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The Kayak Fishing Show review of 2015

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

One of many great fish in Panama

Charging the Surf

Charging the Surf

Fun little Roosterfish

Fun little Roosterfish

One of the coolest parts of this trip was hanging with these kids

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

Kirstin with her big YT

I was so stoked for her

I was so stoked for her

Seans bass rod Yellowtail

Seans bass rod Yellowtail

A beast of a Halibut for Jarrod

A beast of a Halibut for Jarrod

A decent one for me

A decent one for me

A nice Grouper caught and released in Mag Bay

A nice Grouper caught and released in Mag Bay

We didn't release everything we caught

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

A big AJ for Esteban

Drei supplying this bid Dorado for dinner.

Drei supplying this bid Dorado for dinner.

A beast of a Rooster for Esteban

A beast of a Rooster for Esteban

My big Rooster for the trip going around sixty pounds

My big Rooster for the trip going around sixty pounds

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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

Our arrival in Curacao

Wes getting his game face on.

Wes getting his game face on.

Just look at that water

Just look at that water

A beautiful place to paddle

A beautiful place to paddle

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I did catch some fish

I did catch some fish

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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.

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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 including the biggest yellowtail

A couple great fish from the tournament

A couple great fish from the tournament

Johns first yellowtail

Johns first yellowtail

Our one keeper yellowtail from the trip

Our one keeper yellowtail from the trip

Paul in his custom Jackson Kayak Kraken JAL edition.

Paul in his custom Jackson Kayak Kraken JAL edition.

Filleted up and ready for the smoker

Filleted up and ready for the smoker

Nothing like a Ballast Point Sculpin to go with that smoked fish

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.

Our Entourage on the day of the battle.

It aint much but it is a bass and I am on the board

It isn’t much but it is a bass and I am on the board

And another

And another

And your winner is !!!!!!!

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 trout in chilly Florida

fun little red in chilly Florida

and a red

and a red

headed back in for a hot meal with the guys

headed back in for a hot meal with the guys

And farewell from Florida

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

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.

Kayak Anglers Christmas List 2015

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

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

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

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.

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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

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.

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Standard Horizon has a VHF radio for any budget

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.

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.

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

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.
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Swapping stories with Mike at Aguilla De Osa over some Ballast Point Spirits

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.

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

Release The Kraken, again!

My first fishing session off the new Kraken 13.5

My first fishing session off the new Kraken 13.5

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

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

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

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

All Krakens are transducer ready

 Bait pump ready and come with the new Sealine waterproof pouch on the seat

And Bait pump ready

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The Elite comes with the floor padding, and KKrate and more.

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

Of course we still have the cool Kraken logo

Rod holders? Yeah we have plenty and room for the Kkrate and a tackle box.

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.

The Elite comes with the floor padding, and KKrate and more.

San Diego Kayak Fishing part 2

On the hunt in La Jolla

On the hunt in La Jolla

As I mentioned in my previous post, this year in Southern Califonia has been one for the records. Tuna, Dorado and countless yellowtail have been caught this year with high expectations that many more will be caught before this year is over. Because of this we decided to shoot a couple of episodes of my show here in San Diego. As seen in the previous post we first attended the JAL memorial kayak fishing tournament and saw some great catches of big White Seabass and Yellowtail.

A couple great fish from the tournament including the biggest yellowtail

A couple great fish from the tournament including the biggest yellowtail

The day following the tournament we took the day off the water to shoot some B roll around my wonderful city and catch up on some other work. Preferring to do that work on the weekend and do our fishing on the week days.

Of course as our luck would have it when we decided to fish, the weather turned and the fishing dropped off. On Monday I met up with my good friends Paul Lebowitz and Chris, one of the old time LJ kayak anglers. This day started off very nice but with very tough hunting for live bait. With a lot of work we loaded the bait tanks and got to work. We lost many bait to Bonita, which though fun were not what we were looking for. Other than that we mainly fought with Sealions to keep out bait.

Paddling out to point La Jolla before the storms hit

Paddling out to point La Jolla before the storms hit

Paul in his custom Jackson Kayak Kraken JAL edition.

Paul in his custom Jackson Kayak Kraken JAL edition.

