Feelfree Expands with the New Lure 13.5 Fishing Kayak

Guest blog originally published on the Feelfree US website.

**Since originally published, Feelfree has reduced the retail price of the Lure 13.5 by $100 and no longer include the Uni-Bar system and  Uni-Track accessory mount. Those two options are now exclusively sold separately. 

Lure 13.5

Feelfree US, LLC (Feelfree US), is pleased to announce the expansion of the popular Lure series with a longer, faster, extremely stable and capable of bigger water version — the Lure 13.5.

The Lure 10 and 11.5 were an instant hit but some anglers demanded even more and Feelfree has delivered according to Jim Hager, Feelfree US, “We knew we had to do it, it was just a matter of time. The original Lures were designed to accommodate a growing market of kayak anglers seeking more comfort, more stability and multiple seating positions and we did just that. Now we fill the gap to satisfy the rest of them – the ones that want it all.”

New to the Lure 13.5 is the front multi-use console, which sits directly behind the bow hatch. The console lid features an inlaid cutting board, handy for prepping feelfree lure 13.5bait or cleaning fish. The lid is also insulated and together with the console cooler insert makes it an ideal container to keep your drinks, bait and even fish cold. The console can also be used as a child’s seat.

Other key features unique to the Lure 13.5 are the integrated transducer recess and port for easy installation of a fish finder and a flat wide open deck area. This larger deck area was designed without any obstructions for ease of movement when standing, casting or even stepping forward to access the hatch or console. There is so much space that Feelfree’s design team will be offering an optional stand assist bar unique to the Lure for those who wish to stand with added support.

At 13.5’ long and 36” wide, the Lure is no small kayak. It offers a whopping capacity of 500lbs capable of carrying all the gear you need for a long day of fishing. The added length makes this kayak ideal for paddling longer distances on larger bodies of water.

“We recognize this kayak is not for everyone,” said Hager, “fact is, the Lure 13.5 is designed for the serious kayak angler, the one who’s ready to take on even the most extreme fishing adventures. Adventures where paddling longer distances on bigger waters combined with stability, comfort, capacity and the ability to stand is important.”

Kayak anglers will be pleased to know that the Lure 13.5 will come complete with Feelfree’s Uni-Bar system along with a Uni-Track accessory mount.

All Lure models come standard with a variety of unique features including Feelfree’s Uni-Track system, which allows for quick and easy mounting and adjustments of kayak fishing and other accessories, Wheel in the Keel for easy transport to and from the water and most notably, the Gravity Seat. Just like the Lure 10 and 11.5, the 13.5 features the patent pending Gravity Seat offering 5”-10” in seat heights for a better viewing perspective and a natural more comfortable sitting position. What really sets the Gravity Seat apart is the ability to sit flush on the deck of the kayak for additional stability and a more efficient paddling position for longer distances.

The Lure 13.5 will retail for $1,599 and is available with additional upgrades including a rudder option and a stand up assist bar. An external Feelfree cooler, which will double as a seat turning the Lure into the perfect standing platform, will also be available. The Feelfree Lure 13.5 will be available in fall of 2014 through the United States and Canada at authorized dealers. For more information, visit www.feelfreeus.com. To stay up to date on the latest, visit the Feelfree US Facebook page at www.facebook.com/feelfreeus or the Fishing Team’s page at www.facebook.com/feelfreefishing.

 

About Feelfree US, LLC

Feelfree US distributes kayaks and accessories designed for recreational and fishing use, which have redefined the paddling industry with unique and innovative features and designs. Feelfree US is based out of Swannanoa, North Carolina and is part of a worldwide team manufacturing and distributing Feelfree kayaks to over 40 countries around the globe. Feelfree US distributes to dealers all over United States and Canada.

 

Lure 13.5 Specific FeaturesGravity Seat with pockets

Front oval hinge hatch

Front insulated console / cooler with integrated cutting board

Large standing platform

Uni-Bar with 1 Uni-Track accessory mount

Front Uni-Track rails

Rear Uni-Track rails with tie down system

Molded-in crate recess with attachment points

2 Fishing rod holders with rod leashes

Stand up assist leash

Cup holders

Adjustable foot rests

Drain plug

Transducer recess and port

 

Feelfree Standard FeaturesWheel in the Keel

Molded in handles

Recessed fittings

Molded in paddle parks (both sides)

 

Optional Features

Rudder

Stand up assist bar

 

Available Colors

Lime Camo

Navy Camo

Winter Camo

Desert Camo

Pink Camo

Sun Camo

Orange

Kayak SpecificationsLENGTH: 13.5′

WIDTH: 36″

WEIGHT: 95 lbs

CAPACITY: 500 lbs
Retail Pricing

Lure 13.5 – $1599

 

 

You can also pre-order the Feelfree Lure 13.5 through ACK here.

