Started out last week heading to the East shore area.
We fished the out going tide, me putting away my arties and attempting live shrimp. Rubin caught his first Red on an Artie! Great start the new.
The flats then erupted and Dave had a nice red on.
she was a 27" fighter.
me, ah well, lets say I should have stayed with my arties. ended up with 4 or 5 rays, puffer fish, cat fish and some monster lady fish.
Next was a try a little further south. After only a couple of casts, Derick Burgos jumped the biggest Snook I have ever seen on a DOA CAl. MONSTER she jumped 3 times and two big runs....then broke his 25pd leader. Derick estimated she was over 45".
later I did find a few trout and Derick took home a nice red.
ok, I knew that Snook was on the flats, went back a couple of days later...bad tide (yep that's what I'm saying lol) found some reds, and more trout, but not the monster snook. Red and Trout were on a 12 fathom paddle tail.
Met up with Henri White on Saturday and headed to Dunedin. I was going to try out a soft plastic I had not used before..Called KWiggler...you bass guys will know about this. We followed the mullet and each ended up with 2 reds CPR and Henri took home a 19" red on a spook Jr.
yesterday, headed to north shore with David and Luis...David swore the wind would not be an issue. Well it was...lol. Fished a new area, found some trout, flounder and a ton of puffer fish...I was getting cold, so we left early.
all in all a great trip around the Bay! Bent rods and Tight lines!
This review has been about 1 year in the making, but I felt strongly enough about the product to do a write up on a product that most kayakers should seriously consider. The Powerpole Micro Anchor.
Some background on myself and how I came about getting a Micro powerpole (PP).
I'm a pretty diehard fan of kayak fishing; I guess I've been doing it now for about 7 years or so. However, I also own a 17' skiff - specifically a Sailfish 17' CC with a 90 Yamaha. It had been relegated to Grouper and poon fishing but recently I added wade fishing out of it. I use it as a means to get to those places the kayak takes to long too get to.
I'm also one of the cheaper people out there. My skiff was bought used off ebay for $8500, my kayaks are all used and cost $200, $400, and $750. The $750 one included a trolling motor. I fish Wright MacGill rods with Sabalo reels and drink Yeungling beer - it's cheap and it tastes good.
So when PP came out with the Micro Anchor for $600 - just for the unit I was thinking, well I'll just stick to my cheap homemade fiberglass 1/2" manual one. Who needs a fancy gizmo like that on the kayak. After all kayaking is all about the simplicity.
As luck would have it I ended up winning the PP in a Southshore Angler Tournament in March 2014. Gator trout are my nemesis and on a windy day I lucked into it - so how lucky? I happened to get on a 24.5" trout and figured we'll that's good enough for third and I'll call it a day. I paddled in and entered my fish - I was actually the first person at the weigh in (mainly because of the wind), and I wanted to hydrate on some cold adult beverages. At the weigh it it turns out that was a very good thing. All the winning fish were 24.5" long, and on a tie the earliest fish entered wins. The winning prize? A PP and a gift certificate to TA Mahoney's. I really didn't need the gizmo, but figured I could sell it for well below the cost of the certificate value and make some easy cash - which I did right at the weigh in. Only catch was I would get paid over time, and for a friend I would and did. Fast forward 5-6 months and the friend looks like he's going to sell the boat - so I gave him his money back and with the gift certificate went and picked up the PP at TA Mahoney's.
I talked to Matt Stafford about my boat and kayak and he said the micro would be a good match, but I would need an extra mount for the kayak. Still skeptical about the need for it I figured I could give it a while and push come to shove if I don't like it I'll sell it.
I came home with all the cool stuff and actually found a motor mount for my wilderness Commander online. The Commander had a reinforced stern that was made for a trolling motor, but this bracket was an after market gizmo. Here's the link.
Here's a pic of all the stuff.
I went about adding the bracket to my Commander in all of about 15 min - bit of quick drilling in the preallocated area and viola, the motor mount was in place.
Next was the PP mounting bracket - here's a profile pic.
Here it is mounted.
I then attached the PP unit itself.
