The WX2200 was designed to be the ultimate in big water fishing boats. Long, wide and deep, and packed with fisherman friendly features, this rig has everything you need to look Mother Nature in the eye and say “Stand Aside. The WX Series from Skeeter has already become wildly popular amongst walleye, muskie and big water bass fishermen. With the additional of the WX2200, the series offers every possible option that a big water fisherman could ask for.
Skeeter is dedicated to multi-species fishermen with one of the most extensive and innovative product lines in the industry. Each one of their multi-species boats comes loaded with more than 70 years of design and technology standards and has been engineered to meet anglers needs.
Skeeter’s WX series deep-v hulls are built to give you maximum control in even the harshest conditions. Whether you’re running through rollers to your favorite ledge, or back trolling a snaky depth contour in a biting crosswind, these hulls are designed to be responsive and give you precise handling. The new REACT™ Keel* feature takes your precision trolling and drifting even further. It virtually locks the hull to the water and keeps you right where you want to be —on fish.
BIG WATER HULL:
Designed to handle the nastiest of conditions with a comfortable, dry ride. The WX hull gets you out there, keeps you in control and on fish with the REACT keel, and brings you back safely.
LARGE OPEN COCKPIT:
The WX Series Deep-V is designed for fishermen who fish big water and do the majority of their fishing from the cockpit. The cockpit floor is long, wide and open with no obstacles to fighting and landing that trophy fish.
REAR JUMP SEATS:
The standard rear jump seats on the WX Series create amazing fisherman flexibility for cockpit utilization. Add two seats to carry 6 friends or family members. Remove the rear pedestal seats
and you can still bring 4 fishermen while creating lots of open cockpit space for managing trolling spreads.
MASSIVE UNDER DECK STORAGE:
The big water hull on all WX Series models, by its nature, creates massive amounts of room under the deck for storage. The both port and starboard side storage lockers are very deep and wide. You’ll be amazed at the amount of gear you can pack.
OUTSTANDING TROLLING PLATFORM:
Remove the rear pedestal seats and you can still bring 4 fishermen while creating lots of open cockpit space for managing trolling spreads. The gunnels caps are flat, allowing the installation of rails for rod holders or Trax systems for down rigger fishing and rod tree applications.
DEEP SIDE GUNNELS:
All WX Series models have deep gunnels along with a large open cockpit. Your family and friends will enjoy the comfort and safety of the WX Series cockpit. Depending on the model, gunnels are up to 28 inches deep.
AUTOMOTIVE STYLE COCKPIT SIDE PANELS:
The WX2190 and WX2060 now feature an automotive style vinyl side panel on the port and starboard side. The side panels feature built in speakers, passenger side grab handle, and conveniently located cupholders.
When your family or friends are ready to take a break from fishing and have some fun in the sun, the optional Ski Pylon comes in handy. Great for water skiing and tubing, the Ski Pylon sets up in a couple minutes and easily stows below the front deck. It’s available as an option on all WX Series Deep-V’s
Social media followers of MLF Bass Pro Tour pro Cody Meyer, prepare yourselves: the annual “parade of giant spotted bass” is about to begin.
The Northern California pro posted a photo of an oversized spot on his Instagram feed (@codymeyerangler) on Oct. 8, one of several 6-plus-pound giants that he’s decorated his social feeds within recent years. That fish – while impressive – is just a preview of things to come as the December bite begins to heat up.
“From about Thanksgiving on is when the fishing gets really good,” Meyer says. “The water cools down and they start biting. They’ll bite good from December until they spawn, which is usually sometime in May. They’re just especially active this time of year. They’re gathered up around bait, and if you know how to find them, this is a great time of year to catch some big ones.
And by “big ones”, Meyer means REALLY big ones. Meyer has caught, in his estimation, “hundreds of fish over 6 pounds”, including one morning where he caught 15 fish over 7 pounds before noon. His single biggest day – the day when he broke the IGFA all-tackle record with a 10.80-pounder on Bullards Bar Reservoir in Yuba County – sounds like a fairy tale: a 10.8, two 8-pounders, a 7.47 and a 6.6.
That’s over 42 pounds of spotted bass, an 8-plus-pound average.