 

Bass Baiting by Season: Understand the Cyclical Feeding Habits of Bass

Originally published on fix.com by Mike Cork

Bass Baiting by Season

Understand the Cyclical Feeding Habits of Bass

Bass are among the most sought-after freshwater game fish. Everyone from professional anglers to weekend fishermen spend countless hours trying to discover the magic lure to catch bass every time they fish. But the truth is, there is no single bait that mimics all the forage opportunities bass have throughout the year. Knowing the primary forage bass eat at any given time improves your chances of catching them.

Specific, reliable forage opportunities for bass come and go with the seasons. In spring, bass have the most complex feeding habits, so let’s start there.

SPRING INTO ACTION

There are three stages to a bass’s life cycle in the spring: pre-spawn, spawning, and post-spawn. Each stage has its own available forage. When the temperatures begin to rise, a bass’s metabolism speeds up and it needs more food to survive. During spring, all species of fish start moving toward shallow bays and north- or west-facing bank lines to capture the sun’s warmth. Larger baitfish that survived the winter limit the available food sources for bass. Shad, minnows, bream/bluegill, and other smaller species are all primary targets for bass. In spring, bass are not picky eaters and devour anything available. Presenting larger baits better mimics the available forage size.

Bass Lure

Pre-Spawn: As spring advances, bass start preparing for the spawning season. Bass feed heavily prior to the spawning ritual because they know that during the 10 to 14 days of spawning they will not feed at all. As the water warms above 50 degrees, bass change their primary forage to a high-protein diet. This helps egg development in females. Because of the protein content, crawfish are a highly sought-after food source during pre-spawning. Lures that have the size and color of lake crawfish species are the best options for mimicking what the bass search for during this time of year.

Spawn: During the spawning phase, a bass’s attitude changes, becoming defensive. Bluegill, bream, crawfish, salamanders, and even small turtles will attack a bass’s nest. Bass will aggressively assault these species, not for food but as a threat. First, a bass will try and run these pillagers away from the nests. If an invader returns, the bass will kill it. Anglers should choose baits that imitate these species that threaten bass eggs.

Post-Spawn: The last phase in the spring cycle is the post-spawn. In this cycle, the females leave the males to guard the fry. The majority of the female bass can be found in deeper water, resting from the spawning ritual. The males will stay near the nests, protecting the recently hatched fry. Bait options vary depending on whether you target male or female bass. To target male bass guarding fry along the shorelines, use top-water baits. The fry stay very shallow and near the surface, so the male bass protecting them swim just beneath and attack anything that poses a threat to the fry. Surface baits that make noise and scare the fry become an immediate enemy of the male bass.

Female bass migrate to slightly deeper water; although they are healing from the spawn, they are very hungry. Just about any bait that’s slow is a good choice. By now the water has warmed significantly and the shad in the lake will migrate to the shallows for their own spawning season. Their migration intersects with females moving toward deeper water, and the shad become a primary food source as the two fish cross paths.

After the bass spawning cycle is complete in spring, the tables turn and the bass becomes the predator again. As the water continues to warm, other species begin spawning cycles. Bass utilize these spawning species to their advantage for easy feeding opportunities.

As the water temperature gets to about 70 degrees, shad start to spawn; this typically occurs about two or three weeks after the bass spawn. When shad follow a bait to the boat, that’s a telltale sign of shad spawn. That signifies male shad looking for a female mate. At the water’s edge, you will also notice small groups of shad chasing each other around items such as rocks, dock pylons, vegetation, or any debris in the water. This is how they spawn.

I like to call the shad spawn Mother Nature’s way of fattening up the bass after they have spawned. Hungry bass gorge themselves on this abundant food source in the shallow waters. Once you notice the shad spawn, choose baits that mimic the same size, shape, and color of the shad in your local lakes. Silver or white baits with a green or blue hue are very effective.

