A Kayak Ain’t Just a Kayak

I remember the first kayak I ever saw, and it was on a black and white television set.  A man sat in a long, sleek boat that wrapped around his torso on top of a rock cliff overlooking a deep pool.  With a whisk of his two-bladed paddle, he pushed off, plummeted a dozen or so feet, crashed through the water’s surface and disappeared. The boat surfaced, bottom up, and I thought for sure the man was dead.  In an instance there was a great commotion, water churned everywhere, and suddenly he was upright and vertical, paddling down the river.  I was awestruck.

I have yet to paddle a boat as sleek as his, but I love kayaks.  They are stealthy, and I can sneak right up to the fish.  They’re easy to transport, and I can access skinny water where I can get out and wet wade. In warmer climates, sit a-tops are all the rage. Many come complete with rod holders, anchors, and storage compartments. One of them, the Hobie Mirage Revolution 11, has a unique pedal-drive system. Foot pedals propel the boat which enables anglers to focus on fishing. And get this; a sailing kit can be added to reduce travel time by harnessing the wind.

My hard-chined, open cockpit kayak is a portable fishing machine. I use no Eskimo Rolls, no acrobatic insertions into the water, and no technical gear. I drag it down the sand to the water’s edge, toss my fishing gear inside, and go. When I’m done fishing the kayak turns into a family paddling machine.

In recent years, kayaks have been a boon to fishermen. This year, give one a try.  You’ll cover more water, catch more fish, and have more fun.

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.