New V-Eight PFD by Astral Buoyancy

This vest has been redesigned for 2015 and it’s on my list. I loved this vest when I looked it over, especially the high back and breathability. $120

 

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Old Town Predator XL Kayak

Let me first say I really like this boat, the integrated console concept is the future of kayaks. This boat won ICAST boat of the year and ICAST best of show for a reason. They will be available in October 2014.

This is a BIG Boat! Here are the specs:

  • LENGTH 13′
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  • WIDTH 36″
  • WEIGHT 92 LBS WITHOUT CONSOLES
  • SEAT WIDTH 21″
  • SEAT HEIGHT 15″
  • LEG LENGTH 48″
  • BOW HATCH 16.5″X 10.5″
  • MAX CAPACITY 600LBS

A few pictures of the boat:

DSCF1104 DSCF1109 DSCF1108Don’t get hung up on the minn kota option of this kayak. It’s a awesome boat without the motor.

To get a real good look at this boat go here: http://predatorkayak.com/xl/

 

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Less than a week to ICAST 2014!

Less than a week to ICAST 2014! What is that you might ask?

The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, is the world’s largest sportfishing trade show annually hosting 10,000 members of the global recreational fishing industry. ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the sportfishing industry’s trade association, which looks out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community.

ICAST is the premier showcase for the latest innovations in fishing gear, accessories and apparel and is the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry, helping to drive recreational fishing product sales year round.

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Bamaspot’s Shoal Bass Adventure

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Jackson Cruise Fishing Setup

I was asked to show the setup on my Jackson Cruise. I bought this boat back in the summer before they began making the Cruise in the “Angler” Version so my boat will differ than some of the Cruise boat now being made. I chose the cruise as my boat of choice because it gave me the open space of a Coosa but better tracking and lower profile of the cuda. I think of it as a cross between the Cuda and the Coosa. It has the best of both boats in my opinion.

To begin with, I use the center hatch to store my waterproof camera, nothing else goes in there but the camera. It’s quick access but keeps it protected.

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Next is my painter, or tow rope. It is a necessity when river fishing. It’s a rare time when you never have to leave your boat and whenever you leave the boat the painter is the first thing you grab. Mine in the picture is kind of a small diameter to what I usually use.

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If you want to learn more about a painter check out Kreekn from Big Willis Outfitters youtube video.

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One bungee cords that run across the front of the Cruise I added some wiffle golf balls. I did this for two purposes, it raises the bungee off the deck of the boat so you can slide your paddle underneath very easily. Additionally ii is a holder for my fishing rods, it keeps them between the two and pointed straight ahead where I want them to be.

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I added paddle holders to both sides of my kayak. The newer Cruise has paddle holders now but mine did not come with any. These are simple bungee cords ran under the handle to a j- hook that I added. I did this because I only had to drill one hole for each paddle holder. It works very well and holds the paddle and a stake out pole in place and easily accessible.

 

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I added a fish grip to keep fish in the boat. An old microphone cord works pretty well.

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Carrying tackle on-board for me consist of 4 waterproof plano boxes that go underneath the seat and a bag of plastics that I tie off and place at my right foot. I really like them being there as they are so convenient.

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I store my essentials such as wallet and keys in a dry box in the bag behind the seat. This makes them readily available in case the game warden happens to show up. Of course that has never happened while kayak fishing.

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Soft sided cooler to put my drinks, snacks and lunch in. Tied down with the bungees, so it doesn’t get away.

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I added the ram balls and the Zooka Tubes to hold two fishing rods. They work pretty well and without the need for a bungee to tie them off like on the rocket launchers.

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On the right side of my seat is a pair of high quality pliers. I use these to remove hooks, cut line and etc…

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My trust Foxworx paddle. Hand made in the U.S.A.

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My anchor system was added to give addition control. It consist of a clothesline reel mounted inside the kayak, and the line runs around the left side and out a hole, through the mini clam cleat and through eye pads and out the back of the boat. It works quite well and I have been well pleased with it. In the picture below is a grapple anchor, I use this in the saltwater only. In the rivers I use a drag chain.

