So, at a point I forgot to start coming back here to report on catches and the such, but we definitely did some more fishing.
I was able to get out a few more times towards the end of the season, up until we started the process of closing on our house and becoming “homeless”. So we have a roof over our head, but it is 30+ minutes away from where our lives are, so we are good to go, just had a bit of a transition to make until we start building on our property in Massena. So, that cut into fishing time and created a lot more working time. Add in the damn COVID shit, and we clearly did not get out as much as we wanted, but still found some time.
As far as memorable trips, one Monday morning, the boys were studying virtually from home, so clearly I said let’s blow it off and go fishing. So we did. It started off a little slow, but then we were able to get into a few fish dropshotting below Long Sault dam. Keegan got his first bass and it was hilarious, as he was yelling that “the water is trying to take my rod”. After moving around a bit and finding some nice shallow water with what seemed like some activity, I hooked into a really nice almost 4 pound smallmouth and man, the fight is just so fun.
Didn’t get back out too many times on the kayak to actually fish because of the move, and being 30 minutes from where I am able to keep my kayak and even farther from my gear.
As far as what is planned for 2021…
Well, first, I have joined SlayNation Upstate NY kayak bass series. The hope is to fish in at least 2 in person tourneys. Right now, that might be Oneida in May and Saranac Lake in August, if all goes to plan and work isn’t absolutely insane with the COVID. Hopefully we will be moving back to Massena as soon as we can get something built and livable.
As far as gear, I will still be using almost exclusively SixGill rods and reels. I have added two kayak rods from Sixgill (halfling), one in a ML and one in a M. So that will put me with carrying typically 4 rods on the kayak (6’9″ ML Halfling with 2000 Reaver, 7′ M Halfling with 2000 Reaver, 7′ M casting rod with 8.1:1 Cyclone, 7′ MH Akylos with 2000 Reaver). I really want a 7′ MH Halfling, but currently they are not made, they make them all longer, which is not something I want in the kayak. I have purchased any casting rods from Sixgill yet because I am not sure I am going to keep using casting reels until I get more comfortable with them.
As far as the kayak itself, I really like the kayak except for the weight. I am waiting to get a hands on look at the Crescent kayak my father in law has ordered (Crescent Ultralight, 50lbs). My current Feelfree 11.5 v2 weighs 87 pounds bare, adding in 17.5 pounds for the gravity seat. I have a hard time getting the kayak on top of my current vehicle. I am looking closely at the Crescent Lite Tackle which is 75lbs including the weight of the seat. This would allow me to rooftop the kayak and go more places without having to tow the kayak trailer. I might end up just buying a Crescent Ultralight if I like it enough to be my lightweight rig and then use the Feelfree for tourney stuff. I am still undecided if I plan to add a trolling motor to the kayak (have a Newport Vessel 36lb and my GPS motor guide that I could put on).
Related to tackle, I need to get a better inventory of what I have, and organize my soft plastics and swimbaits. I have added some whopper poppers, and some new hard crankbaits, so just need to get them in appropriate labeled containers which I have a pretty good handle on once I get the new stuff.
Also related to tackle, I am going to try to make an effort to support some smaller businesses. This year, most of my soft plastics that I purchase will be through Baitcave.com. This company was started by Riley Phillips who is a fisherman from Missouri who started making soft plastics in his basement. What got me hooked was his personality and the fun he has making the baits, and to top it off, he goes live every Sunday to talk with his followers as he pours the baits. It is a very entertaining chunk of time that has been fun to watch and listen to him talk and interact with the people watching the feed. From fun in his basement, he has turned it into a full fledged business with good pricing!
I also purchased a new floating kayak net that I like with rubberized netting. It has a short handle, so I need to find a way to extend that for use on the kayak, while still keeping it floatable.
So here is to 2021 and hopefully June gets here quickly so we can go after bass again, even though some of the tourneys are on open waters for catch and release before St. Lawrence river open season!