Why We Paddle for Fish

I saw a hint of movement. Then I saw the triangle and the lone dot pop up above the surface like Morse code shorthand for “Here I am”. I was too far away to cast so I picked up my Werner Hooked Shuna and made three whisper silent stokes towards the fish. I let the kayak glide forward as I prepared to cast. The lure landed louder than I wanted, but the near instant crash and splash of a hook up followed. Line zipping off my reel was the soundtrack to a grin widening across my face.

Fish on. Image Credit: Dean Thomas

If you are sight casting to tailing redfish, chances are you are on a shallow flat. Getting yourself into position for a solid cast is all about kayak control and using your paddle to set up the perfect cast.

“Wind is your friend” if it helps quietly push you closer towards the fish. If not, rely on your paddle to get you there. In addition to the obvious forward stroke, a draw stroke is cash money on moving the kayak sideways into position. When you are in two or three inches of water there is no other way to close the distance quietly and make that perfect cast. 

The excitement when you see the fish surging toward your lure or fly, is why we wake up early. It’s why we drive the extra miles. It’s why we paddle to the distant shoreline or around the next bend in the river. It’s why we… #paddle4fish

Early morning paddle to fishing grounds. Image Credit: Dean Thomas