Why We Kayak Fish
By Capt. Pat Horrigan
When you think about fishing you realize that there are many forms of the sport. Sight fishing is by far the most challenging approach to be taken. In order to be successful in sight fishing, you must have a stealthy approach or you will do nothing more than spook your quarry. Wade fishing has its’ place for sure but it can be a long walk and as you tire, you are naturally noisier by default. Using a flats boat is very popular and always will be and kayak fishing may not be for everyone as it requires patience. To achieve the most in stealth a quality kayak makes the difference between a long walk and a very expensive flats boat. There are many different fishing kayaks on the market today and that’s great. I looked for a long time for the right kayak to sponsor the Kayak Fishing ClassicS national tournament series. The Freedom Hawk 12 by Freedom Hawk Kayaks packs everything a kayak fisherman needs into a very slick, quiet unit. The biggest advantage yielding feature of the Freedom 12 is the easily deployable outriggers. This feature truly makes it the Stand -Up Kayak Fishing standard on the market. Why is that important? When seated low in a kayak it is difficult to sight fish. Great sunglasses like the Ocean Waves Sunglasses really help however having the ability to stand on a mobile, stable platform is invaluable. The sunglasses are still a must have item and Ocean Waves Sunglasses are the best ,in my opinion.
So now you have a stealthy, stand- up fishing kayak to make the experience better and you can see thru the water like a hawk. That still doesn’t answer why we kayak fish. Before I do that, lets’ add another stealthy approach to the fastest growing water sport in North America. Fly Fishing! Talk about stealth. Fly fishing is so quiet and natural. Light Tackle fishing can be very stealthy as well if done correctly and both are popular ways to fish from a kayak. Albright Fishing Products is the maker of some very fine fly rods and conventional rods. To touch on their fly rods for a moment, we feel that they are the best fly rod on the market today for what we do. That is saying a great deal considering some of the other brands. Tom Brokaw once said “ if fishing is a religion, then fly fishing is high mass.” Fly fishing is a subject for another conversation. Now you are ready to sneak up on the fish. Simply put, Kayak Fishing is extremely challenging and incredibly beautiful. You are on the water surrounded by nature. The fish don’t even know you are there. You lay out a fly and a huge snook charges and takes. If you do that just once, the question will answer itself for you. Many kayak fishermen, and in that I include women of course, also enjoy wade fishing. There’s nothing like a good stretch after a good paddle to your favorite fishing spot. Lets’ talk about that for a minute;
Have you ever heard someone say ‘you have to think like a fish’? To me what that means is what am I doing that triggers a fishes strike or fear responses? I want the fish to strike or take my presentation so how do I trigger the strike response? Or what did I just do that spooked the fish or triggered its’ fear response? One huge factor often overlooked is Visual Quietness. Just what is that? Have you ever been in a swimming pool, underwater and looked up at someone walking around the pool? If not, try it sometime and it will make a believer out of you in what I am about to share with you. In order to better understand Visual Quietness you need to understand Visual Noise. Everything in nature is a blend of many things in nature surrounding it. Wait,..What? For example a bright color on a bird is muted by surrounding dull colors. There are very few birds of a solid, bright color and those that are have developed that for a specific reason in nature. If you look up at someone walking around the swimming pool wearing a bright white shirt you’ll realize just how much that stands out. Or a bright green shirt or black or any solid color just jumps out against the background. If you are in your kayak or doing some wade fishing and you are wearing solid colors, regardless of the color itself, you may as well just go home because every fish in casting distance can see you. Remember, the bigger the fish, the smarter or more experienced the fish is. I never wake up in the morning and say to myself, I think I will go out and catch a small fish today. We fish for big fish because they are more of a challenge and more fun to catch. So why make it harder on yourself. Wearing camouflage clothing that matches the background of where you are fishing makes a lot of sense to me. Let’s take it up a notch. Let’s wear camouflage clothing that matches the background the way a fish see it. Remember how that bright white shirt looked when you looked up form underwater in the pool? It was also distorted and wavy. Here’s the notch; AQUA DESIGN has come up with a camouflage that mimics how the background looks to a fish. That is huge when you think about it.
When you put all of the gear together with a little practice, you have a very Visually Quiet, Stealthy, Stand-Up Kayak Fishing package. In my pursuit of putting together a World Class national kayak fishing tournament series, I searched many equipment manufactures to provide product and expertise for our fishermen. It quickly became evident who made the best gear and why they made it the way that they do. I then pursued those companies as series sponsors. The sponsors that you see involved in the Kayak Fishing ClassicS are not just sponsors. They are the best at what they do and the most qualified in the world to call themselves sponsors of the Kayak Fishing ClassicS. If you take the time to learn about these fantastic people and the products that they make you will walk away with more knowledge of how and why the game is played the way it is. The book is being written on kayak fishing and we want you to be a part of it. Please visit us at http://www.KayakFishingClassicS.com to be a part of it. FishGreen