2013–Lessons Learned

2013 marked my second year fishing from a Kayak, and marked a year with a number of accomplishments and discoveries.

Accomplisments;

  1. Over 100 bass boated, over 50 bass over 12″.
  2.  New bodies of water explored–Laurel Lake, Marburg, Long Arm, Conewago Creek, Susquehanna North Branch.
  3. New Personal Best LMB and SMB

Discoveries:

  1. I am a better finesse angler than I am a power angler; spinnerbaits (other than inline spinners) are not a lure I catch bass on.
  2. I use far less than I carry, consequently I have re-designed my equipment for most days on the water, and with the exception of muliple-day trips I will no longer need a crate, other than to carry my equipment in the car.
  3. Comfort issues with the Wilderness Systems Ride 135 that affect me personally. Originally, I thought perhaps my lower back pain experienced my first year was the result of a poor seat configuration; but after trying multiple arrangements I am finding that the lower back pain is the result of the seat design. I will likely only fish one more year in this kayak before selling it and getting something else. Both  the Jackson Cuda and the Old Town Predator appeal to me; and I will need to make a decision on which one.

With my discoveries, for 2014 I will make the following adjustments:

  • A 3-rod Arsenal:
    • 6’8″ M/XF Shimano Sellus Spinning/Okuma Stratus CX-25 reel for weightless/wacky rigs
    • 7’1″ M/XF Shimano Sellus Spinning/Abu Garcia Orra SX-20 reel for jig/shakeyhead
    • 7’2″ MH/F Shimano Sellus Spinning/Abu Garcia Orra SX-20 reel for inline spinner/crankbait fishing
    • All reels spooled with 30# Hi Seas Yellow Braid, tipped with a 12# Yozuri Hybrid leader.
  • Reducing the amount of equipment I carry for excusions lasting less than a day
    • 3500 Series Waterproof Plano Box for carrying terminal tackle
    • 3600 Series Double Sided Plano Box–cranks, rat-l-traps, inline spinners
    • Speed bag of soft plastics: Craws, Grubs, Senkos, Worms

In addition to making adjustments to my Fishing technique and what I take on the water, I’m resolving to be more small-business focused:

  • Supporting more small business-based lure companies
  • Supporting local Kayak and Tackle Shops–no more big box stores.

And now, to end this article, I will toss up some photos of some big fish from this year:

 

Largemouth Bass (17″)

17

 

My PKFA.org friend, Johnson Outoors Pro-Staff John ‘Toast’ Oast with a North Branch Susquehanna Smallmouth bass:

John Oast and Susquehanna Smallie

Nice 15″ Conewago Creek Smallmouth Bass:

Conewago Creek Smallie

Personal Best—17″ SMB caught on the North Branch of the Susquehanna
Personal Best Smallmouth