Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DIY - Scupper Plugs

So, I didn't get scupper plugs with my kayak. (The seller forgot about them, and I forgot to ask at the time. He doesn't know where they are.)

Had to make due. +BrookField Angler told me to go to the pet store and purchase foam balls found in the cat toy section. I went, but did not like the sponginess of those balls. (I just laughed.)

Today when I was walking around  Walmart, I seen the answer to my scupper plug dilemma, in the form of foam/spongy yellow practice golf balls. They were not as squishy as the cat balls, so, I think they will do a better job, and for $2, how could you go wrong. Worse comes to worse, I could make a floating key chain for any small tools, or keys with those foam golf balls.

4 Pack Foam Practice Golf Balls - My local Walmart had a 6 pack for $2....I have 6 scupper holes. It was destiny.

I also, scored a milk crate at work. Slowly but surly I am modifying this yak to my liking, and on the cheap!

Next project...sealing those 2 hatches to make them water tight. There was some water that came in with the rain we had the past 2 days. Not much, but it's supposed to be a dry hull....not a wet one.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

New toy!

Pulled the trigger on a new (used) toy.

I am no longer anchored to the shore!

It's an Ascend FS12T. It's a 12 foot, sit on top kayak, with 2 flush mount rod holders, a terrible placed forward rod holder.

I took it out this morning an hour after picking it up. It was a very windy day, so, I left my fly rod in the truck, and brought my spinning and bait casting set ups.

No fish were caught, but it was a treat to be out on the water in my own vessel. I am very excited that I now have the capability to explore the places I like to fish, without, the restrictions of the shoreline.

After my first short outing, I have 2 issues...
1. The 2 hatches do not seal water tight, and a little water gets is able to get into the hull. They do not have any lining to them. I have been told marine goop will fix that no problem.

2. Some forgetfulness on both my part, and the guy who sold the yak to me (used)....No scupper plugs. I sat in water the entire time. Didn't even notice until I got up and out of the yak. Anyone have any suggestions on some good scupper plugs?

All advice, tips, tricks, websites, and knowledge are always welcome, and appreciated!
Thank you, all, in advance!!

The Salt

Fly fishing the Gulf of Mexico....

What an experience.
I stayed in Fort Meyers for 3.5 days, and I fished the Gulf 4 times. I was at the beach gearing up every morning as the sun would rise and illuminate the sky revealing the vast water I intended to fish.

Day One
I was very timid getting out. I started casting from the shore, based on the knowledge that was shared with me from friends. There were 2 guys that were far out, about 300 yards away from the shore, and at first, I thought they were sitting on paddle boards or float tubes...I was wrong. They had waded all the way out there following the shallow sand bar that went for miles up and down the coast. There was another fly fisherman there who was on vacation there (His daughters spring break) from the Midwest (Indianapolis). He gave me some more tips, and even showed me the way to wade out to where those other 2 guys were. I caught no fish that morning, but I did find a horseshoe crab. Zero fish were caught.

I went back to that spot in the evening, and had a bunch of follows from some sea trout. I even managed to hook up with one, but I was unable to bring the speck to hand. Usually, I don't mind losing a fish, but this time...pleased, I was not.

Day Two
Decided to fish the same area (It's only 10 mins away from where I was staying...I wanted to maximize my time on the water). The fishermen the day before were local guys, who told me that, that area we were fishing is normally a happening area in the morning, and you can spot boils in the water up and down the beach line. Success!! I hooked up, and brought to hand my first fish from the Gulf of Mexico, a sea trout. I couldn't have been more excited about the catch. I was quick to lip it using the grips I borrowed from a good friend (Lucid Grips). That fish was going no where! After admiring the beautiful fish, snapping some photos, and releasing it, I felt relieved. Goal achieved....catch a salt water fish.

Day Three
The wind was fierce, and completely blew out the area I intended to fish. So, I payed the toll and fished on the backside of one of the islands on the Sanibel Causeway. I did not catch anything. The Indianapolis fly fisherman had the same idea and arrived an hour after I did. He was able to hook up with a few lady fish before calling it a morning. I unfortunately did not catch anything but a tan.

My salt water adventure was a success. Big thanks, to the sea trout that gave me a salty smile!

I kayaked and fished Lovers Key State Park. I floated under a tree and was 20 ft from a beautiful Osprey.

I made a few casts at Bowman's Beach on Sanibel Island. I also, got to see a wild manatee, Florida alligator, and a two person kayak share the same water way.

Can't wait to return, and catch some more salty species.

I would also like to say a big "Thank you!" to Tim Adkins over at Critical Angling. Tim has helped me a great deal with the flies that I was tying for the Gulf. Search the hashtag #yetmmoreunsolicitedadvicefromtim LOL!