Fishing the salt in a Kayak?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Tyler Watters, May 4, 2009.

  1. Tyler Watters

    Tyler Watters Stickin' pigs.

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    I've got some money burning a hole in my pocket and looking for a kayak to fish the salt in. Being from Texas we fish sit on tops all the time but I'm thinking it's a little cold in the Sound to be doing that. Anyone know of any kayaks that are Sound worthy and stable enough to possibly fish from? I am thinking I could just get a sea kayak and beach it and just wade but then I'm not doing much better off than I was before except for maybe having access to a few more beaches. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Tom Bath

    Tom Bath Member

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    There are lots of boats that might work for you. Things to keep in mind include:
    Material: Plastic vs. fiberglass. Plastic boats are more durable (though you can repair fiberglass) and a better choice fishing in rocky areas. Fiberglass and carbon fiber are lighter and easier to throw on the car but more expensive.
    Sit on top vs. decked boat: It will be easier to fish and handle you gear in a sit on top. They are generally wider and more stable but slower and expose you to the elments more. A typical decked sea kayak will be a bit harder to fish from and feel pretty tipy if you have not paddled a lot but will be faster and keep you better proteced from the cold.

    As far as sea worthiness any decent sea kayak or sit on top would be adequate assuming you are dressed appropriately. Remember the Sound is cold a a decent pfd and clothing are a must.
     
  3. rotato

    rotato Active Member

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    i fish alot out of a 15 foot fiberglass sea kayak
    it is not quite ideal but i don't venture far
    its pretty exciting when you get a returning coho
    (flipped once landed fish)

    i had a wide body hard chine custom kayak that was stable and you could put alot of gear btween your legs
    it was stolen

    so i suggest a wide comfortable boat that you can shift around in
    i also like a decked boat fishing is good in the rain here

    if im going short distances i use a canoe paddle (easier to stash)

    rudders are nice to help aim the boat at fish

    see you out there
     
  4. Graham Young

    Graham Young Member

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    Last year, I rigged up an old plastic Necky Zoar 14' sit-in kayak for fishing. This is one of the wider, more stable sit-in models (a lot of rental operations use them - in fact, got it used from one of them). Even so, when I'm fishing, I give it a bit more stability with inflatable sponsons - designed to help self-rescue. I have it rigged with a depth finder, rod holder and fishing crate that I bungee aft, plus anchor system. Necky markets an "angler" model but it looks like not a lot for the extra money. If I had the money (and the time....) and wanted a dedicated kayak fly fishing platform, I'd look seriously at one of the sit on top Hobie Mirage-drive models - pedal powered, hands-free, spendy but stable and speedy. And you can rig them sailing. Also, check out the Northwest Kayak Anglers website:

    http://www.northwestkayakanglers.com/

    I've only lurked there but there's a ton of information.

    Think seriously about what you'll wear out there, and dress for immersion: I use dry pants and fleece layers under a splash top, sometimes tightly belted breathable waders and a splash top, and that's for the late spring and summer months. Also, watch out for the idiots in the power boats. And take a self-rescue class!
     
  5. garyl

    garyl Member

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    I picked up a used Wilderness Systems Tarpon 12 angler model last fall, but didn't get a chance to try it out until a few weeks ago. I was thinking that it would be good for lake fishing and also for exploring some in the salt. It's a sit on top, with lots of storage space and some built in scotty rod holder mounts. I'm not an experienced kayaker, but found that it was quite stable. I had my waders, boots rain coat and inflatable pfd but it wasn't uncomfortable and seemed to paddle and track nicely. It also has scuppers so that the cockpit can drain. I'm not as young as I used to be and found it difficult to twist around and put my rod in the rod holder. Casting short distances wasn't bad, but I felt a little unbalanced when trying to double haul. I'm also not sure how to rig an anchor since the rudder assembly is on the stern. Although, I dont' think I would want to anchor in much current anyway. I've seen the video of the guy catching marlin from a kayak and I'm sure that one can adapt to deep water kayak fishing, but it seems more suitable for transportation to me rather than as a fishing platform . I would rather use my 19 scout or a stable aluminum dinghy for most saltwater fishing, escpecially if you have a strong current or tide rips. It is portable, however.

    Gary
     
  6. rotato

    rotato Active Member

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    that 19 ft scout now thats a nice kayak
    do you have the 115 yami, or bigger?
     
