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Showing posts with the label tourney x

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

A New Kind of Battle

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The end of October.  The beautiful fall colors have dropped from the limbs, now rotting on the forest floor and my gutters.  The water temperatures are below 50, the air temperature in the 30's at night.  I hit one of our favorite lakes with a buddy, hoping to get into some of the 5-6 lb. bass of recent weeks. I was currently holding onto 2nd place with 60.75" for the KBF Regional Challenge (MN, WI, MI).  My fellow FeelFree Kayak Fishing Team member Mike McKinstry was 1.5" ahead of me in first place.  I needed 2 21" tankers or a 22" monster to move ahead (note 3 fish bags over 60" are extremely tough in this region - we had both been blessed with an epic month). The conditions seemed right.  The skies overcast, rain in the forecast, and a light breeze.  But they weren't.  The water temperatures low, bass were not as active.  We found ourselves catching Northern Pike and dink bass.  I had landed a nice 24" Northern Pike with a good amount of m

Northwoods Fall Bassin'

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I lived in Central Wisconsin for 7 years but never fished it much (I had a first baby, first house, while working full-time, getting certified in my day-job field, and attending college full time).  Kayak fishing is huge in the area.  I've had the privilege to fish with some of the guys in that area, such as The Wisconsin Bass Yaker  and other amazing members of the Wisconsin Kayak Fishing Club .  Having been so busy this summer, heading east to my old stompin' grounds was on my 2016 season bucket list.  The opportunity arose when FeelFree HQ contacted me about helping a customer.  I was happy to, and it gave me an opportunity to fish over there. I reached out to the guys and planned for a 6:30 AM meet at their place (a 4 AM departure required from my house in Western Wisconsin).  The decided to take me to a honey-hole they discovered in the Northwoods (for those of you not familiar with Wisconsin geography, the Northwoods is a place that consists of most of the norther

Dwindling

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This bass season has been one of epic proportions.  When I began kayak fishing, I never imagined the new world it would open up.  I can fish more often, exponentially cheaper, and in areas previously untouchable.  A week prior, my buddy and I had an epic day on the water .  We went back to our fall honey hole in hopes to come close to repeating the events of that historic day in our fishing careers. Fall in Wisconsin is a bittersweet season.  The trees are afire with their natural colors.  Flocks of geese can be seen and heard overhead, heading south to avoid the frigid northern winter.  The bass bite is amazing as they gain weight to store calories for the hard winter.  However, as the temperatures drop, sounds of geese cease, and trees become bare, we are reminded temperatures of -30 degrees Fahrenheit are soon coming.  The bitterness gets worse when the bass bite begins to dwindle. The morning started as a beautiful fall morning.  The air crisp, sky clear.  The mirror-like

Are you fishing fall correctly?

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Well guys it's happened...probably THE WORST time of the year! I had to break out the pants for fishing this past week.  After flirting with some questionable weather with shorts and rain pants, I finally had to bite the bullet and I'm not happy about it...on another brighter note FALL FISHING IS HERE or has been here depending on your latitude.  Now I know that everyone has their personal preferences on what they have confidence in throwing during all seasons of the year, this is especially true during the fall.  Hopefully my yakbackwards way of thinking can help you try something that maybe you aren't so keen on throwing in an attempt to put more fish into your small craft! Now one thing I really dislike in articles is vague descriptions of many critical aspects such as what to look for in a spot, water temp, and other critical details.  So I will do my best to include all of these, but if you have more questions feel free to comment below! Now onto the fun stuff! So

Moving Water Fun

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Hello there everyone! I would like to thank you for going through the several clicks needed to take a look at my first blog post as a part of Small Craft Fisherman.  Needless to say, I am very, very excited and honored to be a new addition to this blog.  I hope I can educate and entertain you through the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences I somehow always manage to have on my kayak. So my recent experience was a first for me.  After getting let outta work early, I found a few hours on my hands.  Now at this point I was beyond fed up with bank fishing and NEEDED to get out on the yak, plus I really wanted to try out my new micro power pole that I had just installed on the Jackson Kilroy LT.  Unfortunately for me, my go to fishing spot is 40 minutes away and with only 5 hours till I had to be at work for my part time job, I was left searching for some new territory.  I thought about braving out onto the dreaded Lake Decatur (seriously if you don't believe me look up the electr

