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Andy H

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About Andy H

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  1. First, I'll say you dont need lessons for a casual trip. However, this past Sunday, I took a class through Prairie State Canoeists. They teach paddling techniques according to the ACA. Highly recommend it even for the seasoned paddler. Yes, I was the only one with a fishing kayak. That said, I learned a bit and it was definitely worthwhile. I've improved my efficiency in paddling so as to not wear myself out as much. I learned the draw stroke and other braces. Will make it much easier to position myself than worrying about the approach so much. We practiced self rescues, so if I were to ever go for a swim on accident, I know and proved I can enter the boat again. For smaller waters, not quite as much a concern, but I do venture onto some lakes. They also have a moving water class that teaches how to leverage eddies and other manuevers.
  2. Thanks for the review. They've been mentioned on here before. And are waiting patiently in my shopping cart.
  3. Easy to blame Cody. But it was Cody that put up 9 of the 15 points.
  4. They have specific dropshot keepers, but I've used one of my wife's hair ties. Will have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!
  5. Will have to try them. Off the wall in Rochelle is pretty top notch. Would have liked to made this one, but prior engagement.
  6. I had issue with using the zman mushroom head jigs and fast current. They weren't heavy enough to hit bottom. I understand the approach of fishing the middle column, I'd just have to do a different approach. For a different method of rigging a TRD... After having my last senko shaken off by a largemouth that I landed, I was pressed for time. I nose hooked a TRD on a weedless wacky hook. Slow to descend. Much more erratic action than a fluke. Landed one on first cast with it. Then I had to leave.
  7. Not sure of your budget, but I got the Cabelas tournament 4000 inflatable. What sold me is that its type ii as well as great foam placement. The foam is nice as I had issue with the high back ones and my kayak seat. Most fishing pfds are type iii. The ii are more likely to get and keep your face out of the water. Downside is it's an inflatable. And as Eric said, they them on.
  8. While I'm not Jon, there is a lot of good stuff and advice here that I'll use and leverage with my kids.
  9. Just wanted to share that I received my welcome packet yesterday. The newsletter is nicely done! Thanks everyone!
  10. As I recently went through this, Ill share my thoughts. If you're unsure this is for you, try rentals, demo paddles or getting some seat time at the bare minimum. The kayak I got is heavy. Heavy as in 85-90lbs. I did get it through Rocktown Adventures. It was a new 2016 that I got last fall. It pays to shop. Realizing that was a challenge to car topping and pretty much everything else, I adapted. I made a diy PVC cart to help with getting to and from the water. Haven't tested it as yet as just finished the paint on it. I have some tall ceilings in my garage, so I went with a hoist setup. It's great. I pull into the garage with the kayak on the car, and up it goes. When I want to head out, I lower it, strap it down, and go. There are number of solutions to aid with car topping. I've got a regular Yakima roof rack fro. Rackswarehouse.com. They ran a 20% off deal for a long while. There is an extension type bar that overhangs your car to the side while attaching to your rack. This allows you to put one end up and then work the other onto the rack. I think the part is RUSL from rhino racks. On PFDs, I wanted a type ii. That's the type that will help in righting you face up in event you're unconscious. I am a fairly decent swimmer. If im going into the water, I want my head up and out. The problem is that most/all fishing geared PFDs are type iii. These aren't as likely to right the swimmer. So what to do... I found Cabelas makes a type ii inflatable. Bonus is that it's light and cooler than most. Negative is it's an inflatable. I've tested the bladder and will be doing the co2 shortly. Paddles - People say spend your money here. I think that's an ideal world call. Yes, using $30 paddles from Wally World suck, but they work. That said, if you're on the water for a long time, then I recommend investing. Hope it helps. Andy
  11. I am impressed with how observant people can be. My Ned rig wasn't front and center in the shot but still noticed. My brother had commented on it as well. I've been a fan of jigs and dead sticking, so ned seemed like a natural progression for me this year. I've never done the Apple River. Always wanted to. Will check and make sure I'm available that day. I've met Jude once or twice before but it's been a handful of years ago. My wife used to work with him. And Jude had almost gotten bit by my dog. Not in the habit of taking shots solo nor carrying scale/tape. I've used my rod in the past. And Terry is spot on with 17".
  12. Hi All! I'm a long time lurker, first time caller. I know its cheesy but had to do it. I just purchased my membership so may be a bit premature in this post. Ive been fishing on and off for 20 or so years in and around the Rockford area. This means I started in high school and am in mid 30s. Ive always enjoyed smallmouth the most of all the species I've caught. And usually wading for them. This past fall, I purchased a fishing kayak and planning to get some more time on the water with a wet line. I've got a young family so I've got mainly good intentions at this point. I had some luck today while I was starting my holiday weekend a little early. And thought I'd pull the trigger and sign up. First one of the day shook the hook as I was trying to land him. I looked up to see a snake swimming directly toward me. Time for a new spot. Second spot, I caught and landed one. Third and final spot, I caught this one and one more. All on a ned rig. Am sure you'll be hearing more from me soon. Thanks! Andy
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