Showing posts with label Kayak Fishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kayak Fishing. Show all posts

May 19, 2014

Scenes From The Weekend

While I didn't have the most successful weekend from a fish catching standpoint, I did manage get out for a little bit on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.

Saturday morning consisted of putting the kayak in at Trout Creek in Orangdale.  I didn't realize how crowded that feeder creek to the St. John's River got during the weekends.  Everybody seemed to be out in their party barges and bass boats.  Besides all of the fishing traffic, (a Ranger or Skeeter picking the weeds every 20 feet), I kind of got pushed around a bit by all of the motorboats' wakes; not too bad, but just enough to be annoying.  Probably won't go back there on a weekend with the intent of fishing.  Lesson learned.

Sunday was a trip down to Crescent Beach...actually the Matanzas inlet for about 2 hours.  This was purely a reconnaissance mission.  I did toss a fly or two, just to preserve my saltwater skunk going back to last October. That aside, I'm glad I went.

I hung out on the strip of land that divides the Inlet from the intercoastal/Matanzas River, but there was action going on both sides.  Looks like a place where both fishing and family fun can take place, as even though the pictures below don't look all that crowded, there were a TON of folks kayaking, paddleboarding, jetskiing (which was a little annoying), and just playing in the water.  Due to all of the action, might be better for actual fishing in the morning, but regardless, it was worth the 40 minute drive south to check out.

American Gopher Tortoise

Maybe next time there'll even be a picture or two of a fish.
You never know...

May 17, 2014

Pics From A St. Augustine Paddle

Found these pics while cleaning out a SD card.  Forgot I took them as they're almost a month old at this point, but figured why not post them...

I had put in the kayak down in St. Augustine a few weeks ago, just to paddle around some new water and see what was up.  I really need to be more diligent with the tide charts in the future, as I ended up out there pretty much right at low as low tide gets...and the water got so down in places I ran aground more than a few times (as did a party barge full of college kids).  Not much fishing on this outing, more so exploring and enjoying the beautiful weather.

April 13, 2014

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - Part 7

The local outdoors store in Jacksonville (Black Creek Outfitters) made note on Facebook the other day that they were going to begin carrying LIVE Watersports Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) shortly.

While SUPs are not technically fishing kayaks, LIVE does make a fishing SUP, called the L2Fish.

What makes these boards pretty unique is the catamaran style hulls.  With such a wide base, this becomes a seriously stable platform that should be ideal for fly fishing.  The MSRP of $1999 may put the L2Fish out of some people's budget, but we can all dream, right?

I do see this being a very fun boat to take out on ponds, creeks, and saltwater flats.  And as you can see from this pic lifted from the LIVE Facebook page, you can accessorize these for fishing to no end.

Lifted from LIVE Watersports' Facebook

Specs from the LIVE Website:

  • Dimensions: 12'6" x 34" x 9"
  • Volume: 300+ Liters
  • Proudly made in the USA
  • Large straight-cut tunnel port for smooth pass-through ensuring unrivaled stability and speed
  • Wide spread catamaran hulls provide tremendous stability, minimal drag, and better glide ratio
  • Wide outboard hull flotation for maximum roll resistance and pearling prevention
  • Hollow design provides the highest possible performance with the lightest carrying weight in its class
  • Molded construction to ensure manufacturing precision
  • Superior materials and patented LIVE technology employed under deck pad for incomparable sturdiness
  • Oversized deck space for transporting cargo, the kids, your closest friends, or even a trolling motor
  • Custom double-layer traction pads for comfort
  • Multiple tie down locations for carrying coolers and other cargo

I currently hold no association with LIVE Watersports, this post simply highlights product(s) of interest for those seeking a kayak (or SUP) for fly fishing.

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak Series
Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5  |  Part 6

March 10, 2014

Row, Row, Row Your Boat...

That's what you do when you don't catch anything...but it's all good.

The weather was gorgeous this weekend (sorry all you up North) so I took the kayak out yesterday.  No fish this time - I may need to resort to trolling bait (yikes!) - but I do like the way the new Echo 3S throws line.  I'm not saying it's the be all, end all, but didn't realize how much I was laboring with the old rod until I gave this one a go.

Not much else to say, so I'll let the pictures below do the talking...

March 7, 2014

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - Part 6

The latest installment of the "Quest" series the brand new Native Watercraft Ultimate FX 12...a sort of hybrid between a canoe and kayak, and an update to the original, and wildly successful Ultimate.  It's probably fitting that this boat be highlighted, considering these posts are called "The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak"...

Image lifted from the Native FB Page

As you'll see in the video below, there are a lot of thoughtful upgrades in the Ultimate FX 12, including the improved adjustable seat, more attachment points, and a bungee reinforced anchor trolley that comes standard with the boat.  This kayak looks incredibly stable and appears to have a nice wide deck for those that may want to stand up to paddle and/or cast.  Plus the boat weighs almost 20 pounds less than my Native Slayer 12...

Stats (From Native website)
Length: 12' 2" (370 cm.)
Width: 30.5" (77.5 cm.)
Weight : 57lbs (26 kg) fully rigged
Capacity: 350 lbs (158.8 kg)

I currently hold no association with Native Watersports, this post simply highlights product(s) of interest for those seeking a kayak for fly fishing.  That said, I do own a Native Slayer 12.

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak Series
Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5

February 15, 2014

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - Part 5

The fifth installment of the "Quest" series brings a bit more information on a kayak first mentioned back in Part 2; the 2014 Feelfree Lure 11.5 Fishing Kayak.

Feelfree Lure 11.5 fishing kayak

Being initially turned on to this boat from nothing more than 3D renderings, it's really neat to see how it evolved into a final product.  What's not to like about this kayak?

Personally, there are 3 things that catch my attention.  Stability, seating, and accessories.

