Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Years

Stay safe I'll see you in the new year!


Dan

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Day on the Ocean.

          My seventeen year old brother in law was coming down to California from upstate New York and my wife and I wanted to give him a trip he wouldn't forget. Getting him on the open ocean was the first thing that came to my mind. I had the safety gear and Jeff, a member of my local fishing forum www.centralcoastkayakfishing.com, hooked us up with a kayak and paddle. We were all set to go out with another member on the forum and his brother in law out of Leffingwell. Lucky/unlucky for us my brother in law's flight was delayed due to winter storms. He came in on the 24th so the plan changed. If you want to read the other guy's report, and I suggest you do, click here. We got him a one day licence rather easily on line and we were good to go out of Cayucos on Christmas day.
     
  Jesse, my brother in law, had some good experience kayak fishing out of a kayak on lake Champlain but had never surf launched. I kept all the gear in my kayak just in case he dumped, but he did great. The outgoing tide and the wind blowing from the beach made for an easy launch.  
He ad one wobble but made it past the surf zone like a champ. We got on the water and the wind picked up blowing at least fifteen knots straight out to the open sea from the beach. It made fishing very tough because before the bait dropped the twenty feet to the bottom we were blown ten to fifteen feet away. The only way to get good contact with the bottom was to wrap our legs in the kelp which was flimsy and looked like new growth. Normally the kelp is at least an inch to two thick, but this stuff was about half as thick as usual. The wind even blew hard enough to break the strands of kelp we had wrapped around our legs. It really limits the amount of area one can effectively fish with such strong wind.   
We managed several small cabezon and rockfish while being blown around the ocean like toy boats. I kept us inshore working our way north along the coast fishing the shallow kelp we could get a hold on and keep us in one place. I didn't know how much longer the wind would be blowing us out to sea so I was not willing to venture into deep water with my wife's baby brother in tow.  
Even the seagulls and cormorants chose not to fish in this wind. At about eleven thirty the tide stopped running out and remarkably the wind switched directions. We ventured out a little bit and started getting a lot of hits. I caught a baby octopus and cut it in half for bait. I gave one half to Jesse and told him this was going to get him bit. He wasn't too sure about the bait as he paddled off to a small kelp bed.  
He dropped the rig and as soon as it hit bottom his pole doubled over.
It was awesome seeing the excitement in his face as he pulled this ugly fish up form the bottom of the ocean. A seventeen inch cabezon. Right after he caught that fish the tide started running in the the wind started blowing in. We stopped feeling the bites and only managed a few more short fish. We decided to go by the buoy and check out the area around it for structure. 
As we got near the thousand pound sea lions they started changing the tone of their calls and looking at us. Right about the time I snapped this picture and decided to move back to the beach four of them jumped in the water and started swimming at us. That is when I realized I made a mistake. Won't be getting near sea lions again soon. We got the the beach and made successful beach landings. 
What a great way to spend a day. I am so glad I got to get my brother in law on the water, glad he got some fish, and most of all glad we made it back to my wife and son safely. I filleted the fish when we got home and we had panko crusted rock fish with lemon and pepper cooked in butter for supper; a wonderful Christmas dinner with family. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you all had a merry Christmas.

Dan

http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=51611.0

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Lucid Fishing Grips.

Proof of Teddy Wozny kicking my butt at catching smallies on the Fox river.
           I have been meaning to write a review for Lucid Grips for a while now, but with all the the recent events in my life I just have not had the time. They are a great product, and have really saved my hands form a lot of pokes and cuts form the fish I catch along California's central coast. I met Teddy Wozny on a Chicago fishing forum and form the start he was a stand up kind of guy. I liked him and he wanted to learn about fishing so I helped him the best I could. I gave him honest feedback and tips about different species.
         





            I had no idea how quickly he would become an expert angler himself. He started hitting the local rivers often and landed giant tarpon off Grand  Cayman Island, the guy was totally hooked. A complete fishing fanatic, addicted with no hope or want for recovery. He started Lucid fishing with his father in law he had a plan to sell quality fishing grips that people he fished with could actually afford. I got the first prototype I really liked the quality and performance they offered.  There are several grips in the same price range but they just do not have the same feel as these had. A lot of the cheaper grips also tend to lack the swiveling head that is a necessity when trying to get a shark, northern pike or ling cod under control without ripping their lips off.The only thing I told him to change was the color of the handle. I still use my black prototype Lucid grips.










