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About Fishing: Kayak's simplicity a natural appeal for the fisherman

Fisherman are turning to kayaks as a means to reach out of the way fishing spots. Kayaks are versatile, light in weight and inexpensive compared to other fishing vessels. (Submitted photo)

Fishing from a kayak is inexpensive, simple and allows accessibility to great out of the way fishing spots.

Kayaks very versatile, with no limit to the places to fish. For myself, having fished most of my whole life, fishing from a kayak never promised to have a lot of appeal — until unsinkable, sit-on-top kayaks came on the market. Kayaks for fishing are rapidly becoming the real deal. Originally as means for transportation and great exercise, they are increasingly popular due to their broad appeal to men, women and children.

Bob Lackner of the Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association started fishing from kayak a year ago.

"We have a camper as a weekend retreat. The budget would not allow the purchase of a boat. A kayak was the obvious alternative for fishing and enjoying nature on the lake," he said. According to Lackner, "kayaks are so versatile and easy to launch. Destinations depend on paddling distance, time frame and or ability. Kayaking is great exercise and age is rarely a barrier to the sport and fishing smarter will catch more fish then fishing harder and paddling farther."

A lot of couples are attracted to kayak fishing. Bob and Shirley Elihi are long-time kayak anglers in Bemidji. Bob commented, "Shirley and I purchased his and hers kayaks. They are light in weight and easily loaded by one person in the back of a pick up or on the top of a car."

For the Elhis' fishing from kayaks are date nights. They explore secluded waters or small rivers and fish for bluegills, crappie, bass and northern pike.

"We always come home with a nice mess of fish for a meal as an added bonus," Bob says.

Fishing and exercise are two primary reasons for Lynn Strandt of Walker to indulge into the world of "yak fishing." Strandt enjoys a morning paddle, always with a fishing rod onboard. Strandt stresses, "My kayak affords me quick access to the water and out-of-the-way fishing spots. The peace and tranquility is in contrast to the power boats rushing around in the distance."

New to kayak fishing? It's a good idea to consult an expert who can help you select the right kayak. Before purchasing consider these questions: Where are you likely to fish? Freshwater ponds, larger lakes or rivers? Will it be big game or bluegills? The most important considerations include stability, comfortable seating, storage and weight.

Selecting a sit-in kayak is appealing. It is a stable, lightweight fishing platform that affords the angler speed and agility.

Sit-on kayaks offer ample storage, ease for the fisherman while casting and landing fish but compromises a bit on speed and stability. Sit-on kayaks are today's choice for most fisherman.

Beginner kayak fisherman can find a well-equipped kayak priced around $500. This includes a paddle and can be customized to one's own fishing style, with added options such as a GPS/fish finder and a "milk crate" for incidentals like rod holders.

Powerboats are dangerous and frightening to yak paddlers. The threat, frankly, is being run over by one. Avoid boating channels and high traffic areas.

Consider a brightly-colored kayak ,or if paddling in rolling waves, add a flag. Paddling at night with a light that can be seen 360 degrees and a distance of two miles is necessary. The minimum list of safety equipment should include a PFD with whistle attached, safety belt to a bowline, drinking water, first aid kit and sunblock.

Fishing from a kayak is relaxing, exciting and very rewarding. Appealing for its simplicity alone, is the reason so many are looking to purchasing kayaks.

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