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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #16  
Old 07-29-2017, 10:13 AM
LKB3rd LKB3rd is online now
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

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Originally Posted by Rmarsh View Post
Those are all excellent points Rob....
Good advice for sure.
On a lighter note ....there was this one time that a bag with a half dozen eels got loose inside my kayak while out on the ocean.....luckily I got one of the buggers, while the others scattered around in the cockpit.
Casting or trolling an eel has caught me a few nice fish..i have a larger boat now but I miss fishing from the yak.
I had a half dozen eels escape one time too. They did fine in the little bit of water sloshing around in the bottom of the yak, but I couldn't retrieve them until I landed on shore

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Originally Posted by Rmarsh View Post
Stealth and being aware of everything ....using all your senses..you are one with your surroundings..its great.
I think it has some similarities to surfcasting. There's no boat engine, only human power. You're limited by what you can reasonably carry, limited in how far you can travel. I often fish areas where you could hit them from shore, except you'd never get access. Like surfcasting, you're out in a great location, it's quiet.
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  #17  
Old 07-29-2017, 11:41 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

Some pros and cons...and other thoughts...

Sit on tops: Tend to be wider than most sit-ins and a little slower, but that is length/width dependent. The pedal powered Hobies are a little wider and slower but leave your hands free for trolling...which is nice. Not sure, but I don't think peddle-powered kayaks have any glide to them...drag from the "Mirage Drive" (or propeller on Native Watercraft's foot powered boat) when not peddling. I have a 13' 5" X 30" 'yak that is hand (paddle) powered. It is fast, fairly stable, and has some glide after each stroke. The nice thing about paddling vs. peddling is that you're always in position to "brace" in waves or turbulence...which all kayakers should know how to do...YouTube "high bracing" and "low bracing"...note where you hold the paddle and which side of the paddle blade to use.

Sit-ins: Higher end sit in kayaks (listed as touring or expedition) are superior to SOTs for paddling, but difficult to fish out of. These are boats you "wear" using the paddle and your hips for boat maneuvering. I'm not sure of the exact model of the boat Susan is using in Frank's photo, but you can see how small the cockpit is...usually indicative of a touring 'yak. There are sit-ins listed as recreational, which have a larger open cockpit where the paddler's toes are barely shaded by the upper deck. You can see most of Susan's legs are inside the upper deck. The smaller cockpits make it difficult to set down rods or access tackle. It's also much more difficult to secure gear, and to right the boat if it flips. An "Eskimo roll" gets you upright in seconds, but you need to have a spray skirt on or you'll fill with water. Without a spray skirt on you would NEVER take a sit-in boat into the ocean. There are a couple ways to re-enter a swamped sit-in, but they're a little tricky and the boat still needs to be bailed out.

I had an eye opener where I whitewater kayak (Sacandaga River NY). A guy was practicing his Eskimo Roll and must have been wearing an old spray skirt. He wasn't able to roll himself upright and tried to free himself by pulling on the tab that releases the skirt and let's you fall out (remember, he's upside down right now)...the tab broke and he couldn't free himself. Luckily a friend in another boat nosed his own kayak broadside where the victim could grab the nose and roll himself upright...the guy would've drowned in plain sight if his partner hadn't been watching. I learned and could do the roll myself, but found it unnerving to be upside down in moving water, with my helmeted head bouncing off rocks like a ball in a pinball machine.
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  #18  
Old 07-29-2017, 12:21 PM
LKB3rd LKB3rd is online now
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

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Originally Posted by SALMONMEISTER View Post
Not sure, but I don't think peddle-powered kayaks have any glide to them...drag from the "Mirage Drive" (or propeller on Native Watercraft's foot powered boat) when not peddling.
With the Hobie "mirage drive" you can push one pedal all the way forward and it tucks the fins up flat against the bottom of the yak. Reduces gliding resistance and you can get some glide. This is also what you do in very shallow water where you use the paddle, or when landing on a beach. It's a good system, durable. I never did any maintenance at all on mine for ten years besides rinsing it down every now and again and it still works fine. I bent the fins by hitting rocks, and used them bent for several years without problems. I finally replaced them last year with the newer faster finset. Still using the the original drive, with the new fins.
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  #19  
Old 07-30-2017, 02:28 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

Its very important that a yak user be intimate with the issues mentioned above. I believe that no yak should ever be used in the open sea and limited to estuarine use. In the water the situation can deteriarate very quickly. Yak use is more dangerous than wading.
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  #20  
Old 07-31-2017, 12:15 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

You can use kayaks in the open sea...many do. But you have to have the right 'yak, the skills to go with it, know the weather/sea conditions, and be constantly on guard. It is more difficult to fish out there because fishing takes a backseat to paddling except under the calmest of conditions.