        Fishing for fish with teeth can get tricky in a kayak. Nets tangle in everything, gaffs are only legal in saltwater and only with fish you plan to keep, and cheap grips can hurt fish. There has been talk in the past about grips damaging fish. Nick "Brookfield Angler" Doumel wrote a pretty convincing article about the subject on his blog. The point is they are tools and if used correctly greatly reduce the chances of the fisherman or the fish getting hurt.



Teddy is my friend and gave me these grips,but I can say I would buy they if I didn't know him. They are a great product I do not leave home when I go on the ocean. They have saved my hands many cuts and pricks in the last couple of years using them. Teddy it is an honor to be your friend I stand behind you and your product.

Check out the sale, one 30lb grip and a dry bag for $55.24 just in time for Christmas.

Thanks for reading,

Dan

Read Nick's post about Grips: http://www.brookfieldangler.com/2013/12/fishing-grips-are-they-really-that-bad.html

Check out Lucid Fishing .com: https://www.lucidfishing.com/

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I Got a Nine Pounder!

Introducing my son Fisher Alan Roloff
To answer your questions:

The name Fisher was his mother's idea, I just really liked it.
He was born on Friday the 13th.
He weighs nine pounds four ounces. That is 9-4 for you bass fishermen.
He was twenty-one and a half inches long.
He is our first born.
Mom is doing great.

So glad to get to finally meet my son. I look forward to seeing him grow up.
Look at those big hands and feet! 
 Thanks for reading

Dan

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Make Something

                Whenever someone asks where I bought something I like being able to tell them I made it. Lately I have been more interested in working with wood. Making furniture and things for around the house has a lot of appeal to me. To make this whale I started with a template I drew using some sketch paper. I had a piece of pine that used to be a shelve in my closet that has been sitting on the side of my hose for about eight months now. It was barely painted so I figured doing a rustic white whale would be a good way to go with it. I used spray adhesive to stick it to the wood.
I used a fine toothed jig saw and just followed the outline. I had some trouble with the tail so I had to do a little free handing. Then it was time to remove the paper using mineral spirits and sanding the edges and corners with a random orbital sander.
I gouged the wood with a flat head screwdriver and colored it in  to form the eye, eyebrow, and flipper. I finished it with spray varnish to lock it all in. I stapled some braided fishing line doubled over its self and twisted to hang it from. The didn't turn out exactly how I wanted but that is OK. I plan on giving a few as gifts so these are good practice.
It is really fun and pretty simple making these fish. I even did a flounder.

I hope this inspires some of you to hit the shop and make some gifts for this holiday season.

Thanks for reading,

Dan

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What I am Thankful For.

I am glad this is my 200th blog post. What better way to celebrate this on Thanksgiving than share what I am thankful for... It has been a wild ride moving to California, finding a job, becoming foster parents, and then finding out my wife is pregnant with a boy. 
Just a week or two until Fisher Alan arrives and I can not wait. I got the kayak ready. 
Fisher I have not even met you yet, but I am thankful for you, and your mom putting p with you beating her up form the inside. I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving, because I know I will. 

Thanks for reading,

Dan

P.S. I know the car seat should be rear facing. I'll switch it up before we hit the beach. :D

Friday, November 22, 2013

Commenting on Comments


As an avid outdoor blogger I love reading and responding to comments. Hit counters can show trends in what people are clicking on, but the comments are where I can see if my writing is actually connecting with people. I write this blog for myself. I am not sponsored (but am open to it), I am not anyone’s prostaff (but I am open to it), and I don’t do many product reviews on products that ate given to be by companies (really open to that one). So when I see a new comment I get excited. I wrote something worthy of someone leaving a comment. It means someone read my writing and had a reactionand they want to have a conversation.  That connection builds community and friendship. So a comment is not an ego boost, but a sign I am not alone and there is a person facing the monitor who potentally values what I create.


