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Topics - KPD

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Thanks to the NCKA community I recently got to purchase a used Stealth Profisha 475. I took it out for the first time last weekend and I am finally getting around to writing up my impressions and questions. The first trip involved a surf launch, paddling 3 miles offshore (maybe 9 or 10 miles total paddling, a lot of it trolling), skunking on salmon and bringing home a consolation flatfish.


I could feel the speed and efficiency from the first paddle stroke. My other paddle kayak is a Scupper Pro (fast and skinny for a fishing kayak), and the 475 paddles beautifully compared to it.

I love how optimized it is for surf launches. You can put everything except for a large net inside the cavernous fish hatch and you are all ready to punch through the surf.

I love how minimalist it is: you don't even have a seat to rinse off when you get home. I think this is the ideal kayak for the quick fishing trip before work that involves a surf launch.

There is no deck space at all! Even to set down a lure or sinker. The lid of the fish hatch works for laying out a few baits, but of course things tend to fall off when you open the hatch.

The stability felt fine to me, but I imagine it would be a bit of an adjustment if you are coming from something like an Outback. I'll let you know once I find out how it feels in nasty conditions.

I was surprised how comfortable it was without a seat, pad, or back support. I think it helps if you make sure your knees are high enough, keep your back upright, and keep your core engaged. My back started to get tired after 4 hours, but I expect my body will get used to sitting longer. Of course it doesn't compare to an AI if you are going to be on the water for an 8 or 12 hour day.

When I got back to the beach I opened both drain plugs and turned it over, not sure what to expect. Out came... nothing at all. That is a nice change from my AI, which will take on more than a quart of water during a morning in rough conditions.


I noticed some hull slap when paddling into chop. Do the 525 and 575 experience less slap because they have less rocker, or are they about the same?

I had a hell of a time getting my paddle shoe out when I was trying to put my feet in the water to land a fish. I guess the straps help keep you from coming out when you are bracing in the surf. Do you use the foot straps?

I'd like to set up some type of forward rod holder. On the scupper pro it works pretty well to tuck the rod butt under one leg and brace the rod against the other foot, but the fish hatch on the Stealth makes that hard. Any forward rod holder setups you really like?

I'm puzzling over what type of net to carry for salmon. If it is windy I hate having a big net sticking up like a sail, and it always seems to be windy. Strapping any net to the rear deck is awkward, and this kayak is less than 22" wide at that point. My main options seem to be a net that is about 26" wide, a larger high-quality collapsible net that I can open with one hand, or embracing the pure Stealth spirit and just using a gaff. I'm currently leaning towards the gaff. Thoughts?

Any suggestions on where to get an insulated kill bag that will fit nicely inside the fish hatch? Or should I keep it minimalist and forego the bag?

Since there is no access to the inner hull, there is no way to add secondary flotation such as flotation bags or pool noodles. I guess this isn't a concern because the fish hatch and rear storage compartment provide independent flotation?

What kind of paddle should I get? And more importantly, what are good resources for improving my paddling technique?

Okuma CW-354DLX Left hand low profile line counter reel

This reel has been lovingly abused. The thumb bar has jammed, and the line counter stopped working. Both problems might be easy to fix. Or not.

This is a left-handed reel.

Yours for two trays of medium anchovies.

Wanted To Buy / Wanted: Fast Paddle Kayak
« on: February 27, 2021, 08:56:28 AM »
I'm looking for a kayak that is relatively light, fast, and fun to paddle. Narrow and tippy is fine. Maybe a Scupper Pro?

I'm looking for a paddle kayak because my knee doesn't like the mirage drive. I have an AI for longer trips, so this would be a minimalist setup for quick outings before work, plus a way to get some exercise.

In addition to the Scupper Pro I'm interested in the Stealth Profishas, but they are harder to find.

Gearing Up and Rigging Up / Picking a Fishfinder for Ocean Salmon
« on: October 28, 2020, 05:16:10 PM »
I'm trying to pick a new fishfinder for chasing ocean salmon on my AI. Here is where I am right now:
  • I think I want a 7" or 9" screen.
  • I know I want a basemap with high resolution shaded relief bathymetry. I think this means getting Navionics Platinum+, although Garmin (who owns Navionics) may use the same data for their Bluechart G3 product. Not sure?
  • Side-scan sonar seems like it would be useful for locating bait balls that are off to one side and navigating around reefs. Does it work well in the ocean?
  • If I get side-scan sonar the transducer won't fit in the "Lowrance Ready" pocket and will need an adapter/cover, so if I go that route Lowrance doesn't have a compatibility advantage with my hull.
  • I'm willing to pay more for features that make a difference, but specifically for ocean salmon since that is my focus.

