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Bonefish on the Fly in Belize!

We are back from an incredible trip to Belize. Though we were itching to get our trip started, in the end we were glad we were delayed because even though the winds were still a challenge, at least we didn’t have to battle rain or hurricanes that battered Belize prior to our arrival!

When planning this trip, we knew we had to go back to one of our favorite places—Belize River Lodge.

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Who wouldn’t want to come back here?

We have many great memories from past trips here, and this time around did not disappoint, as we were ferried out to the flats by their expert guides during the day, and then had the pleasure of listening to Mike, the lodge owner, tell stories each evening as we sat for cocktails and dinner.

 

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Belize River Lodge owner, Mike.

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Our expert guides ready to take us out to the flats

Accompanying us on this trip was Damon Bungard of Jackson Kayak and Orion Coolers. A professional fly fisherman, Damon designed the new Mayfly with fishing in Belize in mind. Damon hooked and landed a solid handful of bonefish our first day on the water.

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Two Jackson Kayak Mayflys ready for their maiden voyage where they belong—fishing for bonefish in Belize!

On this trip, I got to try out the new Leviathan PFD from Kokatat…man is this thing loaded with POCKETS! So much space for all my little bits and pieces, and comfortable to boot.

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So many pockets! You definitely need to try out the Leviathan

I decided to challenge myself on this trip and only brought fly gear along, which made for challenging but rewarding fishing. I was using the SEiGLER MF reel loaded up with Seaguar Premier Fluorocarbon leader 30 down to 12 pound test. With a lot of help and coaching by Damon, I got my first bonefish on the fly, which was quickly followed up with a chunky barracuda—the trip was off to a great start.

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First bonefish on the fly!

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Fly fishing and coach extraordinaire, Damon Bungard of Jackson Kayak/Orion Coolers

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Damon releasing a nice bonefish

To round out the trip, our guides took us out to Long Cay Outpost, where we had a fantastic day fishing the flats far from the lodge. Both Jim and Damon caught a ton of mangrove snapper and Damon landed a few more epic bones—a perfect way to end the trip as well as our streak of bad weather!

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What destinations are on your kayak fishing bucket list? We’d love to hear about it—and possibly even film there! Send us your leads by sending us a message on our Facebook page.

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KAYAK FISHING POMPANO BEACH, FL

We are back from a difficult yet rewarding adventure near Pompano Beach in southern Florida.

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As the crew and I prepared to board our planes, we received word that high winds would be beating up the coast and that our guest star, Patrick Sebile, was down with bronchitis. With boarding passes in hand, it was too late to postpone the shoot, but knowing that Florida always has something to offer we made the decision to push on.

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We arrived in Fort Pierce and hooked up with our pal, Brooks Beatty, from Jackson Kayak. With the high winds in the forecast, Brooks had come prepared with a Kraken and a Mayfly rigged up with Power-Poles—it might be windy, but at least we had the tools to face the winds head-on.

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Shortly after our arrival, we got word that the wind and surf was just too much and The Extreme Kayak Fishing Sailfish Smackdown we were slated to take part in had been cancelled. With this news, we knew that any chance of fishing offshore would be difficult at best, so we put our heads together and came up with a plan. We decided to stay mobile to maximize our time on the water. With a break in the winds, we managed to fish the channels near Fort Pierce with success—we smashed out a dozen or so blues, reds and snook. With a decent adventure under our belts, we were feeling positive and braced ourselves for the incoming winds.40001035692_a855eac869_o

‘Winds gusting 50 mph’ isn’t something you want to hear on a good day, let alone when you’re planning a fishing trip. Knowing that even protected lakes and channels were going to be rough, we put on a brave face and tried regardless. We met up with Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament founder, Joe Hector, for the day of fishing in the channels of Pompano, but a cold snap covering Florida had driven the exotics deep and Joe only managed a couple of largemouth.

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The second day of high winds forced us inland, so we packed up and drove three hours north to fish with top angler, Jason Broach, in the world-famous Stick Marsh. A difficult paddle in was well worth the reward, as we were greeted by hungry largemouth and Jim landed his personal best bass—a 22.7 inch estimated at about 8lbs.

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We got word that Patrick Sebile was feeling a bit better and was up to hitting the water. Even with an early start, the winds kicked up in full force again and we only managed a couple of ladyfish. With that, we called it wrapped the shoot. Once again, Florida tried to beat us but we were resilient and managed to pull off a good shoot. We’re already looking forward to our next shoot in Belize, where we’re meeting up with Damon Bungard from Jackson Kayak/Orion Coolers for an epic week of hooking into bonefish on the fly!


Kayak Fishing Campbell River, British Columbia

WE ARE BACK from Campbell River, British Columbia, where we were going after big salmon! Our good buddy James McBeath from Jackson Kayak and Orion Coolers joined us on this trip and we had a great shoot! I paddled my signature Kraken and James paddled the Coosa HD—both boats were perfect for fishing in this area.

 

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Our first stop was Brown’s Bay Resort on Vancouver Island, an incredible location just a few minutes from town, but so far removed from it all we felt miles from anywhere—it’s no surprise that they claim it’s Vancouver Island’s best kept secret. Brent, our host and guide at Brown’s Bay, was an incredible resource and we can’t thank him enough for taking the time to show us his backyard!

