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Showing posts with the label kayak fishing

The Itch

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For those of us in the north it is inevitable.  Winter hits, water turns to ice, and our kayaks are put away to hibernate for the winter along with our souls.  This winter, I would open up the shed to sneak a peek and say hello to my Feelfree Lure and Bending Branches Angler Pro whilst they slumbered.  A tear would drip from my eye and instantly freeze.  Head hanging low, I shut and locked the shed before retreating to the warmth of the house. A couple ice fishing trips slightly abated the urge to hit the water.  It at least gave me an opportunity to wet a line and land some fish.  But the odd weather this winter ranged from dangerously cold to dangerously warm.  This made for tough and/or unsafe ice conditions.  I was unable to get as much time on the "hard water" as I would have liked.  Still, I had to scratch the itch to fish. I was able to accomplish this by stocking up for the upcoming season and the first season for Small Craft Outfitters , my new kayak sales/guide

The Best Kayak Fish Finder Battery!

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12v 10,000mah Lithium Battery vs. 12v 4amp SLA Battery One of the most essential kayak accessories is a fish finder.  A fish finder allows you to a lot of knowledge on the water such as depth, water temp, structure, and even fish.  Some fish finders also have GPS features that can help keep you safe on the water.  These units range from 3-10 inches, I'm sure somebody has gone bigger but not that I have seen...yet.  The one trick with these units is on a kayak you need a power source that isn't as big as the yak!  Bass boats have the luxury of being able to hold multiple 12v 30-50 amp batteries.  In a kayak you need a battery that has a lot of power in a small size.  Currently there are two major options for batteries, Sealed lead Acid (SLA) batteries and Lithium batteries. Now before we get into talking about the differences between SLA and lithium batteries, a very common question is what battery do I need?  What I say is to look at what that the amps per hour that par

Making Your Own Path in the Fishing Industry

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The sport of fishing as we know it continues to grow exponentially.  Fly fishing, bank fishing, float tubes, jon boats, kayaks, canoes, bass boats, paddle boats, arm floaties, pontoons, mom and dad's speed boat, decked-out bass boats, etc.  As the vessels and technologies of each advance, we see the sport continually evolving.  Beyond the type of vessel/method you use, our sport has evolved even further.  We have tournament fishing, leisure fishing, fishing-when-the-wife/husband-lets-me, guiding, social media fishing.  Tournament fishing is spreading like wildfire (in a good way) thanks to technology, such as TourneyX . The social media fishing scene also evolves constantly.  Prostaff applications now ask for your YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blog, website, and related information.  Some choose to use all of these platforms, some focus on one and supplement with another.  I focus on the blog/writing and Facebook, using YouTube and Instagram as an additional tool.  No

The 4 Most Essential Kayak Tools to Never Leave Home Without!

Now you probably read that title and thought...only 4?! There are so many more essential items than just 4 and yes I would agree.  A couple that came to your mind was probably fishing gear, snacks, bump board, and the dreaded tournament identifier.  Now I forget those a lot of the time but they don't make my essential 4 list.  To be honest it's more like an essential 10 list but if I had to boil it down to 4, this would be the 4 top items that I would not leave the boat ramp without...side note, this doesn't include the recommended safety precautions (PFD, light when needed, whistle, etc...) those are essential they are mandatory! Now let's get started! 1.  The first essential item on my list is a Sharpie marker.  If you ever see me at the ramp I usually have access to about 3 (pocket, in yak, and in the truck).  They can be used for many different things out on the water!  It is great for last minute additions to your tournament ID and touching up on your bump board.

Bait Selection on Unfamiliar Waters

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A beautiful January day in IL. Photo Cred: Jeff Ashmann This past weekend, I managed to sneak out on the water on a gorgeous 61 degree day.  I have no idea how or why it we had a 61 degree day in January, but I wasn't gonna miss my chance to break the yak out.  I met up with a bunch of new friends from Southern IL and we went to a local power plant lake.  The fishing wasn't great, we did manage to catch some fish and I got to fish in shorts so I was a happy camper!  One thing that I pondered while on the water was how do you determine what bait to throw (slow moving baits).  I know everyone has their preferences and confidence baits, but what is the deciding factor when fishing a new lake?  Is it the water clarity? Type of cover? Presence of forage?  In my opinion that is A LOT to take into account when you are on the water, especially when you have a limited amount of time.  Now let me preface, most will start with a reaction type bait to find fish, which I did but I coul

