Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Crabfest 2017



Crabfest is the first event of the year for NCKA (Nor Cal Kayal Anglers Forum) anglers. This event is only open for memebers of NCKA. If you would like more information on future events visit norcalkayakanglers.com and become a member.

Crabfest has always had variable weather year to year and it was nice to arrive Friday to a sunny and non-windy day in Bodega Bay. It has been the event that brings NCKA together for the New Year. The first thing I noticed when we arrived on Friday was that anglers were already on the water searching for crab while families enjoyed their time on the beach. I knew this was going to be a great weekend.

Crabfest 2017 did not disappoint, the weather and crab decided to cooperate and gave us some of the best conditions Crabfest has ever seen. The day use area had a line of vehicles waiting for the gate to open with anglers waiting to register. The day started off with some wind, but soon turned out to be a beautiful winter day on the Sonoma Coast.


The Dungeness crab were in attendance this year with many anglers bringing in limits, while some still struggled to find one of legal size. There were over 40 crabs brought to the measuring station, with some red crab reaching the size of jumbo Dungeness crab.

Lunch time rolled around shortly after the check-in table closed and once again the potluck was brimming with good dishes to be shared by all. Some of the items that stood out to me were the ab chowder, fried striper and sturgeon, Crabfest pie, duck, oysters, crab, and bistek. There was so much food, and you could hear people talking about the spread. I didn’t get to eat much since I was getting ready for the awards, but next year I will make sure to check out everything and take a moment to grab some food.

This event has been free since day one and runs on the donations from sponsors. This year’s primary sponsor was Native Watercraft and they donated a Manta Ray Propel kayak to the raffle that was won by "Big Al". There were demo kayaks from Native Watercraft available the day of the event and the day after provided by The Headwaters kayak shop. The Headwaters kayak shop was another primary sponsor this year, including Promar/Ahi USA. Both Promar and the Headwaters have been sponsors since the first Crabfest at Doran Beach in 2011. Crabfest 2017 marked the sixth year of this event. Supporting sponsors included Orion Coolers, YakAttack, Kala Brand Music, Kokatat, Hoo-Rag and 707 Embroidery Zone.

There were some big crabs this year and all the winning crabs measured in over 7 inches. There was a perch category this year, but none were entered.

Results:
Biggest Red Rock Crab-

                The biggest Red Rock Crab went to Brian Turner, who has one this category before. His crab weighed in at 2.2 lbs and measured in at 7.11”. This crab was almost as big as the third place Dungeness crab.

3rd Place Dungeness Crab-
                Third place went to Myong-Jae Kin whose crab weighed in at 2.51 lbs and measured in at 7.23 inches. Myong-Jae had several crabs that measured over 7 inches.

2nd Place Dungeness Crab-

                Second place went to one of the most kind and positive person I know. Raydon Shippey took home 2nd place with his biggest crab weighing in at 2.55 lbs and measuring in at 7.31 inches.

1st Place Dungeness Crab-
                
Annie Nagel took home 1st place this year at Crabfest. Her biggest Dungeness crab measured in at 2.47 lbs and measured in at 7.40 inches. Annie continues to amaze all of us with her fishing skills. She caught the winning crab while still having time to fry up the sturgeon she caught just a week before.  Congrats Annie on the win!

This year’s raffle raised over $3500 and all proceeds will be going to Diabetes Youth Families (www.dyf.org), an organization that supports families and children living with type 1 diabetes. The funds raised will help send some kids to camp for an experience they will never forget.

Each year, there is so much work that goes into putting this event together. My goal has always been to keep it free and family friendly. This weekend reminded me why I continue to do this event. Thank you to all of the NCKA family that make this event possible.




















Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When will the Feelfree Overdrive Pedal Drive Be Out?




When Will the Feelfree Overdrive Pedal System Be Out?

So the questions keeps getting asked all over the internet, and I get at least 2-3 phone calls or emails a day on the subject, so I decided to do some investigative work for you guys.

I had a long talk with Jim Hager (President of Feelfree US) and he filled me in on whats been going on behind the scenes.

At this time it's a bit of a good news bad news situation. Feelfree has been working incredibly hard to source the best quality parts for the drive. They are working with folks in the marine outboard industry and have found a couple vendors who are the best in the field. The main concern for Feelfree right now, is making sure the drive that hits the market is dialed in, and is the best quality they can possibly get. The last thing any of us want is have them rush to market with a drive only to be met with failures and warranties.

So the most accurate lead time I was able to pull out of Jim was early Summer 2017. I know I know, don't kill the messenger! At I cast they were forecasting a spring delivery, but as with many new products, those time frames get pushed back as the product gets closer to launch. He did say that all the tooling was done, and production parts for the drives are rolling in daily. He also said that he was able to test the production drive and was blown away by the leaps and bounds that have been made since the prototype was tested in July. See that video here.