Epic

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It is well known the bass are larger in the south.  They grow and feed all year.  In the northern states, there are lunkers out there.  However, they are more of a rarity.  Typically I land one 20" bass in a season.  The rest are respectable, fat, fish, but not the "lunker" length.  This year has been different. Sure, I've spent exponentially more time on the water this year than in the past.  I have also spent more time refining my techniques.  Both have contributed to increased success in my season.  I attribute both to kayak fishing.  My FeelFree Lure allows me to explore and dissect waters I had never considered before, even in my john boat.  Since I can't fire up my gas motor and cruise to a new spot, I am forced to increase my attention to detail.  This includes careful planning of launch sites, keen observation of structure, and refinement of my fishing techniques.  The kayak forces you slow down and fish.  I've even pulled several respectable fish

Frozen

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After spending some time recovering from my tournament push that started in my article " I'm Back - The Saga Begins ", I was ready to hit the water again.  I had already washed and polished my FeelFree Lure, it was looking like new.  My gear was loaded up and ready to go.  I had spent the last few days seeing my Facebook feed filled with kayak anglers catching toads as the fall bite was ramping up.  I was ready for a piece of that action.  When I was in "tournament mode", I had left my Garmin VIRB action cam at home.  I was looking forward to again documenting my adventure. I woke up before light to frost surrounding my house.  The thermometer read 27 degrees.  Having anticipated these conditions, I had prepared my winter fat biking gear (Under Armour cold gear, athletic pants, and a performance sweatshirt.  Upon arriving at the lake, I covered my pants in my rain gear pants to deflect any paddle splash. The lake was covered in a thick fog, a normalcy th

The Saga Ends

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The final chapter of my tournament marathon picks up where I left off in " The Saga Continues ".  Instead of grinding the water after work like in the previous week, I take a few days to rest by body and mind.  I also perform some basic maintenance and cleaning on my gear.  I have the final two days of the tournament off work to cover as much water as possible. The first day is a beautiful morning, but it was not a great day for fishing.  I did my usual seeking with a spinnerbait.  It produced, but nothing of size.  I tried cranking, but it produced the same.  By the afternoon, I had worked the entire reservoir without locating the big ones.  I sat slumped in my kayak asking myself, "What now?". The Wisconsin fall was moving in.  We were reaching 40 degrees at night and 70 during the day.  This weather pattern makes for difficult fishing.  Water temperatures are in the mid 50s in the morning, rising to the upper 50s by the evening.  At this point, I need to make

The Saga Continues

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The saga of my absence from blogging picks up where I left off in " I'm Back - The Saga Begins ".  I had just caught a tank bass, putting me in the running to qualify for the Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship.  Getting the privilege to fish south of the Mason-Dixon, via kayak, with the best kayak anglers in the country has been a pipe dream since I got into the tournament fishing this year.  Never did I think I had a chance.  Sure, I put in a lot of time on the water but never considered myself a tournament angler.  I decided this was a great opportunity to make a push to make "the cut".  The spinner bait seems to be the magic lure, so I make a restock trip to my local Mills Fleet Farm and stock up on Northland Tackle spinners.  My spinner box now full, I'm ready to hit it hard. My kayak stays permanently at the ready on my trailer.  Tackle, PFD, net, hawg trough, and my Kayak Bass Fishing identifier nestled in my TourneyTag are in the vehicle read

I'm Back - The Saga Begins

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First of all, I'd like to apologize to my regular readers for going mostly silent recently.  I try to give my regular readers something to read every weekend.  That said, this is the reason I've been only posting pictures to my Facebook page and Instagram accounts: Photo By: Chang Lor www.cxfishing.com In my last installment of shenanigans, I was resetting my fishing.  Going back to my basics with my time-tested tactics.  I also opted to stay local, though my home water has challenged me since the late freeze during the spawn.  All fish patterns from years' past had changed and I became frustrated.  My amazing wife reminded me that I learned my home water patterns quickly.  I needed to reset and do it again.  With success using my time-tested tactics, I regained confidence in my knowledge of the water and opted to continue fishing local. This long adventure begins the weekend after " Back to Basics ".  I hit my local waters again, where I'm met by my

Back to Basics

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Being disconnected from the world via technology is an odd thing.  The day prior, I had lost my phone in the Mississippi River, you can read about it in my article " Mississippi River: Kleptomaniac ".  I found myself reaching for, and attempting to check, my phone a scary number of times.  Like I was an amputee that still had sensations as if my appendage was still attached.  After I came to this realization, I found the situation freeing.  Just silence, like when I was a kid.  No connections, just life.  Though, I'll admit, driving home the night before in the dark of rural Wisconsin was a bit tense.  Should I hit a deer, I could go without seeing another car for hours. Don't get me wrong, I love what technology has brought to our lives.  Especially what it does for the fishing community.  It allows me to connect, communicate, and compete with anglers all over the world.  Social media allows the communication and connections.  The app  Drophook  allows like-minde