Well, Christmas is upon us and I know you are just dying to put something special under the tree for your favorite kayak angler. When my wife looks in my garage and sees all of my kayaking and fishing gear she thinks I have everything I need and couldn’t possibly need one more thing. Well, of course there is always that one thing that I would love to add to my gear pile. I thought I would share a few ideas I have on the subject. Some are items I use that your kayak angler may be interested in, and some are things I would love to see wrapped up at my house this year.
Let’s start out big. How about a kayak upgrade? This Christmas just happens to line up with the arrival of the new Jim Sammons signature kayak from Jackson Kayak, The Kraken, at your local kayak dealer. If your kayak angler likes to go distances in big water and wants a featured packed kayak, this is the kayak you should be looking at. Yeah, I am a bit biased, but if you put this under the tree and you will have one happy kayaker on your hands.
Of course, to push that kayak around you are going to need a paddle. I will tell you flat-out there is none better than those made by Werner. Take a look at the new Hooked series of paddles from Werner to find an amazing paddle. Take a look at the Werner Kaliste if you want the best of the best.
I have been called the PFD Nazi because I push so hard to get guys to wear them on every outing. Of course it is a lot easier to get guys to wear them if they are comfortable, and that is the reason I personally use the SeaO2 by Kokatat. I started wearing this PFD about a year ago and it is, hands down, the most comfortable I have ever worn. Kokatat also makes some great paddling jackets and dry pants that I am sure any kayaker would love.
For days on the water that you want to be comfortable and still look good, Mountain Khakis has a great range of shirts, shorts, and pants worth checking out.
Kayak anglers seem to come up with every angle in which to record their adventures; from cameras mounted on the kayak to drones flying overhead. Well, what’s next? How about getting the shot of the fish actually eating your lure? With the new inline underwater camera by Water Wolf you can now get that shot too.
I think all fishermen are gear heads and love to have all the right tools, that is why we are seeing more impressive electronics mounted on kayaks all the time. One of the best units that I have ever used, that has amazing clarity and is super user friendly, is the Dragonfly by Raymarine. Now available with a 7 inch screen this fishfinder is hard to beat.
Something that the kayak angler in your life will always appreciate and be in need of is new fishing tools. We are always losing or just flat-out wearing them out. A tool that I have really come to appreciate on my kayak are my Splizzors from Buck. This combination, as the name implies, of scissors and pliers is my go-to tool when it comes to cutting braided line and removing hooks from fish. Of course I really don’t want to lose them or having them rusting so I keep them in a Holdzit sheath and attach a gear retractor.
Likely one of my favorite tools that I use every time I go fishing is my SprayBox . Mounted in the back of my truck, I am able to wash down my fishing gear, kayaks and trailer as soon as I get out of the water. I know this item has saved me thousands of dollars in damage to my fishing gear and vehicle. They make units that mount in your truck bed or that are portable and are really worth the investment.
Of course no fisherman will ever turn down a nice new shiny fishing reel, and if they like to fish for bigger fish, I know they would love reels from Release Reels, made in the USA. With a lifetime warranty these reels will make any angler happy for a long time.
I know you want your kayak angler to be safe while out on the water so other great items that they may not buy for themselves are things like a Standard Horizon VHF radio, a Delorme inReach GPS Satellite Communicator or even an emergency medical kit and bilge pump. For waters where sharks are a consideration, the Shark Shield Freedom 7, an electronic shark deterrent, is nice to have for piece of mind and has me keep me for fish.
There isn’t an angler around that doesn’t appreciate a pair of good polarized sunglasses and if you want the best take a look at Maui Jim. I have been wearing these glasses for many years and can’t see myself wearing anything else.
If you are just looking for some smaller items to use as stocking stuffers, how about some spools of Seaguar Fluorocarbon line, packs of Mustad hooks, or a new Buff? The gift of kayak rigging from YakAttack and RAM Mounts will never be frowned upon.
