Showing posts from May, 2016

Excessive Taunting

It has been a great holiday weekend thus far.  My family surprised me with an early Fathers Day/birthday present which included Keen Uneek sandals for kayaking, some lures, and a Garmin VIRB XE (check out my YouTube channel for upcoming videos). Yesterday I spent the day fatbiking with a family member.  I was also honored to have Garmin publish one of my past articles.  As the month wraps up, I was eager to hit my local reservoir in hopes to claim a higher position on the May Kayak Bass FishingNorth Central Great Lakes tournament hosted by TourneyX.

When arriving at my local reservoir before sunrise, I notice the heavy fog.  Visibility is nearly zero.
 After performing my unloading/rigging ritual I hit the water.  The fog is so dense I turn on my 360 light for safety.  With visibility so poor, I cannot see shore.  I use my Garmin Striker 4's GPS to navigate to the first location I plan to fish.

Upon arrival, I toss my go-to lures: hollow body frog and buzz bait.  Nothing is intere…

The Push and My New Team

The end-of-May is near.  Children are looking forward to their last day of school, high school and college seniors are celebrating graduations, and we are looking forward to Memorial Day weekend.  This weekend, the kickoff to summer, is spent enjoying various activities while remembering the service members who died to protect our freedom.  For me, the end of May marks the end of my first fishing tournament, the push to crawl up the leader board.

I started out strong in the KBF North Central Great Lakes tournament.  I had a successful Wisconsin bass opener that put me near the top of the leader board.  As the month has gone on, I have moved down/up/down on the leader board, which I love.  TourneyX's real-time tournament management is a great catalyst for a lively competition.  Holding at 7th place, determined to move up on the board, I left my FeelFree Lure and tackle loaded.  I was poised to hit the water after my day job.  
Last night the stars aligned and I was able to hit the …

Know When to Fold 'Em

Saturday was a long, but beautiful, day on the water.  After many miles of paddling, and towing a boat with my kayak, I was sore.  My surprise fishing partner and I had every intention of waking up earlier to get on the water earlier the next day.

After a nice night hanging out with our neighborhood friends Saturday night, I hit the bed and quickly fell into dreams of catching more bass.  Frog season is officially in full swing with the Wisconsin temperatures staying steady.

After going to bed too late, my alarm woke me at 4:30 AM on Sunday as planned.  I immediately notice a significant soreness in my upper body.  I dismount the bed with the grace of a newborn giraffe and stumble to the living room.  My fishing partner isn't up yet.  I spend a few minutes checking my blogs social media accounts then fall asleep in the recliner.

Awaking a few minutes later, I take it as a sign that this was not my fishing day.  After a restful sleep, I awake to my family and learn my fishing par…

Camo Orange is the New Olive Green

Last night I learned of a surprise fishing partner for today's fishing expedition.  I pulled my FeelFree Lure off my car, and mounted it atop my Jon Boat that my partner would be using.

Before getting my kayak, the Jon Boat was my primary fishing vessel.  It took me to places a large boat could not, and was much lower maintenance.  Well, I have since purchased a FeelFree Lure in Camo Orange.  Camo orange is my new olive green.
Boats still have their place in fishing.  However, my Lure proved its worth as my primary fishing vessel today.  I was able to take it places the Jon Boat was stuck.  But no worries, I was able to tie it to the back of my FeelFree Lure and drag it under the power of my Bending Branches Angler Pro with very little extra effort.  We event tied together to explore a creek that fed the river/reservoir we were fishing.  An impractical feat until I had this versatile fishing machine.

The Beautiful Grind

My participation in the KBF Great Lakes May fishing tournament is my first in my fishing tournament career.  It has been great.  TourneyX provides an easy-to-use, fair, and well-managed platform to submit and track progress in the catch-photo-release tournament.  I was previously in 3rd place in the tournament, then bumped to 5th.  Today I was then bumped to 7th and was determined to climb the leader board.

This morning I launched the Jon Boat (captained by a fishing partner) and my FeelFree Lure.  I was determined to move my way back into the top three.

The day started at a bitter 39 degrees, but the forecast was promising.  Temperatures were to be in the 80s with little-to-no wind.  Perfect small craft fishing conditions.  Shortly after launching, my fishing partner landed a nice 16"+ bass on his second cast (the first was a snag I helped retrieve).  We agreed it was going to be a great day.

The Wisconsin spring has made for tough fishing.  The temperatures have fluctuated si…

Lemon Vodka

"When life throws you lemons, make lemonade.", or so they say.  I prefer to take said lemonade, add vodka, and have a party.  Today's lemon was the weather.  My vodka was my family.

Terrible weather coupled with equipment neglect yesterday made me eager to hit the water today.  After a nice day with the family, and a poor weather report for the following morning, I decided to sleep in.  When I awoke to the smiles of my wife and kids and a hard frost, my decision was confirmed.  The temperature outside was 25 degrees.

