ocean kayak

The Kayak Fishing Show in Quebec Part One

Last year we had the pleasure of fishing with Dan Joseph while up at Slippery Winds lodge in Canada and had a great time. This year Dan approached us with some ideas for another shoot and we jumped at the chance to fish with him again, and this time he was going to bring along his brother Manny. Their plan sounded just too good to pass on, the guys told us they had a spot where we could get some good numbers of big Musky and would follow it up with a secret lake loaded with big small mouth bass. How could we say no?

What a nice place for a paddle and some fishing

Of course as always our trip was hampered by rain, so much so that we had a few days that we just couldn’t get out on the water, but on the days we did get out the fishing was fantastic.
The first part of the trip was slated for a small section of the River Du Norde in La Chute Quebec. The great thing about this section of river is that it is rapid locked and there is no access to the section unless you run the small rapids or have property on the river. We stayed at the lovely Motel Eddy, which just so happens has access to the river. To say Motel Eddy was a one star motel would be a stretch but it was clean and on the river and that was all we needed. This limited access meant we had the stretch of river all to ourselves.
I would guess that this section of the river was less than a mile long, but we would soon learn that it was holding plenty of the big fish we wanted.

Jim rigging up, yes it was chilly, note the beany on my head.

If you are familiar with Musky fishing you know that the guys that do it are lure fanatics. The lures they like are big, heavy and push a lot of water, to the point that we would cast up river and use the lures to pull us against the current. Because I knew what was in store for me I wanted to make sure I had the right rod and reel for the job of the endless casting we would be doing. I contacted our friends at OKUMA Fishing to get their advice on a new setup for the trip. They pointed me to the Isis 400 bait caster and paired it with the new EVX Graphite Musky rod 9’3” in length. Now normally I would have to turn down a rod of that length because I just can’t travel with it but this rod collapses into itself down to just over 7 feet, and that fits in my rod tube just fine. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have gone with this set up. I could toss the big lures a mile with little strain on my body which meant I could do it all day long, and it had plenty of backbone to drive the big hooks home and get the fish to the kayak quickly. I can easily see using this rod for a lot more than musky, tossing lures for calico bass in the kelp or tarpon in Florida are in its future.

Five minutes into our first day of fishing Manny broke the ice with a fat musky and maybe five minutes later I had a smaller one, which was the theme for me the first couple days. I caught plenty of fish but seemed to be keeping the small ones busy while Manny and Dan nailed the big ones. To add to my frustration one of the Musky I landed decided to fillet my thumb with his sharp gill rakes. Thankfully had I had some of the new Buff fishing gloves that I could wear for the remainder of the trip to protect my thumb from more damage. Our schedule during the trip was, get up early and get in some first light fishing for a few hours, head in for breakfast then do an afternoon/evening fishing session. It was a lot of time on the water but it was so worth it.

Manny using the cradle to handle and unhook his musky

Not a bad start to the trip

On our second day we hit a different section of river that would allow us to paddle and fish for several miles. The plan, to paddle and fish upriver for about four miles and fish and drift our way back. Once again Manny gets a fish within minutes of our start and I got one soon after. We thought this was the start to an epic day but other than these two fish we had only one other hit the rest of the day, and it came unbuttoned. We blamed the slow fishing on the overnight rain that had really dirtied up the water. Fish or no fish it was a great paddle along a gorgeous stretch of river.
The next day we hit the small section of river once again and once again got some great fish but were only able to fish for a couple hours due to the downpour that kept us motel bound for the rest of the day.

Manny gets the big one of the trip a whopping 49 inches

The last day on the river was one of the best, Dan got a real big musky and I sight casted to and landed a real nice pike. There is not much cooler than seeing a fish below the surface and tossing the right lure to it, in this case a Sebile Magic Swimmer, and watching him crush it. Thank god I had on my Maui Jim sunglasses so I could spot the fish. I also finally got my big Musky of the trip this time on a Sebile Splasher, alas we got no still photos of it as it managed to escape the cradle we were using to land the fish before we could get a shot.

Dan gets in on the action with another big musky

The Pike I sight casted to.

As I mentioned the weather on this shoot was tough with a lot of rain, but we managed to get what we needed and had a great time. Thankfully to add to my comfort while on the trip in the cold conditions I had a new pair of Simms waders, I have been wearing waders on my kayak for a long time and I have to say, the quality of the Simms waders is beyond compare, it was great to be warm, dry and comfortable on my kayak even when the rain was coming down. To protect the stocking foot of the Simms waders I wear a neoprene water shoe from Body Glove. Good layers under those waders added to the comfort, the Exofficio Sol Cool shirts wick away moisture and their fleece Migrator shirt kept me warm, put a rain logic jacket on top and my entire body was warm and dry.

