This year started off as probably the slowest year I have had in a long time. To say it’s been a struggle or a grind would not be a stretch by any means. It honestly had me questioning some things and some of the moves that I had made over the last 7 months. Looking at where I am compared to where I was just a year ago and it’s pretty clear that nothing is the same.
Change started over the winter when I decided that I was going to scrap every rod and reel that I owned to replace them. Which was not a bad idea considering most of the stuff I was using had gotten pretty beaten up over the years. It took a while to figure out the plan of action but when the fog cleared I did a complete brand change to Abu Garcia. It’s amazing how much a different brand of reel can feel in your hands after years of using another. Now don’t get me wrong I love my new rods and reels but it took some time to adjust.
My next big change was the addition of my Lowrance depth finder. I’ve been a long time fan and user of Hummingbird over the years but given the options available Lowrance got the green light for the season. While most do the same things the picture on each is a little different and it’s really about getting to know the settings. Every graph is different and it takes time to learn the features and how you can apply them to best help you.
Another item that was new for me this season was Mystery Tackle box. As I have written in the past I can get stubborn on the kinds of lures I want to throw vs. what I need to throw. The goal with MTB was to put some lures I probably wouldn’t buy into my tackle box. Like anyone else I spent the early part of the season tinkering with some new lures trying to figure out what I liked and didn’t like. The MTB format is great and not only adds to a seasoned anglers tackle but I feel is a great way for any new comer to the sport to build their tackle bag.
The Power Pole Mirco is my latest change to date and being real with you… I should have done it a lot sooner, like 5 years ago. I have spent a lot of time over the years drifting by spots I needed to be casting to. With no anchor and no way to stop I relied on just being quick rather than fishing a area like it needed to be fished. With limited use I can already tell that this is a tool that is going to make a difference and let me slow down when I need to get in a couple extra cast. It’s going to be the difference in catching a fish or missing the cast all together. Another “pro” to the Micro anchor is hooksets, anchored down should allow me to get the rod into the fish without the boat moving as much. That is something I have really missed in transitioning from a big boat to a kayak.
A major change this year has been my kayak. Since May I have slowly been transitioning from the Jackson Big Rig to the Jackson Liska. There are several things I like about each kayak but there are some big differences when you just switch platforms. The Big Rig offered up so much storage space. I was able to load it down, pad lock the hatches and carry nothing out the door on a Saturday morning. With the Liska I find that I have to truck my gear out every morning and load it up a little different which takes extra time. Both kayaks are fun to fish from but the Liska has a little sportier feel when you compare the 2 kayaks. There are pro’s and con’s to both kayaks but I can tell you paddling the Liska is bliss after a year and a half in the Big Rig. I will get a second Big Rig before long but I am also going to always have a Liska close by. The 2 kayaks both really fit my style and I enjoy having both.
Looking back at what I have done this year it has been one of the biggest transition years since switching from boat to kayak. There’s a lot that I have been feeling out mentally in an attempt to adjust to new gear. When you change that many things there’s no way that something is not on your mind as you dial in the equipment. It’s just little tweaks here and there that you’re going to be making as you go that are going to make a difference. Hopefully I won’t need to make any major changes like I did this season for awhile. I have some really great equipment and now that I have gotten to know it a little better I feel like it’s going to help me along the way. The good news is that I am working my way past it all and am starting to get the wheels back on the tracks again. It’s been a journey and one well worth the extra time it has taken to get to this point.