Our plan had been to head to a nearby marsh area but with all this fish action we stayed in the cove. We were in 3’ – 4’ of water. Soon I landed another trout on the same jerk shad, prompting Mike to change his rigging to match. A short time later I was moving on down the cove while Mike was trailing. I landed a 3rd trout at about the same time as Mike picked up a nice 19” founder.
We eventually made it into the marsh where there continued to be lots of fish activity, but I had nothing on the hook for long. I did lose a few tails off lures so suspect that the activity was a bunch of smaller fish. Mike did land several rat reds in this area but nothing to keep.
Later, heading back toward the cove I hooked into what I thought may be a founder since I could not get it off bottom, but it turned out to be a decent black drum. This finished the day fish wise for me.
New kayak – I have had a Hobie PA 12 for 3 years and have enjoyed fishing from that. For the past year or so I have been thinking about getting something lighter that I could carry on top of my car as well as to better deal with the shallow waters of the marshes. This also gives me an extra kayak to use with folks visiting instead of renting. I ended up getting a Viking Profish 400. I had rented one a few weeks before to make sure that we were compatible. I had rotator cuff surgery many years ago, so wanted to make sure that would not bother the paddling.
Observations/comparisons (based on only 1 outing) –
One is short, wide and heavy, the other longer (1.5’), narrower (5+”) and lighter (40#+/-). Not surprisingly, even with my newbie paddling technique and low paddling stamina the Viking is a bit faster. In the PA I can peddle for a long time at a 3 mph pace, have done an hour and could do more. Will my paddling stamina get up to match that time? I suspect so, time will tell.
When in the cove with the deeper water and bait busting going on I missed the mirage drive where I could move and cast at the same time. Of course, this could be a false benefit considering that I did catch 3 trout in this area with the Viking!
In the marsh the Viking will go anywhere, no concern about water depth. I even ran through thin lines of grass since the water level was high enough. In the PA I can flutter kick in shallow water, or remove the drive and paddle. I have paddled the PA in shallow marsh – don’t want to do that for too long.
The PA has a low legged beach chair – comfy and dry. I can stand easily, lots of room on a flat deck space. The Viking seating position is comfortable enough, though wet. There are drain holes under the seat as well as at the feet, so the ride will be wet. Also paddling is a wet business. On the steady paddling runs it was like it was raining at times. Hopefully my paddling technique will improve in a way to limit the rainfall! As it is now I believe I know which will be my winter time fishing kayak, though I do have water proof gear, and can just add some insulation!
All-in-all I enjoyed this first outing and look forward to the next. We went 7.2 miles on this outing, a good test of my shoulder stamina. The next day I could feel that I had a workout the day before, but my shoulders were fine, no pain, just a little stiffness. I was surprised to find that I felt the most pain in my legs! Here I have been peddling around in the PA and felt that my legs should be in good shape due to this workout. But I have pain on the inside of my thighs. I was concentrating on using my whole body for the paddle strokes, not just my arms, and so was turning my body into each stroke. Apparently my legs were more involved in this than I realized! It was quite a workout. In looking back I now realize that the tackle bin in the middle provides resistance for the legs to be more involved in each stroke.
Any advice on paddling or your approach to fishing the marsh will be appreciated.
One last bit – a big thank you to Bill Bragman with Yakgear for his advice and assistance on rigging out, loading and using the Viking.