Sunday, October 12, 2014
Boondoggle X Testing of the Kayak Kaddy
Day 3 of the Boondoggle we decided that we would try out the area near Cocoa Beach called the Thousand Islands Conservation Area. This is a 338 acre site that consists of a lot of mangrove islands in the Indian River Lagoon south of the Minuteman Causeway. The islands have many channels that provide great paddling and fishing opportunities.
This will be the area that I will test out the Kayak Kaddy with the Jackson Big Rig. The Kayak Kaddy is a floating storage device that glides behinds your kayak, canoe, or stand up paddle board. The Kayak Kaddy will hold and protect your items while you are on the water. It only weighs eleven pounds and has a storage capacity of nearly 1.25 cubic feet. This device will be a great addition to my kayak fleet.
The Kayak Kaddy that I received for testing at the Boondoggle was configured for fishing. In the fishing version it comes with a Viking Flush Mount Rod Holder, a YakAttack Mighty Mount on the bow, two YakAttack 4” SpectraLite GearTracs installed on each side of the hatch access, and a YakAttack 8” GearTrac between the hatch access and the flush rod holder. The Mighty Mount on the bow and a 1.5” screwball, a YakAttack 12” Dogbone, and installing a Mighty Mount and a 1.5” screwball on the rear of a kayak will provide a rigid connector between the kayak and the Kayak Kaddy. The other tracs provided will provide a different GoPro recording of the action. This will give a different perspective that someone is recording the action.
After connecting the Kayak Kaddy to the Jackson Big Rig it was time to head out to paddle to determine if I notice a drag like when you have a bait bucket towing along and to catch some fish. The first thing that I noticed while paddling down one of the many channels in the Thousand Islands Conservation Area was nothing. It was like the Kayak Kaddy was not behind me at all unlike when I have towed a bait bucket while fishing. This new kayak tool will be great. The Kayak Kaddy will be great for those kayak camping trips allowing you take a few more things along. The Kayak Kaddy is capable of storage up to 50 pounds in tow.
Now I don’t have that much in the Kayak Kaddy but I did have a casting net, 35 feet of rope and a small Grappler Anchor, some drinks, and other items that did not need to come along but I kept them in the Kayak Kaddy. As I would cast towards the small openings between the mangroves, I still did not notice towing 14 plus pounds behind the Big Rig as I drifted/paddled along. My first hookup was with a small tarpon using the Slayer SST in the chicken on the chain color. Unfortunately the small tarpon pulled me into the mangroves and broke-off. I pushed myself back out of the mangrove branches and having the Kayak Kaddy connected with the Big Rig using the Dogbone, the Kayak Kaddy easily came out of the branches was the Big Rig pushed the kaddy.
I continued on my way paddling and fishing as I went along from one mangrove island to the next. After an island or two, I had a hook up with another fish of some type. This time it was a small redfish. The first thing I noticed was his color was a little different from the redfish that that I have caught in Charleston. He was much more reddish bronze when compared to the copper color that there is back home. I’m sure that the variation in color is contributed to the minerals in the water between different locations. When I was growing up in northern Minnesota, experienced anglers claimed that they could tell by the color of the walleye when that fish was caught. Is it true? I’m not sure but maybe to get a good answer one could contact a biologist that specialized in fishes. They could provide a scientific answer to prove the urban legend on variation of color amongst similar species.
Eventually I managed to paddle out to the last series of mangrove islands before the wide open Indian River Lagoon. This island was huge and Lewis and I fished the mangrove edge about 60 feet apart. This time I changed from the Slayer SST in the chicken on the chain color to a plastic lure called “Trout Trick”. This is a purplish colored worm style plastic with the body made up with ribbing or small segments that create a vibration. I fish the Trout Trick by hooking it on a 1/8 oz ball jig with a sharp, high quality hook made by Gamakatsu or Owner. I cast this setup up and let it fall. Keeping the rod tip pointed at the lure I give the lure two upward jerks and let the lure fall. This is when the trout or other fish will pick it up. You might not notice the bite but when you reel in the slack line to perform the next two upward jerks you might be setting the hook. This is when you will notice the fight.
In my case I did not hook up on a trout but a nice redfish. As I battled the fish, attempting to keep him out of the mangroves I managed to lose the fish while preparing to ready the Ego net. A few more cast and nothing. So I decided that I would change rods and using Paul's Dinkum Mullet in the pearl grey color pattern. This mullet lure is a slow suspending lure that has these soft bleeding materials in the gill section of the lure. The lure also has a swivel attached to the lure so when tying your favorite loop knot the lure will not twist the line.
I casted the lure towards the mangroves and as soon as it hit the water I had a reaction bite. It was another nice 1,000 island redfish. This one did not get a way and managed to make it to the YakAngler Hawg Trough for measuring. This red measured just over 20 inches; he was photographed and then released to grow up to be a true trophy. Since it appeared that the fish needed some new presented I decided to change the rod out and back to the rod with the jig head but decided to try the Slayer SST in the purple haze color pattern.
Casting the purple haze Slayer a few times I have a huge hit. I set the hook and a small tarpon started his jumping show. This tarpon appeared to be a little bigger than the first one earlier in the day. I decided not to go for a sleigh ride so the micro-anchor was going to keep me anchored so that the tarpon would not pull me into the mangroves. I managed several times to get him close to the Jackson Big Rig but the last run that he made away from the kayak and the Ego landing net resulted in the 15 lb leader to break. Uff da!! So far in my kayak angling experience I have managed three tarpon hook ups; one in Charleston and now two in the 1,000 island area of Cocoa Beach. One of these day I will be able to cross this species off of my bucket list.
By the end of the day it was a great time in this section of the Indian River Lagoon. I managed some great hook ups and battles. I won some and lost some of these battles. However the testing of the Kayak Kaddy in my opinion was a great success. The biggest worry that I had was that I would have noticed a drag while towing the Kayak Kaddy around. I never did notice this newly designed tool for kayaking behind the Jackson Big Rig. The Kayak Kaddy did not create any issues using the Sea-Lect TruCourse Rudder system and the Power Pole Micro-Anchor system.
I would highly recommend the Kayak Kaddy to anyone that is looking for additional storage for a kayak camping trip or a day one the water. The Kayak Kaddy also offers the ability for a do it yourselfer to convert the Kayak Kaddy into a nice floating cooler or maybe a bait/live well. Unfortunately I’m not one of those type of people.
In closing I would like to thank Kayak Kayak for allowing me to test and show this new accessory to kayaking at the Boondoggle X. I need to add that they also provided a Kayak Kaddy for the Boondoggle raffle that raised about $2,000 for Heroes on the Water. Thanks again Kayak Kaddy. Watch for future journeys with the Kayak Kaddy on my blog site Uff Da Kayak Angling Journeys.