Friday, June 1, 2012

Something Huge

Yesterday was one of the best days I have ever had kayak fishing. Not because I caught everything that swims but because I was able to finally get my dad into a kayak and fishing for the first time. The day turned south though when he started to out fish me!

The wind was calm and the tide was starting to run hard so we made our way over to the HRBT to see if we could snag a few flounder to bring home. At the bridge we met up with Schwigy and PhillyJoe who were also on the hunt for some keeper flatties. We were only able to find undersized flounders, croakers, and specs. My dad caught a keeper trout that was gut hooked so badly I decided to take it home. Normally, I would have thrown him back but the jig was literally inside his stomach and knew he didn't have a chance after we got it out.

An interesting twist was when I hooked into something huge... huge as in at least 50-60 pounds. I was drifting large minnows around the base of pilings hoping to entice a hungry flounder. I thought I was snagged when the line came taught and the rod bent over gradually. This was not a snag though... I felt it start to swim and flicked on my camera to record the events. After about 10 mins of small shakes, short runs, and a little pulling I was not gaining any line. Confused I decided to see if I could manage to pull it up to the surface to get a look. When I did this I only gained about a foot or two of line, got some good shakes, a short run and it felt like it was back on the bottom again. I was starting to grow impatient wondering what the heck was on the other end of my line and tried to pull it up again. Then... the line broke and it was gone. Below is the link for the video and I am curious if anyone has any guesses what it may have been based on the looks of the fight. The only thing I can think of is it may have been a cownose ray or a large sea turtle? Any other ideas? I dont think it was a fish because I only felt it swim for brief period then it was like it was anchored to the bottom. Give me your best guess.....

Friday, May 25, 2012

No Drill Kayak Fish finder Set-Up

Below is a video reviewing the Eagle Cuda 350 fish finder/GPS. Also show the way that I have mounted my unit without drilling holes in the kayak. I cover the unit, mount, wiring, transducer, and batteries. Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions! Thanks for watching.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

DIY Kayak Stakeout Pole and Camera Mount

Just finished making and testing a homemade stakeout pole made from PVC with a dowel rod in the center for support. I also added a way to attach the camera to the pole so I can get different views from outside the kayak with the GoPro. Check out my video on YouTube and let me know what you think. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kayak Crabbing

After spending the last several months crammed up inside with school research, reports, projects, etc. I have been dying to get back in the seat of the kayak and get on the water. The closest I have been able to get to fishing last month was taking my new bait-caster in the backyard and slinging a few casts in between study breaks.

I've heard many reports that the crabs are starting to come in and have been dying to bring some home. My family doesn't eat fish, but they love picking crabs. I think this is one of the reasons I am so attracted to crabbing because I can sit around the dinner table that night with my family and enjoy the days catch with everyone. When it comes to fish... I'm on my own.


I started out first thing in the morning.. I have found this is when crabbing is the best. I was on the water at 5:30am paddling down my favorite creek at dark and watching the sun rise slowly as I began to reach my honey hole. The creek is a winding salt marsh not far from my house and I have cleaned up pretty well here last season. I left with a little bit of optimism that I might bring home half a dozen crabs since it was still really early in the season but was surprised with my catch.

Using a combination of my modified hand-lines and some box traps, I planned my attack. I took a water temperature reading of 63ยบ and set all my lines in 6-10' of water along the slope of the marsh.


There were a TON of small crabs in the creek but I did manage to find about two dozen keepers. The biggest crab measured 6.5" and I probably threw back 30-40 undersized crabs. The crabs are definitely here and should start to pick up a lot more as the water continues to warm. This year crabs are supposed to be at a 20 year high for the Bay so I am looking forward to it!


With around two dozen crabs and a 1.5 pounds of shrimp... it was an awesome dinner.  All of the crabs were full and some were very sweet. Nothing like a little bit of vinegar and Old Bay seasoning on fresh crabs!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

MS Shad Shootout 2012

This weekend I made my way up to Richmond, Va for the MS Shad Shootout. This is a tournament that was put together by a great group of people to help raise money for the national Multiple Sclerosis Society walk. My girlfriend (Jessica) lives in Richmond so I was able to come up the day before the tournament and do a little pregame fishing to get an idea of where to go. I have been to the James River many times but I have never done any fishing that far up the James.

