Carolyn and I made a trip to Venice Louisiana recently. We had an outstanding guide in Ronnie Granier Sr. from the Venice Marina. We boated about sixty fishing and had a fabulous time.
But that is not what I wanted to blog about. Nope, I am here to confess we might have the wrong family member guiding this here show. I have included a his and hers picture of our best fish. As you can see the girl won that one easy, but the part I have to confess is her top five fish were probably better than my best. Best part, I could not be happier or prouder.
It was a special trip, she and I have not fished much together the last couple of years, with me running kayak trips and her trying to keep everything else afloat. We just have not gone fishing enough. She has always been “that person on the boat” so it was no surprise that she had the hot hook. But the priceless smile and giggles as she reeled them big ole Louisiana reds in was priceless. So take you wife fishing…...you will not regret it.
Hmmm….January 18, 2016 was really my last blog….damn. Okay so we have had an interesting summer. We started out pretty busy, then had a lull in June and hustled hard in July and August. As always we are very thankful for all the support and business we have received from you guys.
The fishing for the early part of the season was pretty good on flounder and spotty on Redfish…pun intended. We had a lot of good fishing trips. We had some that were dry runs. That is fishing. I always want to have clients catch fish but it’s more important that the client knows we care about their trip.
We have had some great paddling tours. Tours are always fun poking around the marsh looking for whatever you stumble across. I love the laid back vibe of most tours. Folks just wanting to spend some time on a slow ride through nature.
I have fished a little more on my own later this summer. Turned down a few chances to take folks, just to have some time to explore on my own. Never really intended to lose my own fishing by taking others but it some ways that happens. If you were one of the folks that I told to try so and so, while I was fishing sorry, but sometime a Pirate just needs to look for treasure without help.
Things that I noticed this year. More folks owned their own kayaks and wanted to paddle them. It was very cool to see the different set up that showed up at the ramp. We shared ideas and talked rigging. Lots of new folks entering the sport and that is super cool. While so many owning kayaks may have an adverse impact on some of our business, it is really cool to see the sport exploding. I know several guys fished with me one day and then tried the rest of the week on their own. I had a good time sharing their trips, normally texting back and forth on how they were coming along.
Ready to pound some reds as we move into the fall. The reds are going to get a little more predictable if they follow normal suit for us. We will be chasing them either way. Look for us to crank out a few more videos, as I have gotten very interested in the video editing and look forward to improving the visual aspect of marketing our kayak business.
That is enough for now, let’s get tight on an oversize slot fish and take a sleigh ride.
Starting 2016, Paddling Pirate Kayak Fishing Adventures begins our third year of operation. The kayak business has boomed across the area in the past couple of years. We are excited to have been part of the paddling scene the past couple of seasons.
When we started the business, people would look at me funny when I told them we had a paddling business. They never failed to have all kinds of questions. They seemed to just get excited thinking about someone actually chasing a dream that centered on having fun. It has been really neat experience meeting people from all over the country that come to Topsail Island for their vacation. I think we have had clients from 12 states, and a couple of snow geese from Canada.
The first season, I was very proud that we caught fish on every trip that we took someone fishing. It was not always easy but we came away with fish. That streak was too good to keep going. Season two had days that we did not connect with fish, but I know that our clients knew we tried to provide them with the chance to catch. I believe that everyone enjoyed their time on the kayaks.
The paddling tour business has really been a blast for us. I underestimated how much fun it was taking people into these saltwater marshes and just watch them take in the things we take for granted. Nature is a beautiful thing. I have towed kayaks with kids on it. I have paddled with kids sitting on my deck if they were too young to paddle, but mostly I have laughed at them and with them. We have had them young and old, and they all left smiling.
We have been blessed to have some great support businesses that have helped us out. Greg Edge at Jebs has knocked out tee shirts on no notice so that I had them for clients as trips stacked up. Chris at East Coast Sport steering kayak trips our way as part of his guide service. Dale at New River for stocking everything that I run out of or break while trying to make it all work. The folks at Malibu Kayaks that build great stable boats that make it safe to take anyone on the water.
I say all that to say this; thanks to everyone for being part of the ride. We love our little business and hope to continue to deliver BIG ADVENTURES for people that seek fun and fish around the island for years to come.
We are excited to offer our Sunset Paddling Tours this year. We will launch around 630 or 7 pm and paddle until Sunset. These tours should provide outstanding photo opportunities to capture the beautiful Topsail Island sunsets over the natural marshes. We envision these trips as very laid back adventures where the goal is not so much about going anywhere as just enjoying being where you are. We will paddle out and see what mother nature gives us. Each sunset has its own characteristics so every one is new and different.
Summer time presents many challenges at the coast with late afternoon thunderstorms and often windy evenings, but we have had enough people ask for these trips that the Paddling Pirate staff decided to add them to our line up. We look forward to exploring with you on these new adventures. Give us a call to reserve your date.
Fisherman ride over fish every day, we are all guilty of fishing familiar and comfortable. This habit leads us to overlook or skip fertile fishing opportunities. That being the case, I am experimenting with things that will broaden my fishing and hopefully produce more fish.
So one of the things that I added to my kayak fishing arsenal is to fish crab pots or more correctly strings of crab pots. The thought process is that our friends the commercial fishermen travel around all day setting small metal cages full of chum and we should take advantage of their hard work. As a kayak angler, I do not have the luxury to fire up the motor and run ten miles down the water way because I have made several cast without a bite. I float the string of pots and fish normally the down tide side of the pots. They are nicely spaced and pretty easy to read the tidal flow based on their markers.
It is a simple idea but one that produces especially the flat fish. So the next time your favorite spot is dry you might want to consider working that ready man chum line. It just might help you put a few more fish in the boat. Tight lines my friends.
