Monday, March 28, 2011

Gear Review: Visi Pole Carbon and Seal Line E-Case

At a recent show, I finally bit the bullet and made a few purchase I had been meaning to make.  First, and possibly my most exciting purchase was my Yak Attack Visi Pole Carbon.

Even though I have only made it out on the water once since the purchase I can say that this is a extremely valuable asset to my arsenal.  It is currently living in my crate, and will stay there for all future outings.  In the summer, I have a bad habit of fishing all day and into the night.  Normally, by the time I decide to stay out, I have a long paddle to get a light then a paddle back to get on the fish.  Now my problems are solved.  Also, the ability to break down the pole to provide a over the shoulder light source is a nice option when a headlamp is not needed.  At 14oz, It is light and virtually drag free, even on windy days.  This is an awesome product that I would recommend to everyone.

My second purchase was for my phone.  After dropping a pretty penny on a new phone, I decided that it was going to be protected on the water at all times.  After placing it in a pelican case (which I still use and love), it became cumbersome using all of the phone’s capabilities (internet to check tides, google earth and GPS for on the water decisions, etc…).  I found a nice case that helps me protect my investment, but also gives me all of the functionality of the touch screen.  After doing some comparison shopping, I went with the Seal Line E-Case .  Of the three sizes I had to choose from, the small case did not fit my phone (HTC EVO), so I went with the medium case.  For me the only downfall is the extra space that is provided, but I have overcame that by placing my license and any other paper items I carry in it.  I am happy with this purchase, and will not look for anything else, unless I can find the same properties specifically for my phone.


What Keeps Me Motivated

With the tone of the blog the last few weeks, the lack of fishing weather, and a busy schedule, I thought I would share what keeps me ready and motivated to get back on the water.


Friends have been a huge part of my fishing enjoyment this past year.  I love being on the water alone, but my friends have been a constant source of companionship, constructive criticism, and motivation during the off season. 

The Internet

Sites like This is Fly, Moldy Chum, Tidewater Kayak Anglers Assoc., and Tidal Fish have helped keep me focused and have given me lofty goals for the upcoming season.


Outdoor Blogger Network has been a source of inspiration.  From tips and techniques, to interesting stories and outdoor antidotes, this site has been one of the few on my RSS feed.    Other blogs from friends such as Mark Lozier and Cory Routh provide interesting reads on the happenings of the kayak community and conservation on the east coast.  Other blogs from friends such as Rob Choi and Justin Mayer feed into my competitive spirit.

Interaction in the fishing community

Shows, expos, festivals, demonstration and club events get me out and keep me fresh, even if I am not on the water.  I have learned so much about the species I target at these outings, and I get to shoot the shit with others that share my passion, which is always nice.

And as always the fact that the water and air WILL eventually warm up.  Soon my friends, soon!

Monday, March 14, 2011

As I wait...

... for class to start, I was thinking about work, school, life and fishing.  I am very fortunate to have a job that gives me the flexibility to do the things I enjoy.  Yes, it can be a pain in the rear, and I do not always enjoy it but it could be a lot worse.  School has never been enjoyable for me, but with almost 20 hours down this go round, I am finding it more enjoyable than ever before.  On to my life, I am blessed with what I have been provided.  I have been all over the world, experienced some very good (and also some very bad) events, made some great friends, and am doing things I never thought possible.  All of this relates to my life fishing.  Unfortunately, I do not get on the water as much as I used to, but I am more involved in the sport.  I can talk, work and dream fishing, which seems to make my overall experience more enjoyable.  All of this made me think about some of the milestones that I have made within the last couple of years.

  1. Caught a Citation Flounder
  2. Caught a Citation Sheepshead
  3. Caught a Citation Speckled Trout
  4. Caught a Striped Bass over 40"
  5. Caught a Red Drum over 30"
  6. Won a Kayak Fishing Tournament
  7. Made a Pro Staff
  8. Assisted in a Hero's on the Water event
  9. Serve as an officer in a Kayak Fishing Organization
  10. Made some GREAT friends
  11. Organized a tournament series
  12. ...and I am in the process of organizing a charity tournament
All of these things do not make me better than anyone else, but they do make me extremely proud.  We are all lucky from time to time, and I would attribute most of these events to being in the right place at the right time.  The one constant is PASSION.  This is the passion that has helped get me through the bad times, fight through the pain of having to give something up in order to further my education, and put myself in a position professionally to do what I want to do for the rest of my life (I hope).  I challenge everyone who reads this post to reflect on what makes them who they are.  Look at both the good and the bad, be honest.  This process has helped make me a better person and a better fisherman.