Friday, I fished for most of the day and searched almost the entire river from Anncarrows Landing up to the 14th street bridge without much success. The water was really murky and I was only able to land 1 shad about 14". I got an idea of the area though and feeling for where to go. When Saturday came I knew exactly where I wanted to head to and began working the rocks just upstream of the I-95 bridge. There were a ton of hickory shad here and they were busting all over the water.

Almost immediately I began hooking up on shad and got a feeling for the way they liked to see that gold spoon move through the water. I stayed there and had fun with the shad until 11:30. The two largest shad I caught were 16" and 16.5".

The tournament allowed each angler to enter two shad plus one catfish. The person with the longest total length of the these entries added together was the winner. With this in mind I decided to abandon the shad and start searching for my catfish. This was hard to do because those shad were so much fun on ultralight tackle.

I moved downstream and found a little hole that I thought might be holding catfish. I was using a fish finder rig with a 6/0 circle hook and open drag. The first run I had seemed to be huge. I fought him for a little bit before it came unbuttoned. I think I got excited and tighten the drag too much, which pulled the hook through its lip. My leader came back covered in slime but empty. About 10 minutes later, I got another nice run and was able to land the 24.5" kitty. I had two more runs after this but only was able to hook up on the last run which was around 21".

After the tournament was over, we all meet up at the local pub and had dinner and did the awards. I took first place but only by a hair. The top three anglers were all within an inch so it made for a close finish. This tournament was a blast and I am definitely looking forward to doing it again next year. I helped out with a great cause and learned how to fish a species I have never caught before. I also got a personal best on the catfish and learned some new fishing holes.

Below is a video I put together with some of the highlights of the tournament. Enjoy.

Friday, March 9, 2012

YakAttack VISIPole II Review

Safety and visibility on the water are two of the most important concerns for kayak anglers. Whether you are fishing during the day or night, it is imperative that other boaters are able to see you. Kayaks sit very low to the water making them hard to be seen. YakAttack has created a solution that makes yakers extremely visible and safe during while paddling with the VISIPole II. Quality DIY lights can easily equal the same price as the VISIPole but lack the reliability that is critical for safety. I can not stress enough that you should NEVER cut corner with safety gear.  You are depending on this equipment to protect you, don't go cheap. I have had the opportunity to use the VISIPole over the last year and have put it through its paces, as well as added upgrades. It has proved to be bombproof.


The VISIPole II features two bright LED lights that are visible from 360 degrees, meeting U.S.C.G. requirements for operation at night. The light is powered by three AAA batteries which will last for 100 hours! Throw a spare set of batteries in your fishing gear though because the light runs like the energizer bunny and it's difficult to add up how many hours you've had it on for.

The light housing is outfitted with S.O.L.A.S reflective tape that produces great light reflection and is elevated above the kayak. It is impossible not to notice the way it reflects the flash from cameras!

At night, the light is well above eye level and does not destroy your night vision like other lights do when you turn around.

I have the VISIPole model with a flag and fly it during the day. The flag is quiet, does not catch wind, and stands tall enough (4'6")  that other boaters are able to see you if you are fishing creek bends or in choppy conditions.

Some more great features are that the light is extremely light, durable, waterproof, and it floats! The base fits snugly into rod holders and also comes in several different mounting options (RAM, Scotty, Mighty Mount)

YakAttack is an excellent company that produces top notch products and outstanding customer service. All of their products are made in the U.S. and they stand behind everything they make. You can not go wrong.


Because I fish in heavily traveled areas at night, I upgraded the LED module from 2 LEDs to 4 LEDs. Although this cuts the battery life in half (50 hours!), it doubles the amount of light produced. The batteries still last countless outings before needed to be replaced. This is highly recommended for those that fish in areas where boat traffic is heavy. If interested, Luther at YakAttack can set you up with these. Shoot him an email.

The second upgrade I added was an LED Nav light that features the standard green and red maritime navigation colors. Click on the link above or visit the Rigging section for an explanation on how I rigged this. When near bridges, I  noticed white lights tend to blend in with horizon lights and vehicle lights. When looking for powerboats on the water RED and GREEN always seem to be the easiest colors to pick up against the horizon. I feel adding these to the VISIPole greatly increases my visibility and overall safety.