Tag Archives: OBX Fishing

Braid to Mono Leaders

Braided line has revolutionized fishing in the last 15 years, Now you can have a 20-30 lb line on your reel, with a 8-10lb mono equivalent diameter and twice the yardage of line on your reel. But braided line can’t do everything, It is stronger and more durable, but it also stands out dramatically in stained and clear water. One way to get rid of this problem is by tying a mono leader to the end of your line. The mono leader not only gets rid of line visibility near your lures, it provides a shock leader and some level of stretch for the larger fish you catch.

One trick I do is that when I tie a leader a tie a 4-5 foot section of leader, this eliminates the need for me to re-tie leaders after I switch lure and cut into it as often on the water, and provides a larger section of line not as visible to the fish. This saves time in my kayak and therefore gives me more time to target the fish.

Here are the two easiest and in my opinion best  knots that you can tie to go form a braided line to a mono leader.

#1 Double Uni Knot- By far the easiest and best Braid to Mono Knot

uni_to_uni_knot-ask_a_captain-the_online_fisherman.jpg
Courtesy of The onlineisherman.com

 

#2 The Blood Knot- A more difficult knot to tie but a stronger knot than the double uni.

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Courtesy of FlyFisherman.com

Affordability vs Quality

A common question among beginner kayak anglers or people looking to get into kayak angling is what kayak should I get to start out with.Unfortunately that question can’t be answered.  Every aspect of the different kayak brands better suits one style of fishing or one style of angler. Today’s post will be covering what all you should consider before purchasing your first fishing kayak or your next fishing kayak.

Price Vs Quality-

The price ranger of kayaks can ranger from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, and with so many brands out there it can get overwhelming with which kayak you should buy. I just purchased an Ascend FS12T kayak. And I was torn between the FS12T and FS128T, there is a $250 price difference between the tow and the only added features are a much wider stable, yet slower kayak you can stand on when looking at the FS128T. The FS12T is cheaper, more maneuverable but slightly less stable and can carry less cargo. My style of fishing is mostly in rivers and creeks so I don’t need a ton of gear and I’m not really looking to stand up much, so I spent the extra $250 on upgrading my tackle and gear. And that is where the arguments start.

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FS12T on Left, FS128T on Right Photo courtesy of Texasfishingforum.com

How you decide which kayak should factor in these three factors.

#1- DO you NEED the added speed and features?

I would love to own a  Hobie mirage drive kayak, but at the price difference of the lower end kayaks I can’t justify spending the extra thousand dollars on a added luxury of feet propulsion that I think will get in the way more than help. However, if your fishing larger bodies of water or open water beyond the breakers of the beach it would be extremely useful. So deciding what features your looking for is completely unique to your style and your fishing area.

#2 Would I rather have the more expensive kayak, or spend the extra money on new tackle and gear?

This decision was a no brainer for me. I would much rather buy a $700-$1,000 dollar kayak and spend 300 on tackle and gear than buy a $1,300+ kayak and have no new tackle in my tackle box.

#3 Do i want stability or speed?

A common tradeoff with kayaks that don’t have a foot propulsion system is that the fast the kayak generally the less stable. The FS128T is one of the most stable kayaks out there and at $899 its a heck of a deal compared to the wilderness systems kayaks or Hobie’s. But with that stability comes weight, bulkiness, and slower tracking speed. So once again the perfect kayak is up to your personal preference.

SAFETY NOTE- My job is Long range search and rescue. I have had many cases where I have been looking in large areas for missing kayakers from the Great Lakes, to the Atlantic Ocean. When you chose the color of your kayak please chose something that contrasts the water you fish. If you have to get a camo kayak, and you fish blue water, get a green or tan camp, if you fish brown water get a blue or green camo. Imagine our thoughts when I’m told where are searching 500 square miles at an altitude of 1,500 feet for a missing kayaker in a camouflage kayak. Always plan for the worst case scenarios happening and always file a float plan with a family member or friend. ON MY PAGE MENU BAR THERE IS A LINK TO A BLANK USCG FLOAT PLAN THAT COULD END UP SAVING YOUR LIFE ONE DAY.

 

 

 

Throwing flies at bass.

