Tag Archives: soft plastics

Kayak fishing here there and everywhere

I havent actually been on a great number of kayak fishing trips this year. But I have mixed it up a bit, and done quite well. The results I have had in just a hand full of trips show just how effective kayak fishing can be. I never could have experienced that level of fishing from either the boat or the shore….

Now, I know you guys love the salt, but I am a bit of an all-rounder, so excuse me for chatting about the “dark side” (freshwater !). I also love lure fishing, especially small plugs and soft plastics. My first trip combined all of these. I took the kayak to the beautiful Llangorse lake in the Brecons. I set up my stall with very light tackle – 6lb varivas braid and wire traces, and a lightweight LRF type rod. I was also using the Tokushima GraphX reel – a very solid peice of kit indeed. To cut a long story short, I never managed to catch the legend of Llangorse (google it… go on !). I did manage to catch a lot of pike.

I can tell you that they don’t half scrap on that gear. I was using weedless soft plastic lures (the pike love to hide in the weed).

Best part of the trip was the capture of a really nice perch, which fought all of the way to the net. A lovely looking fish…

Anyone who tells you that lure fishing doesn’t work in cold water, is talking absolute rubbish. Give it a try and you will find out for yourself.

Next trip was going to be fly fishing from the kayak (Flyaking) at Wimbleball lake on the edge of Exmoor. Another really scenic location. I was lucky enough to be joined by my friend Alistair Рgreat company and a great fisherman. The weather was hot and still, and the water was clear Рnot ideal conditions for trout fishing. But the fish were there, and when they started to bite, the action was intense. You could see every movement of the fish in the clear water.

We had the whole lake to ourselves – not another boat or bank fisherman in sight. It was a special day, in so many ways. One of those trips which cheers you up when you are having a bad day at work.

I ended up with my limit. And the Hobie kayak performed absolutely flawlessly – it was a joy to be afloat.

So on to the salt ! I was umming and ahhing as to where to go. Then my good friend James contacted me to tell me that the bream were in early, and there were some good ones being caught. So that made up my mind, and soon I was driving down South to the bream mark.

I was again blessed with fantastic kayak fishing conditions  Рlight winds, a decent sized tide and bright sunshine. I pedelled the Hobie Revolution 11 kayak out into the middle of the bay, and tied up to a pot bouy. I had been studying the surrounding ground on the fishfinder, and there was a nice mixture of reef, rock, stone and sand Рa nice bit of mixed ground.

I was going to try something a bit different. A swimfeeder containing frozen fish oils and other assorted goodies. This was very similar to the SeaScenter…


…And I was convinced it was going to work, if, and it was a big “if”, the bream were around.

As it happened, I didn’t have too long to find out…. on my first cast, I managed to hook into a huge bream which sadly straightened the hook of the squid baited shrimpers I was using. The fish flapped on the surface for a split second, and then it was gone.

It mattered not, becuase over the space of the next few hours, I managed to catch lots of bream, including a couple over 3lbs. The biggest was a new personal best for me… a shocking 4lbs 2ozs. All those years I fished fromt he shore in Alderney, I never thought I would beat my personal best in the UK – but that’s kayak fishing.

Any fish over 4lbs is a cracker – I was over the moon.

Then just to make it an even better day, I managed a lovely looking spotted ray.

Three very different trips and different styles of fishing. All great in their own way, and why I love kayak fishing so much.

If you want to see more, watch the video Kayak Fishing for Bream.


The Ultimate Lure Machine ?

For the past 9 months I have been busy transforming my latest kayak into the ultimate lure fishing machine. The Hobie Revolution 11 was a great choice for a lure fishing platform for several reasons…

1. It’s light

2. It’s highly manouvreable

3. I can move hands-free (using the Hobie’s mirage drive system)

The third point is possibly the most important one, when it comes to fishing. Trying to lure fish and paddle at the same time, is almost impossible. Hobie’s mirage drive slots into the centre of the kayak and uses peddles to control a pair of fins under the kayak. Using your legs, “peddle power” can propell the kayak along at 5mph for long distances – alot quicker than you could paddle.

I have also been adding a few “extras” to the kayak. A down imaging fish finder, and GPS unit…

An XL rudder, to make the thing turn on a sixpence, and some HD AV equipment…

I even added a sail (and a livebait well which fits in the rear tankwell area)…


But why a kayak ? Well, I have fished from the shore for more years than I care to remember, and whilst I still love shore fishing, I wanted to get to the parts that other anglers could not reach. The kayak lets me do that, and in a very stealthy way – you can get very close to the fish before they know you are there. You can also get into very shallow water and reach parts of the coast which are unaccessible from the shore (or by traditional boats !).

Recently I fished some marks in Dorset, very close in – too shallow for boats and not possible to get to from the shore. Tackle-wise – I was using my trusty Teklon Concept 702(ML and L) rods. The 702L was paired with a Daiwa Luvias reel filled with 7kg Nanofil, and the heavier 702ML rod was using a Mitchell Mag Pro Extreme 2000 reel filled with Varivas braid. I have used these outfits alot from the kayak and they are ideal for this sort of work. Both outfits were using Berkley flourocarbon leaders.

I thought I would start off by plugging in the shallow water. I spent an hour peddling and drifting along the coast casting the Maria Chase BW into every likely looking area…

Nothing to show, not even a stray follower ! Time for a change. I switched to a senko worm rigged texas style, with a 7g conehead lead and using a worm hook – the whole thing was fished weedless style… the terrain I was fishing over was rough… boulders the size of cars, thick fronds of kelp and relatively shallow water. A tackle graveyard for normal methods, but fishing the senko in this way would minimise my losses.

I peddled along close into the cliff, keeping one eye on the fish finder and one eye on the rocks, whilst casting and retrieving at the same time. This is a dynamic form of fishing where the idea is to cover as much ground as possible in order to maximise your chances of locating the fish. It didn’t take long…

I had only just started to start reeling in the senko over a large boulder, when BANG – it was smashed by a decent fish. The rod arched and the reel screamed as the wrasse tore around in the shallow water. After a brief scrap and a couple of splashes, I boated the fish.

Not the biggest wrasse I have caught, but I am a sucker for this style of lure fishing. Its fun, and the action can be hectic. A number of other fish were captured and released that day, all inlocations which would not have been fishable without the kayak and without the tackle and tactics employed that day.

Then there is the possibilites offered by LRF using the kayak, but that is another story !