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Kayak Stream Fishing put Safety First

August 23, 2019

BY Chris Erwin

One of the new trends in fishing today is fishing from a Kayak. In the past kayaks have been made for people that enjoy paddling streams and fast-moving water. However, in the last few years, Kayaks designed to fish out of are creating a whole new breed of fisherman.
They are balanced for fishing to the point some fisherman even stand up in them. Rod holders hold spare rods, areas are made for storing tackle; even depth finders are mounted for easy viewing. I’ve seen electronic shallow water anchors showing up on the high-end models.

Jack Hanks with his son Isaiah on the left and friend Hunter Kenser on the right, all three were on this floating Kayak trip on Kenniconick Creek (Photo submitted)

The KBF (Kayak Bass Federation) group started a national Bass Fishing Trail in 2018. Today it’s growing leaps and bounds and sponsors have sweetened the pot with lots of sponsor money.
While this has sparked a new trend, they are some precautions that anyone new to the sport (fisherman and women) should be aware of. The chances of you ending up in the water are high. Floatation devices are a must, and many of the newer ones are designed just for this type of setting.

A few years back, I was a co-host on an outdoor radio show(WLGC 105.7 FM) with Jack Hanks. Jack is an old friend that once work at Nation Mine Service Company. Jack and his son Isaiah have embracer this new trend of Kayak fishing with open arms. They both love to stream fish, so doing it from a Kayak seemed like a logical evaluation.

In June they along with Isaiah friend, Hunter Kenser, decided to take their Kayaks and head for Kenniconick Creek to do some smallmouth bass fishing. I have to admit there is nothing like floating downstream, making no noise as you glide along under the canopy of the trees. The water is undisturbed, no motor noise, just the silky movement of the boat guiding along. Your cast makes little noise as your lure finds the bank line. You feel you’re in stealth mode just waiting for that big fish to pounce on your bait.

All was right with the world as Jack and company fished there way down the stream until they came to an area where they needed to portage their boats across some shallow water riffles. They needed to get out of their kayaks and move across the shallow water. Isaiah was working his craft through the swift, shallow water when the boat started walking side-ways pushing against him. Before he could get out of the way, a lure tied on his line and reeled to the end of his rod tip, which was just barely sticking up over the edge of the side-walls of the boat, rocked and snared him on the leg, driving the treble hooks passed the barbs.

A picture of the injury as they ended up at the hospital where the bait was removed. (Photo submitted)

Once passed the shallow water, they did their best to remove the hooks: however; it was hopeless they were just too deep. They cut the line, but they were still two miles to go to get to their pick up spot where they had the second vehicle.
It was a painful two miles for Isaiah, but he did his best to fish his way to the pickup spot. Once in the car, they headed for the hospital where a little minor surgery was needed to remove the bait from his leg.

I won’t say there is a morel to this story, this kind of thing happens when you get in the outdoors. Jack felt maybe he was in the wrong place as they started through the swift water or perhaps the rod could have been placed lower in the boat with the lure at the reel end. Hindsight is usually always better than forsight; however, in the outdoor it’s still a good idea to put safety first.

This is Isaiah’s Kayak, the craft involved in the injury, they sit so low in the water it’s easy to see how a dangling rod could catch you if it’s loaded with a fishing lure (Photo Submitted)

New fishing techniques require some thought when it comes to safety if you don’t want your boat to hook you like the fish you are fishing for, be safe, think about what can happen, carry a first aid kit, put it in an airtight bag, in case of cuts where bleeding may need to be controlled. Until next time, stay safe and take a kid fishing.

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August 2019