Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hobie kayak "Fishing Team"

I  just had the pleasure to be signed on to Hobie Kayak's Fishing team.  While on the team I'll be able to work with Hobie and Mariner Sales to promote the great sport of kayak fishing. This will be a great opportunity for me to work with two great like minded companies in the the next coming year.  A huge thank you goes out to Mike and Aris at Mariner sales. I wouldn't have been able to do this with out your unselfish help.

Here's a picture and write-up from Mariner Sales site.

Congratulations to Shaun Russell for being the newest member of the national Hobie Kayak Fishing Team. Pictured with Shaun is Aris Tsamis, owner of Mariner Sails, presenting Shaun with his official Hobie Kayak Fishing Team apparel.

Shaun will be a roving ambassador for both Mariner Sails and Hobie Kayaks at various regional fishing tournaments, goodwill events, and trade shows. In addition to his passion for fishing, Shaun is also personally involved with sharing that love to do good for others, including Heroes On The Water, RISE, and several other projects involving introducing at risk and children of wounded war vets.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Texoma in December

 A few friends and I decide to take a trip to lake Texoma to chase stripers this last weekend. As we loaded up the kayaks for just a brief moment,,,, I questioned my sanity.

When we put in at the boat ramp it was 29 degrees.. Below freezing out on a kayak in a huge lake. What was I thinking..........

It turned out to be a great day though. It warmed up to 50degrees and about a 5MPH north breeze. We had 10-11 Kayakers out this time.

It was great to be out with so many fellow kayak fisherman at one time. I hope this next coming year this number grows.

We covered a lot of water but just couldn't connect with any stripers. Well I take that back. Zombie did catch ONE monster!!

It didn't seem to matter though. We just paddled around the lake and sometimes we didn't even have a rod out the rod holders. Just chatting and enjoying the sunny skies and what God had given us that day.

We did pull up to some rocks on the bank and saw a pair of foxes sunbathing.

This was the first time for me to be out in my new Pro Angler.

It didn't matter that I only was able to catch just one drum for the whole time I was out there.

It was a joy to be peddling around and getting use to my new ride. Hobie hit one out of the ballpark with the Pro Angler. This is one awesome ride!!! :)

At one point I just stopped peddling. I paused and looked around................I took a moment to soak in the sun, the lake, and the day.  I saw that I was surrounded by so many great friends and realized I truly am a blessed man! Thank you God.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2012 Hobie Pro Angler

Well, I've really enjoyed fishing out of the Hobie Outback in 2011 but I have a goal to fish in bass tournaments in 2012. In order to do that I'll have to have a live well to keep the bass alive. The additional weight will add up quick so I decided to get a Pro Angler. with the PA comes a 600lb weight capacity. That will come in necessary with the addition of a 15-20gallon livewell.
So I went to Mariner Sales last week and picked up my 2012 Ivory Dune Pro angler.
                                                   Here's me at Mariner Sales thinking about it.
                          Sitting down in my PA fore the first time. It's incredible how much leg room it has.
                                          Aris having me sign the paperwork to make the PA official.
Well I had to boot Santa out of the PA to take her home. He will have to find another sleigh to ride in for Christmas. LOL!!

I can't say enough about the great customer service provided by Aris and Mike at Mariner Sales. These guys have been doing this for awhile and it shows.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


“This is going to revolutionize the way people are rigging out a kayak” That was my first thought when I picked up a peace of Yak Attack’s new Gear Trac. It is a track system made from strong, but light weight 6000 series aluminum. I has a very attractive military grade hard coat anodized finish to protect it from the harsh elements to which it will be exposed .  The Gear Trac is attached to the kayak by countersunk screws that are set on 1 ¾” centers running the length of the track on both sides. The Gear Trac is offered in 4”, 8”, 12”, and 16“ lengths.
Placing the Gear Trac on your kayak will allow unlimited mounting options.  Placing Yak Attack’s screwball to the Gear Trac opens unlimited mounting options with ram mounts utilizing a ball mount.

Or by choosing the Mighty Mount system adapter, Scotty bases can be attached so that all Scotty brand mounts may be used.  Not only can they be mounted to the Gear Trac in one place, they can quickly be loosened and slid along the length of the trac allowing them to be secured to any place on the trac.

My 12” trac will be used to secure a Visi-Carbon Pro and a Panfish to mount my camera. It will allow me to mount the Visi Carbon pro light at the rear of the gear track and still give me plenty of room to mount the panfish.  The panfish will be mounted to gain a vantage behind the shoulder shot to record videos. I will also be able to mount the smaller panfish portrait to get those low to the water shots. For the kayaker that wants to record himself/herself on video,  the ability to place cameras in different places on the kayak by simply sliding it into and out of the trac is going to be a great feature.

One of the best features of the Gear Trac is it’s low profile. When the day is done and everything is removed from the kayak the less then ½” tall Gear Trac is unobtrusive and does not get in the way while loading or unloading the kayak.
To secure it to the kayak with screws is a great way to use the Gear Trac. However, it certainly lends it’s self for unlimited options.  In my case I wanted my Panfish portrait to be mounted  next to my  fish finder. This would allow me to get a great vantage point for my “grip and grin” shots while keeping me from drill more holes in my kayak. To allow more mobility with my fish finder and camera I mounted the trac on a double ball socket arm which attaches to a 1” ball mounted on my kayak. My camera and FF can now be moved together or independently to get angle I might wish.

With just a little imagination the Gear Trac and  Mighty Mount systems allow you to place equipment  on your kayak just about anywhere you want.

