Climbing at Reimers Ranch Park

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This past Sunday, I wanted to get outside and accomplish some much needed climbing. After warming up a bit at the North Austin Rock Gym I headed west to Reimer’s Ranch for some bouldering, hiking, and people watching. In my option, Reimer’s Ranch has proven to be the best outdoor climbing spot closest to Austin, TX (besides the Greenbelt) where you can perform a series of different styles from bouldering to sport climbing including some epic and notorious climbs including the famous “Arbor Wall”. Most of the rocks are already bolted up so if you fancy top-rope climbing, there are plenty of fun under-hangs all ready for you to test out!

reimersranchReimer’s Ranch is easily the most populated hiking spot near Austin. There are so many different activities from fishing, kayaking, hiking, biking, swimming, and the obvious climbing. Continue reading Climbing at Reimers Ranch Park

Austin Canoe and Kayak Raises $2,250 For Local Outdoor Organizations Through Kayak Fishing, Looks To 2014

KATS Director Kristian Kolflat (left) and T. J. Greaney of the Kid's Outdoor Zone.
KATS Director Kristian Kolflat (left) and T. J. Greaney of the Kid’s Outdoor Zone.

Austin, Texas – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC made donations totaling $2,250 to the Kids Outdoor Zone and Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center using money raised by their Kayak Angler Tournament Series (KATS) in 2013. In addition, a total of 24 fishing rods were donated to Brown Santa for the holidays to help children celebrate Christmas.

Over the past 8 years, KATS has grown to become Texas’ largest freshwater kayak fishing tournament series and 2013 was ACK’s second year hosting the series. The money was raised by over 115 different kayak anglers in Central Texas throughout the 2013 season (which included 6 tournaments and a final Classic Championship for the top 20 competitors).  The rods for Brown Santa were donated by KATS competitors during a recent 2014 kickoff event.

“We’re proud to support organizations like the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Brown Stana and the Kid’s Outdoor Zone, which all do a great job of inspiring youth to responsibly engage in the outdoors,” said Tournament Director Kristian Kolflat, “It’s very rewarding for all of us on the KATS Team to give back while doing something that we love, like kayak fishing.”

KATS 2014 will be kicking off on Jan. 11th with the regular season continuing through May. This year, the series will include 11 events with stops near Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and the surrounding areas.

With the expansion in the series, Kolflat and the rest of the team hope to partner with more organizations across Texas and encourages representatives to contact the KATS team. Texas kayak anglers and other organizations that are interested in the event should visit www.fishkats.com for more information.

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, San Antonio, Spring and Houston, Texas.

 

Happy 50th to Texas Parks & Wildlife!

50 years ago, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was created by the merger of the Texas Game & Fish Commission and the State Parks board. Since then, they have been working to make “life better outside” in Texas and we really do appreciate their efforts here at ACK. Be sure to check out their celebration page at www.lifeisbetteroutside.com, to share your outdoor stories, read others, become a Texas Parks & Wildlife Ambassador and more.

Joseph @ACK

Texas Paddling Trails…What Next?

If you are from or around Texas, you are probably familiar with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Paddling Trails program. They are doing a phenomenal job in designating and managing paddling trails throughout the state. In an effort to continue to promote the program and expand on it, the Texas Tech University Department of Biological Sciences and the Llano River Field Station are conducting a survey that we thought you should know about whether resident or not…check it out:

Recreational paddling in Texas has grown in popularity in recent years. Consequently, The Texas Tech University Department of Biological Sciences and the Llano River Field Station are conducting a research survey designed to collect information for resident and non-resident recreationists who enjoy paddling all across Texas! The results of this research survey will offer an understanding of the characteristics of paddlers, like you, and will determine the economic impacts that paddlers have on our great state! Our hope is that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Paddling Trails Program will use the results from this research survey to further promote paddling, enhance paddling experiences, and increase awareness of paddle tourism throughout the state.

Click here to take the survey.

Our San Antonio Neighbors Get a New Paddling Trail

Saspamco paddling trail

The San Antonio River Authority in conjunction with Texas Parks and Wildlife opened Bexar County’s first paddling trail earlier this month. The Saspamco paddling trail is located south of San Antonio with it’s put in located near Elmendorf, TX and its take out at the Helton San Antonio River Nature Park. It runs for about 12 miles and depending on river conditions and paddling experience, the trip can take between two and eight hours. Since the opening, there have already been several great reactions from local groups. Unlike the urban section of the San Antonio River, the trail features natural banks and better quality water. Click here to view and print a map.

A welcome site for paddlers.

As paddling popularity continues to increase, we hope to see more and more stories like these. Designated trails provide opportunities for paddlers to enjoy well mapped and easily accessible rivers and streams for a days worth of paddling. Texas currently offers 37 different trails to paddlers, see them all here. Which ever state you might be in, we hope you have a chance to go out and enjoy trails like these!  – Joseph @ACK

Lake Athens Angel

This story was originally published by Michael Banks of “Friends of the Neches River“, an organization formed to preserve, protect and restore the wild and scenic Neches River to provide outdoor opportunity and enjoyment of this natural and cultural resource for present and future generations. Thanks for sharing this short story with us Michael…great cause, great story and great catch!

Have you ever seen an angel? No, I mean talked to an angel and then later realized it really was an angel. That happened to me today.

Michael's Share Lunker Big Bass at 13.6 LBs! Picture by Larry Hodge, TPWD

I stopped in the parking lot at the Lake Athens Marina and was checking the launching situation when this guy pulled up in an old pickup and stopped beside me, not in a parking space, just up besides me. He said, “You goin’ fishin’?” (I thought, duh, here’s your sign!) But I only said yes. He said, “Well we really caught ‘em yesterday on Cedar Creek, but I burned up my battery on my boat and can’t go today.” I said, “That’s too bad”, picking up he was looking for conversation and I wasn’t. He said, “I fish this lake a bunch and really like it.” Seeking information, I asked, “What were you using yesterday and where do you fish here?  I have only fished here a couple of times.” He said, “We were using them wacky worms without any sinkers. You see them boat houses over there?” I said “Yea.” He said, “Not them, those over there with the brown tops.” I said, “Yea.” He said, “You fish out in front of them if the grass ain’t too high. If they ain’t there, then you fish up at that point. And you see that bank over there? Go right up next to that. See that pipe over there? If they ain’t down there, they will be over there.”

I was getting anxious to launch so I thanked him and told him I hoped he got his boat fixed so he could go fishing. I then got in my truck and drove over to the other side of the boat launch. I do not know if he drove off, parked or puff – vanished. I usually can recognize folks after talking to them but later I realized I could not remember what he even looked like.

But I did use a power bait worm with no weight and I did hook up with fish at the places he mentioned. That’s when I realized the old man was an angel.

I caught ten bass between 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm; I had 5 strikes (bites) I did not catch; it did not rain while I was on the water; temperature was 75 degrees.

The obsession is not about the trophies. Obsession is with the experiences.

Michael Banks, DDS
Friends of the Neches River