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Showing posts with label new. Show all posts

Three Fishing Techniques Everyone Should Try

Almost any fisherman you talk to has a confidence bait. Give them two hours to catch a fish on a lake they have never fished and usually, the first thing they throw will be the confidence bait. I have one. It's a four inch soft plastic from Hag's Tornado Baits, the F4. People who have fished with me know I throw this bait a lot. I really like two colors but the bait is the same (Watermelon/Chartreuse and Purple Haze for those wanting to know). I fish it on a split shot rig and have caught fish just about everywhere doing so. When conditions are tough I'll throw it and of course even when they aren't I'll throw it.

This year and last I have branched out some and started fishing baits and styles I had been hesitant to try in the past. All three of them have produced fish for me and I find myself using them more and more often. I am now of the opinion that everyone should give these a go if they haven't. With a little patience and time on the water, these three techniques will put fish in your kayak.

#1 Jigs

Lots of people fish jigs already but I am always surprised by how many don't. It takes some research, some patience and time on the water but jigs can produce big fish year round. There are several different types of jigs designed for different types of structure. For reference you can check out this article: Jig Styles

Find a good trailer that will help slow the descent in the water or cause a disruptance/gain attention. I use the Hag's Jr Undertaker with great success. It stands on end when submerged to imitate an attack stance of a crayfish. Others use similar craw imitations. If you are going to be swimming it, more like a spinnerbait, add a paddle tailed trailer.

What I have learned is to find an area that has good structure, right temp and depth for that time of year and bang your jig on every single stick, rock and piling in the area. Usually the fish will hit it on the fall or the first twitch. Don't lose faith. Keep practicing. You will catch fish.

Warbaits Slayer Swim Jig

#2 Drop Shot

Not too far removed from split shot rigs, this was an easy one for me to pick up. It is more finesse than a lot of people fish and if you are a cast and burn type of fisherman, this will take some getting used to. Put the weight below the hook, tie a special knot, add a small plastic and cast. Keep your line tight and either dead stick or lightly twitch. That's it. We could talk about it for days but in all actuality, look at the diagram below and give it a shot. Chances are you've got most of the stuff already.

Courtesy of

#3 Swimbaits

When I say swimbaits, I am NOT referring to those little four inch, paddle tailed, hollow bodied soft plastics. While technically those are swimbaits, it's not what I am referring too. The swimbaits I am talking about are big, heavy and catch monsters. Well, at least they don't catch dinks as often (though they still can). It takes a special discipline to throw swimbaits. They range from $10-$400 in price, require special rods and reels to handle them and you could go weeks without a single bite. Some popular baits are the Huddleston Trout, 3:16 Wake Jr, MS Slammer, 21st Century Triple Trout, Spro BBZ, and Mike Bucca's Bull Shad. Of course there are others but most of these are very well known. Forums of people talking about nothing but swimbaits are becoming more and more abundant. The bait looks so big in your hand you wonder how some bass would ever eat it. You'd be surprised at what a bass will try to inhale. In the video below you'll see one of my first swimbait fish. I was throwing a white 7" MS Slammer. The bass crushed it after the first big twitch. It was only 13" long. I had reservations about throwing big baits until this happened. I found this creek on Lake Belton that wound way back and the only access was by foot. I decided to try it and bam! Fish on. Here is the video:

Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone a little bit. Try new things. Keep your confidence baits at home. One day one of these three may become your confidence bait!

Have another technique you think others should try? Tell them! Spread the love!

Additional Pictures of the Feelfree Lure

Jim Hager from Feelfree was kind enough to send some additional photos of the Lure. Enjoy!

A New Kayak for $500?

Every week, if not every day, the kayaking bug strikes a new angler. Having the ability to get off of the bank without registrations (in most states), no gas to buy, and no winterizing to worry about lures many to try kayak fishing. The question that comes up so frequently it’s almost predictable is, “What kayak should I buy? I want to get into kayak fishing but don’t want to spend a ton of money.”

