This episode of kayak fishing tales is brought to you by the ACA improving the paddle sports experience for over a century. learn more at Americancanoe.org One of the great things about kayak fishing is that on a very simple level, you can just slip on a life jacket, grab your tackle, and have a great time without any prior experience.
But, by taking the time to learn proper paddle technique, not only will you be able to reach more fishing spots but you’ll also be safer on the water because you’ll be more prepared to handle any situation that might pop up.
And so in this video we’re going to look at three key techniques that all kayak anglers should know and practice. The first technique we’re going to look at is how to re-enter a kayak from the water. Regardless of what type of boat you’re paddling it’s going to be a lot easier to re-enter kayak with a friend there to help stabilize.
You’ll start by grabbing onto the side of the kayak and letting your legs float to the surface behind you. Then with the powerful kick of the legs and push with your arms to haul your chest onto the kayak, keeping your center of gravity as low as possible.
You’ll then twist around and settle into the seat. For obvious reasons, this is a technique that you want to practice in a controlled environment and get comfortable performing so that if you ever find yourself in the water unexpectedly you’ll know what to do.
The second technique that all kayak anglers should know is the draw stroke. Draw strokes are used to move your kayak sideways and they’re incredibly useful maneuvering strokes for pulling yourself up alongside something.
The basic draw involves reaching out to the side, planting your blade, and then pulling your boat and body sideways towards it. To make the stroke most effective turn your head and upper body to face the active blade.
Then insert the blade fully into the water with your paddle shaft as vertical as you can get it. You’ll then pull your lower hand towards your hip while your top hand stays almost stationary acting like a pivot point for the stroke.
Now just before your blade hits the side of your kayak you need to finish the stroke by slicing the blade out of the water towards the stern. This is the basic draw stroke technique but there are more advanced and powerful draw strokes that you can learn like the sculling draw, but that’s a story for a different time.
The third technique that all kayaker should know is the sweep stroke the sweep stroke is the best way to turn your kayak when sitting still and a good way to make course corrections when you’re in motion.
The forward sweep starts at your toes blade fully immersed with your hands and paddle held low to the water unlike the forward stroke which gets pulled alongside the kayak. The idea behind a sweep stroke is to sweep a wide arching path with your blade as far out to the side of the kayak as you can.
You’ll keep sweeping the blade around until it approaches the stern of your boat, where you’ll slice it out of the water and move on to your next stroke. To get the most power for your sweep stroke, sit up right in your kayak and watch your active blade throughout the arc, because this forces your upper body to rotate during the stroke which gets all your core muscles involved.
The reverse sweep is exactly what it sounds like – the forward sweep but done in reverse. For the reverse sweep stroke turn your upper body and look with your eyes as you plant the paddle blade as far back as possible towards the stern of your kayak with your blade planted deeply in the water, you’ll then sweep a wide arc all the way out to the side of your kayak and up to your toes, keeping your hands low throughout the stroke.
So there you have it, three paddling techniques that all kayak fisherman should know. Needless to say they’re a lot more paddling techniques to learn, so subscribe to KayakFishingTales Youtube channel to stay tuned for more kayak fishing tips.