Words: Andrew Watt
Land your first fish from a kayak and you will be hooked. People ask me why kayak fishing? Why not get a boat with a motor? Isn’t there more room in a canoe? And similar questions, it occurs all the time. Being an avid kayak angler and working full time at a top of the line paddle sports shop, exposes me to a lot of people who are interested in the sport, or currently involved in the sport. Why kayak fishing, is something that I get a lot. So, I thought I would let people know.
Me on the right as a young angler
A little about me, I’ve been fishing since I can remember. Days with grandpa out by the trout hole or at the cottage, or with my dad at the docks at almost every provincial park throughout southern Ontario. I had a resurgence in angling when I found myself needing a hobby when I moved to Alberta almost a decade ago. It started with shore fishing for monster walleye, then progressed to my first kayak, then my first pedal drive and now with my Jackson Coosafd. I sold my canoe, as it was just collecting dust because every time I went out it was in my kayak.
Hello Instagram here i come..thanks for the beauty pic Neil, at Driedmeat Lake AB
So why was I in my kayak? Well it’s the change of getting offshore and having the ability to navigate where I pleased. My kayak allows me the freedom to hit new spots, find new holes, and meet new people with similar interests, not to mention the exercise from putting the kilometers on the kayak. It allowed me to tinker, setup, design and layout my kayak how I wanted. A good bonus is after the initial investment there are few low-cost maintenance expenses and zero boat gas expenses. Growing up in Ontario, canoeing was part of my life blood, but fishing can be tough for a solo canoeist, especially when the wind picks up and your 500 yards from shore.
Thats me, if you cant tell. -unnamed lake Alberta.
The actual fishing part of it is pretty important to I suppose. I still remember that first walleye that towed me slowly around the lake, tugging gently and steering me around in an attempt to escape the inevitable netting. I get the same thrill every time I hook onto something, it will really blow your hair back when you hook up with a 20lb plus salmon. The tow, the netting, the landing, pictures and release, all happen in a smaller space aka. your lap. You feel a lot closer to both the fish and the experience because you have no choice but to deal with it up close and personal. Yes you will get dirty, yes you will get splashed, slapped in the face by a fin or two, yes you will loose more fish because everything is closer to the water. I’ve seen people tip, I helped people that have tipped, you will lose gear more frequently into the water because everything is and feels just more upfront and personal in a kayak.
The mist is pretty, these are the things you see when you wake up early.
"Beauty"- Red Deer River,AB
The serenity, the calm peaceful bliss as your paddle blade slices through the water on misty fall morning. The cawing of nearby crows, the haunting call of the loons, all seems more surreal and awe inspiring from your kayak. There are less distractions, less worry, less noise, just you your boat and the lake. Your will and ability to silently find that perfect walleye drop off, or pike filled weed bed, or the cold depths where the burbot like to party, to me is what sets kayak fishing apart from shore fishing or a motorboat. Get out there be safe and get yakkin'.
When you cant catch fish, you take sunset pics.-Gregoire Lake, Alberta
Yes I was Cold, Yes i was uncomfortable, BUT LOOK AT THAT TIGER TROUT!!-unkown lake, AB
Chinook Salmon, Nootka Sound, BC
See you on the water, in my fishing kayak of course.
Andrew W Asst. Manager, Aquabatics Edmonton. Aquabatics Kayak Fishing Team