On day two of the trip I had gotten some intel of some fish in an area not often fished that is generally sealion free. John Jackson from Ram Mounts was going to be joining me for the next three days of fishing so getting him on some fish was my goal. It was a long paddle but once in the area things really started to look fishy. It was a drizzly morning with a bit of wind, predicted to get no more than 12mph. Well predictions were wrong and it seemed the minute we got to the area the wind started to built slowly. We both hooked up a couple times to bonita then I hooked into a big fish. This thing spun me around and towed me into the now 15-20 mph wind with very little effort, I was flying across the water. Thinking I had this fish in the bag, I was pretty stoked, unfortunately I suddenly pulled the hook on the him. It wasn’t long after that the wind started to push over 30 mph combined with a driving rain. Impossible to shoot let alone fish in these conditions we ran for home. Once at the boat launch it was high tide with a flood of water coming from the storm drain which made landing my little tinny camera boat a real challenge. Needless to say not much in the way of photos or video from that day due to the driving rain. I gotta say I was pretty happy I had brought along my Kokatat paddling jacket and even more so my SeaO2 PFD, because it got more than a little sketchy out there.

Day three of the trip we arrived at the beach while it was still dark and were greeted by more wind. Not horrible but worse than we really wanted to deal with. Standing on the beach for about an hour weighing different options for the day we finally decided to just go for it. We had brought along our Torqeedo motors so we knew we would have no issues getting back if the weather went to hell.

Mounting up the Torqeedo motors.

Mounting up the Torqeedo motors.


These Torqeedo motors are awesome but will also make you a bit lazy.

These Torqeedo motors are awesome but will also make you a bit lazy.

Lucky for us something happened that never happens and that is the weather got better. We loaded up on live bait at the kelp beds and got to trolling. It didn’t take long before John landed his first ever yellowtail, it was pretty small but he was stoked about it. This little guy was released to fight again.

Johns first yellowtail

Johns first yellowtail

We were in the right zone because we landed three more fish in that area but they were all in that smaller size so released. The biggest issue this day was that we were the only guys out on the water, no other kayakers or boaters to spread out the sealions. Once they got on us they wouldn’t leave so we stopped fishing for over an hour. At this point I did a little sneak move to get away. We paddled through the kelp beds for about a mile and popped out in another spot. With the coast clear we put baits back out and began to troll. This time we had a double hook up with John landing a nice bonita and I got a twenty four pound Yellowtail. Thankfully I was using a kelp cutter rig because my fish wrapped up in the bull kelp and with the combination of Seaguar Threadlock hollow core braid and Seaguar fluorocarbon I was able to work the fish out. This fish came home with us and went into my Big Chief smoker the next day.

Our one keeper yellowtail from the trip

Our one keeper yellowtail from the trip


Filleted up and ready for the smoker

Filleted up and ready for the smoker


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Nothing like a Ballast Point Sculpin to go with that smoked fish

Nothing like a Ballast Point Sculpin to go with that smoked fish

Unfortunately after landing that yellow the sealions found us again and pretty much put an end to our fishing day.

We had some other highlights to the trip like flybys from a good sized hammerhead and watching a humpback whale breaching over and over again.

Though the trip was not what I had hoped, due to the weather, it was still a good trip and La Jolla will always be my home on the water.

A Costa Rica Kayak Fishing Adventure

Aguila de Osa our lodge while in Drakes Bay Costa Rica

Aguila de Osa our lodge while in Drakes Bay Costa Rica

About a year ago we were approached by Esteban Guetierrez of Black Beard Fishing company to gauge our interest in joining him on a trip to Costa Rica. He offered to work out all the details so we of course couldn’t say no. After a lot of work on logistics by him and his partner Andrei “Drei” Stroman we had worked out a plan with Costa Rica Tourism to shoot a couple of our shows.

We have visited so many great locations around the world while shooting our shows, great not only for the fishing but for the lodging, people and environment. After this trip I think Costa Rica certainly worked its way to the top of our list in all these categories. Aguilla de Osa in Drakes Bay Costa Rica has made it to the list of places I must return when ever I can. By their standards the fishing was slow, but was still amazing, the lodge itself was fantastic, from the rooms, views, meals and even more because of the wonderful staff. It is not often when you go on a trip that every employee at the location makes a point of learning your name and stops to have a conversation with you each evening to ask you about your day, and seem to be genuinely interested in what you have to say.

