“ACK” as well as “Your Kayak Fishing Gear Headquarters” are Now Registered Trademarks of MSP Holdings, LLC.

ACK Logo

ACK now holds two new trademarks that expand the brand and development of its core business.

Austin, Texas (July 1, 2014) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC announces their registered trademarks “ACK” and “Your Kayak Fishing Gear Headquarters” through the United States Patent and Trademark Office of the Department of Commerce. After taking on more and more kayak fishing products and accessories ACK has become a one-stop shop for all things kayak fishing thus “Your Kayak Fishing Gear Headquarters” was born.

Peter Messana, CEO of ACK, explains “choosing ‘ACK’ was simple because customers started to abbreviate Austin Canoe & Kayak and it took off.  ‘Your Kayak Fishing Gear Headquarters’ came about with the rising popularity of the sport and the continued refinement and development of ACK as the leader when it comes to providing knowledge, products, and participation in all things kayak fishing.”

ACK.com carries a large variety of kayak fishing gear that caters to kayak fishermen at all levels. Whether you are upgrading your gear or just starting out with the essentials ACK can help outfit your next kayak fishing adventure.

All kayak fishing gear and other outdoor products are available now at www.ACK.com.

 

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within five physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring, Houston and San Antonio, Texas.

 

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please contact Dayvee Brower-Warrell at 512-318-2941, or email pr@austinkayak.com.

 

 

 

 

Understanding Fish Finders

Have you ever wondered what exactly fish finders are and how they work? We have! That is exactly why we gathered all of our information into one, easy to read infographic to share with you all. This breakdown will help you understand what fish finders are, how they work, and the most common ways to install them on your kayak. We also go into a few accessories that will make install a little easier for you. Check it out and let us know if you have any tips or tricks on how to best use them. If you are interested in getting one, ACK.com carries a large selection of fish finders and accessories here.

fish finders

Summer Outdoor Essentials

 

summer image

Summer is here and it is about time we all got outside and enjoyed what nature has to offer! We asked all of you via our Facebook page what you considered to be your summer outdoor essentials and got some helpful responses. Check out some our favorites below and get ready to live it up!

  • Kayaks: Obviously we had to include these!
  • Surfboards: For those of you going coastal. We personally recommend a SUP!summer essentials
  • BBQ: What would summer party be without BBQ?
  • Great friends: Do we even need to explain?
  • Fishing Gear: Perhaps an early morning fishing session followed by a BBQ with great friends?
  • Summer Parties: Goes hand in hand with great friends, bbq, and good times!
  • A Nice Cold Beverage: Beer, sweet tea, lemonade or whatever else is your drink of choice! Gotta stay hydrated right?
  • Dive Gear: For those adventuring under the sea this summer.

Last but not least we had sunscreen, a bikini or boardshorts, hats, and a camera to capture all those sweet summer moments! If you plan on getting out on the water don’t forget your PFD’s and dry bags to make sure you and your things are safe.

Think we missed something? Comment below and let us know!

-Dayvee @ ACK

Grip and Grin: Secret Trophy

 Guest Blog by Ben Duchesney @ Kayak Angler Mag

A N0-Name Lake Turns Into The New Spot After A Giant Largemouth.

“With spring time bass fishing in full swing, I was a little discouraged this year,” said David Tassos, “because of the rising commitments at work and the worst – my favorite bass honey hole was now protected by 3 gated communities surrounding it on all sides. For the last 6 months I had been searching far and wide for what I hoped would be that next ‘secret spot.’ I had located a no-David Tassos Bass body 1name lake that I was certain didn’t see much pressure and I began doing scouting trips randomly throughout the winter and early spring.

