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by RAP
[December 14, 2017, 06:22:48 PM]

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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: The life of a newb and the growth of a kayak angler.  (Read 4704 times)

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AdMan

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When I first got into kayak fishing I was so stoked about fishing from a yak that I might not have taken everything into consideration this sport requires. A couple fine examples of newbdom.

- First leopard shark outing and I find out two days before leaving I need a quick release anchor. Luckily my fishing partner that day had an extra.
- I've been wearing a 90's "Hang Ten" PFD because I believed floatation is floatation when it comes to PFD's. Much like wearing a flack jacket to suppress opposing fire this thing is bulky and hot. Spend a little money on a kayak angling PFD. You will thank me later.
- Wheelez. Probably my most frustrating tool to date. Is this thing even a tool? The first time I put my yak on it bumps in the road caused the straps to loosen and my yak falls to the ground dragging the wheels with it. At Capitola these wheelez dug into the dirt as to leave me a nice path to find my way home. At the capitola pier they wouldnt fit down the ramp and I eventually tried to drag the kayak down. With the pier moving way too much to launch alone I had to drag the kayak back up the ramp. Ed was probably amused by the two yellow drag marks going up and down the ramp.
- Nothing like getting to a place to fish only to find out you dont know where and how to launch your kayak. For instance. Capitola looks good but the waves are breaking making it too dicey for a shore launch. You drag your kayak down the hill on to the pier only to find out the pier moves 2 ft up and down with each wave. Now what?
- Try spending a day bass fishing with no anchor as you get spun in circles by the wind and lose any good positions within seconds.  
- How about wanting to chase the WSB bite and not having a VHF, or farmer johns. Once you pass the jetty these things tend to remind you there not with you.
- Scupper holes shouldnt be plugged if you anticipate wind blowing gallons of water into your kayak. Or you can test the weight limits of your kayak by keeping them plugged.
- I brought 4 rods and only have 3 rod holders...now what do I do?
- Hey, I think I'll keep these fish, now where do I put em?


These things can and will happen to you if your excitement of fishing takes front stage to preperation. Nothing frustrates me more than not being prepared and kayak fishing has made me feel like a fool more than once. My advice to newbs is to take your time, learn areas you plan to fish inside and out for launching spots, hazards and best times of day to be there. Your equipment should be checked and double checked before each outing until it gets routine.

Overall kayaking is a sport that takes a good deal of time to prep and you dont want to drive 1.5 hours to Capitola just to drag your kayak up and down the ramp.  :smt044
« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 01:48:18 PM by AdMan »


porky (bp)

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well written and funny..

CAP, beach launch is WAY easier here.. lock your wheels up under the pier and go!!. If ya wait, there will almost always be a break in the surf unless its a big winter storm.


AdMan

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well written and funny..

CAP, beach launch is WAY easier here.. lock your wheels up under the pier and go!!. If ya wait, there will almost always be a break in the surf unless its a big winter storm.

The sets coming in were brutal on the pier launch. By myself there was no way I could do it. Very frustrating since I want to fish the kelp there a lot in the future. I waited but obviously not long enough. As I was leaving Ed helped a family of three launch their kayaks. Away they went.  :smt044 - I was more concerned about the swell that was building and my return. if I couldnt launch I couldnt land.

I'll take your advice next time and just surf launch it behind the kelp. In hindsight that should have been my move but I was certain the pier launch was going to be a breeze.  :smt044


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I loved this -- esp as a newbie living it.  Best one was what to do with the fish you caught.  When I found the blacks in Trinidad harbor this summer on my 4rth trip with my new yak, I was faced with that one.  (Answer, throw them in the hatch and wash it out later.) -- I did get one of the angling PFDs and that was a good move! --- This was good! :smt005
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Dale L

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Thanks for putting your confessions out there, I had allot of ocean/boat/dive experience before I started out with the yak so I may have had a few less ah shits than you.

Where I had my worst was having a hull half full of water and no interior flotation (pool noodles) or bilge pump. Lucky for me that day I had changed plans from going to a spot a half mile off shore at China Camp to up in a slough in the delta. I was about 100yds from shore instead of a half mile.  Woulda been a whole different deal and a long swim.

Lots to think about before you go.........


redwoodfox

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we all took our licks on the way up..hell one of mine almost killed me


AdMan

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I've def. learned from my mistakes but dont they suck when they happen!!  :smt003

Each mistake has caused me to want to simplify my attack. Less gear, more safety. Less crap, more fishing. Less driving, more fishing. There are books on kayak fishing but very few specific to our local waters, what to expect, where to launch, etc.

Luckily sites like this exist to limit those mistakes.  :smt003


porky (bp)

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yeah, the little floating dock at Capitola on a big swell day is brutal, I find it much easier on the shore launch there, and its just easier in general when your done and ready to go home...

Good luck, maybe well see ya there some time soon!


