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KAYAK FISHING: Why Kayak Fishing?

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Plant Vertebrate Hat Water Fisherman
by Cory Routh
The answer to this question can span more pages than I plan on writing. I personally find kayak
fishing more than appealing for many reasons. From conservation, to affordability, to portability, kayak fishing has many advantages that far outweigh any disadvantages. (picture by Cory Routh, even Cory's Father, Larry Routh enjoys kayak fishing)

With the exception of making you a more effective angler, kayaking has almost no impact on the
environment. You are not burning gas, so there are no emissions. There is very little impact on sensitive habitats such as sea grass and oyster bars. Kayaks can operate in mere inches of water and still not impact the bottom. Kayaks are quiet with the exception of the occasional “woo hoo” from an angler being pulled around by a big fish.

If you are a boat owner you can relate to the “hole in the water to put money in” concept. If you took the taxes that you pay for just putting fuel in your motor boat, you can probably take that money and buy a fully rigged kayak. With a kayak, all the fuel you need is a RC Cola and a moon pie. Kayaks are the perfect way for folks who cannot afford boats to get onto the water. With kayaks there are no hidden costs. Your initial investment (unless you are a gadget junkie) is all the money you will have to put into your equipment. On average you can get kayak,
paddle, and PFD for about $1,000.

Kayaks obviously take up less space than conventional boats and they also weigh a lot less. If
you can walk down to the water, you can launch a kayak there. Kayaks can be carried on car tops, in truck beds, on trailers, or even behind bicycles. A lot of the headaches you have with a motorboat are not there with kayaks. Many times I launch at crowded boat ramps by walking my kayak to areas where the boat trailers cannot go. A set of kayak wheels is a
good investment, and make getting your kayak from your vehicle to the water much easier.

Kayaks are often referred to as “the best waders you will ever own.” Even hard-core wade fishermen are using kayaks to access shallow areas that they cannot reach by walking. Deep water and boot sucking muddy bottoms are not issues to wade anglers who
use kayaks. Surf fishermen are also reaping the benefits of kayaking by paddling out baits farther
than they can cast. You can launch a kayak anywhere you can access the water. Ideally, all you need is a sandy beach. There are many public access areas that do not have formal boat launches and these are the areas where kayaks rule.

Basically all you need to fix a plastic kayak is a roll of good duct tape. Rotomolded polyethylene kayaks are practically indestructible. And, if you do get a hole, it may be repairable by your local retailer. If you take care of your kayak, it will last several years, or at least until something new comes along, and you get an upgrade. Everyday scratches from boat ramps, shells, etc., are nothing more than aesthetic and typically will not affect hull integrity. Just a simple clean, fresh water rinse is all you need to do, while a little detergent may be used to remove any “fishy” odors and stains. Opening up your hatches while in storage and airing them out will also help keep your kayak from getting a skunky smell. To protect your kayak from UV rays and keep it
looking new, spray it with 303 Protectant.

This should get you started, look out for more on kayaking from me here on Tidal Fish.

Cory Routh is an outdoor writer, author, photographer and kayak fishing guide. His most recent book is Kayak Fishing; The Complete Guide which covers all the details of kayak fishing. It's a must read for beginning and expert kayak fishing enthusiasts.

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