Friday, October 10, 2014

"Kayak Fishing the Chesapeake Bay 3" DVD OUT NOW!

Kayak Kevin's new DVD is out!

"Kayak Kevin, Lee Williams, and Rob Choi target the winter time Chesapeake Bay species, tautog and the Eastern Shore stripers.  They show the rigs and baits, how to use them, anchoring techniques, and navigating the currents during this dangerous time of year to fish the bay."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Big Tournament Red Drum

The desire for that tug-drug kept growing with each successful report that Jay Brooks and Kayak Kevin put up.  And the big drum kayak junkies have been talking about it for years; if we ever have decent weather on tournament day, we were gonna get on 'em.  So needless to say, I had been checking the wind forecast like an addict waiting for his dealer to call.

Game time decision came the morning of the tournament.  I stood at the base of the CBBT as color just started to peek on the horizon.  The wind was every bit of 15-20 kts coming from wide open opposite of sexy.  It's a little over 3 miles to the spot and even though I've done similar paddles, certain muscles puckered.  Regardless, this is the closest I've had in years to do-able weather on tournament day.  So, at 6:30am, I looked up at the sky, said thank you for the opportunity and dragged my kayak across the beach.  It was go time.

I looked back occasionally to see if anyone else was up for the grueling trek out into open water.  With a minimum of 20 paddles strokes between piling sets, I knew the chances were very slim.  An hour and forty five minutes later, muscles on fire, I put out a piece of fresh bunker stuffed with 10/0 circle down to 30-40 ft and a 2 ounce jig with a 7" curly tail Gulp.  As I drifted, I watched the down imaging on my Humminbird, hoping for big blips.  After about 45 minutes,  I got my jig hung up and while I'm retying there's a zip zip from my Release SG clicker.  I look up to see the rod tip bounce twice and instantly dropped what I was doing.  As I tightened down the drag, big headshakes confirmed what I was hoping for.  Three rod bucking and drag peeling minutes later, I grabbed the leader just as the big tail slapped my front GoPro.  After wrestling it over the side, I handled the chore of documenting the measurement with a smile.  48.5"

Just as I was releasing it, the hardcore Maryland Kayak Boys showed up.  I almost couldn't believe it, but remembering how hard they fish, it made sense.  It wasn't long before Mike Rosa had a 48" big red.  Then Shane Hatcher and crew aboard the Badfish, who had just anchored their boat as I was fighting my fish, had 3 with the biggest going 52".  Meghan Lorraine on Jay Brooks' boat also caught a few with a really nice 53" as their biggest.  Then the bite slowed to a crawl.  The wind calmed a little and I wasn't sure what to do.  I had stuck around hoping to break the 50" mark, but with only a couple of hours left before weigh-in I decided to head in and try a flounder spot that produced for me the day before.  I should have stayed.  Jeff Depfer of the MD crew landed a 51" beast that ended up taking 1st place in the Red fish division. 

Big congrats to everyone who placed in the 10th Annual TKAA tournament but the real winners are and always have been Heroes on the Water and Project Healing Waters.  We all helped raise money for two very worthy organizations.  A huge thanks to all the sponsors who donated tons of awards and raffle prizes.  As in years past, I also pitched in and put up some artwork for a raffle.  I wish I had met the guy who won my print (hope he enjoys it) but I was distracted by my 2nd place winnings.

Big thanks to YakAttack for the 2nd place prize (BlackPak w/ three rod holders, GearTracs and a VISI CarbonPro light.

Check out Kayak Kevin's Podcast from the Tourney

On a more personal note, much appreciation to those who had very kind words about my past posts as well as those who had some concerns about my absence in recent months.  I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and hopeful I can come up with good content.  Much love and respect.  Peace out, homies.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Short Morning Session (with video)

I woke up juggling the calendar, with a foot in my face and an elbow in my crotch.  The Jake and the Neverland Pirates' theme song was still stuck in my head next to potential client email drafts, needy little what's for breakfast and can we have sprinkles.  My mind was crowded with unfinished powerwashing chores, MIA little pink stuffed elephant drama, overdue oil changes, super-evil-mega-corps silently upping my bill, wall doodles, and the infinite stream of laundry.  I Hattori Hanzo'd my way out, making sure not to wake the lil' ninja who snuck into bed upside down.  Then, sans coffee, I silently slid into the river in the cover of darkness.

