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EGbassing

Is kayak fishing frustrating?

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I've been planning to get a real fishing kayak for a while now but I just took my standard kayak (no rod holders, very unstable, gets blown around a lot, etc.) out fishing the other day to get a feel for what it was like and it was just impossible to fish out of. I had to grab my paddle to get the kayak back into place very five seconds, I couldn't cast out of it, my back hurt from the seat, and every other thing like that you can imagine. Is fishing out of a real fishing kayak like this at all or does the stability, seat comfort, weight of the kayak eliminate all those things? I just like for everything to be simple. (I carry only one rod when I go bank fishing)

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I thought it would be tough, I'm now on my third year in it. A fishing kayak vs a standard kayak is night and day.  But also keep in mind you often get what you pay for.  I can fish in mine for 8 hours without a problem. The seat is very comfortable. It tracks well too. I have a paddle only by choice but would imagine a peddle yak would be even easier. 

I would have to try pretty hard to flip it too. 

 

Once you get the hang of proper anchoring, especially with an anchor trolley , staying in place is not much of an issue. 

I also love that I can pull up to lake and be in the water in 10 minutes.  

 

About the only thing that is frustrating is those long paddles back into a strong wind.....lol

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You're never going to eliminate the wind. I will say a quality kayak and an anchor trolley makes it significantly more manageable.

 

If you are serious about it, a pedal drive makes it even easier. 

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35 minutes ago, Dens228 said:

Once you get the hang of proper anchoring, especially with an anchor trolley , staying in place is not much of an issue. 

Anchor trolley, stake-out pole, you learn to adapt. I can see myself sitting in a pedal drive one day, but for now I enjoy the paddle.

631 (2).jpg

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A higher end kayak does make it so much easier and enjoyable.  Seats, hull designs, and storage options make it a better experience. 

 

As far as wind goes, you'll always be at its mercy.  Anchors and rudders make it easier to deal with, but some kayaks just dont do well in the wind.  

 

Some kayaks are better at holding position on their own, others will spin in circles the moment you quit paddling.  

 

Its trial and error. A lot of guys buy and sell kayaks all the time until they find something their happy with.  It took me a long time to find one.

 

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All of the problems you mention can be overcome.

 

Get an anchor or stake out pole for the wind. Don’t go out if the wind is stronger than 12mph

 

Get a stable kayak with a more comfortable seat and your back won’t hurt.

 

Position yourself correctly and you won’t have to cast so far.

 

 

 

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Comfort is high on the list for kayaks, then stability and speed, at least for me.  My kayak has all of those qualities so it really isn't bad to fish from in just about any conditions.  Wind is the enemy and probably the worst thing to deal with to be honest but it can be managed with anchoring techniques and using it to your advantage.

I will say that a quality SOT kayak will make like much more enjoyable.  What kayak are you in right now?

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21 minutes ago, NYWayfarer said:

All of the problems you mention can be overcome.

 

Get an anchor or stake out pole for the wind. Don’t go out if the wind is stronger than 12mph

 

Get a stable kayak with a more comfortable seat and your back won’t hurt.

 

Position yourself correctly and you won’t have to cast so far.

 

 

 

The wind comment made me giggle. I went to an Ozark creek Tuesday this week and noticed, via the radio, the wind was forecast to be 30 plus from the south. Well, this creek flows north so I didn't think anything of it. It turned a 4 mile, 8 hour fishing float into a 3.5 hour float that I couldn't slow enough to cast. It was still amazing, beautiful, etc. 

1 hour ago, EGbassing said:

I've been planning to get a real fishing kayak for a while now but I just took my standard kayak (no rod holders, very unstable, gets blown around a lot, etc.) out fishing the other day to get a feel for what it was like and it was just impossible to fish out of. I had to grab my paddle to get the kayak back into place very five seconds, I couldn't cast out of it, my back hurt from the seat, and every other thing like that you can imagine. Is fishing out of a real fishing kayak like this at all or does the stability, seat comfort, weight of the kayak eliminate all those things? I just like for everything to be simple. (I carry only one rod when I go bank fishing)

Trust me, controlling a boat in wind is tough when you start. Canoes are worse, by far. Find spots to shelter yourself and make your casts count. I'm building me a stakeout pole for shallow stuff tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, EGbassing said:

 Is fishing out of a real fishing kayak like this at all or does the stability, seat comfort, weight of the kayak eliminate all those things? I just like for everything to be simple.

Fishing from a kayak can and should be a lot of fun.  Yes, good equipment makes a tremendous difference toward a positive experience.

