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First Time Kayak + Fish ..


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Hey all,

I have struck a deal with my mate .. he provides the yak and I bring the fishing gear !! :1prop: What a good deal !!!! We are looking to go out at Mooney Mooney or Bobbin Head.

Now I would appreciate any safety tips, requirements absolutely anything that I need to know before going out on the yak and fishing at the same time. Anything basic .. even something as simple as don't carry your phone on to the yak just in case it flips is good advice .. All I can think of now is ..

* Life jacket

* Wetsuit if it is cold ? ( I don't have one ... )

Fishing Gear .. I am guessing minimal gear since we are on a kayak, so no tackle box right ?

* rod x 2

* jig heads &soft plastics

* landing net (?)

* scissors

How would you carry this stuff ? in a bad I presume so it does not go overboard ?

And how would you fish ? Would you just troll i.e. leave the line in the water while we paddle or better to just stop and have a fish ?

Tips please !!

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G'day Stylo,

all the things you suggested make good sense (particularly the phone thing - I use an aquapac case). Basic rule is if it's not tied on (leashed) it's not yours. It's a rite of passage for kayak fishing that you will ignore this, and dump a rod (net/camera/etc) at the earliest opportunity.

I carry tackle boxes etc, but my kayak has a lot of room (hatches etc), probably best to minimise gear for the first few outings. A dry bag tied on to the kayak for tackle, keys wallet, phone is useful.

A PFD is mandatory (I'm an excellent swimmer, but still use mine every trip).

Trolling from a kayak is great, you'll need to work out a position for the rod that doesn't interfere with paddling (unless the kayak is a mirage drive). Stopping at any fishy water (I usually drift) is part of the fun.

Edited by johnno
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Hi Stylo,

Congratulations on joining a growing band of yak fishos. Yak's around Oz are fishing everywhere and for every thing, from bass and trout in skinny streams to marlin and sharks 5km offshore. The set-ups also vary from one fishing rod to fully rigged out boats with GPS/fishfinders, fully plumbed livebait tanks, kill tanks, flying gaffs etc (these have to be seen to be belived).

Trolling is very effective from a yak as paddle speed is just about right. The peddal hobbies in particular are good for this as they leave hands free and are faster than most paddle yaks. The slower more stable yaks make excellent casting platforms especially for working soft plastics in/under wafves and other structure. Just watch out for the anti-terror squads who are a bit paranoid about people under wafves these days. Bait fishing can also be effective however it is usually done on the drift as anchoring is problematic in a yak.

As to gear, an effective bailing device is a must, I carry a bucket (also doubles as a live bait tank), as well as a small square container that is easier to scoop small amounts of water up and a large sponge (as used to clean the car) which is the most usefull bailing devise in the yak. You can also use manual or electric bilge pumps but have a manual back up as well. If fishing at night or dawn/dusk an all round white light on a pole (req) is also a good idea along with a headlamp, some yaks also carry a powerfull spotlight to shine into the eyes of boats who do not seem to be looking where they are going, a whistle can also be useful for this. As with pedestrians in the rain, yaks are very hard to see at night, so make it easy for the boaties. A small cleat on the deck near where you sit is also very usefull especially if you are using breaking strains above 20lb which are just about impossible to bust off from a yak without a bit of momentum.

Also make sure you tie anything you do not want to loose into the boat, I tie in my rods, safety gear, bailer and drybag (phone, car keys, fishing licence etc), the rest I take a chance on to reduce the number of cables/ties in the boat. While capsises are rare it is a real possibility so practice it before you go out.

For more yak info see www.akff.net there are a quite a few yaks on Fishraider which is the perfect site for all the latest fishing reports in the Sydney area.

Good luck,


Dagger Drift II - Southerly

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Wow very detailed .. and thanks for the yak website guys.

I know little about my mates yak at this stage. Have not seen it in the flesh yet, but he tells me there are 2 x rod holders and that is all that matters .. LOL It will be a vary basic setup and will probably stay that way .. unless, I convince him to deck it out later on!

I won't be going in the dark, so a light won't be necessary (at this stage..)

Saw the crate and how it is used on the yak site and that may be going a little overboard for our expedition... We will probably lose more things that way i.e. crate falling overboard !

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Teach yourself and your mate how to get back on your kayak in someones pool before you go out, otherwise if you do happen to tip out, your not left with a possible long swim back, also advisable to fish with the tides, no need to paddle back into a rushing tide, fish out with it and then back in with it, definatly wear a pfd, get one with pockets so you can store braid scissors, knife and pliers, take minimal stuff for your first few trips and build up from their and most of all enjoy, cheers Justin.

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I agree with everything said above and will stress yet again.

"it doesnt matter how good a swimmer you think you are, wear a PFD every time you go"

I'm off to Perth in a few weeks and hopefully I can report back with my findings on "jigging for samsons" with 50lb braid out the back of Rottnest Island from my yak :yahoo:

Wish me luck :biggrin2:

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Hi Stylo

Welcome to the Yak brigade!!! You will find it becomes a bit addictive, just like blackie fishing!!

Always make sure your paddle is tied to the craft (those concertina surf board ties are good as they have the velcro bit to secure to the paddle.) If you drop the paddle (or it slips off the yak .... as it will if not tied on!) you are in really dangerous territory!