Swapping stories with Mike at Aguilla De Osa over some Ballast Point Spirits

Swapping stories with Mike at Aguilla De Osa over some Ballast Point Spirits

I have found the people all over Costa Rica are very passionate about their country and love sharing it with visitors. As a whole the country is very clean and everyone seems very protective of the environment. Costa Rica has embraced eco-tourism unlike any other country I have visited and it really shows in how the country has protected vast areas of open space that have incredible bio-diversity. Whether going on a fishing trip or a family vacation I don’t think you would regret a visit to Costa Rica.

For this trip we flew into San Jose then took Sansa, the local airline, to The town of Palmar Sur which is located on the Sierpe River that empties directly into the Pacific Ocean. The Sierpe wetlands has one of the largest mangroves in the world featuring amazing and untouched biodiversity. Palmar Sur is also used as an access to Drake Bay and Caño Island Biological Reserve. Though you can fly direct to Drakes Bay we, like many tourists, landed in this destination to take the tour down the river, a wonderful adventure that allowed us to enjoy the wildlife and the lush vegetation until we get to our final destination. Below are some shots from our river tour.
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OK not wildlife but still very cool. This is the owners dog, Coco, taking a nap under the ceiling fan.

OK not wildlife but still very cool. This is the owners dog, Coco, taking a nap under the ceiling fan.

Every evening at Aguilla de Osa there is a cocktail hour with fantastic appetizers that included ceviche, sushi, sashimi or any number of other goodies.

Snack time

Snack time

All meals are served at a large communal table so that all the guests dine together. This made for some great conversations with guests from all over. I must say that the food here was as good as anyplace I have ever been.
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We put in a lot of miles every long day of fishing, at times feeling like we were paddling on a treadmill in the strong currents but it paid off with some great fish. The bulk of our catch was Roosterfish which are one of my favorites to catch. We all broke off on some big Cubera but did land some other good fish including Dorado and Amber Jack. I also had a hookup on a sailfish that tossed the hook before we ever got the camera rolling. Even if the fish had not cooperated it is an amazing place to paddle. Just make sure you have plenty of water and the right clothes to keep you covered up, because it is hot and humid.

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A great place to paddle and fish.

A great place to paddle and fish.

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Some nice smaller Roosterfish

Some nice smaller Roosterfish

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My big Rooster for the trip going around sixty pounds

My big Rooster for the trip going around sixty pounds

A beast of a Rooster for Esteban

A beast of a Rooster for Esteban

A big AJ for Esteban

A big AJ for Esteban

Drei supplying this bid Dorado for dinner.

Drei supplying this bid Dorado for dinner.

Our captain and guide Dadee. This guy really knows this fishery and was a blast to fish with.

Our captain and guide Dadee. This guy really knows this fishery and was a blast to fish with.

We can not thank Bradd and his staff from Aguilla De Osa and the Costa Rica board of tourism enough for making this trip happen. Of course we couldn’t have done it without the help from the guys at Blackbeard Fishing company.

It deserves repeating, if you want a little adventure you owe it to yourself to visit Costa Rica.

Kayak Fishing Road trip in Baja Pt 2

On the Road again!

On the Road again!

After Leaving Mag Bay, we had a long drive to Punta Eugenia which was our pick up point to get to Cedros Island, our next fishing destination. This drive is over some long stretches of dirt road so we broke it up into a couple days spending the night at a very cool hotel overlooking the water at Bahia Asuncion. The next morning we had breakfast at the restaurant next to the hotel, which was basically inside a ladies house. The food was amazing and she was a sweetheart.

Our Hotel for the night

Our Hotel for the night

Not a bad view

Not a bad view

Breakfast is served

Breakfast is served

Her food was awesome and so was she

Her food was awesome and so was she

The last stretch of dirt road from Bahia Tortuga to Punta Eugenia was wash board and shook the fillings right out of your teeth. We were supposed to meet my friends Jarrod and Adrian at the pickup point but they were a no show. Turned out they had gotten a flat tire on the dirt road and were about three hours late. We couldn’t wait for them because the winds were picking up and if we didn’t leave we wouldn’t make it over to the island that day. The guys were able to meet up with us the next day out at the island.

Jose at Cedros Outdoor Adventures recently built his own little lodge on the cliff right above the water and this place is awesome. A great view from every room, wonderful employees and fantastic food.

The view from our balcony at Cedros Outdoor Adventures

The view from our balcony at Cedros Outdoor Adventures

Not a bad place to gear up

Not a bad place to gear up

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The rooms were spacious and comfortable

The rooms were spacious and comfortable

Our first day of fishing at the island was all about the Calico bass, we got so many our hand were hurting. Most of the fish were caught in deep structure. While fishing the Calicos with soft plastics Sean tossed out a lure that had landed so many bass it had no tail left on it and wouldn’t you know it a yellowtail jumped on it. It was a great fight on his bass rod.

