11.19.2014

BrookFieldAngler's 2014 Guide To Christmas Presents For The Kayak Angler In Your Life!!

The 2014 "BrookFieldAngler" guide to Christmas Presents!! 

This list is geared toward the kayak angler in your life but many items apply to any type of fisherman! My wife, and internet browsing history, might say that this list is strikingly similar to my own personal wish list and I would have to admit they would be correct.  Everything on here is either something that I already have, use, and/or want so if you have a kayak fisherman who is like myself, then this is a slam dunk guide for the perfect present!!

Without further ado....

1. Drysuit - $250 - $1,000+ 
There are so many good options out there for just about any budget! A couple of key notes.
- Make sure it's a dry suit designed for kayaking and not scuba diving.
- Check each manufacturers sizing guide to make sure it will fit your kayak angler properly.

Here are some links to drysuits that I would want!
Bomber Gear "Bomb" 
NRS Extreme SAR
Stohlquist AMP
Kokatat Gore-Tex Expedition

2. Lucid Fishing Grips - $47 - $64
These fishing grips are a kayak anglers best friend for landing and safely handling fish! Nets are too big and awkward to use a lot of times on a kayak. Besides serving as a giant hook snagger when casting, they also act like a big sail on windy days and can be cumbersome to use.

If you use the code BFA5 on LucidFishing.com you can save $5 on the 60lb version!!

3. Custom Fishing Rod built FSA Customs - pricing varies from mild to wild!!
I have had several custom rods built by FSA Customs and love every single one of them!! Currently, they are working on an awesome Phenix Crankbait Rod for me!! It's best to contact them through their FB page (link above) and tell them what you might be looking for in terms of species and budget. Of course, if you know exactly what the kayak angler in your life wants, then feel free to get specific!!

Pricing does vary but I can say that they are usually very close to what you pay for an off the shelf rod of similar quality.  The difference being that you get a completely custom - made specifically for you fishing rod! You can choose colors, grips, length, action, etc...basically every part of the fishing rod can be completely customized.

4. Korkers Box Car Wading Shoes - $109.99

While these aren't specifically made for kayak anglers, I have found them to be absolutely perfect for it!! I especially like them whenever I am kayak fishing a river as they allow to me easily enter and exit the kayak when I really want to focus on a spot. At the same time, they protect my feet from sharp and slippery rocks and also fit the peddle straps on my Hobie kayak!





5. StankX Bait Co plastics!!
StankX has so many colors and products to choose from and they would all be sure bets but here is my top list of "absolutely must haves"

- Gobius  - a must have if you have sculpins or gobies in the waters you fish!
- Damsel - These are paddle tails that work great as a trailer for spinners or swim jigs!! So many species have inhaled these things it's not even funny!!
- Stix - 5.25" in colors Chitown, JPHHF, and Glo  are by far my favorite colors for stick baits!!
NXT LVL Buzz Frog in colors Leopard for day time action and Stupid Sniper in the Dark for night time action
Sidekick trailer in colors TNT and Black Magic
- NXT LVL Swimz Swimbait in any color they make!

You can catch fish anywhere with these plastics!!!

6. Yakattack VISICarbon light/flag mount - $90
Chances are that if you are buying presents for a kayak angler, you are at least somewhat fond of them and want them to come home safely. This gift makes sure they are seen by boaters in just about any condition and they come home in once piece!

7. Biovex Lure package
Biovex has a ton of the sickest crankbaits and spinners that I've ever seen! They have been proven all over the world in freshwater and saltwater alike. With so many options, I am once again going to narrow it down to my personal favorites!!

Hyper7 Spinnerbait in Firetiger - Spinnerbaits are one of my year round favorite for bass and pike. The Hyper7 just brings it to a whole new level!
AMP Deep Runner in colors Meshback, Blueback, Vermillion, and Shad - Aside from bass, these things are sure to be killer for Lake Michigan salmon!
- AMP Stay80 in colors Clown, Meshback shad, Bass, and Sunfish - Suspending jerkbaits are fantastic when fish are suspended in the water column or just plain finicky. They also are fantastic options for springtime muskies!!
- Face 70 in colors Holo Reflector and Bone - Let's face it...top water bass is some of the most exciting fishing that there is! These will draw some viscous strikes!
- AMP Wake in colors Bone, Wakasagi, Shad, and Sunfish - Just like the Face 70, these are all about surface strikes but use a faster retrieve!

There are ton more options like the Mid Runner and Shallow Runner for fishing different depths plus a ton of color options!

8. Action Video Camera
Capturing a moment, a fish, or entire trip on video ensures that the outing will last a lifetime! There are a ton of options for these cameras out there but I look for one that has the following features:
- Waterproof - this one is pretty obvious
- Remote control option - this allows so many mouting options because you can control the camera from the remote.
- 1080 @ 60fps - this allows for great slow motion shots when you are editing!!

There are a lot more features out there but the above three are my absolute musts! The cameras that I have found that have those features are the GoPro, Ion Cameras, and WASP Cams. There are probably others but these are three that I have found and either used, know someone that uses them, or have found through searching.

The other nice thing is that they can be used to capture family time memories and adventures as well!

9. Hobie Outback or Hobie Proangler
Talk about the ultimate present!

Both of these kayaks are simply amazing and purebred fishing machines!! I personally fish out of an Outback and I am hoping to add a Proangler 14 to the line up next year!! They are each incredibly stable, use the Hobie Mirage Drive peddle system so your hands are free to fish instead of having to hold and work a paddle.

