Skip to content

cwadmin's blog

header image

Blog

Menu

Preserving Waterways For Future Generations

Posted: 09.22.2014

kayak fishing

As paddlers and anglers of various waterways, we believe it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the places we paddle.

Wilderness Systems & Adventure Technology pro staff JD Desrosiers had the opportunity to participate in a cleanup on beautiful Lake Keowee in South Carolina on Saturday, September 20th, 2014. Here's his report:

This past Saturday, we headed out to Lake Keowee to participate in the SCDNR Beach Sweep/River Sweep. Organized by SC Sea Grant Consortium in partnership with the SC Department of Natural Resources the cleanup is the largest one-day litter cleanup of South Carolina's beaches and waterways. Every third Saturday in September thousands of volunteers amass to clear trash from beaches, rivers, lakes, marshes, and swamps. I was able to organize a group of 12 fellow paddlers - we had 2 canoes and 10 kayaks out on the water! If you've never been to Lake Keowee, you'd be in for a pleasant surprise as the waters are Caribbean-blue with waterfalls dotting the shoreline. During the cleanup, we were able to fill up 3 industrial size trash bags in just a few hours. The area we concentrated on was the popular Falls Creek Landing on the northwest side of the lake. From a distance the area looked fairly clean, but once we started and got off of the beaten path we found some really messy and heavily trashed areas. One particular spot that we spent around 30 minutes on was a fire pit that was totally trashed. The before and after pictures are like night and day. Leaving that day, I just couldn't bring myself to understand what would posses someone to trash public lands. We at Wilderness Systems feel it is very important to preserve the waterways for the future generations.

header image

Blog

Menu

Legendary Status: Dean Thomas

Posted: 10.01.2014

kayak fishing

Legendary status is not achieved overnight. It’s neither manufactured nor a byproduct of sensationalism.

Rather, legends are grown, over time, by hard work and even harder knocks. They’ve been there, done that and endured it all. They’re fueled by passion and forged by grit. They’re a steady pulse by which the very health of the sport they’ve perfected can be checked against. They’re rare, yet Wilderness Systems is lucky to have one amongst their Pro Fishing Team ranks by the name of Dean Thomas.

The Wilderness Systems Fishing Team was created in the spring of 2004, and Dean (aka “Slowride”) has been a cornerstone since day one. For a guy that’s seen so much, it’s got to be hard to condense a lifetime of experiences on and off the water into a canned statement, but when asked what have been some of the most memorable moments of his lengthy career Dean claims that that being a part of the creation and evolution of the Tarpon line of fishing kayaks and watching the leagues of boats spawn from that model has been a big highlight. He elaborates, “[In addition to] growing my guide business and kayak fishing school and travelling across the country kayak fishing in some of the most beautiful water, without a doubt the coolest thing about my position with the Wildy team is meeting all the great folks who have been a part of the kayak fishing lifestyle I have enjoyed over the past ten years!”

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dean and his equally formidable wife Jennifer, along with fellow Pro Staffers Bobby Clark and George Stevens, at his dinner table in his rural home in Texas this past June. Over steaks and veggies straight from their garden, we spoke of the past, present and future of kayak fishing; of trends and fads; and of friends and foes – anyone who has been at the top of their game for so long is bound to be met with some resistance. Yet, unfazed, Dean and Jennifer are content with who and where they are in life. Full of enthusiasm and funny as hell, Dean beams when the conversation turns to topics of either fishing or family. He loves his sons, Dean Jr. and Nico, who at the time were away from home on Peruvian backpacking expedition, and even dials them up for an impromptu FaceTime just because all of the talk about them makes him miss his boys that much more. Though the conversation is flowing easily, Dean announces that he’s going to turn in early. True to form, he’s getting up early – much earlier than the lot of us – to go fishing.

header image

Blog

Menu

Four Anytime Anywhere Exercises to Make You A More Powerful Kayak Angler

Posted: 09.24.2014

kayak fishing

Torso strength is at the core of paddling power... pardon the pun.

