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

Heavy duty Ram Mount 1.5 ball

Yak Attack 1.5 ball

Yak Attack Gear tack - cut to fit

Berley Pro total scan transducer mount

12v 22ah battery

water proof quick connector

Ring terminals

silver soldier

heat shrink tubing

Hobie through hull kit

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
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
Headwaters Fishing team
and follow us on you tube

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Feelfree Kayaks new Overdrive Pedal System

This July Nick Cohoons and I had the privilege to fly out to Orlando Forida and attend the 2016 Icast fishing show. This was definitely the year of the pedal drive with almost every major manufacturer bringing a pedal option to market. In a field stacked with innovative designs the one that really set itself apart was the new Feelfree Overdrive system. Several factors made this system stand out: the ability to upgrade an existing kayak model with a pedal drive, the adjustability of the seat to dial in the ergonomics, and the addition of the Motorhead unit, which allows you to switch the drive from pedal driven to motor driven seamlessly. A lot of engineering went into this system and the result is a truly unique design that allows anglers to get into the sport and upgrade as they go.

Looking over the display boat the first thing I noticed is the boat itself. It was a standard desert camo Lure 11.5 with a rudder. In 2015 when Feelfree switched over to the new Sonar Pod, the intent was always to be able to upgrade to a pedal drive in the future. While every other manufacturer went the route of all new platforms for their pedal drives, Feelfree designed their system to work around their incredibly successful Lure line of kayaks. This means those of you who already have a Lure 11.5 or 13.5 with a Sonar Pod will be able to buy the Overdrive kit and drop it right in. It also means you are starting off with a proven paddle kayak and not sacrificing performance when floating rivers, skinny water fishing, or in heavy weeds.
I think the direction Feelfree took with the Overdrive System puts them into a unique position in the market, and paints a picture that they want to support their existing customers base, and not just profit from selling them another boat.

I had a few very candid conversations with head engineer Peter Murphy about the project. He explained to me a few of the major hurdles he had to overcome in order to pull this off.

One of the hurdles that he had to deal with was the ability to adjust the paddler to the pedals and to ensure that the ergonomics were ideal for pedaling, and paddling. They did this with a bracket that clicks into the notch where the rear of the gravity seat usually clips into. This bracket attaches easily to the seat and allows you to click the seat forward and backward in order to get the proper reach for the pedals. They also take advantage of the Feelfree Gravity Seat which allows for height adjustment to dial in the ergonomics and helps you get your hips in the most comfortable position for pedaling. This was something I struggled with in other pedal yaks. I always found myself compensating for my height by slouching in the seat. With the Feelfree you will be able to completely dial yourself in to the boat by adjusting the seat up and down and forward and back.

The most progressive thing about the Feelfree Overdrive System and the largest piece of engineering was the Motorhead unit. This electric drive unit plugs into the pedal system and turns the existing pedal drive into an electric trolling motor. The Motorhead clicks into the drive the same way a battery would click into a cordless drill. When in pedal mode the drive sits in the first click, when moved into the second click the drive disengages the pedals and takes over propelling the kayak, making it a seamless transition from pedal to power. It will come with a wired in remote control that allows you to adjust your speed and control forward and reverse. At Icast they had this setup on one of the boat's tracks with a Rail Blazer electronics holder, which looked clean and worked well. Final details about price and what all will be included in the kit is to be announced, and we will update our info when we get that. One thing we know for sure is that it works well. Jim Hager from Feelfree Kayaks sent us this video clip and says his GPS clocked him at 6 MPH on the water.

The last hurdle the engineers had to deal with was converting a foot controlled rudder to a hand controlled rudder. They did this by using the optional rudder that has been the standard upgrade on the Lure for years. They added a lever that attaches to the gunnel of the boat and clamps on to the rudder cable. Although I could tell it was 3D printed and prototyped, it was simple and effective in how if functioned. Most importantly it allowed for the standard foot controls to work when paddling. Here is my interview with Peter Murphy, the head engineer of the Overdrive project.

