Bic Santiago Fishing Kayak


I really wanted someone different, a kayak that would allow me to have some fun, but also be a worthy contender for a serious days fishing.

After contacting Bic I managed to secure a good deal on the Santiago model. This fitted the budget and seem to come with all the bells and whistles at no extra cost.

Find below the description from the Bic website.

The new Santiago Fishing is a superb base for your open-water fishing trips : stable, with great glide and very manoeuvrable even at low speed, it’s perfect for getting you to the best spot speedily and safely. The standard production fittings are comprehensive, with an adjustable seat which, combined with the wide, adjustable foot rests gives excellent paddle comfort.

Good storage space has always been a feature of the Santiago Fishing, and for very good reason, comprising a dry storage, a storage locker, plus a wide rear platform that enables you to load all the gear you need for all your fishing trips. Not forgetting the three rod rests, of which one is pivoting for maximum freedom of movement.

Comes equipped with:
• Adjustable footrests
• Adjustable backrest and foam seat
• Large oval-shape hatch at bow
• Stern round-shape hatch, diameter 20cm
• 2 x rod holders
• 1 x swivel rod holder
• Elastic bungee cords in stern
• Paddle attachments
• Carrying handles on bow, stern and sides
• Knee pads
• Bottle holder
• Self-draining scuppers x 2
• Draining bung x 1

Delivery was free and it came the next day. I couldn’t wait to get this out on the water and put it to the test.

Firstly there are some key features worth pointing out before we begin.

The front hatch offers ample space to store equipment, trolley wheels if they can be broken down and plenty more. The only disadvantage being there no main seal which did allow some water to flow through when I practised re-entry drills. You could quite easily remedy this but just be aware should you purchase one. I would strongly advice that you store anything of importance in a drybag.

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The foot rests are a great design, easy to operate and at 6ft 3in still gives you plenty of leg room. I found you could really drive the legs into them giving you great speed across the water.

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There is space to install a fish finder if you want one, however I will continue to use my Trident 13 for those sort of trips.

Just behind where you will likely to be installing your fish finder, there is a rod mounting which allows you to use the holder that comes complete with the kayak ensuring easy access to your rod, this does not hinder or effect your personnel space.

The seat is a built in affair, you could alter to your own needs, however I found it be very comfortable. Even after using is very recently for a longer fishing trip it still offers great comfort all round. Personnel preference will be the deciding factor here though.

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There is a water proof hatch at the rear for items like car keys or mobile phones. Tried and tested with my iPhone and keys to a very successful conclusion. Thumbs up here.

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You’ll also be able to spot the rod holders. These are very different from what we’re used to seeing on fishing kayaks but they do work well. They offer a nature trolling angle and keep the reels clear of the water line. If you wanted to add additional items to the rear you have plenty of room to do so.

The rear tank well offers stacks of space for a fishing crate, anchors and loads more.

Finally a drain plug which we has to use after doing re-entries that was very stiff and difficult to use first time round but has broken in since.

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As you can see it has plenty to offer and should suit all your need. It is very light weight which is something I had forgotten about after lugging my heavy Trident everywhere. So it felt very strange to just pick this up and move it with such ease.

At only 11ft you don’t have to sacrifice loads of room in the garden, garage or where ever you.store it.

2 colours to choose from, green or red.

Well let’s see how it fairs on the water. My good old friend Darren came along for the ride too.

I’m first to test it out. Initially my first thought, very tippy. It just seemed very unstable. With that said, after paddling it around for 15 mins you get very used to the limits and I started to have some really fun with it.

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Learning it right over and creating some brilliant turning angels. The conditions were fantastic which made the whole experience so much better. It tracks well through the water and reaches some good speeds even when paddling against an outgoing tide.

I chucked myself out and found it very easy to right and re-enter again. I was having to much fun at this stage. Even to the point of standing up and throwing myself out.

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Once I had righted the kayak several times, I was slightly disappointed with how long it took for the scuppers holes to drain the water. There are enough, however the holes are just to small, after having a good look I believe you could wider them further but this would be a your own risk of course. I only ever hope to have that much water in the cockpit if I have come out anyway otherwise it’s a bad day.

Darren was next in the driving seat and his thoughts also reflect mine.

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In summary, this kayak is better suited to those calmer days, it’s fast, stable once you get used to it and offers a fantastic and thrilling rid.

I used it on a recent trip and it performed well. Even caught some fish for the first time from it.

Give it go, your be very surprised.

