TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


#2241564
HI there - trying to find background information for an article I'm writing and need some kayak fishing experts.

What do you know now that you wish you had known before you started kayak fishing? Anything particular to kayak fishing is welcome...general or water safety is not my focus, though. Please keep it fishing or kayak related.

Thanks in advance!
#2241604
Here's my 2 cents (in no particular order).
(1) Choosing the right rod - I've settled into short handled 6'6" to 6'9 rods, medium to medium light action, 1/16 oz or 1/8 oz starting weight range rating. I started out with my bass rods which were too stiff.
(2) Adjusting drag - Don't over tighten your drag. Allow enough to play the fish but not too much. I am still guilty of cranking down the drag during a fight and have lost many fish because of that. You gotta let the rod and reel do their job.
(3) Don't buy too many lures, especially early in your learning to fish - I have an Academy at my house because I chased every little thing that was working for everyone else. I have since stopped the buying and now really try and focus on my technique. This is a hard one because you don't know enough to determine what might work for you. All I can say is take it slow and don't buy too much at any one time. (Another good thing to do is to split your baits with a few of your buddies. Each of you buy a pack or two of say soft plastics and then split up the packs. That way you'll be able to try a variety of plastics while not stocking up too much.)
(4) Get connected with experience kayakers - Nothing like learning from someone who understands the game. And TKF is full of experience so also read, read, read.
(5) Get out on the water and fish - Pretty obvious but this is the real key to success.
Hope this helps!
#2241771
kickingback wrote:The amount of places you can launch from with a kayak and catch some descent fish every outing. This would have saved me lots of time searching.


Exactly this. I wasted so much time and gas not only searching, but also going to the same location over and over because I was familiar and comfortable with the area.
#2241830
1. Bought a tandem kayak thinking it would take the place of one for my wife and I. It was too big, too heavy and we would want to go in two different directions. Sold this tandem at a loss and bought the kayak I had originally wanted. Kept that kayak for about ten years.

2. Accessories! I started attaching almost every accessory and found out they just got in the way. In my case, I should have kept it simple. Wound up taking off most of the stuff and filled in screw holes with silicone.

3. Too many fishing rods. Turns out I catch more fish with one or two rods. I did not listen to my own advise, keep it simple. Nothing is more aggravating than all the mess associated with lures "catching" my spare rods on my back cast and launching them into the salt water. A kayak is not a bass boat where I can rig up 8 rods with specific lures. I was better off taking two rods and switching out lures. 90% of my fish are caught on one specific rod, reel and lure set up.
Tom
#2241842
Tombo's post reminded me of when I first got started. The mind set was geared towards BTB (my first major outing was a PACK trip to the Houston Ship Channel). Everything had to be on a lanyard and battened down - and loaded for bear. Carried everything I could think of - just in case - because you don't want to be stranded without something - and at this stage of the game you're really not sure what fits you and your style of fishing.

Now I mainly fish inshore so I rarely lanyard anything down (like Tombo said "I started attaching almost every accessory and found out they just got in the way.") I've also cut out so much stuff and can load out in no time. Everything is pretty well organized.

So I wish that I would have taken a more simplistic approach back when I got started. Do your homework but use the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid).
#2241876
Great posts!

I'll second the general idea of going out "finesse" rigged, that is, as a minimalist, carrying as little along with you as practicable. You know the "season" you are fishing so often this translates into what your target species will be, you know the expected weather: temperature, cloud cover, etc., Google Earth and other maps/references should indicate ahead of time places and depths you'll be fishing, and so much more. Knowing these things means you can, and should, leave a lot of gear home. I can't imagine taking out more than 3 rods and even with 3, I rarely make it beyond using 2.

The worst feeling to me? It is getting out on the water and having so many rods and Plano lure boxes with me that I simply cannot concentrate on what I want to accomplish. And, it often compels me to change up too often, to give up on a presentation too fast. I'd rather occasionally realize "I wish" I had brought something over regretting bringing too much along and turning my trip into a junk fishing expedition.

Time, too, as expressed in how fast you can load up at home, get on and off the water at your destination, and unload back at home . . . is a big deal. The more I learn to fine tune and decrease the time and effort to go kayak fishing, the more I love it and the more often I get out. Big boats often sit in storage, not because their owners wouldn't like to be out on the water, but because they dread the routine of getting it on and off the water. Kayaks can defeat this phenomenon but we have to be careful to work our great time and convenience advantage here.

Other general "wish I knew" things:

1) Downsize rods one power from recommended sizes for various presentations when fishing from kayaks;
2) We can get up close to our targets: accuracy trumps casting distance, so go shorter on your rods;
3) A purple worm or a silver spoon is likely closer to the Holy Grail as lures go than the latest "must have" lures. Keep it simple;
4) If you paddle, a great paddle makes a huge difference.

