Franky92

New to Saltwater Kayak Fishing

16 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

New user and first post here. Just looking for some advise and helpful tips from some veterans. I am a new inshore kayak angler that just recently converted over from fresh water. I have fished the main and back bay of the Raritan a handful of times and hooked up on some blues. However, every time I go out I get crushed by waves, chop etc. I do plan my trips to the best of my ability, but coming from freshwater lakes and reservoirs I have never had to deal with tide, swell and waves. Anyone have any helpful advise or literature in regard to ideal kayak fishing conditions such as tide, waves, swell and wind? I seem to be having trouble taking the raw data and piecing together wether or not it is a good day to go out.

 

Note, I do have a bow mount trolling motor on my kayak.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Welcome to the site.  Every spot can behave differently on different tides and wind conditions.  Generally wind vs tide stacks up the water and creates rough conditions.  So it's down to exploring and figuring out what spots are fishable in what tides and wind conditions.  I know spots that are safe in a 15 mph south wind on the incoming that are dangerous in the same wind on the outgoing....

 

My best piece of advice would be to find a partner to fish with.  This will cut down the learning curve as well as providing safety in numbers.

 

Next always wear a life vest and practice self rescue and reboarsing the yak in water you can't touch bottom in.  I would do this in fresh water with a stripped down yak (don't submerge the trolling motor, batteries, etc.

 

What size and type of kayak are you fishing?

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22 mins ago, MikeK said:

Welcome to the site.  Every spot can behave differently on different tides and wind conditions.  Generally wind vs tide stacks up the water and creates rough conditions.  So it's down to exploring and figuring out what spots are fishable in what tides and wind conditions.  I know spots that are safe in a 15 mph south wind on the incoming that are dangerous in the same wind on the outgoing....

 

My best piece of advice would be to find a partner to fish with.  This will cut down the learning curve as well as providing safety in numbers.

 

Next always wear a life vest and practice self rescue and reboarsing the yak in water you can't touch bottom in.  I would do this in fresh water with a stripped down yak (don't submerge the trolling motor, batteries, etc.

 

What size and type of kayak are you fishing?

Thank you for the advice! I always wear my pfd and bring all of my safety equipment. As for my kayak I have a Bonafide SS107.

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 Welcome to the site. Some kayaks are better suited for salt water then others. A 10 foot kayak is pushing the limit for salt water fishing. It may be a bit small to handle the waves. 

You really need a calm day  to be comfortable in a 10 foot kayak in the ocean and or bay.  If fishing in the ocean in New Jersey a west wind is normally the best for ocean fishing.  I have found an east wind in raritan bay to be the toughest to fish in.  There are many sites that make wind forecasts. Personally I like to fish in winds under 10 mph.  I would suggest you make your first ocean voyage with a friend.

Also don't take any gear until you get comfortable in the waves.  Good luck  with the transition. Lots of videos out on you tube about surf launching and landing a kayak that you may find helpful.

 

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I have fished salt in a 10 foot revo, it was doable. As MikeK said, go with a buddy if possible.  ALWAYS wear a PFD. Get out there and just get comfortable with swells and current. Always point bow into waves or wakes. Be aware of your surroundings and assume the boat DOES NOT see you just in case.

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Welcome to the forum. Launch early before conditions ramp up, skip any big wind/swell days. A site like tides 4 fishing has good data for planning trips. The yak may be bow heavy with the motor, where is the battery located? The distribution of that weight is important in rough conditions. 
  

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Welcome! I'll echo the safety sentiment as the #1 priority.

 

I use windalert + check weather.com + tides to plan conditions. Navionics chart viewer to learn bottom contours

 

I found paddling in current + fishing to be very challenging. Having a pedal drive helps tremendously w/ this but still a lot of guys successful paddling only. I would focus on trolling tube n worm (tipped w/ sandworm) and setting up drifts + bottom fishing for fluke over structure or depth changes until you start to get the hang of it.  

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The search function on this iste is your friend.  There is a ton of good information covered in this forum.  

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A couple of pointers:

 

1. Study the NOAA coastal marine forecast for your area prior to going out, then observe what you see. This will help you build up a knowledge base relative to forecasts for your local waters and what is go versus no go type of weather relative to your own abilities and risk tolerance.

 

2. Wind and wave in opposition means chop and peaked waves, when wind and wave are the same direction, the wind will tend to flatten the waves, making travel easier.

 

3. Beware of offshore winds/flow, that is, wind coming from land and out to sea, which means you and your yak are always being pushed away from the safety of shore. The above have lead to many deaths from sea kayakers that got pushed out to sea.

 

4. Know the set and speed of the currents before you go out. Sometimes you can go one direction with the tide and catch the change and get help going back as well. But if you are going to have to paddle back against a current, it's better to know that ahead of time. Even a modest .5kt current with a bit of headwind wind can lead to a "vigorous" paddle.

 

5. Many bodies of water have livestream webcams available which can give you a sense of beach conditions prior to gearing up.

 

6. I would get a few books, the first is Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation by David Burch and also the excellent series Deep Trouble and More Deep Trouble, which are like the Accidents in North American Mountaineering series that comes out each year, detailing case studies of accidents on the water. 

