It was the last weekend in April and 14 anxious kayak fishers stood beside their crafts on the banks of Currumbin Creek. A surf training workshop had been organized by Brad Dicker from NSW Fishing Monthly for anyone interested in improving their kayaking skills in the surf zone.
Conditions at the mouth were relatively calm – perfect for an initiation to the waves. The participants had varying levels of experience: some were seasoned offshore kayak fishermen, while many had only ventured out into the surf once.
After running through some basic skills in the creek including bracing techniques, advanced paddling strokes, self-rescue and a briefing on the basics in surf assessment and negotiation, it was time to get out there!
We set up a circuit with a clear in-zone and out-zone, emphasized some of the safety issues and then got amongst the waves. On the first run-in there were only a couple of paddlers who stayed in their craft, but after a few more runs, most were staying in and all were having a great time.
For any of you who have not yet tried wetting a line from a purpose-built fishing kayak, I recommend giving it a go! A kayak is the perfect craft for getting up narrow creeks and estuaries, as well as to the other side of the surf zone.
Trolling up pelagics from a kayak is a huge buzz and also good exercise. The benefits – lack of noise, fuel bills, registrations or maintenance costs – are helping to make kayak fishing a huge growth sport. Even if you are not catching any fish you can just go and play in the surf for a few hours or enjoy a relaxing paddle! – Craig McSweenReads: 1916