Kayak Fishing 101 : Episode 1 “Why”
This is the first installment on a series Drew Gregory and Jackson Kayak called “Kayak Fishing 101″ where they’ll take viewers from why and then how to get involved in the sport. Look for some very cool installments that explain paddle technique and common kayak fishing technique/tactics while on the water Definately worth checking out and following as the series progress’s.
The 2013 Eastslope Kayak Fishing Classic Wrap Up!
The CanadianKayakAnglers.com 2013 Eastslope Kayak Fishing Classic is in the books. This years event didn’t go without its hiccups yet again. Southern Alberta saw floods on the weekend of the EKFC at levels never before seen with states of emergency called in a multiple locations. Our hearts go out to those affected by the floods of 2013 and we hope all friends and families are safe.We had an original participant list of 36 but with Mother Natures wrath came a few cancellations, understandably so, by those affected by or helping with the volunteer effort.
Our final number of 25 participants were lucky enough to enjoy the best weather yet for the annual event. With rain rearing it’s head at the first 2 events it was nice to see a sunny warm weather day for a change. Unfortunately with the storms in the area for the days ahead of the tourney there wasn’t’ a lot of pre fishing done and most participants hit the water for the first time on the day of the event.We had a good turnout for the BBQ social sponsored by Glenmore Boats and hosted By Doug Hamm which was held on Friday before the Captains meeting where everyone enjoyed getting together and talking shop. The eats were good it was a great way to have new participants meet old.
The tourney kicked off Saturday morning with most participants checked in and on the water at 6 am. Those that had some familiarity with the location paddled to spots they had confidence in while many participants spent time getting a feel for this body of water. The mornings fishing seemed to favor those that had some knowledge of the pond but as the day passed the numbers started to pick up for those new to the water making for a pretty interesting afternoon. As things wrapped up and the numbers were being tallied we saw a very competitive group on the leaderboard with small margins separating the top competitors.
The overall winner of the 2013 Eastslope Kayak Fishing Classic was Doug Hamm whose persistence on the water paid off. Dougs first place finish saw him take home the top prize, An incredible kayak wear package from one of our featured sponsors and premier kayak wear manufacturer Kokatat. He was followed closely by 3 time event participant Alan High placing 2nd and taking with him a nice fly fishing outfit from Reddington. CKA team member Mike Zilkowsky placed 3rd and took home a beautiful etched plaque from Glenbow Fly Fishing along with a great mixed prize package from our numerous sponsors. The top five was filled out by Flynn Skot, a first year participant and Jim Kind ,with us for a second year. We again were lucky enough, thanks to the generous contributions of our sponsors, to ensure all contestants left with top quality prizes from some of the best fishing and paddling companies out there today.
Doug Beckner, a first time participant to the event ,was the lucky winner of the kayak draw which saw him leave with a Jackson Kayak Cuda 12. A top notch all round kayak fishing machine kindly donated by Jackson Kayak, a leading manufacturer and innovator in the world of kayak fishing.
A huge thanks from Canadian Kayak Anglers.com,our participants, and organizing members to our sponsors for all of their support. Their generous contributions help to ensure the event’s success and the growth of Kayak Fishing in Canada.
Jackson Kayak, Kokatat, Glenmore Boats, Settles Bridge Supply House, Reddington, Aqua Bound,Undercurrents, Aquabatics,Yak Attack, Kayak Angler Magazine, Jackfish Lures, The Fishing Butler, The Fish Grip, Glenbow Flyfishing, The Bow Habitat Station, Scotty, Tie Boss, Kayak Fishing Supplies, CL Fishin, Camo Consulting, Hobie Polarized, Boomerang Tools, Flying Fisherman, GreenFish, Venom Lures, The Fishin’ Hole, Ocean Sports, and Wholesale Sports,
A special thanks to Mike Zilkowsky,Alan High,Doug Hamm,Jordan Morgenstein,Nikki Rekman Sales and of course my wife Helaina for all of the help with the event.
See you all next year!
Stephen Laurie – Tournament Director
Canadian Kayak Anglers.com
Check out the features on the newest addition to Jackson’s kayak angling line. The Kilroy!
