Hello again. It’s time for another edition of TAKE IT OUTSIDE. This month I would love to share a little bit about my love of kayaking.
I LOVE KAYAKING
Have you ever driven on a bridge over water, or walked along a river’s edge until the path ended and been amazed at the beauty, and wished you could see more? Well don’t be like me and wait forty three years to do something about it. Get outside and try kayaking. I bought my first kayak a couple years ago and I’m loving every minute of it. At the time, I owned a car so I bought an inflatable kayak that fits inside the car trunk. My girls are glad that it is a tandem kayak so they can enjoy the scenery while I do all the work. Last year I purchased a new kayak, just for me, no more free riders. My “Vibe Skipjack 90” is a fishing machine; perfect for those days when the girls are busy and I can do some serious Bassin out at Clarks Hill Lake in Thomson, GA. I can get back in the “skinny water”, the super shallow grassy places that only a kayak can go.
KAYAKING IS A FAMILY AFFAIR
Until we started kayaking, I would take my youngest daughter Maddie fishing along the banks of ponds and streams. We would usually catch a few, but it didn’t take long until she would get bored and my fishing day was over. Now we stay out several hours and catch a lot more fish. Win for me.
It’s a good way to spend quality time with them, so I’m not complaining. Rebecca enjoys laying down and watching wildlife as I paddle us along at Hamburg Park in Mitchell, GA. We routinely spot alligator, osprey, wading birds, geese, and beaver on our trips.
Nathaniel and Taylor love the tandem, and the three of us spend a lot of time together on the water. It truly is peaceful and soothing, sitting on the water, quietly fitting in with nature. The diversity of life you see on rivers and lakes is amazing, beautiful.
Kayaking can be enjoyed by everyone in the family, not just the fisherman like myself and my son Nathaniel. My wife Chrishelle hates fishing, but has discovered that the kayaking “community” is a tight group of very social people. Members of kayaking Facebook Groups, like CSRA Kayak Fishing, post every weekend where they are paddling for the day, usually meeting up for breakfast first. I met three members of this group my last time out and enjoyed talking with them while floating down the river more than catching fish. Kayak groups are also a great place to look for information if you are searching for your perfect first kayak.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH YOUR OWN KAYAKING FUN
1) Determine the style of kayak that suits you best. Most manufactures offer models suited for touring, rapids, fishing, single, tandem, sit inside, and sit on top. Typically, long and narrow kayaks are fast, and wide kayaks are more stable but slower. If you plan on loading a kayak onto your vehicle’s roof or back of pickup, then consider the weight and length to make sure you can physically handle it. 8ft-12ft kayaks are great for small lakes and rivers, while longer boats are better for large bodies of water and ocean fishing.
2) Visit your local outdoor outfitter. Many times you can schedule a test ride. This is very important, because spending the day in an uncomfortable seat will ruin your whole trip. Last week, after a year of reading 100’s of reviews and test riding several brands, I finally pulled the trigger on a new fishing kayak, a Vibe Sea Ghost 110. Southern Moon Outfitters in Augusta, GA got me the best price, and helped me pick the proper size paddle and personal flotation device (pfd). Thank you Chrishelle Ebner for saying “Yes”.