Mothership Fishing Trip

Fishing new grounds is always an exciting endeavor. But what about places far beyond your paddling reach? Enter, Kayak Mothership trips. OEX Mission Bay sponsors a San Clemente Island Kayak Mothership trip in partnership with the Islander out of Fisherman's Landing in San Diego, CA. Located 55 miles from San Diego, it is only accessible by boat. The Islander offers a chance for kayak fisherman to take there game to new areas ripe with trophy Calico bass fishing, Halibut, White Seabass, and Yellowtail.

These multi-day kayak fishing trips are like no other. You get to load up with your own kayak and personal gear, without worry of having to borrow or rent equipment. Food and lodging included in the price, the Islander crew takes care of everything for you!

Here is just a small taste of what you can expect from a typical kayak mothership trip at San Clemente!

Look for a video coming soon!

Upgrades for the Kraken

An extremely versatile boat as is, there are some upgrades I like to do that better suits my fishing style. Thankfully, there are a lot of online resources where others have had the same ideas, and have posted step-by-step guides to help modify to your liking. I've put together a list of my top recommended changes to bring your Kraken to the next level.

1. KKrate Livewell Pump

For those of us that fish with live bait, or in need of a livewell, this is my first upgrade that I do. Though, not exactly an upgrade to the Kraken kayak itself, you'll need to modify the Kraken to complete this upgrade. What makes it even easier, is that the Kraken and the KKrate was made for this. Additionally, there is a great online article out from Kayak Fishing Supplies that tells you exactly how to do it.

2. Remove Battery Holder

The Kraken's inner hull is nice and open. Perfect for placing a dry bag of stuff, or your days catch. However, I've found that the internal battery holder just under and above the center hatch can sometimes hinder the openness. What I like to do is remove this box, which gives much more space to place larger game fish. Its as easy as unscrewing the bolts that hold it in place, removing the holder, and putting the screws back in place.

3. RAM Tough Tube Base Rotation

Probably a minor change, but it helps when I want to move my rod holders into different positions. The Kraken comes with 2 RAM Tough Tube bases, however, they are rotated differently from each other. I usually rotate one of them such that the plunger faces the seat. Simply unscrew in place, rotate, and screw back in.

4. Rudder Ready Kit

The Kraken may not come with a rudder stock, but definitely pick one up as this is a must have if you're in areas with fast currents and/or high winds. Check out Jackson Kayaks Store for installation instructions.

5. Fish Finder Installation

Though not necessarily needed, a fish finder is a great tool for every kayak fisherman to have. It'll help you identify structure, and if your plotter has the functionality, record your tracks. What's great about the Kraken is that it has a dedicated transducer scupper, to snuggly fit even the biggest transducers on the market.

Hopefully this gives folks an idea of some of the modifications that I've found most helpful to my style of fishing. The Kraken comes with some awesome features, but also still open for your own upgrades.

4 Tips for Fighting and Landing Large Gamefish

Your bait is getting nervous, as your slowly trolling around some live bait, and then it happens. "ZZZZZzzZZZZzzzz" - as your clicker sings that beautiful tune! What now?!

Hopefully, before the most exciting part of fishing happens, you've set yourself up for greater chances of success. Pre-setting your drag the night before, re-tying all knots and inspecting your line for any knicks or abrasions are all things you should do before fishing. But what happens once you've actually gotten a bite?

Below, are 5 tips that has helped me in fighting and landing many large gamefish out in the ocean!

1. Do not swing to set the hook!

This isn't bass fishing so no need for that Bill Dance hookset! Instead, and this is one of the most crucial parts of fishing live bait, is to wait at least 5 seconds before flipping your reel into gear. And that's it, no swinging to set the hook, rather allow the fish to hook itself while its running away. I know 5 seconds will feel like forever, but allow the bigger gamefish to eat the entire bait before setting the hook.

2. Mark your GPS

Most of my successes has come from understanding why the fish I'm chasing for bites. When you get bit, mark that spot on your GPS, and take mental notes as to the time of day, currents, presence of baitfish, any tidbit of information. All this will help you in seeing patterns for future bites. Additionally, circle around back and drag another bait right through the same area. You may be in for another surprise!

3. Clear the deck

Give your self some space and clear that clutter off your kayak. I like to place my paddle under the bungees on my Kraken, so I won't have to worry about it getting in the way or floating off into the distance. Clearing the deck will also help to prevent any tangles with other rods from happening.

4. Keep constant pressure

Often times, you don't even notice that you're doing it but you're rod tip is just too high and your line goes slack, and now you've lost your possible once-in-a-lifetime fish. Don't make that mistake, and keep that rod tip low and maintain constant pressure! This is where trusting your preset drags and knots come into play.

Hopefully, these 4 tips will help you in fighting and landing that next trophy gamefish!

L J Hot Bite, Late May

Work has been keeping me quite busy for April and May, but I was able to get out after things settled down. With word from a friend that the bite out in La Jolla was turning on, fellow Jackson Kayak team member Jarrod McGehee and couple of our friends headed out.

With some swells, and some wind, we made it out through the surf without a hitch. My Jackson Kayak Kraken handled easily through the surf, and we paddled out a couple miles to make some bait. After loading up my KKrate with some Pacific Greenback and Spanish Mackerel, we dropped in our lines in search of some pelagics.

Didn't take all too long as the yellowtail were stacked! I was able to hook into 9 that day, but lost 6 of those to a seal, some bad knots, and line breaks.

Went out another day with the crowds and hooked up a couple times, pulling in a BSB and a shark! Lost some others to bad knots and breaks...always learning! All in all, a very good weekend, but definitely a learning experience. Always check your lines and knots, and if you must, retie after hooking up!


Mission Bay Classic in the Kraken

The 2nd annual Mission Bay Classic, a Heroes on the Water fundraising event, was a huge success! With over 70 signed entries, the saltwater bass division was full of competition. Fellow Jackson Kayak Team Members Jarrod McGehee and Richard Penny were also in attendance.

Though the fishing was great, it was extremely tough being able to weigh fish, with having regulations set at 14" minimum. No matter the case, it was a great event helping out a great cause.

I took out my Jackson Kayak Kraken, for some easy Bay fishing. Having my Kraken plumbed with the KKrate as a livewell, made for easy catch and release with no fishes harmed (besides being hooked!).

Here's a quick video showcasing the Kraken out in San Diego's Mission Bay!

Early summer in Southern California!

With early indications pointing to an El Nino season, conditions were impeccable for this time of year. Sunny weather, 80+ degree weather, and near 70 degree water temps made for some awesome fishing! Here's a video of some yellowtail fishing down here in sunny Southern California! Enjoy!