Get a good kayak - a nice stable sit on top with a good seat, or a comfortable one that you sit inside with an open deck (I have a hybrid type which is quite comfortable). Also, a light weight quality paddle is a plus.

 

No matter what you get, every few hours - go to shore, get out, move around and stretch. Bring some snacks and some bottles of water or Gatorade type drinks.  You may find that it's much easier to  adjust your equipment or change lures standing on shore during your stretching and snack breaks.

 

You can keep it simple, catch fish and have fun.  I just take a few rods and a small bag of lures that I know will work.  I don't take an anchor with me anymore, as I use the wind to my favor and drift as I cast quite often.  I usually fish close to shore, catching most fish casting close to shore or just outside the weed line.  If it's too windy, don' fight it, don't go out, know there will be better days.  Always wear your PFD on the water as well.

 

Answer to your question- No - kayak fishing should not be frustrating.  Get set up properly, then get out there and have fun.  Good luck.

 

Edited by RichPenNY
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Anchor or anchor pole you will be set. A fishing kayak is 100000 times better than a sit in

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2 hours ago, Harold Scoggins said:

Anchor trolley, stake-out pole, you learn to adapt. I can see myself sitting in a pedal drive one day, but for now I enjoy the paddle.

631 (2).jpg

Thanks! Question, when using an anchor trolley, how do you decide how much rope to use? Everyone seems to recommend using a rope much longer than the depth of the water but I don't see why.

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@EGbassing: Three years ago I got my first kayak (a sit-in) and with a few DIY mods, I found it to be quite serviceable.  Now, at the age of 70, I have gotten a Pelican Catch 100, a sit-on type for the greater ease of entrance and egress. (Not to mention the really comfortable seat.)

 

I would suggest that you follow the excellent advice given by the folks above. First, determine your budget INCLUDING ACCESSORIES. In my mind, the most critical (after the best PFD you can afford) accessories are a good paddle and an anchor trolley. I prefer a trolley on each side. The trolley can also be used in conjunction with an anchor pole which enhances the use of the pole.

 

At my age comfort has become paramount but I would recommend you take the time to prioritize your requirements before you make your decision. Because storage requirements and portability necessitate that any kayak I purchase be no longer than 10 feet and be light weight, I had to recognize that weight and length were the critical considerations. Next was getting my aging carcass in and out and comfort. I had to compromise on speed but I can deal with that. 

 

So, I would recommend that you identify what requirements are most important to you before you buy. Choose a yak that most closely meets your needs. It took me two attempts to get it right. Hope this helps.

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And everyone said it depends on the kayak.  I first got a old town saranac 146 and I loved it. Now I got my first true fishing kayak and it’s a NuCanoe frontier 12 and it’s amazing. It has plenty of room, stable, so much room for accessories etc. the only thing I hate is wind! But like everyone said you must have a good anchor system.  Wind will always be annoying but there is way s to get around it. 

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I gave mine up after my fourth season as it was he%$ on my back.

 

My Jackson cuda was just shy of 70 lbs, so not exceedingly heavy.  It had a great seat. But after my average 6-8 hour outing plus lifting and loading onto my car, I had enough. 

 

My ortho/sports med doctor told me their kayak back cases have risen dramatically over the past 5-7 years.  

 

I think the advice above above on getting out to move around and stretch is a good one...but that takes away from fishing.  Lol. 

 

I also got got tired of fighting with or being kept off of the water due to winds.  Anything above 10-12 mph and it was not enjoyable.  

 

All that hat being said, I do miss it as it got me in areas the boats were unable to get to, resulting in some big fish. 

 

Good luck. 

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9 hours ago, EGbassing said:

Thanks! Question, when using an anchor trolley, how do you decide how much rope to use? Everyone seems to recommend using a rope much longer than the depth of the water but I don't see why.

I get by with 15' and I know folks who use more. There are many videos on YT that cover safe operation and use of anchor trolleys and I highly recommend you review these if you're new to using them. (Yak positioning and ability to quick disconnect are crucial skills.) I also use shorter lines that I can attach to trees or other objects protruding from the water using clamp/claw-like devices.

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10 hours ago, OperationEagle said:

I gave mine up after my fourth season as it was he%$ on my back.

 

My Jackson cuda was just shy of 70 lbs, so not exceedingly heavy.  It had a great seat. But after my average 6-8 hour outing plus lifting and loading onto my car, I had enough. 

 

My ortho/sports med doctor told me their kayak back cases have risen dramatically over the past 5-7 years.  

