One of the coolest things about Florida is how easy it is to access water. Not just any water though. Water that’s classified as the sail fishing capital, and water that’s world renown for tarpon fishing. Between all the fine lines of the water column, the where you should fish and the where you have to fish are waters where we fish. Capitalizing on under thinking while embracing what’s right in front of us has made it pretty amazing for kayak fisherman. I tried to bring all I knew from boat fishing into kayak fishing and some things worked really well and some things didn’t work at all. One of the adjustments was more with fishing offshore than anywhere else. Between trying to not get hit by a boat, fishing two live baits all while jigging was not the difficult part. Realizing that once I set myself up to drift, I need to put my head in the game and focus. Most days there’s no turning back, once you get into the stream you’re at the mercy of the water. That one drift might be all you get.
I’m not going to tell you how to catch certain species, I’m going to explain how to capitalize on making a drift offshore in the kayak.
If you can bring at least three rods, this will help you cover a few boundaries. One rod for live bait, one rod for jigging and one rod as a pitch bait. Dragging two live baits in the kayak can be a handful, but plenty of us do it. If that’s going to be your strategy you’ll want to have one on a float, as your surface bait, and one down deep. Your boat should be setup with at least one live bait out the back, if not two, your jigging rod in hand and your pitch bait sitting waiting for the opportunity. All these different styles allow you to have a rod for every situation and most fish are caught on jigging or live bait. Surprisingly I’m not one of those fisherman who wants to bring the entire house and kitchen sink with them while fishing. I’m in a kayak! I don’t want to bring more baloney than I actually need. I usually know what’s happening and if I don’t I’m still only going to fish and bring these same tools.
Make sure you know where your wrecks are, where your ledges are and where the wind is going to take you. Sometimes you can’t predict the speed of the current and that’s just an adjustment you make on the fly. With your pre-fishing and knowing where you want to have a fresh bait out or where you want to jig the most, will allow you the best possible outcome. Don’t hesitate to do the zig-zag dance in and out as you drift north.
I think the best thing as kayak fisherman is to cover as much water productively as possible, and to just sit and drift in one depth straight north would be silly.
Christina Weber is a born and raised South Florida fisherman utilizing the fishing capital to the full extent. For her, kayak fishing happened by accident when she wanted to venture into uncharted waters that she couldn’t reach by motor boat. Over time, she realized that a kayak could take her anywhere, and fish freshwater, saltwater, inshore and offshore all from her Hobie Outback. Christina has been competing in tournaments for over 10 years. For more on Christina, visit www.christinaweberfishing.com.