“I know, these numbers sound ridiculous: In most spotted-bass fisheries, a 3-pounder is a big fish,” Meyer admits. “I’ve fished spotted-bass lakes from California to Georgia and everywhere in between, and there’s just nothing like these Northern California fisheries anywhere else in the world. An 8-pound average is just insane. It’s unheard of to catch 40 pounds of spots. I mean, it’s hard to catch 40 pounds of largemouth!”
Find the kokanee, find the trophy spots
Meyer’s California spotted-bass playground is the result of stockings of spots from Smith Lake, Alabama by the California Department of Fish & Game in the early 1970s. Fisheries like Whiskeytown Lake, Lake Berryessa, Lake Shasta and several others (formerly largemouth and smallmouth fisheries) gradually evolved into solid spotted-bass destinations.
And some – especially those with big populations of stocked kokanee salmon – turned into factories for trophy-sized spots.
“If you do a little research and connect the dots between spotted bass populations and kokanee stocking, you’ll figure out where the potential giants live,” Meyer advises. “It takes a spotted bass a long time to get to the size where they can eat a kokanee, but once they get to that size, they grow about a pound a year.”
Prime time is just beginning
The wintertime proliferation of bigger spots is directly related to the seasonal movement of kokanee in most fisheries. These landlocked sockeye live in deep waters for the majority of the year, but as waters cool down in December, kokanee migrate into shallower depths. And spotted bass follow.
“Kokanee and spots both live literally out in the middle of the lake, so they’re pretty tough to find most of the year,” Meyer says. “The winter is when those kokanee come up shallower, and spots move up to ambush kokanee. It’s about the only time of the year where they’re a little predictable.”
Meyer’s approach is straightforward: meter the lake with your electronics to locate suspended kokanee schools, and drop a simple swimbait or Strike King Ocho down on them. There’s no structure to hold fish on, so spotted bass can be prolific in one area one day, and completely absent from that area the next.
“It’s super, super simple fishing, but it can be totally frustrating, too,” Meyer says. “If you find the right area, though, you can catch them like crazy.”
Use these tips to ensure a hassle-free hibernation, and a fast start come spring.
BY CAPT. DAVE LEAR
Old Man Winter has made an earlier than expected appearance in the Mid-Atlantic and New England coastal zones, which means it’s time to start planning for the 2019 spring fishing season. But before the boat is stowed for a long winter’s nap, prepare your boat for winter storage to ensure a hassle-free hibernation, and a fast start once the season begins.
Start by replacing all the engine filters. They are probably due anyway and that will be one less chore to complete when warmer weather does return. Change the gear case oil and lubricate all grease fittings. Afterwards, tilt the engine down to drain any remaining water.
Inspect for propeller shaft seal damage before storage.
Pull the propeller and inspect the lower unit seals for fishing lines, debris. Grease the shaft with a waterproof grease and re-install the prop, torquing to the proper tightness.
Spray the engine and electrical panels with a water-displaying treatment to protect against corrosion.
Change the engine spark plugs and anodes if necessary.
Add fuel stabilizer to gas tank to facilitate start-up in the spring.
Fog or run the engine’s winterization procedure. There’s still a debate about whether to top off the tank during storage to avoid condensation with ethanol gas. Check with your service technician for a recommendation. Marine (non-ethanol) gas isn’t a problem. Adding a fuel stabilizer to either formula certainly won’t hurt, though.
Check all fluids and change where required while you’re checking the spark plugs.
Disconnect the batteries and store them in a cool, dry spot that won’t freeze. To avoid the risk of cracking battery cases, don’t store them directly on concrete.
Drain all water systems (potable, bait wells, holding tanks) to prevent frozen lines.
Make necessary repairs on trailer prior to storage for the winter.
Inspect the trailer frame, hardware and tires. Replace any worn or damaged parts.
Cover or shrink wrap the boat if it will be stored outside. Use PVC pipe or wooden dowels to “tent” the cover so snow won’t accumulate and tear the material.
I am a total fan of Hank Rogers who runs the BassGeek channel on YouTube. Hank works hard to provide subscribers great content in an engaging way. Recently this year he passed 10,000 subscribers which is an impressive achievement for a fishing channel. We talk to Hank about how to grow a fishing YouTube channel.