  7. Graham Young

    Graham Young Member

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    Plenty of information out there on the kayak fishing websites on rigging an "anchor trolley system" that allows you to anchor from bow or stern. Am sure you can find instructions for that and plenty of tricked out pics of Tarpon 12s. But yes, not a good idea in strong currents. Rigging a kayak for fishing is just like fly fishing - plenty of toys and gizmos to spend your hard earned money on. http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/board/images/smilies/wink.gif
     
  8. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

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    While you're looking check out the Ultimate series, made by Native Watercraft. Lots of options available, and they have a great website. Being a hybrid kayak/canoe, it's not the last word in safety in the open sound. But as long as you're smart about where you go and use the right gear, it's fine.
     
  9. garyl

    garyl Member

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    that 19 ft scout now thats a nice kayak
    do you have the 115 yami, or bigger? ( don't know how to post a quote).

    Yes, it has the 115 yami. Sips gas and idles really lowand tops out in the low 40's. Not a bad ride for a light boat. I sold my 2470 Pursuit last year ( got tired of catching 5 lb blackmouth on riggers and large flashers) and picked this up in the bay area. Marcus had it outfitted for stripers in the delta and salmon in the bay - stripping tubs, poling platform, and electric motor up front. Unfortunately, I haven't devoted the time to fish it the way it should. Hopefully, I'll do more to solve that issue this summer. It should be a really good boat for Neah Bay silvers if the weather isn't too nasty.

    That said, I'm still intrigued by the kayak idea, but I seem to have some issues with balance in the deeper water. But the thought of paddling seems pretty cool. I think that some of the inflatables open up a whole new horizon for travel and fishing on your own, if I could only get comfortable on the damn things and figure out how to cast 80' for skitish fish while reclining. I think I might take it over to eastern WA and try Carp fishing to get the hang of it.

    Gary
     
  10. TimHa

    TimHa Member

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    I fish from my sea kayaks quite a bit. My Northwest Kayak 17' boat is pretty tippy but I've never had a problem fishing from it. I've been using my Feathercraft Big Kahuna foldable more though in the last few years, it is extremely stable to fish from and with the cockpit "sock" I use I leave the spray skirt off and just strip the line into the cockpit. I also can carry it half-assembled in my van and just finish assembly on the beach which takes just a few minutes. I keep a long-handled net strapped to the rear deck and have no problems landing salmon from the boat. I like a standard sea kayak just because I like kayaking in general and can travel a good distance in it easily and they track so well, most of the shorter "fishing" kayaks aren't as nice to use just for paddling.

    Tim
     
  11. Tom Bowden

    Tom Bowden Active Member

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    I use an Ocean Kayak Drifter sit-on-top. It's wide and stable, which makes it comfortable for a big fat guy like me. The trade-off is that it isn't as fast as many other kayaks.
    An advantage of a sit-on-top is that it's easy to get on and off the boat, which I do quite a bit on the Sound.

    The kayak makes a lot of otherwise inaccessible beaches possible to fish. They're a lot faster than a rowboat, and very sea-worthy. I like the fact that I can l launch the kayak almost anywhere I can park near a beach. I made a cart out of PVC tubing, and can easily carry the kayak a fairly long distance. Plastic kayaks like mine are virtually maintenance free. I store mine on a hoist right above the truck in the garage, out of the way and easy to load and unload.

    A 14-18' powerboat has a lot of advantages, but the kayak is a low cost and easy, and a lot of fun, too..

    Tom
     
  12. garyl

    garyl Member

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    Tom, I think it was an ocean kayak in the video I saw where they were fishing for Marlin in the east cape area. Very stable when he was being towed around by a 100+ striped marlin. I agree that the sit on tops are very stable and more mobil and faster than a typical boat. I guess my issue is just time on the boat. I'm inseam challenged and it seems to be a little exercise gettin on and off - core strenght issues as well as the flexibility ( or balance) accessing the rear storage area. I purchased a video on kayak safety techniques but it was all about these guys in the north sea doing unreal rolls and mounts in heavy swells and tide rips - didn't look like something I would want to practice. I would really appreciate a group of "challenged" kayak fly fishers that could provide some advice and practical instruction for us newbies as well as an excuse to get out on the water and paddle. It would be great to have a "kayak clave" where we could get together and compare notes and techniques and gain some practical experience.

    Gary
     
  13. garyl

    garyl Member

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    PS. it would even be good to bring my hard chined scout kayak for a mothership.