Then I get this in my email…

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Lake Kaweah is Looking Pretty Low.":

OK Anonymous, what do you think?
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terrybandy on Lake Kaweah is Looking Pretty Low.

Thank you… I think?
Hey another comment…
“A two person hot tubs is the natural sanitizing properties of salt water. If selecting a Hot Tub with out having even considered the strength of the hot tub cover by yourself. You need to make the allowances for the weight of the hot tub and gets to talk about what has been happening in their day, Or perhaps the latest news. Also, being in the tub water. If your want to buy one because it is divine, while a Jacuzzi makes the above hot tubs as it doesn't" gas off" at spa temperatures. My web blog: chamonix transfers” on Grilled Gopher Fish

What does that have to do with gopher fish or cooking? I think you are cooking your fish wrong. Hot tubs are not for cooking.
What else is here?

“For newest information you have to visit world wide web and on the web I found this web site as a best web page for most up-to-date updates. Feel free to surf to my web-site social Bookmark on My Lures Work!” on Kayak Fishing at Leffingwell Landing.
That is solid advice…
“Thanks very nice blog! my website เต็นท์ผ้าใบ” on Active Duty? Visit All the National Parks for Free!
???

“Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't fail me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I genuinely believed you would probably have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention. payday loans Feel free to surf my blog payday loans dallas” on It has been too long.
You’re going to spam me, tell me the post sucks, insult me, and then invite me to a payday loan blog??? That type of behavior is not even suitable for a spam bot. You need to go back to spam edicate school.  
       
         I just hope there is a special place in Hell for spammers and people who program spam-bots. This is just a small sampling of the spam I get. I know others who get much more. I am just glad the filters catch most of it before it posts and pollutes your day the way it does mine. If this bothers you as well make my day and throw a comment in the block.  

Thanks for reading,
Dan
 

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lake Kaweah is Looking Pretty Low.


             I woke up at five in the morning and quietly got ready as to not disturb my sleeping wife. I was excited to get on the water. The last time I fished was at the Cambria Slam Down in September. To say I was eager to catch a fish would have been an understatement. I am fairly certain with the upcoming birth of my son this will be one of my last fishing trips of the year. I was unloaded and on the water by sunrise.


             I just can not get used to the crazy amount of fluctuation the water levels go through over the course of a year. The first time I fished Kaweah I caught fish in rocks that are now fifty yards or more out of the water! How the fish deal with this I will never know. It is handy seeing the structure first hand with the water low. These California reservoirs are so much different than the ponds and lakes I fished in Illinois. It is a whole new kind of fishing when there is no vegetation for the bass to hide in.  




           I my friend, Caleb, arrived at about 0730. I switched between a dropshot and jig for at least two hours before I even got a nibble. Caleb had a hit on his dropshotted Robo Worm on the second cast. The green and brown robo worm proved to be the hot bait.

There was not a cloud in the sky. The water was murky with sediment reducing visibility to about three feet. 
     
       I must say I did have a blast watching Caleb catching fish. He gave me two robo worms and I got hits right away. The problem is the little spotted bass go airborne and throw the hooks so easy. I lost one a few feet form the kayak and had one hit just as I was bringing the bait out of the water. The problem was I lost the two worms he gave me leaving him with one worm. I am not about to take the last bait just to loose it. Caleb ended up with five or six total. I got the skunk.  
                 I figured if I wasn't catching fish at least I could try to add some karma points by cleaning up the place. I grabbed beer cans and bottles when convenient, as well as any fishing line or lure I could grab. I even found a anchor that appeared to have gotten tangled in a submerged tree when the water was much higher. I ended up with four soft plastic swimbaits, five light colored brush hawgs, three Senkos, a bee man, a Spro crankbait, and a whole lot of fishing line. So at least I did not paddle away empty handed.

Thanks for reading,

Dan  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Miss'n the Kings River

My First California Bass

          The South branch of the Kings river  is one of several central California rivers starting the the Sierra Nevada mountains. The river is fed water from Pine Flat reservoir. This body of water was very good to me my first year in California. I fished it two to three times a week, and have caught a lot of bass in it. The section I fish mostly is near the Navy Air Station Lemoore. One of the first fish I caught upon moving to California was a largemouth area on of the pillars of the route 198 bridge. This year my relationship with the river has been a little different. The fish seem to have gotten a little tighter lipped and the water has dropped over the course of the year. 

