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After years of fishing from every possible craft you can imagine, six years ago I decided to climb into a kayak. Jackson kayaks caught my eye and heart, made in the USA in White County Tennessee. Age and physical capabilities aren’t always a limiting factor. I’m part of the fishing pro staff team for Jackson, much of my bass casting now takes place from the deck of their Big Rig also from a MayFly, Coosa HD, Liska and a Bite.

The Big Rig is more than three feet wide and over 13 feet long. The Big Rig and has payload capacity of over 400 pounds, is stable and was made for fishing and fishermen, the other kayaks are for me what I would term “situational” boats.

My first concern in choosing a kayak is always safety, then how fishable it is, how nimble it is, storage and transporting my boat of the day. Transitioning water craft from a bass boat to a flat bottom Jon boat and now to a kayak was easy. My approach remains what I refer to as “ninja stealth” mode.

Try Kayak Fishing

My new trolling motor is a Bending Branches Pro Angler Carbon model paddle I own a few quality lifejackets designed for the kayaker (and wear them without fail), I wear good sunglasses, carry a signal whistle, and a few other items that fit my style of paddling and fishing. I’ve embraced the challenge of a late sixties something guy using a unique method to glide from spot to spot casting and pitching bass baits on my favorite fishin’ holes.

As the waters I fish change I might utilize I kayak I deem more suitable, long carry lighter boat, BIG water the supremely stable Big Rig, the open deck of a MayFly or Yupik are perfect for fly fishing . These two also give me ample storage easily accessible at my feet. An option that is invaluable to ne is the custom casting brace that holds my paddle as I cast and my fishing rod while I paddle and allows me to continue to stand continuously. My preference is to stand as I fish for ultimate eye view and the physical advantage in my hook set.

Try Kayak Fishing

My lineup of bass baits consists of spinners, crankbaits and several feel type baits, jigs, soft plastic or creature baits and when the weather is suitable buzzbaits. Each of my kayaks are made to accommodate stand up casting and catching, stable whether scanning the surface, making the next cast or setting the hook with the necessary force to punch that hook home, the Jackson Big Rig as well as the others in the lineup that have close to three feet of width are ideal. Equip yourself with the correct kayaking gear using the right dealer or team member source. Add some comfortable footwear, I’m a fan of the Astral Loyak and the NRS boundary boot in cold weather and water conditions.

A couple of small tackle boxes, such as the Plano floating #3600 boxes are ideal for the storage afforded by my kayaks. Stock them with a few well-chosen lures*, pick a medium heavy action baitcasting combination. and a six and half foot open face spinning outfit and you’re in bass business. Regardless of your fishing ability and on the water experience level there is a kayak made for you.

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A small lure selection might include lures that most importantly cover the three water columns. A standard bass box should have a few models of spinnerbaits, blade options that you should consider single Colorado for cold clear water, a double willow leaf model for muddy water conditions and spinners that combine both blades. Rubber legged jigs are effective and fun to fish. A few colors that resemble crawfish patterns, shad coloration and neutral shades for clear water are essential. Weight in both baits comes with me recommendation of 3/8ths ounce versions. The reason, the similar feel when you pick up either that helps with casting accuracy is an advantage.

Crankbaits that are capable of reaching depths of three to eight feet, plus shallow runners as well as a deep diver or two and your off to a good start. Topwater fishing for bass is fun and effective when spring water temperatures are in the sixties, throughout the summer and all the way into fall when (you guessed it) surface water temperatures dip below sixty. A small selection of soft plastics that mimic the look of crawfish, lizards and baitfish are highly desirable. You’ll add baits in the future or by season or even species to accommodate your own paddling and pitching preference.

It’s a great time of the year to cruise the dealers for kayaks, paddles, rods, reels and tackle. Start your own outdoor journey. If not now…..when?