Other unique features:
-Pitch adjustment on the prop, which allows you to dial in the amount of grip the prop has depending on your leg strength or endurance.
-Transducer Mount on the front of the drive.
-Storage box that will slide into the pedal drive where the motor goes if you are doing pedal power only. (they didn't have this to show, but told us that it would be standard in the pedal drive kit)

At an Icast where pedal powered kayaks were all the rage, I feel like the Feelfree Overdrive stood alone as the most innovative. I know thousands of Lure 11.5 and 13.5 owners are going to be so stoked to be able to keep the boat they love, but now have the ability to pedal, paddle, or motor it. We are excited to see what this new drive means for the future of Feelfree and pedal kayaks as a whole. It sure is an exciting time to be a part of the kayak fishing industry!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Headwaters kayak – 2015 Yellowstone Fishing Expedition

The "Big Tuna" 2014 Yellowstone 

Headwaters Kayak (Dan) and I have teamed up yet again in 2015 for another Yellowstone fishing expedition!! My crew and I can’t say enough “THANK YOU’S” to Dan for how much he has helped out with our trips! He has Sponsored us with everything from fish finders to Go pro’s and of course geared our team up with the best fishing kayaks on the market!!!
As Always – Thank you Headwaters Kayak!

Every year my brother and I, with some family, try and find a remote place in the USA to get away for a while, away from people and find some extraordinary fishing and wildlife. We normally stick to forest service wilderness areas but for the last 5 years we have been going back to Yellowstone. This will be our 6th year in the backcountry of this wonderful natural resource.

Years 1-3 we hiked in from the Bridger-Teton wilderness (90 mile ish round trip)and crossed the southern border of Yellowstone to fish the Yellowstone River for its native cutthroat trout. Years 4, 5 and now 6, we have teamed up with Dan and Headwaters kayak to Kayak across the lake, fishing the entire time, drop kayaks at the other side and hike into the backcountry fishing the river. Then we turn around and make our way back fishing as we go.
I have done a couple of write ups that Dan has posted that talk about how we fish, what gear we use and the techniques we deploy to catch Lake trout and Cutthroats. Take a look at the fishing blog for past discussions.

This year I would like to focus on “Camping from Kayaks”. I would consider myself quite versed in hiking/camping gear…………………… and will leave the advice on kayaks where it belongs, with the crew of Headwaters!

Camping From a Kayak

2014 Yellowstone Lake - Fist Night Camping 

I am, well, I was, primarily a backpacker, so I spent a lot of time and money on my gear to save weight and space so that I could take 10-12 day trips without being resupplied. That same gear has traversed well into being able to camp from a kayak.

I take a lot of precautions placing my gear in the kayak. My backpack goes in the front of my YAK, is tied down and a waterproof covering is placed over it so it doesn’t get waterlogged. This works great on the Big Tuna since it has a lot of open space on the front but is different for each YAK layout. Other than making sure my gear is tied and/or placed inside the YAK the only thing I really do different that when I am hiking is waterproof a bit more. I waterproof anyway due to the weather we always encounter but I take a little more precaution with some of my core gear placing it in safe a location. My boots and other items not being used and not stored in my backpack are placed in a heavy-duty sea to summit waterproof bag and put in the main storage compartment.

Something to note, the gear that I will be sharing with you, I have accumulated over the course of quite a few years of trial and error. The gear I carry is light, effective and does not come at a cheap price. I have done many hours’ research as well as field-testing on the trails but everyone is different. For example, I love my boots, I do not get blisters and I will not wear anything else (For now) because of their stability and because I DO NOT GET BLISTERS!!!!! Everyone’s feet are different and just because some magazine says certain boots are the best thing since sliced bread that doesn’t mean your feet will like them! An ultra-lighter would tell you to buy trail shoes (Upgraded Tennis shoes). With the weather I encounter I would never wear trail shoes but to each their own.

Disclaimer : I am not an ultra light hiker, a section hiker, thru hiker or a “go bag the next peak” hiker. I find places to go fishing that will be difficult for others to get to so that I can be as far away from the grid as possible, enjoy the wilderness and catch fish at the same time.

Core Gear: “They Say” – not really sure who they are but, they say to start with your backpack, sleeping bag and tent. On just these 3 items I have spent over $1000.00!
  • My Pack – 2014 Gregory Boltoro 75.
    • An ultra-lighter would tell me that I am crazy to have a pack that weighs in at about 6lbs. I like its stability, how it forms to my shape and the options it has in terms of storage.
    • The new 2015 Boltoro 75 is sweet and weighs a lb less! Maybe next year I have already spent enough on other upgrades/necessities 
  • Sleeping Bag – Marmot Helium
    • Temp rating at 15 degrees
    • 850 goose fill down and
    • Weighs in at just over 2 lbs.
    • I like this bag, our trips are normally at high elevations so it can get quite cold even in the summer. “Quality Down” – don’t leave home without it.
  • Tent – Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3
    • I split the weight with my brother and use a 2 person tent on our trips. They say this is a 3 person tent but I do not know who those three people were. My brother and I are both over 6ft and weight in 230 – 260 lbs. We fit in this one just fine with a couple of inches left over
    • Under 4lbs
    • 2 Entry points– Nice for two people having their own entry point
    • 2 vestibules – IMPORTANT for keeping gear dry and close at hand.
    • This is a new tent so I will have to see how it holds up over time
    • ALWAYS use the company-designed footprint. This will save from getting holes in the bottom as well as stop water from pooling underneath your tent. It is well worth the extra cost.
I have to wonder why God created Mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes can easily turn a wonderful trip into a miserable one. I am not a big fan of the nasty buggers, I have run into them across the globe and I do everything possible to keep them away from me!