Smoothies Hunt, Using My New GoPro 2


The video shows exactly how well I did. I was joined by Ian who also caught some descent Smuts.

Darren my Brother-In-Law also came along and caught the only edible fish of the evening (Mackerel)

This was the most pleasant evening we’ve had for such a long time. Enjoy!

Fishing Mad Weekend


After having a the whole week off work ruined by such bad weather, I’ve been looking at winder finder constantly trying to find a gap to get out and have a play.

Finally around 19:00 this Saturday looked promising. I put a post up on some forums asking if anyone wanted to come along and join me. The plan, a night adventure.

James and a nice chap called Andy travelled over 2 hours to have a bash at the Solent massive.

We all met at the Smut Fest car park (Salterns Road) used last week. It looked, ummm, slightly choppy.

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James’s first night trip is almost underway.

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We had a good old chat before heading out. This gave the sea and wind a chance to die down a little. It actually did thank god.

We all anchored within a good distance of each other because safety at night is absolutely essential. Especially in these testing conditions.

You can see just how different things are once we’d anchored.

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I was the first to hook into a fish. I’d only be in situ for around 15-20 minutes so this was a promising start.

A nice Starry to get the session underway.

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Released unharmed to grow bigger for next year.

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After a short wait, I hooked into another Smut. This time a common. Even though the fish isn’t by any means a record breaker, I fought very well.

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While I’m having a great time, the guys are doing well also. Andy had a Thornback and some Smuts followed by a possible Tope run that sliced through his line.

James catching Dogfish, Smoothies and losing a Mackerel.

The sunset looked so much more stunning than these pictures, but I wanted keep busy.

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We all caught our fair share of weed. It didn’t swamp the area to badly, but it did become a pain for about an hour and then it died down again.

Unfortunately so did the bites. We spent what seemed forever waiting for something to happen.

Andy managed to reel in a 3lb Bass to finish of the night/morning. Well done mate. Nice fish too.

We’d all had enough, after all it was 00:30.

The paddle back to shore was quick and much needed. Food and toilet at this stage.

Andy a pleasure to meet you, and hopefully we’ll do it again soon.

By the time I finally got in bed it was 01:45, this wouldn’t be so bad but I’d arranged to meet Ian and fish again with James at Bracklesham in 8 hours time.

We meet at 8 ish at the same venue as last time. After a very slow setup. Nothing to do with being half asleep still we hit the water around 09:30.

To sum this day trip up in few words. Windy, wet, emotional.

Ian had no bites all day. Nothing.

James had a couple of Pout a Dogfish.

Me, a little better, 3 Pout (Tiny), Dogfish and 3 good sized Bream. Only the bigger ones came home for tea.

It was so miserable, I even heard all the charter boats chatting on the VHF stating that nothing was happening. This did make me feel slightly better as I thought it would be plagued with fish after such poor weather.

Never mind, here’s tomorrows dinner.

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Bring Timmy Home!


Some recent news of my good friend and past shipmate is missing in Dubai. His wife and family are very concerned with his where about’s and reach out to the public audience for any information regarding this event.

Please read the link carefully and if you can help or have any information then contact any of the helplines.

http://www.bringtimmyhome.co.uk/

Let’s bring Timmy home safely to his loving family.

 

Stuffed Sea Bass


Step 1: You will need.

Sea bass cut into fillets
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp basil, chopped
1 dried chilli, or fresh, chopped
1 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper
8 thin slices of ham
60ml olive oil

Mostly prepared already.

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Step 2: Preheat the oven.

Begin by setting the oven to 220c/425f/Gas Mark 7

Step 3: Make the stuffing.

Heat a pan over a high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook them for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Next, add the red pepper, garlic, and chopped chilli. Stir together and season with salt and pepper. Cook until peppers begin to get soft, then add the parsley and basil, stirring it all together.

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Now add the flour, turn off the heat and stir it all together. Remove from the heat and let cool.

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Step 4: Stuff the fish.

Place a generous amount of stuffing in the centre of the fillet. Now place another fillet on top, making a sandwich of the stuffing. Set is to one side.

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Step 5: Prepare the ham for wrapping & wrapping the fish

On a piece of wax paper, place the pieces of ham overlapping each other. For this I used foil and 2 packs of Parma ham.

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Now place the fish on top of the ham and with the help of the wax paper/foil, wrap the fish in ham.

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End result.

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Step 6: Secure the fish with the twine.

Begin tying the fish by passing the string underneath on end of the fish. Make sure to keep at least 15cm at the beginning of the string in reserve.