The vets grin. We know the process. We were all once there. We see it week after week. And just to be clear, we don’t mind the question. It means we have a new brother or sister joining the kayaking ranks soon. It’s a celebratory occasion.

This question prompts other questions from the potential answerers. How much is a ton of money to the asker? How will you be using it? Sit in or Sit on? Tons of questions. The answers help experienced kayakers guide the potential kayakers to the right choice. For today, I want to focus on the money.

More often than not, potential kayakers list $500 as the ceiling. “I want a good one but can’t (or don’t want to) spend more than $500”.  Ok. $500. The problem is that the $500 is for just the kayak. Time to raise the ceiling. You need more than that to be legal on the water. In Texas, you need a PFD and a whistle for daytime paddling. Add a 360 degree light for night trips. If you are buying a kayak for $500, it is going to be the paddling kind, not the pedaling kind so throw in a paddle for your purchase. The $500 ceiling is strained now. The dreams of a new store bought kayak are either fading or your budget is expanding. Let’s sharpen the pencil and look at the breakdown.

With all the things you will need for just daytime kayaking, if you go to a store and buy all the minimum needed gear, your $500 kayak is going to run you just over $650. If you’re set on only spending $500, for all the gear, you are going to have to purchase a kayak for $375 or less.

Maybe you should look at a used kayak. Maybe not. That’ll be a choice you will have to make. Just know that there is more to kayaking than just the kayak.

If you still have questions, shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help point you in the right direction. [email protected]

Kayakers Talk To Strangers

Yesterday I snuck away for a few minutes to run through Academy. I try to go by once a week and check
on clearance type things, see if any new baits have made it into their rotation and just spend some time looking for treasures. As I strolled down the kayak aisle I saw a couple visiting about kayaks. I just couldn’t help myself.

I asked if they were looking at getting into kayaks and it turned into a half hour infomercial about what to look for. They had tons of great questions and expressed appreciation for the visit. It reminded me that the questions I asked years ago often go unheard by people who actually kayak. Just a few resources exist for folks who aren’t in the community yet. At least they don’t know they exist. Sometimes we stay in the bubble and assume people buying kayaks are hooked into all the networks that lots of folks reading this are connected to. Fact of the matter is, they aren’t.

As I mulled over the conversation last night, I started to build this article because of a question.
“If I had to tell a first time kayak buyer everything they need to know, in a very limited space and time, what would I tell them?”

Here is what has materialized:

In Texas you need two things to be legal during the day. You need a lifejacket and a whistle. If you paddle at night, you need a 360 degree light visible for up to two miles. Get a waterproof whistle and a lifejacket that has mesh on your lower back. It will be much more comfortable.

A sit on top kayak is more versatile than a sit in kayak. You might need to wear more clothes in the winter but if you fall in, you’ll be glad you have a sit on top.

Don’t spend all your money on accessories. For a first time paddler, you won’t appreciate the difference between a $50 paddle and a $500 paddle.

When you pick a paddle, hold it up beside you. You should be able to reach up and barely get your fingers over the edge of the blade. If you can’t reach it, it’s too long. If your hand goes over the top, too short.

Get the best kayak you can afford. Don’t stress over what other people will think. If it gets you on the water, you are in the club. Very few kayakers, especially fishing kayakers, will judge you by the type of boat you paddle.

Kayak with other people. If you are going by yourself, tell folks where you will be and what time you will be home.

The kayaking community is great! Almost every person you meet is friendly and will help however they can if you are in a bind.

Visit Payne’s Paddle Fish for more details on any of these items.

Join a forum or two to ask for help and talk to folks who are kayaking and/or kayak fishing.
If you can, demo, demo, demo. Many shops have days each week set up for demos. Mariner-Sails in Dallas has appointment days every Thursday and some Saturdays as well (weather permitting).

Go to a Get Together (GTG). April 20 is the date of the next one at Grapevine Lake. For more info check out this link:

If you ever have questions, ask! I’d be happy for you to email me or leave a comment. [email protected]

I know the list could go on forever but as succinctly as I could, these are the things I would want to make sure I covered.

Have something to add? Leave a comment!
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