Kayak Paddling Boomer Bass
A quick internet search shows that the term “baby boomer” is a category attributed to those born between the years 1946 to 1964. Currently that would include folks ranging in age brackets of 71 to 53 years young. Many retired, some in the sunset of their working life, ready to recreate in lots of ways. Many embrace kayaking for fun, adventure, fitness and fishing. Before you pick up your paddle let’s look at a few paddling / fishing factors. The kayak should fit your goal, exploration, white water, leisurely trips, fishing for fun or in competition all are legitimate considerations. Second only to the lifejacket, the most important piece of kayak fishing equipment is the paddle. If you come from a bassin’ background understand that the paddle is your outboard and your trolling motor. As “boomers” at this point in life we should, after all our hard work have income and or savings that allow us to pick premium equipment. My kayak choice is the Jackson Big Rig for its stability, comfort and fishing features.
In test driving paddles I immediately noticed the difference in hand feel and or weight. In crunching the numbers you find “tons” of reasons to choose a lightweight, strong paddle for your fishing adventures. Andrew Stern of Bending Branches Paddles explains, “In determining the effect of paddle weight, think about the lighter and stronger paddles are less fatiguing, meaning you can enjoy your time on the water longer and feel less sore at the end of the day. Also, more top quality paddles have stronger components, are designed to last longer, and are guaranteed with longer warranty policies. A handy formula is one ounce savings in a kayak paddle equates 100 lbs. per hour you do NOT have to pull around. So, a 3-ounce lighter paddle saves you 300 pounds per hour, 300 pounds’ times 7 hours is 2100 pounds. What could you do with over a ton of extra energy? Check out all the Bending Branches models to see which best fits you in all aspects of your fishing lifestyle.
Now you’re ready to push off and begin casting and catching. Think about pregame planning for tackle to fit the conditions and the fish you are chasing. I carry a minimum of tackle, generally two or three Plano # 3600 one sided tackle boxes. Your choices should include, a few spinnerbaits, a couple of crankbaits capable of diving between 3-6 feet, some that reach 6-10 feet and some lipless models. I keep jigs, my personal favorite for BIG bass in a few colors and weights, generally 3/8’s or ½ oz. versions. I have a small accessory box for Texas rigging components, slip sinkers, and various sizes of hooks to match my soft plastics. Throw in topwater offering for spring through fall and you’re in bass business. The rods resting on the deck of my kayak, three to five are baitcasting for my jigs and soft plastic, medium / heavy action with 30 pound test braided line on the baitcasting reel, a rod for slinging spinners, this one is a medium action with the reel spooled with 12 pound test monofilament, a rod designed specifically for fishing crankbaits. Finally I always carry a spinning rod, seven feet long of medium action for throwing lightweight lures during windy days and in clear water applications as to be able to keep my distance from the spooky fish. That spinning rod can be a trip saver.
When you’re on the prowl, paddle deftly as to take full advantage of the stealth kayak offers. Use the paddle to gently ease up to casting distance of cover and make minor corrections to position you for the best approach to your target. My preference is to stand while casting, fishing and in many cases paddling. From a paddling perspective, an adjustable paddle makes sense for many boomer basser. I also recommend the casting brace option on the Jackson kayaks to hold paddle while I fish and the rod while I paddle. This allows you to continuously stand without bending over to retrieve paddle or pole.
Check shorelines for feeding fish and then move to secondary structure in your search for bass. Aquatic weeds and any partially submerged wood are great spots that trophy bass routinely use for a hideout. Tie a good knot, makes sure hooks are sharp and set the hook with authority, Lifejackets 100% of the time and you’re ready regardless of your age to catch some pre-retirement or post retirement bass. A perfect way to spend your day, expending your energy wisely paddling and catching boomer bassin’ from your kayak.