With the start of a new year, I think it is only appropriate to highlight some of my favorite moments from the year of 2014. No doubt, I had one of my most successful years fishing and just kayaking. Let's not waste any more time and get right to it - here is my top five moments of 2014.
5.) First Ever River Bassin Trail Tournament
I am not very big on doing tournaments, but more so just enjoying fishing and going to many of the overlooked and hard to get to body of waters in Texas. However, I thought I'd venture out this past year and go to a tournament. One great thing about Jackson Kayak is that they put on the RiverBassin Trail Tournament Series. Basically, this is a kayak fishing tournament series that is exclusively rivers. The spots are all along the roads that connect Texas to Florida and a little bit of the Midwestern states as well.
For my first tournament I went to the Waco RiverBassin Tournament. I made quite a few rookie mistakes, as I got out on the water almost two hours late. This severely hurt my tactics as I like to throw some topwater lures, which is primetime during the early and late hours. I also made another pretty crucial mistake. My first catch of the day was a decent sized two pounder, but it wouldn't last long. With the RiverBassin Trail, it is catch and release, meaning you have to take a picture of your fish on a ruler. I did this, but right before I took the picture my bass flopped out of the back of the kayak. I didn't catch many big fish though anyways, in fact nothing more than a pound and a half, but it was still fun to try something new.
4. ) A Long Awaited Return to the San Saba River
College can take a lot out of a student, especially when you’re majoring in Engineering and Physics. Unfortunately, I was not able to fish anywhere near as much as I would like to in 2014, but the times that I was able to go fishing was great. Approximately six months after my last visit to the San Saba River in Texas, I was hoping for a little bit of some Largemouth Bass action from the clear waters of the San Saba River. The day started out rough and I couldn't catch nothing. In desperation I switched to a panfish lure in order to catch anything that I could.
I was fishing with nothing more than a 1/8 oz. 1.5'' tube for some bluegill. I casted near a sunken tree trunk only to hook into a nice sized Largemouth Bass. It was by no means a monster, but being my first time fishing in months, it was everything that I could hope for. You can find the full article on this fish here.
3.) A New Perspective for the Llano River
Without a doubt, the Llano River is one of my most productive rivers that I have ever fished. Almost every time that I go to the Llano I catch a lot of fish and usually some pretty big ones too. I have been to quite a few locations on the Llano River, including the iconic South Llano River State Park, but I have never been to the Llano River just south of Mason, Texas.
The Llano River is usually pretty clear and clean, but this time it had a lot of silt in the water. No doubt it was a nice landscape, but the water wasn't anywhere like what I was used to on the Llano. Something else that was new to me was a 5'6" light action spinning rod that I was trying out for the maiden voyage.
Soon enough, I hooked into a great battle between a 2-3 pound Largemouth Bass. The fight took forever because I had on 4 lb. test and the rod was so flimsy, but I soon reeled in a nice sized bass. I was pretty shocked to catch a fish because of the water clarity, but I was even more shocked when I hooked into a near identical bass. I will certainly be going back to the Llano River south of Mason again. You can find the full article on this section of water here.
2. ) MTI Adventurewear Sponsorship
For quite a while, I was not wearing a PFD when fishing out of a canoe or a kayak. This was primarily because of how uncomfortable the PFD I was using was. Fortunately, MTI Adventurewear decided to take a risk in supporting myself and Texas Kayak Fisher with the use of some PFD's. I now never leave my house without my MTI Adventurewear Dio F-Spec. The difference between the Dio F-Spec and my old life jacket is night and day. With multiple pockets for storage and a more ergonomic design for comfort and fishability, the Dio F-Spec is by far one of the best pieces of equipment that I have. I would like to thank MTI for taking a chance on me and supporting me with not only a Dio F-Spec, but also a Dio and an Underdog life jacket for my dad and dog. To check out some of the great gear from MTI, click on this link.
1.) A Hidden Oasis - The Devils River
One great aspect of living in Texas is the rough landscape and type of living. When you come across a river like the Devils River in the middle of nowhere, it is even that much better. I feel like there is way too much to discuss about the Devils River, so I will simply leave you with some photos, because I think they say enough. However, here is my article over the awesome Devils River.