As many of you may know, I resigned as the Pro Staff Team Captain with Malibu Kayaks. I enjoyed my time with them, but felt it was time to make a change. I was contacted out of the blue by Hurricane Kayaks and since I was looking towards the Phoenix 14, it was a win-win situation. I absolutely love the Phoenix 14; it has everything I was looking for. Made using “Trylon” and a unique thermo-molding process, the Phoenix performs like a kayak made of composites but costs much less. Weighing in at 53lbs, it’s easier for me to manage on and off the truck, easier to paddle on the water (it glides forever), and allows me to spend more time out on the water. Look for a full review in the near future.
Have I been fishing, and what ever happened to “Will it Fish?” Yes, I have, and I have not forgotten about “Will it Fish?”. I shot an episode of WIF using two new lures. One was a complete bomb, and the other one worked quite well. There was one slight problem; my camcorder has a shutter that protects the lens from water and dirt. I was hitting “Record” and then opening this protective cover - except I was really closing it instead of opening it. So what I got was a lot of great audio of me catching fish, instead of video. I haven’t given up on the project; let’s just say I hit a bump in the road. In the past week I was able to trade one of my old Malibu kayaks for a couple of GoPro 2’s, so now I will be using those cameras along with the Kodak “PlaySport” and leaving my camcorder at home where it belongs. I think future episodes of WIF will turn out awesome. Here is a little taste of things to come:
”Who is Henry?” you may ask. Well, let me explain. My last trip I was joined by my good friends Jeff Martin, Norm Hall, and as always, Greg Becker. We decided to hit a totally new area on the Braden River. It has been on my mind for some time, and looked very promising. Greeted by a stronger than anticipated incoming tide, we started hooking up with fish right away. This area had an unusually large number of oyster bars, something I was expecting, and these bars were holding all sorts of fish. As the morning wore on we split up, exploring different parts of the river.
I was poking around one of the small mangrove islands when I noticed something along the waterline. Yep, another tangled bird - the fourth one in the last few months. It was a small Blue Heron, tangled up in some fishing line. There was no telling how long this little bird had been treading water, hung up between those two branches. I jumped out of the kayak, grabbed him, and cut the line. Greg came over, removed the rest of the line, and checked the bird over for any broken bones. This little guy was so tired; he was shaking as if he was in a state of shock. I just let him hang out with me for a bit, and when we felt like he was going to be ok we placed him high up in a mangrove tree to fully regain his energy.
Somebody said “Hey Bill, we should change your name to ‘The Bird Whisperer’.” I don’t know - it’s kind of catchy, I guess. After our little adventure we continued to explore our new area. As the tide had slowed down, so had the bite. Jeff and I spent about a half hour chasing down a rather large snook cruising a shallow flat, but neither of us could get that fish to even look at anything we threw at it. The rest of the morning was spent taking pictures around a small island that was a rookery for a number of different birds.
I’m a strong believer in karma. The next day, Greg and I went out to Cow Creek and absolutely stomped the fish. We had great weather, calm winds, and a great top water bite all morning. There was only one down side to all of that - dead camera batteries. Yep, I forgot to check my battery, so we didn’t get a single still shot all day. Maybe it was for the best, because once the batteries in the GoPros died we really got into the fish. On the way in I jumped a really nice river tarpon, but that’s a story for next time.