We love fishing the back lakes of Matagorda Island for trout and redfish. Typically, we start off fishing the shorelines with top-waters. My personal favorite is a bone Super Spook Junior. As the day heats up, we either wade out to deeper water or set up on the cuts and drains. Typically we change out to DSL soft plastics.
We had another successful fishing trip to the Seadrift area. The Seadrift and Port O’Connor bay systems hold endless possibilities – reefs, marshes, jetties, with endless islands and shorelines. Charles suggested taking his kayaks and using our Gulf Coast as a mothership. So, we loaded up and headed out at sunrise.
We hooked up a number of nice slot reds. A pod of tailing reds is about as good as fishing gets.
NuCanoe Flints loaded up on our Gulf Coast. Ran great, lost a little speed on top but easy transport. Pulled up into knee deep water to unload and then hopped right in. The Flints are plenty stable enough for a smaller kayak.
Note the trolling motor set up Charles rigged! Lithium batteries enabled us to motor along all day with plenty of reserve power. One practice I recommend is to motor upwind to start the day. That way if you lose power (for whatever reason) your paddle home will be downwind.Read more: Kayak Fishing Redfish in Seadrift Continue reading “Kayak Fishing Redfish in Seadrift”
Kayak fishing is a great way to get out on the water, explore new areas, and catch some fish. However, choosing the right kayak for fishing can be a daunting task. There are so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this blog post, we will compare and contrast general use sit on top kayaks versus those built specifically for fishing. We will also provide a list of the best accessories to add to your fishing kayak.
Part 1: General use sit on top kayaks
Sit on top kayaks are a popular choice for many kayak anglers. They are easy to get in and out of, and they are very stable on the water. They are also usually less expensive than kayaks built specifically for fishing.
One of the main benefits of a general use sit on top kayak is that they can be used for a variety of activities, not just fishing. You can use them for recreational paddling, exploring, or just enjoying a day on the water. They are also usually lighter and more maneuverable than kayaks built specifically for fishing.
However, there are some downsides to using a general use sit on top kayak for fishing. They usually have less storage space than fishing-specific kayaks, which can make it difficult to bring all the gear you need. They also often lack the specialized features that make fishing easier, such as rod holders, fish finders, and tackle storage.
Part 2: Kayaks built specifically for fishing
Kayaks built specifically for fishing are designed with anglers in mind. They have more storage space, specialized features, and are often more stable on the water than general use sit on top kayaks.
One of the main benefits of a fishing-specific kayak is that they are designed to make fishing easier. They often have multiple rod holders, built-in tackle storage, and fish finders to help you locate fish. They also have more comfortable seating options, which can make a long day on the water more enjoyable.
However, fishing-specific kayaks can be more expensive than general use sit on top kayaks. They are also usually heavier and less maneuverable, which can make them more difficult to transport and maneuver on the water.
Part 3: Best accessories to add to your fishing kayak
No matter which type of kayak you choose, there are some accessories that can make your kayak fishing experience even better. Here are some of the best accessories to add to your fishing kayak:Continue reading “How to choose a kayak for fishing”
June 14, 2004 and we finally we are off to Colorado! Our route took us through Junction, Fort Stockton, and onward. Around Ft. Stockton, we noticed the engine was sputtering like water or trash in the gas as we had just filled up at Junction and had no earlier problem. We called Bill Cardell, with Flying Miata, and he helped track down part of the problem (and we did make it to his shop in Grand Junction). We were scared we would spend the night on the road but we made the first stop in Roswell, N.M.
When we finally made it to Bill’s Flying Miata shop he worked on it all day and found a bad connection on the 02 sensor. Very nice people and definitely came to our rescue.
From Grand Junction, we drove to Glenwood Springs, took the cable car up to the top of the mountain, then spent a couple days around the area. The next night at Redstone, a tiny little town of one street we toured the Redstone Castle and took in some of the local cuisine. Great food!