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There's something to learn here for everyone, thanks AdMan.

Yep, the roll-eeze carts need to have two straps, and the forward strap needs to be hooked to the kayak (I use a little carabiner on a  padeye behind the seat & thread the strap through it) so the whole thing doesn't slip off the kayak under load.
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AdMan

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yeah, the little floating dock at Capitola on a big swell day is brutal, I find it much easier on the shore launch there, and its just easier in general when your done and ready to go home...

Good luck, maybe well see ya there some time soon!

Sounds like if Capitola is going to be a playground for me I better get good at shore launching. I like your advice about waiting out the sets. Seams so common sense but probably overlooked when faced with waves crashing and the thoughts of losing gear to the surf.

Thanks - orange Tarpon 120. Big ape sitting on top.  :smt003


There's something to learn here for everyone, thanks AdMan.

Yep, the roll-eeze carts need to have two straps, and the forward strap needs to be hooked to the kayak (I use a little carabiner on a  padeye behind the seat & thread the strap through it) so the whole thing doesn't slip off the kayak under load.


Fisherman are a resourceful bunch. Thanks for the tip! It gets really annoying resetting the wheel cart 3 times in a 50 yard walk.  :smt044


FishFarmer

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Each mistake has caused me to want to simplify my attack. Less gear, more safety. Less crap, more fishing. Less driving, more fishing.

Amen! My original fascination with the idea of Kayak fishing was that it seemed low tech, elemental. I think it's BlueKayak who says, "Look at your kayak and strip off everything you don't need. Then look at it again and repeat"... or something like that. There's just sooo much crap you end up dealing with if you're not careful.


Quote
better get good at shore launching.

For me launching is less an issue than landing. Assuming you stay parallel to the waves, your kayak will punch right through them (and they wash off anything that's not buttoned down :smt002 ), but landing ...  :smt011 I'm improving, but I'm sure it's good for a laugh to watch me. My most dramatic landing was having myself *thrown* unceremoniously onto the beach with the yak on top of me.

Thanks for the post!

Ben
I know that I know nothing - Socrates


AdMan

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Quote
Each mistake has caused me to want to simplify my attack. Less gear, more safety. Less crap, more fishing. Less driving, more fishing.

Amen! My original fascination with the idea of Kayak fishing was that it seemed low tech, elemental. I think it's BlueKayak who says, "Look at your kayak and strip off everything you don't need. Then look at it again and repeat"... or something like that. There's just sooo much crap you end up dealing with if you're not careful.


Quote
better get good at shore launching.

For me launching is less an issue than landing. Assuming you stay parallel to the waves, your kayak will punch right through them (and they wash off anything that's not buttoned down :smt002 ), but landing ...  :smt011 I'm improving, but I'm sure it's good for a laugh to watch me. My most dramatic landing was having myself *thrown* unceremoniously onto the beach with the yak on top of me.

Thanks for the post!

Ben

Thats a good rule of thought. I'll remember that when I'm prepping this week to go out. Too much stuff takes away from the experience IMO but it's also easy habit for a fishing geek like me.

When surf landing is it important to keep the nose of your kayak up? Do you lean back as to lift the nose some? I've only surf landed once and it was in ankle breakers.


FishFarmer

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When surf landing is it important to keep the nose of your kayak up? Do you lean back as to lift the nose some? I've only surf landed once and it was in ankle breakers.

I don't want to come off like I know what I'm talking about, so take this with a grain of salt.

Our kayaks tend to be pretty long (mine's 16'), so I don't know that we can affect the attitude of them much by leaning back. That said, if the landing is at all tricky I'm way too busy trying to keep myself parallel to the waves to think much about leaning back, so I don't know <g>. It sounds good, my last landing I was at a fairly steep angel with the nose of my yak just out of the sand, so it might have helped.

I've also crashed in tiny waves because I wasn't *aware* enough, so size isn't really the issue always :smt001.

The best thing would be to take a class at MB Kayaks. I keep meaning to, but it hasn't happened yet. The only other thing I can offer is to steer by dragging your paddle on the side you want to turn to, rather than paddle on the opposite side.  There are guys on the site who actually do know what they're doing who can offer better advice.

Ben
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Eric B

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I'm not the best example, either, but you want to paddle in on the top/back of a wave ideally...   If your nose is pointing down towards sand the water is already receding faster than you can paddle, and a wave is behind you rearing up to inflict a lesson.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 04:38:07 PM by Eric B »


FishFarmer

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If your nose is pointing down towards sand the water is already receding faster than you can paddle, and a wave is behind you rearing up to inflict a lesson.

I've been there too  :smt001 . This last time, I was headed towards the beach with some velocity (the wave definitely wasn't retreating <g>) . It was a relief when the wave finally sloshed under me and pushed me up on the beach sideways.

Always fun though!
I know that I know nothing - Socrates