Southern summer fishing! Cicadas blast a raucous, chitinous symphony across the river and heat and humidity wrap around you like a wet wool blanket. An Orion Cooler is an essential piece of summertime gear!
One of my favorite parings is my Jackson Kayak SUPerFISHal with my 25 or 35q Orion Cooler. The SUPerFISHal is Jackson Kayak’s paddleboard – an open, super-stable and ultra-customizable platform for fishing. With an Orion full of ice, beverages and lunch, the paddleboard is transformed! A comfortable, padded top, six different tie-down points, elevated seating position, GearTrac for mounting additional rod holders and cold, refreshing beverages in the middle of a sultry southern afternoon… what’s not to love?
My personal preference on the SUPerFISHal is the 35 quart size. It sits half an inch lower than the 25 (11” vs 11.5”) and a broader footprint (21.25″ x 15.5″ vs 17.75″ x 13.75″). These two factors working in concert mean an increase in stability on the FISHal as a seat. Because the Orion sits significantly higher than the seat on a traditional kayak, you’ll be able to spot more fish and structure. Casting accuracy is increased from this elevated position, and your hook set (and hook up!) ratio will improve.
I added a 4” section of GearTrac to the side of my SUPerFISHal and use YakAttack’s Vertical Track Tie-Down to secure my Orion to the deck if I’m headed into some dicey water. For the most part, I don’t lash it to the board.
Adding 1.5” YakAttack Screwballs to the GearTrac on the side of your Orion will let you mount fishing rod holders. I personally use the RAM Tube Jr because it can be reversed to accommodate either spinning or baitcasting rods. These super-convenient holders for your rods can be used for trolling lures on spinning rigs while covering some water. Loosen the drag on your reel until its nearly wide open, lob out a crankbait or whatever you’d like to troll, set your rod into the holder, start paddling and wait to hear that drag start screaming!
As my teammate Chris Funk put it, your Orion Cooler truly is a “multi-tool of cool”!
– Bridgett Howard