I was lucky enough to fit in a quick 2hr float last Friday before heading away for the weekend for some camping in Kananaskis Country with the Family. As I only had a few hours to spare between loading up the trailer and heading out I decided to do a 2 hr float from Fish Creek Park to Policeman’s flats on the Bow River. This is a section of the river I haven’t spent a ton of time on in the past so it was a bit of and R and D float as well. This section of the Bow is more known for its large Browns then Rainbows and is a pretty popular section for the guides to float although they will usually take out further down at McKinnon Flats( a +/- 7HR float). I headed out early and for the most part had a pretty uneventful beginning but I did note some great wading spots where fish will sure to be holding for my next trip and when time allows. As I was starting to get close to the take out a Policeman’s Flats it looked as though I was going to be shut out for the day which would have been the first time in over a year. But just as I was about to stash the rod for the take out I felt a strong tap, set the hook and found myself playing a descent sized un-usually acrobatic Brown. Although it was no record breaker size wise it definitely turned what was about to be a no show into another successful day on the Bow.
I entered the sport of kayak fishing as a fisherman first looking for a quality platform to get me on the waters I wanted to fish. After trying a few different styles of craft I found kayaks to be the ultimate vessel for the style of fishing I do. And like most kayak fisherman my kayaking skills, or lack thereof, to this point have pretty much been self taught . Although I have taken some basic kayaking courses in the past I figured with my addiction to the sport still growing as well as my children getting older and spending more time on their own in the kayaks It was definitely time to take my skills to the next level. I recently spent a weekend working on my Paddle Canada Sea Kayaking Level 1 Skills Certification with the staff from Undercurrents Paddling store here in Calgary. Although there are some significant differences between sea kayaks and the type typically used for angling, Sit on Top’s, most skills translate directly and will improve your paddling significantly. For those skills that don’t the underlying concepts are the same and can be easily adapted to any style of kayaking. The time spent working on strokes, rescues, edging and some general journeying will definitely add to my paddling skill level and the corrections made to some of my bad habits will greatly improve my time on the water. I’m looking forward to my next course and putting my new skills into practice. I highly recommend anyone getting into kayak fishing or already addicted to the sport get out on the water with a good instructor and spend some time getting a good foundation of kayaking skills. It will raise your confidence level and make your time on the water more enjoyable.
After a few missed attempts do to bad weather and limits on access points ( Ice Walls to 6 ft in some sections) I was finally able to get out and float my favorite section of the Lower Bow River and for 2 days no less. On day one I met up with fellow CKA Team member Mike Zilkowsky for the float. This was Mikes first time floating the Bow so I figured on taking him from McKinnon Flats to Carseland Weir, my personal favorite section. My hope was that he would hook into some of the trophy sized trout that has made this my favorite float on the Bow for the last few years. This particular section is more known for Trophy Rainbow’s ,20”plus is common., then browns although on this day it was the Browns that showed up. Water clarity was fair but the weather wasn’t. What was supposed to be a nice day calling for 19 degree’s and sunny decided ,like the fish ,not to show up. As this was our first outing of the season we definitely showed signs of rust as although we had hooked into 7 we only landed 2. The best fish of the day going to Mike with his 18.5’’ Brown caught off the banks near the Legacy Island Launch spot where they seemed to be stacked up.
Four of our 7 hook ups came from that section and I had picked up a 20“ brown there as well only to have him break off while netting him.( I marked that spot for the next days float). I did pick up a small Bow a little later but after having the larger brown on my line earlier it was a bit disappointing but at least the stink was off the yak.
Unfortunately the winds (40 to 50kms) really picked up after that and with it at our backs sent us flying through the afternoon section in record time. As you could imagine casting in those kind of winds become a real chore ,not to mention handling the yaks, so we found ourselves pretty much just paddling through to the Take out. All in all it wasn’t a bad first outing for the year. Definitely had better ,but it could have been worse. At least Mikes first float on the Bow saw him hook into his personal best Brown Trout.
On day 2 of my first weekend on the river I hooked up with my usual fishing partner, Terry, who was able to have his son join him for the first time in years. We decided to, with a bit of my prompting, to hit the same section of the river. I wanted a second chance at some of the misses from the day before. The weather was almost identical. We seemed to be ahead of the sun until noon and when it did show up it brought the winds with it ( 50kms). I had a pretty slow morning with only a couple hits and no commitments. Terry’s son did pick up a nice 20” rainbow in one of my favorite back channels which as he said made his day.At that point I was starting to think the highlight of the day for me might be the BBQ’d smokies we had for lunch.