        I have had quite a few people ask me why I haven't posted about the river or fished in it lately. I think the best way to tell you why would be to show you. Here is the south branch of the mighty Kings river as it was on Friday morning. 



 There has been no flow for some time, and when it started it turned out to be water flowing out from the weir below. 


Now only puddles remain. The lack of snowfall in the mountains and rain in the lowlands has taken out my fishing hole. All I can do is hope and pray next year is wetter. Hopefully we can get some rain to help out these last puddles. 

Thanks for reading,

Dan

Monday, October 21, 2013

Angler Choice Awards

              I am surprised, honored, humbled to be nominated for the annual Kayak Angler's Choice Award for Blog of the year. I write this blog to share my love of fishing and to help myself grow as a writer and person. It is great to know people get as excited about the outdoors as I do, so thanks for reading.

The vote is still being cast at http://www.yakangler.com/choice

My vote for best kayak forum is my local Central Coast Kayak Fishing Forum, one of my favorite launch spots Leffingwell Landing, and One f the best videos of kayak fishing I have ever seen shot by Kayak Kevin.
Enjoy the video and please make your vote count.


I can almost feel Lee's frustration as everyone else is hooking up. I can safely say it is my favorite kayak fishing video.

Good luck to the other folks in the running, and thanks for your support if you voted.

Dan

Monday, October 14, 2013

Kayak Hull Designs.

       I often get asked about different kayaks by people interested in kayak fishing. Most of the fear about kayak fishing is tipping, or flipping over on the water. While I maintain the "tipy" feeling will go away with time; the shape of the hull will affect the movement of the kayak through the water. This week Joe Dowdy of Austin Kayak writes about kayak hull designs. 

Types of Kayak Hull Designs

            Before you add all the fun accessories like seats, mounts, skirts, cleats, bungees, hatches, and other goodies you've come to love about your kayak, you have the good ole hull. A kayak’s hull is really its bare bones form and is usually dressed up before it even leaves the factory. When you really take a deep look at them, you’ll notice that no single hull looks the same. Often, they look similar, but kayak hull designs vary drastically and there’s a reason behind it!
           Though each and every brand has its own unique style of kayak’s, hulls are actually shaped to fit specific purposes. An evident example would be comparing a whitewater hill to a sea kayak hull. A whitewater hull is commonly short, rounded on the sides, with a curving bottom and a sea kayak hull is usually long, pointed, and with a flattened bottom. It’s pretty easy to tell that these kayaks are meant for different things and probably pretty easy to guess the reasons behind the designs as well.
Hull Shapes
Generally, there are four common types of hull shape designs. These include rounded, v-shaped, flat and pontoon hulls—though, it’s possible that you’ve heard them referred to as other names in different places.
Rounded Hulls – These hulls have rounded edges (wonder where they got their name from) giving the kayak a ‘torpedo’ shape that results in increased speed because of less water resistance. These round shaped hulls make for more steerable kayaks as well and commonly have more secondary than primary stability (more about this soon enough).
V-Shaped Hulls – Differing from the rounded hulls, these hulls have a pointed ‘V’ shape that allows the hull to better slice through the water making them better at tracking in straight lines. These hulls are generally fast and sometimes considered ‘tippy’ as they offer more secondary than primary stability.
Flat Hulls - Flat hulls are pretty universal because they have a variety of purposes ranging from play boats to fishing kayaks. The reason is, based on other factors like length, width and curvature, flat hulls combine stability and maneuverability. Flat hull also offer great primary stability.
Pontoon Hulls (AKA Tunnel) – Stability is the key feature of pontoon hulls. Kayaks with these types of hulls combine the primary stability of a flat hull with the secondary stability of a rounded resulting in the the greatest stability available. While these hulls generally lend themselves to decent tracking they unfortunately aren't known for their speed.

