Hi Folks! Welcome to the first installment of My Weekly Blog. I'm so happy that Johnson Outdoors has given us this great site as a clearing house for our Kayak activities and passion for the outdoors. I am truly blessed to be a part of it and I really appreciate your reading this. I go by the nickname “Chico” and I think I'll call it Chico's Weekly.
I've been pretty busy this spring through fall here in Texas doing Kayak Demo's, Demo Days, and filming/ fishing workshops. Since I have a back round in safety, I focus heavy on preparation and safety. I've found that it offers the attendees something different and gives food for thought about how we approach our personal safety on the water as well as pass along safe habits and techniques. I'm planning on posting some of these as short video tutorials with some of my friends so keep an eye out for it. One thing for sure, I'm not an expert and I definitely always learn more than I pass along so please chime in if you note something safe and cool and educate me.
Another recent event here in Texas was the first Kayak Bass Fishing Texas Open held the first weekend in October. It was an open gathering of the North, Central and South Texas Kayak Bass Fisherman from The Kayak Angler Tournament Series (KATS) and The Texas Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) series and I'm happy to report that it was a phenomenal success. I notice as I travel that the Kayak fishing culture has developed a common desire to compare the regions and now we have many tournaments right at our fingertips. If you are in Texas, you are not far from kindred spirits that long for the same thing you do.
More than winning. Meet the other guys. Talk rigging. Compare notes. Psyche out or get psyched. Smack. Camaraderie. We all met at Houston County Lake in Crockett Texas and had us a regular Texas Throw down. It was a blast. Many new friends were made and it had the effect of making the world a bit smaller and more familiar. It was so good to put names to faces and get to work together for a common cause. The event had great payouts, top shelf competition and we raised almost $1600.00 for Heroes on the Water to take Wounded Veterans on their own fishing adventures. I decided to film it instead of fish and film and I teamed up with my KATS filming partner and elite water Photographer Autumn Villaneuva. I think we did our best tournament video to date.
Check it out on my videos. On a side note, Autumn is married to my friend and KATS Pro Marcus Villaneuva and he has his own successful blog called www.withoutapaddleblog.com Check it out. Marcus is a great writer.
This past weekend I was in Coppell Texas to do a workshop at a new shop called Trinity River Kayak. It's a large facility right on the Trinity River just 2 miles West of I-35E on Sandy Lake Road and about ten miles north of downtown Dallas. The real neat thing is that they are surrounded by many waterways and provide shuttles in the area and have a full line of Johnson Outdoor Kayaks and gear as well as a bait shop,and a convenience store. The owners, Jeff and Pam Varnell have built a beautiful 2 acre facility with a secure parking lot, river access, a fire pit, a BBQ cooker and everything you need to outfit your North Texas adventure. If you live in the area, stop in and visit, tell them I sent you and you'll find some new friends and likely have a new launch site. If you are visiting, bring a rod and they'll put you in a boat and take you to the fish. They do a lot of day and touring excursions as well so call them and check it out. They are top notch kayak people. For those about to rock, we salute you.
Trinity River Kayak 214-513-0649 www.trinityriverkayak.com
Lastly, I knew it would eventually happen, while coming home to Brushy Creek from Dallas last night I, er, my kayak was rear ended by a tailgater and I spent an extra 3 hours sorting it out. I had my Predator in the back of the truck in a cradle and it got smacked real good. Yes, I was OK. The 2 teens unbelted in the rear set of the Hyundai took an Ambulance ride and they are shaken, but I hope OK. I imagine the sight of a Kayak in their face was frightening. The Predator seems to be OK but I'll have Justin at Austin Canoe and Kayak check it out. At least the rubberneckers were entertained by the sight of a Hyundai under my truck with a Kayak on its windshield. I am grateful there were no serious injuries. As I asked my friends here this morning, why is it we need red flags on our kayaks being transported? I'm taking advice from Dennis and setting up an LED light to attach to the kayak while it's on the truck. Thanks dude. Till next week. Adios.