I made a video of the installation of the Gear Trac. I however had technical difficulties with one of the cameras.(I forgot to put a sd card in the forward facing camera) Anyway, I ended up with only one “overhead” view. 

I also thought a short video to show the whole set up might be helpful.

In conclusion I think Yak Attack has hit another home run with the release of the Gear Trac. The amount mounting options are limited only to your imagination.
For a list of distributors and more information about the new Gear Trac and other products they sell can be found at

Shaun Russell

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fall get together at Mariner Sails

Well the fall get together was held this weekend. This year the tournament had to be called off because of the high winds. It's always a tough call to have to call off a tournament but the safety of the kayakers has to come first. We didn't have quite the attendance as we had hopped for but it was a great gathering of good people.
Here's a couple pictures from outside :

My Outback set up to show the new YAK ATTACK equipment.

Robbie was there to give out samples of X-Cite baits.
 Inside the store Mike, and Aris setting up.
 Aris was working hard to get everything set up and it certainly showed. The store looked great.

A few shots from inside Mariner Sails. They have a great selection of Kayaks, and rigging options.

I was very happy to hear Aris announce that Hobie had excepted me on to the "Hobie Fishing Team"
 Some of the goodies from Mariner and Hobie for being on the team.
 Everyone standing around my next ride. The Hobie Pro Angler. Hopefully soon I'll be able to able to use this platform to fish in tournaments across Texas.

We had a great time at the get together. Josh announced he would be hosting a new bass fishing tournament in 2012 called the North Texas Kayak Trail. Three tournaments held at Ray Roberts, Lake Fork, and Lake Grapevine.

I'm very excited to be able to fish both the North Texas Kayak Bass Tournaments and the South Texas "Kayak Angler tournament Series" or K.A.T.S. this year.
http://texasfishermen.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=668 I'll have to get my truck tuned up because this year she will be doing some sight seeing..........
***Just a special thanks to Mike, and Aris from Mariner Sales for helping me get on the Hobie Fishing Team. They worked hard to make this happen and I certainly appreciate their efforts. I'm sure this will open a lot more doors for me in the future to work towards the goals I have set for Bass fishing in a Kayak. Thanks guys!!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


When I go fishing my focus is on catching big bass. I don’t want to be worrying about my equipment or safety. I am also a true do-it yourself type person.  If I can build it cheaper and maintain quality I’m all for it. That was my mind set when I decided I needed a light for my Kayak. After several failed attempts (and a few wasted dollars) of making my own I found a product from Yak Attack called the “VISI-Carbon Pro. 
The VISI Carbon Pro is built around a carbon mast that folds down to three 14” easily manageable lengths.

Inside the tube is an elastic cord that runs the length of the tubing allowing the unit to fold flat on itself.  Simplicity at it’s finest! Mounted on top of the carbon mast is an extremely bright 360 degree, 2 led light. On the Yak attack website they boast 100 hours of life with the three AAA batteries used to power the light. I’ve had mine for a couple months now and it is still just as bright as the first time I turned it on.

The body of the light was specially designed  to mount a flag secured by two small bungee cords to the shaft. The light is easily turned off and on with a quick turn of the diffused light cover. It’s a nice design that won’t allow the light to accidentally be turned on and drain the battery.  On the body of the light you will find marine grade reflective tape. I didn’t realized how well it worked until I saw it reflecting light as I was walking up to my kayak at night. The orange (also offered in green)  flag is 6”x18” and is constructed of two ply nylon.  It’s a nice size of compromise between improved visibility and keeping the drag down from the wind.  One end of the flag is sewn shut while the other is left open with two pieces of Velcro sewn in as to create a bag.

That’s correct, the flag also doubles as the storage bag to store the complete unit. What a great idea to save space!

Yak Attack offers different mounting options where the shaft connects to the kayak,.  Ram, Mighty Mount, and Tallon are all available. The base is covered with a buoyant foam allowing the entire light assembly to float in case it is accidentally dropped overboard. They had the forethought to make the outside diameter to fit in the flush mount rod holders on my Outback kayak. In the event the kayak overturns there is an elastic tether securing it to the kayak.

I’ve been using the VISI-Carbon Pro for a few months and am impressed with the illumination provided by the light. It’s so bright that I also use it to illuminate the area while preparing my kayak and fishing equipment in place of a flashlight. While in the kayak the height that it is mounted behind me doesn’t blind me while fishing.  Although I really appreciate the visibility the flag offers me I often forget it’s back there until I am fishing heavy timber. I love to fish back in heavy,  nasty stuff that most people will go around.  Sometimes the kayak will just barely squeeze though. Being mounted in the rod holder means that the light is kicked out to the side of the kayak like a rod would be. This is no problem in open water but if you are trying to squeeze through trees on both sides of you it will hang on the light/flag. This has allowed me to see the durability of this product. On numerous occasions I have  hung up on trees, branches,  vines, etc.  I will  tell you first off that the VISI-Carbon pro was NOT designed to scrape bark off a tree, be bent over backwards, or stressed out like I have done. However it has proven to be very durable and I have certainly put it to the test!

In conclusion, I’ll say that I’m extremely impressed with the design of this product.  This light is well worth the investment and I would recommend it to anyone.  It was money well spent!

Pros--    *Very bright light
    *Long battery life
    *Collapsible and compact design
    *Fits in it’s own bag (The flag)
    *It floats
    *Reflective tape on the light
    *Lightweight but extremely durable
    *Tether to secure to the kayak

Cons--  *Haven’t found any