“Kayak” is a universally recognized word these days. But that wasn’t always the case, especially when paired with the word “fishing”. Today Kayak fishing is growing, and evolving nationally even in the competitive arena. What most people think of when they hear the “kayak” is a relatively cheap, plastic hulled, one man vessel that you have to climb into and paddle. The reality these days is that kayaks have become sophisticated angling vessels incorporating top of the line electronics and storage and rod handling systems for a wide variety of angling situations. A proper fishing kayak can run upwards of $2,000 for the kayak alone.
Still less expensive than motorized alternatives, the attraction to kayak fishing is simple: find water difficult to access by boat in an area where you will be mostly undetected by the surrounding natural beauty and wildlife, and fish peacefully and undisturbed. Today the sport has become more mainstream and you will find kayak anglers sharing the water with lightning fast bass boats. This has brought us the introduction of propulsion kayaks that can cover longer distances. Hobie sells several kayaks with the Hobie drive, an ingenious propulsion system where the pilot pushes two pedals back and forth driving two penguin-like flippers underneath the hull. Native Watercraft, another top brand, offers the Propel Drive system, a more traditional bicycle-style system where the pilot pedals and turns a prop under the hull roughly the size of a trolling motor blade. Kayakers have found ways to mount trolling motors, including a kayak specific unit known as the Torqeedo.
As a result of the growth of kayaking, several different types of Kayaks have developed: 1)Recreational, for the nature loving paddlers; 2)Touring, for treks and camping, including the longer, sleeker models for ocean use, and 3)Angling, for the fish hunters all over the world. To complicate matters further, each category has sit-on-top and sit-in styles. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what type of kayak you have or what adventure you seek, the attraction has drawn thousands world wide to the sport and the numbers continue to rise.
For the competitive kayak angler, a new national tournament series has been introduced- the Kayak Bass Series (KBS). Their inaugural event was held on the St. Johns River in Florida last month drawing a large group of competitors. This year’s trail includes Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas, and the renowned Lake Guntersville in Alabama. The circuit will conclude with a KBS Classic, much like the Bassmaster Classic. Another national trail, known as River Bassin’, has regional qualifying events on river systems rather than lakes. This circuit boasts an impressive, 36 local, regional and national events, spanning nine states, concluding with the National Championship on October 24.
Kayak Fishing, whether on fresh or salt water, is providing more and more anglers access beyond the banks. It has been globally embraced for a wide variety of species. It has made the sport both in its recreational and competitive phases more accessible by providing a less costly alternative to fishing boats and a more stable fishing platform than canoes. The sport is exploding and providing companies like PowerPole, GoPro, and others new enthusiasts who enjoy using their products. So whether you are looking for a quiet place to fish on a summer afternoon on your favorite lake or river, or you are looking to discover the salt water beyond the beach and into the backwaters, or maybe you are looking to compete in new venues and tournaments, Kayak fishing offers something for everyone.
Check out these links below to find out how you can get involved with competitive Kayak Fishing
Written by Ron Gerber. Ron is a Media Representative for iBass360 and a Kayak Angler Enthusiast.