The Learning Curve
My goal when I started kayak fishing a few months back was to challenge myself to keep growing in bass fishing as a angler. It’s easy to keep doing the same thing over and over, but complacency just isn't my style. I personally want to be able to catch fish in multiple ways, gaining experience and knowledge with each cast. The kayak thing has not come without some curve balls. It has been a blast to learn and a frustrating nuisance at the same time. I’ll be open and truthful and say there has been times I’ve thought, "forget this and give me my boat back." But at the same time it is those frustrations that propel me forward in this journey. My body is in a kayak but my mindset for fishing is out of a bigger boat. My reality and my mentality are colliding every time I hit the water.
When you are out fishing open water in a larger boat you typically don’t deal with things like your lure pulling you around the lake. You just chuck your crankbait out and crank away. The boat sits where it is and your mind is left to concentrate on your area and what you're doing with your rod, reel, and lure. When you cast that mid level diver on a kayak, the 1st thing that happens is you start pulling yourself toward the lure. This leads to ton of extra paddling and repositioning to get back to your original location over and over. With depths of 8 foot and deeper you’re going to find it difficult to hold your boat where you want to be. It can be done it’s just going to take some effort.
Beating the bank on a windy day can be so aggravating. On a bass boat the wind might causally drift you along only having to correct the boat here and there with the trolling motor. On a kayak a good gust can have you feeling like you’re doing the infamous tail spin from the movie Top Gun. You’re pushing your paddle here and there trying to hold the boat while trying to keep your lure in the strike zone at the same time. Again you're doing extra work but it can be done.
Taking those frustrations and having that competitive drive to become better adds a few new things to the way I process information. I am trying to do things during my mapping and researching sessions for each body of water like checking the next days forecast not for temperatures or air pressures but for the direction of the wind. I take that wind direction and adjust my start point on the lake so i can attempt to use that as my trolling motor to help push me alongside an area to keep making positive casts and spend more time fishing and less time adjusting the boat position. When I attack an area, I like to get to work and I try my best to position that nose to slow that movement down so I can be thorough in how i fish the area.
Some of the new friends I have begun making around the local kayak community have had some enjoyment out of watching the show. You can see the different mindsets and the strategies things are approached with side by side. While in a kayak now, I’m not a total convert. My fishing style is work in progress and there are more challenges ahead. The toughest task is yet to come when I go back to Patoka Lake for the 1st time in a kayak. I’ll know where I want to be, I’ll know what I want to do, I just have to figure out how to make it all happen. All I can do is continue to embrace this self inflicted challenge and push myself somewhere new. I have always loved a good challenge and this is proving to be a good one.