It’s not that I don’t like winter. There’s something special about that first light snow, or the way
the birds come alive on a warming trend after a few bitterly cold days – when they know they’d better
find food and water before the season’s icy grip returns. I like Christmas and New Year’s Eve and
although I’ve never had the chance to do it, snowboarding always seemed like it might be fun. Winter is great. I really like winter – for about four weeks. Continue reading A Little Winter Goes A Long Way
Written by ACK’s Fleet Sales Manager, Juan Carlos Andreu
The beginning of winter marks the kickoff of a very special fishery hidden in the Texas hill country; Guadalupe river rainbow trout. Every year Texas Parks and Wildlife and other private organizations like Trout Unlimited, stock the Guadalupe river with thousands of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and hundreds of fisherman take their shot at hooking this amazing fish. The breathtaking background of the Texas Hill Country, with its cliffs and dramatic colors add character to this challenging but rewarding type of fishery.
On December 12th I made the scenic and anticipated drive thought the Texas Hill Country in search for my first Rainbow trout “on the fly” (Fly fishing gear) with friend and Austin’s Store Assistant Manager Ryan Schaper. It was a beautiful day with ideal conditions, and the trout could be seen swinging up and down the river. Everything seemed to be in place for an amazing day. Continue reading The Secret to Fishing the Guadalupe River
Boondoggle… What is it? Kayak Fishing Boondoggle is a bi-annual 4-day event held during President’s Day and Columbus Day weekends. Kayak anglers from all over the country meet up at a selected campground to fish, hang out with 468 like minded kayakers and check out all the new products in the vendor village.
The October 2014 was held at KARS Park, Merritt Island, FL.To get there Ryan from the Austin store, Juan Carlos ACK Fleet Sales Manger, and myself from the San Antonio store had to travel 1200+ miles with kayaks and fishing gear for both inshore and offshore. Continue reading Boondoggle 2014
Guest blog written by Andrew Moczygemba, Railblaza
This year, we have seen multiple big water kayaks like the Viking Reload and the Wilderness Thresher introduced to the market. While these are both all-purpose kayaks, they are designed for appeal to the offshore, beyond the breaker (BTB), kayak fishermen. Like these kayaks, their rod holder counterparts are technically all-purpose rod holders, some of which are designed for and appeal to the offshore kayak angler such as the Railblaza Rod Holder ||.
With kayak fishing growing in popularity by the minute we thought it would be a great idea to ask our seasoned kayak anglers to provide some advice and tricks for the those looking to get started. So we took to our Facebook wall and asked our followers to give us the best piece of advice they had and boy did we get a response! By far the most popular piece of advice given was to invest in the best PFD you can afford and wear it while on the water; safety should always come first! Coming in second was all new kayak anglers should also take the time to familiarize themselves with their gear and kayak as well as check the weather forecast before setting out on their first kayak angling adventure. Below is the complete list of advice we received from our fans. Continue reading Advice for New Kayak Anglers
As a kid, I was fortunate to be exposed to the outdoors by my family. My father’s side of the family enjoyed hunting as much as Grandpa River enjoyed the coast, so hook and bullets became a way of life for me. Those traditions growing up were some of the best I had in my life and thankfully, they continue.
A trip to the coast came about as an open weekend that offered a chance to do some coastal fishing. With any chance to hit the Texas salt, I made my way to Goose Island State Park near Rockport. I contacted my cousin to see if he would be open to joining. While he lives only 20 miles away, our busy schedules make it difficult to find time to meet, let alone enough time for a good fishing trip. Luckily he was able to make it work for this endeavor. After he confirmed we invited his dad (my uncle) and made our trip a little family affair!
As with any trip to the coast, the menu is a discussion of paramount importance. From breakfast tacos to some suspect summer sausage, the one
item that would make a lasting impression to me was the coffee. For most camping trips many would think coffee is a no brainer. What made this coffee special though was not just the warmth or the bitterness, but the conversations that took place while brewing it and the time shared while drinking it. Unfortunately, that coffee did nothing to aid in our weather forecast that weekend. The Texas summer is hot, humid, and just plain nasty. With little rain, it seems the entire countryside dries up. As we all met up at the park, it was talked about that this trip would be a night fishing trip, offering us a break from the oppressive sun and unrelenting heat. This offered us the best chance to not only enjoy the trip, but also catch fish. With a few hours to kill before we headed out, we packed our coolers and readied our gear.
Although the bulk of our fishing was to be done at night, the last two hours of daylight offer some prime fish catching opportunities. So for the last few moments of light, we hit a flat that was known to house good sized reds. Once at the spot, we unloaded and walked on out. Wading in the Texas salt, you need to be aware of the creatures that can end a trip in one misstep. Many fishermen who wade know that with each step the water is muddied, making it virtually impossible to see what lies on the floor and that is exactly where the most painful of all creatures, the stingray, can get you. The best protection against them and their barbs are wading guards or boots; fishing shin guards if you will. These guards offer great protection in the event you were to step on a ray and have them react violently. To feel the power of a hit is similar to that of your buddy giving you a slug punch, provided your buddy is Mike Tyson. So with this knowledge, I strapped on my ForEverlast Shin Protectors and headed out along the flat while the others stayed behind to enjoy the sunset and began to get the baits ready.
After returning from my solo walk, and with the sun setting, poles rigged, baits cut, and lines out, we waited. As with any gathering of relatives, the topic of family came up. Catching up is always a fun thing. What we didn’t realize was that with all the catching up we were doing was not being interrupted by fish catching. Time after time, our baits were being taken by crabs and or perch, neither of which were redfish. This went on for a few hours, and by the time we noticed it was 11pm and still no fish. We had been on the water at this spot for a few hours and no luck!
