When you’re sitting at work daydreaming about kayak fishing and making plans about which lake you are going to fish, there are probably a few locations that come to mind. Lake Michigan provides one of the best salmon fishing in the country. Lake St. Clair produces trophy size smallmouth on a yearly basis. Lake Erie can give you a great day of a dual species combo consisting of walleye and smallmouth. These lakes are amazing fisheries, but if visited too often, an angler can begin to overthink techniques, leading to unsuccessful trips. When this happens, it is time to think small. Downsizing on the bodies of water you fish can not only boost your confidence, but will also give you the perfect opportunity to beat some of your personal records.
When it comes to finding a decent body of water it is always a good first step to get out a map or use Google Earth. Look for small lakes and ponds closest to you and go from there. Gravel pits, while not all that common anymore, are hidden gems. Most are hard to get access to, while some do not allow any access. Other options may involve scouting that local large pond that you see every day on your way to work. These ponds may not look like much, but you might be surprised at the amount of fish to be caught. The main thing to remember when searching for smaller bodies of water is the fact that the lake or pond may not be available for public access. If that is the case, never be afraid to ask the land owner. Maybe a deal can be worked out, but if not be sure to thank them anyway. If granted access to private waters, it is important to practice three things. First you must be safe. Wear your PFD and be careful on and off the water. This ensures trust between you and the land owner. Next you should communicate with the land owner what days and times would be okay for you to fish, where you may park, and any concerns they have. Lastly, always show appreciation to the land owner. If they like any of the fish you are harvesting, give them some fillets. If they do not eat fish, gift cards to their favorite restaurant works just as good.
The amazing thing about our kayaks is that they can get to bodies of water that boat fishermen dream about. These little plastic boats have amazing potential when paired up with the research and preparation you do for the upcoming spring. I believe kayak fishing is half fishing and half discovery. The more destinations you explore, the more you develop as an angler. There is no greater feeling than putting in work to visit a new body of water and end up breaking a personal best species. I encourage all kayak anglers to maximize the potential of your kayak and yourself. This will bring great experiences and big fish in 2018.