Kayak Fishing the Open Ocean
- April 12, 2017
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Ocean kayak fishing can be intimidating at first glance. Eager fishermen get into tiny boats and journey out into Mother Nature’s most fierce and unforgiving territory to catch some of her largest and strongest creatures. Though nature should never be underestimated, neither should man. Today’s kayaks are manufactured to withstand the harsh conditions the ocean can produce. However, you need to be educated before you go out and buy your supplies. There are several aspects to keep in mind when purchasing your kayak and your fishing gear. Use this guide to help you on your path to becoming an ocean kayak angler.
Selecting The Best Fishing Kayak
The first step is to buy your kayak. You have two options when it comes to kayaks: a sit-in or a sit-on. A sit-in kayak has an opening that the fisherman would sit inside, while a sit-on Kayak has a more flat top that the fisherman sits on top of. Though a sit-in kayak may sound safer and more appealing, most fishermen prefer sit-on kayaks. Sit-on kayaks are also safer overall. If you fall off or flip the kayak, all you have to do is simply hop back on top. When a sit-in kayak is flipped, the fisherman is stuck in the kayak and must flip the kayak back over, which can be very difficult to do in strong currents. This is something serious to consider. It could be potentially dangerous for the fisherman if his/her sit-in kayak flips and he/she can’t get it flipped back up. The fisherman could face the possibility of drowning if he/she gets stuck and cannot flip the kayak or get out of the kayak while underwater. The best type of kayak for an ocean angler is a sit-on kayak. Sit-on kayaks are easy to work and the fisherman doesn’t have to spend a lot of time draining water out of the boat, whereas sit-in kayaks often fill up with water and need to be drained consistently while out on the water. In terms of safety and efficiency, sit-on kayaks are the right choice to make.
After considering sit-in and sit-on kayaks, you must consider the length and width of your kayak. Long, skinnier kayaks tend to be safer out in the ocean over shorter, wider kayaks. For kayaking beginners, short and wide kayaks typically feel better because there is more initial stability. When talking about kayak stability, this refers to the kayak’s tendency to wobble from side to side. Initial stability refers to the kayak’s first wobbles from left to right, while secondary stability refers to how much it takes before the kayak actually flips. While the shorter, wider kayaks may feel less wobbly, there isn’t as much forgiveness in the secondary stability and the kayak will fill up with water and flip much faster. Longer, skinnier kayaks are good for maneuvering through rough and fast ocean conditions without flipping as easily. Long and skinny kayaks allow the fisherman to make quicker and tighter turns and also allow for faster mobility. Several kayaks are sold with a steering add-on. The steering add-on allows the fisherman to turn the boat quicker. This is useful when it comes to unpredictable patterns that fish make when they are swimming around. Hatches are another important aspect of buying an ocean kayak. Each fisherman should have at least two hatches. One hatch is to store fish, while the other hatch should be used to store important items, such as supplies or your cellphone. You should also consider several accessories to add to your kayak to make your fishing experience a little bit easier. Electronic fish finders and rod holders are just a couple of items on the market today.
The most important investment you can make for yourself, however, is to invest in a good paddle. You should not hesitate to drop some extra money on a top-grade paddle. Fisherman cover a lot of ground during kayak fishing, and a good paddle can help with fatigue and fighting tough ocean conditions.
There are some essential items you need to remember to pack on your kayak for every single trip. Sunblock is super important. The sun is harsh and if you don’t protect yourself properly, your trip will get very uncomfortable very quickly. Use sunblock, wear hats, and wear long sleeved shirts. Also remember to pack a lot of water. You will dehydrate super quick out in the ocean under the hot sun. Life vests are a must; flares are good to have for emergencies. You also need to make sure you pack a line cutter as well. Line cutters will help you with any accidents regarding the line and the fisherman’s arms/hands as well as any problems that may arise with the fish themselves getting stuck on lines. Water weld is also a good tool to have. It patches any holes or leaks that might be in your kayak. Headlamps are a must for any fisherman who plans on fishing after dark, and a horn or sound device is necessary to call attention to your location. Perhaps the most important thing you need to remember to bring is insect repellent. The best fishing spots are often the hottest and muggiest. With this heat and humidity, come bugs. You don’t want bugs to ruin your trip. Carry insect repellent so you can stay and fish in all of the hotspots without getting too uncomfortable. If you are the type of fisherman that likes to take pictures, stores sell attachments that hold your phone up while you fish. This is a good way to get pictures, but still keep your phone safe from falling into the ocean below.
It can be difficult to get started with kayaking and fishing in the ocean, but if you shop smart and buy the right kayak and the right tools, you will have an easier time getting started. The last and most important thing to remember about starting your ocean kayaking experience is to never go alone the first few times out. Take someone who is experienced in case you run into any issues. The best way to learn how to do something is to get out there and do it. So, find a friend, get out there and get started. With time, you can become a great ocean kayak angler.