As light slowly crept through the haze, the curtains were pulled back on the soul invigorating glow of the water.  Long exhales shrank my worries and I felt my head declutter.  With every paddle stroke, I reminded myself of all I had to be thankful for.  A short ways later, I caught a good rhythm on the 6wt flyrod and found a few little bronzbacks to go with my smile.

Back in time to rock breakfast duty and watch Saturday morning couch jumping in pajamas, Jake's theme song wasn't so annoying after my short morning session.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Impromptu Good JooJoo

Life insisted on kicking me while I was down the last month or so.  Work and family drama finally let up enough for me to take a quick impromptu trip to the James. 

After catching several of these on the fly...

... I stuck them on a carolina rig with 8/0 circles, dropped them in a deep hole and they found their way into the mouth of...

43" trophy flathead catfish

I still have a lot to take care of but hopefully I'll be able to get out again soon for a nice water therapy session.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Review

In case you haven't read through this site and just stumbled upon this review, I want to make this clear; I fish out of a kayak, A LOT.  However, when you kayak fish, you're just as much a paddler as you are a fisherman.  With that said, my main go-to kayak is the Ocean Kayak Trident 13.

There is no perfect kayak.  If you want speed you're going to sacrifice stability.  If you want great stability, the kayak is going to be wide and slow.  There's no way around physics.  But the Trident 13 finds the perfect balance.  The tri-hull design keeps the kayak tracking super straight and increases the stability immensely.  Here's a little more about the tri-hull design from their website:

"What sets Ocean Kayak sit-on-top kayaks apart is our performance hulls. Many of our hulls were designed by a former Olympic coach who is highly regarded in the paddling community. Some of our hulls feature the Tri-Form hull design which has a distinct keel that runs the entire length of the hull with sponson-like shoulders on either side that make up the majority of the hulls’ beam. This Tri-Form hull design enhances stability as the boat eases through the water. The long center keel area encourages boats to track straight when paddling and coasting. The wider "shoulder" areas of the hull ride high at the surface of the water without compromising speed under moderate paddling conditions. These areas provide significant secondary stability, and result in a very user friendly kayak design. Now adding volume to the bow and adding some rocker gives us a lot of maneuverability, and great surf, rough water performance. In addition, Ocean Kayak hulls derive their stiffness from compound curves rather than sharp lines. These curves have fewer stress points, which makes them less likely to crack than other kayak designs, even under impact."

As they mentioned, the bow of the Trident is designed to punch through surf and take on waves.  Going along with the rough water scenario, the rod pod is crucial.  You can store all your mission-essential expensive equipment without fear of losing it if (more like when) you turtle in the surf.  If you like using electronics when you fish, the sonar shield comes in handy to tuck the unit away when you need to and easily bring it back when when the time is right.  The tankwell is plenty big enough for crates, coolers, small children, whatever.

The Trident does differ from many of the new kayaks coming out in that it sits lower to the water.  In rough conditions, I find this to be extremely beneficial.  The center of gravity is lower and it also keeps you less susceptible to becoming a sail.  Your body as well as the side walls of the kayak can catch wind causing you to either move in the wrong direction or slow you down tremendously.

The one thing that can be improved is the seat.  It's not terrible, but with the number of hours I put in it, I upgraded to a Surf To Summit GTS Pro.  They have made improvements since my model (2012) so you might have to check the new ones out. 

I've taken my Trident 13 to nearly every type of water imaginable besides raging white water and have to say, it excels in offshore, near shore, inshore and anywhere you're trying to cover distance.  I highly recommend it.  For info on rigging the Trident and other tips click here.

Photo credit: Joe Underwood

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kokatat Photo Contest favorite paddling gear company, Kokatat, is having a photo contest where you can win an amazing-top-of-the-line-kickass-custom dry suit. I'm exempt from winning since I'm sponsored by them, but you should definitely give it a shot!

Enter your favorite photographs of your best times on the water WEARING YOUR KOKATAT GEAR. Grand prize winner will receive a GIZMO Custom GORE-TEX® Dry Suit of their choice. Category Winners will be selected in 5 disciplines including Sea Kayaking, Whitewater, Kayak Fishing, Stand Up Paddling and Recreational Paddling (kayaking, canoeing, rafting). Weekly winners will receive a Kokatat T-Shirt.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kayak Angler Magazine Early Summer 2014 Edition

At newsstands now... 
Go check out the Early Summer edition of Kayak Angler Magazine.  
They published my Quest for Six article.