From there, we took a scenic drive towards Crested Butte and ended up in Gunnison. Part of this drive was a bad decision on Glen’s part (who else?) as it was mostly meant for 4 wheelers. In Gunnison, we were offered free tickets to a Chuckwagon dinner complete with locals playing guitars and singing. It was definitely worth the price. The next night we went to a concert in the park.Continue reading “PIKES PEAK OR BUST”
The popularity of high-end fishing rods has continued to evolve through the years. In the past, you were forced to choose mostly between mass-produced rods and custom-built rods. My Dad had a nice workbench where he built up custom rods on Fenwick blanks with decorative thread wraps. Now, the serious angler on the Gulf Coast has a number of great options. Today, we take a look at Laguna Custom Rods.
We were looking for new rods to be used primarily wade-fishing for trout. I am familiar with a number of professional guides who use Laguna so I decided to visit their shop in Katy to check them out.
Laguna Custom Rods is a cool shop founded by two hard-core professional tournament fishermen who wanted the best. The blanks are manufactured in a separate facility but the final production work is all done at this location. The showroom is through the front door with the shop on the right. You can see for yourself first-hand how the rods are assembled.Continue reading “Laguna Custom Rods”
Hunting wild hogs has become a mainstream sport in Texas due to the proliferation and destructive nature of this invasive species. Being a non-game animal, there are very few restrictions on how they may be hunted. They may be pursued year-round by almost any means necessary. So, what makes a good hog hunting rifle?
The answer to that question is dependent upon your intent. If you are a professional intent on eradication you have different needs than the weekend warrior who simply wants to have a good time and harvest some free-range pork along the way. In this article we will discuss hunting pigs for sport, not high-volume eradication.
First of all, despite all the hype and hysteria, most wild hogs are not all that difficult to kill. For decades, deer hunters have harvested plenty of hogs with whatever rifle they took to the stand that morning. I think much of this misinformation comes from people who come across a pig and blast away with 55gr FMJ ammo out of their AR-15. Bad ammo choice along with faulty bullet placement will lead to poor results every time. To be sure, a mean, old, full-grown boar is a formidable beast! However, proper bullet selection and accurate shot placement will drop most wild hogs dead in their tracks. I’ve done it many times. Dead Right There, as we say.
The perfect hog hunting rifle for me is a lightweight, easy to carry, accurate, suppressor-ready, 6.8 SPC short barrel AR-15. Mine is a premium build using the best components I could find:
- Wilson Combat 11.3″ match-grade stainless barrel
- Samson Evolution 10″ handguard
- Magpul furniture
- Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced trigger
- PRI Combat Latch
- FailZero Bolt Carrier Group
- Crux Ark30 titanium suppressor
- Magpul single-point QD sling
For optics, I run a Trijicon AccuPoint 1-6 Circle-Cross during the day and a FLIR ThermoSight PTS233 at night – both on QD mounts. My preferred method of hunting pigs usually results in shots of less than 50 yards to I don’t have any problems with accuracy swapping between scopes. The Trijicon AccuPoint 1-6 Circle-Cross allows for super-fast sight acquisition (put the hog’s head in the circle and squeeze the trigger) and excels in low-light conditions.Continue reading “The perfect hog hunting rifle!”
We added a pair of Bennett self-leveling 10″ trim tabs to our Gulf Coast Classic 18 and could not be more pleased with the performance! One of the best investments ever at only $123. They have made a dramatic improvement in our hole shot while fishing the flats.
Like most boats, our Gulf Coast will run on plane shallower than its draft. That frequently leads to a bit of apprehension as we slow to a stop – will we still be floating? Kind of tough to gauge the depth at speed when you can clearly see the bottom is only about a foot deep. The follow up question is, can we get out of here?
Our Gulf Coast tends to squat quite a bit as it takes off. We raise the jack plate all the way up, trim the motor in tight, and punch it. This immediately causes the bow to rise, the stern to sink, and the motor digs into the bottom. Sometimes we can get out by easing off the throttle, and then trying to surf the follow up wave. That extra 2″ of lift can make all the difference. Other times, we can “spin” or “snake” our way onto plane. Sadly, other times we are forced to idle out a ways before we can get up.
