Foggy Morning Redfish

Foggy Morning Redfish  Awhile ago I did a post about foggy morning redfish. Couple a foggy morning with a strong low tide and you have a good shot at seeing “tailing” redfish. Of course you still need calm winds and no boat traffic. (I wrote a post on that as well.) And it never hurts to have an approaching cold front too. Regardless of the type of fishing you’re doing, a coming front often spurs up the bite.

Well, yesterday morning I had good conditions for “tailers”. A strong low tide at 7:30AM, fog, quiet boating conditions, and a front arriving in the afternoon. Great! I was pumped.

Foggy Morning Redfish

Was everything perfect? Not quite. At the ramp I felt a touch of wind from the southwest. Damn, it wasn’t dead calm. Ummmm, usually foggy morning are? And that’s an odd wind direction for this time of year, most likely the precursor to the nearing front. But would it ruin the fishing? Only one way to find out.

With high hopes, I set out in the Adios around 7AM. Once on the flats, I slipped off, staked out, and slowly waded around. An hour later, no “tails”, not a one. Zip, zero. zilch. Disappointed I was. Man. Back on the Adio, I began poling away to the north. That’s when I encountered reds. No they weren’t “tailing”. They were sitting in sand holes on the flat. Good fish too!

I got off the Adios again, staked out, and began blind casting into the sand holes. Bingo, three casts later came a jolting strike. Wow, a foggy morning redfish.  (See it in the photo above, a 7-pound red on my 6-weight.) Very cool. Apparently the conditions had brought reds onto the flats, but the wind had stopped them from “tailing”. Don’t believe me? That’s my opinion friends and I’m sticking to it.

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Diablo Deck Review: Part Four

Diablo Deck Review: Part Four    Finally made it to the water!  As we all know this is where the learning curve begins. And I already had questions in mind, believe me. How much would the “Deck” improve visibility? Would I be comfortable atop the “Rigid Pro Box” ? How hard was it climb up and down from the box? What was it like to paddle when seated so high off the water? Yeah there were questions that required answers.

Diablo Deck Review: Part Four

As far as visibility is concerned, standing on the “Rigid Pro Box” put me 15″ above the cockpit, giving me a significant improvement in spotting fish. Man you’re in the catbird seat!  I mean it. This “Diablo Deck”-“Rigid Pro Box” combo will improve my sight-fishing for sure. And as long as I kept my feet centered on the box, stability was reasonably good. (For traction, I temporarily put a nonskid shower mat with suction cups on the box. See photo. )  Poling from up there was not a problem either. I just extended the length of my DIY push pole to about 10′.  Easy to do.

So how was getting up on, and getting back down from the platform? Hairy, especially in a chop. Almost fell twice. This is no cakewalk amigo. Its a lot more difficult than it looks, honestly. Okay if you’re a 20 year old gymnasts, you’re laughing at me right now. But remember I’m a retired guy! Expecting this climbing business to be an issue, I brought along a small folding plastic step stool that I employ when tying the kayak on the roof of the car. (It’s made by SeaStow. See it in the photo.)  At 9″ high, it was a help, but not a total solution. You still have nothing to really to grab onto. (I’m glad I didn’t go with the Yeti cooler. It’s taller and would have made matters worse.)

Okay here’s a trick that worked for me. To steady my Adios, I placed it 90 degrees to the sandbar and put the rear quarter of the kayak on dry sand. This stopped any side-to-side hull movement while I climbed up on the box. Then with my push pole I shoved off the sandbar. Granted not a perfect solution, but at least it got me going. Hopefully in the days ahead I’ll come up with something better.

Onward. I paddled out of the marina seated on the box. Did alright, I guess. But, paddling from up there was more of a chore. Honestly I wouldn’t want to go more than a couple hundred yards seated so high up, especially on a windy day. An extremely long paddle would help. So would arms like an orangutan. LOL So I’ll have to work find a work-around for this issue too.

In the weeks ahead I’ll discover more about the “Diablo Deck” and have more to share with you, but if you have any comments or suggestions send them along!

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Diablo Deck Review: Part Three

Diablo Deck Review: Part Three Okay, lets move on with the project. In the previous post, I mentioned making a plywood platform for the top of the Rigid Pro Box. Well, here’s how it worked out. From a half sheet of 1/2″ plywood I cut two pieces. One 10.25″ x 22″. And one 14″ x22″. The smaller of the two fits neatly inside the 4 feet on the bottom of the Rigid Box. See photo below. (The red arrows point out the feet I’m referring to.)

Diablo Deck Review: Part Three

This first piece of ply provides a way to better support my weight across the bottom of the box. It also provides a sturdy base to which I can attach the other plywood piece. Could I have simply gone with just the bottom piece of ply? Probably. I think it would work. But that would give me only a 10.25″ wide platform for my size 13 feet. Not that great. Frankly I wanted more room to plant myself. Placing the larger piece of wood on top will give me a full 14″ width. See the photo below.

Diablo Deck Review: Part Three

After properly aligning the two boards, I drilled six 1/4″ holes through both. I plan to use 1/4 x 20 stainless steel bolts in all six. These bolts will eventual secure both pieces of ply to the box itself. Before going any further, however, I decided to bond the two ply pieces together using exterior grade wood glue. The photo below shows the boards being glued.

Diablo Deck: Part Three.

After the glue set up. I trimmed the corners off the top board. They were apt to snag clothing or waders. We don’t need that going on. Then I countersunk the bolt holes and sanded the whole deal. Next came three coats of polyurethane. May do another. Man, its looking pretty good! See below. We’ll be taking her to the water soon!

Getting Close Now!

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Diablo Deck Review: Part Two

Diablo Deck Review: Part Two  In the previous post, I showed you a “Diablo Deck” I purchased from Diablo Paddlesports. When you stand, the “Deck” alone raises you roughly 4″ above the cockpit floor. Of course, to better spot fish we want to be much higher than that. Now the Diablo Paddlesports site shows us one solution. They suggest we attach a Yeti Cooler to the “Deck”. For example a Yeti 35 quart cooler strapped to the “Deck” would raise you an additional 15″. Great! But that cooler costs a pile of moola – $300, plus shipping and tax. Ouch. Not on my budget.

While wandering around Home Depot I found a cost effective alternative. It is a sturdy plastic tool carrier from Rigid. (I think it is called the Rigid Pro Box) Price? Not too bad -20 bucks. The box measures 13″ wide, by 22″ long, by 10″ high. It weights just over 4 pounds, and has folding handles on both ends. Flipping it over, I dropped it on the floor, and stood on it. It held my 215 pounds reasonably well. Nice. Took it home.

Diablo Deck Review: Part Two

Here’s how it looks atop the “Deck” on my Adios. Not bad. It fit the space well. And the yes, the box’s handles make it a snap to secure to the “Deck”.  So far so good.

Rigid Box on the “Deck”

Now there were two small issue to address: The bottom of the box is uneven. Second, the dead center of the bottom was softer than I liked. To solve both, I went back and bought a 2’x4′ sheet of 1/2″ one side finished plywood. Cost $15.  My plan is to fashion a flatter, and stronger platform. Below you see my lines marked out. In the next post you’ll see the results.

Plywood for a Better Platform

Before we move on, I should point out a modification I made. Not only does the “Deck” cover both 6″ rear hatches, it covered up a Scotty Flush mount I had installed sometime ago. Not wanting to lose that mount, I notched the “Deck” to accommodate it. Easy to do. See below.

Diablo Deck notched for Scotty Mount

Scotty Mount notched into the “Deck”


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