Category Archives: Tips, Tricks, and DIY

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Charter Instead of Buying Your Own Boat

Boca Grande fishing charters explain why you should strongly re-consider buying an offshore fishing boat

 

Florida’s Gulf Coast, especially around Boca Grande, is known throughout the U.S. for its clean waters and exceptional sport fishing. Many visitors to this coastal paradise come here for one thing and on thing only – to fish.

Many of these visitors from near and far love fishing and the open waters so much that they begin considering their own boat so they can go out anytime they like.

As any fisherman can attest, getting the bug to buy your own boat and go wherever you like is very powerful. But as we’ll explain below, getting your own fishing boat is an expensive undertaking and therefore shouldn’t be decided on a whim.

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GearTrac Tackle Box Holder

GearTrac Tackle Box Holder

After falling in love with the Plano 4600 tackle storage system due to its unique design and ability to hold everything I need for whatever type of fishing I choose to do that day, I found myself wanting to tackle one more thing – I wanted to stop fumbling around with passing my tackle box back and forth from storage to lap. I did some looking around for something to re-purpose or apply to fixing the box right near me in the cockpit, but that also allowed me to remove it at the end of the day. I found myself developing the GearTrac tackle box holder.

I went shopping at YakAttack and purchased a GT90-12 GearTrac and MMS Mighty Mount Track Mount Kit. I simply drilled a couple of holes into the Plano 4600 and bolted the Mighty Mounts directly to the bottom of the box. I then screwed the GearTrac to the center console of my OK Trident ULtra 4.7. What I ended up with is exactly what I needed. A GearTrac tackle box holder that was right where I needed it, wouldn’t flop around the cockpit, wouldn’t go overboard, and would be removable. I tested this for the first time during the Extreme Kayak May Madness offshore fishing tournament, and the performance was flawless and tackle organization and access has never been so simplified on my kayak. If your interested in the details of how I did this, I have created a GearTrac tackle box holder DIY below.

GearTrac tackle box holder DIY

I gathered the necessary materials, including a silicon sealer.

Materials for making the GearTrac tackle box holder

I then aligned the GearTrac into the desired position. In my case I cannot reach the back of the mounting area, so I set the GearTrac hardware aside and used some coarse thread screws. I marked the locations for the screws and drilled pilot holes. I then dabbed each pilot hole with silicon sealer.

GearTrac tackle box holder track installation

I then laid the GearTrac down and screwed in my hardware. The sealer not only seals the mating surface but it also squeezes out through the hardware itself. While this sets up I head of to connect the Mighty Mount Track Mount Kit to my Plano 4600 tackle box. If you flip the Plano 4600 over it actually has perfect areas in the molding to align the mounts. Sliding the mount up from the edge until it reaches the first ridge in the bottom of the Plano 4600 is actually a perfect location for depth. This allows enough bite to properly secure the box, but it also leaves enough room up top to turn the Might Mount GearTrac handle. There is also a center groove in the Plano 4600 which makes it easy to eye ball center.

Mighty Mount GearTrac mount align to tackle box

I taped this into position so I could mark the holes and drill for the hardware. In this case the hardware that comes with the Mighty Mounts will work for this. I also applied silicon sealer to these holes as well, and then tightened the assembly together.

Mighty Mount mounted and sealed

This is repeated on the other end and that’s it – Your done. I let everything set up for a bit and then performed a test fit. It simply slides on and locks into place. I tested this set up for the first time offshore to include a rough beach launch and beach exit. I never contacted the GearTrac tackle box holder assembly during cockpit exit or entry. I found it absolutely spectacular that everything I needed was right there. I had also attached a very large and wide rubber band around the box. I used this to hold all my pre-made leaders that were in zip-loc bags. I have since gone back country and that day was slow. With slow comes lots of lure changes, and again the beauty of having this right at my finger tips all day long has continued to prove itself as a smart move. I have already purchased a second Plano 4600 and will shortly order another Mighty Mount GearTrac kit to make a permanent box for offshore and one for inshore. Slip on, lock down, and enjoy the day!