Not everyone has the time or the desire to spend hours in the gym on machines that target the abdominal muscles, lower back, upper legs and shoulders. That's why I love these four “do anywhere” exercises for strengthening your core muscles.

But before I show these to you, it's important to understand why the muscles in your torso are so important to kayak anglers and paddlers in general. Most beginning paddlers will intuitively paddle with poor form: with their arms. I did. It took the skill of a paddling instructor to reverse the bad habits I had developed. To better understand proper paddling form, why it matters to kayak anglers and how to achieve torso rotation, watch this video on Paddling Skills for Kayak Anglers.

So now that you have watched it and are properly motivated to strengthen your torso muscle groups, here are some great exercises that you can do almost anywhere: at work with the office door closed, in your living room or at an actual gym. I happened to do these while I was at a playground with my kids.

PLANK AND SIDE PLANK

I learned how to do these while in physical therapy from a neck vertebrae injury.  For the side plank, lay on your side, with your elbow and forearm perpendicular to the rest of your body.  Lift your body up off the ground and hold the entire length of your body as straight and rigid as possible. Hold that position. Your body will want to sag in the middle as you fatigue. Hold it as long as you can on each side.

For planks, do the same thing with both elbows on the ground, and your forearms parallel with your body.  I currently hold position on each of these three exercises for 90 seconds each.  I had to work up to it, holding my body completely straight for 30 seconds twice, then 30 seconds three times, then 45 seconds twice, then 90 seconds without a break.  Planks and side planks will show you muscles that you never knew existed.

LEG LIFTS

I recall doing these abdominal muscle burners in high school football practice.  Lay on your back with your toes pointing skyward.  Lift your feet 6 inches off the ground and hold them as long as you can.  I wont say how long I hold it, but will say that you should set a goal and increase it as you gain strength.  For a variation, try separating your feet once they are elevated, then bring them back together.  It will work different parts of your lower abdominal muscles and upper thigh.

DIPS

This exercise requires some sort of elevated hand held support, and some creativity finding it.  I've used two adjacent desks at work, a counter top and an island counter in my kitchen, and in this example part of the jungle gym at the local park.  The goal is to do as many of these as possible in one shot, but some people find that their starting point is something less than one full lowering of their body and return to the top.  If that's the case for you, only go half way down until you develop more strength.  Start by grasping the two surfaces with your hands, then lift your legs off the ground, bending slightly at the knee to allow room to lower yourself without your toes touching the ground.  Lower slowly until your hands are almost to your mid chest, then push upward to a straight armed position and repeat as many times as you can.

ELEVATED LEG LIFTS

From this same elevated, straight armed, dangling body position, lift your knees upward toward your chest as far as you can and repeat as many times as you can.  For a variation that better mimics the torso rotation used to paddle a kayak, bring your knees up to the left and right with alternating repetitions.

None of these exercises are meant to be easy.  They aren't.  But they will make you stronger, allowing you to cover more water, more rapidly.  They will give you the kind of paddling burst speed to power through a strong head wind, a class three rapid, or a particularly nasty set of breaking waves.  Couple them with appropriate cardiovascular exercise and your days on the water will feature more fishing than paddling.  And that's the ultimate goal, isn't it?

Wishing you more time with your line in the water.

 

Jeff Little
Regional Pro Staff Director
Wilderness Systems Kayaks

header image

Blog

Menu

Power vs. Finesse

Posted: 10.29.2014

kayak fishing

It was a great one-two punch that worked!

I had to push a scheduled Guided Kayak Fishing Trip to Sunday so that opened up my Saturday for a little “me time” fishing. This gave me the opportunity to hit the river with long time kayak angling friend Ray B. for some fun fishing! Ray and I go WAY back. We’ve made many a trip down a number of flows together including a fantastic expedition down the fabled Devil’s River in Texas. Needless to say he’s a seasoned veteran kayak angler. We were totally immersed in our fishing so unfortunately, I have no pictures of fish today! Now that’ a first!