Has your kayak fishing friend gone through more than one cell phone while on the water? If so, I am sure a LifeProof case and life jacket would be very well received. How about a gift that will keep giving all year long, like a subscription to Kayak Fish or Kayak Angler magazines?
Another great gift for your kayak angler is to send them on an adventure. There are kayak fishing guides all over the world and there is likely a trip that your kayak angler would love to go on. I offer trips in San Diego as well as multiday trips to Baja and Panama, pick one of my trips or a trip with a guide anywhere in the world and I am sure you will make your special angler very happy.
For kayak fishing deals online keep an eye on HOOK 1 Kayak Fishing Gear, or stop in at one of their 3 stores if you are in the area, they’re one one of the biggest online retailers for kayak fishing and live and breathe the kayak fishing lifestyle.
I hope this gives you some ideas to help in your shopping for that special kayak angler in your life. Merry Christmas from The Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons!
Take a look at some of the gear I bring along on a trip for tarpon in this short video.
This is a segment from our first shoot in Puerto Rico.
WATCH NOW: http://bit.ly/1wT4rdg
Chad Hoover—host of Knot Right Kayak Fishing on NBC Sports and Kayak Bassin’ on The World Fishing Network—is one of the most passionate and talented hunters and anglers that you’ll ever meet, and one of the funniest and most entertaining personalities in the outdoor industry. But it’s a fact that Chad Hoover sees the world from a different perspective than most, which has earned him the nickname ‘Knot Right’. Based out of his HOOK1 fishing store in Nashville, TN, That’s Knot Right is a reality show that follows the funny-man on his hunting, fishing, and day-to-day adventures in the southeast.
Season 1 of That’s Knot Right has 6 episodes. New episodes will be released on CarbonTV every Tuesday morning, starting Tuesday, November 18th.
Watch the trailer and the pilot episode here: http://www.carbontv.com/shows/thats-knot-right/.
Over the years we have done return trips to some locations where we had our best fishing, pretty easy decision really, great fishing means great shows.
Recently we did a return trip to a destination that was one of our toughest shoots to date, Puerto Rico. We fished hard for six full days on that trip and I finally managed to get a fish with only one hour left in the shoot. I think this was one of the most stressful trips we had ever done.
So why return, why go back to a place that caused us so much tension that more than one of us on the trip had a melt down? The answer is pretty simple really, though that trip was brutal we saw the potential in the location and we believed in our guide Omar Oracca from Caribbean outfitters. He swore to us this trip was an anomaly, just a fluke, caused by a plankton bloom in the estuary. He swore that if we were willing to return we would see what Puerto Rico was really like. Besides being a great guy to hang out and fish with, his passion for his fishery convinced us that we had to give PR a second chance.
Even if the fishing is slow, the area around the Tarpon Nest lodge, where we stayed on this tip, is beautiful and a great place to go paddling.
Even if the fishing is slow, the area around the Tarpon Nest lodge, where we stayed on this tip, is beautiful and a great place to go paddling.
And you never know who may be watching you while out on the water
For the trip we sent down three Jackson Kayaks, a Cuda 14, Big Rig and my new signature boat the Kraken. I had several personal goals on this trip, first of course was to do better than we did last time, next was to get a tarpon from the Kraken and lastly to get a tarpon while standing up in the Big Rig. I also really was excited at the opportunity to help Joe and Luther get their first tarpon from a kayak. I am very happy to say all of these goals were accomplished and so much more.
From day one of this trip we were getting more action than all of the last trip. There was a bit of learning curve the first day as most of the tarpon we were getting hits from were pretty small and we kept pulling hooks or just plain missing the bites. The tarpon would be flying out of the water throwing the hook before we even knew they were hitting us.
On day two we started connecting with some of these smaller fish.
The fishing continued to get better as the days progressed and the fish kept getting bigger.
We caught a lot of tarpon on the trip from four pounds to over one hundred pounds.
To say Omar lived up to his word would be an understatement, he worked hard every day to get us on fish and was a blast to fish with. Always positive and full of energy and passion for fishing. I can’t thank Omar and his lovely bride to be Elvia enough for making our crew feel at home in PR.
