The Fastest Growing Water Sport – Kayak Fishing and the Evolution of Kayaks and Fishing Hand Paddles

Paddle sports are the fastest growing water sport today. Kayaking, canoeing and rafting are now destination activities. With all the green and eco friendly activities available, paddle sports have dominated the outdoor adventure scene. Paddle sports are low impact on the environment, inexpensive, thrilling and always memorable.

Not to be left out, the fishing and sporting communities wanted in on this explosion. Kayakers, anglers and sportsmen merged concepts and technologies. Along with diversity came opportunity. New specialty equipment, gear and accessories evolved. Fishing kayaks and kayak fishing hand paddles evolved from this call to action.

With the rapid growth of paddle sports, there has been a definitive diversification of the sport into various disciplines. All the technological and manufacturing advancements have fueled the sudden increase in the sport. Kayak fisherman and kayak sportsman have recently dominated the growth in the paddle sports arena.

Kayak fishermen, also known as kayak anglers, and kayak sportsmen require specialty equipment, gear and accessories to effectively pursuit their sport. Their fishing kayaks and fishing hand paddles are specifically designed to accommodate their dynamic environments and distinctive sporting activities.

Kayak anglers and sportsmen have designed boats for easy access and mobility. Many facets of their kayak design reflect accoutrements that were found only on motorized fishing vessels. Today you can find rod holders, live wells, storage compartments, battery wells, fish finders, anchors, etc. If they can fit a specialty fishing accessory on a twelve to fourteen foot kayak, they will try to get it on there! They even have twin hulled, foot propelled and battery operated kayaks for the hard core anglers.

For ease of access and dismount, the anglers use a modified version of the sit on top kayak, or SOT. SOT’s were a natural conversion platform for kayak anglers. These boats are self bailing, meaning that any water that gets in the kayak will be drained away by gravity. Getting on and off is much easier that a sit in kayak. Turning or sliding around to access tackle or gear behind you is much simpler evolution.

With this approach to fishing from kayaks, came another conundrum that caused problems in the kayak angling community. How do you paddle and fish at the same time? Think about it. Can you hold your fishing rod and a kayak paddle at the same time?

Paddling your kayak and fishing at the same time became a comedy on the water. It takes two hands to wrangle a seven foot kayak paddle, no matter how you hold it. Throw in a fishing pole, and you soon realize you need three hands!

Kayak fishing hand paddles evolved from pioneering anglers solving this problem with ping pong paddles, Kadema paddles, modified badminton racquets and the sort. They could hold onto their fishing rod and with the other hand paddle their boat stealthily toward their prey.

It soon became apparent that flailing a seven foot paddle is not conducive to shallow water, or skinny water fishing. The fish can see you! The best way to sneak up on your prey is to glide stealthily toward them. While holding your fishing rod, using a little six or seven ounce fishing hand paddle to propel your kayak, about 16″ long, is perfect for the task.

Catching Trophy Walleye and Water Temperature

If you are looking to catch Walleye trophy fish what is the best thing to do or not to do?

Let me say first that, Walleye fishing is what you make of it and only experienced anglers understand that it is often a game of chances, and when these fish shut down there is no way to turn that frown upside down.

Now, the key word to focus on here is catch, and in order to catch you need bait and for the wily but aggressive walleye it won’t be just any ordinary bait.

But before we get into feeding this toothy critter, let us dwell on the nature of your prey for a moment. Walleye grow from a fertilized egg to 1 ½ to 2 inches by late spring and to 4 to 6 inches by autumn. They start out with plankton and quickly change to small aquatic insects and then to minnows.
Once they achieve six to eight inches in length, in order to maintain their size their diet will be mostly minnows. Unfortunately for the walleye this becomes their downfall.
In order to maintain their size and still grow they must eat almost on a continuous basis and they must do this throughout their life because they never stop growing. I think that of all the factors to consider in a successful strike, water temperature would rank high on the list.

In fact it has been found that the feeding frenzy peaks for walleye when the water temperature hits 64 degrees F and that water temperature has a lot to do with locating this elusive prey.

