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About guitaristgene

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  1. Dude, read the thread. It is a Seltos, not a Sportage. I would have no trouble moving the rear bar back to the next set of insert points but the directions specifically say to NOT do this. But in any case, did not not use that car to bring my kayak from Cape Cod to FL, used my Subaru Crosstrek with Yakima crossbars and saddles. Worked just fine on the 1700 mile journey.
  2. We'll be in South Sarasota, near Siesta Key. Thanks for the recommendations, any others are appreciated.
  3. Title says it all. I'll be in Sarasota for the month of March and although I fish Florida a fair amount and have lots of appropriate gear, a good go-to shop for local favorites in lures and other gear is what I'd like to find, thanks
  4. Excellent, thanks very much!
  5. Your rigs sound perfect but bring lots of different lb-test fluoro leader material from 12lb to 60lb. Leaders often need to be pretty long (6' at least) and avoid terminal tackle like snaps; swivels are OK for the heavy stuff around the bridges but I would up the braid to at least 40lb (50 or 60 is better) if you are going to target the tarpon that will definitely be there, some well over 100lbs. Definitely try some Sabiki rig bait gathering for pin fish in the channels and use that for the tarpon too. The reason braid makes sense is that most of the fish you will encounter will make a beeline for whatever cover they can find (bridge abutments, mangroves, underwater rock piles or coral) and with mono it's unlikely you'll be able to stop them. I have no knowledge of the regulations in National Park waters as I haven't fishing there.
  6. If you plan to do any kayak fishing in the Back Country from KW to the Middle Keys make sure you have a good, reliable GPS app on your phone. Especially if you plan to fish from Sugarloaf to the Seven Mile Bridge. Once you get out into the many, may mangroves (where the fishing is GREAT) they all start to look the same and it's easy to get lost. You might not think this is that big a deal; after all, you can just keep paddling east or southeast and eventually you'll reach one of the Keys where the Overseas Hwy runs, but if the wind comes up, or worse yet, a front blows in with thunder and lightning you want to be able to get back to your launching place or at least have somewhere to hide. There are basically NO markers out there except when you get relatively near some of the main channels between the Back Country and the ocean side. So a chart plotting GPS is pretty much a necessity (I'm talking from experiences - some of them a bit scary and definite exhausting!). But it's so worth it, exploring the Back Country. You'll often feel you're the last person on earth once you get away from the noise of traffic on the Overseas Hwy. It is spectacularly beautiful. If you are in the market for a kayak rental, talk to my friend Capt. Marcus on Summerland Key. If you Google "keyaks" (not "kayaks") you will find his business. He will even deliver your rental to you or drop you off and pick you up just about anywhere from the Middle Keys to KW. His prices are reasonable and he will provide you with a chart and always has up to the minute information on fishing from his charter captain friends in the area. Plus he is a classic Keys character, has been called The Dude of the Keys (Big Lebowski reference!). Although he does not have pedal style fishing kayaks he has a couple of good sit-insides that have rod holders.
  7. One of the best kayak guides if not THE best is Randy Morrow. You can find his site if you search lowerskeys**** He knows every inch of the water from the Seven Mile Bridge to Key West and uses top of the line equipment. Although the big migrating tarpon will most likely be gone by June there are still plenty of smaller ones around and Randy know where to find them, plus lots of other species - you will be there at prime time for bonefish, FWI.
  8. Interesting responses, thanks. Still would like to hear from someone who has transported their 12' kayak with crossbars 24" apart. I'm concerned about tying down the bow and stern with ropes going to the front and back of the vehicle causing lots of noise. If it was just me going, no problem, but "happy wife, happy life" as they say and mine would NOT be happy with lots of noise from the ropes on a 1400 mile journey (she does accept that there will be some noise no matter what I do, BTW). The seat is removable in my Hurricane and I have a good quality cockpit cover if that means anything re: upside down or right side up and relative wind resistance. I will definitely be using the cover because I need to transport the paddle (2-piece, separated) and PFD inside. At this point I think I'm leaning toward springing for the fancier, wider J-racks from Yakima or Thule..... Gene
  9. I have a dilemma that I need to address before making the trek from Cape Cod to the Keys with my kayak in about a month. I've done a lot of transport of various kayaks for the last 20 years, mostly in the back of a pickup truck that I no longer have. For the last year I've been transporting my 12' Santee Hurricane (which I love!) on top of my Subaru Crosstrek on Yakima crossbars with Yakima saddles or occasionally on off-brand J-racks. However, on this trip we will be using my wife's new Kia Seltos small SUV. We spent the long dollar on Kia branded crossbars that the dealer installed on the roof rails (to be honest, if I'd known what a PIA roof rails are vs the built in racks on my Crosstrek it might have been a deal breaker, but that's another story....). These new crossbars are screwed into set spaced openings on the rood rails that are in specific places. I asked them to space the bars a good distance apart for use with kayak racks but they went with the enclosed instructions, placing them 24" (on center) apart. They did this (they said) to minimize wind noise. I could move the rear bar back to the next set of openings near the back to vehicle but judging by their explanation of the process it looks like a job I do NOT want to take on, especially in sub freezing weather. So here's my question: I've read on a couple of kayak sites that 24" is the minimum space between any kind of racks for safe transport. To me, that seems kind of close but I would love to hear from anyone who has their racks, either saddle type or J-racks, set that distance and their experience. Pressure points from the saddles on the bottom being that close together are a concern, especially if I have to really use some force tying it down, which I most likely will have to do. So even though I prefer the saddles to the J-rack for ease of getting the kayak on and off the car, I might have to use J-racks. Would it make sense to buy better quality J-racks, either Yakima or Thule (both will work on the crossbars from what I can see) as they are somewhat wider both on the bottom and the upper parts, giving four well separated padded contact points on each rack? Going back to the dealer is not an option as they are up in Framingham which is at least an hour and a half away, FWIW. Sorry for the long post! I just want to do everything possible to make this trip as safe as possible. Thanks for your time & responses! Gene
  10. I will be in Siesta Key area for a month beginning Feb. 27 and will be bringing along my kayak. Would definitely like to meet up somewhere mutually convenient. I know the value of local knowledge! Drop me a PM if the moderator will let me get to the point that can happen, or email guitaristgene(at)yahoo(dot)com Thanks!