 

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Lots of great advice here and I don’t mean to discourage you but this is not a great setup for the Raritan or out front imo. Way too short and not designed well for rough water. If you’re doing this eventually you’ll run into a wrong forecast and rough conditions. It’s a guarantee. Yes, people mention getting a trip in on a 10 footer but you are asking for trouble. Just my opinion, but I’ve been on the water doing this since the mid 90’s. I’ve experienced things get real ugly and you need practice the sh:: out of self rescue in whatever vessel u decide to use. Can’t count on others. And lots of guys never mention this but once ur clear of waves and surf, leash yourself to the back of the yak. U get tossed in a heavy wind you will not swim fast enough to get ur boat back. Hopefully this was helpful 

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7 hours ago, cheech said:

Welcome to the forum. Launch early before conditions ramp up, skip any big wind/swell days. A site like tides 4 fishing has good data for planning trips. The yak may be bow heavy with the motor, where is the battery located? The distribution of that weight is important in rough conditions. 
  

I made sure to place my battery as far to the stern as I could. I even added more weight back there to even out the weight balance and I am still well below the weight capacity.

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Thanks for all of the advice, I really appreciate it! I have no plans on going out into the ocean, that's not for me at this time. I was planning on sticking to bodies of water such as the Raritan, back bays and rivers. 

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You should try it. What's the worst that can happen? Kidding but not really. 

 

Lots of great adivce from similary questions asked in the past if you search this forum. 

 

Kayaks not specifically designed for a trolling motor may yield very different results from those that are or adaptable. A 10' Old Town Sportsman vs a 10' bass pro shops ascend 349 special with a cheap $99 trolling motor and car battery are going to perform very different from eachother. 

 

My smallest kayak is 11' (and 33" wide) and I would consider myself crazy with what water I have traveled in but would never use my 11 footer. Mostly because I have better options but that one is my favorite for lakes and ponds or remote locations that require me to carry it in. 12-14' seem to be the sweet spot for most ocean kayaks. Longer is even better but off the water and even handling fish are a little harder a 15-16 (to me anyways). 

 

Good luck!

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Posted (edited)

I’m not new to fishing, but this year I too finally broke into the world of “kayaking”. I use the quotes because I have a SeaEagle 350fx, it’s an inflatable but it’s design seems more “small boat” than kayak, and I only paddle to and from the ramps.  I also have a trolling motor set up that gets me a solid 5 hrs at a blistering speed of 2.4kn. Although its come in handy fluking along the ICW.  
So far I’ve been picking back bay spots that had action so the old rule of “don’t leave fish to find fish” has come into play. I want to go out front with it at some point but just want to get more confident (not cocky) on how the boat performs. One trial by fire has been with less than courteous boat operators  who just refuse to slow down and send towering wakes at you. The initial thought was “oh crap I’m going in” but the boat handled it well.  If I ever get the guts to go out front I’d still look for a day with “perfect” conditions for a first go. 

All the advice here is valuable, the weather/tide to me is the most critical. So far I’ve been planning my trips around that completely. I plan for the tide either in or out, to bring me towards wherever I launch from. So for example last trip I headed out 4 hours ahead to high tide, I motored out to the furthest point from where I launched and worked that area first. This way by the end of my day and after I’ve used most of my battery, the tide shift will make me able to drift a fair amount back to the ramp and I’m a little less sore the next day. 
 

Here’s the rig 

C0476F34-44A4-430C-A6A2-F4AA11F0F5CE.jpeg

Edited by Mmart
Misspelling

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4 mins ago, Mmart said:

I’m not new to fishing, but this year I too finally broke into the world of “kayaking”. I use the quotes because I have a SeaEagle 350fx, it’s an inflatable but it’s design seams more “small boat” than kayak, and I only paddle to and from the ramps.  I also have a trolling motor set up that gets me a solid 5 hrs at a blistering speed of 2.4kn. Although its come in handy fluking along the ICW.  
So far I’ve been picking back bay spots that had action so the old rule of “don’t leave fish to find fish” has come into play. I want to go out front with it at some point but just want to get more confident (not cocky) on how the boat performs. One trial by fire has been with less than courteous boat operators  who just refuse to slow down and send towering wakes at you. The initial thought was “oh crap I’m going in” but the boat handled it well.  If I ever get the steam to go out I’d still look for a day with “perfect” conditions for a first go. 

All the advice here is valuable, the weather/tide to me is the most critical. So far I’ve been planning my trips around that completely. I plan for the tide either in or out, will bring me towards wherever I launch from. So for example last trip I headed out 4 hours ahead to high tide, I motored out to the furthest point from where I launched and worked that area. This way by the end of my day and after I’ve used most of my battery, I’m able to drift a fair amount back to the ramp and I’m a little less sore the next day. 
 

Here’s the rig 

C0476F34-44A4-430C-A6A2-F4AA11F0F5CE.jpeg

Thats a cool set up. I never did post a pic of my set up so here it is. I kinda did the same thing on my first outing. I looked at the weather for that day and went for it. I have learned a lot since then, and picked up some tips from the suggestions on this post.

IMG_1943.jpg

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