Kayaks and fishing? Give this craze a try

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kayak fishing

Close up and personal is what the latest craze in boating and fishing is all about. Indeed, it is both.

We are talking about the recent popularity of kayaking for pleasure and/or angling. Kayaks, if you don’t know, are about as personal as it gets. One sits either inside the molded plastic craft or on top of his or her kayak designed with a similar hull but without the cockpit, a single-person capsule much like one might have ridden in as a Soap Box Derby racer.

fishing kayak

Low

Kayaks are low, real low, which means that the person in or on it has a very low center of gravity. That’s a good thing because it is the key to balance, something that kayaking does require if the operator prefers to stay dry.

There are a number of reasons for the fast-growing number of kayak fans.

Ride in

For the adventurer, ride-in kayaks are easy to haul on a car-top carrier or in the bed of a pickup truck. Most weigh between 50 and 100 pounds, measure 9 to 12 feet, and for the most part, are pretty much indestructible.

Kayaks are very affordable, require very little, if any, additional gear, and can handle any water ranging from a wet spot to a major body of water.

In remote saltwater destinations, like those found in the Pacific Northwest, one is just as apt to spot an adventurous kayak camper as a pod of killer whales.

Like a canoe, a kayak, regardless is size, is paddle powered and quiet, really quiet. Let’s temper that paddle-powered claim by noting that, indeed, technology has climbed aboard with peddle power much like grandpa’s childhood peddle tractor.

Add to that a few high dollar units that have adapted battery propulsion systems. But come on, for the purpose of this conversation, let’s keep it affordable, practical and fun.

Most adventurers do their kayaking tucked comfortably inside a highly maneuverable model, but for the angler, it’s all about function, a kayak built just for the job.

Hull

The hull design for a fishing kayak is a bit wider and filled with potential add-ons. Fishing models are sit on and all, but the cheapest offer is a decent seat designed very much like a folding beach chair.

Most are less tippy than sit-in units because of the additional width and stable hull design, and because of that, sales associates tend to brag up the fact that anglers can actually stand up.

The add-ons mentioned above might include various rod holders, electronics, tackle storage, and well, let your imagination and pocketbook determine the limit.

Better fishing models feature rails here and there which easily accommodate added goodies.

Yes, one can flip a kayak with a little effort. For that reason, the kayaker must wear a life jacket and smart kayakers often protect loose items such as tackle bags and even rods to safety lines just in case.

I am now a proponent of kayak fishing. It takes fishing to new, very low level.

I like the sit-on feature because aging knees don’t need to be jammed into an uncomfortable cockpit. My friends call it cheap, but I don’t want all the electronics and other junk on my kayak, just me, a paddle and a light rod. That’s it and its pure fun.

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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.

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