This four-part series is directed at tournament kayak anglers, and those who would benefit from taking a professional approach to their weekend kayak fishing. Part Three focuses on time and water management. My grandfather always said, “You can’t catch a fish without a lure in the water.” Grandparent humor is always the best… but a more true (albeit obvious) statement about tournament angling was never uttered.
One day after work, I decided to go sheepshead fishing on the Folly River. I took Marian’s Jackson Kayak “Cruise 12” for a short paddle to pilings that generally hold fish. The Cruise is an ideal kayak for a short trip like this when the days are getting shorter. On this trip I brought my favorite sheepshead rod, a small tackle tray with spare hooks and sinkers, a grappler anchor, and a cooler for the fish.
While attending the recent Outdoor Retailers summer trade show, I came across a plethora of “Leave no Trace” (LNT) cards related to different outdoor activities. As soon as I spotted the “Fishing” card, I grabbed it and tucked it away into my field notes booklet; I knew I had to write an article about LNT.
I look forward to the water getting low enough to keep the rest of the world off of my river. This time of year, the highs are in the 90s for days in a row. The only rain that falls comes hard and fast in highly regionalized downpours that don’t show up on the stream flow gauge. The ground is too dry and too thirsty to let any of it get into the watershed.
Catfish is a great species to target in your kayak. One technique I picked up in my years of fishing was something I call “bumping”, and I have found it to be very effective in the canals and rivers that make up the Santee Cooper system.
Over the years I have tried many different ways of attaching my mono or fluorocarbon leader to braided line when I’m kayak fishing. These include using barrel swivels, loop-to-loop knots, and various other knots.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen anglers lose a trophy fish because of a bad knot. The tell-tale sign of the line ending in a pigtail will always wrench at your gut, knowing it was your fishing knot that failed. I’ve assembled a list of the top 5 fishing knots all kayak anglers should learn to tie. There is no one perfect knot- each of these five fishing knots serves a purpose and in my opinion the 5 best fishing knots.
Part Two of this four-part series, directed at tournament anglers or those who would benefit from taking a professional approach to their weekend angling, focuses further on prefishing and equipment preparation.