During my lazy Sunday morning with the family, I fired up the DVR and watched the latest episode of Knot Right Kayak Fishing.  This made me think of my newly strung poles, recharged battery, and dwindling KBF/TourneyX tournament standing.

My daughter and I formulated a plan.  I would hit the water, break in my new line, and attempt to regain my top three position in the tournament.  Once the temperature rose to an appropriate level for the time of year, I w…

One of Those Days

Today was "one of those days" on the water.  Yesterday was Friday the 13th with a full moon.  The day went without incident for my family and I, except for the weather report for the weekend.  However, I was optimistic.  I've fished in harsher conditions (though inside a shanty with a Mr. Heater).

The weatherman was calling for below freezing temperatures and 20 MPH winds.  Just over a week ago it was 90 degrees for my river float.  The following day the bass were shallow for the spawn and hitting topwater.  I even got in my first frog action of 2016.  Hopeful the week's 40 and 50 degree temperatures didn't drop the water temperatures too much, I tied on a buzzbait and frog while I prepared my FeelFree Lure kayak for an early morning departure.  I also packed a pair of ice fishing gloves and heat packs.

My alarm clock rings and I slowly roll out of bed.  I'd love to stay in the warmth of my bed, knowing the fall-like weather awaiting me.  No excuses.  I have …

It's On Like Donkey Kong

As with other parts of the world, Wisconsin has sacred days.  Do not make plans with those participating in these events in Wisconsin.  These days include opening of archery deer hunting, the rut, gun deer season, turkey season, first ice (ice fishing), or any event allowing an excuse to drink beer (especially in public).  Today's sacred holiday was fishing opener.  Wisconsinites are now able to fish game species on all waters.  No more panfish or carp....  It's on like Donkey Kong.

As per usual, I meticulously prepare my lures, load my kayak, and pack my tackle.  Though my home water is 3 minutes from my front door, I cannot waste any time returning home for forgotten equipment. 
After enjoying an evening Wisconsin cookout with the major Wisconsin food groups (brats, burgers, beans, beer, cheese), I turn in for the night.  Having enjoyed the evening with neighborhood friends, I went to bed later (and with more beers in me) than expected for my opening day.  The price of makin…

Bass Goggles: Avenged

Last week, with bass season closed in most Wisconsin waters, I took to a nearby river.  If you haven't read about my Bass Goggles clouding my judgement and nearly invoking a "code brown", check it out.

I was determined, when conditions normalized, so avenge my pride and tackle the same river.  This opportunity was presented this last week when a new kayak fishing buddy of mine was looking for partners to float the river via our local Facebook Group.

We called a local kayak rental/launch site to confirm parking and they indicated the river had dropped over 8 inches since my treacherous adventure.  We were planning the float for Friday, the day before Wisconsin fishing opens on other waters, and the local news was calling for an unseasonably warm 90 degrees.  We planned a float.

The night before I carefully prepped and loaded my kayak and gear.  I rigged my DIY drag chain to help control my speed in the current (I learned last time anchoring in the current isn't a gre…

'Twas the Night Before Bass Opener

'Twas the night before Bass Opener, when all through the house
all the creatures were stirring, especially the spouse.
The lures were tied to the rods with care,
in hopes that Mr. Largemouth would give them a stare.
The anglers were all nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of topwater blowups danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my camo cap,
had just settled our brains for a short spring nap.
When from my alarm clock arose such a ringing,
I rose from the bed, hoping my drag would soon be singing.
Away to the vehicle I flew like a flash,
Tore open my coffee and loaded up the 'yak.
The moon on the breast of the glass-like lake,
Gave the luster of mid-day to the largemouth below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a dawn top-water blowup on my baitcasting gear.
With a fight so lively and swift,
I knew in a moment it must be a monster fish.
More rapid than eagles his jumps they came,
and he splashed, and darted, and surely cursed…

Happy Place

Work, stress, bills, politics, media, interstates, traffic, phones, social media, and the list goes on...  These things are part of today's society.  Everyone needs a "Happy Place" to temporarily escape.  For my wife, it is getting lost in a good book.  For Happy Gilmore, it was an odd dreamland destroyed by Shooter McGavin.  Mine is found at my local reservoir.

I've spent countless hours fishing my local reservoir, learning every structure and contour.  The time I have invested here makes me secure and provides me a sense of familiarity.  I'm familiar with the water, weather, and fish patterns.  There is no stress related to water, weather conditions, or finding fish.  Anytime I struggle fishing other waters, I come here to normalize and find my Moment of Zen.
After my "code brown" river fishing experience, I was in dire need of a Moment of Zen at my Happy Place.  Yesterday I took my FeelFree Lure to my local reservoir.  On this picture-perfect day, I …