Monday, March 8, 2010

Quiet Water Wrap

Last Saturday Chris LeMessurier and I spent the day in Lansing at the Quiet Water Symposium promoting kayak fishing at our booth, Kayak Fish The Great Lakes.
The response was overwhelming. People, not only from Michigan, but other states as well stopped by to inquire about fishing from a kayak.
Questions ranged from what type of boat to buy, where to go to try them out, what equipment should go on them, and where and how to fish.
Chris brought two boats and I brought one. They were all different models and manufacturers and were laid out differently.
The big think I came away with was the many people that buy boats that don't fit them or worse yet, aren't suitable for the activity they intended it for.
Try before you buy. That's key. And let you kayak dealer know what you plan on doing with the boat.
If you are into tripping on one of the Great Lakes and camping from your kayak, you'll want a sea kayak with plenty of storage.
If you are looking to fish from your boat, you'll want a sit-on-top or a boat made to fish from. Where you fish will be important. If it's Cass Lake here in Oakland County, you can get a way with a shorter boat. If it's Lake St. Clair, a bigger boat is preferable.
Once you make the purchase, find out about taking a class before you venture out. And lastly, this isn't s solo sport. Get a buddy and fish together. Good luck.
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1 comment:

  1. I found your article on Kayak fishing quite interesting. I have been Bass fishing from a Kayak for over 10 years on a small private lake in Oakland County and fish an average of 3 or 4 times a week, from early spring to late fall. One thing I have learned is keep it simple. The picture of the sit on top Kayak decked out for fishing stuck me as over kill. I cannot imagine how anyone would want or need that much equipment as suggested in your article. It just isn't necessary. Besides when you are trying to land a large lurker from a small boat things can change very quickly and you need to have a clear fore and aft deck without a lot gear to get in your way.

    My Kayak is a 10 ft Perception which is the traditional sit inside design. It has what boat designers would call a hard chine (straight sides and pretty flat bottom). I find that this style of traditional design which is about 29" wide at the seat has a lower center of gravity and is much more stable and more dry than a sit on top design. It is next to impossible to tip over no matter how much I lean to one side. The only modification I have made to the boat is an elastic bungee cord on front deck which I used to hold one of my two fishing rods when it is not in use. I carry most of my fishing tackle and gear in a oversized fly fishing vest with lots of pockets. I keep my lures in small plastic boxes I got a Bass Pro Shop, and plastic worms in their original plastic bags. I have one larger plastic storage case to keep my larger size lures and wedge that next to my seat. I have one shoe box size plastic container which I put in back of my seat for rope, extra plastic bait, and a first aid kit. Since most of the bass I catch end up in my lap I keep an old bath towel on my lap, it also shades my legs from the sun.

    The greatest challenge I found in Kayak fishing was finding the proper rods with some backbone to catch 18-22 inch Bass with. The standard 6'6" to 7' rods I had were just to long to manage in the confined kayak environment. I found the ideal length to be under 5'6" as you can easily untangle and restring your lines. However, most rods that size were made for ultra light. But I have managed to find 5'6" St Croix and a 5'3" Fenwick in medium/fast actions. For reels I use Shimano Stradics with 8# P-Line. I have one rod set up as a Carolina rig for Plastic and the other for everything else.

    I have found that keeping it simple works best for me. I am able to get in and out of my Kayak from shore without getting my feet wet, and dress for the weather that day. When the sun goes down a hat mounted LED light can extend my fishing for some night time top water lure fun, as I always know where everything is without having to look for it.