Anyone have wisdom to share? Jacksonbigtuna has already given me some helpful tips.


General Talk / Mirage drive and knee trouble
« on: October 12, 2020, 07:57:48 PM »
I've been fortunate enough to put some long days on my mirage drive recently, but this has caused my right knee to start acting up. It is hard to keep up a good trolling pace or enjoy yourself when each pedal stroke hurts a tiny bit. Here are the ideas I'm looking at.

Any recommendations for stretching or strengthening specific to knee issues with the Mirage drive?

Other propulsion
I've heard that pedal systems with a circular stroke are less likely to cause knee problems, but the Hobie competitors look slow and heavy compared to my current ride, which is ~78 lbs and 16' long. Am I missing something good here? For longer trips I'm also feeling the pull of the darkness (buying a motor) but that is a separate topic.

A paddle kayak
For short trips I think a paddle kayak could be nice, even though the pedal drive is so convenient when fishing. Anyone want to sell me a fast paddle yak?

General Talk / Found: Danielson crab trap
« on: October 12, 2020, 11:56:02 AM »
Did you lose a pot on the Marin coast last season with the line still coiled inside it? Lots of marine growth so it was in the water a while but might still be usable. The line was connected to the harness with a rock climbing carabiner. Describe the rest of the rigging and modification details and it is yours.

Gearing Up and Rigging Up / Best face shield for sun protection?
« on: June 13, 2020, 03:48:12 PM »
I hate using sunscreen, so I've been trying to keep my face covered when I'm on the water. I have a face shield I got from SA company a few years ago, but it squishes my nose in an uncomfortable way, and my sunglasses get fogged up because exhaled air tends to escape from the top of the shield.

What are the best options out there?

For sale: Lowrance Hook 5 with downscan transducer, GPS, and Navionics chip


This fishfinder is currently working fine, but in the past I have had issues with it shutting off while on the water. I think this was caused by water leaking around the card slot, which I guess is a known issue. If it happens again you can open it up and disconnect the wiring to the card slot. You can’t use the card slot after that, but supposedly it fixes the issue.

Also comes with lots of waypoints marking reefs along the San Mateo coast.

For Sale / (Sold) Promar 102W crab traps for sale: 3 for $30
« on: November 24, 2019, 10:36:52 AM »
$30 for three Promar 102W traps.

Each one comes with a harness.

Two of them are rigged with rotten cotton around one escape ring. In the third, the cotton broke and the escape ring is missing, so it would need to be replaced. Although, it seems to fish just fine on short soaks even with a huge hole in the side of the trap.

One crab-proof bait bag is included.

Local pickup in San Mateo only. First person to PM me with a commitment to buy gets them.

Safety First / Another HMB Rescue
« on: November 23, 2019, 07:17:13 PM »
Heading out at Half Moon Bay this morning I passed two kayakers just inside the jaws, one of whom hailed me and asked if I would tow him back into the harbor a little ways. He was a big guy on a small Walmart kayak, and it had taken on enough water that he couldn't stay upright while paddling. He had gone over several times and the ebb tide was pulling him out through the jaws. His buddy, who was on an equally small kayak, couldn't help him much.

After trying a few things I settled on towing his kayak "on the hip": I held the front grab handle of his kayak and he held onto the back of my kayak. This gave him enough stability that he could lift his legs out of the water, which meant I could steer and make reasonable headway. I was able to go 2-2.5 mph in this arrangement without exerting myself.

He tried paddling on his own at one point, but didn't have the stability for it, so I towed him all the way to the beach. Aside from a single PFD between them, neither he or his buddy (who owned the kayaks and had invited him out) had any safety gear I could see. I tried to gently communicate some safety tips, but I couldn't be too self righteous since I'd forgotten my own drysuit (Doh! First time in many years. So embarrassing).

