Realtree Cuda LT is the Real Deal To Me!

Last year one of my favorite kayaks was the Cuda LT, because it is simply a light weight version of one of our most popular models the Cuda 12. Technically it is slightly longer and a little wider too since the method of manufacturing (that makes it lighter) is thermoforming. This lighter weight package, extra length and width all add up to make it a little faster, more responsive and a little more stable feeling to me. Plus this new Realtree version that I’ve been using is technically a little lighter weight since it has a dull mat finish and no gloss coat to help it blend in to nature even better.

Most people know that thermoforming a kayak will never make it as durable as a roto-molded version. However, some people get the wrong idea and think that a thermoform kayak will crack easy or that it is significantly less durable than a root-molded kayak. Believe me, it still takes a massive hit at the right spot by the right pointed object to get through this kayak or any 25866710321_b7f7994211_zthermoformed Jackson Kayak; they shouldn’t be steered away from for anyone out there looking for a lighter weight kayak, with paddling experience and want to take it on the rivers with modest rapids and some rock. I always tell people that the roto-molded Jackson Kayaks for fishing are virtually indestructible (whitewater kayaks off of waterfalls onto rocks is maybe a different story) and thermoform kayaks like, the Cuda LT, Kilroy LT, etc are just a notch below the roto-molded versions in durability.  I take my LT on rocky rivers with light rapids all the time because it performs so well in these waters, especially going upstream, and I have enough paddling experience to read the water and make sure I’m traveling on the safest route down any shallow or rocky section, just in case. Then, when I head to the lake or saltwater marsh I have a great kayak for those areas too.

25401211273_de0f59f5be_kIt has helped me land some nice bass already this spring and even a few catfish mixed in. I took it on the river the other day and, due to the high muddy water, was using a 3/4 and 1 oz Z-MAN Chatterbait (with Diesel minnow or Paddlerz trailer) to catch hungry pre-spawn largemouth bass. This time of year they love to hang in the dead calm slack areas behind holders or logs. I say “dead calm” for a reason because in a couple weeks around the Carolinas the will be in any smaller current breaks. Some of the keys to reading the river matrix this time of year is to look for the dead still bubbles off of the current seam that are also in the sun. One side will be swift, the 25935753126_3bb7b7e47a_kother will have these calm bubbles. Also, especially in the middle of the river where you can see visible rocks sticking out above the surface or you can tell there are some below, you can keep an eye out for turtles that are surfacing in these calm spots.  Where there are turtles, there are usually fish in these larger calm areas! Beware though, sometimes you accidentally snag one of these turtles!

Once the water clears a bit more I like to start throwing large realistic swimbaits. One key, no matter what you’re throwing is to make sure and go a little slower this time of year and make your lure hits the river bottom. If you’re chatter bait, spinnerbait, jig or whatever, isn’t beat up on the underside from hitting structure then you’re not doing something right!

Hopefully this helps you catch more bass in this early spring season, especially if you plan on attending the upcoming River Bassin’ Tournament Trail stop in Rock Hill, SC, on April 2nd!

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