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Our first three days at Browns Bay provided a classic northern Canadian adventure, with tons of ling cod and rock fish on the line—big, toothy critters and not a single line break! THAT is why we use Seaguar Fluorocarbon and braided line on this show!

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James with a toothy critter

The salmon we were targeting were very deep, which provided a challenge and the development of some new techniques. Jim cracked the code and landed our first salmon of the trip—a wild coho that we released.

Our next stop was Tyee Pool in Campbell River, one of North America’s oldest fishing clubs. In order to become a member, anglers must abide by a strict set of rules and regulations—as well as land a Chinook salmon (known as a tyee) over 30lbs. With our move to Tyee Pool came cooler temperatures—and the ocean in Canada is freezing! I was pretty happy to have my Kokatat paddling top and pants. I thought being a Canadian would make James immune to the cold, but apparently not as he brought his full drysuit for this trip!

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Fishing Tyee Pool with hundreds of anglers in row boats

We had a great talk with the president of the club about the history of the club before hitting the water with the proper gear in hand courtesy of Tyee Marine. Tyee Pool was classic Canadiana—over 100 row boats covering a square mile section of water, all moving slowly due to a strict no motor policy. Even though we didn’t get the Tyee we wanted—meaning we didn’t become members of the club—it was still a very cool experience to be so warmly welcomed to the community.

Hoping to land some more fish, we loaded up on a mothership and headed to some deeper water where we caught a ton of small salmon and dogfish throughout the day, making up for our lack of fish at Tyee.

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Our trip to Campbell River was nothing short of incredible; a great fishery surrounded by amazing scenery—along with amazing Canadian hospitality—made this trip one we aren’t soon to forget.

Kayak Fishing Venice, Louisiana

We have just returned from our latest shoot—an extremely successful trip to Louisiana. Jim and Jameson Redding of Jackson Kayak headed to the Gulf town of Venice in the southernmost part of the state to hook up with Brian from Seaguar and the folks at Mexican Gulf Fishing Company.

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Day 1 success on The Pale Horse

High winds courtesy of Tropical Storm Emily threatened to end the trip before we could even get started. After examining the forecast and weighing our options, we decided to keep the kayaks on shore spend our first day on the water learning the fine art of yellowfin fishing from the safety of our charter boat, The Pale Horse. In the span of just a few hours, we beat up on nine monster tuna and the guys felt confident that even with high winds, they could handle the big fish in their kayaks the next day.

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With Emily looming on the horizon, we hit the water early knowing that our window of opportunity to fish from the kayaks would be short. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect; within seconds of hitting the water Jameson was hooked up and Jim quickly followed suit. The guys spent the next hour dealing with their first two lunkers from their kayaks. As soon as they were landed, fresh bait was dropped and we hooked up a second time. Jameson, burnt out from two big battles with yellowfin, handed his paddle over to Brian. Unfortunately, he lost his first bite and before he could drop a second bait the thunderstorms hit and we were forced to make a run for the shore.

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The rain didn’t stop for several hours and the forecast threatened two days of unrelenting storms. With the dismal forecast, Brian decided the best course of action was to call it a day and head home. With footage to capture and hope for another break in the weather, the rest of the crew geared up and waited for the storm to pass.

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36052459850_fafb020c25_oWithin a few hours and with a little bit of luck, the storms shifted and we saw our window to hit the water without a guide or a camera boat. In the end, Jameson and Jim landed nine beauty slot redfish and the guys rocked a ton of awesome tips and banter.

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Next up, we’re headed back to Belize and Belize River Lodge with our good buddy Damon, where we’re hoping to hook in to some permit, bonefish, and tarpon.

Kayak Fishing Alligator Gar in Texas

Our heart rates are only just beginning to slow down after a crazy weekend of fishing with Bubba Bedre’s Garzilla Guide Service in Palestine, Texas.

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Long-time friend of the show, Damon Bungard, joined us on this shoot and both Damon and I landed our first alligator gar! It was incredibly rewarding reeling in these monsters from our kayaks. On this trip, I alternated between paddling the Coosa HD and the Coosa FD. It was different pedaling instead of paddling but I all got the hang of it after awhile (even if I did reach for my paddle every now and then).

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Bubba taking a well deserved break on the Coosa FD

Damon was paddling the Mayfly throughout the shoot, and even managed to snag a gator gar on the fly, which was impressive! As an avid fly fisherman, Damon really enjoys the features of the Mayfly —especially because it makes for a great standing platform for sightcasting.

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Damon enjoying the view from his Mayfly

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Damon and I celebrating another monster from our kayaks

We rejigged our kayaks to accommodate these behemoth fish on arrival and began our hunt for gar under Bubba’s guidance. During our first long day in the sun, I managed to land a small 20lb alligator gar while Damon landed a couple of other species on the fly.

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Getting our kayaks ready for another day on the water

Our second day on the water proved to be even hotter and a bit slower but in the final moments of the day I hooked a beast! A long fight ensued—which involved maneuvering the fish out from under a log—and with assistance from Bubba, I landed a respectable 140lb monster.

