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Exploring the concept of kayak fishing using a trailer boat as a mothership

Here’s a different take on kayak fishing mother ship trips,  yesterday fishing with my boys for Father’s Day in the 6m Fyran, I loaded the 2.7m Viking Kayaks Ozzie into the boat with the intention of using it to paddle into the shallows and gather a feed of Green Lipped Mussels.

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This was a test run to feel out the concept both myself and Stephen Tapp from Viking Kayaks have recently discussed. We both see many advantages in using trailer boats, in this case the 6 m Fyran, as a mini mother ship to access bits of coastline or outer islands that would take the best part of the day to paddle to if at all. Whilst I fully understand and know the rewards of getting yourself to a location like these under your own paddle power I also recognize that for some people this is just not achievable for many reasons be it fitness, experience or just time. So for that reason I am exploring this idea and will hopefully have Stephen on board one day soon to test it out with me. I have rigged the Ozzie with a few basic fittings for now which will likely evolve as we explore this concept further, read on below for my set up explained.  

?????????????Now before you say it, I know many of you are thinking “why bother with the kayak if your taking the boat?” Well the answer is detailed but 2 of the key reasons in brief are

1. The majority of the time boats scare off the fish in the shallows, bigger shadow, more noise etc…we know there are good fish to be caught in the shallows but these fish are generally more savvy. using the boat to get close to a location we can then drop the kayak in the water and hunt around the shallows to present baits or lures without spooking the fish “stealth”
2. With the kayak it’s easier to target fish in the wash against the rocks and gives greater ability to get a fish out of the foul should it run you to ground. They also make for a great platform when freediving or spearfishing from a boat.

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So with that in mind and after my first trial in the Ozzie I am excited at the potential of this concept and will be putting it to the test over the summer.  I can also see this being an effective way to film kayak fishing events using the boat to cover larger areas. Once near someone to film I will anchor the boat well away, launch the kayak with cameras and paddle alongside them so as not to disrupt their stealth fishing with the noise of the boat

 

 

The kayak set up

As mentioned for now I have kept things simple as far as outfitting goes the Ozzie comes with a couple of useful hatches, removable storage buckets, flush mount rod hoder and saddles for attaching, seat,  leashes or fitting a grab line. The addition of the RAILBLAZA system is essential for this set up allowing me to regularly change the set up to suit.

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TracMounted StarPort HD

In the pic above you see 300mm lengths of track are fitted to the sides allowing me the ability to mount StarPort HD to this surface. The recess on the kayak does not allow for surface mounting which works out great because this option with the StarPort HD tool less TracMount kits means I can re-position the mount or even fit extras as required.

Collecting Mussels CleatPort Viking Ozzie03Collecting Mussels CleatPort Viking Ozzie02

CleatPort

The new CleatPort  mounted off the bow offers a 2 in 1 solution,..

1 – as in the above pictures a solid tie point for securing the kayak alongside the boat or even towing it between locations

2 – this position off the bow is great for a camera angle the will either allow me to capture all the action looking back over the cockpit and is great for pointing a GoPro at a subject to capture them without any of my kayak in the peripheral of the lens as in the below image. I will use both Pro Series camera boom options in the CleatPort.. Camera Boom 600 & Platform boom 150

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StarPort HD surface mounted

Mounted to the end of the footwells is another StarPort HD, this will be my go to mount for working accessories, I will likely fit a TracPort 350 which has 3 StarPorts so I can use it a dashboard for adjustable Rod Holder II ,  a sounder (The Lowrance Elite 4 will be ideal for this size kayak) and camera position… great solution for such a compact kayak.

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Keep an eye out for updates from me putting this concept into practice over the summer, for now I can tick off the first trial as a success with a nice feed of Green Lipped Mussels which will be enjoyed for lunch.. to see any of the products I have used in this blog post just click on the products mentioned above which are hyperlinks to the web listings…thanks for reading as an FYI  I have added below an article I found on how to cook green lipped mussels…PG

Collecting Mussels CleatPort Viking Ozzie01

Tips for Preparing Mussels for Cooking 

How to cook mussels market photo, NZ
Green lipped mussels in local Auckland market.
Image courtesy of: Leslie

Scrub with a brush in cold water.

Don’t leave them soaking in tap water as it will kill the mussels.

Scrape off any barnacles with a knife.

Remove byssus, or beard, right before cooking by pulling it from the tip of the mussel towards the hinge and cutting it off with a knife.

Throw away any mussels that are cracked or have chipped or broken shells.

Before cooking check for mussels that are open. Mussels with open shells may be dead and therefore dangerous to eat. To be sure they are dead and not just sleeping, take the mussel firmly in your hand and tap it sharply on a hard surface like the counter top. If the mussel was sleeping, it will wake up and close its shell tightly.

Some recommend doing this test to all the mussels you are going to cook. Usually the mussels relax and although the shells are closed, but if you tap them they will tighten their shells even more. This is further proof that they are alive. Discard any that don’t close up tight. (Just be sure that they weren’t knocked around and are already closed up tight before you do this test or you might end up throwing out all of your mussels!) This is another good reason to read up on how to cook mussels before you try it.

Tips on How to Store Cooked Mussels

Refrigerate cooked mussels as soon as possible after cooking if you aren’t going to serve them right away.

Remove mussels from shells. Discard the shells and place mussels in a container covered with the broth they were cooked in. This helps keep them moist and retain their flavor.

Securely cover the container and place in the coldest part of your fridge.

Stored like this, the mussels should be served within a day or two at the most.

Tips for Freezing Cooked Mussels

You should only freeze cooked mussels. If done correctly, frozen mussels can keep up to 3 months in the freezer compartment.

Remove mussels from the shells and discard the shells. Place mussels in a freezer bag or container with the cooking broth and seal tightly. If you have a quick freeze option on your freezer, use that, then move mussels once frozen to the regular part of the freezer.

General Tips on How to Cook Mussels

The general consensus is that you should use as little liquid as possible. Some even suggest that you don’t use any liquid at all as the mussels have their own liquid inside the shell. As soon as they are heated, they start opening and allow this liquid to come out. If you do use the waterless method, just be sure your pot is big enough to be able to toss the mussels every 20 seconds or so during the cooking.

So if you are doing a very big batch, then you might want to consider using some liquid so you don’t have to pick the pot up and shake it.

You can use any of the following ingredients:

    • water
    • broth
    • beer
    • white wine

Just as a note about white wine. The general rule of thumb is only use a wine that you would be happy drinking. You’ll only need at the most two cups, so you’ll have some left over after cooking. Cheers!

If you are going to use liquid, use as little as possible so as to not dilute the natural flavors of the mussels with excess liquids. Whatever liquids you decide to use, bring the liquids to a boil and then place the mussels in the boiling liquid. Be careful not to splash boiling water!

Reduce heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels open. Once the mussels are open, they are done. This can take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the mussels. If you have mussels of differing sizes, you may want to remove mussels that open first so they don’t over cook, and leave the closed ones in a little longer until they open. Be sure to discard any mussels that don’t open.

Save the liquid from cooking the mussels. This is used in nearly all the recipes for preparing the mussels for serving.

 
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