GearTrac tackle box holder assembly

GearTrac tackle box holder assembly

GearTrac tackle box holder assembly

 

GoPro Anti Fog that Actually Works

GoPro Anti Fog

Using a GoPro while kayak fishing is probably the number one way anglers use to record their catches and record rod bending action. Unfortunately, hours of video can be lost due to the lens fogging up. I see anglers left with blurry screen grabs and pictures, and I have personally lost a lot of footage do to this over the years. I have tried GoPro Anti Fog inserts, all the tricks I can find online, and every home remedy I have ever read. The results are always the same, a fogged out lens. Perhaps there is some clout in all those remedies online and I just happen to be in a bad climate for any of them. I had just learned to live with this line of thinking until one day I tried something new.GoPro Anti Fog

I had this bottle of Meguiar’s Quik Detailer that I used on our cars for quick touch ups, I decided to spray some on the GoPro lens, and give it a go as a GoPro Anti Fog. Well, three straight day long trips since the initial application, and guess what? Hasn’t fogged yet. Here is what I did: I just used a piece of paper towel and squirted some of the Quik Detailer on it. I rubbed it on the inside of the case lens and the outside. It goes on clear, but you should see some residue. Let this dry completely and then I buffed it out with a fresh piece of paper towel. I used a lens cleaner cloth after that to get the fibers out.

I didn’t expect this to actually work, but it has worked so well I have completely forgotten that a fogging lens was ever a problem. Though I am thinking that after three full runs in salt conditions it is probably time to use my GoPro Anti Fog magic juice once again to maintain the performance I have been receiving. Give it a shot, it will work for you and your GoPro. The next time out fishing will not be a fogging mess of ruined footage.

Trident Ultra Anchor Trolley Kit for the 4.7 and 4.3

Trident Ultra Anchor Trolley Kit

As with most owners of the Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.7 or 4.3 series kayaks we have found ourselves void of a couple of the “built in” features that are offered in the Ocean Kayak motherland (New Zealand). Though the bait well kit did recently arrive, the Trident Ultra anchor trolley kit is still vacant on US shores. So, many have found themselves coming up with creative ways to fill these seemingly simple voids in one of the best fishing kayaks on the planet. A great write up is available on Kayak Fishing Stuff’s website within the forums. Here we have come up with our own variation that I will detail below. We will also offer the hardware kits right here on the site so you do not have to reach out to multiple sources to gather the necessary hardware. No matter which Trident Ultra anchor trolley kit DIY you choose to follow or if you just need the basic stuff to set your own ideas in motion, we have what you need.

 The Materials

Trident Ultra Anchor Trolley Kit Materials

*The threaded inserts on your Ocean Kayak are an M5 metric thread, however SAE 10-32 threaded hardware will work just fine without damaging any of threads on either end.

For this Trident Ultra Anchor Trolley Kit DIY I used the following materials and hardware:

8 – 10-32 x 1.5″ stainless steel flat head screws

8 – Bungee Buttons

16 – Tooth type lock washers in 1/4″ size (these grab more material for what purpose we are using them here)

2 – Stainless steel/plastic pulleys with a length of bungee cord attached

2 – Stainless steel pad eyes that measure 1 3/4″ eye to eye

4 – 10-32 x 1/2″ stainless steel pan head screws

4 – Size 10 stainless steel washers

1 – 1.5 or 2″ nylon or stainless steel ring

About 35 feet of Mil Spec 550 Para Cord

Required tools: Drivers for your stainless steel screws, a dremel for shaping the guides, a drill and small counter sink bit, knife, and a lighter.

The Trident Ultra Anchor Trolley Kit Build

We start by removing the ropes and rope guides along the (port) side of the kayak that has the built in threaded inserts for the anchor trolley from Ocean Kayak. This includes all 8 guides along the entire side. Save the ropes and screws for future use and gather the 8 guides for a little trimming to make them into your new Trident Ultra anchor trolley kit anchor line guides. You will first want to use the drill and a small counter sink bit to make a seat in the guide bottoms for your new hardware to grab into for final installation. You will then start trimming each guide by cutting of most of half of one side. We leave a little over hang tab on this side to act as a simple guide for the lower anchor line (this will become clearer in the images and as we move along). See the images below that show these first steps.