I honestly had taken paddling the marsh for granted. I paddle through it every fishing trip to the fish. My focus was catching fish and the kayak has provided me with a super stealthy way to slip into waters that the best boat captain could not reach simply because of physics: He did not have enough water to get there.
When we founded Paddling Pirate Kayak Fishing Adventures, I was focused on the kayak fishing. My wife, the wise one of our partnership reminded me that paddling tours were popular and that coastal visitors might really enjoy just paddling around and seeing nature. So the paddling tour side of the business was born. She was right as always.
This week I had the pleasure of taking out two very different parties on paddling tours, one a group of vacationers and other professional journalist writing about tourism, both from non-coastal areas. It was fascinating to watch as they explored the marsh. They consumed it all.
Every marker, the different kinds of grass and algae floating in the water, the birds, the fish, and oyster rock everything was in play and they wanted to know about it. I realized quickly that I was no marine biologist but that I had most of the answers to their questions. Best part was they didn’t care about technical stuff just general information.
It became apparent they were on an adventure and I kind of felt guilty for not knowing what to be excited about because, they were so into everything. Then I figured it out I didn’t have to know, it was their adventure.
An example, we met a gentleman paddling through who told them of two bald eagles that had been flying over the area the day before. He had paddled back today just to see if could catch a glimpse of them again. They quickly became bird watchers for a few minutes.
Or the loud sequel, followed by pointing and the nervous explanation that one of them had not expected that big fish to jump out of the water right at the boat.
Paddling tours….yeah after witnessing the adventure through our new friends’ eyes, I can’t wait to take the next group and find more of the Treasures of Topsail exploring the backwaters. Paddle on guys.
Paddling Pirate Kayak Fishing Adventures Inc is excited to announce that we will be a North Carolina dealer for Malibu Kayaks. When we started Paddling Pirate, we selected Malibu Kayaks as the brand we wanted to put clients on for kayak fishing and paddling tours. It only seems logical that we move to offer these great kayaks for sale to our friends and clients.
Malibu Kayak is an American company, manufacturing boats in California. Another important consideration when we selected them. Many of the box store retailers are offering imported kayaks that simply lack the quality and craftsmanship of Malibu Kayak.
In founding this business we developed this mission statement:
Paddling Pirate Kayak Fishing Adventures is focused on taking sportsman and non-sportsman alike fishing. Our goal is to provide a safe, fun and affordable outdoor adventure to our clients. Our adventures will be custom fitted to the clients’ skill level and interest. We will remember that it is the client's adventure.
Our secondary focus will be to provide clients with a unique and different method of fishing by utilizing kayaks. Our kayaks have been selected for their stableness, fish ability, and ease to paddle. We want the client to learn, enjoy and become addicted to kayak fishing leading to a lifetime love of paddle sports.
Establishing a dealership for a quality kayak company like Malibu Kayak is simply another step in fulfilling our mission to provide clients a platform to become addicted to paddle sports. Now let’s go paddle!!!
As we close the door on February and move to March, the Paddling Pirate Kayak Fishing Adventure is getting geared up to start booking trips beginning April 1, 2014. So I figured I would do a quick gear overview.
I selected Malibu Kayaks to be our kayak. We will be paddling the 14’ Malibu Stealth and 14’ Malibu X Factors. Both kayaks feature superior stability and track great in the water. For folks that do not paddle, Tracking is simply the boats go straight when paddling, which really makes a difference during several hours of fishing.
I have chosen Penn reels for the fishing reel of the Paddling Pirate. We will be fishing the Penn Fierce Reel which provides dependability and power which when saltwater fishing is two things you need. In the salt you can find some BIGGGGGG fish and they put your equipment to the test. We are hooking those Penn Fierce reels to Ugly Stick Pro Lite rods the 7 foot medium action rods. Those rods are tough and offer a great feel. The reels will be rigged with Power Pro Braid. We want to give our clients the best chance of landing their catch of a lifetime. We also have Dot Line Nets for each kayak this year these compact nets were designed for trout fishing but are perfect for kayak adaptation. They are nice deep nets which make landing that big red or flounder easier and safer.
For safety, I have purchased Ascend high backed personal floatation devices (PFD) or as we say down home life jackets. These jackets are comfortable and made for paddling. Each life jacket has a safety whistle and safety knife attached. One of the keys to safety in a kayak is being seen so I have constructed light poles with high visibility safety flags so that other boaters can see us while out on the water. Additionally, each guide will have a mobile marine radio equipped with emergency Coast Guard Channels.
The camera system of the Paddling Pirate will be a mixed bag. I will film with the Go Pro and Sony Action Cams. Both are high quality sports cameras. The still photography will be Cannon Powershot or Cannon EOS Rebel. We plan to offer free uploads of photos to our clients so we want quality equipment in the field.
I think that is a pretty good overview of what you can expect to find on our trips equipment wise. I almost forgot, I know our friends have seen the Paddling Pirate t shirts, and many have asked are we selling t shirts, they answer is yes. We will offer t shirts for $12 and XXL for $15. Or you book a trip and get one for free.
Excited to start this new venture. After all the talk about starting a fishing guide service, this website is an important part of our overall plan to share Kayak Fishing Adventures with our friends, our future clients or anyone interested in kayak fishing.
With retirement from law enforcement drawing near, this venture has provided me with a great opportunity to combine may passion for fishing and my passion for people into one something that I hope to find rewarding and satisfying. Now back to fixing this site so that I can say I am not unemployed once I retire. Life is great, just live it.
30 years of Law Enforcement and never felt like I worked a day, Because I loved my job. Made choosing a second career difficult. But combining fishing, kayaking, and people into a Guide Service just seemed to fit.