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Podcast Interview Transcript - Extreme Kayak Angler Brian Nelli

Laguna Costa Radio Podcast Interview

with Brian Nelli of Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters and Extreme Kayak Fishing


Speaker 1:           Welcome to Laguna Costa Radio, featuring interviews with authentic anglers and hunters from around the globe and brought to you by Laguna Costa Outfitters, purveyors of sweet threads for the salty soul. Check us out as

Dink:                      All right, I’m ready. All right, everybody Dink Murphey here, with Laguna Costa Radio. I have our first guest on the line with us, Brian Nelli. Brian is owner and founder of Pushin' Water Kayak Charters or Pushin' Water Fishing. You got to correct me on that already, Brian. What is it?

Brian:                    It’s Pushin' Water Kayak Charters.

Dink:                      Where is that out of?

Brian:                    We’re in the Palm Beach area. We run trips anywhere from Del Ray Beach up to Fort Pierce in the Palm Beach area and Treasure Coast of Florida.

Dink:                      It’s all done out of kayaks, I guess.

Brian:                    Correct, we only do kayaks.

Dink:                      How does somebody get a hold of you if they want to book a trip if they’re in that area?

Brian:                    You can either call us at 772-201-5899 or check out our website at

Dink:                      TC, Tom, Charlie,

Brian:                    Correct.

Dink:                      All right. Do you mind sharing rates? Just go ahead and throw that out there. What’s that going to cost somebody?

Brian:                    Your inshore trips are going to run two fifty for the first person, seventy-five for each additional person. Then your offshore trips are three hundred and a hundred and twenty-five for each additional person. That includes all your equipment, kayak, fishing gear. We only use Hobie fishing kayaks.

Dink:                      All right, awesome. I’ve been with Brian with a few of our sales managers before. It was a good time, did a little inshore and hooked up on some trout. I think somebody maybe landed a redfish, but good times. Look Brian up for that. Brian also fishes in the extreme kayak fishing tournament series or extreme kayak wars I think as some call it. He just so happens to be two-time Bahamas champion. Tell us about that. Let’s start there. Tell us about the most recent Bahamas tournament and how many anglers were in it and what it took for you to win it. Walk us through that. Paint a picture for us there.

Brian:                    This year I believe there was just over [sixty 00:02:57] anglers fishing in the Bahamas. The Bahamas tournament it’s a little different than the ones that are run in the States. The fishing over there is good. There is a lot of barracuda. You have to lead yourself through to get to the other fish. Both years this year and last year, there to win the tournament it only took three or four fish. Compared it to the stateside tournament, there’s not as many fish caught. There is an opportunity to catch a lifetime of fish over there in the Bahamas.

                                This year, I still really don’t believe that I did it back to back. The fish that took to win it was a kingfish, about fifteen-pound kingfish, fifteen-pound mutton snapper. Second day, I only got around a fifteen-pound dolphin, which on that second day I didn’t think I had enough to win it, but it ended up being enough. It was a great time.

Dink:                      You got another ring I guess. I think I’ve seen a picture of it on social media. It looks like a dang Super Bowl ring.

Brian:                    Yes.

Dink:                      Those aren’t cubic zirconia stones in there, is it?

Brian:                    Yeah, yes, at first when Joe Hector the founder of the tournament series, had said that he was going to be giving rings out, I was like, “Oh, God.” I was like, “Oh, I’d never wear that,” but it’s actually pretty cool to see. You get your name engraved on it and everything. It’s neat. It’s a little better than taking home a trophy. You got something that you could wear all the time.

Dink:                      That’s awesome. On that note and those fish you just described, I’d love to talk about inshore. Let’s talk about something we’re seeing a lot of on your Instagram site and at Facebook. You seem to be heading offshore an awful lot lately and landing some really beautiful fish. I saw one picture where you had some, what some of my fishing buddies call pig snappers or hog snappers. They look like they were the size of a wild hog. There was about six of them. On those trips, tell us about your gear. Let’s start with your rod and reel and what you’re spooling with, if you don’t mind sharing that with us, not so much how many rods you’re taking and how each one’s detailed. If you grab two setups, what would you typically take offshore with you?

Brian:                    I use Shimano Trevala. They’re actually jigging rods. I’ll use them for live baiting as well. The reason for that is I like to have a short, compact rod and reel. I don't want some big, bulky like a twenty-wide with a big, heavy hundred-pound rod. These rods are actually really small and compact. They more look like an inshore rod, but they have the power you need to be able to fight the bigger fish. Like I said, it’s this Shimano Trevala rod [inaudible 00:06:17] fifty to a hundred-pound to do. A thirty- to sixty-pound will work well [inaudible 00:06:23] for live baiting. Then I’ll match that with an eight thousand to ten thousand series Shimano reel. I’m using Spheros right now. I like [inaudible 00:06:34] good for the price point that they have, that they sell for.

                                That’s lined with thirty- to forty-pound braid. I use braid on everything. Some guys only prefer to use mono especially for live baiting. Again, I’m looking for more [light 00:06:50] capacity and the ability to use a smaller reel. Again, I think you’re looking not to have something big and bulky that I got to fight the rod more than the fish. That’s the main line is thirty- to forty-pound. Then I’ll run a fifteen-foot. Thirty, forty pounds will cover me there. That’s a general setup.

Dink:                      I know you’re repped by a number of lure companies. I believe Victory is one of those. Would that be something you’re stringing on there a lot, something from Victory? Tell us about their tackle and what you prefer when you’re jigging or whatever.