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Bowed up!

Our third day on the water mirrored day two almost exactly, with high temps and a slow day. Just as we were about to head in to seek shade, I hooked into another beast, weighing in at a decent 130lbs.

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Bubba and I with one of the many monsters caught on this trip!

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…and another one!

This shoot was fantastic: With jumping prehistoric monsters, tons of laughs and wild characters—we can’t wait to get back down to Texas and get some more gar on the board!

Kayak Fishing Virginia

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS and it’s where we just wrapped up Season 8 of The Kayak Fishing Show doing what we love most–fishing!

On the hunt for big striped bass, heavy catfish, and even a little fly-fishing action, Richmond, Virginia has been on our destination list for quite some time.

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To kick things off, we loaded up our Malone MicroSport trailer before we hit the water in the heart of downtown Richmond on the James River set against the backdrop of the city. Guided by Jackson Kayak angler, Josh Dolin, and Luther Cifers of YakAttack, we fished an incredibly scenic section of river known as a great spot for fly fishing.

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We continued a mile downriver where we were shown a great section of that promised big catfish. For this type of fishing, I opted to use 80lb Threadlock with 50lb Fluorocarbon leader from Seaguar in the hopes of landing a monster.

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Our initially positive weather forecast turned foul, and heavy rains caused the river to rise rapidly and turn muddy. With no shortage of wind and rain, I was very happy to have all of my Kokatat gear! I luckily packed my Sea02 PFD, Gore-Tex Paddling Jacket, Whirlpool bibs, and Gore-Tex Tempest paddling pants. The whole Kokatat system kept me toasty warm. Even with the poor conditions, we managed a few shad and some mid-sized catfish but the monsters remained elusive.

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For the second half of the shoot, we ventured over to the other side of the city to meet up with Wes Seigler of SEiGLER Reels. This is where Jim was able to get his hands on his new Jim Sammons signature edition reel for the first time. Eager to test it out, we hit the saltwater where we targeted speckled trout and big stripers based on some local intel that folks were hooking up on 53lb stripers leading up to our arrival.

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No big ones were landed but an impromptu fishing competition between the group made for great entertainment. In the end, we managed to hook up on some small stripers throughout the day. With great company, even the worst weather conditions can’t dampen the good times we had on the water!

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With that, we wrap yet another awesome season of the show. We’re already planning for Season 9, which is shaping up to be another incredible season of searching for big fish on big water!

Revisiting New Zealand

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Fresh back from 23 days filming abroad, we are road weary, heavily bearded and tired, but the adventure was nothing short of epic. First stop of the trip, Middle Earth; New Zealand.

We arrived to a punishing wind storm and our hearts immediately fell. This place has always delivered incredible fishing, but wind and kayaking the open ocean don’t pair well and we feared our objective was impossible. The storm packed 40 mph winds that shut down half of Auckland.

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Some unfavorable weather to start our trip

The Maori gods must have decided we were ok lads; the winds died and we were given a seven-day window of perfect conditions.

We hooked up with local Jackson Kayak pro staffer, Brent Klink, who perfectly nailed the logistics and planning for the trip.  Throughout the shoot, we paddled Jackson Kayak Kraken—straight up, the best boats for these waters. I had an opportunity to meet with distributors to get them excited about selling the boats, and had a very well received demo night with the local club.

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Pulling in some huge snapper with Brett Klink

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Having a great talk with the North Shore Kayak Fishing Club

New Zealand is a great market for the Kraken. We were told that a huge number of the population are anglers, and a growing number of those fish from kayaks (we were given an unofficial number of 40%), this place is a hot spot. Locally made boats ring supreme here, but that is countered with an overall dismay at the lack of popular design features that come standard on boats coming out of North America.

We set our goals for the trip—trout, kingfish, snapper—and set out for the local trout fishery, where we met up with local angling celebrity Shamus. Shamus fishes almost exclusively for trout on his SuperFishal. He would be an ideal contact to talk about the huge and growing SUP fishing market ready to hit on the North Island. Our first day on the water was spent here where I managed to limit-out by mid-afternoon.

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Shamus fishing for trout on his JK SUPerFISHal

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Trout? Check.

The following two days, we targeted kings and were royally pleased to hook about one hundred or so big kingfish.

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Kingfish? Check.

 

 

With successes coming easily, we upped our third goal from merely catching snapper to catching 20-pounders. Amongst the boiler rocks along New Zealand’s stunning coast, these goldenred beauties were hale, hearty and abundant.

 

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20lb. snapper? Check.

 

Six years ago our first adventure in New Zealand with big sharks lead to our introduction to Shark Shield, this time we returned with the Shark Shield in hand. Everyone wanted to know if I still keep my feet in the water given the experiences last time in NZ and we loved telling them that now that we have a Shark Shield…we do it even more.

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Kerry with a shark snack

With the landscape, the locals and the unending fish, it is no surprise that the footage from this trip is amazing. We are incredibly happy to report, with full smiles, that this has been one of the best shoots of our eight years of filming.