River levels were about normal for this time of year with a slight green coloration.  The water had definitely cooled significantly since my last trip several days ago. The weather had cooled about 8 degrees since yesterday and there was a predicted cooling trend for the next two days. That kind of weather can put the breaks on the bite. The bite started out slow but we put the pieces of the puzzle together and broke things wide open landing over 50 smallmouth bass. No monsters today but a lot of fish between 14-17.5 inches. It was hard to leave the water because we were still catching consistently when mother nature was turning off the lights.

We came out swinging with 5 quick catches but then suffered a long stretch of about 2 hours without a bite. We had started out with craws dragged on bottom and soft swimbaits cranked in the middle of the water column. That initial bite died quickly so we had to make some adjustments. During a water break we discussed the bites we did get trying to get a read on the mood of the fish and their level of aggression toward our baits. It was pretty evident that the fish where biting very light and not committing totally to the soft swimbaits. I had more that a couple tails bit right off!

We settled into two new presentations. One that would produce a reaction bite. A `1/4 oz. Bronze Eye Bullet Spinnerbait with a swimbait trailer and a trailer hook added. I rarely resort to a trailer hooks but when fish are in a “swiping” mood, as they were, it’s an integral part of the presentation. Many of the smallmouth where caught on the trailer hook. The spinnerbait produced on average the biggest fish of the day. The second very effective presentation was a 3″ River Darter Swimbait in a custom “river dace” color. We rigged it on a specially designed 1/8 oz football head with a “rock guard”. This bait produced the biggest numbers but slightly smaller average size. We alternated between the two working the spinnerbait on shallow water targets and the finesse bait in the deeper runs or pools. It was a great one-two punch that worked!

Fish were located in front of small grass islands and large rock formation/ledges. It was a day that you had to make a lot of casts to produce fish. We did find a few pockets of smallmouth in small pools with moderate current but mostly it was a single fish on a single target.

Another great day on the water!…. but isn’t every day on the water great!!!

header image

Blog

Menu

Build a Simple Kayak Rack From PVC

Posted: 11.03.2014

""

Here’s a simple kayak rack that I built from PVC.

It’s sufficiently sturdy for two or three kayaks, light, and inexpensive. It seems very stable but if you are concerned about stability just use the bottom two racks for kayaks and the top racks for paddles. I built the rack for roughly $130 in material cost. My widest kayak is 33″ and the rack dimensions handle that very nicely with some room to spare.  You can see from the picture how I pieced it together. It’s made from 1 1/2 inch PVC. Here’s the parts list:

 

Raw Materials:

Quantity Part
7 10 foot of 1.5″ Schedule 40 PVC
24 PVC “T” fittings
8 PVC End Caps
1 8 oz. All Purpose PVC glue

 

You will need to cut the PVC into these lengths

Quantity Length
6 36″
6 60″
8 12″
20 4″

 

Possible Upgrades: After building this, a couple quick ideas came to mind.

  • If you going to put the rack out in the back yard, it might be a good idea to put a “concrete deck block” under each post to keep it from sinking into the ground over time. I currently have mine resting on bricks but the rack tends to slide of when loading and unloading kayaks. I deck block would prevent this from happening.
  • You could put some kind of padding on the cross bars. I thought about putting pool noodles on the cross bars but I like how easy the kayak slides on the bare PVC when loading and unloading kayaks. I’m going to keep the PVC uncovered for now.
  • You could put wheels on the bottom as well if you have the rack in your garage. It would make it easy to move it out of the way if you have limited space.
header image

Blog

Menu

Installing an Accessory Track System on the AirPro MAX

Posted: 11.04.2014

The introduction of the new Phase 3® AirPro Max seat by Wilderness Systems has been a real game changer for the Ride series of fishing kayaks.

Packed full of features, this seat has had seemingly endless coverage pointing out construction, mechanicals, and comfort. One overlooked feature, however, has been the versatility in direct bolt-on accessories.

