by Carl Hyland
Going ahead in leaps and bounds are the sales of many ‘car toppers’ within the Island state, mainly due to fact that the Island is classed as a ‘holiday’ destination. Thinking anglers have taken that a step further, now getting into their favourite holes and dams, even rivers, with kayaks and canoes.
Top canoe destination , beautiful Wineglass Bay.
Whilst it isn't entirely accurate to say that kayak fishing is a new trend, it certainly would be fair to say that modern-day canoe/kayak fishing is relatively new and is growing and evolving rapidly.
Flat boats - or 'sit-on-top’ style kayaks are based on an ancient pacific design, which as the name suggests, were designed for the paddler to sit on. Pacific Islanders didn't really have a problem with the cold, so there wasn't a need for an enclosed cockpit. Built for stability and simplified boarding, these were also used for fishing, as well as commuting between islands. It is the sit-on top style of kayak that is most popular for modern-day kayak fishing.
Whilst it is possible to fish from almost any kayak or canoe, the sit-on top style has emerged as a favourite. Not only are they easier to get in and out of, sit on’s offer more usable deck space, provide far more storage & mounting options and are much easier to get back into in the event of a rollover. Most canoes these days can also be fitted with different means of propulsion, say, electric trolling motors or even small outboards, thus further increasing their versatility.
Now available as car toppers, these lightweight canoes and kayaks are easily transportable and their stability means that even younger people can control these craft plus their price range ensure that for a modest outlay, a reasonable craft can be obtained.
Quite a few canoe/kayak anglers have reported a vast increase in their catch rate soon after getting started, with several factors influencing the results. Now, water borne anglers have far more to keep them on target, than their land-based counterparts. Not only can the canoe anglers extend their range to reach places a shore-based angler will never be able to cast their lines, but they can also gain access to many areas that simply can't be reached by foot. Peninsulas and rocky shores that are unavailable to the land-based fisherman are fair game for the kayak angler.
It's in many of these areas, largely because are they often so difficult to otherwise access - that some of the biggest and best fish can be found. It's also usually quite a bit easier to land a fish from off the water than it is from the shore.Tasmania is certainly becoming a 'hot' destination for mainland travelers who wish to canoes around the state and places like Wineglass Bay on the East Coast are an attractive magnet to visitors and kayak anglers alike.
It doesn't take any stretch of the imagination to appreciate that a kayak fisherman will usually out-fish their land-based counterparts. In saying that, small boats still give anglers the stability and ‘safety’ of a more stable platform (this is what I prefer) but I just can’t seem to get to those tight little spots where a flotation device such as a SOT can allow.
Hobie canoes seem to beat the top end of the market today in Tasmania and are a very popular boat. With pedalling the boat making it easier for some, say than paddling, the method of peddling can mean that you can go longer, harder and sometimes faster if, say ,you need to troll a lure.
We have only just seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to canoes and kayaks and given that there are canoe clubs springing up around the country, I think it is safe to say that we will continue to see an upsurge of anglers in such water borne craft into the future.