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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I have been busy fishing from my kayak. Since July 21, I fished on 17 of 20 days, with launches at many different spots. Because of previous skin cancer issues, I cover my body fully (hat and facial shield are removed for photos, then put back on) and wear a PFD at all times. Yes, it is hot with all that gear in the summer, but I am used to it, and try to fish mainly during the cooler morning hours.

During the last week and a half of July, I brought my kayak with me and fished in NC and VA for 8 days in a row. The wind was a serious problem on many days, but I still managed to catch 13 species of fish, including my largest redfish from the kayak at 30" and a completely new species -- longnose gar (36").

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During the first week of August, I fished on 5 days in 8 different creeks in the Severn on both sides of the river and on a sixth day in Eastern Bay. I caught 85 perch and 35 stripers, along with 3 pickerel and 1 speckled trout. On one of those trips, I caught my first Severn Slam (striper, perch, and pickerel) of 2022.

On the past two days, I launched early, fished in one spot for a while, then loaded up and relaunched at a second nearby spot. One of these trips was in the Severn -- the other in different water bodies on either side of Kent Narrows. On each day, I caught both stripers and perch. Tomorrow, I will drive to Talbot County to fish some waters I have not tried in a few years.

I feel fortunate to have the time and enough health and energy to get out and spend so much time on the water. As a retired old guy, I realize that those opportunities won't be there forever. I am pushing hard to get out as often as I can. Some folks like going to the gym for exercise -- I prefer paddling a kayak and catching fish while I am out there. Plus I am spending time in some beautiful habitats and seeing lots of wildlife up close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great post John! Do you use jigs only?
I primarily fish in shallow water (3 to 6 ft). For stripers, specks, etc., I use jigheads (1/8-oz to 3/8-oz) and 3" or 4" paddletails. For perch and pickerel, I used small spinnerbaits. The redfish and gar were caught when fishing with a kayak guide in NC. We used bait for the gar and for some of the reds. I also caught reds there on topwater and jighead/paddletail.

I do a lot of light tackle trolling with the same rods and lures I use for casting. For perch or when fishing next to structure, I am casting the lures with light to med-heavy spinning tackle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's a lot of fishing and fish. Thanks for sharing.

BTW- What's your preferred kayak set up?
I am not sure what you mean by that question. Over the years, I have owned large and small kayaks, paddle powered and pedal powered kayaks. But now 21 years after getting my first kayak, I have moved to two simple 11' paddle kayaks. At that size, they are lightweight, easy to handle on land, and I can slide either of them fully into my Toyota minivan, shut the hatch, and go. That makes loading and unloading simple.

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I served on the Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft kayaks for 8 years. I am no longer on Pro Staff, but still think Native makes a quality kayak (both of my kayaks are Native -- a 2014 Manta Ray 11 with a cushioned seat that gives me a low center of gravity, and a 2021 Falcon 11, with raised seating and a few more features).

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I know a lot of kayak owners want to add lots of accessories to "pimp their ride". I don't go that route. I keep things simple. The only thing I add on all the kayaks I own is 4 Scotty rod holders. On the Falcon, I added a 5" Lowrance Hook 2 FF/GPS). On most trips, I bring 3 or 4 rods, 1 or 2 tackle trays, pliers, a FishGrip tool, a gel seat cushion, and a Hawg Trough. I don't need more than that to catch plenty of fish. I give more detail on my kayaks in my last book "The Way I Like to Fish -- A Kayak Angler's Guide to Shallow Water, Light Tackle Fishing".

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great fishing report John!

Are you seeing better white perch numbers in the Severn tribs?
Realistically, the perch are still not in the Severn tribs in their usual large numbers. After fishing the Severn for many years, I have a pretty good idea of where they usually area. Even with that prior knowledge, I am working hard to catch more than single digits of perch on each 3-hour trip. The single most important thing to look for is shaded areas.
 

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I primarily fish in shallow water (3 to 6 ft). For stripers, specks, etc., I use jigheads (1/8-oz to 3/8-oz) and 3" or 4" paddletails. For perch and pickerel, I used small spinnerbaits. The redfish and gar were caught when fishing with a kayak guide in NC. We used bait for the gar and for some of the reds. I also caught reds there on topwater and jighead/paddletail.

I do a lot of light tackle trolling with the same rods and lures I use for casting. For perch or when fishing next to structure, I am casting the lures with light to med-heavy spinning tackle.
Thank you for replying, be safe out there sir and enjoy !
 

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John I was invited on a trip with Kevin Josenhans and an outdoors writer who wrote for a Westminster news paper,I think his last name was Mays . We fished Kiptopeake from Kevin's CC Jones Bros..We were fishing for Bull Reds in May .70deg water temp.and we each caught a 50 incher on swim jigs with spinnng gear, Ric Burnley . outdoor editor for Va.Beach,was also there with 10 other Kayakers and they all caught 50 inch, Bull Reds too.We spoke to them back at the boat ramp. You would have liked that. The Bull Reds used to come back in during Aug/Sept
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
John I was invited on a trip with Kevin Josenhans and an outdoors writer who wrote for a Westminster news paper,I think his last name was Mays . We fished Kiptopeake from Kevin's CC Jones Bros..We were fishing for Bull Reds in May .70deg water temp.and we each caught a 50 incher on swim jigs with spinnng gear, Ric Burnley . outdoor editor for Va.Beach,was also there with 10 other Kayakers and they all caught 50 inch, Bull Reds too.We spoke to them back at the boat ramp. You would have liked that. The Bull Reds used to come back in during Aug/Sept
A few kayak anglers know those southern Chesapeake waters well. They are prepared for the arrival of the big reds and do catch large ones each year. I have never fished there in open water for reds -- maybe some day.
 

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The reason the kayak fleet did so well , they said they caught10 , is that they were spread out and when one kayaker located a school,he or she could be seen by the others fighting the fish and the others moved in quietly to fish the school ,when the school moved,they went on the hunt again.They were only 2-3 miles from the launch. It was a good team work plan and all caught fish. It was fun in itself to watch them on the hunt and catch he Big Bull Reds from their kayaks.Quite the show. One of those lucky memorble days that comes along every once in awhile.The outdoor writer's name I fished with was Bill May. heued torite for the SUN paper too.
 

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Shade over rocks is a jackpot for White perch.
 

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"I have owned large and small kayaks, paddle powered and pedal powered kayaks. But now 21 years after getting my first kayak, I have moved to two simple 11' paddle kayaks"

John, the above statement is exactly what I was asking. You keep it simple. Thanks for answering.

BTW- I was at BPS years ago when you put on a kayak presentation. You did well.
 

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I wish my knees would tolerate the kayak, I really miss fishing in them, but I don't miss being crippled up the next few days.
 
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