Monthly Archives: January 2013

The rain finally let up last Thursday and it has been nice and sunny ever since. With clear skies, highs in the low 60’s and winds from 5-10 mph, yesterday was too nice a day to not go fishing. With all local freshwater blown out I made the drive down to the marsh to try my luck with the redfish. I figured it might be tough with salinity levels a bit lower due to the rains, but I’m really not sure if that was the case. We’ve had a couple tide changes since it rained and I didn’t fish an area directly impacted by a pump station.

Started the day throwing an articulated crease that Blake tied up. That was the wrong fly to start the day with. It was in the mid 40’s, the fish were still holding to the bottom so they really didn’t move for the crease. I had a few follows and finally got one to eat, but I had to switch flies. I tied on a black clouser that would produce the rest of the day for me.




The 2nd fish of the day was a brute, probably the biggest red I’ve caught on fly from the kayak in a few years. It was a 31″ bull-in-training that put up a hell of a fight. I’ve been exploring this spot since November and I knew that I had a chance at a bull here. At 31″, it’s not much of a bull, but I know the true beasts are out there.









After that fish, I did a lot of paddling. Total on the day was around 9 miles, scouting new areas and looking for bull reds. I picked up a few fish here and there and ended up catching another beast, different species though. A big, ugly black drum that also measured in at 31″. On the surface one would think that a 31″ black and red drum would be roughly the same weight, but I can attest that black drum are much fatter, that thing was heavy, much heavier than the red. The fight was awful. I hooked it and it just sat there. I was basically just pulling it’s weight toward me. It didn’t even make a run when it saw the boat or the net, it just bobbed on the surface like a buoy.





Towards the end of my trip I found this shell bar that was the perfect place for a Cuda 12 hero shot. The Cuda has been a fantastic boat for all of my inshore adventures. With stability that allows me to stand for hours and a comfortable seat for long days on the water. Storage options abound with multiple hatches, a large rear tankwell, and space under the Hi/Lo seat. I could go on and on, it really is an awesome little boat.


We’ve had rain for what seems like every day this past week and based on the rain gauge in my yard it was at least 8″ worth. So the opportunity to get outside and wet a line was too appealing to pass up yesterday during a lull. The silver lining to all this rain has been the temps hovering in the 70’s, so I hoped the bass would be pretty active. I caught a couple nice bass on a black spinnerbait, but there wasn’t a whole lot of action on the water.

Woke up this morning to the first sunshine I’d seen since Bama won the the championship, I was starting to think this was no coincidence. Fished a different pond in the neighborhood and caught ten in about an hour, what a difference a day makes.





 Blake has his own version of a paddle clip belt and he has shared with us how he made it below. The only similarity with the one I initially made is the fact that it holds a paddle. He made his own clip out of PVC and used a lashing strap for the belt. Both versions work as designed and we’ve found them to be extremely helpful when stand up kayak fishing. Not satisfied, he went a step further and made one similar to the Dawgknots belt out of braided paracord. He showed us how to do that as well.

Materials will be listed as they are used in the steps below.

Step 1. Start off with a 4” piece of 1 ¼” PVC pipe. If your paddle has a thin handle, you may be able to get away with 1” pipe, but the bigger diameter is more universal. I also make marks on the top and bottom of the printing on the pipe (it’s just an estimation that is a little narrower than the diameter of your paddle handle).


Step 2. Using a hacksaw (I tried a Dremel tool, but it had too much power and I ended up messing it up), cut along the lines that you drew. Use some sandpaper to smooth out any rough or sharp edges. I used 100 grit. Test the clip on your paddle to make sure that it snaps over and that it’s not too tight that it won’t fit in or too loose that the paddle falls out.


Step 3. Take your strap (purchased at Walmart in the camping section for $2 and change) and place it along the back of the PVC. Use a marker to put a dot on the PVC on the top and bottom of the strap ½” from each end of the PVC. Use a drill to make a hole at all the spots that you made




Step 4. Connect the edges of the holes and then use your hacksaw to cut out the material in between the holes. Sand all edges smooth.




Step 5. Cut a piece of 3mm craft foam (purchased in sheets at Hobby Lobby) and use some contact cement to attach it between the two slots. You may have to use some thicker/thinner foam to suit your paddle, but 3mm seems to be pretty versatile.


Step 6. String your strap through the holes in the clip. I like to clip it onto the paddle and let the cement set.




The paddle clip belt will work perfectly as is. However, if you are anything like me and can’t leave “well enough” alone, then check out the next few steps on adding a braid onto the strap.


Step 7. The first thing to do is to make a jig out of a spare piece of wood. The jig I used is 20” from end of metal ring (purchased at West Marine) to the end of the female end of the clip (use the male end and some extra strap to secure the clip and ring to the jig.)


Step 8. I purchased the Paracord at Lowe’s. It came in 50’ length of 550lb strength (think it was around $10). To make a 20” braid, you’re going to need 25’ of cord. String the cord through the ring. Then string both strands through the female clip, then back through the ring from the bottom to the top.




Step 9. Even out the tips of the cord and pull all the slack from between the clips and ring. The first not of the braid is a simple overhand knot


Step 10. Looking at your first overhand knot, you will notice that one cord comes out of the bottom of the knot and the other comes out of the top. Always start with the cord coming out of the bottom. Bring the bottom cord over and across the top.


Step 11. Bring the top cord over the bottom cord, under the strands, and through the loop made by the bottom cord. Pull tight.




Step 12. Repeat the steps 10 and 11. Pull tight.




Step 13. Repeat the steps all the way down the strands to the clip.




Step 14. String the tag ends through the clip with one going each way so that you end up with a tag on either side of the clip.


Step 15. Use a leather puller (I used a tire plug tool, but a baseball glove leather puller would work better as it is not open on the end) to pull one tag end under one knot on the braid. After it’s pulled through, do your best to tighten up the knot that you just went under.



Step 16. Keep threading the tag end under the knots until you are confident that it is secure. I went under 5 on either side. Trim the tag end and tuck it under one of the knots. One side done.



Step 17. Do the same on the other side. The braid is complete. Now you have 25’ of unknotted cord to use if you should ever need it. I will just take a while to undo the braid



Step 18. With one side of the strap attached to the male end of the clip, thread the strap through the ring at the end of the braid. I like to tape off the strap so that it does not slide in the ring. Sew/glue/knot the strap at the ring. I chose to sew it.



Step 19. Measure the amount of strap that you will need to fit the belt around your waist and trim it. String the strap through the paddle clip, through the male end of the clip, then sew the tag end so that it can’t pull back through.


That gives you a completed paddle clip belt that has helped me catch many reds while sight fishing. Hope it works out for you.