Hi everyone, This is a few helpful hints and info on how to make a start in the world of kayak angling.
At first it may seem over whelming with so many types of kayaks available and endless safety gear coupled with the idea of maybe having to change all your normal fishing gear. But it doesn’t have to be that way and you can get afloat quiet easily and it can be done on a tight budget.
Where do you start?
Well the first thing to do is not to run out and buy the first kayak you see going cheap. Get online and check out the various kayak angling forums. There are quiet a few about now and you do not need a kayak to join any of the forums. A quick search will bring up, Irish kayak angling, Anglers afloat, Stealth kayaks and SWKA. All are great forums and will help you no end. These forums will answer pretty much any questions you may have.
Still don’t run out and buy a kayak
All of these forums have regular meets, where the members meet up and get out and fish. Although you haven’t got your kayak yet you should pop along and get a look at the kayaks the members are using and see the different set ups that are available. You may get lucky and someone may have a spare kayak and may get you out for a short try on the water. Alternatively you could even attend a sea symposium. There is one being held in Moville co.Donegal this April 24th and 26th.
You can book into this event with absolutely no experience. You can have a go at the fishing, cave exploring and much more. They have a few models of sit on top kayaks for angling so you can have ago of a kayak that some day you may want to buy.
Getting your hands on a kayak
Picking a kayak can be a mine field. with a huge choice to choose from. My advice would be don’t let your kayak choice be down to the size of your garden shed or car. So unless your going to be fishing tiny ponds get yourself at the shortest a 13ft kayak for a number of reasons. Not all the reasons will make sense at first but you will learn very quickly in poor weather or a long paddle.
My choice on a tight budget E850.00 to E950.00
From my experience if I knew what I know now I would have started off with a Ocean kayak prowler 13, they do turn up on sale from E600.00 new, but normally they are around E850.00 to E950.00 A fine kayak that tracks well and is not expensive for what you get. It’s stable, one of the faster plastic kayaks, not hard to do a re-entry and tracks well [paddle in a straight line] Also it is not to bad to paddle against the wind.
A bit more cash, E950.00 to E1150
I would be getting an Ocean kayak trident 13, around E950.00 to E1150. It is a bit more stable than the prowler 13 and has a very handy centre hatch. You can modify it to take a tackle box of fibre glass one from scratch. This kayak also tracks well but I find it a bit slower to paddle than the prowler 13. This kayak takes a bit more effort to paddle against the wind.
Then you have fibre glass/carbon kayaks.Stealth kayaks Stating price E1,300 up to E2,300 for a profisha 525
These kayaks are the business, they ooze speed, class and a dream to paddle. They are not in the same class as plastic kayaks. They are a lot easier to paddle and the rudder systems in them are excellent. I am paddling the profisha 525 and she is a dream to paddle, fast light and very easy to do a re-entry.
This Kayak is 17ft long, I know. That sounds massive. But you would love it. It can turn very quickly and is no problem on small lakes and fishing tight to rocks for Pollock. A kayak like this opens a new world of kayak angling.
So you have got your kayak, What now?
Well despite what most of us thought at the time and go look for the calmest little puddle to try her out STOP. Trying a kayak in a flat calm little pond or lake is not the best plan. It makes the kayak feel totally unstable and can put you off. My advice is to find a nice shallow beach with a small swell running on to the shore. So small waves of no more than 2ft or 3ft is ideal. Enough to get you over the fact the every little wobble doesn’t mean your going to fall in and hopefully you’ll will have an odd tumble so you can get use to getting back on your kayak. There is no need to go out of your depth at this stage. Stay in about 4ft of water and that will give you a feel for getting back on your kayak before you head for the deep blue sea. If at all possible bring someone with you even if there just sitting on the beach watching you having a play in the surf. Also you will have a good laugh playing in the surf, and in no time you will have no concerns about a boat passing close to you or taking a wobble when you cast to hard to miss a stroke while paddling.
Safety gear. I am not going to harp on about this and I am just going to put the essentials on here. Meaning essentials I mean what I would never leave the shore with out. Compass, Vhf, Water proof phone or a phone in a water proof case, dry suit, PFD [personal floatation device] paddle leash, drogue or anchor and a warm hat [even in the summer] The items above to me are not optional, if you don’t have them even if fishing the lakes you are not ready for the water. Also tell some one where you are going and when you will be back. I hope that helps, I will get some more info up as soon as possible. If the weather suddenly improves you will find me on the water some where. So until next time tight lines and if you have any questions fire away and thanks for reading.