    Gary
     
  14. hikepat

    hikepat Patrick

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    Been fishing sit in kayaks for many years in Puget Sound using 9 ft beginer style kayaks due to the fact that they are wider in width. The 9 foot means I can throw it quickly in and out of the truck and move from beach to beach quickly and its easy to carry fair distances when needed. The width allows me to fight fish and not worry about tipping. The disavantage is slower speed but since I never paddle more then a few miles from launch point,thats not any issue for me. The other reason the smaller kayak works is I also use in lakes and can throw on bow of boat of our Sea Swirl if needed.
     
  15. hap

    hap Member

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    A CA buddy bought a sit-on-top to fish in Kodiak... He has me drop him off and drive away. Typical drop-off is at least 5 miles from shore in the Gulf of Alaska.

    Last year a Kodiak brown bear decided the yak looked like an ice chest and surgically popped the hatch and broke just about everything it could find. A little plastic rod, a torch and a couple hours had the thing back together and actually tough to call ugly...

    I have patched a TON of fiberglass in my day and the plastic was WAY easier...
    art staying on the big boat
     
  16. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    i would get a fishing specific sit on top. maybe even get an outrigger for extra stabilty. to me it seems the benifit of a sit on top is that u can change positions on the deck, or even stand on it to look around. i imagine fishing from a enclosed cockpit is less then ideal. on sit on tops u can kneel, face backwards, stand, swim, etc. all without much worry.

    maybe something along this idea. http://www.austinkayak.com/products/349/Hobie-Quest-Deluxe-Kayak.html
     
  17. Tom Bowden

    Tom Bowden Active Member

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    The guys on the NW Kayak Board mentioned earlier are always looking for guys to go out with them, and welcome beginners. If you are interested in kayaks, this is a great site.

    My first kayak was an OK Scrambler. I was leaning overboard to release a nice Humpy when a wave from a passing boat hit me broadside and knocked me into the water. I was fortunate to be wearing a PFD & was close to shore, so I came away reasonably unscathed and learned a lot from the experience.

    The most important safety tip, other than wearing a good PFD, is to practice falling out of the boat and getting back in. It's a lot more fun to learn this important technique in a shallow area of a local lake on a hot day, vs. taking a dip in the Sound with all of your gear. Once you realize how easy it is, your confidence goes way up.

    Last year I traded the Scrambler in for a super-stable Drifter model, which wouldn't have tipped over that day at Dash Point. It's a bit heavier, but worth it to me. I also learned that you can make a kayak really stable by sticking your legs off the sides and using them to keep balance. I do this when landing fish, fussing with an anchor, or when casting. A lot of folks wear waders in kayaks, which is OK as long as they are fairly tight fitting and you wear a belt. To be on the safe side, I wear a farmer john wet suit, which is designed to keep you warm if you get wet. I cut the legs off some old stockingfoot waders and wear them underneathe the wet suit, which allows me to wade without getting wet.

    Just thought I'd pass along some learnings. Kayaking is a lot of fun and I encourage you to try it.

    Tom
     
  18. Tyler Watters

    Tyler Watters Stickin' pigs.

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    Thanks to everyone for all the good pointers. I second the idea for gettin a group together to go out paddling/fishing. I'll probably be makin a purchase this weekend and I'll let you guys know how it ends up.
     
  19. Clay Carney

    Clay Carney Member

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    It may be a long drive but you should check out Alder Creek Canoe and Kayak in Portland, they just had a sale, not sure if it is still going, and no sales tax in Oregon. Plus they have a great selection.
     
  20. HotinTotten

    HotinTotten New Member

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    I bought a kayak a couple years ago for fishing the S. Sound. Down here there are too many areas that were unfishable from the shore- overhanging trees, houses, etc. I chose tthe Dagger Blackwater kayak for a number of reason- the price (very reasonable for a kayak), stability (I've never swamped and use it in all kinds of weather...very stable for casting and playing a fish), maneuverability (lower the aluminum skeg to keep the kayak straight in windy conditions, or raise the skeg to make sharp turns), and portability (weighs about 50 lbs, and is fairly maneable to carry and transport).

    The cons are few. Its not the most comfortable thing, and after a few hours your ass is pretty numb. And I've found out that when SRC's hit a trolling fly their first run is almost always towards shore, and that is enough to drag the boat in...which simply makes it more sporting for the fish when I have a taut line in one hand and a paddle in the other trying to keep from getting buried in the brush.
     

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