Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sea Kayak Trolling

Exhibit A: Primitive kayak fishing setup without a rod
After some success last year with a very primitive kayak fishing setup (see Exhibit A), I decided to upgrade a bit to hopefully make things easier. The previous fishing setup was a 1x2 piece of fir with a carabiner on the end and 30-pound fishing line wound around it. I clipped that on the back of the kayak and ran it through a carabiner on a bungee cord. The idea was that the cord would stretch when something bit. That didn't work so well as I think the fish I did catch got pulled along for sometime before I realized it was there (there wasn't much of a fight to get it in the boat).

Sea kayak trolling setup from a Tofino-based kayak guide.
After searching for a way to upgrade to my set up, I realized there isn't too much info out there. And even less if you don't want to drill holes in your kayak for rod holders et and since Jenna would never let me drill into our precious kayaks I needed to figure out something that would work. The image to the right was posted on a West Coast Paddler forum, so that, plus some helpful advice from my friend Ed led to my setup below. Hopefully this post will make things easier for you to get set up for some kayak fishing!

Fishing in Haida Gwaii - first bite of the trip, just a little
lingcod (?). Sadly, it was too early to catch any salmon.
For my kayak I did the same for the front - PVC pipe tied on the left front deck as a rod holder and Scotty downrigger clip on the right to keep the line out of the way. Unlike the above photo, my rod was directed forward toward the bow since I figured it would be unruly to have it sticking up like above. However, for the back, I added a PVC pipe to hold my net on the right back deck and put a paddle holder on the left back deck. This made it quite convenient when trying to bring in a fish. You can see most of the set up in the photo to the left: bottom left of photo = paddle in paddle holder, middle under my arm = rod holder PVC, right bottom = downrigger clip.

A few more we caught while trolling
as we kayaked along.
The first real test for my kayak trolling set-up was on our recent trip to Haida Gwaii, and it seemed to work pretty well. Caught a several lingcod and some rockfish. (I'm assuming they were lingcod, as they didn't look like the rockfish on my identification chart, but if anyone has a better suggestion, please let me know) None of the fish we caught were especially large, and we didn't catch any salmon, but the ones we did get were extremely tasty! I was using a pink mini-flasher and a hoochie, and the lingcod seemed to love that.

If you're interested in a getting a groundfish identification card and/or a fish descender, the Oregon Coalition for Educating ANglers (OCEAN) will send you one. I highly recommend it! Just make sure to give them a donation so they can keep up the awesome work.

Stay tuned for a post about our crazy 2.5 week trip to Haida Gwaii, and how to plan your own! Actually, you may not really want to plan to your own, it was a lot of work... but you can read all about that soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment