Month: April 2009

ExOfficio Gear for Panama!

 

Packing all our stuff in the tiny bushplane

Packing all our stuff in the tiny bushplane

One of the best things about making the ‘Kayak Fishing: Game On’ movies is that we get to take ExOfficio clothing with us on all our shoots, and this season is no exception. Today in the mail everything we needed for the Panama trip arrived in a big brown box, and none of us could resist tearing it open and trying on all the new goodies. It’s like christmas for fisherman here at the office.

 

Why do we love our ExO clothes so much? Well. Listen.

1. Traveling as much as we do we need stuff that packs light. Jim carries about 3 bags full of fishing gear on every trip, and I have to lug about 50 lbs of camera gear to every location. With the way that airlines kill you over extra baggage nowadays, space is at a premium and that doesn’t leave much room for clothes. This stuff packs super lights and after about 10 minutes on your back it comes out wrinkle free,

2. We film all day on the water most days. Solid clothing that dries fast is a must. This stuff dries really fast… I mean super duper stupid fast. I remember when I first got my Amphi shorts wet and I thought.. damn.. now  I’m gonna be wet and grumpy for the rest of the day. I was dry in about ten minutes. Seriously. ON top of that, it can take a beating and sheds salt water like it is made of oilcloth.

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3. Sun and Bugs. Most of the stuff we choose to wear on these trips must have good UV protection, and in places like Panama where mosquito carrying viruses are a real danger we have to do everything we can to keep them from biting us. ExO comes thru again with well ventilated long sleeved shirts that are infused with bug repellant. When Greg Bowdish told us last year to make sure we got long sleeved shirts for Florida, we thought he was nuts… but after the very first day on the water wearing a long sleeve ‘air strip’ shirt with the collar up to cover my neck and the sleeves rolled down, I will never go short sleeved on a sunny day again. I actually felt cooler in that shirt than I did wearing a t-shirt.

4. This stuff is super high quality, full of pockets, and my girlfriend doesn’t hate how it looks…. nuff said.

ExO sent us some of their new stuff to try out this year, and you will bet we will be wearing it all the time.  This season you will see the team sporting ‘Reefrunner‘ shoes from their new line of hardcore footwear, ‘Neptune‘ T-shirts and because none of us could resist…’Give-N-Go‘ underwear.. well lets just hope that the undies don’t show up in the movie… much…

 

Jim sportin' his undies

Jim sportin' his undies

Thanks ExO, You people rock.

Will

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Next Stop Panama

Shooting in Texas was a blast, getting my Texas slam really made it special. Working with the guys of HOW was just incredibly rewarding. Everyone down there was great and meeting such a good group of kayak anglers made the trip non stop fun.

It has been a couple of months and we are all itching to get back to work on Kayak Fishing: Game On II. I just got word that our kayaks have arrived in Panama, I got some new rods and reels from Shimano for the trip and a huge box of lures from Sebile. Ten days and counting and we will be on our way. The target species down there will be Blue and Black Marlin, Tuna, Roosterfish, Snook and cubera Snapper. Should be an awesome trip. We will be fishing out of Pesca Panama which is a floating lodge. Check this place out.

Our floating hotel

Our floating hotel

We will keep you all posted as the trip gets closer and will try to send some reports while we are there.

Kayak Fishing: GO 2 Texas by Jeff “Birdsnest” Herman

(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – 9th March 2009) I am convalescing on the flattest, calmest piece of Pacific Bay I have ever seen. I am convalescing from a fantastic week on the water in Texas. Okay, maybe “convalescing” is not the appropriate verbage. How about: “Rehabilitating”? Nay… the constant stream of Rum Punches being brought to my beachside chase lounge makes “rehabilitation” most disingenuous. Ahhh, mobsters…. Here it is… I am refueling. Yep, filling a drained tank after a glorious week of fishing, filming, and, friends.

Jim Sammons, the king of west coast kayak fishing and the infamous videographer extraordinaire Will Richardson (the coolest Canadian this side of the Cobham River) came to Texas at the close of February. Texas was scheduled to be the first stop for Game On Part 2, and we planned to fish the Hurricane Ike -battered but unbowed -upper Texas Coast.

We set up camp at Pointe West Resort, on Galveston Island. A great home base for various fishing options on and around Galveston, and we were definitely going to need options. February weather is so unpredictable in Texas, that targeting a specific species is dubious at best. In planning for the film I had multiple locations mapped and at the ready for whatever Ma Nature threw in our direction.

The crew:

 

My best bet for good fishing was putting the crew, which included Perry Trial from TPWD, on to big trout. However with a week of unseasonably warm weather, I had a hunch that the trout would be dispersed and instead that red fish may be skittering about the shallow marshes. The water was warm enough for sure, and if the bait fish were around at all, I knew the reds would be too.

