Big Guy Fishing Standing in His Kayak, Fishing Kayak Review From California

I took my kayak out for a test spin at the lower lake lagoon at Castaic Lake here in South California. It’s been raining off and on the last two weeks but I finally just went!

kayak fisherman at Castaic lake California

It took about 5 minutes of getting used to the balance of sitting up so high on the center saddle, but after getting used to it, I was fine! I weigh 265, now I can start working out a bit again, paddling.
It was a May Grey day and windy as heck, but I went all over the lagoon anyway. No problem at all except my large profile acts like a sail going straight into the wind, so I leaned forward and that helped a lot!

fisherman paddling his kayak at Castaic lake California

view from a fishing kayak Castaic lake California

I couldn’t stand up in the w kayak in the rough windy center of the lake, but when I got in the calmer waters near shore, I could! The fact is, I just don’t have that good of “sea legs!” I even had trouble standing on the back deck a big fishing boat in Alaska last year when the water got rough.

fisherman standing in twin hull kayak

I took most of these pics myself so angles are weird, especially standing shots as I could only shoot straight down, but right at the end of the day, I talked a guy on shore into taking a few pics of me doing a short spin out in the water. It had brightened and got calmer by then too!

I’m NOT a guy that likes to just paddle around for fun. Now that I know how easy this thing is to use, I’m going fishing from now on! The guys in the float tubes just drag 4 to 6-inch plastic worms while kicking along (I saw about 5 fish caught), one about three lbs.
I have the two built-in rod holders in my W kayak, but their angle seems better for holding spare rods then for trolling, so I’m going to try the clamp-on holders. I’m going to paddle around slowly dragging a worm myself, and fish!The bass are way bigger in this little lower lake lagoon than in the upper lake they said.

I’m back IN THE GAME NOW. That lower lake lagoon was off limits to me with my big bass boat. No power boats allowed except small boats powered by electric, and I intend to motorize my W fishing kayak. It’s only 30 minutes away…so with launching, it’s only about 45 minutes to world class bass fishing. I’m taking advantage.

Next time I’m going to fish!

Mike Hancock, Simi Valley

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

Lures That Work Well For Kayak Bass Fishing, by Roxanne Davis

Here is a couple of pictures of the lures and hooks I use, and have had great success with.

Lures for bass kayak fishing

Hooks for bass kayak fishing

The Yum Dinger, shown in both pictures, range from 6″ to 3″, and the 1/4 oz Jigs are in the top row of the picture.
As you see, I am also a Big Fan of the Chatter Bait.

Assorted lures for bass kayak fishing

Fly lures for bass kayak fishing

Maybe you’re fishing your jigs too fast – don’t hurry…
You have to make sure that these lures reach bottom, remember the 1/4oz jig takes a little longer getting to the bottom. Your lure has not reached bottom till you see your line go slack.
Then make short hops, and long pauses, with a twitch here and there.
And always keep contact with bottom, your line and jig.
You can pop it hard, just follow it back to the bottom with your tip, and be ready to set that hook!
Any kind of line movement, could be a strike, when in doubt, set that hook.
Most strikes will happen on the Fall, so always keep a close eye on your line as it sinks to the bottom.
A Bass can grab and spit that bad boy out before you even realize you missed a strike!

The Yum Dinger, can be fished many ways, as a jerk bait, finess, whacky rigged, placed on a ball jig, chatter bait (killer pike bait), or Dead sticking it.
Same as the jig, you must reach bottom, always watching that line for any signs of a strike on the fall, most will happen then.
But when the fish are in a negative mode, let it hit bottom, with long pauses between a pop, pop, pop, reel your slack line, and repeat all the way back to shore or
boat.
You can also add a small finish nail, or small screw to the butt of the dingers.
This will increase the fall rate, but not hurt the action.
Toss the dinger in 3′ of water and count it down till you reach bottom, then in deeper water you’ll have a better idea when it will reach the depth you want to fish.

Hope this helps –
Good Luck and Tight Lines.

Rox

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Topwater Fishing Gear Review And Best Practice

By Jeff McGovern

Fishing with a topwater or surface lure is lots of fun.  Out of a W kayak, it’s down right exciting, since you are so close to the action.  The equipment required is fairly simple and there are many topwater lures to choose from.  For the purpose of this short article, we will look at hard baits (also known as “plugs.”)  These are lures made of wood or plastic that float on top at rest.  When fish attack them, it looks like a giant hole just opens on the water and the bait disappears.
The basic types are: walking, popping, minnow, and prop baits.  These lures have been around for years and still consistently catch large numbers of fish.  There are variations, but these are the ones most commonly available.  All four types can be used in freshwater or saltwater and for a large variety of game fish.  Let’s take a look at a few examples.

WALKING BAITS

The best example is a Zara Spook.  A newer version is the Spit’n Image.   The angler provides the action this lure has on the water.  This plug looks like it could have been carved from a broom handle, and, indeed, the originals were.   Worked properly with a side to side wiggle, fish will blow them right off the surface in their effort to grab them.  This bait requires practice to use.  The angler must work their rod hand wrist and turn the reel handle in cadence to create the walking motion.  It will wear you down at first, but the results of practice time are well worth the effort.

Walking baits

POPPING BAITS OR POPPERS

These lures are just plain fun.  With a large exaggerated mouth on them they pop and gurgle when the angler pulls their line.  Some of the cupped mouths on these baits throw water a few feet in front of the plug as they move.  Classic examples are the Chug Bug and the Rebel Pop-R series plugs.  To work these lures, you cast out to a likely spot and let the lure settle down.  Then “pop it” and hold on for the strike.

Popping baits

MINNOW BAITS

These lures are best represented by the classic floating Rapala minnow.  The history of this lure could fill a book-suffice it to say it’s every bit as effective today as it was 40 years ago.  These lures have a slim profile and resemble a minnow.   They have a small clear plastic lip that allows the lure to dive a short distance on retrieve. Their life-like wiggle is very attractive to game fish.  To work the bait, throw it out let it sit for a moment.  Then begin a slow retrieve, briefly pausing from time to time.

Minnow_baits

PROP BAITS

These lures are some of my all time favorites.  Propellers are located at the front and/or back ends of these fun lures.  Simple to work, they are represented today by the Devils Horse, Tiny Torpedo, or, in handmade excellence, by the Lil Zip from Sam Griffin. They can catch fish just sitting there.  The moment they are moved, they get crushed by aggressive game fish.   Work them by throwing to a likely area and allowing the bait sit until the water calms down from the splash.  Then begin working the bait back in short, soft jerks until you find a pattern the fish like.
Prop baits

The equipment you use for topwater water fishing can be any that throws the lure properly.  Spinning, casting, or spincasting gear will all work just fine.  Line sizes can range from 8 to 20lb test (depending on the angler’s preference) and good old monofilament line is fine for these lures.  The best piece of advice I’ve ever had for fishing topwater lures came from Sam Griffin himself.  He told me “give the fish time to read the menu.” In other words, fish them slow for the best results.  This is the best way to start out– you can always speed things up later if the fish are ready to order.  So, this season, try a topwater water lure and prepare for excitement.

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.

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