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“Keep Moving”

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You head out on that well thought out kayak fishing trip, perhaps to your favorite “honey hole” or to that spot you have read several good reports about, but when you get there you realize the fish are no where to be found. All of a sudden your plans for the day have been called into question. The dilemma now becomes: do I stay or do I “keep moving”?

The error that many fishermen fall into is to sit in one spot with the vain hope that the situation will change. This is especially true of us kayak anglers because of the work that goes into paddling. This is not to say that sometimes the situation does not change and the bite picks up but in most cases it is best to keep moving.

There are other occasions that we go to our selected spot and it does produce. However, after awhile the bite stops. There are many times we will keep at it in the hopes that it will again pick up but after several casts we quickly realize it is just not going to happen.
I recently went on a trip with a couple of members from our local kayak fishing club. We went in search of some speckled trout. We began our day by hitting a well known reef, which normally holds specs. However, after fishing awhile we came to realize that it was just not going to happen at that location. So, we decided to keep moving. I had another location in mind about a mile from where we were. We started heading to the other spot but while we were on our way, we located some “nervous” water, which turned out to be a school of bait fish that was popping out of the water. We fished that school for a bit, which produced several “dinks”. However, it was not producing as well as we hoped. So again, we decided to keep moving.

As we were arriving to our next destination, we found several larger schools of bait fish which were again jumping out of the water in an attempt to avoid the aggressive attacks from below. We started throwing at them and the hook ups were constant from that point on. The problem was trying to keep up with the various black clouds of bait fish in the water, which steadily moved throughout the cove the entire afternoon. We found ourselves paddling non stop just to maintain casting distance to the schools. This was the hard part and the rest was easy. Almost any lure we ran thru the schools was going to get hit and many times would end up with a spec on the end.

It turned out to be a fun day, although most of the specs were small, 11” – 13” range. If I agreed with the Louisiana minimal length of 12”, I could have kept a limit and then some. However, most all the fish were released to fight another day. I decided to keep a few for dinner, a couple that were in the 14” – 15” range and one 16”, which sadly was the largest of the day. We had a good time nonetheless.

As we headed back to the launch after a long day of following schools of bait fish and chasing specs, I couldn’t help but be reminded about the importance of moving. More often than not, when you move you will find fish or at least increase your chances of finding them. Sometimes we get lucky and don’t have to move or at least go far. I have literally found fish right around the corner from places where there seemed to be no fish. Either way, there is a constant lesson to be learned… sometimes to find fish we need to “keep moving”.
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Shane has been kayak fishing since 2009 and is passionate about it. Inshore saltwater kayak fishing is his addiction of choice, however, he enjoys the occasional offshore and freshwater trip as well. He mainly fishes the inshore lakes, bayous, and marshes of Southwest Louisiana but does venture into other territories. Shane is a member of the Hobie Fishing Team and holds Pro Staff positions with YakAngler, Lucid Fishing, and Ship To Shore Co. He was also the founding president of the Lake Charles Kayak Fishing Club. "My simple goal for this blog is to promote kayak fishing as it is something I love. I will post articles, reviews, videos, photos, and basically all things kayak fishing." ~Shane [Shane Coleman] (