Aside from all the obvious things (dress for immersion, use a kayak that is appropriate for your weight and doesn't leak, carry a VHF, carry a pump, use secondary flotation, etc.), one takeaway was that the "on the hip" tow worked much better than a tow rope would have. With a tow rope he either would have had to keep his legs in the water for balance (slowing progress to a crawl), or would have been rolling over while being towed.

General Talk / Picking up strange trash
« on: November 04, 2019, 07:07:20 PM »
I was out enjoying the glorious weather on the ocean on Sunday when I saw what looked like a giant buoy. Then I noticed it had moved. I paddled over and discovered it was a large raft of pink and white party balloons.

No problem, I figured: I'll pop them and stuff them in an empty bait bag or something. Then I realized that all the balloons were full of sequin glitter. Great. Deck space is essential when crabbing, so I hopped out of the kayak and swam around to tie them on behind my tankwell.

Paddling around with my festive decorations worked fine until I started getting more crabs and putting them in the tankwell. Pop! I looked back to see a crab leg had poked one of the balloons and the back of my kayak was covered in glittery sequins. As I pulled the rest of my limit the sequins got all over, and when my friend helped drag my kayak up from the shorebreak there was a trail of sequins leading back to the water.

Another balloon popped in the back seat of my car. Sequins everywhere!

I finally corralled the balloons into the trash can at home and my daughter stabbed them with a sheath knife. 

I'm going to be finding these annoying sequins in unexpected places for a long time to come, but as I clean them up I will think of warm November sunshine on a peaceful ocean, sacks full of meaty dungeness, and time spent with my friends.

Recipes / Ikura recipe (salmon caviar)
« on: October 08, 2019, 09:32:02 PM »
I've been using this recipe https://norecipes.com/ikura-salmon-caviar/ to cure salmon roe into ikura. I make the following modifications. First, instead of trying to make my own dashi, I use the mix pictured below. Secondly, I don't think you need to rinse the roe in fresh water. I've found the recipe works even if the roe isn't fully developed, as long as you can separate the eggs from the skein.

The result is sublime. I like it even better than lox or smoked salmon. There are countless ways to eat it, but my current favorite is on a bagel with cream cheese and fried eggs. I'm hoping I'll get lucky and catch another salmon with roe this season.

I'm going to be practicing self-rescue at Oyster point on Saturday the 23rd, then possibly doing some halibut trolling afterwards. Falling off a kayak is more fun with company, so come on out.

What? Practice self rescue for a bit, and then whoever wants to can catch the top of the tide and see if there are any halibut around yet (some keepers have come out of the bay already).

Where? Launch by the wind sock at Oyster Point Marina: https://www.google.com/maps/dir//37.6611907,-122.3753091/@37.6613217,-122.3762133,310m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e0 Parking and launching there is free. There is a construction detour to get to the marina, just follow the signs.

When? 12:00 Saturday, March 23rd. I plan to arrive at high noon and launch (without most of my fishing gear) by 12:30. If fishing looks promising I will rig up for trolling around 1:30.

Why? Skills can keep you alive. Even if you've practiced before, you might learn something. Maybe your new rod holder is in the way of reentry, or maybe your drysuit neck gasket doesn't seal as well as you hoped.

What will the weather be like? No idea. If it is nice it will be nice, and if it is nasty it will be more realistic practice for self-rescue.

Is this a class? No. I'm happy to compare notes, but this isn't intended to replace professional instruction.

Is Oyster Point a safe place to kayak? Sometimes. The main hazard is that the prevailing wind can push you away from land and into larger chop. I know of several deaths that resulted when people launched small craft from the area and were not prepared for the conditions.

Why aren't you doing this in a nice freshwater lake? I'm not aware of any nearby lakes that allow kayaks. Also: chance of halibut.

Fish Talk / Coho watching
« on: January 06, 2019, 01:55:11 PM »
My wife surprised me with a trip to watch the spawning salmon in Lagunitas creek yesterday. I'd never seen our local salmon in fresh water before, and I learned a lot from the guide, Catie Clune.


It was amazing to see how the females wear their tails down to bone digging their nests. Total commitment.

Hookups and Fishing Reports (Viewable by Public) / Christmas Eve Crab
« on: December 21, 2018, 05:35:37 PM »
I'm heading out tomorrow at HMB or Linda Mar/Rockaway in the hopes of getting crab for the big family dinner on Christmas Eve. Any recent reports or guidance on which spot might be better?

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