As many of you have seen/heard, we will now be adding Viking Kayak to our lineup. These boats are imported from over in New Zealand and we’re very excited to be the first US retailer to offer them.
We plan on carrying 2 of the Viking Kayak models: the Profish Reload and the Profish 400 with 2 color choices per model. The Reload will come in a Yellow/Black combination called Yellow Mist as well as a Gray/Black combination called Shades of Gray. The Profish 400 on the other hand will come in Green/Black called Lime Mist and also Orange/Black called Sunrise Mist.
The Profish Reload measures a hair over 14.5 feet, is 29.5″ wide and weighs in a 63 pounds. This kayak is ideal for tackling large bodies of water, but drafts shallow enough to handle the flats with ease. The center console, called the Tackle Pod, comes with the boat and provides an enclosed area for on-board tackle management. The pod also allows for the easy mounting of a fish finder. A recess on the bottom of the pod provides a safe tucked away location for the transducer to ride up in too. A replacement center console can be purchased to replace the Tackle Pod, and it provides a flat deck space with an included child seating area.
The Profish 400 measures just under 13.5 feet, is 31″ wide and weighs in 53 pounds. Unlike the Reload, the 400 has a molded in well in the center of the boat that can be used for gear storage or even as a live bait well. Due to its wider stance, the 400 is relatively easy to stand in and provides a great sight casting platform.
We will also be selling various Viking Kayak accessories that go with the new boats. The Chill Pod is a very easy to open ice box for kayak anglers looking to keep their catch cold. Both the 400 and the Reload’s rear tankwell will accept this cool product. A rudder kit is available for either boat, but it is a little different than what we are used to here in the US. This particular rudder does not extend down past the bottom of the boat, but in no way does that detract from its performance. These boats will turn very quickly due to the surface area of the rudder blade. Other accessories we will carry will be a Viking branded hatch bucket with screw on lid, additional flush mount rod holders, and a clear center pod lid for the Profish 400.
We are very excited to have Viking on board and hope you are too! These are now available for pre-order and will actually start shipping near the end of April. Let us know what you think by commenting below.
The Boondoggle is only two weeks out and we’re getting excited to send off Jerron Wosel and Andrew Moczygemba (our ACK two man team) to go meet the community of kayak anglers from all over the nation who have helped build the event. It seems like each day I hear something new that Jerron and Andrew are getting excited about – be it the beard competition, some new rigging accessories to show off or just plans to fish with people they’ve never had a chance to meet in person before.
As time draws nearer for the 2013 Columbus Day Kayak Fishing Boondoggle, I took a moment to sit down with Jerron and talk about his expectations for the event.
I understand there’s a bit of a funny story behind how you found out about the Boondoggle. Care to share?
About three weeks back Chris, ACK co-owner and VP of store-operations, walks up to my desk and says to me “You’re going to Pensacola.” Before I can say anything he just tells me to look up the Boondoggle and walks away. And that was it. I started looking into and it didn’t take long for me to start getting excited. When I found out my buddy Andrew was going too..well, that made it even better.
Tell me a little bit about your experience kayak fishing and why you think you and Andrew were chosen to represent ACK at the event?
Sure, before I moved to Austin to work on the ACK merchandising team, I was living in Houston and doing a lot of offshore kayak fishing. I got my start kayak fishing a little over 8 years back when my friend asks me if I want to go out to the Galveston ship channel with him to chase some flounder. The next time he took me out, my second time kayak fishing, we went beyond the breakers and I’ve been hitting the coast from my kayak ever since.
In 2010 I wound up asking Andrew, who was managing the ACK Houston store at the time, for a job at the store. I worked up to assistant manager under Andrew and just under a year ago I relocated to Austin to work at the ACK corporate office as part of the merchandising team, mostly focusing on kayak fishing gear.
