Heading out in your sea kayak for a kayak fish to gather fish for the table does not need to be complicated, for these session I like to use a longline which I set then go for a paddle and collect it on the return journey killing 2 birds at one time, 1 I get to paddle the coastline in the comfort of my Barracuda Beachcomber sea kayak & 2 I bring home some fresh fish to enjoy at the table with my family.
With the right gear, a little planning and knowing your local fishing area it can be that simple, 95% of the time I will bring home fresh fish after a session like this thanks to the Pauls Fishing kite longline, the right bait and knowing (roughly) where the fish are. Below is a rough outline of how I prepare and practice trips like these, you are sure to find some useful ideas to give it a go yourself (obviously this is using a longline which as far a I am aware is only legal in NZ waters)
- Pick up fresh bait no more than 3 days prior, I purchase either 1 kahawai or a mullet from the local Pak n Save which gives me enough baits for one set of the longline
- Pre cut the bait into strips, dice up the frame for burley and bag it ready. When ready to hit the water I pre bait the 12 hook Pauls Fishing Kite longline
- Load the following basics into the Beachcomber sea kayak strapped to the C-Tug trolley – Knife, Longline kit, gloves, paddle float, mobile phone in dry bag, spray skirt,
- The longline kit consists of, spool of line, 12 hook trace board, float & 2 anchors, all fits in the rear hatch or into a fish bag strapped to the deck.
On the water
Pre baited longline strapped to the deck using the paddle float bungy cords, I hit the water, I am heading in most cases to about 1.5kms off the beach to set the longline over the sand where the snapper are known to school at my local, tides and times of day do play a role in the final decision. In other locations tend to trial any spot where the sand is flat just off a reef or weed bed..you don’t want to drop the longline on the weed or reef as it will snag and is very difficult to free up.
The most important thing when setting and retrieving the longline from a sea kayak is to set the paddle float so as to stabilize the kayak, the beachcomber has a good paddle float attachment system which is easy to set from your seat position. Once the long line is set and float deployed, berley dropped I head for a paddle along the coast for between 1-2hrs then collect the long line on the way home repeating the same process as it takes to deploy it. any small fish released easily with the keepers killed and gutted straight away then stowed in the hatch or dry bag.