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Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

Sliming your kayak

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My fresh 2015 Jackson Kayak “Kilroy” sat patiently in my garage awaiting that ritual all kayak owners relish: the slime job. But what exactly is “sliming” and where did this odd tradition come from?

“Sliming” your kayak simply means christening your fresh new kayak with that first catch. Just like a cruise ship gets an expensive bottle of champagne broken against her bow, that first landed fish in a kayak is a special affair and the slime coat carries with it serious symbolic meaning.

The tradition of christening a vessel dates back thousands of years to Vikings and other seafaring cultures. They consecrated their vessels with bloody human sacrifice in order to protect the lives of the warriors and sailors aboard, as well as for safe seas and favorable winds. Human blood was, fortunately, replaced with animal blood, which was then phased out for the spilling of fine alcohol.

Kayak fishermen, being a frugal lot, couldn’t stomach the wanton waste of fine alcohol. They determined that the slime coat of a game fish smeared across the hull of the kayak as the successful fisherman dragged it over the sides was a much more fitting means of christening. The fine alcohol was then to be enjoyed around warm campfires, while extolling the virtues of their craft and gear and with stories of large fish landed and even larger lost.

My new Jackson Kilroy received a fine coating of slime this weekend when I trapped a feisty 19”spotted bass against the hull, lipped her firmly, and drug her over the side. I hope this omen means the fishing gods bless me this tournament season with fair winds, mild rain, and hordes of large bass!



Read 10266 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 07:20
Evan Howard

Fishing is in Evan's blood; ingrained in his DNA like thread woven into fabric. He was taught to fish by his father and grandfather as an integral, life skill. His youth was spent exploring the banks of North Alabama’s ponds and rivers, searching for big bass and adventure; daydream of tournament wins and becoming a professional angler. However, he yearned to escape those banks to explore, go farther, and fish waters I could not reach. After he graduated college, kayak fishing, spearheaded by guys like Drew Gregory, exploded onto the angling scene and provided the means to escape the banks and ply the unreachable waters he longed for. Evan quickly fell in love with paddling and fishing all waters, but his true passion lies in exploring small, remote flows to unlock their guarded secrets; hard-fighting, river fish.

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