The Turning Point

Several small bass were caught but nothing that made me certain that this lake held the lunkers that I was hunting. Last week after an attempted (and failed) shot at fishing our old lake, my friend Matt and I again hit ‘The Lake’ that was only giving up 1-2 pounders. After four hours of paddling around and only a couple small bites, we were headed back to the truck. Continue reading Grip and Grin: Secret Trophy

My First Time Fishing

I would like to preface this blog post with a little information about myself. One very defining quality I have (and have been told I have by many people) is that I am inherently girly. Everything from my walk to the way I talk screams feminine. So imagine the surprise on my coworker Sam’s face when I took him up on his offer to take me fishing. Mind you, I have no qualms about being outdoors and in the water- I have always been naturally drawn to lakes, rivers, oceans, pools, and any other body of water. I just have never been a huge fisherman (fisherwoman?) nor Lady Bird Fishingam I an excellent kayaker, so kayak fishing was definitely something new for me. That’s exactly why I figured I should give it a shot! Sam accepted the challenge and we decided that the best time to go would be that Saturday morning.

That Saturday I met him bright and early down at Lady Bird Lake in Austin ready to enjoy the already gorgeous morning. He started setting me up in his extra kayak as well as setting up his fishing gear in his Diablo Chupacabra. This was my first time ever seeing a kayak that you could also stand up in and I immediately became a little bit obsessed with the combination! After the initial set up  I hopped in my kayak and slid out into the glassy waters of Lady Bird. We paddled away from the city and he directed us towards a small enclave covered by trees, which according to him, was filled to the brim with fish.

This was about the time I decided to give casting a shot. I watched him throw his line out a few times and thought to myself, “Ehh, can’t be that hard!” Little did I know there is an entire science behind casting a line. Initially, between tangling up the line and getting caught in the surrounding trees, I thought I would never get it right. However, with a little practice I was able to finally get a technique of my own down and successfully cast my bait a solid distance. Sam was surprised and, dare I say, proud that I was able to pick it up so quickly! Shortly after I managed to get casting down, Sam told me to focus on catching a fish. This obviously was the main goal of the trip however it was also my main source of anxiety. Needless to say, I was able to get over that anxiety the minute I felt a tug on the line. With Sam’s help, I was able to reel it in and finally catch my first fish! I was absolutely elated until he proceeded to tell me to grab it by the mouth…something I definitely was not expecting.

I had never touched a fish before this trip and it was not something I was interested in doing. So when he let me know that it was time to hold the fish I may or may not have freaked out a little. Eventually I decided to man-up and to be Dayvee fishinghonest, it really wasn’t all that bad! With my thumb and index finger I gripped my first fish by its mouth while Sam took a photo to document the moment. I was convinced that it would wiggle around in my hands but to my surprise the fish stayed perfectly still. I like to think that it was posing for the picture. The second the flash went off I happily dropped the fish back in the water – mission accomplished! I watched it swim away and decided to quit while I was ahead. We paddled around a bit longer then called it a day. As I drove home I recounted the story to my friends and provided the proof (like I knew they would ask for). I still fondly remember the surprise on their faces as it sunk in that yes, I not only went fishing but also held a fish long enough to get a snapshot.

The memories of that day will always be looked back on with rose colored glasses as one of my favorite firsts in Austin.

Do you remember the first time you went fishing? Comment below and tell us about it!

-Dayvee @ ACK

Wanderlust: The New River

We asked all of you where you would paddle if you could choose anywhere in the world and received so many great answers that we decided to start a special column focused entirely on traveling! Wanderlust is in all of us and with our Facebook followers recommendations, we will guide you on a written tour of some potential adventures you may want to consider. The first one being the New River Gorge.

Feeling like you need a break from your routine? To get outside and smell the flowers? Well we have a place just for you. The New River, otherwise known as the Kanawha River, is about 320 miles long, stretching through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. The portion in West Virginia is known as the New River Gorge National River and is an American Heritage River. This river travels all the way from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Think of all the fishing! The New River gets its name from the difficulty that explorers had in tracking it down. Even though the discovery is relatively new, the river isn’t; it is the 3rd oldest river in the world! The first recorded exploration was in 1671, by Abraham Wood on a fur trading expedition, resulting in another name- Wood’s River.

