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My Top Five Favorite Fish from The Kayak

Posted: 04.15.2019

kayak fishing

My Top 5 Favorite Fish From The Kayak
By Tom Adams

I enjoy catching just about any fish I can from my kayak in the coastal waters of Rhode Island. I have 5 favorite species I target from my Wilderness Systems RADAR135 with the Helix pedal drive. Of course there have been some I haven’t enjoyed catching like the spiny dogfish and skate, I’m sure they’ll be others I don’t want on the end of my line in the future too. With 400 miles of coastline you can launch your kayak from just about anywhere and catch any one of these fish.
For now my top 5 most targeted species to date in order of arrival to Rhode Island coastal waters are as follows

1. Striped Bass or Stripers
Striped bass start showing up in numbers around the middle to end of April in waves of schoolie sized fish. Seeing them means the bigger ones are close behind and will be here by the end of May beginning of June. At this time the 30lb, 40lb and 50lb class fish have made their way into the upper bays. Hooking up with these bigger fish will get your adrenaline flowing, especially when they crush a top water lure and start towing you around. The stripers can be caught into the fall when they’re making their way back south.

2. Fluke or Summer Flounder
These fish might not have the fight force of the striped bass, but this bottom predator can leave you wishing you had your net ready quicker! Fluke have this frustrating ability to take tension off your line and spit the hook when they come flat to the surface if you’re not prepared. Have that net ready because in the month of June here in Rhode Island there is the largest one day tournament called Fluke Til Ya Puke. This tournament recently added a kayak division sponsored by Ocean State Kayak Anglers Association (OSKAA). Losing that fish of a lifetime because you didn’t have your net ready could haven’t been the one worth thousands of dollars! Fluke are also one of my favorite fish to eat.

3. Black Sea Bass
Black Sea Bass are on this list for three reasons... first, they are also one of my favorite fish to eat. Second, they’re one of the coolest looking fish; they have variations of light to dark blues mixed in with the black scales- truly an awesome looking fish. The third reason is a simple one; fishing is fun and you can jig up plenty of Black Sea Bass around any rocky coast, structure or lobster pot.

4. Bonito or Atlantic Bonito
These hard hitting, fast, toothy fish show up along the coast in late summer, early fall. Bonito run the coastlines chasing smaller bait fish like silver sides and peanut bunker, so throwing a lure like the locally made Point Jude Lures “po-jee” will increase your chances of hooking up with one. I use light tackle on these fish because I find myself chasing and casting a lot. When fishing these you will see them break the surface pushing bait fish up, so you pedal over and cast then they’re gone. A few hundred yards away they will reappear so you pedal there and cast too. It’s a repeat but fun process. One day we covered about 8 miles in 4-5 hours chasing and casting, that is why I’m thankful I have a Helix pedal drive on my RADAR135.

5. Albies or False Albacore
Albies usually make their way to Rhode Island in September and stick around into October. Chasing these little speedsters is a lot like chasing bonito.....for miles! As with bonito I’m using light tackle on this fish. My light tackle consists primarily of my custom “Albie” rod made by Crafty One Customs paired with a Shimano Stradic 5000. I personally prefer the 5000 size reel for the power handle, where others prefer the smaller 4000 model. Albies are fast, really fast! When they slam a 4” or 6” RonZ lure, hang on because they are going to run and run fast all over the place! The screaming drag and ringing of the reel as the line is peeling off can only mean one thing, Fish On! At the end of the day when you’ve been fortunate enough to hook up with one of these fish you will have the biggest smile on your face, because plain and simply put, Albies are wicked fun to catch!

There are some fish out there that I have on my kayak fishing “bucket list”; as of right now those fish are: Ø Mahi

Ø Yellowfin tuna
Ø Sailfish
Ø Rooster fish
Ø Wahoo
Ø Red drum

Credit of mention:
#wildyfishing #helixpd