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Keep An Open Mind When Things Don’t Go As Planned

The Smell of Success Adding STINK to Catch More Fish

There Is A New On The Loose

On The Cover: Ocean Kayaks Pro Staff Member Blake Walters catches a trophy bass while putting the new Old Town Predator Kayak to the test.

Contents 6 Paddle-Fish- Heal by Mark Lozier 10 The Heroes On The Water Program by Adam Schaetzle and Beckie Lewis 14 Keep An Open Mind by Nick Dyroff 22 The Smell of Success by Justin Ritchey 26 To Pedal or Not To Pedal by Charles Levi, Jr. 28 Creating Memories by Rob Lee 32 There Is A New Predator On The Loose / Review by Blake Walters 40 The Minimalist Approach - Part 2 by Chuck Wrenn

The Freedom To FISH and Thanking Heroes Turn on the news and what do you see? The fight on terrorism. Neighborhood gang violence. Home invasions and bank robberies. It is a constant reminder of the negative things in the world, and a small sample of how the world could be. If it was not for everyday heroes. As we celebrate Independence Day, lets remember to give thanks to our everyday heroes. Without our military men and women, police officers, firefighters, teachers and parents, we would not be able to afford the freedom we seem to take for granted. There should not be just a few days, i.e. The 4th of July and Memorial Day, that we give thanks for the continuous efforts they give to preserve our freedom. Its is thanks that should be bestowed daily. With programs such as Heroes On The Water, wounded veterans who have laid their lives on the line for us have the opportunity to reap the therapeutic benefits of kayak fishing we, as anglers, are fortunate to enjoy daily. It is not easy for many of us to grasp the mental and physical hardships these veterans have and will endure, but we all can understand what a paddle, cast, and catch can do for the their soul. Lets remember to remember to give thanks to our heroes. Whether by donation of time and resources to your local HOW chapter, or a simple tip of the cap as you walk by your area’s police officers, a kind gesture will go a long way. Without these heroes our freedom to fish would not exist, and that my friends, is a scary thought. Just think how bad the world would be if millions of anglers were not allowed to catch bass and redfish. What a nightmare! Tight Lines and Happy Independence Day! Darryl Barrs, Jr. Editor


Tex the kay wit the suc tur me pu has vet der bu apy onl




By Mark Lozier

If you ask Jim Dolan and the group from a xas kayak fishing club a few years ago, did ey think their idea of taking wounded veterans yak fishing would turn into an organization th over 30 chapters nationwide was possible, ey would have never believed so. Now there is ch a group, Heroes on the Water. A small gesre of taking some of our nations injured service embers out of the hospital they were in and utting them in kayaks for a change of routine s turned into so much more. HOW helps these terans and active duty members learn and unrstand that a chapter of their lives may be over ut there is new chapters to be written. The thery they receive from kayaking and fishing is not ly physical but also mental. In Southeast Virginia there is a chapter of OW which my wife and I have had the pleasure


to be a part of for four years now. Heroes on the Water Tidewater are a very active chapter with a great volunteer base and huge community support. Current chapter president Tom Vanderheiden tries to have at least 2 outings a month. A lot of the men and women who join us on these outings come from area hospitals and local commands. HOW is not only for those who are actively going through warrior rehabilitation programs it is for any service member injured either physically or suffering with emotional traumas of war. If you know anyone who may benefit from HOW or you would like to volunteer either financially or attend an outing look for a chapter in your area at their web site. HOW is a non-profit, tax deductible organization which gets all of its funding from donations and community support.

I have seen first-hand the great benefits this program has to offer. A normal day on the water starts with the participants showing up in a sometime downcast state by the end of their day smiles return to their faces. They get it!! It also goes the same for the volunteer base also. You see the effect the sport you love, fishing and kayaking, has on someone else. Typically before the service members head home they thank the HOW staff but really it is them who needs the Thanking‌ Giving back to them and showing them there is still hope for their sacrifice is what this about. I would like to think that maybe one day all our troops will be home and safe and no longer need to attend events like HOW offers but as long as there is even one Warrior who needs to clear his or her head, feel the fresh air on their face and the thrill of catching a fish from a kayak they were in control of, Heroes On The Water will be there!

About Mark Lozier Alongside his wife, Kris Lozier, Mark is the host of Kayak Fishing Radio’s, The Double L Show. With a combined 14 years of kayak angling experience, The Double L’s are well-versed in the broadcasting topics and have a true love of the sport. Kris and Mark are sponsored by HOOK1 and Columbia Clothing, and Mark is a member of the Native Watercraft and Daiwa Endorsed guide program. When not sharing time on the water or in the broadcasting booth, Mark and Kris can be found tending to their newest venture, 1st Landing Kayak Fishing Services. The husband and wife team are also very active in the Tidewater Chapter of Heroes On The Water and TKAA.

