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ErikT

Fighting fish from your yak!

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Ok, whenever I think about fishing from a yak, I picture myself out there in the middle of the night and hooking into a decent Spring bass say 25#'s.. I always imagine being pulled all over the water and have visions of a tight drag and the fish capsizing the yak because I'm off balance etc..

 

I know this stems from having never done it but I need to know. Do you specifically fish with a lighter drag to allow the fish to run while maintaining your position on the water? I know you would drift anyway and be pulled a lil bit but my concerns would be to be pulled somewhere I didn't want to be.

 

Just curious because it's a possibility this year for me to get a yak and I'm just trying to address the concerns I had before even thinking about it.

 

BTW, I drop into the raritan two blocks from my house. smile.gif

 

ErikT

 

P.S. sorry for the goog question! LMAO

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Good question.

Before we actually got out there we all had all kinds of questions.

 

I bought my first kayak in November, and I had all kinds of question all winter which quickly got sorted once actually got out there in the spring.

 

You will love fishing from a kayak.

You need not worry about flipping on account of a fish hook up. May have happened to someone, but in general it does not happen.

 

I flipped a couple times my first year by reaching back to the tankwell quickly and carelessly. Now I sit sideways and can reach all over the boat safely.

 

Takes a couple trips to get comfortable on the kayak then your all set.

 

Look forward to hearing your success stories. Actually look forward to hearing some of my own...Come on spring!

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Don't worry bout the goog question. You are a goog wink.gif

 

Yes,I use a bit lighter drag, but there is a maximum amount of pressure a fish can exert on you(unless he goes straight down and you have a locked drag...a non-striper scenario). At a certain point, he starts pulling you(that's the goods), so the pressure you put on him is a combo of reel drag pressure and towing friction. Unlike fishing from a stationary platform, there's only so much pressure you can apply to a fish before you start moving too.

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It's a matter of angles-

lets say your using 12-15 lb test

If your drag is set correctly it should be set about 1/3 the breaking strength- let's say about 4-5 lbs.

Because a kayak will yield or slip and spin in

the water it's easy to let the fish move and turn the boat

instead of flip it. (All force should be transferd to the boat thru your rear end-)

 

the location of the rod tip is what determines the direction of the torque to your boat - if a fish is in front or behind you it's less important where the rod tip is it can be straight up because torque in the fwd/aft direction does not tend to flip the boat- if a big fish is fighting away off the side, point your rod forward with the tip low. that minimizes the torque that can flip you over.

 

I hooked a 20 lb ray last year while bottom fishing for perch- it took 25 minutes to get that sucker to the boat,(it was a dang powerful fish) then he drenched me good

my brother was anchored next to me. I got pulled with my anchor, about 75 feet from his location

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I set my drag as I would ina power boat. The ride is whats its all about. Big stripers tire faster out of a yak than a power boat or the beach because fighting the rod,drag, and yak wears them out. near structure like the bridges and there pilings that I commonly fish you need to get control of the situation quikly. I use a fast taper medium heavy action 6-6 rod and 20 pound power pro to try to drag the fish into open water away from the structure. The best thing about the hobie yak I now use exclusivly is the foot propulsion allows me to fight the fish and propel the kayak into open water at the same time.

Landing the fish into the boat is a whole nother story. Bigger fish make short 3 or 4 foot runs every time you get them near the yak and reach for them. 3 or 4 feet isnt a big deal when your buddy is next to you in a power boat witha 6 foot net but it is out of reach in the yak. This can go on 10 times each time you keep switching the rod back to the weak hand and reaching with the strong hand. I now never leave the beach without my berkly lip gripper. It does help especialy with blues. I keep about 2 feet of 1/4 inch bungie tied to it and then a snap at the other end is snapped to the boat. I can stretch it to the fish and if I need to just drop it over board once it is on the fishes lip and move the boat out of harms way before pulling the fish into the yak. I will leave it atached while removing hook and placing fish on stringer or in fish bag. When fish is secure Only then due I remove lip gripper.

The fish will not roll the yak. You may in exitement loose your balance and flip but it wasnt the fish tugging the rod that did it it was your mind fart.

On longer kayaks it can be areal pain iff the fish takes you under the yak. Thats one of the reasons I think kayaks over 12-6 are worthless for fishing. By always fighting the fish with your rod held out at an angle to the strong side this cant happen. The yak will keep spinning if thefish tries to get over to the weak side. Again the Hobie allows you to move anay direction while the rod is in your hand. I have to go but there are alot of other little tricks that you will pick up with time. Good luck the next 3 or 4 weeks will be prime time for breaking your yak's record.

Barrell

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Thats one of the reasons I think kayaks over 12-6 are worthless for fishing.

 

The hundreds of fish that my friends and I have caught off our 16 foot yaks must be a fluke rolleyes.gif

A Hobie must be 12-5 biggrin.gif

 

JoeV

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It's also kinda of interesting...I turn my yak and steer with my feet as I have a rudder. So when the fish are pulling, I can, like whalers of old, put a little side pressure on the fish by steering slightly off center to him. I think with the Hobie, you'll have to use a hand to do that. Only peddaled one once, so Barrel may have to refresh me on that. Isn't the tiller on the left side of the yak?

