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Fishing from a kayak is extremely popular in the south and both coasts.  Anyone else here Kayak Fish?

When I first saw this, I had to try it.  I got my yak last fall and have been spending all winter rigging it up with a fishfinder, rod holders, etc.  Below are some pics of when I took it out for its maiden voyage (unrigged).  I'm not quite finished with it yet, but when I am, I'll post the final fishing machine.




 

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I live in Denver and fish out of mine. I haven't really put anything specialized on it though, I've found that simple is better, I tend to get lines caught on rod holders. I did however get a portable Eagle fishfinder, and that has been pretty useful. I guess the only advice I'd have is to get a decent anchor or two, but have a quick release in case they get hung on the bottom. Sitting in a kayak is NOT a good place to give a good tug on an anchor rope. I can comfortable paddle 2 to 3 mile up or downlake and it's great exercise. The best part is that the boat acts like a second drag, so that if you hook a big fish, you end up following it like in saltwater, and break fewer off. Also I might suggest a good net or bogagrip, landing a large fish can be pretty challenging. Good luck and maybe I'll see youout this summer.
 
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Saw a couple of guys "trolling" in kayaks on Twin Lakes a couple of years ago. I say "trolling" cause they were moving fast! I'd suggest watching your speed- looks like it's easy to cruise in those things.
 

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Nice set up Lip Ripper.
fishfinder...never thought of that, are they easy to rig?
I troll around Lake Estes allthe time for trout, and glassfishin's right. Go real slow. Also, my rod holders are in the back (out of my sight), so I'll often troll backward w/ my rod leaned against the bow.
 

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I haven't seen anyone else in a yak fishing before...so it's good to know there are a few others out there!

I plan on setting up an anchor 'trolley' system so I can anchor off the bow or stern...and easily change between the two without lifting the anchor. Yes, a bogagrip is a necessity for those big toothy fish ;)

Thanks for the tips on speed control...definitely critical since these things can get up and go.

Rigging a fishfinder has been pretty simple. I got most of my ideas by googleing Kayak Fishing. But the most useful site has been www.kayakfishingstuff.com (those guys are out of New Jersey) I'm mounting the transducer thru-hull syle and connecting the 'ducer thru the deck to the display which will be mounted on the area between my feet in the third picture above. The battery will, of course, be below deck Check out that site...there's plenty of rigging ideas with instructions and pictures.

I hope to see you guys out there this spring. I'm in SW Denver, so let me know when you plan to get out there. We can meet up and fish. I'm planning on hitting many different waters this season. Feel free to email or PM me.

Lip Ripper aka Mike
 

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I used to fish Sydney harbor (Australia), Montezuma Slough (San Francisco Bay), the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and various Northern California bass lakes out of a hybrid sea-flatwater kayak.  The boat was fiberglass, about 11'10" long, and beamy (3').

When fishing on Sydney harbor I was mainly targetting small (up to 6 lb ) bluefish and some local fish known as flatheads (picture a northern pike who's head's been stepped on...same attitude, just better suited for hiding in the sand and exploding on passing prey).  I didn't have any fancy gear, or even basic gear...not even a rod holder. I caught a lot of fish, and it was fun to get towed around by the bluefish and the bigger flathead.  A net or something for handling toothy fish is a very good idea...I used to just swing the bluefish aboard, drop them in the bottom, and then try to keep their snapping, tooth-filled jaws away from sensitive areas.  What can I say...I was young, I was foolish.

One good thing to have, especially if you tie into bigger fish like stripers (as I did on Montezuma) or wipers, would be a leash for your paddle.  It is not a good feeling to have your boat going one way and your paddle going the other way.  Rod holders are a good thing, especially if you have two sets.  One set would be mounted for transporting rods (have they lie flush along the deck) and the other would be for trolling (I'd mount it directly behind you).  You can definitely get going at a good trolling speed, even for fast swimmers like bluefish.

The biggest disadvantage with the kayak (compared to a pontoon or a float tube) is the tradeoff in maneuverability.  Yes, they are faster and yes, there were days when I was able to zip over to a bluefish blitz or a striper boil and get my clock cleaned, but as soon as you put the paddle down to start fishing, you're at the mercy of the wind and currents.  With a pontoon or a float tube you can at least drop your fins in the water and hold position.  When working along a shoreline for bass, it can be quite a pain to keep putting the rod down, sculling with the paddle a bit, then picking the rod up, fishing one cast, then putting the rod down...you get the idea.

I would still use my kayak (if it weren't in storage in CA) because there are some lakes and situations where a pontoon or float tube just won't cut it.  If you want to cover a lot of distance (4 - 5 miles) on a lake in one day, the kayak is the way to go.  It is also a lot easier to deal with windy weather, bigger boats, and faster trolling speeds.  For close-in, detail work, I'd go with the pontoon.
 

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I do quite a bit of Kayak fishing using an inflatable Kayak from Aire. It is highly portable and has been to Alaska, Nantucket, Hawaii and many other places after bonefish, salmon, etc. I second the leash suggestion even for rods. I agree that what they lack in fishing comfort they more than make up in multi-use, ability to get around, and all-round fun.
 

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I love my kayak-love the feeling it gives you and how it can get into any remote part of any pond or lake. Fished out of mine about 30 or 40 times last year and I've got some neoprenes so I can get on the water no matter what the water temp. Gonna start going down to Brush Hollow in a couple more weeks-don't have to worry about the ramp.
 
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