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.
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.
Belize River Lodge owner, Mike.
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.
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.
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.
First bonefish on the fly!
Fly fishing and coach extraordinaire, Damon Bungard of Jackson Kayak/Orion Coolers
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!
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.
We are back from a difficult yet rewarding adventure near Pompano Beach in southern Florida.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Within 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Damon enjoying the view from his Mayfly
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.
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.
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.
Bubba and I with one of the many monsters caught on this trip!
…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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Pulling in some huge snapper with Brett Klink
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.
Shamus fishing for trout on his JK SUPerFISHal
The following two days, we targeted kings and were royally pleased to hook about one hundred or so big kingfish.
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.
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.
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.
It is hard to believe we have finished shooting for our seventh season on the air and are days away form the start of shooting for season eight.
We visited some amazing places and fished with wonderful people in 2015. In all honesty it was one of our tougher years fishing and weather wise but we pulled together and I think we got some great footage that will make for some real fun shows.
Our first stop in 2015 was a return trip to Panama with Paddle Panama, this was actually a shoot for our last airing season. We had a fantastic trip with some good fish and lots of fun kayak surfing.
One of many great fish in Panama
Charging the Surf
Fun little Roosterfish
One of the coolest parts of this trip was hanging with these kids
After Panama we went directly to Florida for the kayak fishing Boondoggle and to explore the everglades.
Coming from Panama I was expecting Florida to be just as warm, big surprise it gets freezing in Florida. Even with that we had a great time hanging with friends and getting on some fish.
The next trip was a road trip with my daughter Kirstin, Jarrod Mcgehee and my good friend Sean White. We hit up Mag bay and one of my favorite places Cedros Island with Cedros Outdoor Adventures.
This was another trip where we got our butts kicked by weather but we kept at it and got some real good fish for our efforts. The highlight of the trip for me was Kirstin catching the biggest Yellowtail on the trip.
Kirstin with her big YT
I was so stoked for her
Seans bass rod Yellowtail
A beast of a Halibut for Jarrod
A decent one for me
A nice Grouper caught and released in Mag Bay
We didn’t release everything we caught
For our next trip it was back on a plane for a flight down the Costa Rica, this time to the remote Drakes bay and the awesome Aguila de Osa Lodge. Our good buddy Esteban from Black Beard fishing charters set up the trip for us and brought along his partner Drei for some great fishing action on BIG Roosterfish and Dorado.
A big AJ for Esteban
Drei supplying this bid Dorado for dinner.
A beast of a Rooster for Esteban
My big Rooster for the trip going around sixty pounds
Of course it is always fun during our shooting seasons to explore new places and this year we were able to visit a couple places we had never been before. First off was a trip to the Caribbean country of Curacao. On the trip with me were my wife Allene and by buddy Wes Seigler from Truth Reels.
This was one of our toughest trips of the year when it came to the fishing and the weather. Very high winds every day kept us from doing some of the things we would have liked but that didn’t diminish the great time we had in this beautiful country with its wonderful inhabitants. The water here is warm and the most wonderful color of blue you will ever see and the people were amazingly friendly. We worked hard on this trip putting in so many paddling miles in the wind, but because of the great company we spent most of that time laughing and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Our arrival in Curacao
Wes getting his game face on.
Just look at that water
A beautiful place to paddle
I did catch some fish
After Curacao we continued on to another new destination for us and that was Belize. This time we were joined by one of our very good friends Jeff Herman. He set us up at the historic Belize River Lodge for a great stay. Of course once again the weather just killed us, wind and driving rain kept us off the flats for the target species of bonefish and permit. Thankfully we had the fallback species of Tarpon to keep us entertained.
Here is a little video I put together of a few of the Tarpon I caught.
Because of the incredible fishing we have had here in San Diego, thanks to El Nino, we decided to do a shoot here in my home town this year. There was a tournament going on in honor of James Lebowitz so we decided to shoot that too. The weather and fishing for the tournament was fantastic and some incredible catches were made. Of course when it came time for me to fish, the weather went sideways and took away some of the things we had planned. Still some great catches were made and we had a great time fishing with our friend John Jackson from Ram mounts.
