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Sunday, 30 November 2014 22:41

Cold Water Cranks

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Cumberland Sunny Crank Bait does the trick in cold water Cumberland Sunny Crank Bait does the trick in cold water Marty Hughes

Tis' the season for cold water.  While most fishermen have put their kayaks away for the winter some are still out getting the most out of the low percentage of open water left in the northern states.  Southwest Nebraska is no exception.  The water is cold and some waters frozen over but there are a few spring fed lakes that tend to keep water in the high 40 degree range.  This past Thanksgiving weekend we had an unusual couple of days in the 70's with the surface water temperature soaring to nearly 55 degrees.   It was a great time to launch the kayak and try out one my favorites...the Cumberland Sunny Square Bill crank. My sonar located numerous fish stacked up in the creek bed with vegetation around 5 foot from the surface.  With a slight current and bluegill in the area the bass were sure to liven up with the addition of a Cumberland Sunny wobbling just above the weed line.  Sure enough!  It didn't take long to land a largemouth.  Most were "ditch pickle" size but the fun was in catching them.   The technique used was not the same as in the warmer summer months.  When the lure hits the water I usually draw it down to around 3-4 feet and let the lure pause and float back up slowly.  I repeat this action until I feel the tug of the weed line which helps me retrieve just above this depth.  The strike feels almost like a snag.  The fish put up a good fight but in the beginning they don't really run but give one good tug and then the shaking begins.  Even in the mid winter months we still use the cranks effectively as the water gets even cooler.  .  I just use my sonar to find out where the water warms and the bass are usually not far away. The bait fish tend to hang out in these warmer areas with the larger bass not far behind.   For those who love to crank the cold water can still be a great time to catch those lunker bass.  

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Kayakjak’s passion for fishing started as a youngster fishing small freshwater ponds in Southern California and combing the area beaches with a surf rod. Growing up as a military child often put him in new environments with unique fishing challenges. He has lived in Nebraska since 1976 and graduated from college with a teaching degree of which he has put to use educating youth the last 31 years there. He also holds a Master Degree in Educational Administration. Marty is very active helping the youth of his community with various programs including a before school program called, “Early Birds” and other various activities including a State Championship Archery team, youth football, basketball, and fishing in schools program. As Nebraska’s only kayak fishing guide Kayakjak will work hard to provide his clients with a “unique” fishing and learning experience.

Marty Hughes (Kayakjak) is a highly respected and very experienced guide with over 42 years of angling experience. He has fished from a kayak for the past 15 years in Southwest Nebraska lakes and ponds. He has been Featured in NebraskaLand Magazine April 2003 and the Omaha World Herald in June of 2005. Kayakjak’s objectives include events for wounded veterans, environmental improvements, and promoting the interest of kayak fishing in the Midwest. He has organized many kayak fishing tournaments throughout Nebraska. Kayakjak's Outfitters offers professional kayak fishing instruction for any experience level. He can tailor guided trips to meet the needs of a complete novice or more advanced kayak anglers. Guided trips include Emotion Kayaks and all the equipment a person would need for a fun, adventure filled trip! Our goal is to provide for advanced kayak fishing instruction and an excellent outdoor experience for our clients. We are very blessed to offer these services in some of Nebraska's most scenic backwaters. "A Unique Experience, Everytime!"

What others have said:

Spring time in Benkleman has its challenges when it comes to fishing. kJ, Marty or KayakJak, take your pick, he'll answer to any of these names. I'm partial to KayakJak. This is a guy who's passion for the world of kayaking and especially kayak fishing is unsurpassed!
I've had the honor and privilege to have spent 2 days kayaking and fishing with KayakJak. As noted above, spring time fishing has its challenges. I've never met KayakJac live and in person. Talked to him a couple of times on the phone and pestered him for information by email and watched several videos of him on Utube. From the first minute of meeting him, I had the feeling that we had been friends for a lifetime. That's what type of guy he is. No hype and no air about him. KayakJak is the real deal, the Indiana Jones of kayak fishing.
Being new to the sport of kayak fishing, KayakJak's approach to the "newbie" was terrific. He's very professional without the stuffyness that sometimes follows a professional guide or instructor.
Talk about going out of his way to make your trip into a lifetime memory, I swear this guy planted some fish so I could experience what it's like to catch a fish from a kayak. While giving me space to practice some of the tips he had for me, KayakJak scouted ahead and found the hiding places of the ever elusive LMB.
Geez- I've just read thru the above, kinda sounds a little hokie and like he paid me to say the things above, no I paid him! And not near enough for what I got!

Jim B.


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