OverviewFishing from a kayak involves some constraints that powerboat fishermen don't face. First off - a kayak can't travel at the speeds that powerboats do, so trolling lures must be able to work under those conditions. In some cases, the kayak might offer more stealth and provide access to waters that are inaccessible to powercraft.
If you're just starting out with lures, have a peek at the AKFF Tacklebox for a few recommendations that have worked well for AKFF members in the past.
Artificial Lures that kayak fishermen use generally fall into two major categories:
Soft Plastic Lures
Soft plastic lures are generally crafted to reflect the size, shape and sometimes the vibration of fish or worms commonly taken by target fish species.
The liquid plastic poured into the soft plastic molds is engineered so that after it cools, its density will allow it to float, suspend, or sink as appropriate. Many different textures are available, and a huge range of colours can be found. Many manufacturers also include scents and flavours into the plastics (generally either fish-oil based, or aniseed/garlic based) in order to encourage the fish to hold the lure a little longer, giving the fisherman more time to set the hook.
Plastics are generally divided into 'flick baits' which have no inbuilt action, 'T-tails' (sometimes erroneously called 'paddletails') which have a triangular tail, and 'grubs' with a ribbon-like tail designed to give a swimming action. Recently, soft plastic manufacturers have expanded their ranges to include realistic squid, prawn and crab patterns.
They are usually fished by attaching them to weighted jigheads of various styles, hook sizes, and weight. Occasionally, they are fished unweighted on special 'worm hooks'.
AKFF members have had a lot of success with the Gulp 3-inch flick-bait in pumpkinseed colours. These tend to work well on a wide variety of fish - particularly Flathead, small Snapper, Bonito, Bream and (surprisingly), Bass. Larger soft plastics have accounted for Tuna, YellowTail Kingfish, and Mulloway, even a large Black Marlin.
Popular brands of soft plastics include:
Hard Body Lures
Hard body lures consist can be made of metal, plastic, or wood. They generally attract fish by either mimicking the look of a small baitfish with both appearance vibration or by exciting the fish to strike out due to colour or light reflection. Some hard body lures seek to mimic actual baitfish and others bear no resemblance to any living thing but seem to do the trick. Different lures can be effectively trolled, jigged or cast and retrieved. As kayak fishermen - we are generally limited to trolling lures that can effectively fish at speeds under 3 knots.
Some lures do not troll very well out of the box, and need to be tuned. Have a peek here for more information:
Slices are lures that do not attempt to imitate a fish realistically, but have the general size of a baitfish. They are generally made of bright metal and can be jigged or cast. Popular brands include:
An AKFF thread on creating your own slices is available here:
Diving Lures are often classified as either sinking, suspending, or floating. A sinking lure will move to the bottom of its own accord. An intermediate lure will dive to a certain depth - and suspend itself at that depth when the retrieve is stopped. Floating lures will dive to a certain depth, slowly rising to the surface until the retrieve is resumed.
- Ecogear SX Series
- Rapala CD Series
- Jackall TN Series
- Predatek Min Series
- Strikepro Galaxia
- Strikepro Pygmy II
- Storm Thundercranks
Spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits
Chatterbaits are a fairly new style of lure that was introduced to the forum by Breambo. It is similar in style to a spinnerbait in that it is comprised of a weighted head and a silicone skirt however instead of spinner blades it has a chatter blade. http://www.akff.net/resize.php?w=640&src=/forum/files/226_0a35a4cbf9fadf29e79c5b509a37759d&sia=image.jpg
The chatterblade varies in size and shape but is primarily hexagonal. It is attached to the jighead by two split rings (if the jighead has a 0 degree eyelet)such the the blade sits perpendicular to the jighead. When the blade is trolled the water being forced past the blade causes the blade to chatter and hence impart a violent shivering action to the rest of the lure. The action can easily be felt feeding back through the line and into the kayak.
Weight of jigheads used varies but it is generally considerably heavier than what would be expected to be used when fishing SPs. On this forum the jigheads used varied from 1/4oz to 3oz. The average head size however is 1 to 2oz. This is because a Chatterbait is essentially a trolling lure and when trolling the blade position imparts lift to the lure causing it to rise to the surface. Heavier jigheads assist in keeping the lure at depth when trolling offshore.
The other components of the Chatterbait include the skirt and a soft plastic tail. These give the lure a colourful and vibrant action. The loose and flexible nature of both of these additions take on the action imparted by the blade and are obviously an important part of getting the fish to strike after their interest has been piqued by the sonic vibration of the blade.
So far the Australian species that has taken to these lures most aggressively is the Snapper. Other species so far accounted for include trevally. http://www.akff.net/resize.php?w=640&src=/forum/files/226_d3537a7c521f2e1c2ba61de2a64ffc0b&sia=image.jpg
Chatterbaits can be made at home with a few essential items and are easily customised for personal preference re: colours/jighead size/hook size etc. Lure components are generally found in a standard tackle box but the unusual items (chatterblade and silicone skirts) can be sourced from American Tackle making sites. When ordering from these sites it is generally necessary to have a fairly large order to make it worthwhile as postage rates can be exorbitant! To make a single chatterbait you require-
1 x large jighead (for offshore work greater than 1oz is the minimum. Hook size 5/0 - 8/0) 1 x silicone skirt (60 strand/5" is best) 1 x Soft Plastic tail - 4 to 7" 1 X Chatterblade 1 x Duolock or Egg Snap to connect through blade 2 x Split rings
Split ring pliers are fairly necessary (as is patience to get the snap through the blade!)
Poppers are lures that attempt to imitate an injured baitfish. They are floating lures that generate excitment in fish both in their action and the water disturbance they create when they move forward via their concave mouth.
Tryhard wrote an amazing tutorial about using poppers to target bream in this link
Here are a few links to articles/videos also:
Bubble Pop Popper