Spring

So, you will want to look for Walleyes in the spring to gather and spawn in gravelly or sandy bays with winds that stir up wavelets. This action is necessary to expose areas to lay the eggs, keep the eggs aerated and prevent them from being silted over. This is of course for ideal conditions for spawning. You will also find them off shoreline bars or in open water gravel flats.

Reservoir walleyes spawn over a three-week period, primarily after dark, in water depths of 3 to 12 feet. However, they are highly adaptable and if necessary you can find them in waters 36 feet deep. Again, water temperature is important because spawning will occur when the water temp rises to 48° and during this time and up to 10 days later the females rarely bite. Now, the good thing is that after the spawning, they go on a month long feeding pig out.

At this time you will find them in 15 ft. of water or less because the low angle of the sun allows them to stay in the shallows. After all is said and done the biggest drawback of spring walleye fishing is inconsistent weather.

Summer

In summer, walleyes frequent sand bars and points mostly at night, feeding on crayfish and minnows. Now as waters warm throughout the season, walleyes move further and deeper into the cooler, darker waters. While moving to these depths they are often attracted to structure, such as islands, underwater land forms, or deep weed beds. You will find that you will have to work really hard to have any success at this time of year. The reason being is simply that bait fish are plentiful and larger than what you’re offering.

Carp Fishing Tips – Deep Water Or Shallow Water

The margins are that area which is very near to the bank. Many beginning carp fishers think the best chance to catch a fish is to cast as far as they possibly can toward the center of the lake. Carp are in these margins during daylight and the hours of darkness. Therefore the margins provide an excellent opportunity to improve success.

The angler could simply drop the bait below the rod tip and be fishing the margins. However this probably not the best location to fish since it is to close to a person. Carp by nature are wary and cautious. They are easily spooked by sudden movements, noises or vibrations. They may be swimming close to the angler in the margins but this does not mean that they are going to be comfortable enough to feed while in such close range. It is best to fish the hook bait as far to the left or right as possible when fishing the margins. In this way the angler can move move around a little bit more without taking the chance of spooking a fish which might be investigating the bait.

When fishing the margins try to locate a spot that has features which are attractive to carp. Simply putting the bait anywhere in the margins would be the same as casting a bait into the open water while hoping for the best. Try locating areas in these margins with suitable features like a dip or shelf on the waters bottom, a patch of weeds or gravel, a sunken branch or a clear spot where the fish might have previously fed. It will be worth the effort to put the bait near either of these features since carp like to hang out in these kind of areas.

Some carp become so wary that the slightest unnatural things in the water will spook them. Including fishing line. One way to overcome this problem is by pinning the line to the waters bottom. When the line is pinned down the fish can swim around without touching it which might spook them. A back lead should be used in order to pin the line the waters bottom. A back lead is a weight which has a plastic clip that is attached to the line. This will sink to the bottom taking the fishing line with it. A paper clip and a small ledger can be used for a home made back lead.

One of the advantages of fishing the margins is that a carp won`t have to be reeled in as far as it would if it were hooked twenty yards toward the middle of the lake. However this does not mean the fish should just be quickly reeled in. It still needs to be played to ensure that is tired before attempting to get it into the landing net. Trying to rush a fish and get it in before it is ready very often leads to a lost fish while it is making a powerful dash for its freedom.

No need for those long and accurate casts while fishing the margins. Simply walk to the desired spot and drop the bait. Then walk back to the anglers station and put the rod in its rest. If an angler is not confident with their casting ability then margin fishing is ideal. The tackle can be be baited and put in the exact same location every time.

Another advantage of margin fishing is that eventually loose bait will accumulate around the hook bait which will be attracting more fish. Pretty soon they will become confident and begin to devour the hook bait. Building a bed of bait at long range and then consistently casting the hook bait back on the bed can be very difficult. With this method the hook bait can be dropped on the bed every time.

Many beginning carp fishers will continue to ignore the margins and cast long distances in order to catch fish even though this is a mistake. The margins actually do produce some really large fish. This method of fishing is so simple that it makes it ideal for anglers of all levels. So for an opportunity that has as many carp to catch as any other location give the margins a try. You will have to be quieter and keep vibrations to a minimum but fishing is meant to be a tranquil sport anyway.

