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JoeyKayak and ScottO Nice Job Guys.

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THE JOURNAL NEWS

(Original publication: August 23, 2003)

 

Dawn was not yet a hint on the horizon when a small fleet of kayakers pushed off from the end of Beach Avenue in Larchmont and glided out into Long Island Sound, each with barely a gurgle of water.

 

It would be an odd time for a kayaker to be taking in the scenery, but the aim on this recent morning was not sightseeing.

 

It was catching bluefish and striped bass.

 

Kayaks have become commonplace on local waters. And fishing from the small, inexpensive vessels is the next logical step, say devotees, who have become more numerous during the past few years.

 

"Four or five years ago, there was nobody to fish with," said John Shein, sitting by some shallow water outside Echo Bay, where rocks came close enough to the surface to be perilous to motorboats. "There were only a few of us out here."

 

He and Joseph Cambria of New Rochelle are partners in the company www.**** stuff.com, which organized the trip earlier this month.

 

People have fished from kayaks, and even surfboards, for a long time, but more people are hearing about it now, said Dan Mangus, director of marketing for Hobie in Southern California. It is still a small piece of the kayak market, but it is growing, he said.

 

"Fishing is a big sport in America," he said. "To get into that market has been kind of neat for, I think, everybody."

 

To aficionados, kayaks and fishing are a perfect marriage. Fishers on the banks of a stream, lake or bay can catch fish by the shore, and on boats they can pull the prize fish from the deep. Kayaks cover the area between - rocky areas and nooks plentiful in the western end of Long Island Sound.

 

A rock just below the surface that might gash the hull of a boat would only cause a kayak to bounce back, giving the paddler inside nothing more serious than a jolt.

 

"It's almost an unfair advantage when it comes to the Sound because you can get into areas that boats cannot dream about going," Cambria said.

 

As the warm, gray-silver morning quietly emerged, the fishermen fanned out to the south and the waters off New Rochelle.

 

Jack Denny's Cobra Fish n' Dive kayak is slower than the others, but more stable. Fishing three times a week, the 56-year-old software technical support specialist from Bloomfield, N.J., said the kayak makes a great extension from shore fishing. It is low-maintenance - "You just wash the thing off and you're ready to go," he said - and accessories can be attached by bolting them directly into the plastic.

 

"It's like boating 101," he said. "It's a cheap way to get out on the water."

 

Art Rozell, a 38-year-old roofer from Oakland, N.J., whipped his line back and forth, the red line whistling and whizzing as it played out in impossibly large loops.

 

"This is my way of getting away from all the people," he said.

 

Many of the fish he catches grab his trailing line while he is rowing to a new spot, he said. "When you're paddling from one spot to the next, you're literally trolling, so you might as well have your line in the water."

 

The kayaks are made for paddlers to sit on top, not the traditional style where the paddler sits low, sealed into the vessel with a waterproof skirt.

 

Shein is not just a fisherman. With Cambria, he helped design the newly released Emotion kayak called the Fisherman, with a hull designed to move more quietly through the water. It is one of a growing number of kayaks designed specifically for fishing, flatter for stability and with flat areas to screw in devices, such as extra fishing-rod holders and depth finders.

 

During the past few years, other companies have developed kayaks specifically for fishing, with more room to fasten the myriad devices a serious angler might want.

 

"You're looking for something that's stable and predictable, that can handle some chop, some waves; something with a work area," said Dave Snyder, a regional sales representative for Confluence Water Sports of North Carolina, a holding company for Wilderness Systems kayaks. The company has offered an "angler package" of fishing accessories with its kayaks since about six years ago, he said.

 

The kayaks specially designed for fishing have their advantages, but any stable kayak will do. Steve Liesman, a senior economics reporter with CNBC and a kayak fisherman, began fishing from a canoe 15 years ago, but a couple of years ago he gave it up for a two-person kayak.

 

"I bought it because I thought I would take my wife out with me, but that never happened," said the 40-year-old Pelham resident. His kayak is so stable he can cast with a fly rod while standing in it.

 

Besides the kayak, all an angler really needs is a rod and a lure or some bait. But gizmo lovers can add any number of devices. In Shein's kayak, he is surrounded by four fishing-rod holders, and a Global Positioning System monitor sits in front of him. A depth finder indicates when fish are moving under his hull, and a waterproof bag on a line holds his cell phone.

 

One of the thrills of kayak fishing, fans say, is the ride they get when they hook a powerful fish that pulls them around. Liesman's kayak is so stable, he can remain standing, like a water-skier, as the fish pulls.

 

"It's quite nice to be standing and to be towed by a fish," he said. "It's pretty funny."

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Eddie

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Hey Bassblitz when are you going to stop going out to Long Island and fish you own backyard where the fish are. Give me a call and lets hook up, fishing is good.

 

914 498 3969 cell

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It was an interesting day. Luckily Joey got that fish as he was taking the photographer back in. After Ken, the author left, we got some better fish. 3 near the 20# mark give or take a few pounds. It was a good time on the water. Both fishing and the company.

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Thanks for an accurate view of Western LIS from 13 years ago. It is a unique fishery. GPS, standing while fishing and electronics were current way back when.

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