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Wyatt KoganIntroducing Kids To Kayak Fishing
by Mike Kogan of jaxkayakfishing.com

Kayaks + Kids = A Great Day's Fishing- One of life's joys is going fishing with a kid, and kayak fishing is no different. Watching a child hook up with a fish and experience the thrill of the fight is one of those moments that parents treasure. I know because my son, Wyatt, loves to come fishing with me on our kayak, and the pleasure is just as much mine as it is his.

Some of us are hanging up our paddles for the season while Florida's Kayak Fishing Community is still going strong:
A November Week In The Life
Of Florida's Kayak Anglers

Brought to you by the anglers of www.JaxKayakFishing.com,
Week Ending Monday November 7, 2005

The fish were really fired up inshore this week even though there were some breezy and wet conditions early in the week. Our local kayak fishermen had some fabulous catches:

Rob HarveyRob Harvey outlasted the rain in Simpson Creek to have a day many anglers dream about, catching over 37 trout to over 20" and taking home a limit stringer using DOA shrimp. Also on Simpson Creek Scott Foley caught 15 trout and 2 reds, and K.C Mabry caught 4 trout to 19" and 2 reds to 20".

Woody Huband really exercised some fish with his fly rod in Brown's Creek, catching 6 slot reds to 24" and 6 trout. On another trip to Brown's Huband and partner Rich Santos combined for another 6 reds to 23" and 3 trout on fly. On his final trip to Brown's Huband caught another 25" red and 2 flounder. Also in Brown's Lloyd Granat caught 10 trout to 17" and a red.

Kris Sawicki had an awesome day creek fishing as he landed over 20 slot reds, most of which were backing and tailing. Dan Frazer hooked 3 reds including a 27" 16-spot fish and 2 trout off Heckscher Dr.

Michelle and Emmett KoganDuring the Kogan family's weekly outing, 3 year-old Emmett Kogan caught his first red on a Zebco 202, while his 5-year old brother Wyatt caught 3 flounder to 16" and a mangrove snapper in Oak Harbor. Proud parents Michelle and Mike followed up with 10 more reds, a trout, and a flounder. Matt Adams, Brett Hastings, and Mike Kogan fished the Dutton Island area of the ICW and tallied 7 reds to 24" and a handful of small trout.

Scott FisherScott Fisher, Jeff McLaughlin, and Mike Kogan combined for 12 reds including 4 slot-sized fish to 24", 6 trout to 17", and a 16" flounder in Mt. Pleasant Creek. On a return trip McLaughlin and Ken Harris totaled 2 flounder, a red , and a trout.

Sean Mulhall landed 3 reds and several trout in Salt Run. Ethan Fulford ansd Steve Boudreau had some great action near the 206 bridge in St. Augustine, catching 24" and 26" reds, a 23" flounder, then topped it off jumping a 2 foot tarpon.

Woody HubandA large group of over 12 local yakkers went to fish the Pellicer Creek area and camp at Princess Preserve this past weekend. Led by Sean Kobylarz, John Cowling, Jeff McLaughlin, and Ken Harris to name just a few, the group caught numerous reds, trout, and flounder en route to having a great time.

If you are in the Jacksonville, Florida area, enjoy the company of the folks on the water & online at www.JaxKayakFishing.com

There are, of course, some things to consider before venturing out for a day's fishing with a small child in a kayak. But proper equipment and planning will insure a wonderful time on the water for both of you.

What kind of kayak is best for fishing with a child? I use a Malibu Extreme with a Gator Hatch, which provides a molded in seat for a child up to 70lbs or so directly in front of and facing me. I find this to be a great layout compared to a tandem kayak in which the child would sit up front facing away, at least until the young 'un is big enough to paddle their own (around age 8-10).

Whatever you choose, you want to make sure you both have ample room, are comfortable, and that the child is within reach. Safety-wise, you must both wear PFDs, of course. A kayak that is designed for a stable ride like a sit-on-top is ideal. Sit inside kayaks do not lend themselves to fishing with a child although it can be done.

When taking a child out on a kayak or canoe planning is vital to make sure the experience is enjoyable whether you catch fish or not. Make sure you have plenty of bug spray, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and snacks - particularly the bad ones Mom doesn't let you have (cheesy puffs, beef jerky, and soda keep my fella happy).

Also make sure you have thought out how to go about using nature's facilities. Boys are a bit easier than girls, but knowing there is a handy spot with some hard bottom where someone can go potty is critical. Also take a dry bag with a spare change of clothes and towel in case your little one gets uncomfortably wet (from any reason).

While there is nothing wrong with taking home some nice fish for dinner, make sure your kids are ready for this. While my son thinks we should keep every fish, many children are trained to believe keeping a fish is akin to murder. One father I know had his son break into tears when he put a nice red into the cooler. Teach your child good conservatiuon methods, but don't go overboard (pun intended) and create an emotional trauma. Show kids proper release techniques; but let them know, contrary to PETA's kids' campaign, that fish are FOOD not friends. I remember one day when I released a small red with one hand my son informed me that was no way to release a fish. He then proceeded to show me how to release a red with two hands the way he learned watching fishing shows on TV.

A camera in the kayak goes a long way in helping you to preserve those priceless moments when your kids face lights up with their catch. If you are lucky enough to spend the day baiting and re-rigging your kid's line as he or she keeps reeling in fish you have reached kid fishing nirvana. It's not about you, it's about getting them to enjoy fishing, being out on the water together, and if you're lucky enough catching fish too.

*Don't miss this related article here at TopKayaker.Net:

Kayaking with Kids: A Practical Guide To Kayaks, Gear & Having Fun Paddling With Your Children By John Enomoto

BOOKS: PADDLING WITH KIDS
By Bruce Lessels and Karen Blom

FISH THE FORUMS to get answers to your kayak fishing & diving questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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