I have been fishing for quite a lot of years now and occasionally like to throw myself out a challenge to put a new twist on my fishing.
Fishing for me has either been land based or out of a boat. I have never fished out of a kayak until last year. Let me tell you it started out pretty well, as I scored my personal best bream, estuary perch and some good-sized bass, all in one year.
After competing in Mallacoota last year in that gusty wind I think I bit off more than I could chew as it took me 2 hours to peddle back across the main basin going over two waves and through the third. I dare not stop peddling otherwise I would drift backwards at what felt like a rate of knots. When I reached the other side of the main basin, I threw out a hard bodied lure and instantly scored an upgrade. This taught me a good lesson.
It was then I realised I had to stop thinking as a boater and start thinking more like a kayaker. I had to try and fish more accessible water in foul weather rather than travel to the ends of the earth as if I was in a high-speed powerboat. This is a very hard habit to get out of, particularly if you have fished the river system before and know where to catch fish out of a boat.
After travelling to the Bemm on the weekend there were a couple of other things I thought were quite handy tips if you are just starting out.
Fishing from a kayak you need to be organised otherwise you will end up either losing a rod and reel into the water, a hook in the finger or losing the fish altogether. It doesn’t matter how organised I seem to be, as soon as I achieve a fish on board everything seems chaotic for that moment. One thing I learnt on the weekend was that when I had a fish on board, I would put the stake out pole down, of course if the water were shallow enough. This would hold my position so I didn’t miss working any of the clean water/bank. I found this to be an effective tool as the next fish came from just a few more metres away.
Boating also gave me one advantage and that was about how to use a drogue. A drogue or sea anchor helps slow down your drift when the wind picks up. I have come up with a system to tie my drogue off the rear of the kayak. At the end of the triangle of the drogue I run a light thin rope that you then attach to the side of your kayak. This rope needs to be longer than the main rope so it doesn’t comprise the drogue from working. I then attach it to the kayak with a simple dog clip. Therefore it is simple to connect and disconnect to either side of the kayak. When you pull in the light rope it expels the water so you are not tugging at a full drogue and you can just store it under or behind your seat ready for the next drift.
I am looking forward to improving my kayak skills and sharing these experiences.