In my talk with Jim he seemed to have way more up his sleeve than he was leading on. Although he's disappointed in the delay, he's also very excited about the future. I get the feeling the Overdrive system is just the tip of the Ice Burg of what may be coming down the pipe for Feelfree, but only time will tell.

For now I will leave you with my interview with Feelfree's head designer and mastermind behind the Overdrive Peter Murphy.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cold Weather finess Fishing in the Delta by Matt Guthrie

I had the chance to do a lot of fishing during the holidays out in the Walnut Grove area. Originally we were looking for bass, but stumbled onto a school of crappie and panfish. So, over the next few days I went out with an assortment of crappie jigs, kastmasters, and trout-worms to fool these cold weather fish. I ended up catching sunfish, crappie, spotted and largemouth bass, and even a real nice striper.

I used a few different techniques to catch these fish, I started with the kastmaster as my go to and did catch fish but it was slow fishing.  Then I tried hair crappie jigs which also caught fish, but the best bait I found to be working was 1.5in Kalin's curly-tail grub. I cycled through a few colors from pink to motor oil and they all seemed to work. I did notice that I'd have to change up now and then because they would stop biting on a particular color. Jigging or casting these baits worked well but the real killer was just a slow drift with the current about 2ft off the bottom. These fish couldn't help themselves!

I also put a bit of effort into bass fishing between the ultra-lite fishing with some success. Everything had to be fished very slow but I was able to pick up bass on a Yamamoto Hula Grub with a flipping jig head. I suggest the flipping jig head over the football because it comes through weeds and brush well, if you are fishing mostly rock I'd go with the football head. This bait was crawled very slowly over the bottom with a foot or so lift between. When the bait gets stuck for a second on a limb or some grass that is the perfect time to lift it and let it sink on a tight line. Most of the bites were happening on this fall.

Lastly I was doing well on a small 3in swim bait from Gambler lures. I was fishing this on a 1/8 oz ball jig head and 6lb test. Letting the bait hit the bottom and doing a slow steady retrieve back to the kayak. I like this technique because it caught bass, large crappie and stripers. Even one sunfish took a wack at it and came to the boat. Any swim bait I'm sure will work in the 4in or less size and the best colors were natural shad colors.

Don't let the cold put you off your fishing. Downsizing line, lures, rods and reels can make the difference in a day of cold weather fishing. Loosen those drags and tight lines!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Installing a Lowrance 7TI on a Hobie Outback

Hey guys James Snyder here with the Headwaters Fishing Team. I recently upgraded to the Lowrance 7 ti want wanted to give a detailed how to on what i used and how i did it.

Parts used-
Lowrance 7ti
http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Products/Fishfinder-Chartplotter/elite-7-ti-en-us.aspx

Heavy duty Ram Mount 1.5 ball
 http://www.rammount.com/part/RAM-101-LO11

Yak Attack 1.5 ball
 http://www.yakattack.us/SB15_12_p/sb15-12.htm

Yak Attack Gear tack - cut to fit
http://www.yakattack.us/GT90_08_p/gt90-08.htm

Berley Pro total scan transducer mount
 https://www.berleypro.com/product/totalscan-ready-transducer-mount-suits-hobie/

12v 22ah battery
https://www.amazon.com/Rechargeable-Replacement-KEYKO-KT-12220-Terminal/dp/B01LXNS894/ref=sr_1_9_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1481936088&sr=8-9&keywords=12v%2B22ah&th=1

water proof quick connector
https://www.amazon.com/Huicocy-Waterproof-Electrical-Connector-Marine/dp/B01DILSJ0A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481936117&sr=8-1&keywords=12v+waterproof+connector

Ring terminals
 https://www.amazon.com/Gardner-Bender-10-106-Terminal-Yellow/dp/B000LNOJYY/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1481936143&sr=8-8&keywords=ring+terminals

silver soldier
https://www.amazon.com/Kester-83-4000-0000-Solder-Pocket-Diameter/dp/B00068IJNQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1481936172&sr=8-4&keywords=silver+solder

heat shrink tubing
 https://www.amazon.com/JawayTool-Assortment-Electrical-Connection-Diameters/dp/B018G6CQAG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481936194&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=heat+shrink&psc=1

Hobie through hull kit
 http://www.austinkayak.com/products/12509/Hobie-Thru-Hull-Wiring-Kit.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping:%20ACK%20PLA&scid=scplp292988&sc_intid=12509_10705_1&gclid=CI3C39GD-tACFQ6Zfgod9ikMIA

Hobie Multi wire through hull kit

soldiering iron
phillips screw driver 

after unpacking everything i took my quick disconnect and the fuse holder provided with the fish finder and tinned the ends 
useing the silver soldier i prepped the wires by adding soldier to the wire tips (tinning)
i heated both of the wires to allow the soldier to become fluid and joined the two wires together and let cool

pro tip: apply heat shrink to the wires before soldiering-
i then soldiered up the power cable to the other side of the quick connector in the same way

add ring terminals to the positive and negative wire and test fit on the battery.

