I started kayak fishing about 13 years ago and everything I knew up until yesterday was self taught through trial and error. I've picked up quite a few techniques or tricks from doing things improperly, THEN realizing my mistakes and correcting them. Recently my dad and brother have expressed interest in fishing with me from a yak, so I had them down, on seperate occassions, to fish the Mac and Doah. I quickly realized that, while I can control my own boat and fish productively, I'm not a good instructor and I even became frustrated when they wouldn't pick up things as fast as I'd hoped. I quickly came to my senses and called a pro to assist in getting them up to speed in this sport.
Juan Veruete of Kayak Fish PA http://kayakfishpa.com/
was who I turned to for assistance in this matter. We made arrangements to fish the Juniata River in PA and met up with Juan yesterday morning for our class. Due to some recent storms our original game plan deviated slightly, but Juan was able to quickly provide a back-up plan that worked out great.
The trip started off with a quick spinnerbait lesson, which we would soon employed in the higher flow. It was obvious right from the start that the paddling techniques, or lack there of, were hinderances for my dad and brother. Juan quickly corrected this with some on the water instruction and you could see the improvements immediately. Once they took a few quick practice laps we set out beating the banks with our spinnerbaits.
It wasn't long until I hooked up the first fish with this decent smallie on a SB.
Satisfied with an entry for Kayak Wars, I hung back and let Juan get my dad and brother out ahead. This trip was mainly about their learning and I didn't want to pick off any more fish before they were able to get a cast or two in.
We continued on and Juan got both of them onto some decent fish pretty quickly. We had our pattern for the day, as the fish were tight to the banks holding near any structure (wood, rock, etc.) that created a current break. The most sucessful bait ended up being a craw imitation thrown tight
to structure. My brother ended up catching 7-10 fish (some rock bass mixed in) and my dad caught at least 10 including his personal best on my hand tied J-n-C
During the course of the trip I could see significant improvements in their paddling, boat position, and overall confidence first hand. Juan continued to drop knowledge on us covering a plethora of techniques and tactics. What took me over a decade to learn on my own was handed to my dad and brother on a silver platter in about 8 hours. If you are new to the sport and want to drastically reduce your initial struggles give Juan a call, you won't be sorry!
This was a fantastic outing for all of us and both of them raved about how much they learned. Juan is extremely knowledgable and he's one heck of an instructor. If I ever need to introduce someone else to the sport I know who I'm calling!
Here is a link to Juan's blog post describing our trip http://kayakfishpa.com/2012/06/03/high-water-fishing/
Thanks for everything Juan!