A couple great fish from the tournament including the biggest yellowtail
A couple great fish from the tournament
Johns first yellowtail
Our one keeper yellowtail from the trip
Paul in his custom Jackson Kayak Kraken JAL edition.
Filleted up and ready for the smoker
Nothing like a Ballast Point Sculpin to go with that smoked fish
Our final shoot of the year was a return trip to Florida to do a couple of things. First off was meeting up with Chad Hoover who had challenged me to a bass fish off, and second was to meet up with some of our Jackson Kayak teammates to go after some trout and redfish.
The first order of business was kicking Chads butt. Honestly I was pretty lucky, while I went after any fish to put on the boat, Chad went after big fish. Lucky for me the small ones bit and the big ones didn’t that day.
Our Entourage on the day of the battle.
It isn’t much but it is a bass and I am on the board
And your winner is !!!!!!!
After the fresh water bass beating I met up in the salt for some reds and trout with team Jackson.
fun little red in chilly Florida
and a red
headed back in for a hot meal with the guys
And farewell from Florida
We had some tough trips but nothing for me was as tough as losing one of my best friends, my father in law Bob Williams. Many years ago he is the one who bought me my first kayak and introduced me to paddling. He was a wonderful man and will be missed by anyone who ever met him.
One of the greatest guys you would ever have a chance to meet. RIP
Though it was a tough year personally and for shooting as I look back on it, it was still a pretty incredible year spent at amazing places and time spent with so many great people. I sure love my job and hope I can continue at it for some time.
Many thanks to all of our sponsors who make it possible, and our fans who keep us inspired.
Well, Christmas is upon us again and I know you are just dying to put something special under the tree for your favorite kayak angler. It is time for our annual kayak fisherman’s Christmas list. Some of the items remain the same as last year, just too good to delete and we have added some new ones. 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 addition to the Jim Sammons signature line of kayaks from Jackson Kayak, The Kraken, at your local kayak dealer. If your kayak angler was interested in the original Kraken but felt it was a bit too big I am sure they will love this one.
The Kraken on the water and ready to hunt.
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. All of Werners paddles are available in four piece which makes them so much easier to travel with.
If you don’t want to push your kayak around with a paddle or just want some extra push for the real long distance days, take a look at a Torqeedo motor. I have used one of these this year on some of my long range offshore trips and it is an incredible setup. Light and powerful and if you take it slow it will run all day and cover many miles.
Going hands free with the Torqeedo
Well we talked about pushing your kayak how about stopping your kayak and holding it in place in the shallow water. Nothing and I mean nothing works better for this than a PowerPole micro anchor. I used this item during several of our shoots this year, and I am telling you if I lived in a place with a shallow water fishery I would have one of these on all my kayaks.
All rigged up with my PowerPole
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 a couple years 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.
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 in several sizes and different price points.
Of course you are going to need to power these electronics and this year I started using the water proof batteries from Nocqua. Light weight, powerful and great quality, well worth checking them out.
New Raymarine Dragonfly 7″ set up on one of our trips .
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. 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.
You have to get your kayak to the water and if like me you are tired of lifting your kayak onto a roof rack, consider looking into a Malone trailer. I have been using one for years and it has been a back saver.
Loading up the Malone
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 Truth reels, made in the USA. With a lifetime warranty these reels will make any angler happy for a long time. Since we started using them they have introduced several new sizes so they have a reel for all your offshore needs.
Of course if you have a reel you need a rod, and the finest rods I have ever had the chance to use are those by Century Rods. Light, Powerful and built tough.
We had a ton of shark activity this year in my local waters and the Shark Shield Freedom 7, an electronic shark deterrent, is sure nice to have. It will give you peace of mind and help you keep your 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. They have their own lab so if you are like me and need prescription lenses they can take care of you.
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.
I pretty much live in flip flops and I have never found any that were more comfortable than those from Olukai. They really are the first flip flops that I have felt comfortable standing in all day at a trade show. Of course on chilly mornings, they also make some amazingly warm and comfy slippers.
I do a lot of early morning and evening fishing and some lighting is always welcome. A visi carbon pole from Yakattack along with a new head light from Princeton Tec are great tools not only to help you see but to help you be seen.
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, 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.
Join a guided kayak fishing adventure and you may end up like this happy guy.
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.