Brian:                    The Victory was a great company. They offered jig of all sizes at a very reasonable price compared to some people. The rods, I get down to a forty- to eighty-pound with a jigging rod. They’re a little shorter. It’s a six-foot-three instead of a six-foot-six, seven-foot. I like to use a smaller jig to start off if you can. Then what determines that is really how fast the current is moving. Then you can move up anywhere from up to a seven-ounce jig. I would prefer to use the lighter one.

                                We catch a lot of two-ounce jig. Then that’s mainly what would do that for, for [lots and 00:08:15] bottom fish. Big [elks 00:08:18] seems like a smaller jig if you can use it. It also helps on your shoulder and arm as your jig and throughout the day if you’re using a little lighter jig instead of going to the seven-ounce right away.

Dink:                      I left out the kayak part because I know you’re sponsored by, I believe it’s Hobie. What are you paddling or maybe I should say peddling when you’re headed offshore? Tell us about that gear.

Brian:                    We use the Hobie Outbacks for our whole fleet. It makes a huge difference having the peddle option. Those are the only thing that … The Hobie Outbacks are the perfect size for pretty much anybody. You can fit six-foot, seven-foot tall person in there anywhere down to a four-foot tall person. They’re a great all around boat. It makes it a lot easier having the peddles there for you.

Dink:                      All right, good, where are you headed next in the tournament series? Something stateside I guess.

Brian:                    The next event is the 27th of this month. That’s going to be held in Pompano Beach. I’m looking forward to that.

Dink:                      What do you do to prepare for a tournament like that? You just keep on fishing. That’s pretty tough, huh? Is that [crosstalk 00:09:40]

Brian:                    Yeah, I don’t really do a lot of pre-fish [interviews 00:09:43]. You generally are going to know where the fish are going to be holding a majority of the time. If you don’t, you figure it out really quickly out there. Again, in these tournaments, your objective is to get two kingfish and then try to find something else to add to your weight. Your kingfish are generally going to be in one or two areas that you should be able to figure it out pretty quickly out there.

Dink:                      All right, I’ve got three closing questions. There is about the first one is if you were headed offshore right now, just by yourself or with some buddies, what would be the top three or top four or five things other than your rod and reel and your tackle that you cannot live without when you’re out there on the water? What are you really upset about if you leave at home or forget?

Brian:                    Your main thing is a depth finder. You feel blind when you’re out there if you don’t have it, also sunglasses, of course, pretty basic stuff, depth finder, sunglasses and maybe a [gaffe 00:10:56] I would say are probably the top three.

Dink:                      On that topic, I do see that you’re harvesting some fish from time to time. Are you carrying an ice bag with you or how do you keep those fish fresh? You’ve got some good stuff you’re bringing back. You certainly don’t want it to spoil.

Brian:                    We use Engel coolers. It has a pretty decent size fish bag that you can actually still fit inside the back of your kayak. Another kingfish, put maybe two ten-pound bag of ice in there. That’ll keep your fish pretty well iced down for the whole day even during the summer.

Dink:                      They’re just regular ice.

Brian:                    [Crosstalk 00:11:34]

Dink:                      You’re not going with the dry ice then, huh?

Brian:                    No, no, no. Regular ice will do the trick for you with those coolers.

Dink:                      Awesome and then the second question I have what would be your top two or three knots that you … I’m sure you’re an expert at tying them at this point. If somebody doing this type of fishing is going to learn two or three knots, what would be your recommendation for them to practice and be able to tie on the water and sometimes just [pool 00:12:08] conditions?

Brian:                    [I’m being 00:12:10] simple with knots. It’s really [heavily tilled 00:12:13] me too often. A good one to know are just a basic clench knot. A good line-to-line knot would be a uni to uni. There’s also some other ones you can do that make it [a little 00:12:29] so there is not so much of a bulk on your knot if you want to be able to bring your line to the guide tips. I’m pretty like I said, pretty basic. I’ll do a uni to uni from my floor up to a main line knot either a clenched knot, a uni knot. I’m sorry not a uni knot a loop knot as well as a Palmer knot would be good to know. Basically, the majority of the time if I’m on the water and I want to try something fast, it’s going to be a uni to uni or a clenched knot. Those are really your basic knots. You can learn those pretty quick.

Dink:                      All right, I guess the last thing I had is where on social media can people find you, Facebook, Instagram, other than your website? What would be your username or account profile name that they can find you?

Brian:                    You can find us on YouTube and Pushin’ Water as well as Instagram and Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters. Then Facebook, you can find me under my name as Brian Nelli or on our business teams at Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters.

Dink:                      All right and that’s Nelli, N-E-L-L-I?

Brian:                    Correct.

Dink:                      AKA NELBAG is that your nickname out there in the tournament series?

Brian:                    Yeah, that’ll work too.

Dink:                      All right, and do you want to go ahead and plug in closing plug your sponsors or some of your primary sponsors, somebody other than Laguna Costa, of course, thank you very much?

Brian:                    [Again 00:14:02] DOA Lures, Engel Coolers, Victory Lures, [Yavase 00:14:08] some of the main guys there’s a lot, Eagle Claw. They help out with all my hooks and everything for the offshore series.

Dink:                      All right, Brian Nelli of Pushin' Water Kayak Charters and extreme Bahamas champion, two-time champion, thanks for joining us on Laguna Costa Radio and hope …

Brian:                    No problem.

Dink:                      … to see you somewhere soon. Thanks Brian.

Brian:                    Sounds good, thank you.

Dink:                      Bye.

Speaker 1:           Today’s podcast was brought to you by Laguna Costa Outfitters, purveyors of apparel for the authentic angler, hunter and outdoors enthusiast. Check us out at or join us on Instagram and Facebook, Laguna Costa sweet threads for the salty soul.