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Trailmix: Outdoors bits and pieces


{outdoors-related bits and bites}

Avoid anchor chaos

Positioning a kayak in relation to a school of fish is aided tremendously by an anchor trolley system. Wind or current may require you to drop anchor, but you want that anchor line to run off the kayak at an angle that allows you to face in the direction you want to cast. Neil Taylor of Adventure Kayak Fishing has a trolley on each side of his kayak that allows him to manipulate his anchor line with little effort and noise.

There are several kits with slight variations on the market, but here is the setup Taylor uses (kits are available at most kayak outfitters or online for about $29-$39; kayak shops can install them if you're not a do-it-yourselfer).

Start by attaching one "pad eye" within a few inches of the front of the kayak above the waterline on one side. Drill holes just large enough to snuggly insert rubber well nuts coated with marine sealant. Screw in the pad eye with tri-grip rivets. Now do the same at the rear of the kayak.

Loop a 10-inch piece of bungee from the rear pad eye through one pulley and tie it off at the pad eye with knots. Taylor says this keeps tension on the main line, which will stretch and shrink over time as it gets wet and dries. Use this "tensioner bungee" with another pulley at the front, if you like.

Next, run the main trolley line through the pulleys (or the one pulley and front pad eye) and tie the ends to a ring. Taylor uses a small, stainless-steel ring because plastic rings are much larger and tough to get a clip on/undone.

Now clip the anchor line or anchor float bag to the ring.

When you drop anchor and need to position the line, just pull on the line to send the ring and anchor line to the desired to position alongside your kayak.

Outdoors poll

Last month: Which outdoors-related gift would you most want this holiday season?

Rod and reel combo43 percent

GPS unit25 percent

Stand-up paddleboard13 percent

Sunglasses9 percent

Swiss Army knife5 percent

Binoculars5 percent

Total votes: 110

New question: So, if Florida's gulf coastline is opened to oil drilling, what will you do?

Vote at

Gear me | Scent coverups

Bowhunters aspire to have their quarry in close, so a deer or hog's acute sense of smell is a tremendous hurdle for hunters who stalk, still-hunt or use tree stands. The wind, and rising and falling thermals, carry scents for great distances, and once game smell something amiss, they go on high alert. So a smelly hunter will likely have a success rate near zero.

To that end, scent eliminators, such as Wildlife Research Center's Scent Killer line of products, work to turn the odds more in the hunter's favor by attempting to mask the scent of humans.

Rick Frazier, a St. Petersburg fishing guide who also hunts deer in upstate New York and hogs near Arcadia, washes his hunting clothes, and sprays his boots and gear with Scent Killer products. While he doesn't believe it totally eliminates human scent, he believes it masks it enough to enhance his chances of game coming within his preferred hunting range of 25 yards.

"Something is better than nothing; it gives you confidence," said Frazier, who also takes chlorophyll tablets in the weeks leading up to a hunt to help douse body order. Frazier stores his gear in bags to prevent other odors from getting into the fibers of his clothes. He never wears his hunting gear around his hunt camp to prevent food or fire smells from working their way in.

Cost: About $18 for a quart of the spray; $5 for the deodorant; $7-$12 for the soap for washing.People | Roger Young

Age: 39. Lives: St. Petersburg for 14 years

What I do: Captain with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's law enforcement division; 15 years with FWC.

The job: Leadership role for 30 officers and staff personnel that cover Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas counties and parts of Hillsborough. Officers enforce state and federal laws and regulations on water and land, responding to everything from boating accidents to conducting search and rescue missions. In addition to basic law enforcement academy schooling, FWC officers get specialized training. "We learn to work by ourselves because many times your backup is not close. But a lot of the time we're in the Intracoastal Waterway because that is where most of the activity is."

Best part of job: "Protecting the natural resources and being able to preserve it for my kids."

Difficult part of job: "That great variety; the knowledge you have to have. You have to have a working knowledge of all the constantly changing regulations and laws. That, and being out on the boat at the end of four months of summer and sweating every day. That gets tough."

Wind or

The trolley system provides the flexibility to position the kayak in relation to the wind or tide in the best way to make a cast to fish without the anchor line interfering.

Trailmix: Outdoors bits and pieces 12/03/09 [Last modified: Sunday, December 6, 2009 8:39pm]
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