The Flying Kayak

Hunting, Fishing, Rambling, and Complete Outdoor Hilarity

Month: June 2011 (page 1 of 3)

Time for a change

Please bear with me over the next few weeks as I try to change things up here on the blog. I’ve gotten kinda tired of the way it looks and I’m unhappy with its ‘flow’ (if that even makes sense). I’ll be adding some new pages, attempting to change the background, changing the format (a bit), and a few other things.

Most notably, I’ll be changing the blog title to “The Flying Kayak”. Outdoor Adventures was…well let’s be honest…bland. Vanilla. Boring. Yes it summed it up with its broad range of ‘outdoor adventures’, but I’ve now seen a bunch of other things such as TV programs and other blogs entitled ‘Outdoor Adventures’ as well. Yes, I’m trying to be slightly different, but in my defense, it made little sense to have my current URL address with a different blog title. It will now all be The Flying Kayak and with any luck, my mind won’t change over the next few months/year.

And….just so that you haven’t read this with no pictures or anything ‘fishy’ to show for it, here’s a picture of a Tilapia that I shocked out of Lake Alice this year:

It was the first Tilapia to be found in 3 years in the lake after some hard freezes. Looks like they’re pretty tough to wipe out.

Hopefully next time you stop by, things will be slightly different looking!

A Look Back: Chipola River Fishing Summer 2009

This is a report from a trip to the Chipola River during the summer of 2009. 

Early one summer morning, my dad, two of his friends, and I loaded up the kayaks and traveled the ~2hr’s to Marianna Fl to fish the Chipola river. Once there, we worked out the details of the float plan and dropped off a car at the take out point. We then drove up river with the yaks and put in.

To my surprise, the river was relatively clear; not the usual coffee-with-extra-cream color that dominates this part of the state.

My goal for this trip was to catch a shoal bass. To be honest, prior to taking this trip, I was unaware there was any such thing as a shoal bass. But after talking to some of my dad’s friends, I had decided that I’d like to land one in the yak with me that day.

After launch, I realized quickly that I was out of my element. I’m used to saltwater, tides, small waves, etc. I’m definitely -not- used to swift currents, submerged trees, and random limestone outcroppings. What made things even more difficult and defied the laws of physics at the same time was that my kayak INSISTED on floating backwards down the river. No matter what I did with my rudder, paddle, or curse words, the kayak would just float around and head stern first down current.

At the end of the 4 hour float, it felt like my neck permanently twisted around so that my chin rested on my shoulder. We did, however, have a great trip. I failed to catch anything huge, but did manage to land my first shoal bass…and on a fly no less.

I also lost count on the number of bream I caught. None were of any size worth mentioning, but I landed one nearly every other cast. One of the problems I noticed about fishing in a river with swift current is that you don’t have all the time in the world to cast to a good looking hole. Rather, you get one, maybe two casts before you’re out of range and can never get back to it again.

The Chipola River trip was certainly an interesting one. We saw people bowfishing for mullet, fossil hunting in the shallows, and even some other fools in kayaks. By the time we reached the take out spot, the scenery had changed slightly from the morning. There were a bunch of people there and several who needed to -not- be wearing such skimpy bathing suits. It was the first time I’ve ever had to unload the kayak while averting my eyes from the horrors that jiggled and flopped and shook the earth with every step around me.

How to properly capsize your kayak

Haven’t been fishing much recently. The weather has been pretty bad and I learned quickly last Friday how rough is too rough to launch the kayak in the Gulf.

Made it down to the beach at 5:30 in the morning and the wind was pretty strong out of the southwest. Walked down to the water and it looked “manageable”. After waiting about 30 minutes for the wind to possibly lay down, I decided to finally launch the yak.

My definition of “manageable” needs to be revised. In that short 30 minute period the surf managed to build a little bit but I decided to just go for it. I strapped down what I could, put the yak in the water, timed the swells and shoved off.

I then proceeded to flawlessly capsize my kayak for the first time in 5 years of owning it. I put my bow right into a large wave, but the current shoved my stern a bit and the wave ended up turning me sideways, picked up the yak, and dumped it over. Literally everything that was in the kayak, including the things that were strapped down, fell out.

Both rods, the bait bucket, cooler bag, tackle box, billy club, gaff, anchor, water bottles, frozen cigs, paddle, and sunglasses all got dumped. Only the rod holders and seat stayed in the yak. I managed to grab things of value in order. Rods went back in the yak first, followed by the tackle box. At this point I needed to get the yak back to shore before I had a repeat. My anchor had managed to unwind itself and was now completely scoped out in the surf. By the time I got it back into the kayak, another set of swells had come in. I proceeded to get knocked down and dragged by the kayak before I wrestled it back onto the beach. I then chased the cooler bag and bait bucket down as they were well on their way to Destin.

What kinda irked me was the fact that a man and his son stood there and watched as I floundered around in the surf and all my gear was sent washing up on the beach. The didn’t even pretend to try and help me gather the things that were already beached or rolling in the surf on shore. After running back and forth for about 10 minutes, trying to gather everything, I took a tally of what I was missing:

-One clear lure box that fell from the tackle box containing a few yozuri’s and other relatively expensive lures.
– My frozen cigs
– My sunglasses

It’s instances like today that make me glad I’ve never bought Costa’s or any other expensive glasses. I’ll take the 12$ loss and move on 

After gathering my senses, I tried to launch again (Slow learner <). I was quickly knocked over, and dragged by the yak again. I hauled it back to shore, waited for another break in the waves, and tried to launch again.

No dice. I was knocked down again by a wave pulling the kayak and once again was dragged through the surf like a rag doll. Luckily, the yak stayed upright this time so I didn’t lose anything else in the surf. I finally called it quits after the third try. Soaking wet, exhausted, and feeling pretty defeated, I hauled the yak back to the truck and went home without ever making a cast. I didn’t take any pictures because I was relatively upset and thankful that I didn’t actually lose the camera.

Sometimes you just have one of those days. At least I now know what is “manageable” and what isn’t. Just remember to be safe despite the overwhelming urge to chase snapper

Note: Something strange is happening with blogger and I can’t seem to upload any pictures. Hopefully that’ll change soon.

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