All of this was pretty easy work; everything was built to fit and it did perfectly. Using a 6 volt battery I had I added my cheap solid fiberglass rod. My initial thoughts were - "Man is this stuff heavy". I've got a big 6 volt battery in the bow and another heavy unit on the stern. Luckily when I was talking to Matt he had said that a new lithium battery wold be coming out. Honestly I didn't feel like dealing with a bunch of wiring for the skiff much less the kayak.
Unfortunately I had to wait another 2-3 months as the battery was undergoing a bunch of QA and PP folks don't mess around. They want it right the first time...so the unit sat at home some more. One day Matt at TA's called me up and informed me that the battery had just come out, and they had one waiting for me. I was there the next day. I was pretty stoked about it picked it up, charged it and mounted it.
I was pretty impressed by the size and it felt like a brick. Here's some size reference.
Finally cooking with gas I paired up the remote AND my smartphone (backup in case the remote fails) with the PP unit. I attached the unit to the kayak and threw the kayak into the truck. Bad idea - there's a lot of extra weight back there and the kayak flippity flopped around. Fortunately PP had set up the unit so it was easily removed - call it 30-45 seconds. The quick release helps loosen the unit, but you do have to unscrew the entire unit off. I put the unit in the front of the kayak and off we went.
At the launch site I had my doubts - I had rigged the unit on the stern again and thought it would hit when I took the kayak out. Nope. Situation normal. With a steep mud embankment I was convinced that I would drag the unit again, but things worked out nicely and I found myslef on the water soon enough. Paddling I didn't feel the extra weight.
The first test was on some mullet where I got within 30' or so. I pushed the remote twice and deployed the PP. Nothing spooked out and hoping for some mixed in Reds I was able to fish the school without any issues. Hmmmm...pretty convenient; certainly silent. No clanging anchor, no pushing and pulling of rods. Just a simple push of a button.
OK...more fishing was in line for the day and when I rounded it out after a solid 5 hours I checked the battery meter. I was at 4 out of 5 bars. Sweet. What I did find really nice was that if you got on a large fish you just double click and up she goes and you're now drifting along. Once the fish tires down, drop anchor on two clicks and your solid again.
I did the same for 4 more trips until I exhausted the battery - I was pretty sure it would wear out quickly especially in my style of fishing. I tend to drift/hunt, fish, drop anchor, pick up anchor, move on...however, it really did seem to hold the charge nicely. At minimum 3 trips before a recharge and 1 week between trips. So no complaints there. The fact that I didn't have to wire anything was even better.
Couple few weeks ago I was able to test the unit in some pretty serious wind. +20 knots. So you're saying to yourself..."Sure it was +20 and it was snowing too." Well...I probably wouldn't have even gone out, but it was a SSA tournament and I pretty much go to those no matter what. I had checked windfinder and it reported gust of +25, and the fellow anglers that were diehard enough confirmed that it was nutty at best. Regardless I was standing in the kayak with water coming over the stern AND the PP held firm. When standing you really catch all the wind can throw at you and create a bigger profile - I was doing this to get farther casts. So how do you stand up in 20 knot winds - lock the legs out on to the gunnels and "become one with the boat". Once in a while I would double tap again to really bury the spike, but the kayak was REALLY moving around. The only issue I saw was that the homemade 1/2" spike I have will slide in serious winds. It states in the owners manual 3/4" is the one to use. But hey I'm cheap so 1/2" is what I'm using for now.
An added bonus of the PP is that I seldom use a sea sock now. Normally the kayak will get all squirrelly in the winds, but with the PP I can drop anchor easily to straighten out the boat. I've been trying a partial spike deploy to see if there's enough drag in the water to straighten the boat, but so far no luck. So I just drop anchor all the way to get straightened up; pull anchor and drift some more. It's a real bonus IMHO.
So...what the verdict. Let's break down the cost:
- kayak mounting kit $20
- extra mount for skiff $35 (in theory the micro PP will hold 1500 lbs - I suspect I'm right past that limit - so we'll see; my understanding is that the PP guys put it on the bow of a 22' flats boat and tested it out)
- spike - mine was $10; you can buy several 3/4" spikes for $50-100
- the unit itself $600
- battery and charging unit $200 (note I have read reviews that on skiffs it can fall off under way - zoinks!!)
