Chris Ritchie 04/01/2017 | Posted in Coosa HD, Fishing, Fishing Subjects, Freshwater, Freshwater Fishing, rivers
We all got into kayak fishing for different reasons. For me, it was a combination of price and simplicity that made me really look into it. I like simple, easy, just throw your gear in and go. With that being said, a persons boat get can become quite extensive. With that, comes more and more weight being heaped into your kayak. For me, this weight and “extra gear” is cut out by me not using an anchor. This can cause an issue at times, since I mainly like to fish rivers and creeks but hopefully I can explain it to you in a way that not only makes sense, but makes you reconsider some of the potentially non-essential gear that you may be dragging along with you.
So, this way of fishing brings with it an obvious problem. Current! You might be thinking that you will be missing out on a lot of fish. I’m not going to lie, you could miss a few fish if you’re not super experienced in positioning your boat and that is why it is my first topic of discussion. For me it is easiest to explain in this way- face the faster moving part of the water. When I’m fishing in moving water I try my best to get in the slower current, usually on the side of the river or creek that has the slow dropping bank. I face the faster portion and move perpendicular to the river channel. If you have a kayak that isn’t very stable, this will be hard to do. However, my Jackson Kayak Coosa HD does this very well! I usually cast into the fast water and reel just past the water transition area and I seem to always find fish there. There are times, though, that I will face upstream and actually go backwards down the river. I would advise against this until you are really comfortable with the maneuverability and stability of your kayak as this makes you somewhat vulnerable.
Next for me would have to be reading the water. This skill is a learned skill that can only be developed by spending time on the rivers and actually doing it. I can explain to you the basics though. The easiest way to read the water is obviously by looking at the current. But what if you are in deeper water and can’t really see the current? I use things like watching dirt or leaves moving on the water. I will also watch the movement of plants that are growing in the water. You really want to begin reading the water before you are at the spot you’re headed toward. The easiest way to do this is two simple things, look at the banks and look for big rocks sticking out of the water. Generally the bank with a slow dropping gravel bank is the slower side or might not have any current at all. A steep bluff/large rock bank or a steep mud bank usually is a tell-tell sign of the current side. Larger boulders sticking out of the water or causing obstructions under the water are signs of the current side as well. I try to use the as water breaks to get behind and fish the current without being effected by the current.
Last but not least is paddle/paddle stroke. When fishing current you need to be able to turn very quickly. This is accomplished by three things; a stiff paddle blade, strong paddle stroke and proper paddle length. I prefer a Bending Branches “Angler Ace, Angler Pro or Angler Classic”. These paddles all have very stiff blades and shafts which help with torque when you’re really digging into the water. One thing that gets overlooked a lot when looking at paddles is paddle length. A lot of these fishing kayaks require a longer paddle anyway, but in my opinion longer is better. For instance, for my height and width of my kayak I could probably get by with a 230cm paddle. The problem with that length however is that it will not get much penetration into the water. It is for this reason that I go with a 240cm or longer. If I am going to be fishing in strong current I will go with a 250cm. The longer paddle lets you reach further into the water which gives you more torque. More torque means a more responsive and efficient paddle stroke.
Thanks for reading guys and I hope this article helped you out a little! You anglers who are searching for simplicity, don’t feel “tied down” to using an anchor! You don’t always need one! Try it for yourself and see! You might like what you discover!