Primary Versus Secondary Stability
Aside from the kayak’s basic shape, the hulls vary in the ways that they curve or not. This curvature can be in either the bottom or sides of the kayak, and is referred to the rock and chine, respectfully. These curves can affect a wide variety of factors when it comes to performance—the biggest factor being stability.
Basically, kayak stability is broken down in two sections: primary and secondary. Primary stability is the initial steadiness of the kayak on flat water. Secondary stability is the kayak’s ability to stay stable when tipped on its side. Secondary stability is extremely useful in bad water conditions. Often, kayaks that are extremely stable in rough water feel unstable in flat water and vice versa. Kayak manufacturers fiddle with a number of factors to find the right balance of primary and secondary stability for each kayak’s intended purpose. For example, a kayak built for coastal fishing is designed to take primary stability into consideration for fishing, but also secondary stability for when water gets choppy.
Chine
Chine basically means the way the bottom of the kayak meets the sides. The shape of the chine determines whether or not the kayak looks boxy or rounded. A hard chine means a more angular meeting compared to a soft chine, which has a rounded meeting. Hard chine hulls are known to track slightly better and offer more primary stability because it can swiftly cut through water. However, it provides a flatter surface for choppy waters to push against, making them more prone to tipping in poor water conditions. Many people like to use hard chine hulls as play boats because the sharp edges make it easier to perform tricks. Soft chine hulls, on the other hand, are better at providing secondary stability and are generally known to be faster. It is important to remember that soft and hard chines are simply the extremes. There are an enormous number of multi-chine hull designs that exist between the two polar ends of hard and soft.
Rocker
Rocker is the curvature of the hull from bow to stern. The term rocker comes from the fact that the more rocker a hull has (more curvature), the more likely it is to rock from front (bow) to back (stern). More rocker allows for greater maneuverability because the bow and stern have to face less resistance as less of the boat is in the water. For this same reason, hulls with more rocker are less effective at tracking than hulls with less rocker. In fact, a kayak with a flat bottom or, in other words, no rocker will track best as the bow and stern will have most resistance in the water (of course preventing easy turning). Like a hull’s chine, kayaks can have any amount of rocker and can even have rocker only in the bow but not the stern or vice versa.

Is that it?
Design symmetry, weight positioning, hull materials, water entry line and other more specific features are just a few of the other factors that manufacturers take into consideration when designing a kayak. However, knowing the basics about hull shape should help you make a more informed decision on which kayak will best suit your needs and purpose.
                                                    



About the Author:
Joseph is an avid kayaker based out of the central Texas area. He has spent many a weekend and holiday on the Texas coast attending sea kayaking events or just having some fun with a kayak or paddleboard. He’s currently employed at Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK.com) and loves that he gets to spend time working with his favorite toys. 





       With all the hype over wide slow stable kayaks these days I still don't recommend cutting speed for stability like so many do. You will understand if you are ever trying to get up river to catch up to a friend in a skinnier kayak. Don't get me wrong, if a slow stable kayak is what it takes for you to enjoy the water then don't mind me. The best way to find out what you want it to research and try out different kayaks.

Thanks for reading,

Dan


Friday, September 27, 2013

The Cambria Slam Down II

      Saturday was an amazing day on the water over one hundred and twenty kayak anglers hit the water at the same time for Central Coast Kayak Fishing's Cambria Slam Down Two. An event months in planning and highly anticipated.

Leffingwell Landing
   
          I got off work on Friday at four o'clock and tried to drive home without speeding. The night before I was in Walmart and got recognized by a member of the forum. What got me about this encounter was how stoked he was and that he was taking off work Friday to get a day on the water to scout it out. Sometimes I forget I am not the only one obsessed with fishing, and it struck me how big this site I joined a little over a year ago had grown. I got home with out wrecking or getting a ticket and loaded what I thought was everything. We were on the road for about fifteen minutes when I realized I forgot my stringer, Hawg trough, and a warm shirt or sweater. I turned back and got those items completely forgetting a large grey lockable box with all of our food and my wife's text books...

