Yesterday was the maiden voyage with the new yak. What one needs to realize is the difficulty of getting a 12 foot 60 lb boat out of my small apartment, down the stairs, out the the parking lot, and loaded onto the car. Now you might say, "60 lbs? I can haul that around with one hand", which is what I thought but, up and down the stairs is the hardest part...and the way my body feels today, I should make a workout video like "If you've got a door...you've got a gym", but instead "If you've got a kayak, you've got a gym." Even with the WheelEez, it was tough. Then getting the boat up on top of the car and onto the foam blocks and strapping it down. Of course, getting the boat off of the car and into the water takes a bit of gumption too....at least there are no stairs. You've really got to love doing this if it requires this much effort. I really think that Malibu should include Beth Phoenix or Randy Orton with the purchase of any kayak larger than the Mini-X.
There was no swanky send off...no champagne bottle across the stern...no cheering crowds (except for the one guy giving the "get the hell out of the way, I'm trying to launch my boat" cheer)
As you know, I like to travel light when I'm fishing. So, outside of the 60 lb kayak, I've found that I take even less than if I was wading. In the center console, I have a flybox, leader material, scissors, multitool, watertight dry box with camera,keys, cell phone and smokies, as well as a few jigs with jigheads, chopped shrimp for chum, and a first aid kit. Other items would include a PFD (Personal Floatation Device), spinning rig, and fly rod....ok ok...maybe I'm taking more stuff than normal, but it just seems like less....what I'm trying to say here is, you won't see me out there with a kayak that has fish finders, GPS, a poling platform, outriggers, bimini top and a trolling motor. If I wanted that, I'd just go get a flats boat.
Now to the fishing part.
After getting the kayak into the water, I found it to be super stable and handle well. The V hull really cuts through the chop and defies the wind for the most part.
One thing that I learned - rig up your fly rod before launching because it's a huge pain to try to do this in the boat.
After drifting across the flat with the wind blowing east to west, and the current running west to east while rigging up, I found myself on a deep grass flat (4-5 feet deep) with sand pot holes pock marking the area. I tied on a Crystal Shrimp and cast to a pot hole about 20 feet away. The fly hit the water and as I was stripping like crazy to get the slack out, WHAM! Fish on....a nice 12 inch spotted seatrout...first cast. Now, a 12 inch trout isn't gonna introduce you to your backing with an 8 weight, but it's big brother might. My personal best spotted seatrout was 46 inches...a true gator trout by any standards. Was expecting more trout as they usually hang out in large groups, but only got one more on the day. Again, inexplicably, I didn't take the camera out....
I was really amazed at how much water you can cover. In 5 hours, the distance traveled was about 100 times more than I could have done if I was wading for 8 hours.
After loading and unloading after paddling all day, I'm wiped out, as you might imagine....to add insult to injury, I'm the recipient of a really bad sunburn on my legs from the knees down. I was wearing board shorts, long sleeve skull shirt, fishing hat and buff. Looks like I need to invest in some Bullfrog 80 SPF.