Close Encounters of the Kayak kind

What’s cooler than pulling up to a laydown, popping out of that seat and pitching a jig 6 feet in front of you? It’s watching the line dance then start moving toward you, a jaw jacking hookset and an explosion as a big mouthed behemoth shoots out of the water, close quarters combat of the bass fishing world. To me there is nothing like it to get the adrenaline pumping. Coupled with the stability and stealth of today’s kayaks and the odds of hand to hand combat with the lakes mean momma’s are in your favor.

In my opinion this style of fishing has a little something for everyone. The ability to cover large amounts of water and run and gun in a kayak like the Coosa FD or meticulously pick your way through cover with a Mayfly or Coosa HD. It tests the angler’s accuracy, curiosity and ability to adapt to changing conditions and behavior.

 

My Yak of choice for knocking on big momma’s front door is the Coosa FD. The versatility of this kayak surprises me almost every time I’m out. Being able to run up and down a lake and back into those hard to reach areas has made all the difference for me. I’ll usually cruise down the lake pick out my target pedal within 10 yards or so flip up the drive and pole or if using my paddle stand and slowly make my way forward. This way I can quietly and slowly assess the cover without worry of spooking my quarry. This works extremely well when poling through large hydrilla or lily pad mats. There have been times when I’ve come up to a hole in the mats and had a bass sitting there none the wiser to my presence.

I’ve always considered myself a pretty accurate caster, until I started close quarters fishing. I know, I know, it’s only 10 feet how hard could it be? Well I’m here to tell you it can be extremely humbling. Trying to pitch a hollow body frog or jig under a branch or over a log and have it land quietly isn’t as easy as it looks. But it’s part of the reason I love this style so much. It keeps you constantly engaged; constantly striving for that perfect toss, where at the end, hoisting that big mouth bruiser is all you need.


Another aspect I’ve come to love about this kind of fishing is the curiosity factor. Bass will always surprise you and you find yourself constantly asking “I wonder if a bass lives there.” Car tires, shopping carts, single blades of grass; culver pipes have all produced those surprise catches. Keeping me forever curious about what that next toss could mean.

As always the ability to adapt is one of fishing’s greatest tools and that’s no different here. Things can change by the hour and keeping an open mind and an awareness of what’s happening around you can pay huge dividends.

And finally one that I’ll admit I sometimes overlook, being completely immersed in nature. You are up close and personal with all manner of critters. From the Blue Herons and Egrets fishing the same water to the Deer, Eagles and Osprey watching onshore, it can be a perfect cap to any outing. 

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