Designed to accept both T-bolt accessories such as YakAttack’s screwball and track systems, the AirPro Max suddenly becomes more than just a seat. One of the most common upgrades seen thus far has been the addition of YakAttack’s GTSL90 tracks, color-matched to angler’s kayaks.  In an attempt to eliminate any learning curve or mistakes, we will show you just how to complete this install problem-free.

For the install you will want to use YakAttack tracks in the GT90 width. The choice of color matched composite GTSL90 over the aluminum GT90 is somewhat of a preference. Either track will bolt on without issue, however note that the tracks are not supported the entire length and are not intended to be used for high torque items. If a heavier item or tall camera mount is to be used you may want to consider the additional strength of the GT90 aluminum track over its composite counterpart.

For our install we will be using Orange GTSL90 tracks. You will want to use the 12” size as these fit perfectly atop the AirPro Max seat sliders/rails. When purchasing your tracks it is easiest to purchase the “RTI” or “Ready to Install” kits as they will include all needed hardware.

In addition to the tracks you will also need a drill with 3/16” bit, 11/32” wrench or pliers, marine grade anti-seize, and 9/64”allen key.

The first step in a correct install is proper alignment of the tracks onto the nylon seat rails. Forward/aft alignment and side-to-side alignment are both critical as there is not much area for variance. In aligning the tracks in the method outline, each track will have the maximum number of fasteners and will in turn be stronger than if the tracks were shifted.

To position the tracks properly forward/aft simply line up the GearTrac’s hole located 2nd from the rear to the brace in nylon rail as shown.

After track placement has been determined for the forward/aft aspect you will need to line up the side-to-side positioning. This positioning is important as if the tracks are brought too close to the center of seat there will not be enough space to allow for the nylock nut to be installed. To ensure proper placement the track should overhang by approximately 1/8” to the outside of the seats slider as shown.

After position is determined, mark the rear-most hole position form the GearTrac. After marking, drill out this hole and pin the track in place with one of the #8 bolts included with your GTSL90 RTI kit. After the aft end of the track is pinned, move to the forward most hole. Drill and again pin the track with one of the supplied bolts. 

With both track ends pinned you can now drill the remaining 2 holes that will be used and insert bolts.  On the rear of the track we will use the rear-most hole and the 3rd from the end. On the forward end of the track use the first and second hole.

The final steps of this install are to install the nylock nuts onto the bolts. Before installing these nuts, however, you will want to apply a small amount of marine grade anti-seize to prevent any thread galling.

While installing and tightening the nuts you will notice that the forward-most bolt will be a somewhat tight area. To install this nut simply back the bolt out until flush with underside of track, line up the nut, and tighten. All other bolts you will be able to attach nut with the bolts fully inserted. 

After all of your hardware is tight, all you have left to do is figure exactly what accessories you would like to use. I recommend using YakAttack’s RET-1002 Track Mounted Retractor. This works perfectly for anything you want to keep close at hand such as a FishGrip. Camera mounts and rod holders are also popular accessories.

header image

Blog

Menu

Two Great Paddles

Posted: 11.11.2014

When I’m on the water fishing in one of my Wilderness Systems fishing kayaks, the last thing I want to worry about is my paddle.

I want a light, ergonomically designed, well-balanced paddle with an oversized blade. For the past 6 years I’ve had all of this bundled in the Adventure Technology Exodus SL. To say I’m spoiled is an understatement.

During my kayak fishing seminars I always recommend that kayak fishing enthusiasts buy the highest quality and lightest paddle they can afford. Years ago I paddled with a “too heavy” paddle and it really did take some of the fun out of my kayak fishing, as well as adding fatigue and stress to my arms and shoulders.  When on the water all I want to be worrying about is how to catch those smallmouth bass, not how heavy and uncomfortable my paddle is and that my arms are going to be very tired after 4 or 5 hours on the water. Many kayak anglers I talk to may buy a nice kayak, but then go cheap on the paddle. A good kayak and paddle are both extremely important to maximize your experience.