WOUNDED VETS OVERCOME OBSTACLES W By Adam Schaetzle and Beckie Lewis The morning started out with amazing weather, blue skies, a gentle breeze, and warm sunshine. More perfect conditions for another day of kayak fishing with Heroes on the Water Northeast Chapter could not be asked for. Volunteers arrived early with some morning snacks and supplies and began busily setting up. The Veterans and guests rolled in and were educated on kayak basics and introduced to their guides. Kayaks were outfitted and




Browns Creek May edition had begun. Tom Hall, 5 year Navy Veteran with paraplegia, was attending his first Heroes on the Water trip. This was Tom’s first time ever being in a kayak, let alone fishing from one. Tom’s wife Katheryn and son Brandon were also in attendance. Tom had some mild

WITH HEROES ON THE WATER PROGRAM anxiousness starting out but af-

caught three sting rays and a

still had a good time. Lunch

ter a smooth transfer from his

23” redfish. Besides, it wasn’t

consisted of grilled hamburgers

wheelchair to the kayak the

the fish they were here to catch,

and hotdogs and all the picnic

group set off for the day led by

that’s just an added bonus. Tom

fixings donated from local busi-

their guides, Carlos, Kevin, and

stated, “My family had a great

ness sponsors. Of course, it


time as I did too. My son and

wouldn’t be a HOW outing


wife are looking forward to the

without Melita’s famous cup-

from military to civilian life and

next trip already. We have be-

cakes for dessert! As Recrea-

works fulltime as a high school

gun pricing kayaks so we can

tion Therapists working at the

math teacher. What were his

fish between trips once the

Lake City Veterans Administra-

feelings as he was kayaking? “I

school year ends as my family

tion Medical Center it’s easy to

was very relaxed and felt as if I

and I will have lots of free

see the therapeutic benefits of

did not have anything to worry

time”. As far as planning on


about. I did not have any stu-

kayak fishing with Heroes on


dents to teach, no dogs bugging

the Water again, “I will attend

wounded Veterans on a daily

me to go outside, no doorbells

every kayak event possible as

basis. It can be a real struggle

ringing at my house; it was just

long as the weather permits”.

for Veterans adapting to these






witness mentally

my family, friends, and me hav-

And the weather did per-

injuries. Overcoming these ob-

ing a good time chatting and

mit for a beautiful day of fish-

stacles can take decades or even


ing. Most of the teams returned

a lifetime to work through. The

to the Browns Creek by 1:00pm

therapeutic benefits of kayak

The Hall family did make

The therapeutic benefits of kayak fishing are plentiful

fishing are plentiful. Being out on the water creates a calming and relaxing atmosphere. All can be going wrong in your

many new friends this day and

for lunch and beat the oncoming

world but it is the farthest thing

although Tom and Katheryn

rains. A few of the teams did get

on your mind at those moments.

didn’t catch any fish, Brandon

a bit wet but never fear, they

There is a rush of exhilaration

as you make that perfect or not-so healthier recreational habits, understanding of physical and men-perfect cast, the tug on your tal injuries, and growing as a famline, the fight of the fish, and ily. Dennis Baldi, another first hopefully the picture as you hold time participant who served three your catch up for the camera. tours in Vietnam, attended with Heroes on the Water enhis wife Elaine. They were able to courages families to join the outshare a kayak and landed several ings along with the Veterans. The fish. They might’ve stayed out on day on the water can strike a the water a bit too long and got chord of bonding among huscaught by the rain but they both bands, wives, significant others, stated that they enjoyed the day and children that can lead to and would definitely be back.

None of this would be possible without our volunteers and sponsors. The Northeast Florida Chapter of Heroes on the Water is a not for profit organization who relies 100% entirely on local business donations and volunteers to provide these outings free of charge for our military Veterans. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT WWW.HEROESONTHEWATER.ORG

Many of my close friends and fishing buddies know me for my many “life lesson” slogans which I’ve picked up from some of the most inspirational people throughout my life. As I sit in front of my keyboard and reflect on the past weekend of fishing, the one slogan that comes to me is,

‘’Keep An Op

May 11, 2013


y good friend Paul Rivera and I spoke earlier in the week about heading off the beach this past weekend in search of only who knows what. As the week progressed the weather and wave predictions continued to look worse for us Saturday morning. When Paul called me up on Friday to discuss launch locations I told him we still need to check it out, if we get there in the morning and it looks rough, we would head elsewhere and figure it out. The old me would have researched, planned and stressed about backup plans. Instead I decided to keep an open mind and go with the flow. We originally planned to wake up early and meet at the launch an hour away from home around 6:30 a.m. Instead, I was woken up at 6:15 a.m. Saturday morning by a text message from Paul. He slept in and was just about to leave home. We both slept though our alarms and neither of us stressed about it. The skies were red as the sun began to slowly show. I kept telling myself red sky by morning sailors take warning. I also reminded myself liquor before beer, you’re in the clear, just my ADD kicking in. We both arrived at the beach at the same time and were greeted by forceful

pen Mind’’