One of many bass for Sean

One of many bass for Sean

and another

and another

A nice bass for me

A nice bass for me

Seans bass rod Yellowtail

Seans bass rod Yellowtail

Jarrod and Adrian arrived later this day and we all hit the fish hard for the next three days. It was pretty windy on the trip but we knew there were big fish around so we charged anyway.
Some great fish were caught and a good variety as well. Jarrod landed a monster halibut and Kirstin caught the biggest Yellowtail of the trip at forty one pounds. I got a thirty nine and a thirty seven pounder. Adrian caught a big one as well and we also added some smaller white Seabass to the mix.

Jarrod with his trophy Calico for the trip.

Jarrod with his trophy Calico for the trip.

Kirstin and I holding up her big fish for the trip. The biggest yellowtail we caught.

Kirstin and I holding up her big fish for the trip. The biggest yellowtail we caught.

I was so stoked for her

I was so stoked for her

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This fish is as big as Kirstin. Well almost.

This fish is as big as Kirstin. Well almost.

Charging it in the wind

Charging it in the wind

Fishing in the wind was tough, but so worth it.

Fishing in the wind was tough, but so worth it.

A good one landed

A good one landed

and another

and another

Adrians Big Yellowtail

Adrians Big Yellowtail

A beast of a Halibut for Jarrod

A beast of a Halibut for Jarrod

Landing  yellows can be a bloody business so had to do a bit of on the water laundry

Landing yellows can be a bloody business so had to do a bit of on the water laundry

Lots of bass meant chewed up hands so Sean and Kirstin and I all resorted to the Buff landing gloves

Lots of bass meant chewed up hands so Sean and Kirstin and I all resorted to the Buff landing gloves

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Sean with a fun White Seabass caught in the rocks

Sean with a fun White Seabass caught in the rocks

Our host Jose, sharing the spotlight with me and my two yellows.

Our host Jose, sharing the spotlight with me and my two yellows.

After fishing we were tired, hungry and thirsty and great food was always ready. Jose shared with us his recipe for huevos con huevos. Yellowtail eggs mixed with scrambled eggs and it was delicious.

Huevos con huevos

Huevos con huevos

No trip to Baja is complete without a traditional Baja margarita

No trip to Baja is complete without a traditional Baja margarita

Of course as our luck would have it the winds died on the day we had to head back to the main land. At least we had a smooth ride home. The same can not be said for the ride back down the wash board roads.
We got vibrated so bad the lumber rack on my truck broke and a leaf spring on my trailer broke when I hit a large hole that I had not seen.
Thankfully the trailer breaks down pretty easy so we were able to put it in the back of Sean truck and Jarrod had met someone that knew a guy with a welding shop in town. Within about an hour and a half the roof rack was welded up, kayaks were on the rack and we were on the road home.

Back on main land and ready to load up for the trip home.

Back on main land and ready to load up for the trip home.

Jury rig the trailer to limp to the welder.

Jury rig the trailer to limp to the welder.

You can see the broken upright for the rack

You can see the broken upright for the rack

beautiful weld job and ready to roll

beautiful weld job and ready to roll

trailer all loaded up in the back of Seans truck

trailer all loaded up in the back of Seans truck

I had some requests for whole fish so I got a big Engel Cooler for the trip. Everyone laughed when they saw how big is was. Turns out it was just big enough.

This is one big cooler

This is one big cooler

But these are some big fish

But these are some big fish

The rest of the drive home was beautiful and uneventful. We stopped for some of the best street tacos I have ever had just outside of Ensenada then made the final push home.

This was an absolutely awesome trip and I can’t thank my friends Sean, Jarrod and Adrian and my daughter Kirstin enough for joining me. Also huge thanks to Will Richardson and Mike McKay for documenting the entire trip.
Of course big thanks to Mag Bay outfitters and my good friend Jose at Cedros Outdoor adventures for hosting us.

Will getting it done as always

Will getting it done as always

Mike always ready to eat

Mike always ready to eat

The always lovely Kirstin Sammons

The always lovely Kirstin Sammons

The Always sarcastic Jose owner of Cedros Outdoor adventures

The Always sarcastic Jose owner of Cedros Outdoor adventures

My very good friend Sean White. Always up for an adventure

My very good friend Sean White. Always up for an adventure

Sean White and our Host Bob from Mag Bay Outfitters

Sean White and our Host Bob from Mag Bay Outfitters

Adrian  showing off the guns

Adrian showing off the guns

Jarrod always ready to help.