I used to say that the only thing that will keep the bugs away from me is 100% Deet. I really do not like Deet but I like it better that being bit all this time so I have primarily used it, especially when the bugs are bad. I am trying something new this year, Permethrin treated clothed and ultrathin time released 34.6%deet lotion. I have tested it in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains with good results but the bugs were not bad. I will report back on how they do with the Yellowstone Biting Buzzards!

Permethrin has also been proven to repel ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, midges and is approved by the EPA. That being said, I would like to note that I initially purchased the spray bottle and sprayed my own clothing. I do not think it was very effective so I did some more reading and the studies have shown that when manufactures “Bind” Permethrin to the clothing it is very effective.

  • Pants – Railriders Eco Mesh with Insect Shield
    • I am really starting to like these pants. They have a zippered leg section that opens exposing a mesh lining to let the air in to keep you cool. AND KEEPS THE BUGS OFF!!! I saw a mosquito try and land on my leg and it got close and then took off
  • Pants for the Kayaking portion – REI Sahara
    • They zip off into shorts. I wear the shorts portion on the water and zip the legs back on when I hit land if the bugs are around are around.
    • I have a really old pair (7 years?) that the bugs cannot bite through and they only weight in at 12-14 ounces. The newer ones are not made quiet as well and the bugs can bite through them so until they fail I use these. When they fall apart I will figure something else out.
  • Shirt – Railriders Journeyman with insect shield
    • I don’t really like hiking with long sleeves but I hate the bugs even worse so I have moved to a long sleeve shirt that rolls up and buttons if needed
    • Its great on the water as well, rail riders were founded by a guy who sails and his gear was to stay cool and help keep the sun off you.
    • Underarm and torso mesh lining to keep you cool
    • Back cape vent for additional breathability
    • I like this shirt!!!!
  • Underwear – Exofficio Give-N-GO
    • 9’’ inseam
    • Sports Mesh
    • Treated with Aegis Microbe Shield to eliminate odor causing bacteria
    • Their gimmick is “500 miles of trail, 7 days, one pair of underwear"
    • These are awesome and well worth the cost
  • For the Rain – It always rains on us, the only variable is how much and how long. It has rained, hailed and snowed on us on our summer trips.
    • Arcteryx Theta AR gore-text shell
      • My favorite piece of gear
    • Arcteryx  gore-tex pants
  • Boots – Asolo TPS 520 GV – Yes they are heavy and they took me about 20-30 miles of walking/hiking to break in but I like them!
    • Full grain leather
    • Waterproof with Gore-tex
    • About 4lbs a pair – yes they are heavy but they are stable and can handle the hiking I do.
    • They are leather so I treat them with repellant each time I go out. It really sucks if you get a heavy pair of leather boots waterlogged.

  • Shoes For Kayaking -  I use two different pairs
    • Merrell lightweight shoes that double as shoes when I have to do water crossings in the backcountry. They work good when I have to take my boots off and cross a stream as well as when it is not too cold on the kayak. I do not remember the name of them but they are similar to the Bare Access 4
    • When it is cold I use Kokatat Nomad Paddling Boots
      • Kind of a pain to get on and off but they work!

The Rest of My Gear:

I am attaching a spreadsheet (well i tried to attach it but i couldn't figure it out so i cut and pasted most of it) where I list and weigh all the gear that I carry. Please take a look and feel free to post questions and I will do my best to answer in a timely manner. I will be in Yellowstone from July 22 – August 2nd so if you post then I will answer when I return.

