Your personal flotation device (PFD), also known as a life jacket or life vest, is perhaps the most important piece of equipment that you have in your kayak. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my fishing rods and reels, but the reality is that a quality PFD is a must (and required in most states) for any avid fisherman, especially a kayak fisherman.
For kayak fishermen a PFD is much more than just a flotation device. PFDs have evolved to meet the needs of fishermen while at the same time making sure they are safe in the event of an emergency. They have become in themselves a tool and an accessory for many kayak fishermen.
Here are a few of my favorite features of the Bahia Tour.
Living in Florida it’s a necessity to have gear that is lightweight and breathable. When you are paddling long distances you need a life jacket that allows you to move freely while still being comfortable with your PFD on. The Bahia Tour is a great blend of all of these features. It is compact and has a mesh vent panel that will allow it to breathe. It also provides multiple adjustment points that will allow you to get the PFD to fit you perfectly.
One of my favorite features of the Bahia Tour is the front pockets. It has a spot for your pliers and for your fishing license (I leave a copy of my license in the pocket). It has two side pockets that are great for storing your whistle or a few extra baits. There are also two lash tabs that work great for a light or a small knife.
If you are going to be on the water for longer periods of time, comfort is extremely important so that your fishing experience can be enjoyable. The Bahia Tour is very comfortable and can be adjusted to a paddler’s liking. An important feature of the Bahia is that it has a high back, which means the foam on the back of the flotation device sits higher on your shoulders. This is extremely important in terms of comfort because it prevents your life jacket from interfering with your seat and gives you a wide range of motion.
Having had this life jacket for over three years, it has seen everything from heavy rain, mud, long periods of exposure to the sun, and the occasional hook snag. Through all of this it has held up great and I have had zero issues.
If you are in the market for a new PFD or looking to upgrade your current one, be sure to take a close look at the Kokatat Bahia Tour. With the combination of lightweight comfort and options for holding additional gear, the Bahia Tour is a great choice for any kayak angler.
For more info and reviews on the Bahia Tour be sure to check out Austinkayak.com.
GoPro Your Next Adventure
One of the most amazing features of a GoPro is its ability to go everywhere. Literally, I can put it my pocket or my backpack (or my daughter's diaper bag) and I know my next adventure or outing with my family will be well documented. However, like with every camera, if you are not familiar with its settings and abilities you can still end up not getting that shot you wanted.
Here are some tips and information that will help you GoPro your next adventure.
What GoPro model do I get?
This all depends upon the user. For me, I knew I wanted a model with a time lapse feature with a high megapixel setting. This led me to the Hero3+ Black Edition . Since my purchase, which was about 2 years ago, GoPro has come out with newer models. For most people, a silver edition camera is perfectly fine. It provides more than enough megapixels for photos and it shoots great HD video.
What settings do I shoot video in?
What I recommend is shooting in 720p at 60fps. The reason I typically shoot in 720p and not 1080p is because most people cannot tell the difference (not sure if I can) and it does not take up as much space on my memory card. It is also a little easier to manage in terms of transferring files. I shoot in 60fps because it gives me the ability to slow down the footage a bit if I want to. If you plan on shooting a lot of video, make sure your SD Card is class 10 and at least 16gb. This will give you room to shoot and hold a lot of footage on your GoPro.
Spend time with your GoPro
Spend a lot of time taking photos so you can see how the camera angle works best. The GoPro has a unique feel to it and if you treat it like you would your iPhone, you might not like the photos as much because the lens angle is not what you are used to. When I first got my GoPro, I put it in time lapse mode with it taking a photo every second. I would take photos of different objects in the yard from different angles so I could compare the images and see how the angles differed.
Time lapse everything
I actually do very few traditional “time lapses.” I use the feature to get a maximum amount of shots in a short period of time or to get multiple shots of a specific target. I kayak fish on a regular basis and one of my favorite things to do is to get a picture of the fish being released underwater. In order to do this, I put the GoPro on the time lapse setting with it taking a photo every half second. What this allows me to do is get tons of photos of the fish while it is sitting there and also while it swims away. I then sync my GoPro to my GoPro app on my phone and preview the photos, and because of the time lapse setting, I have tons of awesome photos to choose from. I then download the photos to my phone and upload them to VSCO to be edited.
The time lapse feature is also great when you are taking a “selfie” or a group shot because it allows you to get the camera out in front while it takes multiple photos. You can get some cool candid shots by doing this as well.
Last but not least are the GoPro accessories. There are a ton of mounts available. Whatever activity you are into there is mount that can meet your need and give you the angle and point of view you want. What I use more than any mounts though is a GoPole. You can really get a great shot and get an extra wide view by being able to put your GoPro in hard-to-reach spots. It’s also great for getting large group shots.
I hope after reading this you know a little bit more about your GoPro, or maybe you are now ready to go buy one! It’s a great camera to add to your collection and will give you a unique point of view on your next adventure!