How has the fishing been since the last time we talked?
It’s been fishing. Some days you’re king of the world and others you’re a bum. Overall, it’s been good however I’ve gotten to take some guys fishing that don’t do the offshore thing that I like so much and it’s always fun seeing people catch fish in a new way.
2017 provided a ton of highlights for me. It was a ride that’s for certain. The sudden channel growth, introducing new anglers to the sport, getting to meet some of the anglers I look up to, and introducing people to some winter smallmouth fishing with the Damiki Rig. There’s just been so much that it’s hard to believe it all happened in a single year.
So far 2018 has been a year of extreme. It’s been extremely good or extremely bad. My channel has continued to grow at an amazing pace. I had my best finish as a Co-angler in a BFL event, I’ve been able to make some big upgrades to my own boat.
However, I’ve had boat issues which has kept me off the water as much as I want to be. For me, that makes me feel like I’m not able to give the subscribers all I can. I hate to let them down.
Hearing, seeing, knowing I’ve helped someone catch more fish is what makes the highlights for me. I love that! Catching a 10lb bass couldn’t compare to that for me. So when I get messages or comments from people who share their stories of how they caught fish using techniques or gear they seen me use nothing can compare to that.
You have been crushing it on YouTube. How has it felt to have such great growth?
I started out 2017 with 1,418 subscribers. Which to me was awesome! You never know how this stuff is going to turn out. I’m just learning on the fly as I go and having fun making fishing videos. Then in 2017 it’s like things just went nuts. I gained almost 5 thousand Subscribers! That was unbelievable to me.
Now here we sit in 2018 and I’ve almost gained more than all of 2017. It’s just April. I really don’t know how to react! I never saw this coming! It’s an incredible and humbling experience. I had someone want to take a picture with me for the first time in my life at a Bass Pro Shops! I was having a rough day and it just turned it around completely. I mean how can that not make you smile.
On one hand, it’s incredible to be lucky enough to experience this. I just want to enjoy it for now and see where it leads. You never know when it will end. I really just want to savor the moment. It’s opened so many doors I never thought of from an angler stand point and a Youtube creator standpoint.
On the other hand, it’s a lot of pressure. I want to deliver good quality content. I don’t want to waste the time of all these people who subscribe and watch every week. I feel like I owe it to them to give them what they come to my channel to see. I can beat myself up a lot over videos I don’t feel are good enough. When life…or boat issues…keep me from making the videos I feel like my subscribers deserve, I feel like I’m letting a lot of people down. I always try to remember those are 10 thousand people and I owe them.
What do you consider the keys to your channel’s growth?
I think people find smaller channels because they want to learn something. I mean, that is still the number one reason people use YouTube. They are looking for something they need to know. So I try to give as much information in my videos as I can. I try to share the when, where, why, and hows of everything I’m doing in each video.
Even if it’s an unboxing of baits or equipment I buy. I don’t just say ” I bought this because it was green.” I say I picked this one up because during the Fall when the fish are chasing small shad with a green back this will match the depth, size, and color. It’s all about the details.
Too many people want to be the Googan squad but they don’t take into effect how the Googan squad became the Googan squad. Teaching people creates a relationship. It makes your videos and channel highly searchable. Peter McKinnon is a perfect example of this. He didn’t start showing real growth until his video “8 Camera Hacks in 90 SECONDS” came out. His tutorials are still by far his most viewed videos. All the Googans started out as fishing how to channels.
What have been some of your most popular videos?
The two largest and the two videos that have spurred on this growth for me is my “Humminbird Helix Best Setup and Settings” and the “How to fish a Jig – For the Beginner“. The Humminbird video was one I knew was going to do well. I’ve sat through countless click bait video’s from countless “big” name anglers and Youtubers that promised to show the settings of their graphs. NO ONE, NOT A SINGLE ONE ever did. So I wanted to make a video that would have helped me when I was searching for it. I didn’t just talk about it or show the screen, I showed tons of different cover and structure also. I wanted to make it as simple as I could for everyone.