Hey everyone, today’s post is for our fly fishing friends around the world. I’m going to go over three tips and tactics for getting more bass to hit your flies! All shots are from a trip this week in my Cobra Marauder Kayak.

Man-made structures.

Never pass up casting at structure.
Never pass up casting at structure.

When throwing flies into barns or along pier pilings and bridges, what I like to do is smack my flies against the surface of the structure so that it falls almost straight down or bounces slightly and makes a small noise. What I am trying to duplicate is a bug or critter falling off the structure or running into it and hitting the water. Bass and other predatory fish will hit your fly before they even know exactly what it is. When your fly hits the water let it sit for 10 seconds and you will be surprised with who many hits you have with no lure action. The fly hitting the water is the first action and many times the only action you need.

Natural submerged structure

Submergerd structure such as bushes or tree limbs offers great habitat for predatory fish.
Submergerd structure such as bushes or tree limbs offers great habitat for predatory fish.

Submerged trees, bushes, limbs and other debris provides the natural habitat that aquatic life has been living in for thousands and thousands of years. everyone has a honey hole where there is one piece of structure that has produced fish for as long as you can remember. When one fish leaves another takes it’s place. That’s why you can catch a linker bass in a certain pocket, and a few days or weeks later another bass of a similar size is in that exact same spot. the video below shows how bass stick to structure even with a lot of fishing pressure. If you hook a bass and lose the fish or he misses the bait on his strike, go back a few days later for a second chance.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/C6hP7w7FHSM&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Kayak fishing 101

Hey everybody and thanks again for checking out the blog, today’s post will be covering  Kayak Fishing 101, my 7 steps and tips to becoming a better kayak fisherman and also touching on some safety issues.

#1  Keep your rig simple,don’t do this…

Courtesy of www.tenthousandislandskayakfishing.com
Courtesy of http://www.tenthousandislandskayakfishing.com

A crowded kayak is no friend to a fisherman, snag hazards and frustration can set in quickly, and if there is one thing I have learned form kayak fishing over the last 8 years it’s that if something can catch your hooks, it will. If something can go wrong during your trip, it probably will.  I have hooked myself, bird-nested bait casters to the point of cutting all my line off, and broke rod tips by hooking my rod behind me. A simple less crowded kayak will result in less gear but pay off in the quality and enjoyment of your fishing trips.

#2 Have a float plan with a friend or family member-

A USCG float plan might sound stupid , but in my 7 years of serving the the Coast Guard performing search and rescue nothing helps in a speedy recovery more than properly filled out float plan. A float plan consists a complete description of your vessel/kayak, the equipment you have available to you, but mainly focuses on your planned route and stopping points. When you fill one out you leave it with a family member or friend and if you haven’t returned by a certain agreed upon time they call the coast guard with the information given on the float plan. Below I have filled out and example and there is a page on my main menu with a blank float plan you can save to your computer.

Scan 4

#3 Safety equipment-

The most important thing to have on your kayak is a handheld VHF marine radio set to CH 16 or 156.8 MHZ for distress signals. You might not be the person who needs help another kayaker could be close by and having an emergency and you could be his or her saving grace.  The safety equipment I have on my kayak at all times consists of the following. An Atlantis VHF handheld radio, a Orion marine emergency signaling kit, a Firefly strobe light, my PFD, emergency water and next month I will be purchasing a 406 MHZ personnel locator. A good trick I learned form watching Ty Southerland on his  30Milesout Youtube Channel is I use frozen water bottles as my ice , it cools my catch and also serves as my emergency water rations.

Courtesy of www.farmandfleet.com
Courtesy of http://www.farmandfleet.com

#4 If you’re new to kayak fishing, try to reach out and go on trips with more experienced yak fisherman.

A beautiful factor of today’s technological world is the availability of kayak fishing forums on the internet and group pages on Facebook. If you are new to the sport its best to learn and shadow other fisherman you can go fishing with or meet on kayaking forums. Make no mistake their experience will teach you everything they have learned not to do over the years, saving you from making some of the mistakes and learning hard lessons along the way. Plus you might be able to get a couple of spots to fall back on during slow days.

