Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Round Two!

  Been awhile since I wrote something so I thought I would go back to the "So you want to be a guide" topic. This is more of a rant time for me than any helpful information. Recently I have been getting interest from someone about taking a trip. He asked all the right questions and seemed genuinely interested. A lot of my clients are people who have or are thinking of buying a kayak. So most of them just want some time on the water to get a feel for the whole thing and catch some fish. Which is great!! There is nothing I like more than to get people started in the sport. When someone keeps calling and asking about the bite and if they book a trip where and what we might be catching is OK. When you finish the whole conversation with the fact that you already own a kayak and was just wondering. I feel used. Plain and simple. I wouldn't go to Microsoft asking them how to make some computer part when all the time I have been making similar stuff and want to make more without doing the work. As a guide i take great pride in constantly finding the fish on my own and keeping that for me to share with who I want to or not. Book a trip with a guide. Listen and learn. Any good guide should not only try o put you on fish but also show some of his tricks too. That's how we get referrals. But don't ask a bunch of questions with false pretensions and let me see you on the water. Guides and Captains work hard to stay a step above and are not getting rich taking people fishing. We do it because we love to fish and share what these great waters have to offer.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall bite is upon Us

    The change in weather is always a welcome sight for fishing here in Tidewater. This is the time for the fish to fatten up for the winter ahead. I started my weekend fishing trips early on Thursday night. Four of us including myself planned our first striper trip of the year to the HRBT.We made an after work launch at 7 which played out to be the wrong time. To kill time while the tide turned we visited with other kayak anglers we ran into on the water. Including a visit from our local on the water police officers! Wow!! I can honestly say in all my years on the water that is the first time I have ever been checked by the Man.The worst part was he asked to see every safety item but not our fishing license. Asked if we had them but did not ask to see them. I wanted to show them off I have spent $55.00 on license and wanted to show them off. Well we moved on, the tide changed and still no fish. About 11:30 we decided to pull the plug and wouldn't you know it the fish turned on. Several schoolie stripers and even a Grey Trout kept me busy. Was a good way to finish a slow night on the water. Off the water at 1am and home to bed....

  I kept the fishing trend going by heading to Rudee Inlet with my friend William Ragulsky. William was entered in a local fishing tournament this weekend so I tagged along but kept my distance and fished for Trout this day.I made a plan and I stuck with it and that was to fish only one style of bait and make it work. That would be the Killa Squilla form Marsh Works. I worked the ledges and drop offs with the incoming tide. I had a lot of trout and all color variations worked on the Squilla that I tried. I love the on the water R&D part of my job...

 One more try on Sunday. Same plan as Saturday. Except I threw only one color and used the same retrieve and technique from the previous day. The bite was alot slower but I increased my species. Actual managed an Inshore slam. A couple of flounder one nice Redfish and that Trout I was hoping for, a keeper. A real nice 22inch Speckle Trout! Took my glory pictures with my first big trout of this fall and let him swim away. All in all fall is starting to look very promising.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Give Something Back

  Sometimes reality just comes up and smacks you in back of the head when you least expect it. Or maybe even you just lose sight on some of those things that are really important as an angler and just needed a reminder. Being a good steward to the sport can range from picking up some trash on the water to releasing a fish to fight another day. Maybe getting involved in local conservation groups or taking a young angler on his or her first fishing trip. Yesterday I had the priveledge and honor once again to take some young men and woman out fishing. This group was not from the local boys and girls club or were they just some people that got a chance to go fishing with some local anglers. They were wounded men and woman from our Armed Forces. Every year our local kayak angling club hosts a tournament, a chance for anglers to win some great pizes and fish for some of the best inshore species our water has to offer. All of the prizes and raffles they are eligible to win are donate by some outstanding companies and individuals .This is all done so we, as an angling community can Give Something Back. All the money made is to help two great causes, Project Healing Waters and Heroes on the Water. Two great organizations that help mentally, physically and emotionally heal our troops. Yesterday what really got me thinking was our on the water volunteers. People who have a chance to fish in a tournament and win some great prizes. They gave that up. They gave that up to support something they believe in! Also all of our participants who fished this event to help make a difference. I thought how many Saturdays come and go when we rush out the house to going fishing for the day? Maybe every once in a while we all need to rush out that same door to Give Something Back to this sport we love.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sometimes its more than the Fish

