Kayak fishing is a healthy sport, simple, exciting, inexpensive and rewarding. It is considered to be a frontier sport in its early development. However many African rivers are endowed with a variety of fish and the sport is growing at a high rate. Navigating through African rivers you own a space and also have the chance to catch a variety of fish.
A kayak is a term used to describe a small boat which is usually narrow and propelled by a double-bladed paddle. Traditional kayaks found in Africa consist of cockpits (can be one or more), a covered deck and paddles. A cockpit can be protected by a spray deck to prevent water entry from waves. Modern kayaks are improved with inflated air chambers hence providing more security. Human propulsion of the traditional kayaks has been replaced with a small electric propeller in some kayaks.
Kayak fishing as a sport is growing in popularity among most African rivers such as the Zambezi, orange, and Cunene Rivers. African coast seas and marine also offer kayak fishing expeditions. South African rivers are among the leading kayak fishing sites and growing in popularity. There is a big difference between African kayak fishing and fishing using fish finders. First of all, kayak fishing is all about adventure. Fishing from a kayak involves the use of a lot of manpower especially from paddling. It presents a set of a challenge but in a way rewarding. Think of the exercise advantage you gain from the paddling, the fun involved overrides the challenges.
Secondly, the rewarding experience and expertise involved in African kayaking are enormous. Expertise on using traditional methods of fishing is of obsolete value to African kayaks. Last but not least African kayaks are more maneuverable and easy to handle compared to canoes which are difficult to hold in position when fishing. Finally, a kayak offers a wide selection of areas to fish. The challenge is your ability to paddle and time frame involved.
Modern kayaks are fitted with a fish finder device for detecting fish at various depths. These devices can make kayak fishing easy but at the same time boring. Take a situation where you travel from your country to a foreign country for the key purpose of having fun or to enjoy yourself. An inexperienced angler will find automated and fish finder equipped kayaks more fun and suitable for a start. However, with time the adventure gets boring since everything is done for you. As the angler gains more experience, interest shifts to the kayak without a fish finder. More challenge more fun. Experienced anglers can navigate and even roll in their kayaks without water getting in their traditional African kayaks!
Fish finders are accessories that are made to make fishing easy. They are usually made up of two parts. a computer monitor or display attached to the kayak and a transducer which sends information from a sensor device. The device provides more accurate information on available fish by use of sonar waves. However, sonar waves do not discriminate other objects and therefore will pick up any obstacles on the way. Therefore rocks, logs and other objects will be displayed on the computer display. However the probability of being accurate each time you cast your net into the water is high. For beginners, fish finders are of great value and importance. They can be able to estimate the depth of water they are in to avoid snags as well as choosing lures. Most people keep their fish finders running to evade obstacles even when not fishing.
However, for experienced anglers, the fun is not in the fish finder. Most experienced anglers will prefer the traditional kayak fishing. More fun is found in the navigation through the wilderness and use of traditional methods to locate fish. Natural and traditional methods such as observing moon patterns and fish behavioral patterns are involved in many African kayak fishing. Even without catching fish kayaking is fun for the experienced anglers.
Kayak Angling Skills
Kayak fishing can post a lot of challenge for beginners as well as for experts. The term expert is relative and doesn’t mean all knowing. However, angler beginners can find experienced individuals with more than four years experience a goldmine for skills. First, ensure that always the paddle is readily lying in your lap while at the same time fishing. Secondly, an important skill is holding your fishing rod with one hand and using the other to paddle. Drifting is another important technique while kayak fishing and this will amount to locating more fish.
Last but not least, when fishing upwind it’s advisable to use an anchor or what is called a stick-it pin. This holds the kayak and keeps it facing the target while you fish. Lastly standing from a kayak is an important skill to fishtailing. However, most kayaks are not stable enough to allow this and therefore not advisable for beginners.