#5 Wear protective clothing-

Sometimes people look at me funny when its 80 degrees outside, and I’m wearing full fishing pants , a long sleeve fishing shirt, a hat that covers my neck, a buff that covers most of my face, and Buffusa.com’s performance gloves, but at the end of the day I’m more protected from the sun, not burnt, and have a less chance of developing skin cancer from my kayak fishing trips. Every male member of my family has had melanoma skin cancer from fishing ,so I take it very seriously.

Courtesy of www.Tackletour.com
Courtesy of http://www.Tackletour.com
Courtesy of  www.BuffUSA .com
Courtesy of
http://www.BuffUSA .com

#6 Be versatile in your species targeting- 

My love is saltwater fishing, whether I’m fishing the flats or paddling offshore for some larger species I love saltwater fish. But there are plenty of days where I can’t drive to the beach 45 minutes or I can’t dedicate a long period of time for a trip. If I can’t fish saltwater I will immediately target bass and panfish in the creeks and rivers by my house. My favorite way to target bass and panfish is with topwater or floating flies. I even fish large ponds in my kayak when I can’t make a big water trip. Be very adaptive and try new places and styles of fishing. There are many days where your primary target species isn’t going to bite and you have to adapt. There is nothing wrong in my book with spending a day catching large ladyfish and jack’s or false albacore. Although they are considered trash fish by most people, large Lady Fish are some of the best fighting fish you can catch inshore.

#7 Should I use a GPS/ Depth Finder?

A good GPS/Depth-finder is one of my favorite things about my kayak, I don’t have to guess the bottom features of my surrounding areas, I can easily target structure listed on navigational charts, and I can view the depth fish are active in when fishing structure or even drift fishing along in my kayak. My GPS unit is a Lowrance Mark 4 HDI, I used it in my aluminum boat for duck hunting and fishing before I sold it with the arrival of my daughter in November 2014. My favorite way to utilize my depth finder is when targeting fish around bridges and submerged structure, I can clearly see the bait suspending and can adjust my rigs and presentation accordingly to better target the predatory fish on structure.

Courtesy of www.Lowrance.com
Courtesy of http://www.Lowrance.com

I hope these tips better help you understand some basics on kayak fishing and I will have more posts on different types of gear and homemade items for kayak fishing in the future. Thanks for stopping by and good luck out there. Always remember to be safe, no fish is worth putting yourself in a dangerous situation or jeopardizing your safety.

Please leaves comments below to help me on my future posts.

How to catch fish in the outer banks.

Hey everyone thanks for stopping by Apto Outdoors, the water and air temperatures are finally starting to warm up which means puffer fish and sea mullet are soon to follow. Today’s blog is going to be a short and simple article on the easiest ways for local surf fisherman and tourists to catch fish along the beaches of the outer banks.

What bait do i use?

I have seen everything you can imagine used as natural bait for saltwater fish. The number one bait to use in my opinion is dead shrimp. It will catch just about everything. If you want to spice it up I add a piece of fish bites shrimp flavored pink artificial bait to the hook as well.

What rigs do i need to use?

A simple bottom rig with a 2-5 oz pyramid weight and no. 2 long shank hooks will catch everything from puffers to skate to red drum. The smaller the surf the less weight you need to use.

www.ioffer.com
http://www.ioffer.com

Where do i need to go to fish.

The easiest way for tourists is to go to a pier because your fishing license is included in your pier fee. But don’t be fooled, you can catch fish anywhere from the beach as long as your are putting your line in the water. My favorite spot is the Coquina beach access area. Colder water can catch tons of whiting and puffer fish, otherwise called “sugar toads” in NC/VA, and warmer waters in the summer and early fall yield spanish bluefish and good size pompano.

North Carolina Citation pompano on sand fleas.
North Carolina Citation pompano on sand fleas.

Can i eat a puffer fish in NC?

Yes i love to eat the NORTHERN PUFFERS, they are not lethally poisonous but there bile can still cause some serious food poisoning. Below are the pictures of a northern puffer vs a horned puffer. ONLY EAT THE NORTHERN PUFFERS.

One of my favorite ways to catch fish is to put a small piece of shrimp or a sand flea on a small hook, about 2 feet under a popping cork and i fish it just past the beach break. It produces fish consistently and is a lot of fun for younger fisherman and your kids.