Nick Dyroff

pounding waves. Continuing to keep an open mind, I asked Paul if he wanted to check the lagoon across the street and have a go at it. He was equally as willing to go with the flow, but met me with some hesitation as that location can be heavily fished and has not produced well in the past. I haven’t fished that area in years, but I used to primarily fish it back when I first began kayak fishing, so I wanted to check on some of my old honey holes. With a blow of the conch horn, we were off. Shortly after launching, we begin adjusting tackle and tying on our lures of choice. I decided to go with a top water plug on

some green 8 lb. Fins Windtamer Super Braid before the wind picked up too much, as I am a sucker for those top water strikes. My plug was averaging 4-6 strikes every return, boating four or five dink trout including Paul’s hyper ladyfish. Shortly after, I hook on to something that felt like a stick. As it comes to the boat I became very puzzled studying a Top Pup lure hooked to my plug. I see there is still line attached, so I begin pulling it up only to be greeted by a freshly dropped rod and reel combo in great shape. I take a few casts with it to test the condition and end up landing another dink trout. Laughing hysterically I told Paul it’s

time to move on to some larger trout around the corner. After a very short paddle, we get to a fishy looking spot and Paul hooks in to a nice 20” trout. We snap a few photos, he blows his conch horn (much to the dismay of the skiff creeping too close in to our vicinity) and we’re off for more. I wanted very badly to keep paddling back to one of my old favorite fishing holes, but we were strapped for time. We split up. Keeping an open mind, I paddle out to some deeper water with a grassy bottom and plenty of pot holes. I stake out and begin working my zoom super fluke coated in mullet scented

Pro-Cure. On the first cast the water explodes the second my lure hits the water and I am greeted with a VERY nice fight. Knowing it was a trout from the head shake, my stress level intensifies, knowing how soft

-Cure (only has one treble hook) out to a large sand hole and was greeted with a strike immediately As I am bringing this trout to the boat my other rod begins to go off, DOUBLE HOOK-UP! I boat a nice 28″

and head over to a friend’s fishing seminar at Kayaks By Bo (Vickie Sallee, Fish Like A Girl). Had we not kept an open mind, we would have skipped fishing that area and went to somewhere we were

their lips can be. I eventually boat it and notice the hook was buried way down in her mouth. I was able to successfully dislodge it snap a few photos and release her to fight another day. After catching several more in the same spot, I couldn't get over how hard they were hitting the lures causing them to get deeply hooked in ways I was not happy with. So I wrangled up some finger mullet with a cast net, tossed them in the live well on my Malibu Stealth and decided to switch over to circle hooks to avoid hurting these breeders any more. Shortly after doing so, I toss a circle hook on to the combo I fished up earlier, toss a finger mullet out and left it in the rod holder. I then tossed on an Unfair Lure Paul Dinkum Shrimp lathered in Pro

trout on the lure and 26″ trout on the mullet. Some might say that’s being greedy, but I had to put some points up on the board for Kayak Wars. Paul and I continued to pound on the trout until the wind picked up and we had to quickly get out of there

more familiar with, or we would have been stubborn and continued stalking the shoreline in search of singles. Since we kept an open mind, our expectations were low and our fishing was successful.●

About Nick Dyroff Nick Dyroff (Nicky-D) is an avid fresh and saltwater angler out of Orlando, Florida. Ever since he learned to walk he has been fishing, beginning with the banks of the Hudson River in New York. He moved to Florida at a young age and began fishing the local lakes and Mosquito Lagoon with his father at age ten. Once old enough to drive, he saved up and purchased his first boat, a Mohawk Canoe. Every weekend he would load up the canoe and his surfboard and head for the coast in search of solid swells and tailing redfish. Flash forward over ten years and he now competitively and successfully fishes kayak tournaments around the state representing some of the best companies in

the industry. With a full-time job in the insurance industry he still finds time to host fishing seminars, demo days, publish educational fishing articles and product reviews, film an online video series and attend fishing industry functions. His passion for growing the sport through education, youth involvement and a great sense of humor is evident when you first meet him. Nick Dyroff is the founder of The Barbie Rod Challenge, a new movement encouraging anglers to come out of their shells and stop taking life so serious. Fishing competitively can take a toll on anglers and almost takes

all the fun out of fishing, so when Nick challenged a small group of Florida competitive anglers to fishing with Barbie Rods, a movement was born. What started with six anglers grew to over six-hundred within only a few months. The challenge helps seasoned anglers fall in love with fishing again and new anglers to enjoy the sport and compete on an even playing level.