The Jig video was the same. I had a lot of people even on other YouTube channels talk about how they never caught anything on a jig. How they always got hung up with’em which really surprised me. Heck I think I was born with one in my hand…hahaha! So I did a how to video on them for beginners and just added what I wish someone would have told me when I was learning. That was what we talked about in our last interview.
How do you pick topics for the videos?
It can be hard to find new and fresh topics. Heck almost impossible if you consider all the fishing YouTube channels and videos out there. So I just try to make videos for me about the things that are going on at the time I’m making the video. Every now and then you stumble on a great idea or a better way to present old ideas. Those are fun but not the norm. Just enjoy those when they come around.
I always prefer to make on the water videos. I just think solving that puzzle is never the same and never gets old. I can do 90 how to’s on 90 baits or techniques but sooner or later you’re going to run out of those types of videos. I can go fishing on the same lake on the same date every year for the next 10 years and something is going to be different every trip. That’s what makes this sport so great. Things are always changing and we are always learning.
If I had to pick one topic, it’s absolutely offshore structure fishing. It’s almost like I don’t have to think about it. I just know what they do or want when they are out there. I love it.
What is your posting schedule?
I post a new video every Wednesday. I just changed that from Tuesday because I may start to add a second video a week this summer on Sundays. That’s still up in the air however.
What do you recommend for others?
It really depends on what you want to get out of YouTube. If you’re really trying to build a channel and see where it takes you, I think you have to post a minimum of 1 time a week. If you’re just doing it to build a small audience and don’t want anything more than just having fun, doing it then every other week or even once a month is just fine.
The biggest tip I can give when it comes to schedule, is to stay on one. It’s so important to be consistent. I mean to the hour if you can. I try to post my video’s every Wednesday at 5pm.
I know a lot of people will tell you more is better. I agree but if quality is taking a big hit then post less and really work on your filming, editing, lighting, story telling, etc. Quality to me should be the FIRST thing you look at. Everything from your on camera presence to the echo of the room you’re in. Just know that quality takes time so it won’t happen over night. My videos are still a looooong way from where I want them to be but I’m working at it.
How do you balance life and your channel?
The balance is the most frustrating part of it all. I have expectations for the videos I make. Sometimes I have to come in under the bar I set for myself because I don’t have the time to go fishing, film, find music, edit, and post. Sometimes I have to phone one in and that sucks. I feel like I let everyone down.
I work 80 hours some weeks and have been married for 24 years with 2 kids and a granddaughter. I love fishing and I love making videos but unfortunately I don’t do this for a living so it can be tough. It takes someone like my wife that knows how much of a passion fishing and filming is for me to be able to do it. Just the fact that she holds the home front down is awesome. She makes my life much easier.
I always wonder about the avid YouTubers like yourself that the filming must interfere with the fishing. How do you handle on the water concentration and action and still make quality videos at the time?
I would be lying if I told you it didn’t interfere at times. I’ve missed some really good catches and days because I’ve struggled early and just stopped focusing on filming to focus on fishing. That being said, I classify myself as a angler who does YouTube. Not a YouTuber who does fishing videos. So I will always focus on the fishing first.
The key is to tweak your equipment out so that it’s just another part of you or your body or boat. It’s a learning process but bigger batteries, bigger sd cards, Yolo tek power sticks, on board chargers help a lot. Then you just have to take time to film B roll. A trick for us smaller YouTube guys however is to make sure you keep that B roll from the lakes you fish regularly. You can always reuse some of it next time you’re out on the same lake and you’re running short of transition material.
What kind of digital equipment are you using in 2018?
I’ve gotten by on the least amount of gear that I could for the first 2 years I’ve had my channel. Like I said I’m a one man show. I did some upgrades during the winter and I like what I’ve seen so far. My audio was the biggest problem. So I’ve bought a Go Pro Hero 5 with a Rode Mic and so far it has been a big upgrade. I still use my I-phone 7plus for a lot of my B roll or dialog parts of the video. I have a SJ 5000x that has been the work horse for the past 2 years and now is my chest camera. I don’t have a DSLR or any big camera. I hope to get a drone sometime near the end of the year. Something I’m using now and really love is the Zhiyun Smooth Q Gimbal. This has really provided me with some smooth stable shots.