The 8 Rope Guides Removed

The eight rope guides removed

The Guides Being Drilled With The Counter Sink Bit for our New Hardware

Rope guides Being Counter Sunk

*Please note that we counter sunk the bottom or rounded side of the guides

Rope guides Being Counter Sunk

The Desired Shape We Want To Achieve With Each Guide by Cutting Them with our Dremel Tool

Rope Guides Trimmed

You can see we just cut a portion of one half of one of the loops in the factory rope guides. This over hanging tab is important to your Trident Ultra anchor trolley kit as this will allow you to snap back your lower anchor line nice and neat against your boat when not in use.

We then stack some hardware as shown above. The order is important as the Trident Ultra anchor trolley kit hardware will not fit correctly in any other. You have your trimmed rope guide, a lock washer, an inverted bungee button (rounded side down), another lock washer, and your 1 1/2″ screw running through all of them. In this order you can tighten them back into the guide inserts all along the side of your kayak (as shown in the next picture). The lock washers will keep this assembly from rotating under the load of actual use. We also chose the 1/4″ size lock washer and not the size 10 because they grip a larger surface area of our plastic hardware. You can also see the counter sink tap we gave each guide allows the flat head screw to seat neatly into this new guide assembly we have created. These all work together to create a rigid assembly from many small parts.

Rope Guides Trimmed

We can now grab our pad eyes, the 1/2 inch screws and flat washers to install the pulleys at each end of the kayak at the factory inserts located at the bow and stern. I would suggest to go ahead and hang your pulleys with the bungee cords onto the pad eyes before mounting them to save your self from having to tie a knot in close range to the boat. The flat washers are necessary again to ensure a tight fitment of the Trident Ultra anchor trolley kit hardware. Since we are converting from metric to SAE we find that an exact fit is not exactly possible, but this systems allows for the closest and strongest fit for our purpose.

Pad eyes and pulleys installed

Now you basically have the “nuts and bolts” of this set up bolted to the kayak. It is time to simply run the anchor line through everything. I chose 550 para cord because I have a lot of it, it is cheap, useful, and well.. can handle 550 lbs of stress. Perfect for me. Simply run the line through one of the pulleys, pull it along the top of your guides (the closed ends) and run it through each one until you reach the pulley at the other end. Bring both ends to center and tie each to the nylon ring. Here is where you will cut the line to size, and I like to melt the ends back to the knot to ensure no snag or fray. You want to pull them tight enough so that the bungee ends are just taught and the final line assembly is firm. You can then slip the lower line under the open sides of the guides and you will find it rests nicely for the entire length of the kayak.

Trident Ultra Anchor Trolley Kit

Trident Ultra Anchor Trolley Kit

Trident Ultra Anchor Trolley Kit

 

So, does it work? Yes, very well. The first thing your going to want to do at this point is start pulling the line up and down and see it go. That’s fine, just be sure not to get upset if the ring hiccups across these mounts. With no load it may, but in actual use, no matter how it is used, the tension keeps the ring free of the guides and the whole rig glides very smoothly. After you unhook from anchoring the lower line may lose the lower guides. This is something I see on every anchor trolley rig, but with this rig you can simply push the line down from where you are seated and it will grab the lower guide tabs and be nice and neat again.

I tested this for the first time during an offshore fishing tournament. The day had a steady North current and a North bound wind working together. I threw on my drift sock with this rig to park over some wrecks and it worked flawlessly. I have no doubts in the useability and build quality of this rig.. or I wouldn’t be putting it here.

Oh, and if you find that the trolley slips from where you want it during some extreme conditions, no cleat needed here, just loop the trolley line over one of the guides and it will be fixed in place. See image below.

Trident Ultra Anchor Trolley Kit Lock

 

Hardware kits coming soon.