Wow that adds up pretty quickly - you can hit $1K after taxes. Heck my used Wilderness kayak cost $750 with a trolling motor. So would I buy it at $1K?
OK - I'm going to take the political answer here, because it depends. Here goes:
If you only find yourself fishing a couple few times a year - no it's not worth the cost.
If you find yourself fishing say 8-10 times a year you're at that spot where it's almost a luxury item, but it could still be worth it.
If you find yourself fishing +10 times a year yes - it's more than worth it.
If $1K is barely a dent in your annual vacation - then yes buy it.
If you find yourself winning it at SSA tournament - then heck yeah, spend the $200 for the battery pack and keep the unit.
I can tell you it has changed my style of fishing and for the better. I spook less fish; I spend less time messing with anchors (thereby fishing more); I can be much more stealthy; I fight fish better.
I listed a long list of positives - let's list the negatives:
- it ain't cheap - you're looking at $750-$1000
- IMHO kayaking is meant to be simple; adding electronics to the kayak takes away from that aspect and you're no longer "a purist"; in other words, "it's one more thing to go wrong"
- it adds weight - about 9/10 lbs; and yes I still carry my manual anchor - so I'm pushing about 90 lbs for rods, kayak...that's pretty heavy at the end of a long fishing day.
- the spike around back can get in the way of casting/fighting fish
- it slows down the "let's get on the water now" process - I put my PP on at the launchsite; I also have to remove it at the launchsite
- in the event you go to a local watering hole after fishing you need to secure it inside a vehicle (someone will take it in less than 30 seconds if you leave it out there)
Final verdict, after using it about 8-10 times and knowing what I know now I would buy it, but it would take some time to justify it. Perhaps a birthday/xmas, scrape together some gift cards, and then buy it. That said I would find a way to buy it. It's not a cheap item, nor is it a must have, but if you're serious about fishing it's really worth it. Which - BTW - I've told many an angler when they see me using it and ask 1) "What's that?" and 2) "Is it worth it?"
Two items that are outstanding - mounting it to the skiff, and a time trial. (How long will it last?) Based on the fact that I read a couple batteries falling off the skiff I'll probably hard wire it.
This is a late report from October 30, 2015, right before Halloween on a Friday. This time of year has kept me very busy with family and I haven't had too much time to be very present on the forums.
I took the day off to go fishing with Elli (my 4 year old daughter) on the gheenoe after she got out of school. Of course, I had to fish before picking her up at school! Snook, is what was on my mind and when I started walking I spotted a tank overslot that didn't want anything to do with my fly. LOL. Then I walked down to a nearby oysterbar and found a bunch of sheeps that I decided to cast at. After casting at these convicts for 30 mins one actually ate my fly. It was a super fun fight on my 6wt.
Then I ran into a solid school of good sized black drums and proceeded to drop my crab fly in their face. Finally to my surprise, one of the drum slurped my fly and I set the hook. As soon as it knew it was hooked it took off for the nearest dock. I totally got lucky and was able to turn the fishes head before getting broken off on the dock. After a good while of tug of war the fish gave up and came into my hands.
It was now time to leave and pick up Elli from school. We get in the car and head out to the launch right at the bottom of the lowtide. Not long after we get to the 1st stop Elli catches 2 rat reds. That was fun but Elli kept talking about how she wanted a BIG fish. Time to move again and search for some bigger tails. As soon as we pull up I spot a solid solo red sitting on a sand flat in 2ft of water. fish on and the reel is screaming! Elli, starts yelling daddy this fish is too BIG!!! LOL. She did almost all the work of fighting the fish and only needed my help in the end.
The rest of the pics are just from the past month of fishing from shore, gheenoe, or on the paddle board.
I'm seeing plenty of fish from my platform in their normal haunts, but they are lathargic most likely due to the number of cold fronts weve had the lasf few weeks. Equalize your swimbladder on your own time mr Red I want to catch you!