For those that want to get started, what equipment do you consider the minimum?
I would say a good phone if you have one. Turn it sideways when filming. And a cheap action camera. I like the SJ5000 elite. You can get it cheap or find some good cheap used Go Pro’s. The action camera is a must due to weather. Then there is all kinds of cheap and/or free video editing software out there.
What are 5 pieces of advice overall do you have for YouTubers are new to it or working to grow their subscribers?
#1 – Make videos you want to watch. Not videos you think others want to see. That will get old really fast.
#2 – Don’t over do it at first. Start slow but on a schedule. 1 video a month or every 2 weeks but be persistent and on schedule.
#3 – Focus on quality first. YouTube is a balancing act. More uploads are better but more quality uploads is what counts. So start slow and focus on the quality of the videos first then do more of them.
#4 – Schedule and consistency is more important than amount of content. I can’t say that enough.
#5 – Information is what will bring people to your channel. Make sure those titles and tags are high traffic search terms.
What is up for 2018?
I’m going to keep working toward making better quality videos above all. Right now, I’m 2 videos into Season 2 of a FLW BFL tournament series I call Limits. It follows me as I fish a couple of the BFL Divisions. I hope to do a live stream or two with a couple BASS and FLW Pro’s from around my area. I really want to get into some in-depth sonar tweaks and how to’s and of course you’re gonna see the normal summertime swimbait action that I love. Oh and I’m going to do some giveaways because I love to give back to the 10k+ people who support me!
Thank you Hank! Will be following all of your 2018 success on YouTube.
Kayak fishing can be daunting for beginners. Some of these anglers have been bank stomping their entire lives while others are downsizing from power boats. Floating on a piece of plastic and chasing fish of varying sizes, some bigger than your vessel is a great end goal but before you get there, you should work through some things that every angler will face. These 13 tips for kayak fishing beginners should help you with the learning curve.
1. Learn to Paddle, Pedal, and Position a Kayak
Sometimes staying on a spot is very important and nature will try to push you off of it. Whether current, wind, or powerboat wakes, learning to maneuver your kayak well will add time fishing and reduce frustration. A proper paddle stroke will actually propel you at the same speed or faster than the “digger” who goes all out. Make sure to look up a local ACA paddling course. It will be money well spent if you bought a paddle craft. For those who are in electric or pedal powered kayaks, learning to properly position your kayak to face oncoming wakes, anchoring safely, and maneuvering skills when in tight places will be a great benefit.
2. Kindness Goes A Long Way But Don’t Force It
Some of us are social; some are not. A nod and a wave will usually suffice. If someone has time and/or wants to chat, they’ll give you an opener. If you don’t have time or don’t want to chat at that moment, be courteous, answer the opener and let them know you are heading up stream. It takes some practice but it is well worth it to let people know you’re not a tool. You’ll see this behavior in a lot of groups. A popular one is the low hand wave motorcyclists give in passing on the highway.
3. Find a Kayak Buddy and Join a Facebook Group
Getting on the water by yourself can be scary, especially for a newbie. I almost always have a great experience when sharing time on the water. If you talk about kayak fishing as much as I do, you might know who would be interested in going. If not, joining a local Facebook group for kayak anglers could be helpful. This is a great way to discover new techniques, be safe, and share a common interest with other people who share your passion.
4. It’s Not Your Spot. Chill Out and Move Along
Most of the time the person fishing where you were wanting to fish isn’t doing it because they are vindictive spot stealers. Most of the time they paddle or motor by, think a spot looks fishy and decide to throw some bait at it. While this spot may be a great spot, the lakes are full of fish. Losing your cool isn’t going to put fish in the boat. Mark the spot and come back later.
Will your world change if you can’t fish that spot right now? No, it won’t.
Yet, a lot of people act like it will. I’ve been guilty of the grousing that comes with finding someone already located where you want to fish. It’s disappointing. Is it worth a life? No. Most folks won’t evaluate it that way. What’s a little yelling? Maybe a little pushing? The fact of the matter is, you don’t know what the other guy will do. You don’t know what you will do if the adrenaline gets going. Don’t let it get up. Be a bigger man and understand: IT’S JUST FISHING.
