People (even non fishing muggles) seem to be fascinated by kayak fishing. It is very rare to launch these days without being molested by interested passers-by. A lot of serious fishermen are getting interested in the sport too, and we have reached the stage in the UK, where kayak fishing is much more than a passing fad. It’s here to stay.
But why go kayak fishing ? Well, I fished from the shore for more years than I care to remember, and did alright, but I was finding that even my remote marks were becoming more and more busy, and the fishing was starting to suffer. I wanted to fish the parts that other anglers couldn’t get to, and kayak fishing has given me that opportunity. I catch bigger fish, and more of them, I can fish much lighter tackle and actually enjoy the fight of a fish.
Kayak fishermen are the ‘inbetweeners’ of the fishing world – no, I don’t mean we are knee deep in clunge… Ever since I started shore fishing, there was always an obsession with casting distance – cast further out, and you would catch more fish. By the same token, small boats seemed to be obsessed with getting in as close as possible to the shore. Well, kayak fishermen occupy the middle ground. We can fish in close, or further out, but most importantly, we can fish the areas that neither the shore fishermen or the boats can get to. And these areas, having little or no fishing pressure, by their very nature, produce more fish.
What about the concerns that most people have ?
Well some of them are unfounded – the biggest one usually concerns ‘stability’. I get asked all the time – “Don’t you tip over ?”. Well my background is fishing – I am not a kayaker/canoeist who has got into fishing, I am a fisherman who has got into kayaking. Fishing kayaks (or Sit-On-Top kayaks) are built specifically to fish from. This means that they are much more stable than traditional sea kayaks. They are also designed to be comfortable to sit on (we have comfy padded seats) and easy to get back on to, should you be unlucky enough to fall off.
The other concern, is one of safety – and for me – safety is at the top of the list when it comes to kayak fishing. Having all the gear, is no safeguard against the sea. Training, equipment and common sense are all needed to minimise the risks associated with kayak fishing. We always wear PFD’s (Personal Floatation Devices). I never go to sea without my VHF radio, GPS set and flares – but most importantly, I don’t go out to sea in conditions which might cause problems. Weather and tides are two things which we have no control over. We have lots of sayings in kayak fishing, but the most important is “If in doubt, Don’t go out”.
Kayak fishing is a very exciting way of catching fish, if this has whetted your appetite to find out more about the sport, then stay tuned, as I will be adding more articles on this blog. You can also check out my kayak fishing website, which has loads of resources, including kayak fishing videos and reviews of kayak fishing tackle, all of which is available from Veals Mail Order. You can also download a free beginner’s guide to kayak fishing, which I have produced.