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All components were added with pop rivets and marine goop.

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Inside the kayak I always carry a dry bag and a spare paddle. In the dry bag is a change of clothes, first aid kit, multi-tool, duct tape, fire-starter and toilet paper.

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Fox Worx Kayak Paddles

From time to time there comes along a product that is a notch above the rest. I get asked from time to time about my kayak paddle. The reason being I think is my paddle is so different from what guys are use to seeing.

A couple of years ago Jacky and myself went to Shoaliepalooza in GA. While on the flint river fishing for shoal bass I pushed off a rock with my paddle and heard a pop. I knew that wasn’t good but kept on fishing. Well upon further inspection the shaft of the paddle had crack all the way around. I tried to fix it with super glue but figured it wouldn’t last. I was right. eventually the whole blade broke off.

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Now I was pretty disappointed to say the least, this was a big name brand fiberglass shaft paddle, and it wasn’t to cheap. I sure wasn’t going to by one of those again. So I began to search for something better.What did I find? I found a company that builds you a paddle, just the way you want it and for the same money as those factory made paddles made by the big companies.

Fox Worx canoe and kayak paddles based out of Bainbridge NY. Their kayak paddles use basswood shafts that are sealed with epoxy and polyurethane and are available in regular and small diameter. The paddles are 2 piece with an aluminum ferrule that is feathered neutral. I bought their “Splash” model that comes with a colorful paddle; they come in lengths from 210 to 250cm or over 250cm for a small charge.

Here is pictures of mine when it was new:

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So your thinking a wood shaft on my kayak paddle, won’t that be heavy? I will tell you NO! At 38oz it’s almost the same as a fiberglass shafted paddle. Durability? You better believe it, I have put my through the wringer, I have not babied this thing at all and it hasn’t missed a beat. Done everything I have asked of it.

Take a look at the pictures of the paddle now, you can see the scratches from floating all the rocky rivers. But the scratches are just superficial, the blades are as stout and true as the day I got it.

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 I love this paddle, the feel of a wood is so much better than aluminum or fiberglass. It’s never hot or cold. Go check them out.

http://www.foxworxpaddle.com/

 

 

 

 

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Kayak Bass Fisherman switches to Salt

When people talk about saltwater fishing most people immediately have visions of Louisiana.. I’m not a saltwater guy, pretty much a bass fisherman and that’s it. I dream of 5lb smallmouth.

I recently had a chance to return to the saltwater to fish, but it’s in a location that probably not on many peoples radar scope, South Mississippi. Woke a 3am, 15 minutes later I was headed south. Stopped on the way in Hueytown to pick up my buddy Mike (The one that talked me into this salt stuff) By 5am we were headed south again.

We rolled into Shepard State Park at 10am on fire to setup camp and get on the water. Shepard is a nice place although it could use some work and could use some pest control for the mighty brave raccoons.

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Not long after we got there the rest of the crew showed up from the morning fishing adventure, sadly the news wasn’t good. Fishing had been tough that morning and the temperatures had been close to freezing that morning. Not what we wanted to hear but still we were ready to persevere.

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So by 1230 we were on the water ready to wear the fish out. Somebody forgot to tell the fish! This was a new place to me although we had passed it before. The bite was tough and very few came to hand, although what did make it in the cooler were nice ones. No one had the skunk; even I managed a dink flounder. Mike caught his best red to date and Matthew caught a nice red also.

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The evening was spent around the campfire with hamburgers and hot dogs  Steve was nice enough to bring us enough firewood for two nights! Mike cooked up a peach dump cobbler in the Dutch oven that was spot on for some hungry fisherman. That’s one nice thing about camping when you go on these fishing trips is sitting around the fire talking fishing and learning new things.

