It’s almost time. This weekend is the Forster round of the kayak series, an event that I thoroughly enjoy and have been looking forward to. Two years ago I fished this event, it was my introduction to tournament kayak fishing and I haven’t looked back since.
Previous to kayaking, Forster wasn’t exactly an arena that I loved to fish, possibly because I have always found it hard to get decent results there. I’ve never been a real racks fisherman, most likely because I have never really put in the time to learn how to fish them well, but when I got into the kayak at Forster two years ago for the first time, I was forced to think outside the square. Not only was I competing against a field of seasoned kayak anglers, I had to adapt to a completely different style of fishing, part of which meant I moved around with my legs and not my right foot controlling 225hp. The tournament was also held in conjunction with a teams boating event that only increased the pressure on the system and the limited fishing arena that comes with fishing from a kayak.
One of the things I quickly realised and used to my advantage was that the kayak, although restricted in geographical range, will almost float on wet grass. This opened up fishing areas that you wouldn’t even contemplate in a boat. The ability to manoeuvre tight in amongst mangroves or deep in behind oyster racks opened up a whole lot of water that is essentially not fishable by boat. This is when my love for rack fishing evolved and I quickly learnt some new skills in an effort to muscle some of these brutes out from among some of the nastiest structure you can fish.
The thrill of hooking big bream while fishing across the top of oyster racks is real heart in mouth. One of the downsides is that the fish can literally tow your kayak while the wind or tide pushes you in the opposite direction, but there is also the advantage of being able to float yourself over the top of the racks in an effort to chase down the aggressive fish.
This year, I’m heading back again hoping that the fish will be playing the game amongst the oysters. Reflecting on lessons learnt last year, I’ll be heading out with the same goals but more determined to beat the brutes that defeated me last year and this time I’ll be armed with more lures and heavier leaders.