My primary rod and reel setup for this part of the trip was the OKUMA EVX Graphite Musky Rod 9’3″ with an OKUMA Isis reel loaded with 30ld. Seaguar Kanzen Braid and a short 130lb. Seaguar fluorocarbon leader.
Most of my fish were caught on the large Sebile Magic swimmer in red and white or the Sebile Spasher, all my hooks were swapped out for Mustad trebles.
The kayaks we used on the trip were the Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.7 and the Trident 13s, all rigged up with Scotty Rod Holders.
Most of the still shots were taken with the Canon Powershot D20 water proof camera and on board video was taken with the VIO POV camera.
For most of the shoot I used a Humminbird portable fishfinder on my kayak which we kept powered up with a Goal Zero Nomad solar panel.

The guys dealing with another big one in the cradle

Part two of our trip, a visit to a secret lake near Maniwaki Quebec, will be posted next week.

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2009 Wrap up and looking at 2010

Well 2009 is now behind us, and what a great year it was. We went to some great locations and fished and hung out with some wonderful people, I honestly feel like the luckiest guy in the world some times.
We started the year fishing with my friend Jeff Herman in Galveston Texas for some fun shallow water action on Reds, Trout and Flounder.

Jeff Herman with a nice Galveston Redfish

From Galveston we ran out to the Manske Ranch in Texas for the Heroes on the water event, where we had the opportunity to take some injured servicemen out fishing. This was a truly rewarding experience that I hope to be able to be part of again. Anyone interested in more information on this great organization should contact the guys at HOW. They are always looking for help.

Our next adventure for the year was fishing with Pesca Panama out of David Panama. We were able to fish areas that had never seen a kayak and would daily out fish the power boaters on the trip. The highlight of the trip was being the first kayak anglers ever to fish Hannibal bank and landing a 120lb yellowfin tuna. I would return to Panama and fish with these guys in a heart beat, it was truly a kayak fisherman’s dream destination.

Jims 120 pound Tuna from Panama

In August I made my first foray into fly fishing with a trip to Montana, another dream destination. On this trip I was joined by my son Randy and once again by Jeff Herman and our new friend C.G. Feldman. CG was a great teacher for my son and I and was a huge help in getting us our first ever trout on a fly rod and many more after that. We stayed in a great cabin provided by Rainbow Valley Lodge in Ennis Montana which was in close proximity to lots of great rivers and lakes. I have never seen so much wildlife and I hope to visit Montana again with my family.

Jeff Herman with the Big Brown for the trip

In September I headed up north to Algonquin Park in Ottawa to do some more white water kayak fishing with Ken Whiting and Jamie Pestilli. This was a six day paddle trip down the Petawawa river right during the changing of colors of the leafs on the trees, one of the most beautiful places I have been. The fishing was not bad either as I caught my first Musky from my kayak and a lot more after that. Having a white water expert like Ken on the trip was a huge help and I learned a ton from him.

Ken giving some white water instruction

Jim with a smaller Musky

Our last stop for the year was Cedros Island off the Baja coast. This was a six day mothership trip aboard the sportfishing boat Islander for some incredible Yellowtail fishing. The weather was tough on this trip with lots of high winds but we still managed to get some great fish.

Jim with a Cedros Yellowtail

Baja Calico Bass at Cedros Island

Of course the highlight of the year for us was signing on with The World Fishing Network (WFN) for our own TV show.
We got all these great trips on film and they will each be an episode of Ocean Kayak presents The Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons and on our movie Exofficio presents Kayak Fishing; Game On 2.

2009 was a great year and 2010 looks to be even better, if that is possible. We are currently working of some absolutely insane destinations that have not been fished by kayak, as well as visiting some of our good friends around the country. We will keep you all up to date on the blog, as well as on our NEW KAYAK FISHING SHOW Website.which is filled with videos, and information about our trips, sponsors, as well as the the guys we fished with. Look for this site to keep growing over the course of the upcoming year.

If you have any general questions on kayak fishing or just want to share a story please visit the forums on my site, you will find a wealth of knowledge there. We also have a list of kayak fishing records that you can look over, and hopefully contribute too.