With hundreds of hours on the water with the AT Exodus Superlight (SL), and sometimes paddling long distances into wind,

I don’t even think about the paddle.  It just feels like a part of me, and that’s how it should be.

The Exodus SL I use is 230 cm, but is expandable to 235 cm – a nice bonus. It weighs 28 ounces and has full carbon braided construction. The blade is oversized, adding to my ability to move water, but not so aggressive to add extra strain on my shoulders. The Ergo shaft design has a slight bend where the hands grip the paddle, and it puts my wrists and forearms in an extremely comfortable position. The shaft is not round, but somewhat oval, which I find more comfortable to grip. Another plus to the Ergo shaft and oval shape is in windy conditions when I rest the paddle on my lap while fishing, it doesn’t spin in the wind like a straight shaft paddle that’s round. Also, the balance of this paddle is perfect, with proper weight distribution from blade tip to blade tip. This is very apparent when paddling. I have handed my Exodus SL too many kayakers over the years and the looks on their faces is priceless.

Almost always they comment on how light it feels compared to what they are using and are always intrigued by the Ergo shaft.

Another great paddle that I used for the first time this year, and have been very impressed with, is the AT Oracle Carbon. This paddle is 31 ounces, is constructed of woven carbon fiber and has the same Ergo shaft I prefer with the Exodus SL.  The big difference is that the blade on the Oracle Carbon, which is also oversized, is more aggressive. It is shorter, but taller, allowing the paddler to push even more water.

I tend to be careful with my paddles, but some of my fellow Wilderness Systems Pro Staffers are not, especially those who fish shallow rivers. Both the Exodus SL and Oracle Carbon can handle rough use with ease.

A top fishing kayak, like any of the Wilderness System models will enhance your experience on the water. But, take it from me – use a quality lightweight paddle.  You’ll be amazed at how this one essential piece of equipment will make your time on the water so much more enjoyable. 

 

Bill Schultz
Wilderness Systems Pro Team
Adventure Technology Pro Team

header image

Blog

Menu

Oracle Angler

Posted: 12.03.2014

kayak fishing

Adventure technology and wilderness systems pro staffer Adam Corry tests the latest innovative design in angler-specific paddle design and functionality.

If you’re in the market for a new paddle, whether you’re a first time buyer or just a gear head, look no further than the latest series of high performance angler-specific paddles from Adventure Technology (AT). Available in retail stores now, the AT angler series delivers the quality, innovation, and performance the industry has come to expect and the features that like-minded paddlers admire. Whether a weekend warrior, a “once in a whiler”or a seasoned pro, the AT Angler lineup is a sure bet.

Recently, I took the new Oracle Angler out for a few test rides to see if this paddle lives up to those very expectations and standards.

I soon found myself coming up with two words to describe the overall feeling of the paddle; rugged confidence.

The Oracle boasts a carbon blend straight shaft, an aggressive and beefy blade face and a proprietary Duraweave fiberglass reinforced tip.

I paddled the Oracle not in search of fin and scale during my recent trips, but for feather and fowl. Knowing that my outings would have me in and out of thick coastal marsh cover, possible shallow flats in need of a good strong blade for pushing off, and the ever present oyster and mussel shells, this paddle was going to get some abuse. When I put a blade in the water, I mean it and I want my paddle to be as aggressive as I need when the time calls. The blade design and strength of the overall package allows for greater power output with each stroke and an aggressive paddling style with little to no flutter. In one word, this paddle is tough.

The Oracle Angler will not take no for an answer in any variety of water conditions and I have complete confidence in the strength and toughness of the blade and shaft.

The Duraweave tip proved true to the designers’ word as I repeatedly pushed off of mussel covered tidal banks time and time again to pick up downed birds and reposition for better shots.  Even with the sometimes cringing sound I would hear, after a good cleaning I found few indications of any significant abrasion on the blade face or tip. While making an overland (marsh) crossing from the parking area to open water I repeatedly used the paddle as a walking stick and support. I often put a good bit of my weight on it to get out of a few sticky mud holes and not once did the shaft hinge give way or either blade base feel weak.