The New RIverThis river is home to variety of exciting outdoor activities, both on and off of the water. Some of these activities include hiking, fishing, mountain biking, scenic float trips, kayaking, ziplines, and much more! The New River Gorge and the surrounding towns are also home to many local events and attractions. When you plan your kayaking trip, be sure to check out local event listings – there’s usually something fun going on. Every season has something amazing to offer in the New River Gorge – so no matter when you visit, you will get a great and unique experience. The spring is known for intense rafts and waves that come with higher water levels from the rain. The summer provides a great opportunity to experience all the activities the New River Gorge has to offer; without running out of daylight. The fall also has high water levels; and the breathtaking changing of the leaves.  Wintertime is picturesque, serene, and a great getaway from urban life – even without the draw of water sports. The New River Gorge is versatile and inviting. Even the pickiest of guests are sure to find something to satisfy their sense of adventure. So, when you next get bit by the travel bug, make sure you make time to experience The New River Gorge!

Huge Trout on a Windy Day

Here at ACK we love supporting our Youth Anglers and getting their point of views. With clear eyes and full hearts these youth anglers provide a fresh view on a passion that all of us have had for many years. Madi Lee, a promising young angler, has been kind enough to provide us with one of her fishing experiences out on the Gulf of Mexico with her father. Read more to see how they fared on a windy day earlier this month.

A Huge Trout on a Windy Day

Excitement rushed through me like an athlete sprinting for the finish line! I got dressed, slapped on some sunscreen, and quickly ran out the door, shutting the truck door behind me as I climbed in. No paddles were going to be used today! Sorry kayaks, the Haynie Cat needs a turn too!

redfish pic

We unloaded the boat and headed across the bay as the sun was slowly creeping through the sky. Waves smashed the boat and salt spray soaked us the entire way. It was extremely rough because the wind was blowing hard.

When we reached our fishing spot dad slowed the boat down, turned it off, and put down the Power-Pole. Both of us put on our waders, slipped on our boots, and grabbed everything that we would need when we were out wade fishing. Then, we slid into the water and made our move to find where the fish were going to be located.

I worked my topwater, moving it left and right across the surface of the water to create the walk-the-dog technique. There was very little bait movement that I saw. Casts were going towards grassy points or any place where there might be fish. My stringer continued to stay empty… But not for very long.

I started working my way towards deeper water, casting in different directions to attract a fish to my lure. A few casts later, my topwater got a major blow up! It looked as if somebody had thrown a bomb in that exact spot. My line was singing to me as the fish continued to run like the wind. Could it be a shark? Is it a big red? Thoughts were spinning inside my head as I continued to fight this fierce fish.

After what seemed like 30 minutes of fighting, I finally got it close enough to where my dad saw what it was. “Wow! That’s a huge trout, Madi!” he shouted as I reeled it in and netted the monster.  I couldn’t believe my eyes. In my hands laid a 28 inch trout!

After my dad was finished taking pictures of me with the fish, I put the beauty on my stringer so she could stay alive. This trout was definitely going back home with me! I continued to fish afterwards, hoping to catch another beast like this one.

Even though I didn’t hook up on another giant, I did catch quite a few redfish as we were on our way back to the boat. I threw my cast towards a reef and shortly after, I received a blow up! This redfish may not have been the biggest, being 24 inches, but at least it was a keeper! I put the red on the stringer right next to my trout. Fish were blowing up my topwater frequently, but unfortunately, the reds were too small to keep.

Madi's 28 inch trout
Madi’s 28 inch trout

After trying one more spot and hooking up on a few smaller reds and trout, we decided to call it a day and head back in. Catching my personal best 28 inch trout was an astonishing experience! I wish I could rewind back to that moment and keep it on replay.

I get to experience things in life like this thanks to God. He has given me the blessing of a loving family, friends, and outstanding sponsors such as Banks Lures, Full Stringer Custom Rods, BendingRodz.com, Rockport Rattlers, Chickenboy Lures, Hook Spit, SaltwaterBoysFishing.com, Saltwater Arsenals, Lew’s Reels, Stinkypants Fishing, Down Time Services, Borderline Yakn, and South Texas Boat Works. They are the reasons I get to do what I love and why I have come so far as a competitive tournament angler.

