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Monthly Archives: April 2012

The first weekend of JazzFest didn’t disappoint this year. Amanda and I had a blast hanging out with our friends in the Quarter and out at the Fairgrounds. Got to see Amanda Shaw, Shamarr Allen, Cee-Lo, Tom Petty, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John, and the Boss – a nice mix of local talent and big name headliners.

Petty put on my favorite show with a mix of hits and tracks from his Mojo album, plus acoustic versions of “It’s Time to Move On” and “Learning to Fly” and a sweet cover of “Travelling Light” by JJ Cale. Unfortunately we had to leave Cee-Lo early before the Goodie Mob made an appearance in order to get a decent spot for Petty. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue were pretty awesome as well, they ended their set by having all their band members switch instruments, without missing a beat, pretty badass. Springsteen also put on a great show despite a few hiccups. He probably had the biggest crowd we saw all weekend. We had a great spot though since we set up shop the entire day at the main stage. I haven’t been to JazzFest since college and I’m not sure why, looking forward to next year.

Here are the pics:

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Basically no bodily fluids in a New Orleans cab

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Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs

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Cee-Lo

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Tom Petty

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The Boss (a little closer than Petty which was the day before)

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Crowd shot

This video was a lot more entertaining in person

Traveled down to Plaquemines Parish this past weekend for the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour event held at Delta Marina in Empire. The IFA format is catch-photo-release redfish and speckled trout. Your score is the combined length of your biggest redfish and trout. 34 people showed up to fish the event despite the less-than-stellar weather. A cold front moved into Louisiana over the weekend and Sunday’s post-frontal conditions included high winds, 20-30 mph – nemesis to any kayak fisherman. You could feel the wind shake the cabin at Delta while laying down to sleep Saturday night. Not exactly the confidence boost you want pre-tournament.

There was a chill to the air Sunday morning with the wind howling. The silver lining was the fact that I didn’t see a single bug all day, that hardly ever happens in the marsh.

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At the launch

I fished for trout in the early morning anywhere I could escape the wind. I started picking up rat reds and got on board with a 16″ red. No trout though, so I pressed on, paddling straight into the wind to hit a pond that I knew I’d caught redfish in before. The tide was out so the water was low, I wasn’t sure if I could even make it into the pond, especially with the NW wind blowing the water out. I did make it in and I was greeted with a pair of redfish, backs fully exposed from the tops of their eyeballs to the spot on their tails, crawling around on the mud flat eating crabs. I flipped a jig in front of one of them and after a short fight had him in the boat, 23″. Not bad. By the time I caught him, measured, and took a picture, the other red had moved on. I kept going around the perimeter of this pond and picked up a 22″ red, then another upgrade, a 23.5″ red.

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23″ red

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23.5″

I learned my lesson in the first IFA tournament I fished and now try to pinch the tail for all my fish. Squeeze out every inch you can out of a fish. All the reds in that pond were sight fished, never thought I would be able to do that in 30mph winds, but when the water is low, dirty, and rolling, they have no clue you are there. I was literally hooking and catching them right next to the boat. It was a lot of fun. I left the pond, went back into the bay, to again try for the trout. I fished the rest of the day for trout, trying several different lures, but nothing was working. Water clarity all day wast not what I was hoping for, but there were some pockets of clear water where I was optimistic. I found myself in the same position I was in for Paddlepalooza, except this time it wasn’t a flounder eluding me, it was a trout. A 12″ trout would have netted me 5th place.

Results: http://www.ifakayakfishingtour.com/tournaments/2012/empire_12.html

Congrats to Steve, Clayton, Adam, Devon, and James, all fellow BCKFC members and solid anglers at that. I ended up 13th with my 23.5″ red. There were only 8 people who caught both species and only 20 people caught fish. Conditions were tough and it was reflected in the results. I looked at Weather Underground to see what the observed conditions for Grand Isle, LA were on Sunday and it showed winds at 23mph and gusts up to 39mph.

I  was not very optimistic on the drive down, conditions were going to be tough and I had not fished the area in a long time. However, even with the tough conditions, I had a great time and am happy I was there. It was actually a really pleasant day, the sun was out and the bugs were nowhere to be found. The Cuda exceeded my expectations, slicing through the wind, I never felt it was a burden to paddle, even directly upwind. The rudder was a big help in drifting shorelines, definitely worth it’s weight in gold on a day like Sunday. Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to put it all together and bring home a check. I’ll just have to keep fishing these tourneys until I do. The next Louisiana IFA event is in Delacroix on June 17th.

