Jerry White's article "Guidelines - Still Crazy After All These Years" about kayak fishing and how "Three years ago, many thought that fishing from a kayak was just a crazy, passing fad." got me thinking of how my friend and I were the first people on our beach in NJ to go kayak fishing.
In 1995, if one did not have a boat you fished either from the beach itself, or from a jetty. In most cases, the fish (fluke, striped bass, or blues) were out beyond casting range even with surf poles.
We had been kayaking for 2-3 years at this point in our Ocean Kayak Scrambler XTs, doing distance paddling and kayak surfing. As we both liked to fish, one day we took rods, bait, etc., and pushed out through the breaking waves to try fishing. We discovered something new and great and before long we fabricated rod holders from PVC pipe that fit into the scupper holes of our kayaks that did not block the flow of water out of the scupper holes.
The rod holders were mounted in front of us in the foot well. This allowed us to be able to troll as well as using the rod holder as a place to keep the rod when paddling out.
We experimented with several designs, one of which had 2 rods each held on one side of the kayak at a 90 degree angle to the boat. Like outriggers on sport fishing boats.
We regularly went 3-4 miles out from shore, to where the larger "power" boats were fishing, using their electronics to let them find the fish for us. We were able to get to the larger blue fish, albacores, and striped bass.
We were also able to go up the Shark River the the back bay and fish for the fish that stayed in the back bay in 1-2 feet of water where the normal boats could not go.
Kayak fishing has become an industry. But it did not start 3 years ago, but at least 13-14 years ago when we kind of invented a way to fish from a kayak.
Running baits out with a kayak has
been old hat along the Texas Gulf Coast for a while now. Fishing off the beach from kayaks started a few years ago and is now big. I began kayak fishing 4 years ago, it was big then in the bay. However, kayak fishing freshwater in Texas was not a big thing. In the last year or so, its grown geometrically. On the kayak fishing board I frequent the most, texaskayakfishing.com, there were only about 6 who posted regularly on the freshwater board and just a couple of us who kept the board going. Often, we would go two or more days without a new post. Today, I counted the threads. Of 32, 25 were by different folk.
I started kayak fishing in 2001. Mostly freshwater in the Texas Hill Country lakes. A few trips to the Texas coast. However, I got the idea from the Coastal Kayak Fishing website and a couple of dudes site in Mobile that were kayak fishing the Gulf of Mexico in Pungos. Obviously some folks were doing this a longer than 3-4 years ago. I remember there being kayakfishing tournaments on the Texas coast in 2003. I think TKF was a major player in that. We had a freshwater tournament at Medina Lake in 2004 and about 20 paddlers from TKF showed up.
Now that I live up north fishing from canoes and kayaks is the norm. Canoes and kayaks are a pretty standard way for folks to travel the waterways up here. I know it’s spring when I start to see vehicles with boats strapped to the top.
What’s new is not kayak fishing, but
the onset of SOT kayaks used for fishing. Originally designed for diving, someone figured out that they could be used for fishing and the rigging out began.
been fishing from my kayak since 1987 in
the Pacific Northwest. Too bad the fish are pretty much gone around Washington State, now I have to go to Canada to have any fishing time.