Andrew is now the regional manager for our two Houston stores has been with ACK since 2008 – actually coming to the company from a position where he focused on power boat sales. He’s a long time angler and the two of us have spent a lot of time together fishing the bays and taken a couple beyond the breaker trips together. He’s a great resource for all things kayaking and a great person to talk to about hull design and things of that nature.
What are your expectations for the event? Is there anything you’re particularly excited about?
I’m excited to get out there and put faces to names. We’re very active in online communities and social networks at ACK and I’ve met a lot of people whom I only know through those types of interactions. The Boondoggle is going to be an opportunity to see these people up close and in person, so I’m excited about that.
A little while back, for example, I sent a private message to a guy named Rich Winfield after watching his video about kayak fishing for sailfish and we ended up having a good discussion about coastal kayak fishing. Turns out he’s based out of the Pensacola area so he’s going to meet up with Andrew and I and take us fishing for sailfish, kingfish and snapper. We’re both pumped about that.
As for my expectations, I’m just looking forward to hanging out at the booth talking about ACK, having a cold one and listening to all the fishing stories that are bound to come out at an event like this.
What will the two of your be bringing along to show off at the event?
We’ll be bringing a pair of rigged out kayaks to show off at our booth as well as fish out of and use during our seminar. Andrew has linked up with Bill Bragman from Yak Gear and, I’m a little jealous about this one, gets to take a new Moken 14.5 through the Yak Gear warehouse to pick out whatever rigging accessories he wants. It’s going to be like he won a kayak fishing shopping spree.
I’ll have my Ultra 4.7 out there which I have been using forever and all the rigging accessories that I use. Mostly YakAttack stuff like the Zooka Tube, BlackPak and plenty of GearTracs. I use it mostly for off shore stuff so I’ll be referencing it during the Beyond the Breaker seminar we do on Saturday for sure.
Can you give me a sneak peek into you and Andrew’s Beyond the Breaker seminar?
Absolutely, it’s a topic I’ve spoken about before and my favorite type of kayak fishing. I’ll be covering things like safety equipment, online resources, rigging tips, gear you need and what to expect when fighting/landing offshore species of fish and more. You can actually get a sneak peek at some of what I’ll talk about in a recent blog I wrote about offshore safety and weather concerns. I’m hoping I’ll actually learn from some of the audience members as well during the Q&A at the end too. Everyone has different styles of fishing and gear that they rely on, and I feel like meeting those people and learning from them is what the Boondoggle is all about.
The Beyond the Breaker Seminar is going to take place Saturday at 12:00 PM (see it on the Boondoggle Event Schedule here) and you’ll have a chance to win some ACK gift cards for attending, so hope to see you there!
Yak-Gear has come out with a new “Build-A-Crate” milk crate customization product. These are available with either 2 or 3 rod holders and they come with all of the mounting hardware included in the package. The mounting brackets also have slots built into them to hang your knives, pliers, lures and other tools. Get ready to be creative!
Another new product is their Track Nut Kit. This is a universal track nut that easily fits into Wilderness Systems, Native Watercraft, YakAttack and other track systems. This gives you the ability to take any accessory and mount it to whatever boat you would like. For example, do you like your Harmony Universal Slide Trax Mounting Plate but can’t install it on your new Native Slayer? No longer a problem as this handy kit will allow you take your plate off one brand of boat and place it on the other. These come in packs of 4 track nuts, 4 socket head screws, 1 allen wrench, 4 wing knobs that will fit onto the screws (just in case you do not want to use the allen wrench to install every time) and installation instructions.
We recently started stocking the Yak Stick which is mud stick anchor that includes an attachment point for a carabiner. The Yak Stick is 6 foot long, made out of fiberglass and is used by anglers looking to anchor their kayak in shallow water with a soft bottom. I asked one of our sponsored fishing pros to give me his take on stake out sticks like the Yak Stick.
His advice on using a Yak Stick like anchor is to use a bungee paddle leash to attach it to the boat so that it eliminates the jarring motion as the kayak pulls against the stick. Another option is to use an anchor trolley to position the kayak for perfect casting.