i had a lowrance elite 4 hdi allready installed and needed to remove the power and transducer from that unit as well as the old ram mounting system

unscrew the 3 mounting screws on the lowrance transducer cover

this is what happens when you dont clean out your transducer correctly

remove the wireing from the old transducer

you can see here why a berley pro transducer mount is required

sorry its upside down ill fix later- full kit from berley pro- extremely well made!

attach total scan transducer to the mounting plate using supplied screws from lowrance kit

reinstall transducer mounting plate and traducer cover with original screws and screws from the berley pro kit. 

using the Hobie through hull kit run  the wire from under the kayak through the kayak

run all 3 wires from inside of hull using the Hobie 3 wire through hull kit and install ram mount with yak attack 1.5 ball

the lowrance 7ti mounts easy on the ram mounting arm 

hook up the battery and connect connectors to fish finder and turn on

this unit is very popular for kayak fisherman!

the lowrance 7ti is a fairly easy install with the kit i have assembled here and i hope this helps you in your future fish finder installs. i will follow this up with a review on the system after i have a month or 2 of using the unit and have first hand knowledge of how it works. thanks for taking the time to read my install guide and if you have any questions feel free to hit me up on Facebook or Instagram
Facebook - James Snyder
https://www.facebook.com/james.snyder.739?fref=ts
Insta- Yakin_James

also look for more awsome how toos and product reviews here on our team blog and dont forget to give a like to
Headwaters Kayak shop
https://www.facebook.com/headwaterskayak/
Headwaters Fishing team
https://www.facebook.com/Headwaters-Kayak-Fishing-Team-303065546417594/?fref=ts
and follow us on you tube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYodbaugFoQAvGL2StgQ3tQ


thanks for checking us out! - James Snyder Headwaters Kayak Fishing Team





Thursday, December 15, 2016

Winter Jigging for Bluegill By Matthew Guthrie

 On December 11th and 12th I got the chance to head out to Village West Marina in Stockton. I originally went out to catch bass and striper but they didn't want to cooperate, so I went in the marina and started looking for crappie or anything else that would bite. I started seing clouds of fish on my fishfinder and proceeded to drop my lure right on their heads. They didn't seem to like the crappie jigs or my little trout worms so I started jigging my kastmaster and immediately hooked up with a nice bluegill. I couldn't keep them off it!
Average to large sunfish on a golden kastmaster
 I was using a 1/16 oz kastmaster to tempt the feisty fish in about 10ft of water. I started with a gold color, witch they ate, but I switched to a silver and chartreuse and started catching a lot more fish. Jigging it up and down worked really well, but I also found that if I got a bite and missed it, to just drift with it and the slow flutter drove them crazy. The average size of these fish were between 6 and 8in with some of the bigger ones pushing 11. There are no shortage of these fish in the marinas.

These little fish are a ton of fun when everything else has stopped feeding from the cold. So pick up some small shiny lures and hang on, Bluegill put a awesome bend into an ultralight rod and when you are fishing little baits like this you never know what you might hook into. Hope this puts some fun into your winter, Happy Fishing!





Saturday, August 27, 2016

Kauai Class Kayak and Canoe Fishing Tournament Trip Report



Here on Kauai summer is in full swing, the mantra lucky we live Hawaii resonates with us everyday we wake up to the trade wind breezes and greet the sunrise over the vast Pacific Ocean. We live in a waterman's paradise. This August we "the Seasoljahs", a dedicated group of ocean users committed to sustainable and ethical ocean recreation and harvest. Held our annual sustainable fishing tournament inviting paddlers and peddlers of all types of human powered vessels to participate in this community event which was held as a fundraiser for a little girl left behind after a devastating tragedy left her an orphan. 

Entry's were coming in from outrigger canoe paddlers,  kayakers, hardcore kayak fisherman, shoreline fishermen on borrowed kayaks to women and kids! With five prize divisions, awards in three places, and two bonus divisions everyone had a chance to take home some great prizes, and everyone went home with a raffle prize! We were very humbled by the many local, and international sponsors and 50+ participants, some even shipping kayaks from off island.

The weekend was upon us as final tournament preparations were under way. We gathered up our gear and headed out to camp at one of our favorite beaches. The setting moon, shooting stars, and sound of the waves made for a great night sleep. Until about 4:00 am when we started prepping our boats for launch. On the water at first light is one of the best feelings,just you and the vast ocean with the expectation to be ready for the unexpected as anything can happen in the middle of the pacific. Word was coming over the radio that some impressive fish were coming up including two Ono by the legendary unkle Bobby on a monofilament leader and a wall mart lure! More ono's were coming up along with a mixed bag of uku, tunas, and jacks. Word of a big Ono maybe the tournament winner getting taken by sharks at the kayak and a double tuna hookup with both getting hit by sharks was just a few of the many trials and tribulations along the way. 

At the weigh in, it was like Christmas in August with good food, big fish great prizes, stories,and onlookers. Prizes were awarded to 15 anglers and good times and tight lines were had by all. Aloha