If you are in the Chicagoland, Quad Cities, or Northwest IN region I HIGHLY recommend getting your Hobie from Quest Watersports in Ottawa, IL. They will even let you test ride them before buying!!

10. Powerpole Micro Anchor - $690
I have been drooling over this thing ever since it came out!! Instant anchoring for a kayak with a simple push of a button - dream....come....true! There have been so many windy days or times when I am fishing in current where I wish I had this so I could simply stop and focus on an area without having to reposition myself.

11. Measuring board - $17.99
These are the easiest way to measure the length of a fish!! Also, they are the most widely accepted board in the kayak fishing tournament world!

They come in a few different colors but the most popular are white and really bright green. I have a white one but will be changing out to the bright green one as there are certain tournaments that will only allow that color. Its just easier to read on photos for the tournament organizers so I would suggest getting the green one.

12. Gift Card to Austin Kayak or Hook 1 - $ totally up to you!
If you simply can't decide, these are the two online kayak fishing stores that I use the most. Between the two of them, there isn't a thing your kayak angler can't find!! This is also a great idea to make sure that your kayak angler has all the necessary safety gear like a quality PFD, 2-way handheld radio, lighting, whistles, fishing rod holders, etc....

And there you have it!! Hopefully, this list will take some of the guess work out of finding that perfect present for the kayak angler in your life! If you don't have one of those in your world, send me an email so I can give you my address and you can send ANY of these to MEEEE!!!! 





11.17.2014

New Sponsors!! Part 1

2015 is really shaping up to be a stellar year!!! I have been working and talking with quite a few companies that I believe in to help make it possible to get out more, fish more tournaments, and catch more fish than any year before!! 

With that, I am extremely excited to announce two new sponsors for 2015!! 

Biovex is a Japanese company who's roots lay in the ultra high pressured Japanese fishing world. They have been so successful over there that people here in the U.S. have started to take notice. As a result, BIOVEX USA formed and started taking the U.S. bass fishing world by storm! Big names in the bass fishing world like Josh Douglas, Andy Young (2014 BassMaster Central Open Champion), collegiate superstar Hunter McKamey, and Corey Stanley are all proving how well these lures work here in the states!

In the salt world, mega angler Christina Weber has been showing how awesome these baits work on giant red fish, snook, and those legendary Florida bass. 

My goal, is to put these stellar baits into the mouth of huge Lake Michigan browns, salmon, and smallies! Of course, I will throwing them in rivers and other lakes as well for bass and, hopefully, some early spring muskies as well! 

I have been using StankX plastics for a few years now. They initially started out because they were sick of paying big money for plastics - who isn't?! In a very short time, they had built a name for themselves with plastics that rivaled any big name out there. Over the past few years, they have grown into masters of plastics with so many baits and color combos it's not even funny. So many local tournaments across the country have been won on StankX plastics that it's not even funny. There NXT LVL designs are some of the most incredible looking plastics I have ever seen. The best thing is that they are flat out affordable and made right here in the USA.  Want a custom color that they don't have yet?? No problem - just email Travis (founder and owner) with what you want and he'll make you any custom you want!


Stay tuned for part 2 of the new sponsorship announcements! Once I get all the details worked out with them, I will be introducing them as well. 

Of course, you will see lots of posts on here as well as my social media links with product updates from them.  I am not sharing this stuff just because that's what a prostaff member does....

I am sharing them because I truly believe in all of them. Even if I wasn't sponsored by these folks, I would be using their products and sharing them with everyone I know just like I already do!!



11.11.2014

The Family has officially grown!

As I had been mentioning, my wife and I were expecting our second child and he finally made his entrance into the world last Monday!

Lucas Ryan came charging in at 8lbs 3oz and 21" long and he was absolutely perfect.


Going into this, I had so many fears and one of the biggest was if I could actually love two kids equally. In all honesty, I felt beyond guilty about the idea. Landon (our first son) was the center of our universe. Before him, I had never felt the type of love that I did with him. How would it be possible to feel that for another child? Would I be taking some of that love away from Landon to give it to Lucas? I viewed the heart and love as something that could only hold a certain volume. If I wanted to love a second child, then I would have to take from the first? It consumed me.

A few people I had talked to about this told me that it just didn't work that way but I am someone who doesn't really believe something until I can see and experience it myself. Well, after Lucas came out, I got it. No love was taken away from Landon to give to Lucas. My heart simply expanded its volume to love. I feel absolutely no less love for Landon than I did before yet I love Lucas beyond comprehension. The connection to Lucas was instantaneous.

In the past week, I have spent time with my family as we adjust to life as a family of four. In doing so, I was able to observe and tackle my second fear which was Landon's feelings on having a baby brother. We tried to prepare him and involve him as Lucas's due date approached. He seemed mostly excited and often asked when his baby brother would be here. Still, I feared that he would act out when he had to share in the limelight for the first time in his three years of life.


I was blown away when he accepted with great enthusiasm and excitement his new baby brother. Within minutes, all he wanted to do was hold his baby brother and shower him with kisses. After we came home from the hospital as a now larger family, Landon's infatuation with Lucas only grew. He'd wake up to check on his baby brother. When Lucas cries, Landon gently rubs his head and gives him the sweetest kisses to make him feel better. To my absolute amazement, not only didn't my love decrease for Landon as I had so greatly feared, it actually grew as I watched this amazingly warm hearted and protective big brother bond with his new baby brother. I am beyond proud of Landon and view him so much differently - so stoic, protective, and compassionate. Simply amazing to think a three year old could hold such qualities.

Today was my first day back to work and I miss the crap out of them already so I am going to wrap up this post so I can get caught up and out of the office!


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