drc2076

First Ever Kayak Outing - Narrabeen Lake

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As a land based guy I’ve long watched kayak fisherman with a degree of longing bordering on unhealthy. Other family expenses and circumstances have meant this was likely to remain an unfulfilled dream for the foreseeable future. On the Central Coast visiting family about a month ago I found myself with a few hours free and on a whim went browsing in a nearby kayak shop with my wife. When I eye off new toys I can usually interpret her body language pretty accurately and on this day I wasn’t getting the “you must be joking” vibe. When the salesman introduced me to a factory second Cobra Marauder that had been knocked down to well under $1000 she turned to me and said, “you’ve always wanted one, why don’t you just buy it.” I can usually take a hint and I decided to take this one with both hands. Before the end of the afternoon we were headed back down the freeway with a 4.3m fishing kayak strapped to the roof racks.

I soon discovered that owning a kayak and having the time and conditions to facilitate getting it out on the water are two entirely different things. One car, two teenage kids, busy weekends and rubbish weather all conspired to keep my kayak in the backyard awaiting the moment. Finally, last Sunday it arrived. Benign weather conditions were forecast for the morning so I strapped the kayak onto the racks late Saturday night, loaded my gear into the back and waited for the moment.

I was actually a little nervous. I’d built this up in my mind over such a long time it’d be crushing if the whole experience sucked. My goal was modest for the first outing and my primary purpose for the day was really a glorified gear test. I'd never been in a kayak before in my life so everything was new to me.

First test was loading and unloading the kayak solo. It's a heavy bugger so this was a key obstacle I needed to solve.

I’d bought a kayak loader with a frame and wheels which attaches to roof racks and extends at the rear of the car to enable one man loading and unloading. Success. Hurdle one overcome.

Test location was Middle Creek Reserve at the rear of Narrabeen lake. I arrived around 6:30am and the place was already filling up. Joggers, paddlers, walkers and other kayakers. Reminded me how much summer on the northern beaches can be a pain for fishing, not to mention getting gouged by Northern Beaches Council for parking. I really need to find myself one of those damn stickers!

Anyway, got the kayak off the roof and loaded the gear. I rigged two rods. One for flicking plastics the other for trolling a larger plastic swimbait.

Took me until nearly 7am to get on the water. It's a heavy kayak and took a while to find the rhythm of paddling. Already the NE breeze was puffing up. The yak didn’t cut through the water super smoothly and it was hard going at first for an old geezer like me!

Sent out the trolling swimbait and headed over towards Deep Creek where there was already a tinny and another kayak fishing. Figured they might know something I didn't.

No touches on the troll so started flicking a squidgee on my light outfit. A few casts and then a hit.

It was a fairly soft hit. Thought maybe a small flattie or bream. As I started bringing it in the fish woke up and suddenly realised I had something decent. Got him alongside the yak for a first look. Very murky water. First guess around 50cm. Every time I had him near the net he'd take another run. Took a good 5 minutes to get him under control and get the net under him. Netted him. Too big for the net. Jeez. Made a mental note to bring my bigger net next time. Finally got the lip grips on and took him out. Now I'm thinking mid 50s. Into the keeper net he went.

Kept paddling, trolling and flicking SPs for another couple of hours. The wind had really started to gust and the lake was getting packed with kayaks, SUPs, and people racing noisy little model speed boats. Decided to head in around 9:45am and call it a successful morning. Measured the fish on the beach and he came in at 57cm. A new PB for me.

Also discovered it's a lot more involved than land based when you decide to call it a day. Get all the gear off the kayak and into the car, clean the fish, load the kayak, strap it down, etc.

Exhausted, sweaty and borderline dehydrated, you still couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I won't get selected for any Olympic tryouts for kayaking that's for sure, but it only has to give me access to spots I couldn't get to otherwise and on that score it succeeded.

Looking forward to free time over the upcoming Xmas break and to adventures farther afield.

Tight lines.

Flattie.jpg

Edited by drc2076

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nice when it all comes together..best thing I ever bought was my yak..no lights  no rego  no wheel bearings   no fuel...ahhhhh the serenity...rick

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Well done and great report! I have to agree with rick, my kayak is far cheaper to run than the boat. It’s also a total different perspective of fishing! Good luck on your next adventure! 

Cheers scratchie!!! 

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Cracker write up drc!!  Always good to blood new gear with a decent fish.  