Brad
#2241880
Bradleto wrote:Great posts!


Time, too, as expressed in how fast you can load up at home, get on and off the water at your destination, and unload back at home . . . is a big deal. The more I learn to fine tune and decrease the time and effort to go kayak fishing, the more I love it and the more often I get out. Big boats often sit in storage, not because their owners wouldn't like to be out on the water, but because they dread the routine of getting it on and off the water. Kayaks can defeat this phenomenon but we have to be careful to work our great time and convenience advantage here.

Brad


I have to chime in again. This statement right here is a biggie! When I bought a new kayak about 4 months ago I was required to get a storage unit because this new one is to heavy to carry up and down the stairs of my apartment. I sooo wish I would have done that 4 years ago with my first one. I used to have to make at least 4 trips up and down the stairs with my gear. That in itself made me a minimalist already but it wore me out before I even started the truck. But now I am still a minimalist, but I just back my truck up, slide the yak in. Throw my sports bag of gear in and am gone in less than 15 minutes with little effort.
I go fishing twice as much now!!
#2241965
I wish I knew about Trout Support and their DVD's for finding and catching Reds and Trout! Would have saved me lots of time reading and finding spots where I "thought" they may be. These DVD's help point me to where I know they will be.
The 4 DVD's from TroutSupport.com offer everything you need to know about how tides and location effect the fish and also how these predator fish feed and can be found. So much info on these 4 DVD's that I have to go back and watch and learn again the basics that help me catch more fish!
I really wish I knew MOST of the information in those 4 DVD's for sure!!!
#2241979
1. How little lure choice matters compared to other factors (like locating feeding fush or proper presentation).
2. How shallow fish go
3. How unproductive it is to thoroughly work the area (as opposed to moving and searching)
4. How unimportant all these bells and whistles are in most cases -- anchor, drift sock, self-inflating pfd, fish finder, bag of lures, $300 rod, $250 reel, staking stick, stand up ability and etc.
#2242260
I wish I knew how many lures, tails, and plugs I would end up with. My daughter along with her boyfriend were picking through the multiples of boxes Friday. I told him to take whatever he wanted in the pile.

It's hard to know how and where you want to fish until you try out some different options. I feel like I've found a lot of answers to the how and where. I don't know if I enjoyed every outing back then as much as I do now.
#2244094
Wish I'd have known better what rod/reel I like on the yaks. Would of saved quite a few $$ experimenting.
Wish I'd have known (like Tombo said) the first tandem yak was somewhat a waste.
Wish I'd have known how valuable a really good, light paddle was.
Wish I'd have known (or followed better) my top limit of wind tolerance. Would have saved me a few down-and-back trips that still counted against me as a fishing trip day. (married with kids...I only get so many days)

Crusher
#2244383
Drifting Yak wrote:Here's my 2 cents (in no particular order).
On not buying too many lure... This is a hard one because you don't know enough to determine what might work for you.
I think we know enough now days to narrow what particular lures do and don't work at all. I would have to say that all lures can work for someone.. it's a matter of throwing those lures in fish. That's the most important thing to learning what lures work for you or not. So many people say 'this lure' or that lure just doesn't work for me.. and that's simply not the case.. now they may be throwing a super spook in March when they should be throwing a spook junior because of the size of bait the fish are feeding on and the size of the fish in that area. So I would tweak your statement just a little by saying.. take your time buying lures, buy lures that are proven like spook jr., one knocker, and super spooks. She Dogs, and skitter walks... be careful in buying sale items .. heavily discounted items usually mean that they are either not liked or had some quality issue.. NOT always but most of the time. Every once in a while if you stick the the best brands you'll find a killer sale at some crazy little fishing tackle store off the beatin path... if you know what to get and not get then you'll know what to pick up or not.

Drifting Yak wrote: All I can say is take it slow and don't buy too much at any one time. (Another good thing to do is to split your baits with a few of your buddies. Each of you buy a pack or two of say soft plastics and then split up the packs. That way you'll be able to try a variety of plastics while not stocking up too much.)
I do like this idea as well. This is more about some of the above.. casting lures into fish. Finding a brand that works for you is about building confidence in a brand and colors.. and that takes throwing those lures into fish. I can catch fish on anything.. but I find I like durable baits like little johns most of the time especially if Im not hunting big trout. If I'm looking for one big bite then I might be willing to use a soft bait like a bass assassin. But you want to already be confident with those baits at that time so sometimes as your growing you want to throw some soft baits when your covered up in fish to be ready for those all day grinds for that one bite bite. All in all, great information Drifting yak.. I like it.. mix it and and share with friends.
#2245683
I think for me it's setting up and keeping a proper fishing log/journal. I have a great one now (which I run through Google Earth), but I've been through different versions several times and different years before this one stuck.

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