For those who don’t know, we offer four Go Play Days (paid workdays) a year for all employees to get outside and learn more about our products through personal experience. Of course, it doesn’t take much pushing to get ACK-ers outside.

Here’s a blog by ACK San Marcos Store Associate Alex Martinez documenting his first kayak camping trip (ever) with Diablo Paddlesports.

I teamed up with some guys over at Diablo Paddlesports over the weekend on an overnight kayak camping trip on the lower Colorado River that was filled memorable experiences!

Drop-In: Bastrop, Texas 

Five of us headed out on Saturday morning towards Bastrop, Texas, to put in at a boat ramp off of FM 969. We unloaded the yaks (our armada consisted of two Diablo Chupacabras, an Ocean Kayak Trident 11, an Old Town Predator MX, and a Jackson Cuda) and packed them with our sleeping bags, ice chests, tent, and fishing gear that would get us through to the take-out spot at Bob Bryant Park.

First Catch of the Day: Guadalupe Bass 

We set off a little after 11, the weather was beautiful, and we knew it was going to be a great float. About 45 minutes later, right in the middle of the river one of the guys slams into a 16 ¼ inches Guadalupe Bass. Everyone was super stoked that we had a Guad bass be the ice breaker.

We knew it was a toad of a Guad so we looked up the state record for this piece of water and it was 17 ¼ inches. We didn’t know this until after we set up camp but we were still riding the high of that fish! We paddled about 7 miles that first day not really catching anything as exciting as that first fish. I hooked on to a 2’ long gator gar but he bit through my line as I was trying to net him and he snuck away from me.

Setting Up Base Camp

We reached our island to build camp about 6:30 in the evening and grilled seven pounds of beef fajita for tacos that night and the morning. After everybody woke up, we packed up and set off again for the last four miles or so. The wind wasn’t working in our favor today and was blowing straight against us which caused us to paddle that entire stretch.  Thankfully that didn’t deter the fish from biting! We ended up with 16 total fish of all kinds: 1 catfish, 8 Guads, and the rest were largemouth. This was my first overnight kayak camping trip and it did not disappoint.

ACK Store Associate Alex Martinez

Moral of the Story: Go Kayak Camping

I highly recommend any person who loves being outdoors to go on such an excursion, even if there is no fishing involved. The fish are always an additional bonus that make a great trip that much better! I now look forward to many overnights this summer along these central Texas rivers and even going down to the coast for an overnight on the beach.