Jarrod always ready to help.

And good by to the rotten sealion who, though cute, likely stole more than one of our fish.

And good by to the rotten sealion who, though cute, likely stole more than one of our fish.

Baja Road trip part one.

Kirstin and Jim Sammons enjoying their Baja adventure.

Kirstin and Jim Sammons enjoying their Baja adventure.

I am just back from a fifteen day road trip down Baja with my daughter Kirstin and my good friend Sean White along with my videographers Will Richardson and Mike McKay. Our destinations for the trip were Bahia Magdalena and Cedros Island, but the trip was as much about the journey as these destinations. Our two thousand mile round trip was filled with fun, fish and some obstacles that only made the trip that much more memorable.

As I really don’t feel like writing a novel about the trip I will just share a photo journal of our adventures. With part one being from San Diego to Mag Bay and part two Cedros Island.

First stop, Ballast Point Brewery loading up on supplies.

First stop, Ballast Point Brewery loading up on supplies.


Getting some advise

Getting some advise


Testing a few

Testing a few


Choices made and loading up

Choices made and loading up


Visit Ballast Point
Beers picked out it was time to load up the truck and trailer for the trip.
New Shell, well old shell, and rack for the trip. These both really came in handy on the trip

New Shell, well old shell, and rack for the trip. These both really came in handy on the trip


Getting the gear sorted and loaded in the truck

Getting the gear sorted and loaded in the truck


Loved the Malone trailer for the trip for hauling four kayaks

Loved the Malone trailer for the trip for hauling four kayaks

Once past the boarder the first stretch of road is toll road that runs along the Pacific down through Ensenada, it really is a lovely drive.

Of course you can't do a Baja roady without stopping for some street food.

Of course you can’t do a Baja roady without stopping for some street food.

There are some very cool stretches of road through the desert.

There are some very cool stretches of road through the desert.

Some very cool small towns

Some very cool small towns

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People to see

People to see

awesome scenery

awesome scenery

and the occasional oasis

and the occasional oasis

The roads are narrow and not always in great conditions so take your time and enjoy the journey.

A quick stop made to get some of our beers on ice. People would always stop to ask us about the kayaks.

A quick stop made to get some of our beers on ice.People would always stop to check out our kayaks


Not sure how we forgot to get the beer on ice before we left

Not sure how we forgot to get the beer on ice before we left

A full day of driving found us in Guerrero Negro, which in the right season is the hot spot for whale watching. The next day we continued the final push to Mag Bay.

Of course more food stops needed. This one for “The Best Burger In Baja”


And this impromptu stop on the Sea of Cortez for an amazing sea food cocktail.

And this impromptu stop on the Sea of Cortez for an amazing sea food cocktail.

Finally arriving in Mag Bay we met up with Mag Bay Outfitters and unloaded the gear.

Sean White and our Host Bob from Mag Bay Outfitters

Sean White and our Host Bob from Mag Bay Outfitters


Unloading and getting our gear ready to fish

Unloading and getting our gear ready to fish

Our camera and support boat for the trip

Our camera and support boat for the trip

The fishing inside of Mag bay was mostly smaller fish, Spotted bay bass, Corvina and Halibut, nothing big but good numbers and fun fishing.

Corvina

Corvina


Kirstin of course gets the biggest Corvina

Kirstin of course gets the biggest Corvina


Fishing the Mangroves

Fishing the Mangroves

We wanted to spend more days fishing outside the bay but the winds kept us inside for all but one morning. The day we did get out it was big rolling swells and plenty of wind. We hooked several big grouper but these fish knew how to find structure and shake a hook so we only landed one.

Ready to head off shore

Ready to head off shore


It was actually a bit chilly out there

It was actually a bit chilly out there


A nice Grouper caught and released

A nice Grouper caught and released

The town where we stayed is a fishing village with most of the people there involved in commercial fishing for both fin fish and lobster.

Of course a hard day of fishing deserved a great meal and good beer.

Of course a hard day of fishing deserved a great meal and good beer.

We had a blast in Mag bay but it was time to head north to Cedros Island. More about that part of the trip in the part two of our Baja Road trip.