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- Prostaff Member Trout Whisperer
The cockpit of my kayak, when properly loaded with a quantity of two hundred and four pounds of me, is a full load.
By propping one fly rod in the stern and laying my spinning rod from bow to stern, I have my rods secured. My kayak paddle is laid across my waist, amidships, and I have lashed a tether to it to keep from loosing it.
Around the cockpit, I sit in is a full one inch precast lip curl. Very nice design crafted into the hull to keep water off the operator when in motion or waves going over this small, nine foot craft. Around this curl, I have a belt with a fanny pack attached. This is my tackle box, lunch box, map case and GPS holder for the days outing. Completely water proof, when sealed, and earth tone camo’ed.
Now, all this sounds more cumbersome than it actually is. The boat weighs a mere thirty six pounds. When portaging, I can drag the kayak with a bow rope or carry like a suitcase. Depending on the weather, I may have a raincoat tucked behind the seat but I own a very special life jacket of a mesh shoulder and floatation waist design. The lower part of the life jacket is also a nice backrest for the small of my back. I wear my life jacket.
This entire package has taken about five years of trial and error to perfect. I fish and hunt a large number of very small lakes. They are off the beaten path and very seldom do I encounter other humans. I like the remote lakes and streams. My day's weight for traveling is less than ninety pounds and includes drinking water. If I'm shot gunning for the day the entire poundage drops dramatically.
If this sounds a bit tactical, it is.
My anchor is a three pound round lead ball from a lake superior down rigger. I carry a roll of 1000lb mason's line for the anchor cord. I assemble on an as needed basis. Plastic pouches I can swap in out of the fanny pack depending on what type of fish I’m after. If I’m jump shooting ducks it holds the shotgun shells. Disposable camera and small first aid kit finishes the contents.
When I acquired the kayak, I bought it on a spring close out. New models would show up in a few months so they were fire saleing this color and style. With some camo spray paint and one Saturday afternoon I had it completely repainted.
Learning to uses the small boat, for me, was like a duck taking to water. Stable craft and stealthy in the respect that I could float up on waterfowl when hunting or nestle up to a sunken log when fishing. You need to be on more stable substrate when disembarking. Boarding is nothing more than lowering you, inside the hold.
This new generation of kayaks has become fast and quiet. Lightweight and very affordable. Mine, so far, is indestructible. Bouncing off rocks is not near as noisy as aluminum either. These new boats can be a more personal experience when handling fish as well. You’re netting the fish and its tail slapping water all over you. That's about as up close and personal as you can get short of scuba gear. The fee to license is much less expensive as well.
So sharpen your j stroke and sneak into some water for a kayak attack.