Don’t forget to look for our show on WFN starting next week.
The airing schedule is as follows.
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 10:30:00 PM Monday, January 11, 2010
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 6:30:00 AM Tuesday, January 12, 2010
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 2:30:00 PM Tuesday, January 12, 2010
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 8:30:00 PM Sunday, January 17, 2010
WFN HD ONLY (On Air) 4:30:00 AM Sunday, January 17, 2010
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 12:30:00 PM Monday, January 18, 2010

And please let your cable provider know you want WFN if they don’t provide it already.

As always feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or have a great destination that you think we need to visit. I hope you all have a great 2010
Jim Sammons
Jim@kayak4fish.com

Before closing I have to give a huge thanks to my friends behind the scenes that make this happen and to my wonderful wife and kids for putting up with me being gone so much.

My great wife and kids who I love so much.

Director, Videographer, Editor, Drinker of good rum, Gets outfished on his own water, Will Richardson

Montana Still photographer, cook and bartender, Kendal Larson, on the left in the big fruity hat

Marketing, Sales, royal pain. Brendan Mark

Producer, life saver, poor fisherman, Ken Whiting

Still photographer and one mean Rower Lisa Utronki

Of course we couldn’t of done any of this without our great sponsors. I hope you will visit their sites and give them the support they deserve.

What have we caught while shooting The Kayak Fishing Show and Game On 1 & 2

This is a repost of an earlier blog but it has been updated to include our most recent trips.

My wife was asking me the other night what fish we have caught while shooting Ocean Kayak presents The Kayak Fishing Show and Exofficio Presents Game On. I told her, “a lot”, but it was just in my head I had never written it down. So it got me thinking about all the fish species we have been lucky enough to catch during our 2 years of kayak fishing and shooting Game On 1 and 2 and The Kayak Fishing Show. Anyway I sat down and made a list of the different fish we caught in different locations. I am sure I am missing some but here is my list along with a few photo.

Species caught During the shooting of The Kayak Fishing Show, Game On 1 and 2 by our crew.

Game On in Florida

Game On in Florida

Florida:
Speckled trout
Lady fish
Salt water Cat fish
Blue fish

Tarpon

Red fish

Alaska:

Alaskan Halibut
Ling Cod

Ling Cod kayak fishing in Alaska

Ling Cod kayak fishing in Alaska

China Rock fish
Black bass
Tiger rockfish
Quill back rockfish
Yelloweye rockfish

Canada

 

Pike in Canada

Pike in Canada

Pike
Small mouth bass
Large mouth bass

Musky

Chesapeake bay

Jim with a Red fish in Chesapeake bay

Jim with a Red fish in Chesapeake bay

Red Fish

East Cape:

Matt and his jumping Striped Marlin

Matt and his jumping Striped Marlin

Striped Marlin

Snapper
pargo
humbolt squid
Amber Jack

Howards Blue Marlin

Howards Blue Marlin

Blue Marlin
Dorado
Roosterfish
Hammerhead shark

Texas

Texas Redfish

Texas Redfish

Red fish
Speckled trout
Flounder

Panama

Jim Sammons and 120 pound yellowfin tuna

Jim Sammons and 120 pound yellowfin tuna

Yellowfin Tuna

Roosterfish
Mangrove snapper
Cubera snapper
Rainbow Runner
Jack Crevalle
Blue Trevally

Paul and his Panama Snook

Paul and his Panama Snook

Snook
Pompano
Triggerfish
Greater Barracuda
Porcupine puffer
Black tip shark
White tip shark

Montana

My first Rainbow trout on the fly

Rainbow Trout
Cutbow
Cutthroat
Brown Trout

Jeff\’s Brown Trout

Petawawa Canada

Kens\’ Musky

Musky
Catfish
Walleye
Smallmouth Bass

Tiger Musky

Jim with a Walleye

Cedros Island Baja Mexico

Mothership trip on the Islander

Jim with a Yellowtail

Yellowtail
Calico Bass
Yellowfin Tuna

Paul with a Calico Bass

San Diego Bay

My son Randy with a Spotted bay bass

Spotted Bay bass
Sand Bass

50 different species so far, and I am sure I am missing a few. With more great locations to come this list should continue to grow.

Of course we are still in search of more species and more great locations. If you have any ideas or suggestions on places you would like to see please let us know. We may even put you in the show. You can reach me at Jim@Kayak4Fish.com

Have not updated the list in a while and I have a few species to add to the catch list.

East Coast

TauTog

Striped Bass

Ocean Kayak ‘Torque’ Hits Montana

We finally got a chance this past week in Montana to put the latest addition to the Ocean Kayak‘s rack to the test. Oh man, am I ever excited!

