Monday, June 23, 2014
It was a tough three days on South Padre. Traveling a couple thousand miles for a virtual skunking puts a man to mumbling to himself. But the worst part was not that we struggled to find fish; it was that the conditions didn't allow us to spend enough time with the Diablos.
I was first introduced to Diablo Paddlesport's fine fleet of fishing kayaks a couple of years ago on the northern Laguna Madre. Thomas Flemons, co-owner of Diablo, towed a fleet of his boats out to a remote cabin outside of Baffin Bay where a handful of us gathered to spend a few days chasing redfish. I quickly fell in love with the Adios.
Diablo's craft are a hybrid of kayak and stand-up paddleboard, "thinner and wider, like a SUP board, but still has all the comforts, such as dry storage, wet storage, paddle and drink holders as well as a comfortable seat." I happily paddled about the salt flats, cruising for tailers, staking the boat out and wading when I wished. It was a couple of very good days.
Fast forward two years and I found myself back on the Laguna, this time further south, and was thrilled when Brandon arrived with a trailer of boats - his green Diablo Chupacabra and a couple of the new roto-molded Amigos. And not just any Amigos. Thomas's personal craft, complete with a couple of prototype accessories for us to fiddle with.
The plan was to paddle the flats as we had two years before, but the wind had other ideas. Blowing a steady 20 knots out of the south, it chopped the water severely making sight fishing impossible and paddling a challenge, even with the low-riding, sculpted Adios.
We did get a morning in, paddling around the waters just north of South Padre, and reacquainted ourselves with these sleek, sturdy craft that floated easily in a couple of inches of water. They were as good as I remembered.
I just wish that we could have done more.
Note: A huge thanks to Thomas Flemons for the loan of the craft. Diablo sits at the top of my list of personal fishing boats and I look forward to their continued evolution and success. If you're thinking of getting into a kayak, this is the place to start looking.