Uniquely "Kayak Fishing"

Feb 10, 2019
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The thing that I love most about kayak fishing is the way that it requires the angler to be uniquely attuned to the water conditions while at the same time managing the fish. For me the perfect night is the night where the bite is hot but conditions are challenging and you're fighting big fish in big surf. Not dangerous, big. Kayak fishermen fall in reaching for things - most often something behind them, bringing their head off- center - not from the waves. I love interacting with the water, getting splashed in the face as I try to turn a big bass. I never feel more alive. It's where planning, preparation, conditioning, practice and execution all come together to equal fish.

You have to practice failure too, though. How many kayak fishermen have practiced ditching? With rods? How many know how to re-enter their outfitted hull while in a full dry suit? I don't go out there to "try" things. What shows up on the water is the finished product. I've done all of that work before I launch. I mention it because I'm seeing a lot of people who are putting themselves into situations they've never been in before and it's not smart.

Last night at Ponquogue Bridge it was foggy and blowing about 20 knots out of the west against about a 3-4mph incoming tide. I knew this would create a 2 foot chop on the west side of the bridge, especially as the tide began to turn. Then it was going to lay down. The bite got hot right as the tide started to turn and it got lumpy. Everything came together and I had a blast catching bass to 28 inches before calling it a night/morning at 5am.

Those same conditions that I found so appealing were too much for another kayaker, who drifted east about a half mile and was forced to ditch. His kayak washed up in Shinnecock Inlet and my wife started getting the phone calls she gets every time there's a report of a kayak fisherman who didn't come back. I prepared properly and he didn't. Our nights ended very differently. It would be very hypocritical to suggest that kayak fishing should involve challenging surf and then chastise those who come out there with me. That's not my purpose. I have a problem with the guys who think they can "wing it" and do what me and my teammates do. We practice, we put in the hours getting everything right, so that when the shit hits the fan there's no panic, just protocol, and things have a happy outcome.

Kayak fishing is as dangerous as you make it, but for those who are just starting, it behooves you to study up, prepare and practice "utter failure" in the safety of your friend's pool before you try it in Shinnecock Inlet.
 

pequa1

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 23, 2018
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, it should be obvious
The older I get the less inclined to risk ANYTHING lol. I spent over 20 years alone and unarmed in and out of the city housing projects doing national security backgrounds, far more dangerous than my 28 years wearing the green even in Field Artillery. I started kayaking a little after I retired from the Army Reserve and just fish backbay for fluke and whatever else comes my way. Although I have the gear for it, I only kayak fish when its warm enough for swim trunks and a tank top under my always worn PFD and haven't gone out at night in years. Kayak is bright orange, (first was yellow), safety flag flown and I paddle like hell when crossing channels. Kayakfisherman, let me just live vicariously through your adventures if you will let me.
 

WhatKnot

Well-Known Angler
May 18, 2019
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The older I get the less inclined to risk ANYTHING lol. I spent over 20 years alone and unarmed in and out of the city housing projects doing national security backgrounds, far more dangerous than my 28 years wearing the green even in Field Artillery. I started kayaking a little after I retired from the Army Reserve and just fish backbay for fluke and whatever else comes my way. Although I have the gear for it, I only kayak fish when its warm enough for swim trunks and a tank top under my always worn PFD and haven't gone out at night in years. Kayak is bright orange, (first was yellow), safety flag flown and I paddle like hell when crossing channels. Kayakfisherman, let me just live vicariously through your adventures if you will let me.
I’m guessing that I bumped (figuratively) into you in Haunts Creek while you were plugging along the marshes. PS I slowed way down. :) I always enjoyed that run back to Seaford from the State Channel; even at low tide