Greg is an active duty Army Officer and AH-64D Apache Pilot. He started kayak fishing in the summer of 2011 with his father at his home away from home in Destin, Florida as a cheap way to get on the bay and out into the gulf of mexico. Greg loved kayak fishing so much that he soon forgot about buying a boat and has since owned four kayaks. Whenever he is not out fishing at his current duty station you can catch him working on his cars, shooting guns or enjoying the outdoors with his wife and two dogs.
For the premiere of Yakangler’s Pro Interviews, I could think of no one better to start us off than 30milesout.com kayak fishing TV host, Ty Southerland. I have been watching Ty’s exploits for the last four years and I eagerly await a new episode of his two YouTube shows (username: tyonthefly), “30milesout” and “yakntexas” every day.
There is one piece of equipment all kayak anglers will need at one time or another to make their day less stressful on the water - an anchor. Let’s face it - wind and current are never going to go away, and there are not enough days where the winds are less than 5 mph. The choice is simple: stay home and do housework, or go fishing and use an anchor system to your advantage to combat the conditions and catch fish.
For those of you truck owners looking for a way to transport your kayak, there may be no simpler way to do it than with a bed extender. The handy bed extender has been my method of transportation for the last three years. As with anything in life, there are pros and cons.
After a few months of using a swing arm mount on my Lowrance Elite 5 HDI, I wanted to try something different. Ocean Kayak provides a pretty deep scupper hole designed for a transducer on the Prowler Big Game II. The question is how does one go about mounting the transducer to that hole? The answer lies in with Lowrance’s kit specifically designed for mounting one of their transducer into a Kayak’s scupper. The kit is simple, but ingenious. There are very few components and just a few steps.
Before I ever load up my kayak to hit the water, I always check the weather and wind forecast. Unlike our powerboat brethren, we have no trolling motor or outboard to prevent the wind from pushing us around. That burden lies solely on our paddle, pedals, or anchor system.
Since starting kayak fishing a couple years ago, I have been in search for a quality cooler that was light, compact and efficient enough to withstand the heat in my southern homes of Texas and Florida. Fellow Yakangler.com Pro-Staffer Chris Payne wrote some fantastic reviews on a few top name brand coolers that are well suited for kayak fishing (http://www.yakangler.com/blogs/on-the-line/item/3221-the-search-for-the-best-kayak-fishing-cooler-brute-vs-yeti). My only issue with the coolers he reviewed was the price. At around $200, I just couldn’t justify the price within my budget. So, I continued to search for a cheaper alternative and I settled on the Engel Coolers UC 30 RH (http://www.engel-usa.com/products/cooler-dry-box/uc30t-rh).
Recently this summer my wife informed me that she wanted to get on the water with me more. She also demanded that if she was going to join me then she had to have a pedal kayak, paddling just doesn't suit her. So, my search began for a reasonably priced Hobie Outback for her. The search quickly ended a week later and we had a new to her 2006 Hobie Outback that had been barely touched. We made plans for the following weekend to take our dogs and kayaks out to our local lake.
We got down to the lake and made our way across the cove to the opposite side where there were no people. After the short pedal we set up camp and let our dogs swim and chase after each other.
I couldn't resist the urge to fish and my amazing wife gave me the go ahead to head out. I had only brought one rod on this trip and I figured, why not take her boat out for a spin and see how it fished. With my lone rod on board, rigged up with a ZOOM 5" paddle tail in Houdini color, I began casting to my left as I peddled the Hobie into the current maintaining my position. I slowly reeled the paddle tail in trying to make some good vibrations and allowing the lure to fall after each retrieve.
I could not believe the slam on my line that I felt after my 3rd cast. I thought I had snagged my line on a log or some of the abundant grass nearby. I knew it was a big fish as soon as my drag started buzzing and the fight was on. I could hear my wife yelling to me asking if I had something. I vividly remember replying, oh yeah!" For what seemed like and eternity, I slowly gained more and more line, bringing the hawg near my grasp. I attempted to grip the fish, but he was having none of it. My thumb paid the price, the ensuing blood from the damage was well worth it though. My second attempt was successful and I secured the fish and headed back to shore to measure the beast.
I have fished that area for hours and hours on end. I have always had success in that specific area, but never as good as this. Maybe my family is my good luck charm!
This past weekend (14 September) I attended the Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) fall demo days at the Quarries Park in Austin, TX. This was my first ever demo event from any kayak dealer and I was not disappointed! Even though I was not in the market for a new boat, I was extremely interested to see and try-out the latest and greatest from several of the industry's top manufacturers. For anyone that is new to the kayak fishing scene, this is a great opportunity to learn from the pros and to find the boat that works for you.
When I arrived to the event, I was greeted by a few nice ladies who asked me a few simple questions and had me fill out a standard waiver. I was also entered into a raffle for some interesting prizes from life jackets to car haulers. From there I was escorted to the life jacket and paddle pavilion where I was fitted for both items and given a rundown on how the event works. Not too complicated, just find the boat you are interested in, jump in or wait in line for your turn.
In all, I was able to demo 7 new boats on the market. I was extremely impressed with the kindness and expertise of all of the staff and manufacturer representatives. If you haven't had the opportunity to get to a demo day, I would highly recommend that you mark the next event on your calendar and make the time to attend. For anyone new to the sport, this is the perfect opportunity to find the boat that is right for you. ACK even offered a 5% discount on new boats if you attended the event! For the experienced folks, this is a great opportunity to try out the latest and greatest and see how our sport is evolving.
Check out the full on the water video reviews i was able to take at the event. Boats reviewed include Feel Free Lure 13.5, Old Town Predator 13, Native Ultimate 12 FX, Slayer Propel 10, Viking Profish Reload, Viking Profish 400 Lite, Wilderness Systems Thresher 155, Hobie Pro Angler 17 Tandem.
Old Town's flagship on the water review at ACK Demo Days SEP14. Check out the video.