I would also like to thank everybody for taking the time to read my blogs, watch my videos, and give kind words on things that I post. Please share with everybody, especially younger people, like me, that might be influenced positively from this blog. You can do anything if you put your mind to it, no matter what your age.

Thanks again,

Madi Lee

Youth Tournament Angler

 

 

Introducing the ACKessories Milk Crate!

What is the one accessory item you can always find in the tankwell of a kayak fisherman? If your answer was, ‘A milk ACKcessories Milk Cratecrate!’ then you are 100% correct. Kayak fishermen use them to house all of their gear and even turn to some creative rigging to make their crates suit their style of fishing or needs. Let’s face the facts though. Not everyone out there who buys a milk crate wants to have to go and get extravagant with their crate designs. The typical modification that you find is the standard PVC pipe that is zip-tied into the corners of the crate to act as rod holders. Outside that, the standard milk crate is fairly plain in design. Now, with ACK introducing the ACKessories Milk Crate with Slide Trax Crate Rails, ANYONE can have a well thought out milk crate design that goes past just having some PVC strapped in.

This kit comes with everything you need to turn a 19″ x 13″ milk crate into a multi-functional kayak fishing accessory. With tapped holes to allow for the attachment of after market gear tracks, slots cut out to house pliers or fish grips, and even a slot that allows for a 5 gallon bucket to fit snug in the center of the crate that can be used as a live bait container. For the fisherman who enjoys having his PVC rod holders in his crate, there are four holes cut out in the corners to slide some PCV in to cure that itch.

The days of having to think out a milk crate design are over!

Below, Jerron Wosel, an ACK Buyer, demonstrates how to install the ACKessories Milk Crate with Slide Trax Crate Rails onto a kayak.

Mother’s Day 2014 – Sunshine & Quality Time

Mothers Day Family Outing

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and if you’re still grasping at straws trying to figure out what to do May 11th (Mother’s Day if you didn’t already know that), look no further. Some of us at ACK came up with a few awesome ideas that will surely have your mother anxiously awaiting work on Monday to partake in the office morning brag fest near the Keurig.

The Camping Trip

Devote your weekend to spending some quality time with your mom under the stars. Camping is a great way to get outside, unplug, and unwind. Pack up your car with all the necessities, a tent, bedding, chairs, a portable grill, s’mores supplies and a Yeti cooler to keep that food safe from bears and sneaky neighbors. Then head out to your nearby camping grounds to enjoy each others company and a fun weekend spent outdoors.

Take A Hike

Being active and outdoors is always a great way to bond with your mom and enjoy some beautiful spring weather. Hiking is another inexpensive option that doesn’t require an army’s worth of effort and delivers great results every time. Check out your local park, pick a trail, pack a lunch, and get outside. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and take the necessary safety precautions

Kimberly out for a paddle with her little friend. beforehand.

Hit The Water

Take your mom out for a day on the water this Mother’s Day. Whether that entails kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, fishing, or just going for a dip; a day in the water is a good day indeed. ACK is currently offering a great deal on Custom Packages – including kayak and SUP packages. Build her something beautiful and keep her smiling from ear to ear.

She’s Not The Outdoorsy Type?

How about setting up a backyard oasis? A lazy Sunday could be the best gift you could give your mom. Set her up with a hammock, sweet tea, good music and some homemade BBQ then sit back and relax. In the end, it’s not always about the gifts you get her, but the time you spend together.

Happy Mothers Day! XO Dayvee @ ACK

Learning to Fish the Hard Way!

Brad and Grandpa Fishing

The Early Years

I have found that most people who enjoy the outdoors as adults were exposed to the joys of nature at an early age through a grandparent, uncle or parent. I however, was lucky enough to experience it with all three. I grew up hunting and fishing and enjoyed it all the way until I turned into a baseball obsessed teenager. After I discovered baseball, nature took a backseat. I had found a new passion and let that take over all of my time.