Some of the other features of this design that will surely find a home in hearts of anglers are the measuring graphics on the shaft providing inch and centimeter demarcations up to 3 feet, and an integrated line hook that will certainly prove useful. I can vouch for it being a great line grabber when picking up or repositioning waterfowl decoys. The shaft offers unlimited feathering and a full 10 centimeters of length adjustment at the ferrule to accommodate today’s wider SOT platforms, and grant forgiving allowance for adjustable height seating like the new Wilderness Systems Air Pro Max seating system.

If I haven’t convinced you by now, did I mention that it’s just plain cool looking? The Oracle sports a gently fading digital camo graphic on the business side of the blade, and a classic “you see what you get” translucent fiberglass eye popping gloss on the opposite side. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without the AT and fish logos well known in the Angler lineup. I would definitely call this a high-vis blade but I had no complaints from the ducks that dropped into my decoy spread as long as the digital camo was facing out and the sun glare was low.

Weighing in at just over two pounds, the paddle still fits in the lightweight category even with the rugged design and materials. Coming in under the $300.00 dollar mark (MSRP) makes it affordable and a lot of paddle for the money. Offered from 220 to 260 centimeters in length, this paddle will fit all shapes and sizes of paddlers and boats.

Stop by your local paddle sports retailer and ask to see the new Adventure Technology paddles or check them out online at www.atpaddles.com. Make sure you take advantage of the paddle selector tool on the AT website to help find the right paddle for you.

 

Adam Corry
Adventure Technology Pro Staff
Wilderness Systems Pro Staff

header image

Blog

Menu

Introducing the ATAK

Posted: 01.06.2015

kayak fishing

The new Wilderness Systems Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak (ATAK), scheduled for release in early 2015, features an open design that can be customized to meet the needs of almost any angler.

The deck is highly walkable and stable – a feature that was achieved without needing to add more width to the boat, allowing for sustained speed and glide. The deck is low-profile and intentionally designed to shed wind. Storage opportunities are abundant and are thoughtfully located throughout. Amongst the many new innovations that are overflowing on this boat, the ATAK will also feature the new AirPro MAX seat which becomes even more versatile with the ability to travel the majority of the length of the deck.

Evan Lyendecker, marketing manager with Wilderness Systems had this to say about the development of the ATAK: "We’re currently sitting with a phase 3 prototype, which is shaping up quite nicely, and have tested it in various fisheries from the Susquehanna River in PA and the tidal Potomac in MD/VA, to the marshes and bays around Charleston, SC and Port Aransas, TX, and various lakes in between. We’ll also be headed south this winter to chase some reds and specks in the Apalachicola National Forest and around the Forgotten Coast of FL. If the testing schedule is any indication, this kayak will be highly adaptive to almost any environment and target species."

Follow Wilderness Systems Fishing on Facebook or on the web at WildernessSystems.com for the latest details on the ATAK as they’re released.

header image

Blog

Menu

ANGLING KAYAKS! Safe, Practical, Diverse, and Capable.

Posted: 01.26.2015

kayak fishing

Well-designed angling kayaks are a valuable and efficient means of getting to fish you otherwise could not reach.

Kayak anglers enjoy this platform for its comfort, stability and capacity for a solo fishing experience. Angling kayaks are also equally well suited for anglers using fly rods and reels as well as spinning and casting equipment. I often carry both fly rods and spinning/casting rods on the same trip.

The kayak angler has easier access to water otherwise inaccessible to boats and fishing from the shore.

An angler’s respective perception of and bias for or against any style of angling is very personal. Such is usually a matter of a lack of opportunity, a misunderstanding or a lack of willingness to embrace the opportunity to experience that which is different.  I will leave it to the reader to reflect on her or his own perceptions and bias for or against varying angling styles.

