Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stealth Rider

The kayak is a quiet and efficient vessel for stalking fish. I have had trout and bass rise to take something off the surface within a few feet of my kayak. It also allows you to get into shallow waters and places that are inaccessible to other craft. These are the kind of places that usually hold the fish you are seeking. Once you get into kayakfishing you will likely acquire more than one "yak" if you are serious about your yakfishing.

A 16' sit-on-top is a good choice on big lakes. It is able to handle the rougher conditions you may encounter and is also capable of moving you along quickly. In addition it is able to carry a lot of gear should you wish to camp as you fish.

The 12 foot sit-on-top is a good choice for use on moving water. it is long enough to track well yet short enough to negotiate quick turns on a winding river.

The other choice for me is a kayak that I can stand in. The ability to stand allows you to stretch your legs and gives you a good vantage point for sight fishing and casting and fishing with a flyrod.

I still have the original sit in kayak that I started with but compared to the modern sit-on-top kayaks it is uncomfortable to fish from and it hasn't moved much since I got my Wilderness Tarpon 120 kayak. My canoe has hardly seen the light of day since I discovered the much more efficient kayak. I would still enjoy "canoe-tripping" with a buddy but I haven't given up on trying to figure out how to portage my kayak. The portaging and carrying factors are the weakness of the kayak.

Stand Up Yak

Here's a friend demonstrating the stability of his Commander. 120.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The new Wilderness Commander 120 is earning it's keep. It allowed me to get through an almost impossible back lake access. Often negotiating a tough access can pay off in handsome dividends. Check out this handsome brute! Had these big bucketmouths breaking my tippet so I had to switch to my baitcaster. Caught a lot of these fish which made the extra effort to get in with our kayaks very worthwhile.

Beadchain Bugger Scores at Dusk

After fishing the local reservoir in the afternoon from my yak where one lone crappie avoided the "skunk", I decided to drop in at the trout club on the way home. I was fishing the evening rise from shore with my intermediate fly line. On my last cast before calling it a day this magnificent speckled trout was hooked on a wooly bugger with big beadchain eyes. The beauty of it is that the club does not stock brook trout they raise and stock only rainbow trout. This speckle is a wild fish that has been in the system for a while. They must be naturally reproducing in there or they somehow get in from one of the creeks flowing in or out. Water is getting warm quickly. Time to get out for some river smallmouth.

Monday, January 30, 2012


After enjoying a fishing session with my grandaughter in my old canoe I started to save for the Wilderness Commander 120. This kayak with it's "captain's perch" would enable me to paddle her around while she fishes. With the sliding seat and the Captain's chair the yak effectively becomes a tandem for grandfather and his fishing buddy. I was extremely fortunate and was able to purchase this "angler version" for less than half price at a year end close out back in November. Now this cold ice and snow needs to go away. I'm really anxious to get this yak on the water. 

On my way home from the dealer. I was able to test it out on a nearby lake. It paddles and tracks really well for having a pontoon style hull. I didn't notice it being any slower than my 12 foot Tarpon. I checked out standing capability and it works. This is going to be my "flyfishing machine".

Monday, October 24, 2011

Haliburton Bass

On a Fall trip to the Haliburton Highlands in search of smallmouth this big pike was caught while dropshotting for bass sitting right on bottom. All the big deepwater smallies I have caught have bulldogged down deep and were reluctant to come to the surface. This pike which was at least a 10 pounder, had me convinced I had finally hooked up with a trophy smallmouth. I did get some big bass but they were of this variety........

Fishing was good and the Fall colours were spectacular. I will definitely be going back next season.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Smallmouth vs Largemouth

Floating the River In My Pontoon

Although in the same family these two members of the sunfish family are distinctively different. Length of the lower jaw and dorsal fin differences aside the two fish just look different, Smallies are brownish in colouration while largemouth are green in colouration. "Bronzeback" is a common name for smallmouth and the largemouth is oftened referred to as the "green bass". The largemouth above was caught in one of my favourite eddies on a local smallmouth river. The smallie on my plywood standing platform was caught while fishing a spot on the Rideau System where I normally catch only largemouth. These situations can often occur, but generally, smallies prefer rocky habitat, (Crayfish hide in those rocks!) whereas the largemouth likes the weeds and lily pads. (Frogs like to sun themselves on the pads and the largies lie in wait.)

The smallmouth also likes to dine on the four legged amphibians and largemouth share a liking for crayfish. Where the two species of bass co-exist you can often catch one type of bass in the other's preferred habitat.
Smallmouth bass are masters of camoflauge and will take on the colouration of their surroundings. Fish in tea stained waters will be true "bronzebacks" while Southern Ontario river bass tend to be olive coloured taking on the same hue as the river bottom.

My pontoon float partner and I have very different stles of fishing. He likes to anchor and stands on his seat to cast. I usually leave my "standing board" at home when I'm on the river as I use fins to help control my drift. I can slip out of the seat in water that's not to deep and wade to fish a good looking spot thoroughly.

Earlier this year I caught my first musky on this river. On this last trip, my friend observed several follows from toothy critters and managed to land a 10 pound pike. In a pontoon you are seated up fairly high, but the perspective he has while standing gives him an edge with the toothy critters who have a reputation for following lures right to the boat. Last time out with my friend, I used my flyrod most of the day. He caught all his fish baitcasting and spinning so on this outing I left the fly gear at home and did well on the regular gear. That blue Rapala crank accounted for all my fish on that float. When we return were going to toss some musky baits to see what happens.

Passing the Torch

My little grandaughter who has never fished before came out with me recently. I got down my old canoe from the rafters. I had been saving it for fishing with the grandkids and that time has come. After going through some timing issues on the release of her cast my darling grandaughter got it dialled in and was casting spinnerbaits and buzzbaits right into the pencil reeds. As the day progressed she was even casting Rapalas into the pockets in the reeds. I enjoyed myself immensely just teaching her how to fish. She handled her own weed removal and tip top tangles with almost total independence. Even though no fish were boated she kept telling me how much fun she was having. I was having a blast being her guide and discovered that old canoe when rowed is just as fast as my kayaks. Most of my grandaughter's casting was done standing near the bow. Quite the fishing craft! It's not going back in the rafters yet!