Thursday, August 21, 2014

Product Review - Astral Buoyancy - Ronny Fisher PFD

Both Shane and I have been putting Astral Buoyancy's newest fishing PFD the "Ronny Fisher" through its paces over the last half year. Yesterday I was finally in a situation were I got to use the one of its many features, the rain visibility hood, so I now feel like I've tested all the ins and outs of the PFD.
First and foremost this vest is made by one of the most respected companies in the whitewater kayaking world. So think about this.... Their vests on the backs of some of the craziest professional whitewater kayakers that are dropping in on 50 foot plus waterfalls and when they turn to company to entrust their lives with.... it's Astral Buoyancy.
Astral created a lot of buzz this year in the kayak fishing world with their release of their first "fishing first" PFD. This means the Ronny Fisher well thought out, efficient, and "Will" save your life if you need it to.
Thin-Vent™ Back compatible with all seats and offers breathability along the user's back
Multiple front pockets for easy access storage
Stowable drink holder
Quick Access Knife Tab
Reflective Trim
Pre-shaped foam offers a great fit for women
Stowable Rain Hood in the Neck Collar
Mesh Liner for Added Comfort
Additional Tool Organizer

 What We Think

Comfort - I find the PFD very comfortable. One of the key features important to me is the flat back on the vest. I fish out of a Hobie Pro Angler with a High Back seat, so most PFDs with a high back feature will not work for me, so this is the perfect option. The PFD is formed just right to fit to anyone's body and for us we don't feel like it rises up on you like many PFD's do.
Style - The vest comes in two colors, grey and lime green, so if your a conservative kayak angler then grey is for you or if your a bold lure slinger the lime green option has you covered. The Lime Green also provides a little more visibility for those anglers concerned with high boat traffic on the bodies of water they fish.
Price - $159.95 - While we know everyone out there likes the cheapest option they can find, we truly believe you get your moneys worth here. Also, if there is anything you want to spend good money on it should be on a PFD, which we hope you never truly need.... but could save your life some day.
Features - The features seem never ending... The one we were somewhat skeptical of was the hi-vis rain hood, would it fit right or block visibility, etc. We are happy to say it might be the best feature in the vest even though you won't use it every time out. It fits just right, the Velcro chin strap keeps it from flying off in the wind, it creates no visibility limitations, it stows away very easily ,and of course it keeps you dry. There are plenty of times you'll be out fishing and a pop up rain storms comes out of no where and you never remember you raingear, now you be covered...
We also think this is the perfect tournament PFD. The two front pockets provide perfect storage space for your phone or camera and that ever so elusive photo identifier that seems to get misplaced on the kayak by just about every kayak angler at some point.
And you can't go wrong with a PFD that can save your life and also save your beer!!
Overall - 9/10 - This PFD is a winner!! Shane and I both think it is top notch and built to last. My only knock on the vest is the front pockets and floatation are a little bulky for just a quick afternoon trip when I don't need to carry much stuff.
I've even worn it fishing a boat tournaments in which the weather was a little less than ideal.

The vest fits well over layers of clothing or simple over a t-shirt.

The hood fits just right, after the rain we were treated with an awesome rainbow.

You don't even notice the hood is there when stowed away.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MAKBF 2014 Results

Most importantly we were able to raise around $500 for Heroes on the Water. This year the donation went to the newest Appalachian Chapter. All Pictures will be posted ASAP. Thanks to everyone that participated and bought raffle tickets! The yeti raffle winner was Will Benzin.
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Congrats to Matt Eikenberg on being crowned the 2014 Angler of the Year. Matt took home $225, AOTY Engraved Dog Tags, and paid entries to all events for 2015.
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Angler of the Year Final Standings

1.Matt Eikenberg - 32 (All Paid Entries for 2015)
2.Dave Thompson (Turtle135)- 27 (2 Paid Entries for 2015)
3.Bryan Herndon - 23 (1 Paid Entry for 2015)
Chuck Bieller - 20
Matt Baden (CB Kayak 02) - 19
Mike Soudee (Chexone)- 17
Chris Burke - 14
Josh Evans - 13
Alberto Tabian (Berto) - 12
Zach Huntington - 12
Matt Campbell - 10
Joe Deisvaldi - 9
Jeff Burkett - 9
Dave Adlington (Donkeyfish) - 8
Andrew Francis - 8
CJ Espey (Bust em Baits) - 7
Andy Ibarra - 6
Zach Moore - 6
Mike Tomasik - 5
Dave Truong - 5
Mike Chaney - 5
Jeremy Angle - 4
Shane Clift - 4
Dave Roeslo - 3
Brian Rigg - 2
Nate Dunkelberg - 2
Mike Hoskey - 1

Event #5 Results- Mallows Bay Park
1. Dave Thompson 50" - $168 and Yak Attack Prize Pack - (Big Bass Winner 17.5" - $50 Gift Card Bust Em Baits)
2. Alberto Tabian - 49.5" - $100
3. Matt Eikenberg - 45" - $68
4. Chuck Bieller - 43.75"
5. Andy Ibarra - 41.25"
6. Mike Tomasik - 31.5"
7. Matt Campbell - 26.25"
8. Tony Panaro - 24.75"
9. Bryan Herndon - 24.5"
10. Matt Baden - 16.75"
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Hot off the press!!

You can thank us later once you get your hands on some of these hard head custom baits jig heads!!! 

Florida Roadtrip 2014

Just got back this past weekend from a weeklong trip down south. Just in time to see my partner in crime, Shane, tie the knot with our other roomie and now his wife Annie. 
Sorry for the grainy picture. 

Elaina and I started our trek 7/30 and arrived late that night in ocean isle beach, nc.  
Loaded and ready to rock.  

We spent a day on the water with my longtime friend Wyatt and my cousin Michelle on their 18ft Scout center console cruising the intercoastal and exploring the nude beaches. 

After catching up my cousin and Wyatt's family we headed further south to st. Augustine, fl to hang with Captain Luke for two nights before reaching our final destination of Melbourne, fl. We spent one day with Luke out on his regulator 32 chasing Bonita, sharks, and hoping to luck into a tarpon behind the shrimp boats. 

We wrapped up st. Augustine with a date night at the conch house restaurant before waking up early the next morning to hit up mosquito lagoon on the way to Melbourne. 

Mosquito lagoon was quite uneventful. We caught a few spike trout and explored the Florida nature. 

Caught a few fish on the new Hard Head Custom Baits weighted hook with spinner!!!

Melbourne was great we got to spend a lot of time with my family, parents, uncle and grandfather. We ate great every day and I even got to venture down to palm beach for a day offshore. 

Lots of swings and misses, but overall a great first experince fishing with Matt and Eric the crew from 

I was able to connect with a 31" king mackerel for my first offshore fish. We were fishing live gogs (expensive lil buggers) with wire stinger rigs. 
While I didn't get to catch one I was able to witness it first hand. Matt Eckert hooked into and fought a beautiful sail while we were on the water. 

On our way north we stopped again at mosquito lagoon for a second try. Of course Elaina showed me up with the biggest fish of the day!

These hard head custom baits jigs are the bomb!!! Check out the link on the left side of the site. 

We also stalked some monster bull reds on the flats that day, but I just could get them to eat. Also, while we were on te water we got a FaceTime call from Elaina's sister in Punta Cana flashing her new engagement ring!! Congrats Kristina and Alex!!

We eventually made it home August 8th, just in time for Shane and Annie's big wedding on the 9th. 
We clean up nicely....

We would also like to send a big congratulations to our kayak fishing friends Michael and Samantha Bartgis on their wedding this past weekend as well.