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Day two we were met up with Steve at the boat launch. Mike had been here before but for the other three of us it was all new. The setup was perfect, it was an area that had not been affected by the recent influx of freshwater, the winds were nonexistent and the current was moving. That’s pretty much where it ended, it wasn’t meant to be. I did more paddling than I did fishing, recent dredging in the area may have affected the fish. Maybe it is just too early? I caught one legal flounder.

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So we all pulled out and loaded up to fill our bellies. I had an idea for the perfect place to go for that all though I had never been there. So we pull in to Bozo’s Seafood Market and Deli. You give your order to a lady at a back-corner table. She writes it on a white paper sack, which she plops on an adjacent counter. You help yourself to a soft drink from a cooler or the soda fountain and browse the seafood market in back or the shelves of spice mixes. Then you pick up that same sack, now filled with fresh seafood, or perhaps a po’boy, and eat at a paper-towels-equipped table against the opposite wall. It doesn’t get any more down-home.

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After lunch we had a new plan; and we headed to the new launch point. It was not meant to happen, we arrived to discover the wind had picked up and was now blowing a steady 15 mph. The place we had in mind was in the wide open and there was no protection from the wind.

After a 5 minute discussion on what to do we decided our only option was to back up and punt. A new location with wind protection in mind was decided and off we went again. At the new location it was confirmed that we made the right choice, wind was being block, somewhat and the water was looking good. Fishing the rest of the afternoon everyone scored. Not too bad for a place that none of us had been to before. By the time I decided to head back toward the truck I soon discovered that I was the only one still on the water. I think everyone else was done for! Arms like jelly if you know what I mean.

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We said goodbye to Steve and headed on back to camp. Cleaned up and headed to town for some good food cooked by someone else! We ate at the Country Gentleman restaurant. Good food if you are ever in the area!

While we didn’t kill them we all still had a good time, I think we are just a wee bit early for the fish to move up into the bayous. I think the recent influx of freshwater and cold temperatures has set back the movement of fish into the shallows by a few weeks.

To fish the saltwater there is not that much to invest; your bass rod and reels will work fine in the bayous. Tackle to fish with is a minimal investment too.

You might say why MS when I can go to LA? A MS out of state saltwater license is only $34.29 for a year compared with Louisiana at $90.

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Susquehanna Fishing Magazine.

So your looking for something to read, new fishing tips, a new fishing technique or kayak/river fishing in general. Go by and check out Susquehanna Fishing Magazine. They have lots and lots of useful and informative articles.

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Black Friday shakedown

Made plans to fish Friday, had something new that I was a hankering to test out. Some people didn’t make it but us that did made the best of it. It was a nice day to be on the river, and we were on water that we hadn’t wetted a line in for quite a long time.

It turned out to be a good choice and we were doing well for quite awhile this morning. But it was like a switch was flipped and then we couldn’t buy a bite to save our life. The cold front passed through and boy could you tell it!

Anyway here is a little fish porn for those that couldn’t make it:

First slime in the new boat!!!



Mike got in on the action too:

Brown bass are the best!!!

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October BIG BASS Tournament

Here are the rules for this month’s tournament!

October Tournament Rules

1)Must be a SouthernRiverFishing.com member beforehand.

2)Each participant will have a ONE fish Stringer, in which all black bass are eligible.

3)To become eligible, fish must be photographed on an approved measure board and released quickly as possible.(Mouth closed and facing left please)

4)Pictures posted on this thread will count, All fish must be photographed and weighed.

5)Tournament fish must be caught from any free flowing river, stream or creek in the U.S. NO lakes or ponds!

6)All tournament fish must be caught using artificial lures. NO live bait!

7)Participants are on the honor system.(There will be a “PRIZE” for the winner!)

8)Watercraft used must be human propelled, no Engines or Trolling motors.

9)Contest runs from October 1st to October 31st.

10)Smallmouth Bass get a 1″ addition.

10)Approved measuring board: Hawg Trough any branded, Rapala Folding Ruler, The golden rule, BPS folding ruler, any other that is pre approved.

 

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