FAQ

Okay, it looks interesting.  What's the first thing I should do?

The very first thing I would recommend for anyone looking into kayak fishing is to go register at the Northwest Kayak Anglers website.  You will not find a place with more information and great folks willing to help than here.  You can go to the national sites and there are some great ones but you will find those board dominated by warmer water kayakers and the cold water sport and the challenges we face in the Pacific Northwest are unique.  If you take anything away from these pages, take this advice:  Go check out their website.  Don't lurk!  Participate!  Click on the banner to go to their site.


How safe is it?

It can be very safe.  But make no mistake about it.  You are on large body of water alone, sitting on an oversized piece of tupperware.  It is inherently dangerous.  But many of the dangers can be mitigated.  ALWAYS wear a PFD.  ALWAYS dress for immersion, not air temperature.  This means wear a drysuit!  There are a variety of kayaks and accessories available to minimize the risks based on our skill level.  Do your research.  I will say I have been in weather conditions on My Hobie Outback kayak that would have made me nervous on my 21 ft center console (non-self bailing).

Is fishing out of a kayak pretty much the same thing as fishing from any other boat?

Of course the answer is "yes & no".  But if you already have a good grasp of basic concepts as trolling, mooching, and jigging down, you are ready to go with just a few modifications.  For example, you need to shorten all your leader lengths on your terminal gear as anything over 4 feet long (depending on rod length) becomes a liability when trying to net the fish close to the kayak.

What you will love about kayak fishing is the action is often within feet of you.  Either you pull the fish toward the kayak or the fish will pull you! I have had fish literally jump into the kayak!  Getting pulled by a big fish is referred to as getting a sleigh ride!   

How expensive is it to get started?
One of the first choices you need to make is to set a budget.  My Mini-X on Craigslist cost me $500.  My Hobie Outback shipped from Seattle through Alaska Raft and Kayak was over $2,000.  Add the $500 semi dysuit and at least that much in accessories (Fish finder, safety flag, rod holders, etc.).  Its almost impossible to find a sit on top kayak on Craigslist here in Alaska.  But you can get new lower end models at places like Sports Authority for $600 to $750.  

The real choice to make is Hobie Mirage drive kayaks or not.  While there are other peddle (versus paddle) driven kayaks on the market, the Hobie is the clear leader in the leg powered kayak models.  There are clearly HUGE advantages of being able to fish hand free.  It is much easier to troll, downrigger, backtroll, fight fish...the list goes on and on.  The downsides are price, increased draft, and no reverse without taking your paddle out.    

I personally think the Hobie Mirage kayak's hands free operation is too big of an advantage to not buy.  Even within the Hobie line up there are many to choose from.  Here in Alaska amongst the folks I have met, the outback model seems to be the popular choice for its stability and room to mount all sorts of rod holders and cameras.  Plan on spending $2,700 or more to pick up a Hobie Outback or Revo.

BUT think of the savings in gas.  You can transport on top of ANY vehicle, and once you are on the water, you have access to much of the water the powerboats fish but you spend zero money on fuel.  Ask a friend who owns one of those beautiful 26ft plus ocean going beauties what they burn in fuel every weekend!!!  Even on the HIGH end kayaks, you will pay for the kayak in less than a year!


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