Kayak Fishing Show

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.
!

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

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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.

Making the best of it in Panama

Putting in the miles in Panama

Putting in the miles in Panama

I have said many times that Panama is right at the top of places I love to visit and go fishing. I have also said many times that if you have to have good fishing to have a good time you will be disappointed a lot. Fishing is fishing and even at the most remote, little fished areas you can at time hit a cold spell where the fish just don’t want to bite, and this was kind of the case in my most recent trip down south.

Because we had to canceled some trips late in our shooting season, due to weather, we were down a few episodes for the upcoming airing season. I approached our friend Hennie Marias from Paddle Panama to see if he could squeeze us in for a week of fishing at his place in Jaque Panama and he very nicely obliged. Of course because it was a last minute thing we had very little flexability on when we would be able to make the trip and just picked the dates that worked for all of us.  I am not one to generally make excuses for not catching fish but this area was just too pristine and perfect habitat to not catch fish unless there were extenuating circumstances, so here goes, here is my excuse. It was about as bright a full moon as you will find without a cloud in the sky each night. When I am planning trips I generally try to avoid the full moon periods of the month and this trip just proved why.

Now just because we had tough fishing doesn’t mean we didn’t catch fish, it just wasn’t up to the standard I have come to expect in Panama. We worked hard every day to get on fish and when not out fishing had a wonderful time at this amazing location. Heck even if we were not down there to fish this is just an incredible place to paddle and explore. This place is an absolutely beautiful location and it is filled with friendly people.

To start off the trip we flew into Panama city and stayed the night at a small hostel, just a quick nights sleep and we were back at the regional airport for our hop to Jaque,

Heading to Jaque

Heading to Jaque

Joining me on this trip was Andy Gilbert from Raymarine, he was a great guy to fish with and also gave us some good tutorials on how to fine tune our fish finders.

Hennie’s house in Jaque is right on the beach and made the perfect base of operations, perfect for launching for our fishing days, perfect for our nightly surf sessions and perfect for just hanging out and rigging up gear.

Hennies Place

Hennies Place

Jim Rigging up his new FOX travel rods

Jim Rigging up his new FOX travel rods

Andy getting ready for his first run at kayak fishing.

Andy getting ready for his first run at kayak fishing.

AS you can see we did catch a few fish.
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Nothing huge on this trip but we did get some decent fish

Nothing huge on this trip but we did get some decent fish

As mentioned we did a bit of kayak and body surfing each night out in front of the house, which in that heat brought welcome relief and was just a whole lot of fun.

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kayak surfing is fun.

kayak surfing is fun.

Here is a little video I put together of the surf in front of the house.

If you are just looking for an awesome place to paddle you would have a hard time finding a cooler place.
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Jaque is the closest village in Panama to Columbia and because of this we had to check in with the local military each day when we left to go fishing and when we got back. This was rather interesting to me but they were always very friendly about it so other than the few minutes it took out of our day it was no bother.

One of our daily checkpoints.

One of our daily checkpoints.

I think all of us on the trip agreed that the highlight of the trip for us was a visit to a small Indian Village about an hour upriver from Jaque. This was not a tourist destination and the people live a very simple life. They were so warm and welcoming to us on our visit and we had an entourage of from ten to twenty kids with us the entire visit.

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Good fishing or bad fishing I don’t think you would ever regret making a trip to Panama with Paddle Panama, it will truly be an experience you will never forget.

A huge thanks to our host Hennie Marais for helping us make this trip happen on such short notice. This really was a trip to remember.

Hennie from Paddle Panama

Hennie from Paddle Panama