AUSTRALIA: Kayak Fishing

This week Craig Coughlan is filling in for Rob Paxevanos and Craig takes a look at Kayak Fishing Tournaments which are undergoing a surge in popularity.

Kayaks are a popular fishing platform for many of today’s anglers and with the large numbers of kayak anglers in the sport, the introduction of kayak fishing tournaments was inevitable.

In 2009, the first kayak only tournament series was introduced in Sydney, the Daiwa/Hobie BREAM kayak series, and it was a huge success.

Since 2009 the series has grown significantly to a 18 round series, covering all states in Australia except the Northern Territory plus a big 2 day Grand Final event.

In addition to the Daiwa/Hobie series, there is the Squidgies Southern Bream Series which covers waters from Sydney and south to Mallacoota in Victoria.

I have fished many of these events from both series since their introduction with mixed results and enjoyed every one of them. They attract anglers from near and far, making them a great social experience, and I met lots of people and made some good friends along the way.

The idea is to catch, and present 3 of your best Bream to the weigh master, and the heaviest bag wins. All fish must be presented alive at the weigh in and all fish must be released immediately after weighing.

Catching 3 bream within the required time period certainly sounds easy to me, and sometimes it is but on other days things just don’t go as planned.

Tournament fishing can be a real test of one’s patience and composure, a wrong decision could decide your whole day. In a boat, if you choose your destination and it is not fishing well you can simply fire up the outboard and head off to your next hot spot quickly. But in a kayak, obviously things move a lot slower so it is easy to waste a lot of time jumping between spots. Choosing your location to suit your preferred style of fishing for each event is important.

South Coast anglers have lots of events to choose from including those on the Clyde River, St.Georges Basin and the Shoalhaven river. These are an easy trip even for the masses that head down the mountain from Canberra, and it’s from these 3 venue’s I have experienced my best results with plenty of top 5 finishes plus a lonely win in my local, the Clyde river.

In Febuary this year, round 5 of the Daiwa/Hobie series was held at St.Georges Basin where I was lucky enough to scrape into 5th position earning me a spot in this years Grand Final, to be held at the Bemm River, Victoria in November where we all fish from identical kayaks to get us all on a level playing field.

The last time i was given the opportunity to fish a Grand Final was in 2010 in Forster NSW, and it was an experience i will never forget, and after missing out on last years Grand Final my only goal for this year was to qualify, so it was of course a huge relief to achieve that so early in the series to take the weight off my shoulders.

Anyone who fishes from a kayak, from the keenest of anglers to amateurs are welcomed into these events and I highly recommend giving it a go; they are a heap of fun and a great way to improve your skills. These event have given me the motivation I needed to visit some great fisheries along the East Coast that have been on my ‘to do list’ for a long time.

See you on the water

Craig Coughlan

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