Bream, bluegill, and other sunfish species start their spawning rituals after the shad spawn. You’ll see this by locating small, cleared-out circles cleared on the bottom of shallow pockets. A good bream/bluegill bedding ground will have 20-50 of these circles inside a 20-yard square. Large bass prowl the edges of these spawning grounds, waiting for weak or tired bream/bluegill to swim by. These species have a tremendous color variance across the country. It is important to investigate the local waters to best match the colors of the species. During this phase, bait choices should mimic the bream or small sunfish in your area.

SUMMER LOVIN’

As the season moves into mid-summer, forage opportunities for bass open up, consisting of everything from shad that have migrated back to deeper waters to bream/bluegill that live in shallow water most of the year and crawfish that are plentiful in all lake depths. As summer progresses, shallow waters become extremely warm and bass seek deeper water for cooler temperatures. Bass use creek channels, ledges, deep grass lines, or points to migrate in search of shad. Finding one of these structures and presenting baits that mimic shad will increase your chances of landing bass.

Bass Lure by Season

FALLING FOR IT

In autumn, the water cools down and everything in the lake seems to migrate to the backs of creek channels. As the fall rains wash nutrients from summer growth into the lake, these nutrients trigger plankton explosions. Shad, in search of this food source, migrate towards incoming water. Your lake’s larger feeder creeks fill up with shad and the bass are never far behind. Bass use the fall shad migration as a means to fatten up for the winter. This time of year bait choices are nearly unlimited. Bass aggressively feed and eat anything that resembles a shad. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and top-water baits all allow you to cover a lot of water and draw violent strikes from bass.

As the water temperatures continue to decrease in winter, forage starts to die off. These dying species become prime targets for bass. Most shad species cannot survive when the water temperatures fall below the mid-40s: they become easy meals for bass. This time of year, if you find shad, you find bass. Use baits that fall through and around shad. The slow-falling bait mimics a dying shad and bass aggressively strike.

Bass Lure by Season

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!

Once winter has a firm grip, feeding opportunities for bass become slim. Cold-blooded bass are the same temperature as their surroundings. The bass’s metabolism slows tremendously and they don’t need to feed as often, which means they’re difficult to catch. The available food sources are the largest of the forage species that survive the cold. Your best chance is to mimic any species in the lake with larger bait and a very slow retrieve.

seasonal-feeding-habits-of-bass-image004

As an angler, there are some general feeding habit rules that should be considered. First and foremost: bass are opportunistic feeders. When presented with an easy meal and the energy used to capture it is less than the energy gained from eating it, the bass sees this as a benefit and takes the opportunity to eat. Second: there are geographic feeding habits that can’t be ignored. An example is the West Coast. Bass have adapted to eating the trout that are stocked in lakes; this forage has to be considered when fishing lakes stocked with any kind of fingerlings. Lastly: crawfish are in every lake, river, and stream, making them available, year-round forage. When choosing baits that mimic crawfish, pay close attention to water temperature. The colder the water, the slower your presentation.

By knowing the feeding habits of bass, anglers can present a bait choice that the bass seek out. Choose baits that mimic the size and color of the forage bass are feeding on for the season. There are many keys to a successful day on the water and using the proper bait starts you in the right direction.
bass fishing

Barrett and the Bob Hall Pier Launch – Offshore Kayak Fishing

I’m very fortunate that with my job I get to meet a lot of people that love to kayak fish.  I met Mike Morales  from Fin Factory Kayak Charters in Corpus Christi when he and his wife visited the store.  We’ve talked pretty frequently about getting offshore down to the coast, so when  Mother Nature recently gave us a break with the surf conditions we decided to go for it.  