 

Flipping is pretty rare though. My only other suggestions would be to practice in the daytime, after some big fish, so you get the feel and comfort of fighting fish with the lights onwink.gif

 

PS, I like a rod about 8+ ft long. when I put some bend in it, I like to beable to pas over the fron of the yak. Fast action 1-4oz, 9ft conventional. Sweet smile.gif

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I've never caught a fish in kayak under 13'3". That includes good sized saltwater fish with lots of pressure on the drag, up to the point of breaking off fish at the boat. Handling the fish and controlling the boat is mainly done with the fishing rod and maybe a rudder (I don't have a rudder on any of my boats). There was one time when I wished I had a rudder. The lighter the line, the more important it is to have a rudder or other means to control the boat. The most important thing to me when fighting a fish is not having things on the boat that I can get my line caught on when the fish runs around and under the boat. For me, the rod does the job just fine and I don't have a problem with boats over 12'6".

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Yes, Useless might have been to strong a term for long kayaks. Not needed and having no advsntage but many disadvantages for fishing might be a better way to describe long cumbersome yaks.

Barrell

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Don't worry abt a fish dumping you but it's important to keep your weight balanced. If you don't you can fall out just reaching behind you. You get the hang of it very quickly. Yes, you can definitely get pulled some place you don't want to be but those are big fish. Up to abt a 25lber you can usually still horse a bit and with MH fast rod with 30-50 braid they'll come out or get beaten quick enough. You won't get them all. If a large goes under the boat the rod goes in the water, I don't see how kayak length makes a bit of difference. That is, unless you want to fish a couple miles the launch.

 

Important thing is to get a yak and get on the water. Dress properly and be prepared for cold water for early spring fishing

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My opinion is that there is no need to run lighter drag tensions on your yak rod. I have horsed in many 35 to 50+ pound Red-Drum with tight drag settings and never came close to tipping. It is just a matter of getting used to the center of gravity for you kayak, practice makes perfect.

 

As far as kayaks being worthless for fishing if over 12'6", that's actually another funny statement. cwm27.gif

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Seems like the guys with the long sleds had to show their strong disagreement but with no reasoning.

 

I'm in the long kayaks are worthless camp too, and I don't feel it was too strong of a statement.

 

I do the majority of my saltwater kayak fishing within 2 or 3 hundred yards of my launching spot. I've got a F&D and I'd gladly give up 2 or 3 feet of it for better maneuverability.

 

Long boats make for an easier paddle to cover lots of water, that's a given. But how do they benefit a fisherman in any other way? All I see is negatives from a longer boat. Transportation issues, need of a longer rod to clear the bow (longer rods = less leverage on fish) a pain in tight quarters, and even storage problems.

 

So why does the cwm27.gif & rolleyes.gif crowd feel that a longer sled is "better" other than to compensate for the lack of......... wink.gif .

 

As far as your question goes Erik, I use a light drag and will thumb / cup the spool as needed. You'll find that even small fish, say a 5# weekie will have no trouble towing you around. Next, is just try to keep the tip of yer rod pointed at the front of the boat.

 

I keep a knife / cutters within reach at all times, I know if I get in trouble, I can just cut the line. But my boat is very stable, and that has not been an issue yet smile.gif .

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Ed, if you catch anything because the fish aren't within 200 yds of yr launch doesn't it seem longer yaks have some benefit?

 

That business abt needing longer rods in a 16 fter is a bunch of crap, IMHO.

 

If loading or handling a yak is an issue for so many guys why not just make this the float tube forum

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Jim, as I said above

"Long boats make for an easier paddle to cover lots of water, that's a given."

 

But other than that, where are the benefits? This is not a loaded question, it is just that, a question.

 

To me something has to have, as may benefits to out way the negatives, or atlest even up. For my fishing the longer paddle is not one of them, so the long boat has lots of negatives and I'm not aware of any positives except the 1 mentioned above.

 

On the longer baot longer rod deal, how do you get the tip of your rod around the bow when a fish goes from left to right or right to left off yer bow?

 

I know why Barrell made his statement, to at least I think I do redface.gif . As I fish water similar to the water he fishes.

 

There have been comments that don't agree with the shorter = better school of thought, but no reason as to why longer is better sept that it makes for a better longer paddle. What are they? Better trolling? I don't do that so I'm asking smile.gif .

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That was a bit flippant of me, sorry Ed. I see it from the other side, I don't see the advantages of shorter boats, just one major disadvantage.

 

I don't know very many guys who can fish all the time within a couple hundred yards of the launch so I can't imagine that you need more reasons to own a longer yak than covering more water more easily.

 

One of the best arguements for shorter boats is easier handling off the water, they can be much lighter, but since you paddle a FnD I don't see a big difference transporting most 16 ft boats.

 

I've never seen the need for longer rods. If you can't clear the yak the rod goes in the water until you get him back around or he turns the yak. What is the difference in usable length of a 9 ft rod vs. a 7 ft rod when they are both bent in half? It may be a little easier to use longer rods to clear the stems but not fighting fish.

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