        We got to the camp site at around eight thirty and got set up with the help of a few friends. I feel extremely blessed to meet these people. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of people out there willing to be kind and lend a hand these days, so I try not to look past them when they come into my life. Speaking of awesome people, Ed of Four Season Angler Custom Rods did me a solid and whipped together an amazing rod, for a great price, and got it to me in time for the tourney (I will do a review of it some time soon). After getting setup we sat around the fire listening to Joe Koenig play the guitar and sing. I didn't get to the tent until late setting the alarm on my phone to five a.m.

Photo via Fisheye Channel
     I thought there would be a traffic jam with that many fishermen trying to get ready, but it turned out to go rather smoothly. Seeing how my wheels were out of condition I just drug my kayak through the grass from the day use area to the beach. It was great meeting guys from the site I have interacted with on the forum but never met in person. The swell was tame and people were eager to get on the water. It was amazing watching people leave the beach heading out of the bay into open water
Via Fisheye Channel


    I stayed back on the beach for a few minutes, there is no rush getting into the water a minute or two late. Watching people get in was interesting, some guys slid into the water the got onto their yaks in a smooth motion and others not so much. One guy drug his yak to the water and sat down only to be left back in the rocks, he sat and waited for three more swells until he slowly paddled away. I was in awe because most launches like that end up with a wet guy that has to pick up some gear. It was perfect conditions for all the fishermen involved to get off the beach quickly and safely.
 
       Willy and I got on the water and we decided to start fishing kelp patties. Occasionally we'd drop down on spots in between when we spotted marks on our fish finders. The wind and rain were not treating us well though. Besides being blown around the rain made it hard for Willy and I to see through our glasses. We got blown around tangled in the kelp for about an hour and a half before I got my first fish. A grass rockfish ate a polliminner.   Not a real big fish but it was good to break in the rod. Willy had the next fish when he managed to snag a lingcod in the side with a jigging iron. Most of the radio chatter was people complaining about how weak the bite was. We got to a spot a little deeper in between two dense patches of kelp an I saw some strong marks above some rocks. I dropped down and immediately hooked into a ling. I pulled up the reddest ling I have ever seen, but he was just above the legal limit so he went back down.  I dropped my rig in the same spot and had a hit after a few jigs and pulled up a twenty-seven inch ling.

Yard sale photo Fish Eye channel (not me)
We kept on fishing catching small rockfish here and there but it was not a steady bite. We moved out deeper to fish reefs, but there was nothing out there besides sand dabs. We started hearing reports about rough surf at the beach and chalked it up to people not used to Leffingwell. There were a few yard sales reported, for those of you who don't know a yard sale is what happens when one wipes out on the beach. Gear gets spread out like it is on sale.  Seeing how a lot of people were heading in and I only had two species Willy and I decided to stay out a bit longer and take our time heading in.
Willy paddling in 
Photo via Fish Eye Channel
     
   Willy and I got onto the beach about twenty-five minutes after final check in. No reason to rush because I saw bigger fish on stringers while I was fishing. Being out of the contest helps me relax and enjoy the day more. right as we came in the sun started burning through the fog and breaking up the clouds. If only it would have lasted.



   The spread for the potluck was pretty ineradicable. There was crevice, fresh panko fried fish, fruit, desserts, pasta salads, and all sorts of amazing stuff. Everybody was so nice and cool the food tasted great. I am not sure there is more one could ask for. Raffle tickets were sold and prizes were handed out.

Congratulations Ricci. I hope you enjoy your new Outback. Photo via Fisheye Channel
2013 Cambria Slam Down. Picture VIA Fisheye
    It was an amazing fun day to get out meet new people fish and enjoy my favorite way to fish. Thank you Ryan Howell for all your hard work and dedication in getting this event together and running it as smooth as it went. Thanks Mike and Amy for splitting a campsite with my wife and I. Thanks to the guys pulling people up off the beach making sure no one got hurt. Thank you people who made it to the tourney as well as the members of Central Coast Kayak Fishing for being just awesome. Thank you Fish Eye Channel for the photos (I can't wait to see the video). 
Time to start planning for next year. 

Thanks for reading,

Dan
Check out the forum here:
centralcoastkayakfishing.com

If you need a new rod contact Ed here:
http://4seasonangler.wordpress.com/

Visit Fish Eye Channel here:
https://www.facebook.com/FisheyeChannel