The Lure seems quite stable for its relatively short length.  A 36 inch width surely plays a role in that.  There is already some video online showing extensive fishing from the standing position.  An additional stand up leash makes it easy to safely go from a seated to standing position.  While I don't find myself standing all that much in my kayak, it's good to know you can in the Lure if desired.

The multi-position Gravity Seat is pretty much like a mini La-Z-Boy chair.  With multiple adjustments from low to almost a foot high, the seating configurations are practically limitless.  I'd love to take this for a test paddle just to see how different the balance is between the low and high positions.

Finally, I'm drawn in by the optional Uni-bar "dashboard" concept.  Most kayaks come with side rails that make it easy to add rod holders, GPS, camera mounts, you name it.  The Uni-bar works with the side rails of the Lure to create a horizontal platform for additional mounting capacity.  I haven't pimped my kayak out with too many add-ons yet, but this appears to be an ultra convenient option which allows the angler to have key accessories laid out directly in front of them for super easy access.

Austin Canoe & Kayak ( recently did a very good intro video about the ins and outs of the new Lure.  It's definitely worth the time to watch.

Stats (From Feelfree website)
Length: 11' 6" (350 cm.)
Width: 36" (91 cm.)
Weight : 69lbs (31 kg.)
Capacity: 375 lbs (170 kg)

I currently hold no association with Feelfree Kayaks or Austin Canoe & Kayak, this post simply highlights product(s) of interest for those seeking a kayak for fly fishing.

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak Series
Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4

January 26, 2014

Exploring Florida - Trout Creek in Orangedale, FL

Kayak itch.  It's not exactly like jock itch, but it does burn.  After having the kayak stowed in the garage for far too long, it simply needed to get wet.

Last weekend wasn't the perfect opportunity, but it was a least AN opportunity.  Looking out the window in the morning and seeing bright blue skies just called to muscle the yak on top of the SUV and go seek out some water.

Trout Creek Park Boat Launch St. Augustine, FL

I decided to paddle around and scout potential fishing spots on Trout Creek in Orangedale, FL (a feeder to the St. John's River), about 15 or so minutes south from my house.  There are some nicely maintained boat launches there with ample parking, so it seemed like a no brainer as the ideal spot to sneak in a quick paddle.

Trout Creek Orangedale St. Augustine, FL

Trout Creek Orangedale St. Augustine, FL

Unfortunately, the nice weather didn't last.  After about 45 minutes of paddling, the clouds hid the sun for good and the darkness in the distance warned of impending rain.  Fortune was on my side, being able to turn around and get back to the ramp (and all loaded up) before the downpour began.

Trout Creek Orangedale St. Augustine, FL

It would of course stop raining by the time I returned home.  Florida is temperamental like that.  Regardless, it wasn't warm enough to stay out in the rain in wet clothes.  No big deal in the end.  Scouting run for summertime bass and bream was complete.  Itch scratched.

Native Watersports Slayer 12 Trout Creek Park Boat Launch St. Augustine, FL

January 15, 2014

This Weekend Fish Will Be Caught (Maybe)

It's undeniable, with the exception of my "New Year's Fish" I've been in a fishing rut so far in 2014.

I've been out a handful of times, but with really nothing to show for it.  I'm not used to getting skunked, especially when there's easy pickins like bluegill to be had.  Sigh...

Now you don't read this blog to listen to me complain about my fish-world problems.  So forgetting the negative of recent events, my thoughts have turned toward getting the kayak wet again.  It's been on a bit of a winter hiatus, but I think it's going to be go time soon.  Being a relative rookie in terms of kayak fishing, I'm not sure what weather is appropriate or not, but I figure if it's over 50 degrees out, game on.  Please correct me in the comments below if I'm wrong.  Redfish, sea trout, heck even bass, I need to at least attempt get a fix that the convenient jaunts to the neighborhood ponds just aren't providing.

Last weekend I scouted a boat launch about 15 minutes from my house.  It's on the Trout Creek which flows into the St. Johns River.  With a name like "Trout Creek" how could I not check that out, right?  From what I was able to gather using various sources of info, it's supposed to be a fair bass & bream fishery, with the off chance of getting into a random redfish or even a flounder the closer you get to the river...although probably not the latter on the fly.  I'll definitely "cheat" and troll with my spinning rod while paddling in addition to chucking feathers.

So weather permitting, I think that's what's in store this Saturday.  I figure even if I don't catch anything, it'll be a worthwhile paddle, if only to change things up and get my bearings on new-to-me water.

Beyond that, not catching fish has given me a lot of time to daydream and think ahead to somewhat plan my 2014.  Locally, it's going to be all about cracking the saltwater code.  I intend on spending quite a bit of time in the marsh creeks north of Jacksonville, or south down in St. Augustine, or even further south to the Titusville area, i.e. Mosquito Lagoon.

I also want to try and give fly fishing in the surf/flats another serious go.  We're probably headed to Clearwater as a family over Lilly's Spring Break for a little Phillies Spring Training action, rest & relaxation, and an opportunity to go fishing.  The Keys are also just too close to not make a run at some point this year.  No doubt that'll happen; the Hungry Tarpon and Mangrove Mike's have been calling my name since last we left...

But with all that salt, there will need to be some opportunities for freshwater pursuits as well.  The way I figure it...the Smokies are a gimme, a trip to Colorado for the Tenkara Summit is a 50/50 proposition, and a trip back to Pennsylvania is definitely in my future.  So trout be on notice!  We'll also take a legit week-longish family vacation somewhere in the summer...we're talking about places like Northern California at the moment (although I think the wife really wants to go to Hawaii) we'll see how that works out...

Do you have any specific fishing plans for 2014?  
There's a lot noted above, but I'll take any suggestions for inspiration in the comments below.