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The reality is that there are situations where paddling is huge hindrance, such as people who just don’t have the upper body strength, or when you absolutely need to troll for certain species of fish at a controlled speed… or if you are a photographer or videographer, shooting 5 guys fishing spread out across a lake and need to zoom from one to the other while never putting your camera down. This is when a pedal powered or motorized kayak is a handy thing. As a camera man I admit to staring at the guys that could zoom across the water with their hands free with a whole lot of lust. If I had something like that, I could keep the camera rolling instead of burning valuable time trying to get to my subjects… who inevitably catch a fish as far away from the camera as possible. Trust Ocean Kayak to come up with the ultimate solution. As soon as the Torque was announced I saw the possibilities.

One of the very first Torques off the production line was sent to Jim for us to try out in Montana. I thought we were gonna be in a bit of trouble when he told me he was bringing an electric kayak with him. The rivers in Montana are extremely shallow. Perfect kayak fishing waters, but absolutly no good for something with a motor. The local anglers all row down the river in specially designed drift boats, not a motor in sight. A motor would only hang up on the rocks and dense weed beds. On the lakes it would be fine… but we had 4 anglers, and two crew… and Jim only had room for 6 kayaks… someone was gonna be banging that motor down the river.

Jim laughed at me, and pulled out the Minn Kota motor and the battery and replaced it with a fitted keel piece that comes with every Torque… In skinny water the torque wouldn’t be a problem. It quickly converted back in to a standard kayak, just as lightweight as any Ocean Kayak Prowler. Consider my skepticism squashed.

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Jim ran the Madison River for the first 4 days in the Unmotored Torque. Nothing much to say there, without the motor it paddled just like any other Kayak. He eventually took out the removable keel to let him get in even skinnier waters, and that made it a bit harder to paddle, as without it, the currents would push up in to the open hole and swing him around from time to time. Thats his fault for wanting to be able to get closer to shore than everyone else.. not the kayaks fault. (it paid off… he caught a ton of fish)

Finally… we got out on Ennis Lake for a real trout fishing fiasco. It was time to put this baby thru her paces. We swapped in the motor and the battery in less than one minute. The hook up was super simple. Jim got in, and proceeded to zoom accross the three miles to the fishing hole… while the rest of us slogged out the paddle. He arrived first.. and was fishing long before we got there.

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A storm rolled in at about 2. It had been raining all day so we didn’t think much of it… until the first lighting strike. We needed to get back to the put in, and fast. A three mile paddle. Enter ‘Super Torque.’ Jim’s son, Randy, was having trouble fighting the wind and rain and was falling behind. Jim quickly rigged a paddle leash as a bow line and hooked Randy up to his kayak. The damn little Minn Kota never slowed down for a second… he pulled both of them to shore (and safety)… once again beating the pack. (Narrowly beaten by CG and Kendal, who wanted to beat the motor on principle)

The Next day it was my turn. I had a theory about being able to do sweet pans and fly by shots using the motor on the lake. It took some begging… but Jim finally gave in. So on the 6th day, Will got his wish, and was now motor powered.

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Like many folks, when I fish, I want to paddle. It lets me tell my wife that I am “Not just fishing… I am getting exercise!”  Which in turn gets me out fishing more. As a camera person, I hate paddling. I am always having to stop rolling because I have drifted away from my subject, or need to paddle like a maniac to get to a hooked up angler. The Torque is perfect for me. I can paddle it on fishing days, or swap out the motor for those long musky trolls… ahem… I mean days where I need to film people… yeah…

For those worried about Motor noise, fear not… the thing is very quiet, (no louder than a frustrated angler muttering curse words on the water) I got some awesome fly by shots, and was able to, for the first time ever, get Jim hook to release on a trout while moving. No time lost. I was able to zoom in tight from a long way away… and there was little to no camera shake. This is the ultimate shooting platform. Kendal just drooled as I zoomed in to position for the shot.

We got a good chance to put the battery time thru the paces. It will run about 2.5 hours at top speed. We also tested it’s pulling capacity. It can tow about 5 other kayaks without losing significant speed. Thats pretty amazing when you think about it. If you have a long way to go to your fishing hole, and lots of kayak fishing buddies… one Torque might be the solution.

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Jim and I both loved the Torque. I can’t wait to get one of my own for all shoots. Go out and give one a spin, I think you will be a convert.

I will leave you with a shot of Jim rolling down the river. Oh Montana… how did ya get so darn pretty.

Will