Kayak fishing has come a long way from it's origins when kayaks were invented for hunting some 4000 years ago. In it's contemporary form kayak fishing has evolved from being a fringe pursuit to a fully-fledged mainstream sport - one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the world, especially in Australia.
In all my years of following the sport of kayak fishing up until now I've never had to report about a fatal shark attack incident involving a kayak angler but I always knew the day would come. Sadly just such an incident occurred in Maui a few days ago when Patrick Briney dangled his legs in the water while jigging for baitfish. A full report can be found at ABC news.
Maui County Ocean Safety officials received a report that a shark attacked a man fishing in a kayak between Maui and Molokini, a small island less than 3 miles off the southwest coast of Maui that's popular for diving and snorkeling.
One couldn't have asked for better launching conditions today when Mischa Cooka and I launched from Flinders Ocean Beach out into Bass Strait, setting sail for Cape Schanck. Literally... it was like launching into a pond. We sailed in to north west winds toward the cape, deploying lures soon after clearing the marine park zone. I hooked up almost immediately after doing so and only moments after bringing that fish aboard (a Sgt Baker) I was hauling in a barracouta... perhaps the largest I've seen caught in Victoria. We were off to a great start.
I can't take credit for the Blueline boat seat organizer used as such on an Adventure Island as I was introduced to the idea by Rhett, who showed it off as we prepared to launch to Fraser island from Hervey Bay, hence the image above. Suitably taken with the concept I picked one up prior to heading off shore at Flinders this weekend. The Blueline boat seat organizer is a perfect way to store a few tackle boxes and a few other bits and pieces right behind the backrest of the skipper seat, which is otherwise wasted real estate. Today I managed to fit 3 slim tackle boxes into the open divider, a video camera and a sack full 'o plastics in the zippered compartment, along with a few other bits and pieces. Safe to say it worked out pretty well.
I've been regretting purchasing the Go Pro Hero 3 Black cams soon after I got them earlier this year primarily because they've proven to be highly unreliable ever since. As such they've plagued 2 major video shoots with a plethora of problems ranging from corrupt files to batteries running down unreasonably with a handful of strange buggy and sometimes show-stopping quibbles in between. Not only would the ABT Bemm river video have been a whole lot better if not for this, so to would the upcoming Fraser Island clip. While I remain impressed with the technical specifications of the Go Pro cameras I am dissatisfied with the reliability. Ergo, my search for a more reliable alternative began and I'm hoping that this shiny new Garmin Virb fits the bill.
I was particularly interested in a couple of recent additions to Rapala's line up of trolling lures recently, including their most recent announcement, which is the XXXRap. In particular it was this description that caught my attention:
Designed in Australia for the toughest, hard-fighting fish; Rapala’s Triple X-Rap comes equipped with the most durable construction for a lure in its category, that we’ve ever released.
Every year we sail our kayaks from Hervey Bay to Fraser island to undertake a week-long kayak fishing expedition we learn a few new tricks because every time we go we experience something new. This being our fifth annual event one might think that by now we'd seen it all... but no. In some ways it was probably the most educational trip yet and for sure one of the most interesting. It was also the most challenging in many regards, including, unfortunately, the catching of fish. Thats not to say we didn't catch our fair share (most of us did) but we certainly had to work harder at it, with several circumstances working against us.
For the most part the weather worked in our favour including the 60km crossings back and forth to Wathumba creek. Although we had to work hard to reach the creek before sundown on the way over we did see a lot of fish activity and a few good fish were caught along the way. Rhett opened up his account with a half-mack tuna (the sharking of which was one of the highlights) and followed this up soon after with a golden trevally caught in unusual circumstances, casting into a frenzied bait ball being smashed by tuna. Holger was next with a double hook up on a couple of mack tuna, both of which he landed and released.