Torque

Photos from Georgia and Florida

There just does not seem to be enough hours in the day to get to all the writing I need done and still have time to fish and get in my family time. I was recently signed to take over, or should I say re take over the Kayak Korner column in Pacific Coast Sportfishing magazine. This is a column I wrote for a few years, which was dropped by the magazine due to lack of supporting advertising, then started again several months later with a new writer. Well I guess that didn’t work out so they asked me to take it back again. Because when this was presented to me, it was already behind deadline, I have in the past two months had to play catchup, writing four columns and one feature article. That may not sound like much but I have been on the road quite a bit, and in all honesty I am not the fastest writer in the world. I am way to easily distracted by things like fish reports, Ocean view web cams and fishing videos, throw Face Book in there and it is surprising I get anything done. Much of my other time is spent working on tip segments for the show and in the constant search for show sponsors and all that entails.
OK so there is my list of excuses for not blogging as often as I would like to. I know I am behind on the blog as I have not even given a report of our trip to Georgia and Florida yet. So in order it get somewhat caught up I am just going to do a photo report with captions and some comments to get you at least a little caught up on things. I will follow up with a report from our trip to Mazatlan soon, I hope.

Private Islands of Georgia "Eagle Island Lodge"

Our Cabin on Eagle Island, this place was first class.

We ate like kings, Having some Oysters here. Some raw, some cooked, many washed down but cold beverages.

Did I mention we ate well, how about some crab and shrimp

Maybe a few more Oysters

If it had only stayed this glassy all day.

Our Georgia friend Randy Vining

Yes we did actually fish, and I got to cruise around in the Torque

We even caught a few fish

After several days on Eagle Island we moved to a mother ship to hit some areas that most kayakers could not reach. The Captain Gabby, a converted shrimp boat was our home for the next three days.

Meeting Patrick the captain of The Gabby

Laoding our kayaks on the Gabby

loading made simple

My biggest Red from the trip

Show producer Ken Whiting pulling on a very big RAy

Ken with a small shark

Another Red for me

Another shark for Ken

Videographer extraordinaire Will Richardson, with the rest of us waiting for his direction

Our last morning in Georgia

After we left Georgia we headed to Jacksonville Florida for the JAX kayak fishing tournament. This was a great event with over 400 kayak anglers gathered in the name of charity. IT was another windy day but still an great event. I tied for 9th in the flounder division, not bad but I was beaten by a nine year old girl.

AT my SWANKY hotel in Jacksonville

I guess I have no photos of my fish but this is where I caught it

Hanging at the awards ceremony with our good friend Jeff Herman

Yeah that little girl standing on the table beat me.

I just don’t have many photos from the event but a great time was had, and we have lots of good video from it.

Next Blog will cover out trip to Lake Mateos, El Salto and coastal Mazatlan.

You can also stay up to date on what we are up to on our FaceBook page

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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