Kayak Fishing In Tandem – Is It Possible?…

Not an easy question to answer, since a kayak is essentially a solo boat, which doesn’t lend itself easily to tandem applications –
In principle, it’s possible, since many kayaks are big enough to take two passengers on board. But practically, having two anglers fishing out of a small vessel such as a kayak is problematic with regards to several aspects that command serious consideration:

The first problem is Safety – two passengers moving about in the cockpit or on the deck of a fishing kayak in an uncoordinated manner can easily destabilize it, with the result being one of them overreacting, and causing the kayak to capsize. Obviously, having fishing rods, lures and fish flying around in all direction in such a limited space isn’t the best a recipe for safety.

The second problem is Convenience – Every angler wants and needs to have an unlimited range of motion, in order to perform basic things such as casting, reeling, landing the fish, unhooking, etc. Angler also need to have a comfortable workspace for attaching lures and bait, and doing other technical work involving the manipulation of fishing gear, including sharp objects such as fishing hooks and knives.
The last thing you want when you’re fishing in tandem is to get your fishing lines entangled with those of your partner, or get poked in the eye by a misguided fishing hook, etc.. -The possibilities for a disaster are so numerous that it’s practically impossible to list them all in this article, but we assume the reader gets the point…

Unlike paddling a kayak in tandem, kayak fishing in tandem is more complicated, and more difficult, and as a rule of thumb we don’t recommend it, unless the crew is composed of one experienced adult kayak angler and one junior kayak angler, such as a child, who needs guidance and often even technical help with handling their fishing gear. In such case the obvious choice for a kayak is the W500 that features a 6 ft long cockpit, and a longitudinal seat that makes it possible for the two anglers to sit separated by a long span, but also to approach each other effortlessly and safely when they need to do something together, such as in case the experienced angler has to instruct the novice, or help them hands-on perform a fishing related task.

As far as standing up while kayak fishing in tandem, this is even more problematic, and should be practiced only after both anglers have practiced tandem kayak fishing before, as well as stand up kayak fishing. Needless to say that the kayak used for this type of fishing should be fit such such activities to begin with, and vendors’ claims about their kayaks’ stability should be taken with a good dose of caution, common sense, and sufficient skepticism. It’s good to remember that it’s you and fishing buddy that are going to be out there in the real world, and not some guys who get paid to demonstrate fishing kayaks in front of a camera…

Kayak fishing offshore in tandem is even more difficult, and hazardous, and we do not recommend it, unless both anglers are lightweight and very experienced fishing together out of small boats, such as dinghies and canoes. Fishing in tandem out of a kayak equipped with a powerful motor, such as an outboard gas engine adds yet another level of risk, and in such cases you may consider outfitting your kayak with a pair of large size outriggers, such as this South Korean couple is using on an offshore fishing trip:

Couple fishing in tandem in the ocean, in South Korea

How Important Is Storage When Choosing a Fishing Kayak?

Storage is obviously very important in any fishing boat, and not just in fishing kayaks, because as every experienced kayak angler knows, you need to take your fishing tackle and a lot of fishing gear with you on board, and you should be able to secure all that stuff, protect it from the elements, and access it anytime you need it.

Most fishing kayak manufacturers try to lure potential buyers by offering bigger storage hatches, and additional space to put gear on top of their SOT kayaks’ decks. However, such those solutions are neither effective nor user-friendly, although there’s nothing else that can be done to solve the storage problem if you’re a manufacturer of sit-in or SOT kayaks.

The W500 offers several times more storage than any kayak on the market – be it a fishing kayak or a touring kayak, a sea-kayak or an ‘expedition’ kayak. In fact, the amount of storage space available in the W500 sets this kayak in a league of its own.

Moreover, the storage offered by the W500 is internal, dry, and always accessible to the passenger – be it an angler, a paddler, or a camper. In fact, there is so much room in the W500 kayak hulls and cockpit, that it can comfortably accommodate a second adult passenger on board, or two children >>

The total storage space available on board the W500 kayak is 14 cubic feet, or 0.4 cubic meter. It’s way above the kayak league, and comparable to the storage space offered by canoes and some small motorboats.

Have a look of Jeff McGovern’s W500 fishing kayak, and how he organizes storage in the kayak:

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

Two Anglers’ Knots

By Jeff McGovern

Knot tying is an essential fishing skill and there are entire books written about fishing knots.  I am going to concentrate here on two lesser-known knots that I use constantly in saltwater, as well as freshwater fishing.

1. Surgeons Knot

I use this for attaching a leader to my main line.  It works for both mono and the new super lines.  For best results when using a super line (such as Fireline, Power Pro, Spiderwire, etc.), double the line before tying in the leader.  This will give the connection more bite and it will hold much better. I normally use 10lb to 30lb leaders (mono or fluorocarbon) and tie to either 8 to 20 lb mono or 8 to 30lb super line.   With a properly tied leader, you can fish with less connection hardware such as clips or swivels.  It creates a connection point to the fish that is tougher to break than the main line and, in some cases, is less visible to the fish, and is a great handle when landing the fish.  I depend on this connection and it has not failed.

1_Surgeons_knot
1. Lay the two lines side by side.

2_Surgeons_knot
2. Tie an overhand knot pulling the leader line (green) through the loop.

3_Surgeons_knot
3. Make three more passes for a total of four<

4_Surgeons_knot
4. Wet the knot and pull it tight.

5_Surgeons_knot
5. Trim the tag ends.

6_Surgeons_knot
6. Done!

Photos: Kate McGovern

2. Canoe Man’s Knot

This knot is credited to the late Merrill Chandler, known for his pioneering efforts saltwater canoe fishing in Florida.   It is a loop knot for connecting a hook, lure, or jig to the leader.  Loop knots allow the bait or lure to move more freely in the water column making them more attractive to fish.  This one is super easy and does not use up long lengths of leader each time it is retied.  I use this knot as my leader to lure connection most of the time and, as with the Surgeons Knot, it has never failed me when properly tied.
Both knots should be wet before being pulled snug.  This allows the knot to seat better and be more secure.  It also protects the line from heat friction damage during tightening.  This is especially important when using fluorocarbon leader material.
The pictures show how to tie the knots.  Practice makes perfect and these two knots are well worth the time and effort.  Master them and they will be simple and effective additions to your fishing knot arsenal.

1_Canoeman's_loop
1. Put the leader through the eye of the lure about three inches.

2_Canoeman's_loop
2. Form two backwards loops toward the lure in the leader.

3_Canoeman's_loop
3. Push the second loop through the first.

4_Canoeman's_loop
4. Put the tag end from the lure through the loop that passed through the first loop.

5_Canoeman's_loop
5. Wet the knot tighten while holding the tag end this allows the loop to be sized

6_Canoeman's_loop
6. Trim the tag end.

Photos: Kate McGovern

Jeff McGovern is a life long angler and fishing equipment expert, a professional consultant in the fishing and kayaking industry., and a distributor of Emmrod fishing rods.

Visit Jeff’s kayak fishing blog >>