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Nice report. Enjoy your yak! Let’s have a joint session someday.

cheers.

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nice flattie

sounds like you enjoy your yak

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Great report and well done on your pb flattie. If only I was 30 years younger I'd join the yakking fraternity. Cheers,bn

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Great report.....I could sense your excitement! Well done on the PB and look out Narabeen Lakes...you'll be terrorising the water there!

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Your report makes for great reading and good on you for realising your passion. To get a council sticker, go to the council building in Dee Why and they will get you to sign a statutory declaration when you show them proof that you live in the council area. You will get two stickers issued to you on the spot. Good luck mate and enjoy your fishing.

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Great writeup there and I can definitely relate to it all being a fellow kayaker. Glad you scored a PB on your first outing as well. Over time you may want to change to a lighter kayak. I was in the same situation earlier this year. Had a Ocean Kayak Prowler which I was finding too heavy to load / unload. Sold it and got a Viking Profish which is much lighter and makes the experience even better.

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Great report drc.

I hate loading up that heavy kayak! You seem to have a good solution. What sort of loader you are using?

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Great read mate,

Hopefully more kayak reports to follow

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8 hours ago, undy said:

Great report drc.

I hate loading up that heavy kayak! You seem to have a good solution. What sort of loader you are using?

This is it. Works pretty well.

 

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On 29/11/2017 at 9:55 PM, cogo44 said:

Your report makes for great reading and good on you for realising your passion. To get a council sticker, go to the council building in Dee Why and they will get you to sign a statutory declaration when you show them proof that you live in the council area. You will get two stickers issued to you on the spot. Good luck mate and enjoy your fishing.

Haha. The problem is I haven't lived in the council area for 20 years!

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Well done. A great report. Nice catch on your first kayak fishing outing.

Please do  safety recovery test on your kayak. I got flipped on a very calm day when tug boat came too close and fast. Created fast moving waves over 1.2 meter high and repeated waves 2 meters apart and flipped my 14.2 mtr Hobie PA14. It was my first accident after fishing over a year in yak. Wear a good PFD life jacket.

I managed to flip back by stepping on to boondox landing gear legs and pulling side anchor trolley line and only lost very expensive  anchor rig.

Be safe on the water and good luck.

 

 

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On 05/12/2017 at 4:46 PM, drc2076 said:

Haha. The problem is I haven't lived in the council area for 20 years!

The price you pay mate for leaving the Northern Beaches!

 

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On 10/12/2017 at 11:22 AM, cogo44 said:

The price you pay mate for leaving the Northern Beaches!

 

Sadly true. That and a 30 minute drive to my nearest beach. ☹️

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Welcome to the kayaking family! I'm usually in the lake on mine too, so if you see a green Jackson Big Tuna with a Jack Russell onboard, don't be afraid to say g'day.

A good launching spot is Wimbledon Ave, as there is usually plenty of room to load/unload, and launch into the water. I don't think you need a sticker to park there, but check first.

It won't be long before you will be investing in a trolling motor and marine battery..... it does make life a whole lot easier!

If it is a bit on the heavy side, look up a company called "Boathoist". They do a good electric kayak loader, and are located in Coffs I think. Thule do a decent manual one too.

As for the parking sticker, there is usually someone selling them on Gumtree for anywhere from $50-$120 depending on the seller.

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10 hours ago, iamthecowgodmoo said:

Welcome to the kayaking family! I'm usually in the lake on mine too, so if you see a green Jackson Big Tuna with a Jack Russell onboard, don't be afraid to say g'day.

A good launching spot is Wimbledon Ave, as there is usually plenty of room to load/unload, and launch into the water. I don't think you need a sticker to park there, but check first.

It won't be long before you will be investing in a trolling motor and marine battery..... it does make life a whole lot easier!

If it is a bit on the heavy side, look up a company called "Boathoist". They do a good electric kayak loader, and are located in Coffs I think. Thule do a decent manual one too.

As for the parking sticker, there is usually someone selling them on Gumtree for anywhere from $50-$120 depending on the seller.

Cheers. Will definitely look at Wimbledon Ave as an alternate spot. Currently saving up for a sounder. One thing at a time though, have pretty much exhausted my fishing gear budget for the year! I hope to see you on the lake. Also keen to get into Pittwater (any launching tips) but waiting for this heatwave to pass by before I tackle it.

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