On day one of our fishing I went with my gut and took the crew over to a Christmas Bay canal and salt marsh. We choose our location well because everyone whacked good fish the first day. Reds of all sizes were caught. There were plenty of undersized “rats”, as well as some nice slot redfish between 23 and 25 inches netted for the cameras. As a bonus, some very respectable flounder were brought to hand too. The big flounder were unexpected as usually you only catch juveniles this time of year. All in all it was a great start to the trip.

Jim with a great flounder (I say it was the lucky Lendal hat!):

Perry with a nice red:

On day two we rolled the dice and went to a deep water spot to see if any trout were still hanging around. Jim had a red and a flounder under his belt, and I felt duty bound to get him on a speckled trout so he could complete a proper “Texas Slam”. (Texas Slam = Red, Trout, and Flounder.)

How’s that old adage go? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Well, our road was unpaved/destroyed by Hurricane Ike, and getting everyone to the trout launch spot was a time consuming affair. Poor Jim and Will were basically 4 wheeling in a Chrysler rental car that was so low to the ground yellow stripes in the road were trying to duck and cover. Alas, we all made it to the launch and set out for fishing. We grinded for a few hours, but with a late start and unseasonably warm waters, the trout hole was a swing and a miss.

Bird on the move:

Pardon. My drink has been long empty and our waitress Elda has seemingly vanished? I must find my sandals and make way to the beach bar for refills. More soon on our Texas Fishing Adventure, after proper refreshments have been secured….

—Bueno Amigos… mas aventura de pesca Tejas…

On the afternoon of day two Jim and I headed back to Christmas Bay for more marsh fishing, while Perry and Will went to meet a pilot for shooting some aerial footage. Our pilot was no ordinary prop jockey. Nay my good friends, we secured the services of Walker – kayaker, fisherman, pilot, privateer (seriously, it’s on his business card), and just a genuinely cool dude. Walker flew half the crew over Galveston Island, Follett’s Island, and Bolivar Island while Jim and I fished. We each caught some reds, but it wasn’t as hot and heavy as the day before. Regardless, we had quite a time watching Walker fly low circles over us sans passenger doors. Perched precariously, Will hung out the door by his safety belt to shoot video. Cool stuff indeed.

Return your seat backs to their upright and locked position:

Whose shooting who?:

shoot2

shoot2

On day 3, we shook off the cobwebs from a night of trading fish stories and drinks. As the big winds were increasing steadily, everyone decided marsh fishing was again the first-best option. Fishing was marginal with no big fish caught and an inconsistent bite. But, everyone went bendo a few times, albeit no bragging rights were cemented.

Wind and Waves:

After breaking for lunch we headed for another spot in the lee of the wind. I still needed to find some trout and figured this particular spot in West Bay would produce. Bah, the wind started humming to 20mph and we fought it and a bigger than expected tide. No joy, no luck. As the sun started to go down though, I suggested we blind cast a marsh on the way back to the launch. With the grinding potential of our blind casting we were finally rewarded with a speckled trout to complete Jim’s slam. It wasn’t a monster sow trout, but it was a respectable keeper caught as the sun was setting. How can you not like that? It was a cool moment. A genuine moment. A moment when potential and opportunity combine into a worthy flash of Experience (capitalization intended). For me, that’s fishing, mobsters…. Not the fish, but the potential of the fishing, the potential of the trip, the potential of the next cast, the potential of experience.

 

 

The sun has set here in old Mexico. The battery on the lap top is almost drained along with my drink. I am back on the rod and reel tomorrow…. My better half Angee and I have secured a panga and the services of Captain Jose for a morning of trolling for bonitos, spanish mackerels, and jacks.

The recounting of the Texas trip was only half over when I stopped above. It was a great experience already, and it was about to become even richer. Hell, it become profoundly richer and the actual fishing was terrible by professional angling terms. However, it turned out to be some of the best “fishing” I’ve ever had the privilege to participate in.

 

Next time: Heroes on the Water. Fishing with wounded veterans at the Manske Ranch in Vanderbilt Texas.

Bueno!

Bird

The Game Begins…

_ak2522200971Welcome to the ‘Kayak Fishing: Game On 2’ blog spot. ‘Exofficio Presents; Kayak Fishing: Game On‘ followed the amazing adventures of professional kayak angler Jim Sammons as he ventured across North America in search of fun, friends and big fish.

The film is out now, and if you haven’t seen it…um.. well… go get a copy, gather up your fishing buddies and prepare to have your socks removed by explosives… explosive fishing action that is!

But the adventure for the Kayak Fishing: Game On crew has only just begun. Myself, Jim and the rest of the team have already begun another incredible adventure, and this is where you can get all the details, as they happen.

For the next year we will be traveling all over the place, with kayaks, fishing rods.. and hopefully.. fish. We just got back from an epic time in Texas (which I will let Jeff Herman fill you in on the details) and are about to head off to Panama. 

The plan is to keep you all up to date with the latest antics, photos and videos from all our trips. For now… the boys out here are gonna hit the water and do a little fishing before the rest of the locals manage to get the snow off their motorboats.

Will