By 1 AM each of us were showing signs of being tired and frustrated. That is when my cousin’s line started to sing! WHAM! His pole bent over and the line began to zing from the reel. Fish on! It turned out to be a nice red, a good keeper. Our luck had turned! With a few more fish in the box the night began to drag. It was 3am by this time and we all showed signs of a long day. That is when I thought it would be a good idea for my secret weapon. As we loaded up the boat, my uncle and cousin both commented how they wished they had filled their thermoses with coffee for the night. Well with no thermos, I brought the next best thing- hot fresh camp coffee!
I call it camp coffee because the only time I drink it is when I’m camping. Having owned my MSR Pocket Rocket Stove for a few years, it is one of those items I enjoy being able to use in the field. When I asked my uncle if he wanted a cup of hot coffee his reply was nothing short of hilarious, “How do you plan doing that?” with as smart a tone as a 70 year old fisherman could muster. As I broke out my gear he seemed impressed (and a tad bit confused) as to how this would brew up coffee. As I brewed us both cups of coffee I explained exactly how the pocket rocket worked and how to mix the instant coffee and water together. Before we both knew it we had a nice cup of joe! As he enjoyed his camp coffee and I the same, we talked about how a good cup of coffee seems to lift the spirits of those who are enjoying it. The conversation turned to other coffee stories that involved the outdoors. We kinda had our own version of “Coffee Talk.” Being a true lover of coffee, he told me how he once had a boat rigged with a coffee percolator, the original camp coffee. Again, this was not the “best” coffee, but is was the best cup of coffee we both had ever had at 3am after a long night of fishing.
As the hours moved on we managed to box a few more fish and before dawn headed in. I’ll soon forget the number of fish we landed that night, and I may soon forget how tired I felt when got back to the camper and crashed. However I won’t forget the time I enjoyed a 3 AM camp coffee with my uncle. And this my friends, are what memories are made of.
Written by guest blogger and KATS participant, ACK & Wilderness Systems Ambassador Eugene Mora III.
First, let me begin by thanking the ACK and KATS tournament personnel and sponsors. Without the joint efforts of all, this series would not have been as awesome as it was.
The 10 events for the 2014 series were scheduled to be fished on some of the Lone Star States finest waters. Of these events I was able to fish 6, and although my numbers were less than stellar is was an awesome first year on the water.
Being a lifelong fisherman and frequent tournament angler, I came into the kayak tournament scene thinking it would be a simple transition. I could not have been more wrong. It was a game of efficiency. Making sure you packed just what you needed and nothing more was important. Loading the yak with every soft plastic shape, size, and color was not only impossible, it was ridiculous. Just think, I still had to pack every spinnerbait, jerkbait, and crankbait ever produced. Did I mention top water toads and floating frogs?
Other than bait selection, deciding which rods would be chosen for the desired presentation was another battle in itself. Taking 15 different rod and reel combinations would be a bit overboard. Carefully deciding which 5 or 6 were the lucky ones to make the cut was a long thought out process, but a necessary one. Every bass fisherman or woman knows this routine. We do it before every tournament.
Next on the list of things to think about is location. Moving from one fishing spot to another is also very different. You don’t have a trolling motor to ease on down the bank and a 200 horsepower outboard to motor across the lake. Where you go and how fast you get there is up to you. Several factors come into play when planning just how far you want to take your kayak. Winds, boat traffic, and fatigue are all important things to consider.
Once my baits, rods, and locations have been established other accessories were chosen to aid in the experience. For me a small ice chest with snacks and drinks was essential. Along with that I add my anchor, stakeout pole, and a drift sock. These three additions aren’t the only things to bring along, but they were most helpful to me. A sonar system and battery pack are soon to be added to this list of items.
The KATS tournament series of ’14 has since wrapped up and although I failed to make the cut for the championship, the season was a huge success. I cannot say enough how great the series was. Many fish were caught, much knowledge was gained, and many friends made. The staff, volunteers, and sponsors were five star. The participants and fellow anglers were some of the nicest, most polite and helpful individuals I had ever encountered on any body of water.
Truly an unparalleled group of anglers. Thank you.
Looking to try your hand at kayak fishing but don’t know where to start? With all of the gear and kayaks available we understand that it can be somewhat overwhelming. No need to fret! We have created a 3 step guide to kayak fishing that will walk you through the before, during and after of your adventure. Included is the gear you’ll need and some fun facts about the rise of kayak fishing. Once you decide what you need, check out ACK.com for all your kayak fishing needs!
Think we missed something? Comment below and let us know!
I got the opportunity to fish the Casting for a Cause tournament for the second year in a row last week. The word tournament might be featured in the name but the event is far more than a tournament. The people that come to this event are there to support injured veterans. As the child of a Purple Heart Recipient from the Vietnam conflict this hits home for me. The opportunities that CFAC and Heroes on the Water provide veterans is amazing. Continue reading Casting for a Cause- Chris’s Story
Living in Florida I’d heard nothing but good things about the Casting for a Cause tournament held annually in Port Aransas, so when I moved back to Texas I had to add this tournament to my schedule. This year’s beneficiaries for the tournament are The National MS society, Haven for Hope, Heroes on the Water, and over 20 other charitable organizations. Opening a new ACK store in San Antonio has kept me busy, so this would be my first trip to the coast. I managed to find a laid back and experienced partner for the tournament, thank you Fred, fishing with you and the girls was awesome!!!