Backpack weights
Listed Measured
Item   (as packed, w/ stuff sack) lbs oz lbs oz
Core Gear
Tent – Big Agnes Copper UL 3 4 0 2 5
Foot print 9.3 0
Sleeping pad – Therma rest Xlite 1 0 1 0.5
Sleeping bag – Marmot helium 2 6 2 6
Pillow – sea to summit aeros large 4.3 4.3
Back Pack – gregory baltoro 75 6 2 6 2
Head lamp – black diamond re-chargeable 4.8 4.7
Bug Net Net – head 2.2 2.2
pack Cover 9
Cooking Gear
Evernew Titanium non-stick 900ml pan 11.2 4.6
Stove – Snow Peak titanium auto light 4.5 4.5
Sea to summit – ultra sil sink 10 liter 1.7 1.7
Spoon - MSR folding Spoon 0.35 0.4
Fuel Small 7 7.5
Coffee Cup 0.8 0.8
Cleaning Sponge 0.1 0.1
Biodegradable Soap 3.2 1.2
Survival Gear
First Aid Kit - held in zip lock container - I am still working on the complete First AID pack but am almost there - 6oz total weight 0.2
     - Bandaids large waterproof for heel (6) 0.4
     - Bandaids regular size (6) 0.1
     - Bandaids H & knuckle version (6) 0.2
     - Bandaids - butterfly (6) 0.05
    -  Non stick Gauze pads 2X3  (3) 0.1
     - syringe 0.2
     - Pair of steril gloves 0.4
     - Neosporin 0.5 0.6
     - alcohol pads (4) 0.1
     - Medical Tape 1
     - anti bacterial hand wipes (2) 0.3
     - Tylenol (20) 0.4
     - lip balm - vasaline lip therapy 0.4
     - Safety Pins (4) 0.1
     - Diarrhea Meds - immodium (12) 0.1
     - Needle and Thread 0.4
     - 1 ounce container of zinc oxide 1
     -  Qtips (18) 0.2
Bear Spray 11.6 11.6
Compass 0.95 0.95
Delorme in reach SOS/GPS Tracker 5 7.5
Map and Plastic cover 1.3 0
Fire Starting Kit
     -  Zip Lock Bag 0.2
     -  Bic Lighter 0.7
     -  Waterproof Matches (8) 0.2
     -  Military grade trioxane tabs(2) 1.9
Bug spray - ultrathon (2 tubes) 4.8
550 Cord - 50ft 4.5 4.5
Water Gear
Water bladder – 3 liter platypus for pack 6.3 6.3
Water Bottle – naglene 1 liter 3.5 3.8
Water purifier – platypus gravity 9 9
Water Carried in Liters(3) 6 9.6 6 9.6
Fishing Gear - Hiking portion
Fly Reel with floating line 6.8 6.8
Fishing Kit – Flys 2 2
Fly pole – 5 wt orvis access 2.7 2.7
leaders and stuff 2 2
Gerber Clutch 2.6 2.6
Camera Gear
Waterproof Camera – Fuji XP 70 7.6 7.6
Go Pro Hero 3+  2.5 2.5
Go Pro Extended Battery pack 1.1 1.1
Go Pro head harness 3.5 3.5
water proof case 3.4 3.4
non water prrof backing for sound 0.7 0.7
Personal Hygiene
Toothpaste 1 1
Toothbrush 0.7 0.7
Deodorant 1.1 1.1
Hand Wipes (2 per day minimum) 2
Dental Floss – not much  0.1
Toilet Paper – 1/2 roll 3
toilet wet wipes – (20) wipes 2.4
Towel – sea to summit small 2.3 2.3
Socks – thorlos trail hikink socks
           - 1st pair 3.6 3.6
           - 2nd pair 3.6 3.6
           - 3rd pair 3.6 3.6
           - 4th pair – Worn 0 0
           - Rail rider Journeyman with Insect Shield 10.2 0
           - 2nd Shirt - noit sure which one yet 8 8
Pants – 
          - RailRiders eco mesh with bugs away 12.5 0
           - 2nd REI sahara  14 0
Underwear – Exofficio Give -N-Go  3 0
           - 2nd pair 3 3
           - 3rd pair 3 3
water shoes – merrill 1 0.7 1 0.7
Jacket (Gore-Tex) – arcteryx 1 2.2 1 2.2
Gaiters (Gore Tex) 12 12
Pants (Gore-Tex) – Arcteryx 15 15
beenie 2.7 2.7
Food 2015 = 9 nights/10 days
I am still working on my food list

Kayak camping provides some pretty increadible experiences and i hope this write up helps those that want to get out for multiple night

Yellowstone 2014 - What more can you ask for?????