Now make a loop and again sling the string underneath the fish. Do this until you near the opposite end of the fish.

Finally run the 15cm end at the beginning of the string under the fish and tie it with the other.

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Step 7: Bake the fish.

Put a little oil in the baking pan and place the fish on top. Season with salt and pepper, then place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove.

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Step 8: Remove the string.

Taking the scissors, carefully snip the string where it is looped being careful not to destroy the wrap. Now using a sharp knife, cut off the end of the wrap and the slice the rest into slices of about 3cm each.

Just ensure you have a sharper knife than me. Serve with whatever you fancy.

My wife said the was the best dish by a country mile. Woooohooooo.

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Smut Fest Meet, Hill Head


This meet has been in the dairy for sometime. I was a little unsure whether I’d make this one as I received an early present, “Man-Flu”. On the day though I zipped up the man suit and made it happen. Am I glad I did or what? Read On!

Rich (DILLIGAF) had put all the preparations in place for the event. So to just turn up and fish makes everything so much easier for everyone.

I arrived with Ian and James around 0730 to find a few others wanted an early start. We hit the water by 0800 and headed out to the 20ft point. No marks to select because Smooth Hounds can be caught anywhere around this area.

It was windy and the swell made it a little uncomfortable at times, but we just battled through it for the entire morning. My video selection says it all. A new PB too.

We pretty much all headed back in around lunch time because hunger was starting to set in, but the weather was starting to get worse also.

Rich had bought a nice sized half barrel shape BBQ down and cooked some good food anyone how brought something to throw on.

While the food was cooking some just chilled right out.

I decided to head out again for a final bash around 1530. Initially close in it felt like the wind has dropped off. What a miss judgement that was. We just paddled straight out to the 20ft point again and dropped anchor. The tide and current was in that transition period where the kayak just wouldn’t settle down into a safe fishing position. I soldiered on anyway in the hope I could land a few more Smooth Hounds.

Just look at the scene.

The weather was getting increasingly worse by the second. The swell ever worse and the wind picking up ten fold.

I managed to bag another Starry around the 6-7lb mark, shortly followed by a 4lb Bass that took my Mackerel head. I’ve been trying this bait for over 2 years and finally caught a nice fish with the method. Chuffed would be an under statement. I’d run out of memory on my camera to film this and only had enough room to take a picture later.

With the Bass in the bag, I decided enough was enough and headed back in. Just in time to be honest because not long after it started to rain.

I could also see that other people had the same idea and headed towards the shore also.

I didn’t disappear until this picture had been taken of course.

It was great to meet some old friends and bump into some new guys that came along. I think everyone had a great day, but it was a really shame the weather had let things down.

A new personal best of 14lbs and Bass for tea.

Oh yes, no to forget. Ian caught the stonker of the day. A 17lb+ Smooth Hound. Couldn’t reach my camera in time. HAHAHAHA. Well done mate.

Priceless…..

Late Hayling Island Report


With this fantastic weather comes fantastic opportunities to get out and live the dream.

I went almost straight from work and met with Ian right beside the Inn on the Beach.

The bonus being parking is free after 1800. This truly makes a difference seeing as its a rip off otherwise.

With the intention to fish for Bass and Mackerel the gear required was absolutely minimal. It makes a change to be setup within 10 mins and in the water.

The conditions were perfect.

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We had a quick go right by the Inn and then decided to go meet Pete who paddled over from Eastney. The sand banks were the target.

What an amazing paddle over to say the least.

Once we’d secured the kayaks on the sand I just felt the need to photograph everything.

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Pete doing something.

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Another picture of my kayak with the most beautiful back drop.

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We all waded out and threw the lures everywhere. I reckon an hour or so was spent on the sand banks trying different areas in the hope something would develop.

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Ian giving it a bash.

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Another stunning picture of the yaks ready to deploy.

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Pete decided enough was enough and headed home before sunset, so Ian and I prepared the kayaks to try further out.

Straight away our luck changed. Literally just out from the banks it started to liven up. I had a good bang but failed to set the hook properly. I threw the lure in the same direction and made it count second time round. Nothing big but the target fish either way.

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Ian in the distance doing exactly the same.

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After hearing him saying he hooked one, I paddled over to watch him reel it in, and it turned out to be a fairly good sized bass. I was very jealous, but Ian was happy and that’s what counts.

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There wasn’t a great deal of action after that, but the sunset was sensational. The pictures close this report.

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