By Chris Funk
Whether you are riding current on a river or drifting across a flat with the wind, there are times the movement is too fast to fish a hole effectively. If you get too close, you might spook every critter in it, giving you very little chance of catching anything after the first or second cast.
The best solution when conditions allow is to get out of the kayak. This will let you slow down and thoroughly fish the area at your pace, not what was set by the river or wind. It will also allow you to fish from the outer edges of a given spot and slowly transition into the deeper areas so one fish caught out of the best part won’t ruin the rest of the area.
Always keep a short piece of rope to tie to your bow handle in your kayak. This can be used to wrap around your waist for wading through shallows so you do not have to pull your boat with your hands. This will allow you to fish and wade at the same time. A good trick is a common bungee cord passed through a loop in the bow rope and worn like a belt. It keeps the floating kayak from jerking on you if it is floating or blowing away. Another good tip is to deploy your drag chain while wading to keep the tail end of the kayak under control behind you.
When you reach a spot that is begging to be fished thoroughly, either dry dock your kayak on a nearby rock or keep it tethered to you. That way it is close enough to grab another rod, different lures or hopefully your CPR camera!
A gentleman I know recently said, “That ain’t kayak fishin’ it is wade fishing with a floating tackle storage device,” and he would be mostly correct. Kayak wading is a very effective way to fish a hole though and on a hot summer day the refreshing dip might give you just enough energy to make it to the hot evening topwater bite!
Stop right there! Sometimes you have to hop off that ‘yak if your goal is to catch fish. Photo Chris Funk.[/caption