Fishing is about repetition of presentations that have the highest chances of succeeding, and doing as many such presentation as possible. In this article I will try to examine a tactics that, although very simple, will significantly increase your chances of catching more fish from a fishing kayak, in deep water scenarios.
HERE you can read a previous article where I wrote about aspects of fishing deep water from a kayak.
When kayak fishing, it is extremely important to set up properly. The direction your kayak is facing and it’s precise position during the presentation are very important. The position of your kayak determines which depth and trajectory your bait will be taking through the water. In deep water we will mostly use lures that sink at a good rate by themselves (jigs, weighed softbaits, lipless cranks, spoons) Our tactics, when not anchored, consists of: Casting, Setting up and retrieving. For deep water I recommend the following tactics, it is extremely useful until the wind is more than 3m/s, at this point it is usually better to anchor down.
First step should be the casting to the target area where the bait should start Then put the rod between your thighs and hold it vertically
Now comes the important part: Grab your paddle and set up properly for the retrieve. Think about where you want the bait to go, which depths it should go through. In deep water you will mostly fish near the bottom, so you have time to set up your kayak before the lure reaches the bottom or the working depth. Always cast first before you start paddling to the correct position for the next retrieve, you will be more effective.
Question: Why hold the rod vertically? Why not put it in rod stagers on the kayak?
Answer: If you put it horizontally on the kayak, your line will be laying on the water surface. As you change the position of the kayak to get the best position for your retrieve, the line will form a slack “sack” on the water. Once you start your retrieve, you will not have direct contact with the bait and miss eventual strikes.
If you need to readjust your position during the retrieve there is one thing to avoid: When you grab your paddle (or rudder on pedal kayaks) and start to maneuver for a better position, your rod should be ready to strike into the fish (photo on the right). If your rod is vertical (photo on the left) you have no way of setting the hook.
Question: Isnt a pedal kayak better for this setting up??
Answer: No it isn’t, I spend 1.5 seasons on the NW Ultimate Propel 14.5 and it is not what everybody thinks. With a pedal kayak you can go forward or backward (only with NW) and you can control the direction to some degree. With a paddle I can adjust 360 degrees even using just one hand, you can spin around, you can go forward/backward/sideways, all it takes is a bit of technique. Pedal kayak is an advantage when you just pedal forward slowly and cast around. Once situation demands frequent setting up 360dg the pedal becomes useless, even counter productive.
Question: Which type of kayak is good for this tactics?
Answer: The best kayak for quick and easy setting up is the Coosa or Coosa HD. But with these kayaks you lose the much needed speed to cover distance, when you fish deep it is going to be big lakes, you will need to paddle a lot. My choice is Kilroy, big speed, big stability, decent maneuvrability. If you want to go more for maneuvrability, go Coosa HD or similar.