   I will not lie, fishing for me is alot about the catch. Doesn't always have to be a wallhanger or citation fish. The fact of finding the targeted species and getting the fish to take my man made offering is very rewarding. This weekend I had several chance to do just that. Fish all three days of my Labor Day weekend. As I finished up my weekend on the water I looked back at the trips and one reoccuring thing came up, the people and time I spent with them.
   Saturday was the first in a long time that I fished with a good friend. Both of us live minutes from one another but can never get to the water together. Busy schedules, family and just life has always made it impossible. This weekend we were able to make an early morning trip together and though the fishing on this trip was not to good the time spent with a good friend was.
    Sunday was another trip with good friends. This time Cory Routh , Jay Kocan and a friend from NC Scott Inge went on the hunt together. Stories were told, jokes were made and even some fish were caught. Scott came away with the big catch, a 28" Red. With an upcoming tournament here in VA. I wonder where Scott will start his tournament day fishing?
  Today finished off a memorable weekend. Again another collection of friends spent the morning together fishing. Jay and Andy Cambell from Richmond got the early start on this trip. The rest of us soon followed. William my new spokes person for Marsh Works. LOL. He managed trout and even a striped bass to the boat." Killa Squilla!"  Today was also a day of first. Kris' oldest child,son Daniel, went for his first kayak trip. As did Tommy V's son Paul. Looking back now sometimes the fish are just an added bonus.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some days the fish Gods smile on you!

   I don't know why I get so stuck on a species and won't leave it alone? Ok I do. By far my favorite fish has got to be the Red Drum. For so many reasons too. Pound for pound they have got to be one of the hardest fighting inshore species. You can fish for them so many ways. Artificals, flies and bait. My favorite is artificals. Something about fooling the fish in to taking what you offer is very rewarding. Never mind the amount of money spent on all of that I better use it. Now with my recent tackle gig I was going to go and catch Reds on some Marsh Works gear. Kris and I set out Sunday morn to find some drag screaming fish. It has been a tough summer locally for Reds. So we went with our gut instincts and fished an area we both felt could be productive. Our friend William joined us in the hunting safari. Not long after arriving at location "X" I found my target. This one was caught on a spinner bait with a Bayou Thumper. Not long after Kris got onto a real fighter measuring in around 26". Her first fish and next one were both caught on jig head and 3" Bayou Thumper. The second fish was a pig!! The reason we target them, it pulled drag and drug the 14' Ultimate around until she landed a 27.5" healthy fish! Great morning on the water

Monday, August 23, 2010

What a week!!

 This past week was a whirl wind of excitement. The week started with one of the most exciting things to come my way in the fishing world in awhile. I had been looking at this new tackle company from Mississippi. They had sent me some gear to try and write an article on for the magazine. Noting but first class tackle here from their popping corks, jig heads and assortment of soft plastics,spinner baits and gold spoons. After a few conversations over the phone and some great feelings of these guys are genuine in what they are doing. I received a phone call asking if I would like to be the rep in my area for Marsh Works!! Would I? Hell ya!! OK I did a lot of thinking about this and with alot of support from my best fan Kris I jumped at the chance. For years in the tackle business I could always stand behind the counter and tell someone why they need that lure but now I have to stand in front of the counter and tell a shop owner why he needs that lure. Very excited about doing that!

  Fast forward to Fri. both Kris and I where off for the day and took that time to go fishing. Duh? What else would we do.? Our favorite species (Redfish) have been all but none excising this summer. Needless to say we were going to try for some anyway. A beautiful morning on the water. Sun barely over the trees and I see some tailing fish.. Oh wait rays. Throw my spinner on the outside anyway hoping there is a Red vacuuming up some scraps. Blow up and fish on!!! Whoa a pull my Daiwa Coastal reel hasn't felt in awhile.Redfish boated pictures taken and fish released.