Amazingly, the Bennett tabs have proven to be a revelation. It took a while to mount the starboard tab because we debated endlessly where to place it. In reality, there was only one good spot but it is crazy how you go down the rabbit hole of moving it 1/8″ one way or another. Probably spent an hour on the starboard tab and five minutes on the port tab. A cordless drill, screwdriver, and 3M 4200 is all you need.
First trip out we were coming out of the marina and I goosed it. I wasn’t entirely impressed by any improvement to be honest but I chalked it up to being in the deeper water. Second test, we were in about knee deep water, and again I wasn’t that impressed. It seemed like the prop was catching lots of air and the hole shot was so-so. Jack plate all the way up, motor trimmed in tight, same as always. To be fair, the bow rise was greatly reduced but we were kind of sluggish taking off.
Third test, knee deep water or shallower, but this time I bumped the jack plate down just slightly. Like a half-second bump, maybe lowered the motor less than an inch. Hit WOT and wow! The boat jumped up and forward like out of a slingshot! Stayed flat, bow flat, stern didn’t squat, and it just leaped onto plane. Amazing difference. I found the sweet spot for our rig.
My brother took the wheel and experienced the same sensation. Night and day improvement in hole shot performance.
The Bennett SLT10 Self-Leveling Tab System is highly approved!
We made a weekend trip to Port O’Connor post cold front. For our part, the fishing was fairly slow with bait hard to find. Perhaps we didn’t hit all the right spots but we ended up scratching out a few fish.
Interestingly, all of my reds were caught on top-water! Always a blast watching the fish hit a Super Spook Jr!
The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 is a great choice for both work and play. Living on the Gulf Coast has taught me the importance of having backup power for when the electrical grid gets knocked out by a hurricane (or freak ice storm!). Jackery is a leader in clean, green, portable power solutions and their Solar Generator 1500 kit includes the Explorer 1500 battery pack along with four SolarSaga 100W solar panels. Featuring over 1500Wh capacity and 1800 running wattage, this awesome device includes a variety of output ports to power electronics, home appliances, and tools.
Unlike a traditional gasoline powered generator, the Jackery Solar Generator 1500 can be used inside as there is no dangerous carbon monoxide exhaust. It is also virtually silent, which is a real plus while camping. Who wants to be enjoying the great outdoors with an old noisy generator hammering away in the background?
One of the things that I like best about the Jackery is its versatility. The Explorer 1500 can be charged by solar panel, 110V outlet, or vehicle 12V port. So even though it is marketed as a Solar Generator, you can easily charge the battery pack from a 110 outlet or from your vehicle. The unit can power up to 7 devices at the same time via one USB-A port, two USB-C ports, three 110V outlets, and a 12V vehicle port (cigarette adapter). In addition, each SolarSaga panel includes USB-A and USB-C ports that can directly charge electronics.
Jackery produces a robust product line and the Solar Generator 1500 is near the top of their offerings. Your choice from the 160Wh Portable Power Station all the way up to the powerful 2000Wh. You can purchase the power stations and solar panels separately or buy the Solar Generator kit which includes matched Explorer Portable Power Station, appropriately sized SolarSaga panels, and the ancillary cables to put it all together.
In direct sunlight, the MPPT technology can charge the battery from zero to 80% in approximately four hours. That is quite remarkable. The Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controller optimizes the match between solar array and battery pack for improved efficiency and faster charging. A while back I added several USB rechargeable lanterns to our emergency kit. It is awesome that even while off the grid we can recharge the Jackery battery pack through the solar panels and then charge up all of our lanterns, flashlights, and cell phones in preparation for the evening. Personally, I don’t take a tv camping (isn’t the point to get away from tv?) but you can easily watch the big game by plugging a television set into the battery pack, hooking up an old-fashioned tv antenna, and watch the game in HD from the woods or lake.
