Stand-up Kayak flats fishing paddle advice

pfibiger

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Hi all,

I just took my first couple trips in my new Jackson Mayfly. It’s a pretty great platform for what I’m trying to do — take a 15-20 minute paddle to some very shallow mud/oyster flats that hold a decent number of redfish at low tide. Over a couple days I’ve seen more than a dozen fish cruising, laid up, feeding —had a few shots but haven’t managed to seal the deal. Part of the problem has been that it’s overcast, so I’m not seeing fish from far enough away. That’ll change with time. But I’m also struggling with some of the basic mechanics of fly fishing from a kayak.

This leads to my two part question — I’m currently paddling w/ a standard kayak paddle, and using it more or less like a SUP paddle when I’m standing scouting for fish. Does anyone have a better system for paddling quietly/efficiently while standing? Is a push pole better? And then I’d love any advice in transitioning from paddling to casting as quickly and quietly as I can. I’ve moved to keeping my fly rod between my feet with line coiled there. That works well, but I haven’t found a great place to put down the paddle that doesn’t end up falling over with a loud thunk.
 

okiekev

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I wish I had some experience and wisdom to share, but I am just getting started with the paddle board and also looking for similar insight. I have begun to think a push pole may be the better way to go and simply have it tethered to my ankle or the board for simply dropping into the water for shots... Thanks for posting and I look forward to the replies.
 

karstopo

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You could stash the paddle and move around with a push pole. I’ve stalked fish with a paddle and stake out stick. If you use a stake out stick and the substrate is muddy and soft, it is very simple to just quickly stake out and then make your shot.
 

pcolapaddler

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I've got fished from a kayak a fair amount. My first boat was a WS Tarpon 160i. It isn't a platform from which one could likely stand and fish. Fly fishing while seated isn't too hard, but seeing fish from any distance is probably not going to happen.

I am currently using a Hobie PA14 but have only fished fresh water. I paddled with one hand and held my fly rod in the other. I would kind of wedge the paddle in the well for the peddle drive and make my cast.

Obviously a non Hobie style boat will not have the drive well, but I wonder if something similar couldn't be done with a bungee on the side of the boat. Perhaps a hook it other device to attach the paddle to your belt - short leash with a clip.

Sent from my SM-G935U using Tapatalk
 

ed from bama

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Good morning to all-
When I'm fishing flats, I almost never stand. This does reduce my line of sight somewhat, but it also makes me less visible to the fish- a trade-off in my opinion. I also feel much more secure fly casting when I'm sitting. Of course, with my fly casting skill, I don't make long casts anyway, so sitting doesn't really reduce my distance much. If I were younger and my balance was better, perhaps I'd cast while standing, but not now. And when I sit, I can just prop the paddle across my legs and try to make a cast.
I try to cast along the length of the kayak, but sometimes this is not possible.
Usually when I'm flats fishing- and the flats I fish are massive- stretch for miles, so most of the time trying to hold a position is not too crucial- if I need to stop, I'll just push my home-made anchor pole- a five-foot section of PVC pipe through a drain scupper and that holds me.
And I've had some success holding a position by using my paddle as a anchor pole. Just ram one blade in the bottom- quietly if possible and secure the other end to the kayak with a bungee or light line. I've found cheaper paddles with stiffer blades work better than some of the lighter, more flexible kayak paddle blades for securing a kayak to the bottom.
Fishing grass flats for reds and specks is one of my favorite things to do- in fact, I wish I were on the water doing just that right now.

good day to all- Ed
 
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Aqualife

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Where I fish it is usually muddy bottom. I use my paddle as a push pole or stand up paddle, tether it to the Kayak. When I see fish stick it in the mud. This way it is out of my hands quietly. I have milk crate behind my seat with rod holders. I've modified one of the rod holders (cut the groove deeper/wider that holds reel seat). I see a fish, stick paddle in the mud, grab the rod that's sticking in the air behind me. I'm not sticking the paddle in to stop or hold my position(if it does, great), its more of a way to offload the paddle QUIETLY. This doesn't always go as planned. You will still be drifting (unless you take the time to completely stop). I panel against the current when possible, maybe slide up against the banks. You need to develop ways to slow you're self or control you drift.
 

ed from bama

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Good morning to all-
Drift control in a shallow water situation kayak is one of the biggest problems/ considerations we all have to deal with. I have used the paddle as a brake and positioning hold, and I've used push poles and stake out poles. I've even tried light weight anchors quietly slipped in the water to hold positions. The truth is, if the wind is doing much, you're going to drift when fishing from a kayak. My best advice is to get in good casting position, make the best first cast you can, and try to deal with happens next as it happens.
I wish I had a really totally effective way to hold a kayak in good casting position in all conditions- because if I did, I could make a WHOLE LOT of money selling that tool/technique to kayak anglers.

good day to all- Ed
 

jiminsc

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I saw a Salt Strong Youtube video where the fisherman made a hook paddle holder on his belt so he could quickly and quietly transition from paddling to casting. I haven't tried it but it looked pretty functional. I have a Hobie outback with stand up bars. I put a rod holder and paddle holder on the bars so I can transition without bending over and it makes it much quicker and quieter.
 

VTWolverine

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I've been thinking about this recently as well. I was initially using the paddle like a sup paddle, but bending over to stash it and pick up the rod is problematic. Started bringing along a push pole which is great, but I'm now trying to devise a good way to anchor the pole and grab the rod without moving or taking eyes off a fish. Here's what I'm going to try:

1. Belt rod holster for rod:
LRM_EXPORT_60392064789603_20190902_193529902_800x.jpg

2a: Track mounted vertical holster to anchor push pole. I am thinking of using a standard rod holder on an extension arm off the side of the boat, oriented vertically. The idea would be to pole until I want to stop, then insert the pole through the rod holder into the substrate. This way, the boat wouldn't drift after staking out. The problem would be that the wind could still rotate the boat without a second stakeout. Think something like this, but with a wider cylinder for easier inserting:
Anchor-Pin-Mounting-Bracket.jpg

2b: Push pole tied off with paracord. Upside is it's easy, downside is the boat will drift until the cord is taught.

Any other ideas?
 

mikemac1

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EEC3479E-168C-4F70-B6B7-297DF8DB316D.jpeg
I just finished a six day stretch of flats fishing for specks along the Central Florida Gulf Coast with my kayak—an Eddyline Caribbean 12 Angler. Not really a standup yak but extremely lightweight. The area I fish has abundant open water deep and shallow grass flats riddled with potholes, natural channels and cuts. The bottom is firm enough to wade comfortably at favorable tides. I can generally wade up to mid-thigh and get in the boat without any issues. When I wade the boat is tethered to my waist with 15’ of 5/16” paracord so I don’t have to worry about where my boat and gear is. When the water gets deeper with incoming tides, I’ll fish from the boat sometimes using a stakeout pole to hold a position. The paddle is tethered to the boat and lays across my lap while casting. Most casts are across the boat to avoid the two other rods in holders at the stern. Long casts are not an issue even while sitting as I am using mostly a 200 grain sink tip that shoots well. When wind and tide are unfavorable, I carry a small sea anchor that will slow the boat some.

On this last trip I encountered well over a 100 bull reds tailing in about 6” of water close to my put in. Couldn’t interest them in anything I had, but wading amongst them was pretty cool as they swam within a few feet of me if I was still.

If you can wade and fish with the yak tethered to you, IMHO it is the best solution. Once you get into deeper water with wind and tide, the issues mount up.
 
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