Everyday Push The Mike Conneen Story

Fall 2013 A Film By Yaktastic Adventures

GO ‘SEMI’ with COSTA Costa’s new Ansil, Straits and Hatch semi-rimless style sunglasses may only be half the weight of traditional styles, but what they lack in heft, they more than double in performance technology features. Part of Costa’s 2013 sunglass collection, they’re engineered with patented co -injected molded nylon to be nearly indestructible. Named after the most famous Bahamian bonefisherman alive and world record holder, Ansil Saunders, the extra-large Ansil features Costa’s signature vents in the lenses to alleviate fogging in extreme temperatures, no-slip temple tips and sturdy integral hinges. It’s available in tortoise, matte black and silver frame colors, and in gray, copper, or blue and silver mirror 580P™ lens options. Ansil starts in retail at $169. Costa’s sleek new style, Straits, presents a 580P shield lens and adjustable nose pads for a customizable fit. Frame color options include matte black, silver and white, in gray, amber, blue or silver mirror lenses. It retails starting at $189. Rounding out the new semi-rimless offerings from Costa is Hatch, a bold style with high attitude. It features no-slip nose pads and temple tips, front frame vents and integral hinges. Hatch offers a large fit, and is available in tortoise, matte black, silver and the new blackout frame colors. It starts in retail at $169. Costa’s patented 580P™ lenses block yellow light – the harshest light – from entering the eye, creating razor sharp color enhancement, unparalleled polarization and eliminating glare. The polycarbonate lens material is super lightweight and impact resistant, while also repelling oil and water. “Our new semi-rimless styles help to round out our style options for our customers,” said Chas MacDonald, president of Costa. “No matter your preference – traditional construction, lightweight semi-rimless, classic metal aviator – we have a pair of premium performance sunglasses for everyone serious about seeing things more clearly.” All of Costa’s sunglasses are 100 percent polarized and protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays. For more information or to locate the nearest authorized Costa retail outlet, visit

The Smell of Success There’s no denying it; scent definitely helps when targeting redfish. It’s the number one reason people

“World’s Most Proven Bait Scents” by being a brick in the wall. To start, all of their products incorporate fresh

appearance and presentation. The way I see it, if I want my best shot at landing quality or spooky fish, why

resort to using cut mullet, ladyfish, pinfish or threadfin herring with scent driven predators. Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to zone in on your target species, you may spend countless hours dealing with nuisance fish using these baits. The solution is simple: appeal to multiple senses at the same time. This is why Pro-Cure Super Gels have become such a successful tool to all anglers. Pro-Cure has been creating highly successful products for over 20 years, and they definitely didn’t earn the reputation of

bait into their formula of essential amino acids that trigger a feeding response. Down here in Florida, the most versatile and popular product is their line of Super Gels. These Super Gels are quite affordable (at $6 for a 2oz bottle), and often last me an entire year. With over 50 scent varieties, anglers can easily match-the-hatch to each of their lure presentations. I’m a minimalist and a naturalist; only a handful of items make their way with me onto my kayak, and the lures chosen will be ones that are natural in their

not appeal to all of their senses? Matching each gel variety to different lure presentations has proven to be a stable technique, in both clear and murky water. Some of my favorite lures to throw in super skinny water to tailing Redfish are shrimp and crab imitations, like the Strike King Rage Tail series. Matching a Shrimp or Blue Crab Super Gel to theses plastics has helped me sealthe-deal more times than I can count. With so many flavor varieties, it’s an easy switch to the Mullet and Ladyfish Super Gels as we approach the bountiful bait

I’ve always seen Success as being Luck + Preparation. Since one of these elements is within our control, we should never limit ourseason of Summer. This will help selves; use all the tricks in your increase the number of different bag and simply add scent. Give it species you may want to target as a try, it’s no joke and I’m confiwell including speckled trout, dent it will serve you well on the black drum, tarpon and cobia. water. What’s even better is that ProCure can easily be used on hard baits as well, therefore topwater lures and suspending twitch baits that offer both a visual and audible object can now become a triple-threat-target. Pro Cure has even gone a ABOUT THE AUTHOR step further and integrated an innovative UV enhancement feature "Justin Ritchey is an avid kayak anto each of their Super Gels. While gler native to Orlando, FL. From we as anglers believe fish can see fishing the ponds in nearby neighborhoods to trolling offshore color (or what we perceive as color), it is a known fact that fish for pelagics near Sebastian, he has covered many bases of this sport have the ability to recognize UV since childhood. Justin prides himlight. Baitfish, such as scaled sar- self on being a competitive kayak dines and shrimp, emit UV light angler and aims to travel the state, for communication purposes. By adding a UV flash to their Super Gels, this product not only offers a scent factor but a visual one as well. Think of how powerful a natural shrimp imitation soft plastic like a 4” DOA Shrimp can be with an added rattle and Shrimp Super Gel. By doing so, all five senses in a fish would be met, offering the perfect meal to a hungry red. Such a little tweak to your lures can make a huge difference. When it comes to fishing,

learning local techniques and reapplying them throughout different regions. Over the past year, he has traveled from placing 2nd in the Help Keep Emily in her School tournament in Titusville to proudly earning 4th with his right-hand-man Nick Dyroff at the Adventure Fishing World Championship in the Everglades, one of the most challenging kayak tournaments in the state. Justin is not only an avid angler, but also an Aquatics Specialist with his focus in Fisheries Management. When not on the water, he spends his days tending to the variety of saltwater game fish at the luxurious Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. He quotes, “Taking care of 50lb. Redfish, 40” Snook and 100lb. Tarpon is no easy job. But somebody’s gotta do it.” His goal as an angler is to bridge the gap between the scientist and the fisherman, answering the many questions we have when it comes to understanding the trends of our favorite species. Justin is currently a moderator of the Space Coast Kayak Anglers club, a Pro-Cure representative, Tailin’ Toads Pro Staff member and a BIGFIN Apparel Pro Staff Coordinator."

