This morning I went out on Holland Lake in Lebanon Hills Park Reserve in Eagan in my recently completed home-built kayak. It was the second time out in the kayak, the first time I fished from it.
I will admit that I was a tad bit nervous about fishing in a kayak. I was concerned about losing balance and tipping in the event of a fish. Well, I can report that this was not a problem, at least not for any of the bass I caught this morning. In fact, at no point did I feel unstable or unsure while reeling in a fish, and I had a pretty good morning on that score, landing six largemouth bass and an apparently confused bluegill sunfish who thought he could eat a Rapala longer than he was. Now, none of these were large fish. Two of the bass were in the 1.5-2 lb range, the other four were a pound or less, so this doesn’t prove much about what would happen if I hooked into a fish with any size, but as a gentle entry to the world of kayak fishing, this morning was perfect.
I gotta say that fishing from a kayak is significantly different, and more fun, than fishing from a bass boat. For one thing, you can be completely silent. I managed to sneak up on two snapping turtles engaged in what I can only assume was coital rapture and started filming them with my iPhone (snapping turtle pornography will have a profitable market some day and I will be ready!). I was basically on top of them before they noticed me. Got some great footage.
Amazingly, being silent has more uses than filming snapping turtles having sex. In general you can glide into quiet little bays without spooking the fish and I gotta believe that played some part in my successful fishing morning. Four of my fish were caught on a first cast while gliding into a new area. I think I was sneaking up on ’em.
I can’t describe what it feels like being almost at the level of the water while fighting a fish. I was using light enough tackle that a 2 pound bass could put up a reasonable fight and it was really exciting in a way I have never experienced before on land or in a normal boat. It just felt more visceral. I could definitely see that kayak fishing could become rather addictive. So. Much. Fun.