Fishing trips are about so much more than the fishing, but good fishing certainly helps. Even with bad fishing I am sure this would have been a great trip. I can’t recall the last time I laughed so much on a trip. Thanks Luther and Joe for being our guests this trip and Will and Kelsey for always getting the shots.
In this second part on rigging the Kraken, we will show how to set up the bait tank.
After getting my Kraken, my first stop was visiting my local Jackson Kayak Dealer, OEX, to get some rigging done. Sure I could do it all myself but they have all the tools and parts I needed to make it a fast and easy job.
The Kraken was designed to be easy to set up for live bait fishing, and turning the included KKrate into a bait tank is the first step. Below I will give you a quick photo walk through of how we turned the KKrate into a full circulating bait tank that can hold a lot of big live baits, and hopefully help you get on some big fish.
This is a pretty simple job but does involve doing some wiring and drilling of holes into the kayak and your KKrate, if you are not comfortable doing this please get you local shop to help you out. I am not going into the details of wiring here just showing what we used and where it was placed.
For my bait tank set up I would be running all wires internally and running off the same battery I use for my fish finder. This battery sits in the included battery tray at that bow of the kayak. All wires run to this battery so you do need a little extra wire.
Because I have the bait tank wired internally I had to first decide my switch placement. I decided to put it on the side wall of the kayak just forward of the seat. This kept it at easy reach but in a position where I would not accidentally hit it. Be sure to get a good waterproof switch and the rubber boot.
Setting up the pump is pretty simple, you just need some short lengths of tubing, a couple right angle connectors and a hose quick disconnect. We ran the wire from the pump through the side wall in a position where it was least likely to get hit or pinched under the seat.
The quick disconnect is the green part that you see in the tubing. It is not necessary but makes it much easier to take the tank off if you want to while leaving the pump on the boat.
After you have set up your pump you need to drill out and set up the KKrate for the input, overflow and drain. The KKrate is set up with a step in the bottom corner so that you can put in the adjustable spray head from the bottom. This keeps the entire setup very clean without tubes going all over. I like the adjustable spray head so you can adjust the flow depending on the bait you have. The overflow has a strainer on it to keep baits from getting out and a long tube to the water flows off the side of the kayaks. The drain is an igloo cooler drain. So that I can access it easier I put the drain cap on the inside of the tank.
I hope this helps you to easier set up your Jackson Kayak Kraken to be a fishing machine. You should be able to find all the parts you need at your local Jackson Kayak dealer or at KFS.
After getting my Kraken my first stop was visiting my local Jackson Kayak Dealer, OEX, to get some rigging done. Sure I could do it all myself but they have all the tools and parts I needed to make it a fast and easy job.
The Kraken was designed to be easy to rig for fish finders and turning the included KKrate into a bait tank. Below I will give you a quick photo walk through of how we rigged up my new Kraken with a Raymarine Dragonfly fish finder.
The first job was deciding the position of my Raymarine fish finder and how to mount it. I decided to put it onto the center hatch attached to the piece of starboard which covers the hinge. I like to keep it so that I can take the entire finder base off, this keeps it from getting damaged when carrying a bunch of boats. I used a combination of a Yakattack Mighty mount and some Ram mount parts to mount the base.
The next step was setting up the transducer and running the wires to the battery and the head unit. To secure the Transducer we used a disc of plastic that came from a flush mount install. Just cut it to size and put a couple holes in it. Run a piece of cord though the bolt hole at the top of the transducer then up through the Transducer scupper and through the disc. We used a small cord lock to hold it is place. A cheap and easy transducer mount. The Transducer pulls up nice and snug into the bottom of the boat.
With the included battery tray in the Kraken your battery sits nice and secure off the bottom of the kayak. I used a KFS watertight battery box with external connector as my power supply for both my finder and my bait tank.
In part two of the Kraken rigging I will show you how we rigged up my bait tank.