Tag Archive: fish

Fish are what kayak anglers are after :)

What fishing gear to carry on board

By Jeff McGovern

A kayak is not a bass boat, bay boat, or a flats boat when it comes to hauling equipment. While a kayak can fill most boating roles, space is limited– so serious thought is needed as to what to carry. You outfit your boat according to the needs you have in your own fishing area. My fishing time is split between saltwater and freshwater in Florida. The gear is similar, except for the tackle changes normally associated between the two types of fishing.

Safety gear is first. You need to be safe in the water and there are some things that are mandatory and might be required by law. A PFD or personal floatation device is very important and should be worn at all times while in the kayak. A whistle is required as a signaling device and should be carried on board. Hat and sunglasses add protection and comfort from the sun. Proper clothing, either rain suit or sun protection, needs to be accessible for when the need arises. Fishing gloves protect the hands from sunburn and can aid in the landing of fish. Sun block should be worn at all times to protect the skin. I prefer at least SPF 30 or higher. Foot wear needs to be nonskid and of a type that can be worn in the water. Here in Florida, shoes with a sturdy sole help prevent cuts and slashes from oyster beds and shells. I also carry a sponge or towel to wipe my hands after a fish, as well as to soak up any water I get into the boat.

You need some way to secure your kayak while still fishing. An anchor or stake out pole is ideal for this. My preference is to use a small folding anchor on an anchor trolley rigged to the side of the kayak. If the water is shallow enough, in the W you can simply change your position on the seat to pin the hulls to the bottom–a great method for stop and go style flats fishing. In deeper water, a drift sock or small bucket can be used to slow down your drift. In addition to securing the kayak at times, you’ll also need a place to keep the paddle out of the way. You can either place it across the cockpit, resting on the cockpit noodles or on paddle hooks (as seen on the W website.)

Fishing tackle needs a place to be kept out of the way until needed. A fishing vest with multiple pockets is fine for small terminal tackle and packages of plastic baits. It also gives you a place to carry a small camera, line clippers, dehookers, and other small fishing tools. I use small gear reels or lanyards to keep the gear close at hand but out of the way while fishing. Larger lures in tackle packs and other tools can be placed in a small plastic trashcan and slid under the deck on whichever side is most convenient. A net is handy and a small one can be kept under the front deck opposite the side with the trash can. Another great tool for landing and controlling fishing at the boat is a pair of fish grabbers.

I keep drinks and snacks in a small soft cooler behind me in one of the hull spaces. If fish are to be kept for dinner, they can be stored in a cooler bag in a hull space as well.

Rods and reels are placed in the flush mount holders, if the W model you have is equipped with them. My F2 has two holders, while my standard W boat has a three-tube crate rig mounted on the deck behind me. If I need extra rods, I use multi-piece pack rods stored below the decks. Some folks like to troll while paddling and the new Ram rod holders are ideal for this purpose.
Remember that, even though space is limited compared to a powerboat, there is more than enough room for a day of fishing in a kayak. It just takes a bit of thought and planning.

Jeff's kayak fishing shoes
Editor’s note: Jeff’s shoes seen here are size 15

Jeff's fishing vest and gear

Jeff's lure boxes

Jeff's fishing rod

Plastic Fish Grabber

Plastic Fish Grabber

Jeff's fishing gloves and sun protection

Photos: Jeff McGovern

Copyright © Jeff McGovern, 2007

 

Read more about Jeff’s kayak fishing trips and observations »

Two Fishermen’s Knots

By Jeff McGovern

Knot tying is an essential fishing skill and there are entire books written about fishing knots.  I am going to concentrate here on two lesser-known knots that I use constantly in saltwater, as well as freshwater fishing.

 

1. Surgeons Knot

I use this for attaching a leader to my main line.  It works for both mono and the new super lines.  For best results when using a super line (such as Fireline, Power Pro, Spiderwire, etc.), double the line before tying in the leader.  This will give the connection more bite and it will hold much better. I normally use 10lb to 30lb leaders (mono or fluorocarbon) and tie to either 8 to 20 lb mono or 8 to 30lb super line.
With a properly tied leader, you can fish with less connection hardware such as clips or swivels.  It creates a connection point to the fish that is tougher to break than the main line and, in some cases, is less visible to the fish, and is a great handle when landing the fish.  I depend on this connection and it has not failed.

1_Surgeons_knot

1. Lay the two lines side by side.

 

2_Surgeons_knot

2. Tie an overhand knot pulling the leader line (green) through the loop.

 

3_Surgeons_knot

3. Make three more passes for a total of four

 

4_Surgeons_knot

4. Wet the knot and pull it tight.

 

5_Surgeons_knot

5. Trim the tag ends.

 

6_Surgeons_knot

6. Done!

Photos: Kate McGovern

 

2. Canoe Man’s Knot

 

This knot is credited to the late Merrill Chandler, known for his pioneering efforts saltwater canoe fishing in Florida.   It is a loop knot for connecting a hook, lure, or jig to the leader.  Loop knots allow the bait or lure to move more freely in the water column making them more attractive to fish.
This one is super easy and does not use up long lengths of leader each time it is retied.  I use this knot as my leader to lure connection most of the time and, as with the Surgeons Knot, it has never failed me when properly tied.

Both knots should be wet before being pulled snug.  This allows the knot to seat better and be more secure.  It also protects the line from heat friction damage during tightening.  This is especially important when using fluorocarbon leader material.

The pictures show how to tie the knots.  Practice makes perfect and these two knots are well worth the time and effort.  Master them and they will be simple and effective additions to your fishing knot arsenal.

 

1_Canoeman's_loop

1. Put the leader through the eye of the lure about three inches.

 

2_Canoeman's_loop

2. Form two backwards loops toward the lure in the leader.

 

3_Canoeman's_loop

3. Push the second loop through the first.

 

4_Canoeman's_loop

4. Put the tag end from the lure through the loop that passed through the first loop.

 

5_Canoeman's_loop

5. Wet the knot tighten while holding the tag end this allows the loop to be sized

 

6_Canoeman's_loop

6. Trim the tag end.

 

 Copyright © Jeff McGovern, 2007

Read more about Jeff’s kayak fishing trips and observations »