If you are keeping fish you want to keep it nice and fresh and to do that you will want a good cooler. Engel is making some of the best out there and have them in every size you need.
This is one big cooler
For your Holiday celebrations bring your friends some Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits you will definitely put a smile on their face. If I am on your shopping list, feel free to drop off a few Grapefruit Sculpin, I will be happy to share with you.
Sharing some Ballast Point Spirits with friends
I have been wearing the same style/brand of hat for years and people are always asking me where I got it. Well they are hand made one at a time in Hawaii and they are top quality. Take a look at the Ocean Designs web site and maybe order one for yourself or your kayaking friends.
My hat protects me from sun and rain.
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
Though I tend to prefer the longer kayaks, hence the 15’7″ length of the Original Kraken, now called the Kraken 15.5. I also know there are a lot of people that want those same features that the original Kraken brought to the table but in a smaller package. That is why Tony Lee and the rest of the Jackson Kayak design crew worked hard to bring you the new Kraken 13.5.
The 13.5 next to the 15.5
Though I helped on the design of this boat I just recently had the chance to get it out on the water for its first fishing shake down cruise. Once again I think Jackson hit it out of the park on this one. As mentioned above the Kraken 13.5 has all the great features included in its big brother but in a lighter more nimble package.
I had the 13.5 out in some pretty sloppy conditions, high winds and chop, and it handled these conditions as would be expected of an offshore fishing kayak. It handled the slop both punching into and running down swell with ease. The guys I was fishing with were both in the 15.5 and though I was a bit slower it was barely noticeable. I am sure if I had a rudder, as the other two boats did, it would have been an even closer race. Though I normally don’t use rudders in these high wind conditions it would have really helped out in the tracking. While fishing in the more sheltered areas no rudder was needed and the kayak paddled like a dream. Of course like the 15.5 the 13.5 is prerigged for a rudder so adding one is a breeze.
Taking on the slop
Here is what they have to say about the Kraken 13.5 on the Jackson kayak site. “The Kraken 13.5 is an all-new option for paddlers looking to tackle big water. Based on The Kraken 15.5 platform, the 13.5 sheds some length for more maneuverability but with all the punch of its big brother. This kayak, just like the original, is designed for the most challenging paddling environments in the world and intended for the offshore and big lake kayak angler. A natural follow up to the first collaborative design between legendary kayak angler, Jim Sammons and Jackson Kayak’s design team led by Tony Lee. The new Kraken 13.5 is a boat shaped and built to accommodate those hitting the open water, in a nimble, smaller footprint, but still capable of big water management. It’s designed for punching through surf, handling rough offshore currents, swells, beach landings and those who desire ultimate performance and maneuverability while chasing big fish.”
Being 13’3″ the new version of the Kraken is just over two feet shorter than the original and would be suited for anyone looking for good performance in a smaller package. Being 230 pounds myself, with a full bait tank which would add another fifty plus pounds and an awful lot of gear. I still felt the kayak carried the weight well and could have handled a few big fish in the hull with ease.
One addition to the 13.5 that you will not see in the 15.5, that should really appeal to those stalking the flats, is the addition of a high seat position. Doubtful I will be using this position while fishing offshore but in the calm waters of the flats it is a welcome addition to aid in locating fish.
Carrying a full load with ease
New this year with the Krakens you have some rigging options, in the 13.5 you can get the base model or the elite package and with the 15.5 you can get the base, Elite or the fully loaded Pro model. Basically giving you the option to buy a stripped down boat ready for your rigging or get one that is dialed in and ready to conquer any fish in the sea.
All Krakens are transducer ready
And Bait pump ready
The Elite comes with the floor padding, and KKrate and more.
To get a full list of the features and extras available on the Kraken make sure to visit the Jackson Kayak website.
Though you will likely still see me spending most of my time in the long boat, I think the 13.5 will be quite at home in the big offshore waters, bays or lakes. A great boat for anyone that wants a true paddlers kayak but doesn’t want to deal with the size of the 15.5. Vist your local Jackson dealer and get one our for a test paddle, I am sure you will like it.
Of course we still have the cool Kraken logo
Rod holders? Yeah we have plenty and room for the Kkrate and a tackle box.
The Elite comes with the floor padding, and KKrate and more.