With the fishing being slow to that point I found myself waiting to get to the spot where the trout were stacked up from the day before and when I got there it didn’t disappoint.Although I only picked up one trout in that section this time it was a nice 19’’ brown who put up a uncharacteristically acrobatic fight . I like to believe this was the same brown from the day before, definitely makes for a better story. We each landed 2 on the day which again is pretty slow for this section of the Bow River.
With the high winds in the afternoon we paddled out with very little fishing on the go. I spent most of the afternoon standing in the Coosa with the wind at my back. I found myself flying through the lower section of the river at record speeds. If I couldn’t fish I might as well sail. Looking forward to my next trip down the river. Hopefully soon…Real…. Soon…..
There’s a bit of a myth going around and a ton of videos showing that waders are fine and safe to wear when out on the water. Waders will work but if your in the water for a length of time the will start to fill up with water and the added weight will definitely make it hard to perform self rescue and climb back on your yak.,not to mention the weight of wet clothes. Check out this video from Kayak Kevin Whitley and Ric Burnley. Puts it all into perspective, great comparison of three of the most common options.
As a member of the Jackson Kayak Fishing Team I recently had the opportunity to attend the Calgary Outdoor Adventure Show with my friends from Undercurrents Paddling Store, our local Jackson dealer. I was able to join them for both days of the show in order to help expose more people to kayak fishing and to the Jackson Kayak Fishing Line. Now I’ve been to a lot of these sorts of shows,typically to do R and D on my next few purchases, but as this was one of my first times standing on the other side of the booth I wasn’t completely sure of what to expect. The area locally is probably most famous for its river fishing , and since those waters are most typically populated with drift and pontoon boats, I knew I would have my work cut out for me convincing anglers of the benefits of kayaks as a premier choice of fishing platform. Over the course of the 2 day show I found that I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge and experiences with people interested in kayak fishing and I received great satisfaction knowing I was helping to promote and grow the sport I have such a huge passion for. Most angler’s, even those with hard ingrained bias’s toward there current crafts, once informed of some of the advantages kayaks have over conventional fishing craft, really took to the idea of fishing from a kayak and hitting some of the waters they previously thought inaccessible. An unforeseen added benefit to attending the show with the staff of Undercurrents was the amount of paddling info I was able to take in. Like most kayak fisherman I was an angler first and then became a paddler so hanging with the Undercurrents crew gave me tons of time to soak in info on paddling techniques and products that can only further benefit me as a kayak angler. I’ve always known there was more to just fishing tons and taking good photo’s in order to represent the brands I trust successfully but I never realized how much I would enjoy getting into the other side of the equation. Whether it’s organizing the local kayak fishing tourney for the past couple of years, the recent kayak fishing presentation I did, kayak fishing classes I’m involved in or even the Adventure Show I just attended it turns out I’m an addict, kayak fishing is my drug, and as long as I get my fix on the water or off I’m happy.
PS. There might be a big sale on Drift Boats and Pontoons in the Calgary area in the near future.
A great article from Fellow Nikki Rekman Sales Team member Laura Demers.
The best thing I ever did to improve my angling skills is to fish with other experienced anglers. Fortunately for me, most men are more willing to help other women then other men. I think women are just more receptive to what they have to say. I still have a hard time with species ID’s, but it helps to be around others who know so that you learn by seeing. The rule is if your not 100% sure, catch and release! I seem to be able to ID a Coho salmon though as it’s the only fish I’ve kept in 2 years.
I am mostly into fishing from a Kayak, only because I love to kayak and some of the best spots I’ve found so far are hard to access in anything but a kayak. Choosing a kayak was an easy decision for me. I chose the Jackson Kayak Cuda 12 because it is light enough to load on my truck myself, yet doesn’t lack the features found on an all out fishing kayak. It sure helps the weight when most of the accessories, including the seat can be removed for carrying. Part of why I enjoy kayak fishing…I love the feeling I get when I paddle up river to a hard to access fishing hole and find one other guy there who says “I can’t believe its a girl”!