Showing posts with label rules. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rules. Show all posts

Should Trolling Motors Be Allowed in Kayak Tourneys?

ICAST and Outdoor Retailer showed us what the kayak industry is moving to: motorized kayaks.
At least that's what it feels like. So how long will it be until they are allowed to fish along side human powered kayaks in tournaments?

Wilderness Systems is working on the ATAK kayak, Old Town has the Predator XL, Ocean Kayak has made the Torque for several years and more companies are joining the fold every year. Some companies like NuCanoe design their kayaks with the idea you might mount a trolling motor on it.

In the kayak tournament scene, very few tourneys allow kayaks that have trolling motors. It is thought by most to provide a distinct advantage because the angler doesn't tire from propelling the kayak. The ban is often also applied to sailboats and catamaran style kayaks like the Hobie Adventure Island as well.

Should trolling motors be allowed? 

The people for inclusion claim this would allow seniors and people with disabilities to participate which could continue the growth of the sport. With more models of electric motor kayaks becoming available, inclusion would be the natural thought. More people competing means larger purses, more sponsorship which also mean larger purses and wider reach to continue to grow kayak fishing and its eventual national tournament trails.

That sounds good. In theory.

The people against it claim it is a distinct advantage. Fatigue sets in faster when your body is having to propel the kayak. The advantage grows even greater in adverse conditions like high winds. The motor powered kayak would have the ability to cover more water, make more casts and fish longer throughout the day.

 That also makes sense.

In cases where the entry fee is fairly benign (think $25 or less) and the winnings aren't much over a couple of hundred dollars, I can see people being a little more lenient. Let's talk big for a minute.

Large trails are popping up as large events have been attracting more attention and it is only a matter of time before purses of $5,000+ are available. If you pay $100 to enter, $250 on gas and lodging, $100 in food, do you want to compete against someone who can cover three or four times the water as you, make more casts than you and fish more spots because wind and waves effect them less? You have $400-$500 on the line to win $5,000. Are you ok with that knowing you are at a disadvantage?

I'm very curious to see what the kayak community has to say. We are on the precipice and this issue is being decided. It would be nice to have some input. Please comment, share and discuss this so your voice can be heard. Now is the time to speak up and state your case. For or against, help the trails deciding these things know what you think.

Used But Not Abused

What to do? You have a limited budget to get a kayak. You hear great things about a couple of kayaks that you feel would fit your needs. Now you go to a demo day and pick the one you like but there's one problem. You are $200 short of the asking price.

It can be a very deflating experience but it doesn't have to be. If you know where to look, you might be able to get that kayak for the price you can pay.

How? Buy a used kayak. If you follow a few simple rules that I talked about last week, buying a used kayak can get you on the water at your price.

I've bought used several times and even my current Commander 140 had a previous owner. On top of that, buying used has many advantages.

A Used Kayak Typically Comes With Accessories

My Commander already had the rudder, a bow skirt and some additional Gear Trac installed. I saved money and time.

A Used Kayak Holds Value

A new kayak is hard to sell for the money you paid for it at the store especially once it's been out. If you buy a used kayak, the chances are you can get what you paid and maybe even a little more as long as you don't over pay (within the first year or so).

A Used Kayak Can Have Mojo

Fish catching mojo transfers with a kayak. Call me superstitious but it does. Find a fish magnet and buy it.You won't be sorry.

There are several different places to look for used kayaks. Sometimes Craigslist can be ok but lately it is filled with people asking new retail prices for used, worn down kayaks. If you want to find a bargain from people who can tell you about the kayak you are buying, look at your local fishing forums.

Here in Texas I would search out and a Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook. Each region will have their own websites where fishermen swap lies, sell gear and give fishing reports. They are a good place to start.

If you have your doubts, take a knowledgeable buddy. Don't be afraid to ask questions and definitely go and read my article on called "Buying a Used Kayak? Don't Get Swindled!"

Kayak Fishing Etiquette

In Monday’s post “The Pause Button” I talked about being patient, slow to anger and paddling away when conflict arises. In the multitude of comments came the reminder that not all of the kayak fishermen or boaters for that matter know these perceived rules that many of us operate under. 

Here are my thoughts from an academic perspective:

Etiquette is only able to be followed when a potential offending party knows the boundaries in which they are expected to act. If they do not know the boundaries, our disdain for the subject and the offending action is more of a reflection on us rather than them.

A little more down to earth reading of this statement would be:

Don’t get mad they break the rules when we haven’t told them what the rules are.

After much discussion with several folks across the country, the overwhelming desire was to open a dialogue and talk about some of the things everyone should know to keep the peace a little easier. Please feel free to add to this collection as needed via the comments field here or in other social media.

Kayak Fishing Etiquette 101: The Rules

If you are paddling near another kayaker, it is courteous to wave. Small talk is optional but almost always appreciated. If you are getting yes/no answers, say have a good day and keep paddling.

If you see someone catch a fish that you do not know, it is ok to congratulate them and engage in small talk. Again, yes/no answers mean keep moving. Do not paddle straight for them and crowd the location they are fishing.

When fishing, if you do not know the people you are fishing near, keep a distance of 50 yards. This changes on some water systems but better safe than sorry.

Observe the direction that the fisherman is moving down the bank. It is not ok to paddle 50 yards ahead of him and start fishing. Try fishing an opposite bank. If you feel you must paddle by it is expected for you to ask if you can slide up the bank a ways and fish. If allowed, make sure it is 100 yards or so up the bank. If you do start catching fish after an allowable pass, it is courteous to invite the angler to come fish that new spot with you.

If you are invited to fish a location with a local, do not give away the spots they show you. If you are the host, it is usually customary to ask the guest to not give away your spots. Set the expectation early.

If fishing in tight quarters, if you must pass between a fisherman and the bank, please ask before going through, especially if he is throwing toward the bank. The best bet is to avoid it as much as possible.

If loading or unloading on a boat ramp, please be quick and efficient. Picnics should not be on the ramp.

If you are loading or unloading with a group, offer to help others take their boats to the water or vehicle.

If you are fishing in a group it is most polite to share what the fish are biting on. If you have additional baits to share, that is a huge plus but not mandatory.

Do not disparage other kayakers if their boat does not meet your standards or brand preference.

Share ideas on rigging and compliment when you see something you like, even if it wouldn’t work on your kayak.

Always help a kayaker in distress.

If you are a spot stealer, expect to be labeled as such in the community. We may not post it publicly but we will all know and you will find yourself fishing alone more and more.

Carry extra gear if possible. 360 lights, paddles, PFDs and rope are a good start. You never know who forgot what.

General manners, like saying thank you, go a long way.

People get tight lipped around tournament time. Don’t ask. If they want to share their report, they will.

Some folks have sponsors. Some don’t. Both sides of the argument need to be ok with each other’s situation. Don’t be pushy.

There is no perfect kayak. Always remember that.

There are no perfect people. Always remember that.

This is just a start to the list and my hope is that others will add to it. I’m not the expert that decides these things, just a guy trying to help others know what some of the other folks are thinking and expecting. Feel free to chime in.

Additional submissions:

If it is dark do not leave your vehicle parked at the ramp with the lights on. It blinds other people backing down. Just leave your parking lights on until you pull out.

Older Posts Home