We launched from just South of the Bob Hall Pier. Seeing the oil rigs from the shore really got me amped up for the trip; I’d never fished a rig Bob Hall Pierbefore and I was dying to try it. Our group of five had a variety of experience levels, this would be my first TX trip but I have 400 hours/700+ miles logged on my Humminbird, however this would be the first offshore trip for a few in the group.  All five of us were in Hobie Pro Angler 14’s so I had no doubt we could keep everyone upright through the surf with a little coaching, especially considering the mild conditions. Once everything was leashed down we broke through the small breakers and gathered up to get ready for trolling. We decided it would be best if everyone only trolled a single lure to minimize any possible tangles offshore and used a good variety of baits at different depths. One of the first things I noticed during the trip was a lot of bait getting dived on by birds and blown up by schools of Spanish mackerel, the other thing that caught my attention was the scattered clumps of Sargassum grass.  The scattered clumps never materialized into a true weed line but it was encouraging.  I cut my teeth offshore in Florida so I didn’t really know what kind of a hand Texas was going to deal me.
Bob Hall Pier Closing in on the rig I decided to do some long and narrow NASCAR type loops past the rig heading directly into the wind and then letting the wind push me back past the rig.  On my first pass I had a boat cut right behind me and almost foul my line, which most times is frustrating, but my rod quickly bent over and I am pretty sure the boat driver could hear my drag squealing over the sound of his motor.  As the fish got closer I could see color but couldn’t positively ID it until it was beside the yak, I ended up boating my personal best 28″ spanish.  The next kayak through hooked up with a king mackerel boating a nice healthy 40″+ fish.  Taking a little bit of a break I moved in close to the legs of the rig and dropped down my bottom rig to see what kind of reef fish were hiding out.  It didn’t take long to land a few undersized red snapper but I was pretty relieved to find that the things that work in Florida were also working in the cloudier water West of the Mississippi.  Eventually persistence paid off and I landed a legal red snapper, so it was time to start trolling again to see what was lurking just off the rig.  After a few passes with a king rig with a green skirt I decided to switch baits on my Tactical Anglers Power Clip back to a deep diving hard bait, this time a Yozuri.  My first pass through the area where I caught my spanish and the rod again doubled over and drag started to peel.  I knew pretty quickly this was a bigger fish and when I finally got eyes on him it turned out to be another king in the 40″+ neighborhood.  Bob Hall Pier
With about 6 hours on the water we decided it was time to head back in with a nice slow troll just soaking up the day and enjoying the gulf.  Once we got close to the breakers we put everything away and made sure it was all leashed down again.  A quick pep talk on how and where to attack the surf on the way in was the last thing we did before we had 5 flawless landings on the beach. All totaled we landed plenty of fish for the grill; final count was 3 kings, 2 spanish, and a snapper while having a great day on the water with new friends.
Barrett Fine
Manager, ACK-San Antonio
Photo Credit:  Sandra Morales from Fin Factory Kayak Charters!

Unwrapping Two New Kayak Colors From Diablo Paddlesports!

We’ve been anxiously awaiting some new kayak colors from Diablo Paddlesports for the Amigo Recreational Kayak. The Amigo’s featuring the new colors of orange and dark olive finally arrived at the ACK warehouse today. We couldn’t wait to get a closer look and show off these great new colors! Check out the Diablo Amigo Kayak on our website here .

More photos coming soon!

Diablo Amigo New Kayak Colors
Diablo Amgio – Orange and Dark Olive

3 Steps to Kayak Fishing

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!

Columbia Coolhead Cachalot Sun Hat NRS Chinook Fishing Life Jacket Lowrance Elite- 5 HDI Fishfinder Costa Del Mar Blackfin 400G Polarized Sunglasses Columbia PFG Bahama || Long Sleeve Shirt Scotty Baitcaster rodhold and Mount YakAttack VisiCarbon Pro Light ACKessories Milk Crate Yak-Gear Build-A-Crate 3 Rod Holder Anchor Kit Face Shield Paddle Paddle Anchor Kit Face Shield Safety Light Crate Crate Rod Holder Polarized Sunglasses Fishing Shirt Rod Holder Fishing Hat Fishing PFD Fish Finder & Mount YakAttack Leverage Landing Net Landing Net Fish Grip Fish Grip Hook Remover Hook Remover Gaff Gaff Boomerang Big Grip Pliers Pliers ACKessories Anchor Float Anchor Float Boomerang The Snip with LED Light Line Snip Berkley Marker Buoy Marker Buoy Seattle Sports Catch Cooler 20 Fish Grip Fish Cooler Bag Hawg Trough Fish Measuring Device Hawg Trough Floating Stringer Floating Stringer Fillet Gloves Floating Gloves Yeti Tundra 75 Cooler Cooler Fillet Knife Fillet Knife Chain Stringer Chain Stringer Berkley Tournament Scale Scale Image Map

 

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

 

Casting for a Cause- Chris’s Story

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

Product Review: Wilderness Ride 135

Eugene Mora III, a Wilderness Systems Ambassador and avid kayak angler, reviews his Wilderness Ride 135. Eugene Mora

Fishing from the Wilderness Systems Ride 135 has been amazing. Although there are many platforms to choose from, this is the ATV of kayaks for me. The pontoon hull design allows for maximum stability and weight capacity. This kayak weighs in at 85 pounds and has the ability to carry up to 550 pounds of gear.

I love the comfortable phase 3 seat. Continue reading Product Review: Wilderness Ride 135

“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

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