New experiences to Yak about
  |  First Published: April 2009

Kayak fishing brings a new dimension to the sport; it takes you to places you usually would not fish by boat. In a kayak you are in stealth mode as you creep up on unsuspecting fish, which just adds to the whole fishing experience.

Having recently purchased a Hobie Sport Fish kayak with the Mirage drive pedal system, I haven’t been out on my boat for a while. So far the yak is proving to be easy to load and very stable on the water.

Recent kayak outings have seen us fish the waters around Clear Island, Robina Lakes and Lake Intrepid on the Gold Coast as well as venturing to the Noosa Everglades. My favourite target when fishing from the yak has been Australian bass. I was surprised how abundant they are in the waterways at my doorstep, with the fresh to brackish systems of Clear Island Waters and Robina Lakes holding good size bass.

When fishing for bass in the yak my preferred technique is to use surface poppers. The best times are either very early in the morning or right on dark. However, most of my success has come from trolling a deep diving lure and paddling the edges of the drop-offs in the canal system. The Mazzi Vibe in a golden colour has been my most successful trolling lure from the kayak, hooking a great variety of species from bass, bream, jacks and a nice GT that took me for a bit of a spin. A sounder is of great benefit for trolling and fitting one to a kayak is very achievable.

Bream have also been a target from the yak and I recently competed in the Kayak Fishing Tournament (KFT) on the Gold Coast. I’ve found yaks are a real advantage in targeting bream and I have caught many more fish on plastics and surface lures in one outing than I have from the boat. It is a great advantage to be able to position close to jetties, pontoons and bridge pylons and cast into tucked away places. Casting from a sitting down position does take a little while to get used to and I found myself adjusting my natural casting technique to suit.

When fishing for bream I use both plastics and hardbodies. My tip with plastics is to go small and to use a hidden light weight jig head. I have used both Gulp and Atomic Guzzlers with success and have at times trimmed them with scissors to cut down the size. Gulp is more buoyant and I have used them unweighted from the kayak, you can give them an action that resembles a real prawn by skipping them across the surface.

While fishing for bream recently I was smashed by a fish at a pylon that actually turned the nose of the kayak. I used the pedal system to move the fish away from the structure and to get into a better position. I was only using 6lb leader and line and a light 1-3kg rod, so this thing felt like a monster. As I got it to the surface I could soon see it wasn’t a bream and understood why I was having such a fight – it was a feisty juvenile mangrove jack! It had totally engulfed my tiny soft plastic and wasn’t happy. The little jack had a lot of fight in it for a small fish and the combination of being on a yak, fishing very light gear and the snags made catching this fish a real buzz!

Kayak fishing has meant learning new techniques, fishing in new places and the added bonus of getting a little fitter. True I haven’t been out my boat as much this summer but it hasn’t meant the fishing has been any less exciting.

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