In addition they just may not be in your area get out the old gold spoon and do some casting.
Hello all.... First time poster on this forum. Been a member of Florida Sportsman Forum since 1999, a member of other forums as well... Primarily a wade fisherman, as I am boatless, and prefer to fish during the week. So most of my reports are just that. This past weekend (yes, a weekend!), Saturday, a buddy and I waded a flat on the West side of Sarasota Bay. At first light, I was rewarded with a nice topwater spook snook, nice 25" inch fish. Rest of the trip was all about the trout. We grabbed about 15 or so trout from 10 to 15". Most of the trout were taken on DOA Shrimp in a variety of colors. No pics this trip. But since its my first post.... Ill share some pics of fish caught wading locally!
Porker is for sure!!! I need to get a nice camera so I can take different pics of the fish. I tried to get the best shot of this mike linebacker, but it's hard using my iPhone for photos when I'm solo.
I wanted to hit one of my fall/wintertime spots this past Saturday to see if any Reds were up against the mangroves - we had a real nice high tide around noon.
Well, I guess a lot of people had the same idea as I did because there were a ton of boats there. Damn high tide allowed the boats access to this area - normally, boats cannot access this spot. Oh well, didn't bother me none as I planned on moving around a lot and these boats were anchored up.
I start working a mangrove line, trying to keep my kayak positioned just right, but it was hard with the tide and wind. After about 30 minutes of working the grove line, I see a boil turn towards my lure. Fish awn!!! This 24" Red had some attitude because he pulled me right into the mangroves. My kayak was taken over by mangrove branches and I took one to the eye, but hey, I landed this 'lil feller. Sorry the pic is so horrible, but I was engulfed by the mangroves.
I wanted to get out of the wind for a little bit, so I cruised into the heart of this area to see if I could spot any fish. Besides catching several rat Reds, there wasn't much going on in the back waters.
I made my way out to the open flats again and started working another mangrove line. I cast my lure and as soon as I take one crank, a huge boil erupts and grabs my lure. Right away, I knew this fish was bigger than my last one. I palm my reel and muscle this dude away from the groves so I can fight him in open water. I finally get him boat side and happily grab this beast to put in the yak. I put a quick tape on him and he measured 28". This has got to be the chunkiest 28" Red I have ever caught.
I started working the shoreline again and ran into a school of about 15 tank Redfish, all upper slot to over slot but they didn't want anything to do with me. It was just nice to get out and see these Reds staging up to start making their way to the backcountry.
After catching two pretty quality fish, but having horrible pics, I have come to the conclusion to finally pull the trigger on a camera. I have researched the WASP and really like it for the simple fact that you can control the camera from a "wrist watch". What do y'all think, the WASP or GoPro???
Ty and I put in at 6:00 a.m. in Ozello, way before sunrise. 7 mph wind and high tide and we headed to an area on the outside that we wanted to explore. Got my first small trout (14 inches) on topwater at 6:30 and then not long after that, around 7:00, and in the exact same spot, I caught my first decent sized Snook (25.5 inches) on topwater, too. We roamed around and explored a bit and then I caught my third fish, a 21 inch red, but this one was on a shrimp and circle hook. It's a nice feeling to out-fish my husband once in a while Not sure if the pictures will load correctly, though. Great Day !!
A few days ago, I decided to get out and throw some flies at some snook off the seawall. I started off just throwing some gurglers (topwater) at some snook that I was spotting. After missing two blow ups from some slot snook, I cut off the gurgler and retied on a white baitfish pattern. A few good sized sheepshead show up and are hanging just outside of the snook. Now sheepshead NEVER eat flies when I cast at them and I just decided to cast at them anyways. My fly goes right by this sheepshead face and it actually charged my fly and ate it. I instantly set the hook and start freaking out. It was a great fight on the 6wt and I somehow managed to trick one more sheep into eating a fly after this one was caught.
This was a big 1st for me and I doubt that it will ever happen again. Haha
Boggs- I actually liked the music, it was a nice change from the typical... But since YOU mentioned not to give you a hard time about the 80's music, it only fueled the fire for a few stabs hahahaha!
Keep it up bro!