  11. Thanks! Just checked them out, that 17' Carolina looks great. Other recommendations are really appreciated, if I have to drive an hour or so to get to the rental operation that's fine. Thanks very much! Gene
  12. Interesting in finding a reliable boat rental operation in the Siesta Key area or within an hour's drive. I would like to rent something like an 18' Carolina or other shallow draft skiff for near-shore fishing. Thanks!
  13. I've fished the middle keys all the way down to Key West many, many times in the last 15 years, both on foot and via a kayak and will be there again in April. Here are two excellent recommendations. The guide you're referring to is Randy Morrow * Randy is a master - the last I heard he had personally caught and released upward of 50 permit, which most fishermen in the Keys will tell you is the most difficult fish on the Back Country flats. He uses great equipment - Jackson fishing kayaks were his favorite for many years. I have fished with him once and he is a no-nonsense guy.....he is not there to be your best friend but he WILL put you on fish ('cuda, bones, various snappers, grouper, shark & more). He will work you pretty hard (paddling to his honey holes). Randy is also a very good and respected drummer and plays with the best musicians in the area. Not sure when you will be there but know that the height of tarpon season, March - June for the big ones, most guides are booked a year in advance. I heartily recommend for a kayak rental. They are right next door to you on Summerland Key. The owner, Capt. Marcus is a true Keys character - he has been referred to as The Dude of the Keys (Big Lebowski reference, and totally accurate!), a real laid back and interesting guy and is very knowledgeable about fishing areas. His rates are reasonable and he will give you a copy of a chart to take along. He will also deliver a kayak to you where you are staying or meet you almost anywhere to deliver one. Be sure to tell him you are fishing; he does not rent fishing kayaks but a few of his boats have rod holders and will work just fine as long as you don't intend to bring along tons of gear. Spend time studying charts before you go - there are some good waterproof paper ones available for the Middle and Lower Keys. The Back Country fishing experience is breathtaking and addictive, but know that there are few if any markers out there and once you get a mile out all the mangroves look the same and it's easy to get lost. Download a good GPS app for your phone! Also, study the weather forecast - it is no fun at all to be a few miles out in the Back Country with a front sweeping in and no place to hide.... Which brings me to.... Bring a small plastic jar to pee in. There is NOWHERE to get out of the kayak on most of the mangroves. The Voice of Experience talking..... Also - plenty of water!!!! It's easy to get caught up in the beauty of the place and by mid day the sun can be brutal. If you decide to do a charter, and there are plenty available, be absolutely sure to let them before the trip the kind of fishing you want to do (spin cast, fly, troll) and what they use for gear, or better yet, use your own. I've done about a dozen charters in the Keys and sadly, many captains only know one way to fish and are reluctant to try anything else. Keys guides have a reputation of being obnoxious at times and my experience has proven that true. Of those dozen (all very expensive BTW) only two or three would I fish with again. Again, I'm not looking for a new best friend but I'm always friendly with them, with mixed results to say the least! Good luck! The kayaking Back Country experience is like nothing else. After you do it once, you will be hooked (pun intended!). Send me a PM with your email address and I'll give you more info and recommendations of shore fishing spots, which are very, very few and far between unless you want to fish the bridges. Gene
  14. Thanks everyone, really appreciate the info - Tom, I sent you a text with my email. Gene
  15. Need some basic intel about shore fishing/wading and close to shore kayak fishing from South Sarasota/Siesta Kay and points south all the way down to Naples. I've fishing a lot Florida (Keys) for many years but the month of March will be the first time I've explored that area. I'm hoping to find spots for inshore kayak fishing and also wade fishing opportunities. Not expecting deep dark secrets but I don't want to waste a lot of time. I'm not a trophy hunter, almost all fish will be released and I use light/medium action spinning gear. If you would like to respond via messaging that's fine too. NOT into soaking baits off bridges. Also, if anyone reading this is going to be in that area 3/21 and would like to split a charter or perhaps split a boat rental, or better yet, live somewhere near there and would like a fishing partner who's experienced, well behaved and ready to cover fuel costs, that would even better! thanks