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

http://woobox.com/baz9rqMy 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.