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
#2 The Blood Knot- A more difficult knot to tie but a stronger knot than the double uni.
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…
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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#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.
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 *
Hey everybody and thanks for stopping by again, today we will be covering weather and how it affects activity below the water’s surface. There are many things about weather that influence fish ranging from approaching weather fronts, pressure systems, and temperature but the most important factor is by far the atmospheric pressure.
Weather fronts & systems
Fish are extremely sensitive to changes in atmospheric pressure, whether it’s caused by approaching fronts or pressure systems. The pressure variations just before a cold front or approaching system triggers fish to become more active and feed closer to the surface. Some of my best fishing action inland and in saltwater have been during some pretty nasty weather that we probably shouldn’t have been in. Trust me from experience when I say when you’re in a storm so bad your fishing rods are signing to you from static, its time to go. Once the system has passed through it can be like somebody flipped a switch instantly and all the fish have lockjaw. Once the pressure starts to rise it can be very hard to coax a fish to bite without finessing a lure directly in front or getting a reaction strike out of natural instinct, because most active feeding has stopped.
Fishing during a light to moderate rain is one of the experiences I love most about fishing, it can trigger feeding frenzies no matter what type of water you are fishing. Bass and panfish know rain brings things falling from the sky and topwater bites can be some of the best you will ever have in your life during a good rain. while fishing the flats for redfish and trout when the rain started you knew it was time to throw on Alameda Rattle Cork and start drifting over potholes or the rocks in Baffin Bay in south Texas, and there is nothing more exciting than seeing your red and green rattle cork disappear in between waves. Just remember to be careful, tropical squalls and summertime thunderstorms can pop up out of thin air on a bluebird day and put yourself in an unforgiving situation. Use sound judgment and when in doubt get the heck out.
The high pressure following the weather systems
When the pressure starts to rise and settle into the area you will get the dreaded “bluebird” days, where fishing is slow and hunting is slower. The fish will sulk and settle around bottom features, structure, and the schools become more scattered and clumpy than usual. Targeting fish in high pressure almost always consists of three things, finess fishing lures, fast moving baits to cause reaction strikes, or live bait. The fish become so lethargic that it becomes very hard to locate the concentrations. When you do find a fish on a fast-moving bait in high pressure you will become much more productive if once you catch a fish on fast movers, switch to a jig or soft plastic and work that area hard, the results will speak for themselves.
In conclusion there are many more weather features to discuss when it comes to fishing but they will be covered on upcoming posts much closer to when they happen such as how to fish the dog days of summer, fishing the spawning cycles of bass and crappie and so on. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you back for some more posts! Have a safe weekend!
The weather this week has kept me from any kind of fishing.
Hello to everyone stopping by! We have added a new page to the site called “Hand tied flies”. It displays pictures of the flies I tie in my tiny shop and use for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. As I tie more flies and come up with new patterns I will update it weekly and as more fish are caught using each individual fly I will add to the description and captions what fish it catches and how it was fished. Below is a link to the new page.
Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave comments on the new page and new photos on which flies you like. If you really like one of my flies I will make one or two for you to try out yourself. I am not currently selling them as I am new to making flies but I look forward to the day I have enough interest in my flies to sell them.
Come back later this week for our next post covering why weather affects the behavior and feeding patterns of fish during weather changes.
Hey everybody and thanks for swinging by AptoOutdoors.com, Please feel free to comment below. Today we will be covering the basics of surf fishing in the outer banks. Its mid February and today the low is in the high teen’s so fishing has been slow but every day we get closer to higher temperatures the bites will increase. Hopefully whether you come to the outer banks on vacation or live close by this article will help you catch fish.
The basics of surf fishing-
Surf Fishing is quite simple, the fish stage on the edges of sandbars and deeper sections between the sand bars called “troughs” or “guts”. These locations provide ambush points for larger fish and congregation areas for small bait fish, which leads to a food chain cycle that will bring every fish into the surf from tiny glass minnows to sharks
What baits to use-
There is no shortage of types of dead and live bait to use in the surf. the most effective in the outer banks regardless of the time of year would be dead shrimp, blood worms, and sand fleas also known as mole crabs. Artificial bait sections can be intimidating to a new surf fisherman, so here are a few artificial baits that will catch fish in the OBX. Gulp swimming mullet in chartreuse catches fish whether worked on a jig head or literally left hooked on a bottom rig and left to sit on the bottom. A Gotcha plug or Silver spoon is very effective in catching bluefish, occasional red drum, spanish mackeral, and other predatory fish in the surf, I have even hooked a Mahi from Janette’s pier in the summer months on a Gotcha Plug.
What Rigs to use-
A two hook bottom rig is the most effective way for a new fisherman to fish the surf, it provides two baits per rod which is helpful when dealing the pesky bait thieves in the surf. One thing that is important to note is the wave and current the day you are fishing, if the waves are small to nothing a 2 ounce weight will be enough to hold your bait but the larger the waves the larger your pyramid weight needs to be. If your weight is to small your bait will drift down the beach. #2 Saltwater hooks are small enough to catch sea mullet and puffer fish, and strong enough to catch drum and big pompano, but if you are targeting larger fish use a heavier hook as to avoid bent shanks and lost fish.
Where should i fish the beach at?
Beach fishing on vacation can be complicated, the beaches get crowded and I have literally had parents tell their kids to play in the water underneath my fishing lines, the best advice for beach fishing the summer months is to get out of the towns and go to the beaches away from the vacation homes. Generally speaking the further south you go the better the fishing. I Mainly Fish summer months from before sunrise to around 11 am. by that time beaches get crowded and fishing slows down a bit. Our family will go shopping during mid day and I’ll come back to fish the evening to sunset when the beaches are empty again. If you feel like kayak fishing there is no shortage of shipwrecks within a quick paddle from shore if you research them.
I hope reading this article was helpful to you and starting in march i will have instructional videos covering surf fishing on the site and our you tube account.Thank you for reading and come back to see use next week.
Hey Everybody and thank for stopping by Apto Outdoors.
I can write every week about things I love to do or things I have done, but I would like to write based on topics suggested by my readers. Leave a comment on topics you would like to see coverered over the next 2 weeks and I will do my best to cover it. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom section of this post of the topic you want to see covered. Thank you for stopping by and our first Reader-Suggested Blog will be posted Monday February 6th.
As always stay safe enjoy your outdoor adventures and come back by to request and read the next 2 weeks of user submitted blog topics!
In the United States one of the things most of us learn to do at a young age is enjoy the outdoors, whether its fishing, hunting, or any other outdoor activity nothing else comes close in my eyes. But recently in my life I have noticed more and more people forgetting the reason why we do this.
Everyone has memories they hold dear with their family and friends, the reason why I enjoy the outdoors is the make memories. If you ever find yourself going on a fishing or hunting trip by yourself, make every effort to bring someone with you. Many times I have had a awesome experience in the outdoors and since I was alone, I had nobody to share that moment and experience with. My fondest memories are going places with my dad. Even the trips to Academy sports and outdoors were fun experiences growing up.
This week’s blog was short but very meaningful to me. I hope you all have a great week and never forget, the outdoors is a huge part of our lives but never let it consume your life. Cherish the memories you can make during your life and be safe. Thank you for reading and we hope to see you back next week. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter and instagram for more photos and updates.