By Mike Silva
Bob got his 2nd snook in 2 trips today.
It’s gotta be my turn for one of those bruisers pretty soon.
I decided to re-edit and republish this blog that was initially posted over a year ago because it’s both important and interesting: A big and powerful fish may be smaller and altogether weaker than you, but being in its natural element while you’re not gives it an advantage that may compromise your kayak’s stability and make you tip over, or get you somewhere that you don’t necessarily want to go to in a long ’sleigh ride’, or simply make you lose the fish because you’re too busy controlling your kayak.
This is about a maneuver that Jeff McGovern and myself developed while brainstorming together. It’s called the ‘Combat Position’, and it’s possible to execute only when you’re fishing from a W-kayak. It goes like this: As soon as you realize that you’ve hooked a big fish you need to swiftly reposition yourself along the saddle as forward in the cockpit as possible and most importantly -in the riding position (’Mounted’), with your knees tucked into the front-hull tip openings, as you can see in ‘1′ in this illustration. As a result of your forward move your W kayak’s bow will dip in the water (see ‘2′) while the stern will come out of the water (see ‘3′). In this position your W kayak will be ‘planted’ in the water, and offer maximal resistance to unwanted change that big fish may generate, whether such change is tilting sideways or going forward. In this position you won’t have to worry about balancing your W fishing kayak, and you’ll be able to focus on your fish while its own capacity to outmaneuver or destabilize you is reduced to nearly zero. All that fish could do now is swim forward or sideways, and since your W kayak will generate a lot of drag in this position the fish will get tired much sooner, and become less of a problem for you when it comes to reeling or pulling it in.
Photo of Brandon Cutter with a striper he caught off Cape Cod, MA
-“My fishing last Sunday was off the chain. I caught a red an inch bigger than the one a few days before so it was just at the top of the legal limit. It hit a topwater lure that I worked with what we call a “walking the dog” action . Pulled like a freight train and actually had me and the W in tow for almost three minutes. It headed right down a long channel between oyster beds pulling line against the drag at times. Finally I was able to turn it’s head and within another few minutes got it to the net.
I managed to top off the red with three nice chunky legal seatrout so the meal should be great. Other than the fish that went home I caught 11 more trout and 12 redfish of which 4 were actually legal as well but the limit is one per day to take. On top of that I got 4 jacks and three ladyfish. In the interest of the gear heads like me the tackle was as follows:
Redfish 27″ – 16lb Momoi mono line with no leader tied with a loop knot to a Rapala Skitterwalk the smaller size. The rod was a St Croix glass 5’10” casting rod and the reel an ABU Record 40
All the others – 10lb Fireline with either a 15 or 20 lb FC leader. The lures were a Mirrodine plug or a 1/8oz red jig head with a Sugar Glow Gulp 3 inch shrimp. The rods were St Croix 7′ Med light Premiers and the reels my old favorite Daiwa 1300SS Whisker Series.
I also tried out a new W accessory that worked very well called a shallow water stick pin. I’ll write that up soon after a few more weeks of trials.–Jeff”
A big and powerful fish may be smaller and altogether weaker than you, but being in its natural element while you’re not gives it an advantage that may compromise your kayak’s stability, get you somewhere that you don’t necessarily want to go to in long a ‘sleigh ride’, or make you lose the fish because you’re too busy controlling your kayak.
This is a maneuver that Jeff McGovern and myself developed together as a ‘think tank’ and ‘R&D team’. It’s called the ‘Combat Position’, and it’s possible to execute only in a W Kayak:
Upon realizing that you have a business with a big fish you need to swiftly reposition yourself along the saddle in the riding position (‘Mounted’) and as forward in the cockpit as possible, with your knees tucked into the front hull tip openings – see ‘1’ in the illustration below.
As a result of this change in weight distribution your W kayak’s bow will dip in the water (see ‘2’) while the stern will come out of the water (see ‘3’).
In this position your W kayak will be ‘planted’ in the water and offer maximum resistance to unwanted change, whether such change is tilting sideways or going forward.
Being in this position will free you from the need to balance your kayak while you’re fighting the fish, and let you focus on your fish whose capability to outmaneuver you was reduced to almost zero.
All the fish could do now is swim forward or sideways, and since your W kayak will generate a lot of drag in this position the fish will soon get tired and become less of a problem to reel in.