Tag Archives: Paddling

The Art of “Floating”

People that fish out of a kayak always have a preference on what type of water they would prefer to be on, what type of fish they love going after the best, what type of bait or lures works the best, brands of rods and reels… opinions on everything and anything. Around the area of Central New York, there are all sorts of different bodies of water, and species of fish to target. The primary for me would have to be river fishing for largemouth and small mouth bass.

Coming along with River Fishing is the planning that goes along with it. Planning a “Float” is almost as important as making sure you bring your rod and reel along. Living and working on the Seneca River, which connects Seneca Lake to Cayuga Lake (the two largest Finger Lakes in central New York) I have had a chance to float down that section of River many times, and have learned a lot of “do’s and do not’s” in the process.

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A good rule of thumb, as always when you are paddling, is to use the buddy system, having a put in and take out point is one thing, but not having transportation when you take out makes it pretty pointless. Having a vehicle at your take out point, with at the very least, a way to get back to your portage vehicle would easily allow you to do a lot more fishing, instead of having to paddle all the way back up river to your put in location. Another key thing to remember when parking is to make sure you have the right/permission to park where you are. Nothing worse than coming back from a day on the water to a ticket on your car, or worse…. No car.
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Which brings me to my next point, it seems silly, but knowing the details about the river you are setting up to fish can truly be the difference maker on the outcome of your day; current conditions, tides if applicable), hot spots, and even the best baits. Nothing is worse than putting in at your location, planning this great float, only to find out you are floating the other direction. Also, talking to locals in the area, you might find out that an area that looks great for the fish you are going after is actually a complete waste of time, and something that should just be skipped. So, do your homework and be prepared.
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The main thing you should always remember is to just have fun, fishing is all about unplugging and recharging your mental tanks, being out on the water is supposed to be a pleasant experience and proper planning is key to a relaxing day on the water. Follow these simple pointers, and get out and float!

NOW is the time!

I understand that a lot of you will think I am crazy when i say this, you will look outside your window and probably yell at me through your computer screen… but its true. Spring is right around the corner! And now is the time to get yourself into the paddling “game”

Fuzzy Guppies Kayak in the snow
Fuzzy Guppies Kayak in the snow

You see now is the time that your local paddle shop is working hard on all of their “Pre-Season” orders, for all of their boat lines. They are working hard to make sure that they bring you the boat that YOU want. Asking, “What boats work for our area?” “What do my customers want?” and “what will make me stand out in my area?” These are all extremely important questions, ones that make or break any business out there really.

There are two times really when a paddler can get a great deal on their boat. The first is at the end of the season, the shop will want to sell off the boats that they couldn’t move through the summer season, this is a great way to get a boat if you don’t care what color it is, are open minded on the style, and don’t mind some bumps and bruises (sometimes they can be demo boats). However, if you want to get a brand new boat, at a great price, and have it be EXACTLY what you want, there is another time to buy… NOW.

Now is the perfect time to reach out to your local paddle shop, ask them about the new lines coming out, tell them what you are looking for in a boat, where you would like to paddle, what style paddling you like to do… and they can fit you with a few awesome incoming lines for you to look at. Take that information and do some homework, look them up on line, read reviews, check out kayaking forums on those specific boats                                         (http://www.kayak-anglers.com/forum/) is a great one! And learn all you can about the boats they pointed you in. NOTE: I will always be the first one to advocate “TRY and BUY” when it comes to kayaks… the local shops are awesome at letting you test out boats before you buy them, this makes a huge a big difference if you can do it locally..

That being said, if you know what you want, this is the best time you will have all year to make your purchase! Since companies are making their orders now anyway, you will be able to order exactly the boat you want: Make, Model, Color, Accessories… everything!  And because of this, shops might offer you great deals on shipping, accessories, custom colors and add ons, and even special package deals with paddles and or vests (Things that over the season, you might pay a big premium for.)

Also, always remember to talk to your local shop about services they offer. A lot of local shops stand apart from the big box stores because of their customer service, and their “extras”. Some might offer free installation on accessories, or a percentage off mounts or gear with your boat purchase. I know my local shop always gives you shop swag when you purchase a boat (www.fuzzyguppies.com)

Get on the phone (or email) your shop today, remember those points and get a conversation going with them. You might be surprised with the deal you come out with… but you won’t be surprised when you get exactly what you want… before the season starts!

youth kayaking at Fuzzy Guppies in the Finger Lakes
youth kayaking at Fuzzy Guppies in the Finger Lakes

NOTE: I stole the winter photo above from Fuzzy Guppies webpage. I know I need my own photos, and I will get them up here, as soon as I get out of this winter snow globe I seem to be living in.

Happy Paddling!

Lets get started!

Beauty is everywhere while you paddle
Beauty is everywhere while you paddle

Kayaking is a sport that has been around for a very long time in many different countries. It is simple for someone to get into, as well as always changing and staying fresh, there is always a new place to paddle.  Kayak gear is available almost everywhere that you can find a sports shop or water sports shop (not to mention that almost every little town by water has a Kayak Shack). Kayaking is very popular in many different areas where there are different bodies of water; you can kayak on the ocean, a lake, down canals or even through white rafting waters. From novices to the experienced, kayak accessories are always necessary as well. Therefore, it is very important to do your research before you get out on the water to have some good outdoor fun.

Kayaking is a very easy sport to quickly get the hang of right away. It involves some skills that can be easily developed if you are already in shape and it can be a lot of fun even if you do not know how. For those of your willing, most of your local kayak shops offer some form of lessons (never a bad idea). Kayaking is usually done on calm waters in lakes, all over the country, with a growing population from the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Sometimes, more experienced kayakers will take their kayak out to fast rapids which are much more difficult and require some more experience. For a novice, you will want to take things slow and keep it easy until it becomes comfortable.
Kayaking in a single person boat can be fun as well, but that does require a little bit more strength and power than a two person boat where both can row, or you may take turns, making the entire trip a whole lot easier. Kayaking is also much safer when you participate as a group. If you happen to get lost on a stream or lose your way it can be scary to those who are by themselves. If you are in a group though, it can be much easier to deal with than one would think. With a group you will not only feel safer but if something were to go wrong, your friends and family would be able to handle the situation.
Kayaking is a very easy sport to learn and it only requires a little bit of training before you can get out on the water and enjoy it on your own. Most people would recommend one or two classes and some leisurely runs on water that is close to you before you try to kayak on a major trip. Practicing is a very fun way to get comfortable with the sport before you go on a trip and it is a lot of fun. If you do not own your own kayak, it is very easy and very inexpensive to simply rent one. Kayaks come in singles and doubles and can be used in almost any body of water of your choice.
Simply remember to bring the gear you need like a life vest, comfortable shoes, lots of water, granola bars or other forms of food. You will have lots of fun and you will be able to experience a lot of nature that you have never experienced before! Have fun and be safe, wherever you decide to kayak!