Also have some sort of anchor set up - it would need to be at least 20m long & even a housebrick is better than nothing! A quick & easy one would be to have some strong rope tied between the 2 handles (fore & aft - a pulley each end would be a bonus, secured with a D shackle.) Tie the 20m to the knot so it doesn't slip. This way you can move the anchor from the back to the front or anywhere in between, when you want to fish a particular spot. Even if there is no current, the wind will move you off your mark quick as. Very annoying when you want to fish the one spot.

Most important of all - if the water looks rough, don't go there! Chances are it will get rougher & that makes it dangerous. Most yaks these days have to have floatation front & back, but you still don't want to get swamped. Go with your gut feelings. If you have any doubt in the slightest, don't go out! And remember, the shallower the water, the worst the chop in a bad wind!



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Thank you everyone for your responses. I took a bit of advice from each of you an had a great day out yesterday.

We went out to Brooklyn and set off there at 1pm (high tide) and got back in at 5pm (low tide).

The currents were not that strong as expected. It was a basic setup so we just went south from where we launched and we yakked on the out tide and came back in on the in tide.

Mate's yak is a sit-in with a skirt which prevented water from getting into the sitting area. Good because the water was cold.

It was great!

I am going to go look at yaks today :)


Launched from the "O" and scored a flattie for my troubles on a 2 inch brown wriggler while drifting near the oyster bays "X".

Can't wait to go out again !


The yaks

Edited by stylo
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Well done, Stylo

So pleased you managed a catch on your first outing!!! :1prop: It really is fun, isn't it. The stealth factor is unbelievable! I go into the oyster leases & fish between the racks for flatties.

When looking for yaks, make sure you go to a place that actually allows you to paddle them, then & there!! The longer the paddle, the better. Some seats are very uncomfortable after a couple of hours. I am usually out for about 4hrs each time I fish. You must try before you buy. If your buddies have yaks, give theirs a go. The longer ones (next size up from the one you tried and all the rest) handle rougher water better. The longer the yak, the better it slices thru the water & handles rougher water better, whereas the shorter yaks can 'bob' around on top between waves! I reckon the plastic are more forgiving (in & around oyster leases, for example.)

I have a Hobie Sport (sit on) as well as my Perception Minnow (Sit in.) The Hobie is fantastic for having hands free fishing & really easy anchoring, plus exercising the legs as well as the arms. The Sit ins require a lot more manoevering using both hands all the time. Hobies will keep you in the current just by using the foot pedals. Great little machines! There is a Hobie Sport for sale in WA for $1100 + $80 freight, which is a fantastic price! If you like, I will pm you the info so you can converse with the guy.

I have just purchased one of those inflatable pfds & it is so much more comfortable than the foam ones.

Yakking is so easy - no licences, trailer, motor - just pick it up, throw it on your roof & off you go!

Cheerio for now - might see you on the water one day!



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Hi Stylo

Forgot to mention that I prefer rods with a shorter handle than most! They fit into the rod holder better & is much easier when fighting a fish! I have even cut down some of my longer handles to suit.



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What are your thoughts ?

* sit in vs sit on

Sit on looks much cooler i.e. Hobie Sports but I don't think they will be very comfortable in Winter when you are likely to get hammered by water.

Sit in's look more cumfy but perhaps a little more restrictive ? I mean I don't know .. I have hired a sit on in summer at Rose Bay and I got absolutely flogged by the wakes from all the boats there .. I mean I was WET.

But because it was summer I did not mind...

Over the weekend, we went out in a sit in with the skirting and did not get wet .. except for arms and face from wild paddling .. I can tell that the sit in-s will probably be more suited for winter than the sit on's.

Will probably not go open water (yet) so .. does that mean that sit in will be what I should look at ?

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Hi Stylo

*** sit in vs sit on***

You nailed it on the head there - you do tend to get wetter in the sit-ons. The scupper holes are there for self draining, & you can plug them, but if the water gets in (or it rains), your rear end definitely gets wet! My rear end rarely gets wet in the Hobie (but in a lot of sit-ons, it will - must be a design fault!!) , but your legs will get wet, as you have to have hobies in deeper water to launch than my sit-in & most sit-ons. In my sit-in, I just slide the front end in, till it is just buoyant, then jump in (feet not even wet!) & do the 'bumm wobble/thrust' to get me into deeper water & off I go!

The only time I got wet in my sit-in was when I got stuck in really bad weather (started out perfect) & a big wind came up, causing very choppy conditions - big waves, actually, in the lake here. I hid behind an island for 2hrs waiting for it to drop & when it didn't, had to skidaddle for home. THe waves came in over the front & into the cockpit. Spooky!! I don't have a skirt.

Sit-ins sort of have restrictive space for gear - I usually have a bucket between my legs with most stuff in it. The trick is, with both styles, not to take too much gear out!! Most folk take out way more gear than they really need! But sit-ons often have even less space for gear (not all have a rear cargo area) & even then, if you get a big wave or dunked, you can lose everything (including rods!!) Tie everything of value on, or store it inside the yak (the bigger sit-on yaks will take 8-10ft rods fully made up.)

I use my sit-in in the leases, as it is already scratched & I can glide over the racks at high tide. I won't take my hobie in as I don't want to damage the pedal system & am not keen to get it overly scratched!

Hobies cost a bit more initially, but hold their price really well for resale & the manoevrebility is brilliant! Make sure you try all the different brands & styles - you want to be happy no matter which way you go!

Happy hunting!! Longer is better than shorter - given my choice again, I would have gone for a longer Sit-in but am happy with my shorter Sit-on!

Here is my Minnow


My Hobie




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