New Year, New Mindset

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As 2016 has finally ended and 2017 begins, it bring a new year of possibilities both in fishing and in life.  While for some our kayak fishing season has ended, but for others it is starting to heat up as fish will be making their way to beds within the next few months.  Whether you are able to fish or not, there is always something to do.  Lately I have been cleaning reels, organizing tackle, and replacing rusty hooks.  While these tasks might not be as fun as getting on a school of toads, they are crucial tasks that need to be done to ensure proper and efficient use of your time on the water.  I would much rather do this stuff now, to allow me to be on the water as soon as everything unthaws! New PB, 21.5 inches, from 2016! Now let me preface that I have never been a huge goal type of guy.  A lot of times I make decisions as they come to me rather than a long distance goal that I could lose motivation to accomplish.  My kayak fishing goal for 2016 was to make the KBF National

Pro-Tips on ProStaff

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Prostaff, field staff, ambassador, sponsored, team member, etc.  These are all hot, sought after, positions in the exploding kayak fishing, and fishing, industries.  I have been blessed to pick up several of these opportunities to officially represent the brands I love.  Several have asked me how I do it, so I thought I'd share my experiences here. My FeelFree Lure, Bending Branches Angler Pro, Ardent Pro reel.  No, I am not sponsored by a wizardry supplier - the wizard staff was found in the lake and placed in a rod holder for good luck (it didn't work). Definition Each company calls it a different thing, but Prostaff seems to be the most universally used.  People often do not understand the meaning of this team.  Prostaff is short for Promotional Staff.  You are representing the company in different ways in exchange for a discount, sales credit, etc.  I personally do not consider myself a professional angler.  I am not a professional until I can make a liv

Jigs: Why buy when you can DIY!

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Well winter has hit and it has hit hard!  Daily highs are barely creeping into the 30's and some days the lows are in the negatives.  This brutally cold weather in combination with some of the shortest days of the year is...well...frustrating.  It really doesn't help that I don't ice fish or hunt, thus leaving me with the ever growing cabin fever. ^Does this sound like you?? If so let me help you!  When cabin fever sets in there are two things I do to get me ready for Spring.  The first is tying up a whole mess of jigs and the second is putting the reels through a deep clean.  Now I am not a big expert on the latter but I can give some help with the jigs. Tying jigs is something that I have been doing for a few years now.  There is something that can be so rewarding about the process.  There is nothing better than tying a new color you thought up and catching fish on it!  It's a great feeling knowing that your ingenuity and know how made that and that it act

The Reel-World Guide to Spinner Baits

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5lb Thick Fall Largemouth on Northland Tackle Spinner Size, brand, blades, colors, material, hooks, trailers, blah, blah, blah. So many opinions and marketing exist in the world of spinner baits, my go-to lure for rivers year-round and fall fishing. Why? Three reasons: they are inexpensive (mostly), effective, and versatile.  Some say use dark colors in sunlight, bright colors in clear water, dark colors in dark water, and white when the wind is blowing ESE at 5 MPH...... I'm about to give you real world spinner bait experience...my credentials being the fish I've caught on them throughout this post (respectable fish by Wisconsin standards). I've used spinner baits for many years. I read all the articles, watched the videos, and scoured the forums. Thus, I was a spinner expert.  I was completely wrong.  Last year I hit a local river for Small mouth Bass with a family member (yes, a gas powered vessel).  This was an awakening and humbling experience. I had just

What are you thankful for?

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I have always loved fishing, ever since my dad put the new Zebco 202 in my hand around the age of 7.  I remember the times spent in that old olive green boat on the cranberry marshes of central Wisconsin.  There was a gap in my fishing for many years.  I still went out, but not as often.  This was mostly due to where I was living, but also because life was happening (full time job while attending full time college, a baby, etc, etc, etc.). Fast forward to four years ago when my family moved 1 mile from an amazing fishery.  My father-in-law gave me his 12' flat bottom jon boat to use in the small reservoir.  It was a perfect fishing vessel and landed several respectable bass. The following year I started getting a bit more serious, spending more time on the water and jumping into a baitcaster.  I was having fun, but was spending a lot more time working and doing other things. Now fast forward to last winter, when my perspective on everything, especially life, changed. It was