 

I think the advice above above on getting out to move around and stretch is a good one...but that takes away from fishing.  Lol. 

 

I also got got tired of fighting with or being kept off of the water due to winds.  Anything above 10-12 mph and it was not enjoyable.  

 

All that hat being said, I do miss it as it got me in areas the boats were unable to get to, resulting in some big fish. 

 

Good luck. 

Thanks, I'm actually planning on getting a wheel carrier for it because I'm planning on fishing ponds nearby and I won't be able to get it in our car.

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11 hours ago, OperationEagle said:

 

 

I also got got tired of fighting with or being kept off of the water due to winds.  Anything above 10-12 mph and it was not enjoyable.  

 

 

Two summers ago I was out in low winds and they decided to pick up to 15-20.  It was a pain so I went into a shallow, weed filled bay to drag Senko's over the weeds and drop it into holes in the weeds.   I caught a 48 inch Musky so I like high winds! LOL

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I have been using a drift shute more and more often.  It slows my drift enough for casting while allowing me to move at the same time...

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Wind will always give a kayaker fits whether a big Hobie Pro Angler

or smaller. Like has been said, anchor trolleys (both sides), stake-out

poles, or anchors or both will be your friend.

 

And I've been out in winds over 40MPH. Granted, they blew in AFTER

I was already out...stayed out for a short bit, close to shore. Also go

out when gusts are 20-25mph. Just have to plan accordingly and ALWAYS

100% of the time wear your PFD!!!

 

Also, a way that helps me immensely with wind - trolling motor setup. :) 

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Anchor line depends a lot o the conditions.  Generally the more line you let out the less chance of the anchor being moved by current or winds per se.  The lakes i fish don't really have motor boat traffic so I don't use much more than the depth of the water I am fishing but it is nice to be able to let out some line to change positions somewhat.  

Anchoring on rivers is an entirely different beast and I never recommend it for newer kayak anglers as the problems encountered can get sketchy and disastrous very quickly if your not set up correctly.

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8 minutes ago, flyfisher said:

Anchor line depends a lot o the conditions.  Generally the more line you let out the less chance of the anchor being moved by current or winds per se.  The lakes i fish don't really have motor boat traffic so I don't use much more than the depth of the water I am fishing but it is nice to be able to let out some line to change positions somewhat.  

Anchoring on rivers is an entirely different beast and I never recommend it for newer kayak anglers as the problems encountered can get sketchy and disastrous very quickly if your not set up correctly.

What's the point of having an anchor line several times deeper than the depth of the water? It seems like if you get blown 20 feet away from your spot then the anchor will stop you but don't you want to be stopped by the anchor before you drift away from your spot?

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it is physics really.  The steeper the angle of the anchor the less holding power it will have.  

You have to determine where you want to end up anchored and deploy it accordingly.  It isn't a power pole where you stop and hold right where you put it down.  It is more complicated in writing than on the water lol

When i see a spot I want to fish, i check the wind direction, get in position beyond where i want to be anchored (distance depends on depth of water), deploy my anchor and adjust my anchor trolley to position myself the best way to fish the spot.  it is much easier if it is shallow enough for a stakeout pole because that will hold you right where you stick it and then it is just an anchor trolley adjustment for direction.  

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7 hours ago, Harold Scoggins said:

I get by with 15' and I know folks who use more.

How much would you recommend for my situation? - I would mainly be anchoring in water 5~ feet deep but 10 feet is the deepest part of the lake.

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I can definitely understand you wanting to try out kayak fishing before making large investments into it. Like many have said, you should consider where and how you want to fish. Trying to fish and maneuver in an unstable and uncomfortable kayak is not fun or safe imo.

Here’s are somethings you might be able to do: 1.Some local shops will have demo days or may even let you try one out. 2. Borrow a friend’s kayak.

You can bye an inflatable cushion for your seat. I used one for a while and it helped. When I first started I used an 8# downrigger ball on a 16’ rope. I tied it off to my chair or lifting handles. It worked fine. However, be very careful with anchor in current.

 

 

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57 minutes ago, EGbassing said:

How much would you recommend for my situation?

Most folks recommend this ratio.  https://paddling.com/learn/staying-put-keeping-your-kayak-still/  I almost always use a stake-out pole, so I'm never out anchoring deep, and I've learned how to manage my 15' line. That being said, should you decide on anchoring out deeper in the wind using the ratio mentioned in the link, make sure you consult with the right folks who have developed instruction on proper use and setup. I will PM you.

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