I’ve been out of town all week for work and haven’t had much time to update the blog. Flew back to Baton Rouge this morning and got a chance to upgrade the rack on the my truck with some Yakima products I purchased last week while picking up my Coosa at Pack & Paddle. I got the railgrabs and a boatloader. My crossbars had previously been held up by U-bolts I bought at the local hardware store. They worked great, never slipped, but the exposed screws would scratch my kayaks. I suppose I could have remedied that with some plasti-dip, but I figured I should just go ahead and do it right, hence the railgrab purchase. The boatloader should hopefully solve my issue with loading the Cuda by myself when coming off the water. It is just an extension bar I can rest the front of the kayak on, then load the back on top the rack, basically giving me another set of hands. I like to load my boats upside down on the crossbars, without any saddles or other accessories. The paddle stager on both the Cuda and the Coosa fit the Yakima crossbars perfectly, so the boat sits pretty nicely directly on the crossbars.

Before:

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After:

Blake recently fashioned up a rod holder for his truck bed that should work better than, well, nothing at all. He documented the process and was nice enough to share it with us. His workflow is below:

I have broken a few rods in the back of the truck when it’s loaded with ice chests, kayaks, seats, and gear. To solve this broken rod problem, I moved the rods in the cab on the passenger side with the butts on the floor and the tips near the roof in the extra cab. This works, but I have three issues with this method of transport. The first issue is the fact that the hooks tend to catch into my seats. The second is that the passenger wasn’t comfortable and was always worried about hooking themselves. The third was the noise made by rods clanging and popping corks rattling. So, I set out to design a rod holder for my truck bed that would hold the rods out of the way when the truck is fully loaded. I didn’t like how any of the aftermarket rod racks pointed the rod up in the air above the top of the cab. I’m almost positive that I would go under a low clearance area and snap them all. Here is the design that I came up with. Haven’t tested it a whole lot, but I have driven with it fully loaded without issue.

Materials:

Tip: As with all pvc projects, it’s best not to glue anything until you are sure everything fits.

– 1 ¼ “ pvc

– 4 end caps

– 2 female to female 90 degree elbows

– 2 female to male 90 degree elbows

– 2 eye bolts and nuts

– 2 bolts, washers, lock washers and nuts.

– Berkley rod holder

– JB water weld

– Exterior textured spray paint.

I decided to build the rod holder using the two over head rack mounting brackets located on the side of the truck bed.

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I mounted two of the end caps in the bottom of the bracket. This helped to take some of the play out of the bottom of the rod holder. I had to modify the caps to get them in the bracket. I used a dremel and a hacksaw. I used the bolts, lock washers, washers and nut to mount them. It was kind of tricky, but I was able to worm my hand up the side panels of the truck bed to get the washers and nuts on the bottom side of the bolts.

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Measure two lengths of pvc to fit into the modified end caps and extend out of the bracket and above the rails of the truck bed. Then mount the 90 degree elbow.

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Now that the bracket is done, it’s time to start on the rod holder. I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures, but it should still be pretty self explanatory. Mount the M-F 90 elbow to one end of the pvc pipe. Then mount the rod holder to the length of pvc pipe. I initially used the wood screws that came with the rod holder and later changed them to short bolts and nuts for more security. Once the rod holder is mounted, the other cap can be fitted on the bottom. The reason for the holes in the elbows is to lock the rod holder arms in whatever position I want them in (I use the eye bolts and nuts for this).

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Once everything fits, it’s time for some gluing and finish work. I wanted to make these things appear as if they were welded and sprayed to match the sprayed bed liner that I have in my truck bed. I started by filling all the cracks with jb water weld. There may be better options for this, but I liked the fact that it is waterproof, sandable and paintable. Didn’t get a shot of it all puttied up, but I went around the whole rod holder and all the pvc connection areas. After a day of setting, I used an electric sander to sand it down to look like it was welded.

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The final thing to do was spray paint it to look like the bed liner. Again, there may be a better paint for this, but it is what I had on hand. I bought some of the sprayable plastidip to try also. It just peeled off. One thing I like about the set up is that I can put it in three different positions to suit whatever circumstances that I am dealing with. See the final product below. One thing that isn’t included in the photos is that I used a hex head bolt to secure the rod holder in through the hole in the side wall of the truck bed (see earlier picture of inside of the truck bed). The hex head replaced the bungie cord that is in the pictures below.

Option 1. Tailgate down. Kayaks on other side of the truck bed.

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Option 2. Tailgate up. I use the holder in this position when I don’t have the kayaks

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Option 3. Tailgate up. Truck bed full of stuff. Going camping or something like that.

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Hope it works out for you . Enjoy.