 Saturday we spent the day fishing in an annual club fishing challenge. This event is a fund raiser for Toys for Tots. All of the local saltwater angling clubs in the state are eligible (8 this year) to fish. Our local kayak fishing club, TKAA is the only non power boat club to attend. This year in true fashion we earned our respect finishing fifth. Which is awesome for us. Actually we have always finished well in this tournament. While helping to raise money for a great cause. Another proud day for me was the fact that my girlfriend was the only female kayaker and she held her own and even scored some fish for the team. I'm a lucky man.

Monday, July 26, 2010

So you want to be a fishing guide? Part 1

  This is part one of who knows how many posts on the dark side of the guided fishing world. Not to be meant as a discouraging ramble, more to show the side most don't think about. Or know. If I had a dime for every time someone says how much fun it must be to be a guide I would be retired now hiring guides to take me fishing. Before you ever even get on the water with a client there is so much to be done. I'm not talking about the pre- fishing prep either. How did that person even get to this point of having a trip scheduled? There are countless hours of "behind the scenes" work. One of the hardest is self marketing. This is where you spend countless hours and even more money "pimping" yourself out. Trade shows and fishing expos are where a lot of long hours are spent in the off season. Here you stick your face in the crowd and shake alot of hands, answer alot of questions and try to convince someone that choosing a trip with you will time and money well spent. For me this is not always a bad thing. I really enjoy talking and sharing with people the fishing they can experience from a kayak. Plus these events are always a chance to catch up with friends and check out some cool fishing stuff. All of this is a shot in the dark that you will make at least enough money to break even or even better make a profit from that show.....

New stuff!

  Being in the kayak world I see a lot of new stuff come and go. Recently I was given a new light to try and write an article on for the Sportsman magazine.The Carbon Pro by Yak Attack left nothing on the the table in the design department. On of the nicest features is that the whole light brakes down and fits conveniently in the storage bag that doubles as a visible flag. With it's 360 degree led lights made by Tek-Tite your visibilty will be seen by others for optimum safety at night.If you are in need of a light or would like to upgrade you owe it to yourself to check with your local kayak store or visit WWW.Yakattack.org

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Last weekend.

One of my new addictions is trout fishing on the fly. Fly fishing in its self is one of my personal frustrations. Mostly on my own part because I just do not use the whipping stick enough. Another reason is the fact to get to any good trout fishing waters is a good three hour drive from the beach. Last weekend Cory and myself had the opportunity to attend the South Holston Fly fishing Festival. Ruthless Fishing along with Mountain Sports Ltd were there to share the experience of kayak fishing. Of course we took this as a chance to get some fishing in for ourselves. I don't know what it is about the river that just puts you at ease, but I think that is what draws me back... The River. Again the "river" reared its ugly head and denied me of any trout on the fly. I was able to catch some on spinning tackle with some suspending twitch lures. Ironically enough all of my fish were caught on my Daiwa Coastal saltwater set up. Go figure. Guess the fish gods are telling me something.Saltwater is more in my blood than I thought. Not to be denied, Cory was able to pull a couple of nice fish out of the 40 degree river on the fly. Proving that my personal frustration is still on going....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Getting started

Somehow I wanted to keep track of this crazy life I'm living. Between having a real "job" and a part time guiding job working for Ruthless Kayak Fishing charters, I wanted to be able to make sense of this and share some of my experiences. Not sure if I will ever make sense of it. Thats probably why I keep doing it. Fishing that is. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. The journey so far has been full of ups and downs and will continue I'm sure.

Sharing is one of the things I like most about fishing. If I can help someone not make the same mistakes I've made. Or give someone that extra something they were missing to make fishing more enjoyable. That is rewarding to me. When it stops being fun, challenging its time to play golf or start another hobby. So besides for sharing my own journey on this blog, I hope that I will be able to help someone enjoy fishing more.