No one should have to pay fines, go to jail, get seriously hurt or die because you WANT to fish a spot. It won’t always be the other guy who gets in trouble. We have to be more like adults and less like schoolyard kids. Hit the pause button and think about what you are upset about.
5. Kayak Karma
Believe me when I say there is such a thing as Kayak Karma. She is angry and vengeful. If you push people away from kayak fishing, she will get you. If you chew somebody’s tail for no good reason, she will get you. Be nice out there because Kayak Karma is not only vengeful but she is the sister of the Fishing Gods and she WILL tell on you. Kayak Karma hates an internet troll. Don’t be that guy.
6. If It’s Safe, Float With It
Show some excitement when someone tells you about the new kayak they bought. They’ve wanted to kayak fish and now they can. Be happy for them. Don’t tell them their investment is a piece of trash or too hard to paddle. We all start somewhere and not in the same place. Tell them “Welcome to the Addiction” or something along those lines. Really the only time to speak up against something is if safety is going to be an issue. If a Defensive Lineman from the University of Alabama gets on an eight-foot long kayak with a 145-pound weight limit, speak up. If they do not have the required by law equipment, speak up to save them a ticket and maybe a life. Other than safety, be supportive.
7. Be Smart, Be Safe
First and foremost, wear your PFD. That’s not an electronic document, it’s your life jacket. It will save your life. Additionally, make sure you are always obeying state water safety laws but above and beyond that, don’t be stupid. Don’t try to race across an inlet with a power boat headed at you on plane. Be careful with wakes around bridge pilings. Have the proper lights and maybe even more than required if fishing at night. Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. There are many more but the bottom line is, Be Safe.
8. Teach What You’ve Learned
If someone has shown you how to do something, pass it on! In the medical field, they have a mantra that I like a lot: “Watch One, Do One, Teach One.” This keeps the fountain of knowledge flowing to future generations of kayak anglers. Helping anglers who will come after you to the sport learn how to plastic weld, learn how to install an anchor trolley, learn how to install a hatch, and many other DIY fixes are what really solidifies the bond in the kayak fishing community
9. Be Helpful
If someone looks like they are struggling with loading or unloading, if someone drops some gear on the way to launch or if someone is looking puzzled while staring at their kayak, ask if you can help. It’s pretty easy, most of the time they really appreciate the question, even if they decline help. I have had many a trip made easier by someone helping me put my kayak in my truck bed or help me to cartop a heavy kayak.
10. Have Fun
This is supposed to be a fun sport. Don’t try to over think it. If you struggle, ask for help. If you find yourself not having fun, talk to someone about it. Take in the nature around you. Listen to the sounds that are so rarely heard in a power boat. Watch how close fish and birds will get to you. Take pictures! This is the best sport in the world. Make sure you enjoy it!
If you are using a boat ramp to launch your kayak, have everything ready before you back down the ramp. And turn your lights off. Nobody likes a boat ramp camper taking 20 minutes to unload all their stuff and rigging up their kayak. (This also applies to other watercraft). Have a plan, have it together, get it off the truck or trailer and move it off the ramp so others can use the ramp to enjoy their day.
12. Give Space or There Will Be Words
When you are fishing, unless you have been invited to come closer, stay at a good distance. Nobody likes a potlicking vulture. If you ask to come closer or leap frog to a spot up the bank be prepared to hear “No” and be okay with it. If a boat or kayak is moving in a direction, working behind them is ok but if you move past them in the direction they were moving toward and aren’t a few hundred yards past, be prepared to answer a few questions or expected to respond to your actions. It shouldn’t be a huge deal in most instances but it’s rudeness as its highest form here. You might as well take a bite of your buddy’s steak before he gets to. There will be words.
13. Tournaments are Very Different in a Kayak
If you’ve ever fished a tournament, you know about the adrenaline factor, nerves, all the posturing that goes on but in kayak fishing, tournaments are a completely different animal. The ballet that is measuring, photographing, uploading, scoring, and releasing a fish takes practice. Start with an online casual tournament. Maybe a month-long one at first to really get the feel for the Catch Photo Release format of tournaments. It’s more difficult than you might think.