Friday, October 10, 2014
Releasing the Kraken at the Boondoggle X
To have the newest Jackson Fishing Kayak the Kraken, a Jim Sammons Signature Kayak at the Merritt Island Boondoggle was going to be my personal goal. Of course I know that will be a goal of other Jackson Fish Staff members as well. So as soon as I was allowed I placed my order for the Kraken with a note that I would love to have the newest fishing kayak from Jackson available for the Boondoggle X.
As the departure date for the Boondoggle approached I was starting to get the feeling that my goal was not going to be met. So I loaded up the Jackson Big Rig with the Power Pole Micro-Anchor. I decided that I would just concentrate on redfish and trout at Merritt Island, Mosquito Lagoon, and the One Thousand Island area. That afternoon just when I was leaving work, Dave from Time Out Sports in Mt Pleasant sent me a text with a picture of the Sexy Shad Kraken waiting on me to pick up. I wasted no time and headed over to the shop. I did notice that the KKrate had not shown up yet. That did not manner at least I will be able to release the Kraken. Dave helped me load up the Kraken on top of the Big Rig. I went home to pick up Marian and we were on the road to the Boondoggle.
As we crossed into Georgia, Dave called and told me that the KKrate showed up. He explained to me that he contacted Lewis will pick up the package. After all Lewis will be heading to the Boondoggle and camping with us. With Lewis’ help the Kraken will be complete for the release.
Thursday evening when Greg and Lewis arrived and camp was established, we sat down to decide where to fish, a great location to release the Kraken, and possibility a super area for the first paddle of the Kraken. We decided to launch and fish the Cape Carnival Jetties. Earlier there were reports of bull reds, triple tail, and flounder being caught. So we decided to test our skills and me to test the Kraken out in water for which it was designed.
At the launch site we got lucky and there was a bait shop. So I decided to get some live shrimp to use to see if I could get lucky with any triple tail near the various buoy markers out at the end of the jetties. I also picked up some frozen sand fleas to fish along the rocks of the jetties in the hopes of finding some sheepshead.
My initial opinion of the Jackson Kraken was how tippy the kayak felt. This is mostly due to the fact that I have living in the Jackson Big Rig for nearly a year which is a very wide kayak to make it stable enough to stand up in. The next thing I noticed was how fast the Kraken is. While paddling across the harbor towards the rock jetties of Cape Carnival I was leaving Greg & Lewis behind in my wake. Maybe this is a bit of a story but Uff Da!! I’m an angler after all.
The next thing that I noticed was how far back the rod holders on the KKrate are. I could not reach behind me to grab a rod from these holders. The only way to reach those rods on the back side of the KKrate you will have to sit side ways on the Kraken to get to the rods. I was really surprised about the stability of the Jackson Kraken when I maneuvered to sit side ways to reach the rods for exchanging for another. Sitting sideways also provides me the ability to change my position and with the stability of the Kraken I can make these shifts comfortably without worrying taking a dip into the water.
As I approached the rock jetties I stopped paddling and prepared a rod with one of those sand fleas. The next think I noticed that the glide of the Kraken was not slowing down and the jetty wall was getting closer. I had to put the rod down and start paddling backwards to slow the glide down. This motion of the Kraken to continue in a straight line is one of the factors that makes this kayak as fast as Jackson Kayak claims about the speed that the Kraken has.
While fishing the Cape Carnival rock jetties you could see large schools of finger mullet or bait fish swimming parallel to the wall traveling into the harbor. So I tried to keep the Kraken as close to the rocks as possible in the hopes of a sheepshead, tripletail, bull red, or something just to put some slime on the Jackson Kraken. Eventually I managed to get a hookup after several misses. My hookup was a small hairy blenny on a sand flea. The hairy blenny is such a cute little fish that enjoys hiding in rock crevices just like the ugly toad fish that I’m very familiar with when I’m fishing the Charleston Jetties.
I managed later to get another hookup on another sand flea. This time I managed a nice mangrove snapper. These fish are very popular with anglers because of their light and flaky flesh. For me on this boondoggle I was going to release this small 10 inch snapper.
As we continued to fish a Coast Guard patrol boat showed up and told us that we had to head back to the boat ramp. A submarine will be heading out to sea and that this area needed to be clear. We started paddling back to the ramp. We waited a while and eventually the submarine appeared. It made its way out to the open ocean. Lewis, Greg and I decided it was time to head back to KARs Park and visit the vender’s village.
On my first time out on the Kraken, I was really impressed with the ease and speed of the kayak. I would definitely recommend the Jackson Kraken to anyone that is looking for a fast paddling kayak for the open ocean, large harbors, and even for the great lakes. Stay tuned on further adventures in the near future from me as I continue to test the Kraken in different conditions to see how the kayak handles the conditions that Jackson designed the Kraken for.