The Explorer 1500 weighs 35.2 pounds and is slightly larger than a car battery (14 X 10.4 X 12.7 inches). There is a built in handle for convenience. The highly efficient SolarSaga 100W panels are easy to set up. Simply unfold them, place them facing the sun, and plug in. Adapters are included that enable you to connect all four solar panels to the battery pack. A zippered pouch on the back of each unit holds the power cable and the USB charging ports. A handy kick stand is available to optimize placement. When folding the solar panels, magnets click together to hold it in place.
An LED panel provides all of the data you need to manage the device. Jackery has done a wonderful job designing the display and all of the controls. It is very simple to understand the input, output, and battery status. Each output section has a small switch to turn the respective power ports off / on. The entire Solar Generator 1500 kit has a clean, professional, high quality appearance.
The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 is an awesome choice for outdoor adventures and home preparedness. We were without electricity for three days during the 2020 ice storm that knocked out the power grid in Texas. It is a comfort knowing that I now have this fantastic backup power supply at the ready.
Jackery Solar Generator 1500 MSRP $2,699.
Jackery is celebrating their 9th Anniversary by giving away some fantastic products including solar generators. Enter the picture contest # Outing With Jackery.
It frequently amazes me that hunters often feel the need to light up the woods as if it were daylight. I am the complete opposite in that I want just enough light to safely drive from camp to hunting area with minimal disruption. When driving my F-150 I turn off all of the lights other than the amber fog lights. After some research, I purchased the Kaper II L16-0075GR Green LED Hunting light to install on my 2017 Polaris Ranger XP 1000.
I bought the light right before the 2020 deer season so I simply spliced in a cigarette lighter plug and temporarily mounted the light in an existing hole in the Polaris metal roof. Worked well enough for its intended purpose but was not the way I like to roll. I wanted to mount the light in the grill area and install a proper wiring harness and dashboard switch.
Once again, I turned to Amazon and settled on the Nilight LED Light Bar Wiring Kit. This kit includes long wires, heavy 14 gauge wire, fuse block, dual leads, and lighted dashboard switch.
I knew where I wanted to mount the Kaper green LED light but wasn’t quite sure how to access the area required to tighten the nut. Turns out the lower grill insert simply pops out! Super easy installation drilling one hole through plastic. Mounting hardware is all stainless steel.Continue reading “Green LED light bar for hunting vehicle”
Be prepared for the next weather event with the Jackery Solar Generator 1000.
The polar vortex hit Texas in February 2021 with a vengeance, inflicting freezing cold temperatures that partially knocked out the power grid for days. We were without power in our residence for almost three days but some homes were offline for much longer. Fortunately, I have a Honda EU3000is generator that I faithfully start each month and let run for 10-15 minutes. It has always immediately fired up and run smoothly. Until February 15, 2021 when it would not start despite my best troubleshooting efforts. Unbelievable! Thirty months of flawless performance until the very day I needed it. That is when I determined to get a backup power source, preferably one not dependent on a carburetor.
Research quickly led me to Jackery – the industry leader in portable power stations and solar generators. Their best solution for me was the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 which consists of the Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 along with two Solar Panel SolarSaga 100W chargers. The two solar panels can be connected to the power station at the same time using the included adapter. Each SolarSaga 100 also includes a USB-A and USB-C port so that you can charge mobile phones and other small electronics directly from the solar panel. Free, clean, green energy!Continue reading “Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Review”
J.B. Dillon Chambers full quill ostrich boot review. Great boots at a fair price!
Living in Texas, I have purchased my fair share of boots through the years. Through experience, I have come to rely on certain brands for specific functions. Specifically, Lucchese dress boots, Ariat (with rubber soles) for general ranch work and light hunting, Wolverine for serious hunting, and Red Wing work boots. J.B. Dillon now joins my list of preferred cowboy boots!
I have been wearing the J.B. Dillon Chambers full quill ostrich boots for several months now. They are exceptionally comfortable and easy to wear all day. And they look fantastic in Chestnut!
One question I get asked, is “How do they compare to Tecovas?” This is a fair question as I would consider them competitors working the same space.Continue reading “Review: J.B. Dillon Chambers Boots”