By Joe Gugino, Why Knot Fishing
Spring is here! And so is the fishing! There will be some great ice-out freshwater fishing opportunities this month, but I will be focused on getting ready for the upcoming saltwater season, and specifically kayak fishing. It’s no secret that fishing for Striped Bass is my favorite type of fishing, and fishing for them from a kayak may be my favorite way to target them. There is nothing like hooking up to a big fish, and getting towed around while fighting the fish and trying to land it. When choosing a kayak for saltwater fishing I would only suggest getting a sit-on-top kayak. You don’t want to be in a situation out on the water where you flip your kayak, and not be able to get back into it. I would also suggest a longer kayak, and preferably one with a rudder, to help better stay on track through the wind and waves. And if you are really committing to saltwater kayak fishing, your only choice is a Hobie pedal-drive kayak. When spending as much time on the water as I do, pedal-drive is the only way to go. Not only is the pedal-drive faster, but it is also less tiring. And when trying to get spot to spot, or when actually fishing, you will catch more fish because your hands are free! After choosing the kayak, you want to make sure you are rigged up and ready to go, and the most important thing is safety. ALWAYS wear a proper-fitting life jacket on the water. Even though you may be a good swimmer, you won’t be able to swim if you fall out and hit your head. I also always have a dive knife, and pliers right on my life jacket in case I need to quickly access them. I also suggest having a flag at least three feet high behind your seat so you are visible. And if fishing at night, make sure you have a light on the flag, a head lamp, and reflective tape on your kayak. Other things I carry with me are a waterproof two-way radio, air horn, a first-aid kit, and water (always stay hydrated!) The best thing about fishing from a kayak is that you can access so much more water that you can’t get to from land, and might not be able to access from a boat either. You are much quieter than a boat so you can truly sneak up on, and not spook, fish in shallow water. You can use all the typical strategies and lures like plugs, fly, or bait, but one of the most effective tactics is fishing a tube and worm. I don’t fish tube and worm as often as I did when I first started, but a simple 2-foot or 3-foot long tube, preferably in dark red, with a nice juicy seaworm on the back is hard for a Striped Bass to resist. Just cast the tube behind you and slowly troll the worm over shallow or deep structure. This month we have our Why Knot Fishing Kayak & SUP Fishing Night on Wednesday April 12 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at Toscana’s in Peabody, MA. We will have kayaks on hand, and will be specifically covering some gear and tactics. And then on Saturday April 22 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm we will be at Little Harbor Boathouse in Marblehead, MA doing a Kayak Fishing Rigging & Demo Day. We will have many of our team members bringing their kayaks fully rigged and showing how to rig them up! If you want to come fishing with me this summer we run Hobie FirstCast Programs at Little Harbor Boathouse on May 21st, June 3rd, June 17th, and June 25th. Where you can come try out a Hobie for three hours in a group. Or I also run Hobie Kayak Fishing charters all summer long!
FORECAST BY: Joe is a life-long fisherman, who fell in love with the sport when he moved to the North Shore and started fishing in saltwater for striped bass. After fishing from a kayak for the first time, he became even more excited about (and obsessed with) fishing. Joe is also the co-founder/co-owner of Why Knot Fishing (whyknotfishing.com), a community-based fishing organization.