The Fishing Chef CRISPY TILAPIA SANDWICH WITH DILL SAUCE 1 lb. tilapia fillets 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1/2 seasoned breadcrumbs

4 rolls, split 1/2 cup plain yogurt 1/2 Tbsp. dill 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 500째F. Season fillets with salt and pepper. Dip in olive oil and then in breadcrumbs to coat. Arrange in a single layer in lightly oiled baking dish. Bake 10 minutes or until golden, without turning. For dill sauce, mix yogurt, dill, mustard, and lemon juice. Serve tilapia on rolls with dill sauce.

To Pedal or Not to Pedal? Charles Levi, Jr That is the question that has been asked by just about every kayaker. Here is my disclaimer “I am a regional Fishing Team Member for Hobie Kayaks” I am one of those guys that said not to pedal until I fished the Adventure Fishing World Championship down in Everglades City, FL. My fishing buddies and I covered over thirty-eight miles in two days of paddling in less than perfect conditions. While we paddled our arms off in a twenty to thirty knot wind all the while dealing with the tide as well, those in the Hobie kayaks blew past us like we were sitting still. So when I got home I knew I needed to try a Hobie and see what it was all about.

The first Hobie I got to try was the Revolution 13, to me the rocket ship of the Hobie line. The first thing I noticed about the “REVO” was how sleek the kayak is at 28.5” wide and 13.5 ft long and at 82.8lbs rigged, it’s not that bad to move around with a Hobie Cart. I will tell you this about Hobie they have thought about everything including reinforcing the back scupper holes for the cart to fit into! The “REVO” is a fast kayak that paddles as well as it pedals however adding the turbo fins to the “REVO” really shows off its speed. For the kayak angler that wants to stand up in his or her kayak this one is not the best for it. Like all the Hobie Mirage drive kayaks you can add a sail kit as well to give you yet another option for propulsion. The Revolution is available in an 11’ model as well that comes 29” wide and 70lbs. Both sizes have a good amount of storage and come standard with the Mirage Drive, a paddle, water bottle, rudder and the plug for the Mirage drive hole. If speed isn’t a concern but stability is the Outback fits the bill. From fishing small lakes and ponds to taking it off the beach the outback is a work horse. The first thing that stood out to me about the Outback was the hull design. It has a bit of a pontoon shape to it that makes it very stable and with a good amount of room on the rails of the Outback it makes rigging it with just about any accessory you can think of easy. The one thing about the Outback that I will say impressed me is the fact that I could stand in it all day long. It would be nice to have a little flatter of a deck to have more room for your feet but with a little practice it’s not bad. Like the “REVO” the Outback could use the turbo fins to give it more speed. The Outback is 33” wide and just a bit over 12’ long but does weigh around six pounds more than the Revolution 13. The seats in both models talked about above are surprisingly comfortable and offer an inflatable back rest to make the

seat feel just right to you. Both the “REVO” and the Outback come with two molded flush mount rod holders. Then there are the Pro Anglers….. The Pro Angler models come in the 12’ and 14’ lengths and both come with the Mirage Drive with turbo fins, The Vantage Seat, Paddle, three Plano tackle treys, water bottle, front hatch liner, wiring harnesses, and a rudder! The tackle storage area in front of the seat on the Pro Anglers is a great addition to the PA’s. For those of us that like to stand and fish there are few kayaks that can compare to the stability of a Pro Angler. Push poling a Pro Angler is an awesome way to sneak up on the spooky redfish here on the Space Coast. For me fishing my home waters of the Mosquito Lagoon in search for redfish and other game fish that call it home I stand 90% of the time. Weather you fly fish in the shallows or troll for pelagic species off the coast there is more than enough room in the cockpit of the Pro Angler to make fishing comfortable. The Vantage Seat is the most comfortable seat I have ever fished from. Both the PA12 and the PA14 are surprisingly fast for such a big vessel. The PA 12 is right at 12’ in length 36” wide and

weighs in at 120lbs rigged while the PA14 is 13’.8” in length and is 38” wide and weighs in at 138lbs rigged. Not only does Hobie make some of the best kayaks on the market but for all you rigging geeks out there they have a 57 page book of all kinds of toys to rig your Hobie Kayaks with.

Charles Levi, Jr AKA “Redfish Chuck.” host the Monday Night Kick Off Kayak Fishing Radio Show started fishing when he was two years old in Long Island, NY but has called the Space Coast of Florida home for 20+ years. During that time Chuck has fished everything from freshwater in small ponds and lakes to large bodies of water. Saltwater is in his blood and his home away from home is the Inshore and Offshore waters where he targets the many game fish that the Atlantic Ocean, Indian and Banana Rivers and the Mosquito Lagoon has to offer. Chuck Pro Staffs and writes for and He is also a Pro staff member of Tackle Webs, Bending Branches Paddles, Slayer INC Lures, Ego Nets, ENO, and a Hobie Regional Fishing Team Member!

