Tag: kayak fishing

Galveston Kayak Fishing Guide - Canoe Vibes - Mark Vlaskamp

Surfside, TX: New Marsh Lakes & Old Gringo Comforts

I was covered in it.

Mud stuck to my ankles like socks, hardened adobe huts fell from my shorts, and sweat pushed the salty brown war paint from my face. Back at the launch after a full day chasing redfish through the marsh – looking, feeling, and smelling mucky – I realized this wasn’t what I was expecting eight hours earlier when Jared asked, “You don’t have anything else to do today, right?”

Technically, it was a question. Realistically, it was a warning. Buckle up, we’re not leaving until we cover some serious ground and find some bigger redfish.

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Canoe Vibes - Paddling in California - Stop the Tunnels

Lodi, CA: Paddling and Pubs Get Political

I wasn’t sure if I should do it.

In the revolving door of perpetual political one-sidedness – an internet feed full of my-way-or-the-highway cyber stances on deleted confidential email threads and misunderstood second amendment threats – my finger hovered hesitantly over the send button outside of Ollie’s Pub.

You can’t miss the message. I drove north on the five from a hazy fourth of July weekend in LA to Lodi, California – pronounced load-eye not load-y, to save you the laughter from the local bartenders that made me sweat. The fence signs, bumper stickers, and billboards from twenty miles out all the way to the patio at Ollie’s where I sat enjoying my Lagunitas IPA all preached one message: Stop the Tunnels.

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Canoe Vibes | Kayak Fishing for Snakehead | Washington DC | Mark Vlaskamp

Washington, DC: Finding Intrigue and Irony in Invasives

Jon Leavitt loves snakehead; the general Mid-Atlantic population does not.

Some attitudes among Potomac anglers are changing, but since the early 2000’s, the population of the Potomac estuary has been up in arms in a battle against these far east invaders – a non-native species legally imported from Asia for seafood trade, aquarium exhibits, and as pawns to overthrow the US government due to lingering animosity from past World War II tensions.

It’s a joke. They’re fish. They’re not government spies, ground soldiers in an oriental scheme to destroy Major League Bass Fishing, or presentedly-violent Bernie Sanders supporters.

Everyone take a deep breath. They’re fish.

Here’s the skinny: Over ten years ago, officials found some folks were releasing what they called ‘prayer fish’ into Maryland ponds as a way to kick some good karma back to Mother Nature for hooking them up with everyday blessings. The fish multiplied, Uncle Sam found out and – in classic ‘merican fashion – poisoned the ponds and made keeping, trading, and importing the live fish illegal. The media coverage of this event sent shivers down the spines of people who had released snakehead into other waterways in the past, current owners of the now vilified fish looking to – literally – ditch the evidence, and fishery activists looking to protect native species and further disparage the new kid on the block.

The major concerns are 1) another top-of-the-food-chain predator will compete with largemouth bass – ironically, a once non-native and now idolized species introduced to the Potomac waterways in the mid-nineteenth century – or blue catfish – yet another non-native species with no bounties on it’s head – for dominance, 2) the snakehead population will spread exponentially faster than other species due to the parent’s unusual protection of their young through their bi-annual spawns, and 3) they’re just not pretty enough.
All of this even though recent data collected by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries shows their impact on the Potomac is almost non-existent.

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Canoe Vibes | Appomattox River Company | Kayak Fishing Briery Creek

Farmville, VA: Sips of Reality, Served Over IPA Cider

I looked at the menu, looked down at the date on my phone, and looked back at the menu – this time slightly more focused on the price column, then the appetizers section in the left corner, finally ending my gaze down at the small print surrounding the $3.99 side dishes.

Road Trip Reality – The Monthly Budget is King

It’s not that I’m broke; it’s that responsible monthly budgeting is the single most important part of my road tripping reality. It’s where my bills get paid, my expenses get covered, and – unlike most road trippers – my IRA gets funded. Wasted money today results in fewer days on the road come August, or September, or even October. Money comes in, choices get made, money goes out, and practicing the art of delayed gratification is mastered. It’s a reality that gets swept under the rug with most #VanLifers and kayak fishing road warriors, instead choosing to focus solely on mind-blowing Instagram photos piling up likes, hashtags, and debt.

You know what I can’t eat? Instagram likes. You want to know what can’t buy me a house? Pro deals. Guess what employers don’t care about on resumes? Fish.

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Kayak Fishing Savannah Georgia | Savannah Canoe and Kayak Fishing Guide

Savannah, GA: Battling High Tides in Low Country

On Sundays, I go grocery shopping. It’s a dreaded part of my week that I hesitantly grin my way through as I pass through the organic vegetable section and make my way to the Pop Tarts. The wheels on my weathered shopping cart painfully screech past the fresh deli meats and come to an impermanent stop right around the pre-packaged hotdogs and that delicious plastic-looking cheese. Like clockwork, I’m in and out at less than ten minutes, free from suffering through this retail assault for another seven days.

I don’t like shopping and it’s not limited to my domestic necessities. I spent a total of ten minutes shopping for my Old Town Next, my unnecessarily expensive cooler, and my PFD now doubling as a camping pillow. I bought my car after only an hour of browsing internet listings and I buy the same model Sanuks every time the old ones wear thin on the sole.

In a retail culture that is overwhelmed by well-marketed shots at consumer’s self-confidence, I don’t spend much time in retail shops.

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A Long Portage:

We're back after a really long portage. What used to be a roadtrip-centric canoe blog is now a bit more settled in the Texas Hill Country. We still believe canoeing is dated, not dead. And we still chase high CFS and sticky situations.

But we're not on a roadtrip battling for cell service from the backseat of the Jeep anymore. We're enjoying life off the road. The showers, hot meals, and stable jobs are nice too.

If the paddling road trip is what you're looking for, it's moved here.



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