I’ve just had the pleasure of working on 3 star paddling skills for sit on top kayakers with Andy Benham author of Discover kayak fishing and Keith White from Jersey Bass Guides.
Both Andy and Keith recognise that by developing their sit-on-top paddle skills they can enhance their kayak fishing and ultimately catch more fish.
Some sit-on-top kayak fishermen think that learning a wider range of techniques at BCU 3 star level is not needed when all they want to do is go out and fish from a kayak. They take a look at the BCU star tests and think it is not for them as it is not relevant to kayak fishing. This is a shame.
If you kayak fish the development of your paddle skills has a big pay off. Improve your skills and paddle to fishing marks that you might otherwise not be able reach or remain in.
Catching more fish and getting out more often is a pretty good incentive to improve your skills.
Learning to launch and land in surf, work eddies and ‘tuck’ in behind headlands may also seem -for many recreational sea paddlers- to be less important, yet it is equally important to learn a range of paddle skills.
Improving your kayak skills gives you more tools to get out of potentially tricky situations and get more from your kayaking. It may also make you a better and safer paddler.
Both Andy and Keith see 3 star as highly relevant to their sit-on-top kayak fishing. They were keen to work on surf landing and launching skills long with handling moving water and rescue skills. No doubt there are a few sea kayakers out there who do not reckon
Sit-on-top paddlers can do 3 star. A lot does depend on the choice of sit-on-top kayak but it is time to wake up to the fact that if you paddle a sit-inside sea kayak you are in the minority. We’d better embrace sit-on-top kayaing or find the BCU schemes bi-passed.
Over 3 days we worked on surf launching and landing skills . Both Andy and Keith had experienced the frustration of arriving at a put in to find the surf to big to paddle out to fish.
We also worked on moving water kills in tide races so they can get into some great eddies and handle rougher water while fishing.
To show Andy some great kayak fishing we paddled the gullies and gutters of the south east coast of Jersey. This area is a bit like paddling a river. A great bass
fishing location providing you have the skills to paddle in gullies where the water can be rising at up to 3” per minute and moving pretty fast.
A big thanks to Visit Jersey and Condor ferries who helped get Andy over. Also to The Moorings Hotel who kept Andy so well fed he had to go out and paddle ahrd each day to burn off the great food. As a result it looks like there will be articles on 3 star for sit-on-top kayakers appearing in Sea Angler and Canoe & Kayak Magazines. This helps to promote Jersey as a great sea kayak destination.
Look out for more blog entries showing what they got up to.