Creating Memories By Rob Lee These days and times it's not to hard to get wrapped up in your cell phone, or your Facebook, or even your favorite reality TV show. Don't get me wrong, I love keeping up with friends and family on Facebook, and watching Duck Dynasty, but sometimes it's just nice too shut the phone off, load up the yaks and camping gear, and head to the great outdoors.. We loaded up on a Thursday morning and headed to Lanexa, VA. to Ed Allen's campground for a little R&R, and of course some fishing too. This trip was pretty cool, I had the chance to introduce a lot of family and friends to the sport we all know and LOVE "Kayak fishing" I'm sure there were many that had thought, I wonder what all the fuss is about, after seeing all my pictures and posts on Facebook. I will tell you it didn't take long for them come around, they were all smiling ear to ear. It occurred to me this weekend, especially after seeing the joy and excitement on there faces, that it's important to share your passion for something with others in hopes they will do the same, so it forever prospers. This weekend there were many fish caught, many campfire stories told, and many memories made. I put together a short video of the weekends experience that I'd like to share with you all as well!! Hope you enjoy!! Don't forget to check me and Rob Devore out over at YAKTASTIC ADVENTURES on Facebook.

CLICK HERE to view video

Wants You! Have you ever wanted to relive that big catch, tell your story, and enlighten others to how you accomplished it? Do you have a tip or technique everyone should by using? Well come aboard and contribute to The Fisherman’s Journal! All articles must be well written and contain quality photos. Unique, knowledgeable articles will be chosen for an upcoming issue. Send all inquiries and questions to

A Bass Yaks Kit isn’t just a Motor, It is a fully comprehensive Kit, including a custom mounting bracket, wiring harnesses, cockpit throttle control, Lift kit to allow you to lift your motor on the fly, and steering is controlled with your foot pedals. All pushed along by a modified Minn Kota Motor. Bassyaks offers complete trolling motor kits for those who already have a kayak or want to install it yourself, or we’ll build you one. Our Bassyak Kits Available include a internally and externally modified Minn Kota motor unit with a kayak specific mounting bracket, throttle assembly, wiring harnesses, steering assembly, and hardware. Most kits are sub-assembled for ease of installation. You supply the Kayak, battery, and time. Bassyaks uses only the BEST trolling motors, we use brand new ,out of the box Minn Kotas, and only the thrust lbs that actually work, Our standard kits use a 30 thrust lb motor and we offer motor upgrades including 40,45, and 55 thrust lb motors.

Bassyaks also offers an array of propellers for various needs, whether for speed, power or weed less for fine tuning your style There are no erectors set mounts or side mounts. All of our motor mounts are custom made and are kayak specific, Bassyaks offers over 75 different model brackets, all laser cut and powder coated. Bassyaks motors are rated IP68 that means submersible, our wiring harnesses are IP68, everything in our kits is IP68!! Optional Electronic throttle controls gives you greater speed control, with a hand held remote which thus allows you to control your thrust from anywhere in your craft, front / back, standing or sitting. Electronic throttle controls offer variable speeds and extended run times. By using a PWM throttle control we are able to extend run times up to 5X as long, run times can also be extended by adding a second 12 volt battery, actually doubling your run time. As far as speeds go there are many variables but you can expect

at least between 4 and 6 mph in most conditions, the more efficient the hull of your vessel is the faster you’re going to go. Assembly time is about 5hrs. With normal tools, everything is mounted in an ergonomic place, keeping in mind not to ruin your kayak if you decide to remove the systems. The trolling motor can be removed in 10 seconds and the kayak will perform as it did before you made the modification. And the complete system adds 18 lbs to the weight of your kayak. Battery weight has also been a question, the battery we suggest for most applications is a 12 volt AGM 22-NF 55Ahr which weights 38 lbs and will offer around 6 hours of run time. With the Lift Kit option you can raise and lower the motor both vertically and horizontally from the seat at any time. There are 9 positions to choose from, this can be done with the optional Lift kit from the seat. Drop the motor after launching from the beach or raise it when beaching the kayak. No need to stand in the water like our competitors. Weeds or underwater obstruc-

tions are not a problem, just raise the motor, and fling off the weeds, drop and go. The motor will run in as little as 9 inches of water so there’s a good chance your keel will touch before our motor does. The Bassyaks Systems motors can turn 90 degree allowing the best turning radius on the market. You can turn 360 degrees from a standstill. You get instant response in reverse and forward and engaging reverse while moving forward acts like braking, you can stop the kayak in 10 feet. Whether used by itself or in combination with paddling or peddling, a Bassyaks System will complete your boating experience Go to: to find a dealer nearest you. 860 848 4799

There’s a New

“In designing and building the Predator, we set out to turn conv deliver a totally new fishing experience” David Hadden, Old

vention upside down and

d Town Brand Director

On the Loose OLD TOWN CANOES & KAYAKS LAUNCHES NEW PREDATOR FISHING KAYAK Old Town Canoes & Kayaks, one of the most storied brands in the paddlesports industry, recently launched the new Predator kayak. Developed in combination with Old Town’s renowned designers and pro staff members throughout the country, the Predator is completely engineered, below and above the waterline, to deliver the perfect platform for fishing.