I've taken my kayak a mile out from the eastern shore of Lake Ontario in a 15 mph west wind. The only other boat I saw out there was about 30' long. 15-20' boats would've had a difficult time keeping from swamping, but my particular kayak trolled up and over the 4' swells pretty easily. I DID have to be extra diligent when turning from upwind to downwind though.
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  #21  
Old 07-31-2017, 07:09 AM
Rmarsh Rmarsh is offline
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

I agree ....all of my kayak fishing has been done on the open sea. I was kayaking and canoeing white water rivers as a youngster....been capsized and swamped more times than i can remember....in that sport it isnt just a chance of it happening it is a guarantee. We practiced wet exits, and eskimo rolling, pumping out swamped kayaks and immersion in cold water, at the begining of our trips to be prepared for the inevitable. You must know how to handle those situations or possibly die. That being said I would not recommend kayaking open sea for everyone.

The most recent rescue/recovery incident in my local waters, involved duck hunters, who made a bad decision to launch their boat in sub 10 degree weather with gusts to 35 mph. resulting in two fatalities. They were never more than 150 yards from shore.
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  #22  
Old 07-31-2017, 08:50 AM
Rmarsh Rmarsh is offline
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

My biggest mistake on my first trips out fishing from the kayak was not being prepared for the size fish that I would be dealing with.....too light of a setup...i learned from loosing out on a very large fish.
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  #23  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:32 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

Rmarsh, when you say "setup" do you mean rod/reel/line or the kayak itself?

A couple years ago some people were kayaking and SUPing (stand up paddle boarding) in Ct. In the afternoon a strong north wind came up and blew a few of them across Long Island Sound to L.I. Two arrived at 3 am, the other two died. You'd have to Google that one for all the details.
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  #24  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:40 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

No first hand experience in my case but our daughter, Susan, has had big bass that she could not handle, even to release. It seem to depend upon the individual and type of challenges that person is faced with. Once you get to 40 pounds up, you are faced with beaching for the final stages of the situation. Be assured that if you fish long enough you will be confronted with challenges and hazards. That's why I want all hands to have on a PFD.
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  #25  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:42 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

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Originally Posted by LKB3rd View Post
With the Hobie "mirage drive" you can push one pedal all the way forward and it tucks the fins up flat against the bottom of the yak. Reduces gliding resistance and you can get some glide. This is also what you do in very shallow water where you use the paddle, or when landing on a beach. It's a good system, durable. I never did any maintenance at all on mine for ten years besides rinsing it down every now and again and it still works fine. I bent the fins by hitting rocks, and used them bent for several years without problems. I finally replaced them last year with the newer faster finset. Still using the the original drive, with the new fins.
I didn't realize that about the Mirage Drive...good design.

Kayak width has trade offs: wide 'yaks are a dog to paddle and much heavier, but some are actually designed to stand and cast in. I can stand in mine, but even in calm water, if I cast, I'd probably end up swimming. I took mine for a 12 mile loop on Lake George yesterday. My ancient hand held E-Trex GPS said I was doing 2.4--5.4 mph. I assume the faster speeds were when I was paddling with some larger boat waves.
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  #26  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:46 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
No first hand experience in my case but our daughter, Susan, has had big bass that she could not handle, even to release. It seem to depend upon the individual and type of challenges that person is faced with. Once you get to 40 pounds up, you are faced with beaching for the final stages of the situation. Be assured that if you fish long enough you will be confronted with challenges and hazards. That's why I want all hands to have on a PFD.
Yes, Definitely a PFD when fighting a decent fish. Keep in mind also that no matter what tackle you use, the kayak/rod connection has extra drag built into it. Even when fighting a 2 lb largemouth bass, the kayak will always get pulled toward the fighting fish.
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  #27  
Old 08-01-2017, 10:15 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

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Originally Posted by SALMONMEISTER View Post
Keep in mind also that no matter what tackle you use, the kayak/rod connection has extra drag built into it. Even when fighting a 2 lb largemouth bass, the kayak will always get pulled toward the fighting fish.
So when you are pumping and putting line back on the reel you are not gaining on the fish, you are putting the yak closer to the fish. You are moving yourself, not the fish.
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  #28  
Old 08-01-2017, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

Frank, it's both, since neither the fish nor yak are "stationary", but line can be taken in.
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  #29  
Old 08-01-2017, 08:44 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
So when you are pumping and putting line back on the reel you are not gaining on the fish, you are putting the yak closer to the fish. You are moving yourself, not the fish.
True! ...well, some of both...and for the same reason, your hook sets may not be as solid.
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  #30  
Old 08-02-2017, 02:59 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Kayaks in SW Fishing??

Hook setting is often overdone anyway. You don't have to turn the fish inside out; a gentle tug is enough.

If I were younger, now that the kids are grown, I would recommend a yak as an effective means of dealing with the access curse. Much of the fishing you see me write about was done back when they had not yet gated the coast. We are down to precious few locations where a person can fish the shore.
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