After high school I went to a college in East Texas (Go Kats!) that happened to be near a great state park and a wonderful lake. I spent many a class periods in the woods and along the shores of Lake Raven redeveloping my love of the outdoors. Unfortunately for me, not many of my fishing lessons from my childhood held over.

Back At It 

Brad Fishing @5

I quickly realized that I wanted to get back into fishing so with a credit card and a dream I made my way to a nearby big box store. While shopping I called on my past experiences with two of my grandfathers – Grandpa River (a fisherman) and Grandpa Tractor (a farmer). I fondly remember fighting reds and speckled trout with my Grandpa River, my mom’s father, and his advice when it came to line. “Hardheads will eat your line if you let them” he always said as I clung to a long rod with a heavy line attached to even heavier sinkers. “Big bait gets the big fish” was another favorite of his and everyone knows that a child will always want the biggest! So with these memories in mind, I headed down the fishing aisle of the store and purchased some familiar look fishing gear. I made my purchases and walked out carrying a brand new long, heavy and strong fishing pole, thick as steel line, and some mean looking hooks. I also grabbed some heavy sinkers, bobbers, and other “essential” fishing items. “Yep.” I thought walking out, “Grandpa River would be proud!”

After my successful trip to get my gear I headed out to the lake where my buddy and I planned to go out fishing. When I pulled up my buddy gave me a funny look and laughingly asked if i planned on catching a gator. I asked in confusion, “No, why? Are there gators near by?” I found it both funny and odd that he was laughing at me but continued to unload my gear regardless. I finished unloading after about fifteen minutes- within that time my buddy had landed two bass and a cat! I then began to fix up my rig while he laughed again at my expense as I fumbled around with my new toys.

After a few more minutes of rigging I was finally able to get my bait- worms! – in the water. I remembered that I was fishing fresh water and that dead shrimp was not the best choice for the lake- well that and the store didn’t have any. As I waited for my bobber to sink I glanced over at my buddy’s pole and gear as well as another fellow’s gear who was fishing nearby and noticed that their poles were much smaller than mine. I began to wonder why when I felt a tug on my line- not much but it was something! I jerked the rod back causing me to lose the fish. “Oh well.” I thought to myself as I re-baited and got back in the water. This time I decided to keep the bait closer to the dock and use a giant worm wrapped around my hook. I was not going to miss this time!

I slowly reeled the worm in towards the dock and let it sit almost right about against it and then WHAM! My line took off. I tightened down the line and gave it a good strong pull back and before I knew it I was yelling DUCK! That fish took off like a rocket- flying out of the water faster than you could snap your fingers. My buddy once again, could not stop laughing.

You see, what I didn’t realize was that I was drawing on memories of fishing with my Grandpa River on the Texas Coast – not a shoreline dock in East Texas lake! I had always gone saltwater fishing with heavy rods and reels made for salt and offshore fishing; hence my earlier purchases. Needless to say, my 7 ft heavy action spin reel, much like a broomstick for offshore fishing, and 60lb mono line, which might as well have been rope, was a bit overkill for catching bass and cats off a dock. That cat took my bait in what was probably about 3 feet of water and had no idea what was in store for it.

Passion Rekindled

Brad with fish

After having a good laugh with my buddy over my flying cat, I decided then and there that I needed to consider some fishing lessons and reconsider my choice in gear. I quickly realized my buddy wouldn’t be able to stop laughing long enough to re-teach me how to fish but thankfully the gentleman on the other end of the dock was more than willing to share his fishing tips and knowledge. After a short conversation with him even my laughing buddy was was taking notes. After he gave me an hour long lesson, my passion for fishing was rekindled and I had a good idea of the new gear I needed to go purchase. I had a plan and I was going to dive head first in! Before that however, I was in need of a road trip- to the coast.

Author: Brad Martin, ACK Employee