The Predator brings anglers closer to the water and the action with nearly unlimited options to customize the kayak around their specific equipment and unique needs. Featuring six strategicallyplaced, removable mounting plates, the Predator enables consumers to install rod holders, GPS units, fish finders, cameras and more virtually anywhere around the boat without drilling into the hull so they can tailor the craft for their personal style. The Predator boasts standout features including the three-stage Element™ seating system that can be lowered for paddling, raised for fishing or even flipped out of the way in stand-up mode for poling, sighting and casting. The proprietary, slip resistant Exo-Ridge™ deck is designed for sure footing and superior drainage, while the Tri-hull construction provides both incredible durability and stability. A package unique in the marketplace, the Old Town Predator ensures anglers can paddle in comfort, arrange equipment to their exact specifications and even stand to fish. “In designing and building the Predator, we set out to turn convention upside down and deliver a totally new fishing experience,” said David Hadden, Old Town Brand Director. “The Predator still delivers the stability and comfort kayak anglers demand, but the ability to customize this kayak to your specific needs, and adjust it on the fly as your needs change, helps set it miles ahead of the competition.” The Predator possesses a large capacity center console for maximum storage and additional mounting options, while dual rod tip holders at the bow help store valuable fishing rods safely and securely. Other key features include a large bow hatch with Old Town’s patented Click Seal cover, scupper holes for quick drainage, large rear tank well with Exo-Ridge design to keep gear accessible and dry, paddle keepers, adjustable foot braces and sidemounted rod retainers that allow for convenient grab and cast.

a rev Blake

view by Walters

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to test paddle the Predator 13 before its release date. I had seen pictures of this kayak and knew that it was definitely going to be a contender in the stand up fishing kayak category. After the first evening that I was in the boat, I was hooked. My primary fishing platform has been the Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.7, in which standing was possible, just not comfortable. In the Predator, it was second nature. Those of us that fished together during the testing could not believe the stability. The Predator 13 is honestly the most stable kayak in its class. Aside from the stability, there were several other features that caught my eye. The Predator has 6 accessory plates that allow you to add all your favorite gear, without drilling into your kayak. Old Town also included the Clickseal front hatch as well as the mod-pod from the ocean kayak fishing boats, both of which I have used on previous kayaks and love. Another thing that I noticed about this kayak was the seat. It's not your typical High-Low seat that we have all seen. The seat rides in a track, so that you can easily switch from high to low position with one hand. The guys at Old Town had a big job of convincing me that my Ultra 4.7 would no longer be my primary fishing boat, but they succeeded. The Predator will be my new flats and freshwater kayak, and may even venture out into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but the ultra will still be my long haul BTB kayak. I was extremely impressed with the Predator. I'm excited to see what other people think of it. Photo Credit: Jason Arnold

The Minimalist Approach - Eliminating No By Chuck Wrenn

Lure Selection: While rod and reel selection is a personal preference and hallowed ground to many anglers, the area I see the greatest opportunity to reduce your "footprint" on the water in is the area of lure selection. We all have our "confidence" or "go-to" baits, but if you are a "what if" type of angler, you're likely to carry extra noise or clutter with you. With that said, trying to build your tackle box for a day on the water can be a little overwhelming if you are not preparing effectively. You'll end up second guessing yourself and taking every color combination imaginable with you. At the end of the day, you'll most likely find that you never even touched 80-90% of the lures you took. Or worse, you spent so much time changing between lures that you never really fished or had time to identify what the fish were keying in on. So, what can you do to minimize this from happening? My approach is to think about what makes sense for the area you are targeting. If you are fishing an area loaded with shad and other minnowlike forage, then perch and sunfish imitations or large profile creature baits could be left at home. Now, I'm not saying get rid of those additional color patterns, because it is not uncommon to try something that is just a little different to turn the bite on. I am only suggesting that you limit your "off-color" selection to 2-3 baits based on water clarity and avoid carrying an additional tackle tray for the "what if" scenario. In my kayak, I carry no more than two tackle