Northern Puffer

Northern Puffer Fish = safe to fillet and eat. CAUTION The bile will cause food poisoning but does not contain tetrodotoxin
Northern Puffer Fish = safe to fillet and eat. CAUTION The bile will cause food poisoning but does not contain tetrodotoxin

Horned Puffer on left – Northern Puffer on right.

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Getting ready for a new season of fishing.

Hey everyone and welcome back to AptoOutdoors, Today’s blog is going to cover getting your gear ready for fishing after a winter of sitting in the garage.

#1 Check your line-

Braided line has a tendency to weaken and fade after a season of use. An easy trick to avoid 45 dollars of new line for each spool a rod using the braided line from another . You are essentially putting the old line at the base of the reel and utilizing all the perfectly good line that was buried the previous season.  For fly fishermen and mono users  go over your line very carefully, if you think it could be replaced it probably needs to.

#2 Re-Stock on tackle and gear-

Make sure your tackle box is stocked again with what you use the most. For me what I go through the most is saltwater hooks, bottom rigs and popping corks. Go over your lures and see if any treble hooks need to be replaced. A common practice that has been hitting big with saltwater fisherman is to replace the treble hooks on topwater lures and suspending lures with circle hooks, providing an easier hook removal and survival probability for under-sized fish.

#3 Buy some Fish Grips-

A set of Fish Grips is something I consider an essential item. It doesn’t matter if I am fishing Freshwater or Saltwater, Inshore Or Surf, I will always catch something I don’t feel like touching or putting my hand near its mouth. Fish that come to mind are Pickerel, Bowfin, Snakehead, Rays, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Sharks  and other species make you cringe and really wish there was a way to get your favorite lure back. Fish Grips make that happen by providing a great way to firmly grab the lip of a fish and remove the hook or lure with ease.

Courtesy of Yakoutlaws.com
Courtesy of Yakoutlaws.com

#4 Safety Items-

If you don’t own a good first aid kit buy one, if you don’t have a CPR Mask or device Buy one, if not for the safety of the people on your boat do it for the other boaters who you will find having a bad day. We are all out on the water together regardless if someone is in your spot or acting a fool when bad things happen its better to be prepared. I can’t count how many times we have pulled our boat to someone flagging us down to find a wade fisherman stung by a stingray , and old man who hooked himself, my dad even pulled up to a drifting boat to find a 70 year old man clinging to the other side of the boat’s rails. His anchor had broke free while he was wade fishing and by the time he grabbed hold of the rails he hit a drop off and his waders filled with water. Always be prepared to help out other  fisherman. if something on the water does’t look right it probably isn’t right and you should always go check it out.

In conclusion one of the most important things to do is get out and fish. New structure is waiting to be found, new honey holes ripe for the taking, and good memories are waiting to be made this summer. So go out have fun, catch fish, but most importantly remember to be safe. No fish is worth risking putting yourself in a sketchy situation. Thanks for reading and come back next week.

2015 Apto Outdoors Bucket List.

Hey everyone and thank you for swinging by. Today’s quick post is covering the yearly goals  or the “Bucket List” for the blog and youtube channel. As soon as i can start getting out on the water and getting videos there will be episodes on YouTube. below is the month by month Bucket List.

FRESHWATER BUCKET LIST

  • Crappie- catch a 1lb or larger crappie on the fly rod.
  • Bass- Catch a 5lb bass or larger on the fly rod
  • Chain Pickeral- Catch a 20 inch or longer Pickeral on the fly rod
  • Rainbow trout- catch my first rainbow trout on the fly rod *

SALTWATER BUCKET LIST

  • Pompano on the fly rod from surf
  • Bluefish on the fly rod from the surf
  • Spanish Mackerel on the fly rod from the surf
  • 20 inch or longer Red Drum on the fly rod
  • 18 inch or longer Speckled Trout on the fly rod
  • Flounder on the fly rod
  • Bonita on the fly rod from the surf
  • Atlantic Mackerel on the fly from the surf

HUNTING BUCKET LIST

   WATERFOWL

  • Green Winged Teal Drake
  • Blue Winged Teal Drake
  • Mallard Drake
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Bufflehead Drake
  • Bluebill  Drake
  • Redhead Drake
  • Canvasback Drake
  • Wood Duck Drake
  • Ringneck Drake
  • Canadian Goose
  • Snow Goose