Springtime Bass Fishing – Its All About Water Temperature

To reel in those bass fish of your dreams you not only need to choose the correct lure and the correct and proper speed of retrieve. Water temperature – especially in the spring water season means just as much lure choice and speed of retrieve. Especially in the spring water season bass fishing success are a mixture and a result of all there components of a bass fisherman’s repertoire.

It can be more than said and emphasized that the key to early springtime bass fishing success is a warming trend in which the water temperature generally rises just 4 or 5 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s as if only a slight change like this 4 or 5 degrees change in water temperature is more than enough to make the bass fish more active and have them start to move onwards towards that shallow water and onwards to more and shallower water. Of course the actual temperature is relative to whatever region of the country or even countries that if you are fishing. Obviously if you are in Illinois or Michigan warmer water will be the norm as compared to an area such as Northern Manitoba Canada where of course average water temperatures will be cooler.

The two factors that commonly cause water temperatures to rise in the spring are of course sunshine with its warmth, and surprisingly rain. Of the two rains affects bass and bass fishing much quicker and promptly. Even February rains in the more southern states of the US are several degrees warmer than lake water. Thus you may want to fish in places and areas where the runoff is flowing in, such as smaller tributaries creeks and even ditches. It can be said that larger tributaries and rivers may become too muddy if they are flushing a lot of new water into their system.

Bass fish will tend to move to these smaller runoff areas within even hours. You may even see the bass chasing small minnows and small baitfish. It happens all that quickly. It’s all about water temperatures. Small crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished near the surface of the water are most effective since the warmer water will stay on top of the cooler water. Of course heat rises.

Unfortunately however this runoff activity seldom lasts longer than two or three days because as the water disperses it gradually cools. The bass fish will slow down accordingly. However this can be a good time to move to the larger tributaries. In the larger tributaries try the same techniques as employed previously, once the waters have cleared.

Watch out that several days of warming sunshine in early springtime can trigger these same quick changes in bass activity. All it takes is just four to five degrees of change in water temperatures. The best warming trends are those in which the nighttime air temperatures do not drop below the temperatures of the water, meaning a full 24 hours of continuous warming. It seems that after only 2 or 3 days of such conditions, the bass will begin moving to the creeks, bays and smaller coves and pockets. Usually this is to the northern shorelines since they receive the most sunshine overall. Lastly remember that slightly “stained” or “dingy” water will warm quicker than the clearest water.

Some Great Tips For Top Water Fishing – Destination-Smallmouth Bass

I was smallmouth bass fishing on the French River in northern Ontario about five years ago when my fishing partner and I stumbled on a pattern that was deadly not only on that trip, but has been ever since. If these factors are taken into account, smallmouth bass are always caught. I would assume the same pattern would hold true anywhere that smallmouth swim, but I know it holds true on the French River.

Before I get into the actual factors, lets discuss top water lures. Although this is largely about personal preference, and what has worked for you in the past, any top water lure up to about four inches in length has been effective. Frog and minnow patterns are our favorite, but again this is largely up to you. Popper types lures seems to work better than propeller types as well. Now let’s get into the specific factors that you need to look for in order to have a great time catching smallmouth bass on top water lures.

No Wind – The water needs to be like glass for the pattern to be most effective. Mornings and evenings are usually the best time to find calm conditions. The point is that it’s imperative that the water is like glass.

Weeds and Broken Rock – The most effective area’s are those area’s where weeds and broken rock come together. Both area’s are okay by themselves, but when they come together…..watch out.

Shallow Water – The water depth couldn’t exceed ten feet. It’s also helpful if there’s deep water close by. Four to ten feet is always best (at least on the French).

Silence – This might sound obvious, seeing as how we’re talking about fishing, but being quite is even more important in this situation. When the water is as still as you want it to be, there’s no background noise to camouflage the noise that the angler may be making. Being quiet is imperative in this fishing situation.

If you can bring these four conditions together, you’ll have as much fun catching fish as you ever have in your life. And the beautiful thing about this is that in any given week, you can bring these conditions together almost every day. As I mentioned, mornings and evenings are going to be your best bet. Have fun; I know that you will.