On another note, I was able to make it out on the water this weekend.  After working the TKAA booth at BPS, and convincing someone to get into kayak fishing (I later got a call that they purchased their first kayak), I hit a local spot to try to get more Kayak Wars points for our team.  The fishing was tough, and no points were earned that night.  I did manage my first red of the year (a small 16" specimen).  I would not normally bother with a picture, but this one was special.  The colors were amazing.  This is one of the most colorful reds I have caught.  The sides were gold, the belly extremely white, and the tail a brilliant shade of blue.  It made me feel even better to let him go to produce more freight trains.  It has been a while since i have caught a red, so while I was fighting him, I kept thinking "First citation speck of the year".  As this was not the case it was a nice consolation prize!

The following morning, I had the pleasure to fish with my friend and Kayak Wars teammate, Mark Lozier.  We checked out another hole that is starting to show some potential.  Normally I fish hard, but this morning was different.  It was nice to paddle around, shoot the breeze and relax a little bit.  Even though the skunk was with us the whole day, it didn't matter.  It just goes to show you that it doesn't always matter if you catch a fish or not.  The experience can make up for everything.

With the days getting longer and the weather getting nicer, don't forget about safety.  The water in SE Virginia is still on the cooler side.  Stay protected form the elements, always wear your PFD, and have a visual and audio signaling device.

Until next time...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Finding Your Niche

This is easier said than done, but one your find your niche, your time on the water is more enjoyable.  I will preface this by saying that I am not the greatest, kayaker, angler, or person on this earth.  I still have a lot to learn, but I am learning.  The following areas are small things that irritate me and others I know.  I may be the unpopular one that says something about it, but I want to help make others (as well as my own) time on the water enjoyable.

1) Unless you have a book, you are not holier than thou.

I see a lot of fishermen that snub others.  Cliques in fishing circles (i.e. spin vs. fly) are ridiculous.  I just do not like some people but I do not force my dislikes or feelings upon others, and tend to keep my feelings about others to my self. 

I am a pro staffer, but this generally does not come up in conversation unless someone ask me about my kayak or my affiliation, which at that point opens up the conversation.  I want people to know about me as a person.  Respect me for me, not because I am affiliated with a company.

2) Hard work pays off.

Remember, nothing is free.  You have to work for the many benefits and accolades that this sport has to offer.  I have not had anything given to me in this sport, and I feel like it has made me a better and more credible angler.

3) Do your own research.

Fishing is fishing.  The internet is a good tool to help you make a final decision on a spot, but one should not wait to see someone post up and hit a spot once it has been posted.  Get out there and befriend someone.  Go out on some trips, gain confidence and you will find spots that are your own. 

4) Don’t post everything on the internet.

There is no problem with posting information on local forums, and I encourage it from time to time.  I think a good report gives the species caught and the general geographical location (i.e. VA Beach).  If you point out a spot (i.e. Lynnhaven) you might find 30 people looking for your spot next time you go out.  Also, if you are not form the area, please don’t hotspot the areas you fished.  Locals might enjoy some seclusion and may not appreciate their spots being put out there for everyone to see. 

5) If you want to know something just ask, don’t lurk around trying to pick up intel.

I work full time, and go to school damn near full time.  I understand that timing and location may not make it easy to have a quality day on the water.  Ask someone personally if you want information.  You might just be surprised the quality of information that you are given.  What is the worst that will happen?

If you lurk and “pot lick”, you might be surprised at the information that you will miss out on.  People might give misinformation when you are around just to keep you off the trail.  If you are looking to gain a reputation, this is the way to go about it (it may not be the type of reputation you are looking for).  Also, you may get pieces of valuable reputation, but will rarely be given the full story. 

I have met quite a few people on the water and the internet.  I fish with those people now.  Most of these encounters were initiated by people asking me personally for information.

6) Get out there and lend a hand.

Once you get out there and give something back, you will be amazed at what you get in return.

I just wanted to put this information out there.  What I described above are things that I am bothered with.  Many people do not realize that their actions might be alienating them.  Just something to think about.