As much as people can talk about gear, fishing and kayaks on forums, social media and in person, absolutely nothing can duplicate the actual experience of getting in a kayak and seeing how it fits your body. That's why these demo day events put on by Massey's are so awesome - rather than having to pay to rent a kayak, folks are able to come by and try out several kayaks in a short time period, comparing them back to back. I was there representing Jackson, and people had some fine compliments about both the FlexDrive models, and the paddle kayaks, particularly the Mayfly. At the end of the day, my son got a chance to jump in a kayak (on dry land) and loved it. Thanks to Dave Woodward at Massey's for organizing this event.
Kalon and I have been talking about getting in a trip together for quite a while, but schedules just hadn't lined up right until this past week. This trip worked out well for both of us, because I have been wanting to work on getting some new photographs for my outdoors portfolio and test out some gear, and Kalon was looking for some photos. I was psyched to get a chance to watch and learn from one of the best anglers around. In terms of fishing, it started off pretty slow and cold for both of us, before Kalon started catching some fish as the sun warmed the water up. Eventually I put the camera down and started fishing, and it definitely took some time to shake the rust off, as it had been a good while since my last trip sight fishing redfish. The water was quite low, but pretty clear, and I had a good number of shots, getting quite a few rejections and missing hook sets a few times as well. The tide switched at some point around noon, and the action really started heating up, right about when it was time for both of us to make it back to the launch. Eventually I was able to connect a few times, but it was a good reminder that sight fishing is like any other sport - you have to keep up with your game, or you will suffer. It was great to watch Kalon's approach to sight fishing, and I most definitely got some good feedback and ideas on things I can work on to improve my presentation and approach. Great trip overall! A few photos below that I thought came out particularly well.
As a relative newcomer to the Jackson team, I was psyched to get a chance to meet some of the guys from the team, and hang with a few of the Louisiana team members. PAC Kayak Rentals is a nice spot for something like this, with the well thought out facilities and the super cool houseboat. Luckily, my parents were kind enough to come up a little early for a Thanksgiving visit to help watch my son while I snuck away for two days of fishing. Huge thanks to both of them, as well as my wonderful wife, who is patient to the extreme with my boyish excitement with this sport.
I arrived at the marina around 7am, and strolled around looking at some of the boats that were out - Cruise FD, Coosa FD, and the new Bluesky boat. Fellow JK Louisiana guys Eli Braud and Chuck Bahan were there, along with the JK Media team Brooks Beatty and Jameson Redding, as well as Gene Jensen (Flukemaster) and Robert Field. Brooks and Jameson needed to do some filming at the marina, so we all headed out to fish.
It wasn't long before I found a decent redfish, and some ok water, and had high hopes for fishing. As it turned out, it turned out to be a fairly tough day of fishing, with higher than anticipated winds, and a lot of picky fish that snubbed a lot of my lures. Still found a few however! I spent a lot of time avoiding areas with duck hunters in them, and did eventually find some clean water and fish, but had a bit of a hard time figuring out what they wanted, as many of them would spook immediately upon seeing a lure.
Eventually I heard from Jameson, and let him know where I was, by that point a good ways away from the marina. After a few issues with GPS coordination, I told him to let me know where he was and I'd paddle to him. To be fair, I was way the hell out in the middle of nowhere. Eventually we all found ourselves in the same place, and caught a few fish, which Brooks and Jameson filmed. Sunset was imminent, and I caught a few good shots as we made our way back to the marina.
Day 2 got off to a bit of slow start, which was just fine for me, as I was having some whiskey/beer related performance issues... Chris Funk was kind enough to bring his Kilroy DT down, and I had a chance to paddle it around a little bit at the marina before we all launched. Caught a couple of photos at the marina before we headed out.
Eventually, the kayak Voltron formed up, and we headed more or less south. This time, I was determined to stick with folks and not paddle off deep in the marsh like I usually do. Things started off pretty well for me, and I had landed 3 fish pretty shortly. None were huge, but it was a relief to get it out of the way and get some of it filmed. I did a little bit of tactics talking on camera with Jameson, and then sat back a bit and took a few pictures while hanging with Eli, Brooks and Jameson. I usually fish so hard, it was pretty nice to sit back and relax a bit. Brooks sight casted a nice redfish pretty shortly, and I got a sweet photo of Chris Funk with a sheepshead that he sight cast on the fly rod. Eli and Brooks needed to do some filming, so I split off and wandered around on my own. I didn't plan on making it an extremely long day, as I wanted to get back and hang out with the family. I did a bit more paddling and exploring, found a few, and found my favorite photo of the day, a weathered oak root base in the marsh. Once I got back to the marina, I took my time packing up, cleaned the two fish I had kept for dinner, and took a shower on the house boat. It was pretty awesome to drive back clean, and with the fish cleaned. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I hope the rest of the guys catch some good fish over the weekend!
Today was a day. Sunrise to sunset, not great fishing, but dinner was had. Not much else to say.
Josh Reppel and I just got back from a 19 day trip to Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, and I'm going through the mountain of photos and video I came back with. It'll take a while to get everything up, but I thought I'd throw a few shots up.