So imagine the reaction from anglers when they first see me walk to the water with one of my kayaks rigged for a day of fishing. My experience in such situations ranges from open curiosity and interest, quiet neglect, and at times less than complementary words as I paddle away from shore. We all need to remember that the spoken word travels a long way over open water.

Please consider these reasons why i think a kayak offers an added productive benefit to any style of fishing in almost any body of water.

1. Staring at unreachable pools on a stream or river or areas in a pond or lake can be quite frustrating. It often has me trying to wade into water that I quickly recognize as being too deep or too fast moving for safe access on my feet. A kayak, float tube or canoe are the only possible options.  I have used them all but in fast running or deep water or a pond or lake I find that paddling, anchoring and fishing from a kayak is well suited for the solo angler. Kayaks can also be very comfortable if designed with a high quality seat for angling. But remember that getting to the water you want to fish is not the answer to catching fish. You still have to use the proper flies or lures and presentations to be successful. The kayak is not what attracts or catches fish.

2. Well-designed fishing kayaks afford great mobility and a stable platform for fishing. One of my favorite trips here in Maine begins with a small stream with interconnected ponds and streams that ultimately empties into a pond. Without my kayak I would simply not be able to run this 10 mile stretch of water in a single day. I cast from the kayak, use the kayak as my vehicle for quick, comfortable and stable mobility.

I can also easily stop and either anchor or get out to fish or wade water that holds nice fish.

This one trip affords fabulous opportunities for Landlocked Salmon, Brook Trout and Smallmouth Bass in one watershed. Imagine great fishing, calm surroundings, birds, beavers, an occasional moose and on a couple of occasions a quick look at a black bear.

3. The kayak also allows me to carry gear not possible when wading or hiking. For long trips I always carry my Primus gas stoves for a nice shore lunch along the way. Nothing like a hot cup of coffee and meal while resting on shore. This with no one else around except perhaps a friend making the memories with you. I can also take one or two fly rods as well as spinning and casting gear rigged for different presentations and different species.

4. Don’t forget the photo op. My kayak is rigged with a remote operated GoPro, and a still camera. These are waterproof and tough cameras. I also carry a Digital SLR in a dry bag for higher quality pictures.

My Wilderness Systems Ride 135 and similarly well designed fishing kayaks have the capacity for all of this gear with plenty of space for fishing gear, rods, tackle and flies and lunch or dinner.

It is also a very stable kayak thus reducing the risk of getting wet unless you do not use good judgment.

So embrace the kayak as an angling platform regardless of your angling preference. Of all the valuable lessons my dad taught me, being relaxed and enjoying a day of fishing was one of the best. He also instilled in me the knowledge that you only become better by trying new and different experiences. I have fished for more than 60 years and fly fished for more than 40 years. I have fished from a kayak for about 20 years. Kayaks designed for fishing will last a long time if taken care of. I still fish from my 20 year old sit inside style Pungo 14. My newer sit on top Ride 135 has, however, become my go to kayak due to its stability, comfort and capacity.

I love to fish and I love to learn.  I find some of the best conversations occur when fishing and interacting with other anglers. A shared tactic, a shared story, or simply a quick smile and nod as I paddle by. I often share one of my kayaks if an angler seems interested. My only requirement is the paddler wear a PFD at all times. I carry a few different sizes of PFD’s in my Jeep for such occasions. I have later seen some of these anglers in her or his own kayak enjoying a day of angling.

So please do share the water, share the tactics and when possible learn new methods of fishing. And oh yes, do include a fishing kayak in your adventures.  I am confident you will find an angling kayak to be a productive and safe fishing platform.  

Good paddling, good fishing and always be safe. See you on the water!

 

About the Author: Jim is an avid angler who lives in Maine and fishes using fly rods, and spinning and casting gear for cold water species, and warm water species  (salmon, trout, bass, pike). He also fishes tidal waters in Maine for Striped Bass. He is a member of Trout Unlimited, BASS, and Federation of Fly Fishers. He is a member of the Wilderness Systems Kayak Pro Staff.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - cwadmin's blog