trays, and they are setup to cover the top, middle and lower areas of the water column. My tackle trays are the 3600 series trays to facilitate storage in my Hobie Pro Angler's tackle management system, but they also fit in a standard milk crate. For the target species mentioned earlier, the first tackle tray is setup like this: I load the top row with 6 jigs (two each in black/blue, green pumpkin and orange/brown). The next row is split into two compartments: one has a couple of square bill cranks baits, while the other compartment has three or four lip less crank baits. The third row has a couple of jerk baits and a couple of top water plugs, while the lower row has a couple of hollowbodied frogs. The right hand side of the tray has the separators removed to leave it open and that is where I keep three or four spinner baits and a couple of buzz baits. The second tackle tray is the same size and is actually used for terminal tackle only. It has all manner of hooks, jig heads and weights necessary for rigging up my various soft plastics. The only other lures I take with me are soft plastics, including worms, grubs, jerk shads and frogs. I prefer natural colors, but I will carry colors that I can switch to based upon water clarity. These items are kept in their original bags and just placed either in the storage areas on my Hobie Pro Angler or in a milk crate in a single gallon sized freezer bag. Other than that, the only other items I carry are a waterproof container for my personal items, some fish attractant and a leader spool. Target Area: So far, we have covered rod and lure selection using the minimalist approach. The last step in this approach is the target area or areas on a given body of water. For some of you, this is old hat and part of your normal approach, but it's not uncommon to see novice anglers heading out loaded for bear with no clear idea on what they will be doing or where they are going after they launch. When you are planning an outing, you should already have a plan and head towards those specific areas

oise and Clutter In Your Kayak - Part Two first. In some cases, you know the area well enough and avoid the non-productive spots based on past experience. In other situations, the weather conditions and physical makeup of the body of water dictate the lure selection and most likely places to hold fish given the time of year. So, why not take that approach every time you head out. What I mean here is equivalent to fishing more intelligently and minimizing the chances of wasted time on the water. By default, this means that we as anglers should be focusing our fishing tactics and gear towards specific areas or features on a given body of water and not on what we could potentially run into. For example, a body of water I fish often is frequented by many kayak anglers and boaters alike, and it has a variety of structure and cover opportunities. On any given day, you could fish deep channel ledges and shallow secondary points in one section, then move to another area with lily pads,

standing timber and lay downs, and yet still move again and work over some shallow flats and drift the creek channels right up to the bridge pilings. If you planned your outing to hit all of those locations, you would spend more time moving between spots and less time actually fishing. Why not eliminate 75% of the fishable water for that given outing and just focus on an area that offers two to three different structure choices and cover variations? By doing this, not only have you increased your fishing time, you have allotted yourself more time to establish a pattern through direct and focused observation of the conditions and environment around you. Every time you head out, you are building a library of understanding for that body of water. An easy way to do this is to imagine the body of water as a tic-tac-toe grid. Eliminate the non-productive areas based upon your knowledge and research before you leave the house. Once you

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have selected your target areas, hone in on definitive spots and eliminate the lures and rod combos that will clutter or increase the "noise". If you are targeting lay downs and ledge transitions in the 4-8' range, leave the deep diving crank baits and vertical jigging spoons at home and opt for a few square bills, spinner baits and some slow moving presentations. Or, if you're targeting heavy standing timber and grass mats, leave the two or three extra rods with light line and lightweight lures at home. These are "noise" factors and only make your day on the water less focused and even less productive. After a few trips, you will have developed a workable approach that you can adapt to other areas of the lake almost automatically. In the example above, I ended up choosing two areas or grids of the lake in close proximity to one another and selected three presentations for the day. I pre-rigged them the night before and only left myself with one decision when I launched - which color was I going to start with based on water clarity. The other factors of re-

trieval speed or lure action are determined on the water based upon the fish behavior. When I had thoroughly worked an area, I moved on to the next spot and repeated the pattern. The key here is to not allow yourself to sit and hope for a bite. You need to identify the prime areas and make sure your time spent at each "spot within a spot" is more focused. Because I had minimized the "noise" and honed in on a given approach for that outing, I was able to dial into a workable pattern in the morning, then as the day progressed, I was able to adapt to changing conditions due to less "noise" and still have a productive day. I utilized this approach in two separate tournaments at different times of the year on the same body of water and won both of them. Does this approach always equate to catching fish or winning a tournament? Not necessarily, but it did afford me more time to actually fish rather than second guessing myself or changing lures every 10 minutes. I hope you found this article useful and will consider employing some or all of these tactics the next time you head out on the water. Tight Lines!

About Chuck Wrenn I started kayak angling in April 2010 in a SOT (Sit On Top) purchased from Appomattox River Company. I have always been a freshwater angler primarily targeting Largemouth Bass. Since that time, I have ventured out into the saltwater more and more and have enjoyed my days chasing Speckled Trout, Summer Flounder, Striped Bass and hope to eventually catch a bull red, some Spades, Tautog and Sheepshead. Currently, I am a member of the Hobie Fishing Team as a Local Pro and have fished out of three of their kayaks - the Hobie Revolution 13, Pro Angler 12 and Pro Angler 14 and find them to be more useful for the type of fishing I am doing than a traditional paddle-based kayak. Especially since I can venture out further without fear of arm fatigue in heavy current and wind. Not to mention the relative ease of maintaining one's position using the Mirage Drive. You just point your bow in the direction of the current or the wind and pedal slowly. I am also a member of the PowerTeam Lures Pro Staff and actively fish their soft plastics anytime I am in the freshwater.

Check out more of Chuck Wrenn at

The Fisherman's Journal - July 2013  
The Fisherman's Journal - July 2013  

The July 2013 Issue of The Fisherman's Journal