back to the weigh in with a few minutes to spare.
Mike T took 1st place with a 74.25 inch slam
Chuck Statham took 2nd place with a 74 inch slam
I took 3rd with a 64.2” slam.
At the end of the 6 events, Rick Taylor took the title of Hard Core Kayak Angler of the Year, I came in second place barely beating Peter Polleti who came in third.
Russ Caipen won a Aquabound Manta Ray Hybrid paddle for the largest snook
Ron Henderson won a Salty Shores BLAF shirt for the largest redfish
Andrew Buda won a 8 foot Wang Anchor for the largest trout
Many of the other guys walked away with great prizes provided by our sponsors:
Buda struck gold with a gift certificate to The Sports Authority donated by Walt at Metalfab inc.
Ron Henderson also brought some raffle skills and won an aquadream spoon pack and decals
Rick Taylor won a Procure Scent prize pack
Chuck Statham won a fish grip
HCKAC wants to thank all of its sponsors throught the series… The next series will kick off in the first quarter of the new year. Check out the Hard Core Kayak Angler’s Club Forum for more information
“This is going to revolutionize the way people are rigging out a kayak” That was my first thought when I picked up a peace of Yak Attack’s new Gear Trac. It is a track system made from strong, but light weight 6000 series aluminum. I has a very attractive military grade hard coat anodized finish to protect it from the harsh elements to which it will be exposed . The Gear Trac is attached to the kayak by countersunk screws that are set on 1 ¾” centers running the length of the track on both sides. The Gear Trac is offered in 4”, 8”, 12”, and 16“ lengths.
Placing the Gear Trac on your kayak will allow unlimited mounting options. Placing Yak Attack’s screwball to the Gear Trac opens unlimited mounting options with ram mounts utilizing a ball mount.
Or by choosing the Mighty Mount system adapter, Scotty bases can be attached so that all Scotty brand mounts may be used. Not only can they be mounted to the Gear Trac in one place, they can quickly be loosened and slid along the length of the trac allowing them to be secured to any place on the trac.
My 12” trac will be used to secure a Visi-Carbon Pro and a Panfish to mount my camera. It will allow me to mount the Visi Carbon pro light at the rear of the gear track and still give me plenty of room to mount the panfish. The panfish will be mounted to gain a vantage behind the shoulder shot to record videos. I will also be able to mount the smaller panfish portrait to get those low to the water shots. For the kayaker that wants to record himself/herself on video, the ability to place cameras in different places on the kayak by simply sliding it into and out of the trac is going to be a great feature.
One of the best features of the Gear Trac is it’s low profile. When the day is done and everything is removed from the kayak the less then ½” tall Gear Trac is unobtrusive and does not get in the way while loading or unloading the kayak.
To secure it to the kayak with screws is a great way to use the Gear Trac. However, it certainly lends it’s self for unlimited options. In my case I wanted my Panfish portrait to be mounted next to my fish finder. This would allow me to get a great vantage point for my “grip and grin” shots while keeping me from drill more holes in my kayak. To allow more mobility with my fish finder and camera I mounted the trac on a double ball socket arm which attaches to a 1” ball mounted on my kayak. My camera and FF can now be moved together or independently to get angle I might wish.
With just a little imagination the Gear Trac and Mighty Mount systems allow you to place equipment on your kayak just about anywhere you want.
I made a video of the installation of the Gear Trac. I however had technical difficulties with one of the cameras.(I forgot to put a sd card in the forward facing camera) Anyway, I ended up with only one “overhead” view.
I also thought a short video to show the whole set up might be helpful.
In conclusion I think Yak Attack had hit another home run with the release of the Gear Trac. The amount mounting options are limited only to your imagination.
For a list of distributors and more information about the new Gear Trac and other products they sell can be found at