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Old 01-20-2020, 03:49 PM   #1
chris138
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Theories in Kayak Fishing

I wanted to start this thread to talk about some of the theories behind kayak fishing, and hopefully stir up a lively argument... I mean conversation hahaha.

Many people go online looking for specific details about how, when, where, what to fish. The are lots of great tutorials about say, largemouth bass fishing. But when it comes to big game saltwater kayak fishing, the info is much harder to find.

To me, the details of tackle and presentation and tides and moon cycles and seasonal changes are much less important than just simply having the right mindset going into the thing. There's no wrong way to catch a yellowtail, everyone has their own style. But there are certain things that successful kayak anglers understand that aren't just Xs and Os.

Theory: The one bite principal

I should start saying that this is only intended for people targeting trophy species ie Yellowtail, Halibut, White seabass etc. I would not apply this mentality to a fun day of fishing with family in the kelp beds.

If you are targeting big fish in La Jolla, you should have this mantra in your head: I will get at least one bite from the right kind. Whether you know it, or embrace it or not, you are getting at least one shot at the right kind practically every time you fish La Jolla. Maybe you think you got snagged on rocks, or robbed by a dog, or broke off by a black or sharked or whatever. Its easy to explain away a mistake in that way. Your entire game plan, preparation, and mindset should be that you will stick that one bite.

Although it goes contrary to common sense, you can't always let past performance guide your future actions. You should be a big game fishing robot. If you are fishing for yellowtail all morning, 6 hours straight, and you haven't had so much as a mark on your sonar or a sniff of your bait, you can still get that one bite at any minute. You have to stay focused on that bite. Its only when you get distracted that you don't have a shot... maybe you get bored and have a couple beers or start dropping cut squid for rockfish or throwing hookup baits for Calicos or whatever. Don't let 6 hours of nothingness distract you from that fact that at any minute those slugs could just show up and destroy anything/everything in the water column.

Conversely, maybe you had a very successful yt trip, had multiple bites and hookups and maybe even had a multi-fish day. Awesome! Just don't expect that next time. Reset back to that one bite mentality. You gotta hustle, you gotta grind, you gotta stay alert, you gotta check all your knots.... so when that swim through finally happens and you get your one bite, you're the one with a bloody mess in your lap while everyone else scrambles to figure out what happened. More likely, they never even realize you got bit until they see you at the launch and are about to tell you how slow it was haha

This is similar philosophy to what the freshwater swimbait crowd does, but those guys grind all winter for that one bite in an entire season. This mindset shift really helped me to produce fish on tough days, and to take advantage of those 11am WFO windows when the morning crowd had already given up. Now, on days when I get get skunked, I focus on when and how I had my one chance and what I could've done differently to stick that fish.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:23 PM   #2
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SLOW...

Is fishing really that slow...I know rockfish season is closed...But...? Really...?

I know a good fishing psychiatrist...he's helped many a Long Ranger that came back skunked...LOL
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:56 PM   #3
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I fish whenever I have time...............period
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:22 AM   #4
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Interesting mindset

Thanks for sharing.

If only La Jolla was 100 miles closer!
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:23 AM   #5
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Getting on the water is a victory for me. Catching is a bonus.
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:10 AM   #6
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Go when you can go and focus matters. If you bring a bunch of stuff to catch anything you may end up catching next to nothing. Focus and targeting a species is important.
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:17 AM   #7
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Chris id like to join you out there sometime if you are up for it. My schedule is not super open but if we can make it work that would be fantastic. Just putting it out there.

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Old 01-21-2020, 08:23 AM   #8
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Personally, I think kayak fishing is less about a 'trophy' fish and more about the adventure and the hunt. Every time you go out you are going on an adventure, hunting for a fish, and to me any fish is a trophy (well maybe not lizardfish )... When I'm out on my kayak, which is not often enough, I'm a world away from traffic, land lubbers and closed in spaces, it is my happy place.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saba Slayer View Post
Is fishing really that slow...I know rockfish season is closed...But...? Really...?

I know a good fishing psychiatrist...he's helped many a Long Ranger that came back skunked...LOL
Actually fishing has been good, can't tell if your trolling me or not haha. There's yt biting all up and down the SD coast, which is what got me thinking about why people give up or lose focus so predictably when the bite isn't smoking hot. Maybe if you're a sport boat captain, you need big volumes of fish that are not shy. On a kayak, all we need is to have a bait in the right zone and our day can go from shit to awesome with one bite.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jorluivil View Post
I fish whenever I have time...............period
You fish whenever you have time because you know you can catch something great on every trip. And you have awesome results because you have the confidence to dedicate your time 100% to your chosen technique. Only a few others around who consistently slay huge halibut like you do!
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by PapaDave View Post
Personally, I think kayak fishing is less about a 'trophy' fish and more about the adventure and the hunt. Every time you go out you are going on an adventure, hunting for a fish, and to me any fish is a trophy (well maybe not lizardfish )... When I'm out on my kayak, which is not often enough, I'm a world away from traffic, land lubbers and closed in spaces, it is my happy place.
That is awesome. I bet you derive much more happiness out of it, when you do get on the water, than people who are just obsessed with the end result. I personally get immersed in the systems and methodical grind of of it. I get addicted to searching out conditions and bait and checking the different zones and spots and hypothesizing what a mackerel thinks about.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:26 AM   #12
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Go when you can go and focus matters. If you bring a bunch of stuff to catch anything you may end up catching next to nothing. Focus and targeting a species is important.
100%
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by chris138 View Post
You fish whenever you have time because you know you can catch something great on every trip. And you have awesome results because you have the confidence to dedicate your time 100% to your chosen technique. Only a few others around who consistently slay huge halibut like you do!
Actually Jorge catches most of his trophy Hali's while taking a nap, he's even said so. Congrats Chris on your latest catches. I've been out lately and seen plenty of great trophy fish marks on the FF and had some hits, but it's the bait that's been the hard ones to get even when they are visually there and have Uni Butter on the sabiki feathers. I guess it's time to get some squid to add to the sabiki. Chris did you trade in your Kraken on that used PA 14 at Fast Lane.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:01 PM   #14
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Actually Jorge catches most of his trophy Hali's while taking a nap, he's even said so. Congrats Chris on your latest catches. I've been out lately and seen plenty of great trophy fish marks on the FF and had some hits, but it's the bait that's been the hard ones to get even when they are visually there and have Uni Butter on the sabiki feathers. I guess it's time to get some squid to add to the sabiki. Chris did you trade in your Kraken on that used PA 14 at Fast Lane.
Like I said, 100% committed to his technique!

Nope I still have the kraken... but we got the PA14 from Fastlane, it was marked as demo but I dont think it was ever used. We love it! When my wife goes, she gets the PA and I fish the kraken haha. I still use it when the surf is big or if I'm going long distance.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:21 PM   #15
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Thanks for posting this Chris. I personally just started fishing La Jolla not too long ago and I am still figuring that fishery out. I have not caught YT or WSB yet nor I have seen anyone from all the kayakers that I have met when launching or coming back in so reading this gives me hope, lol. I also enjoy the time on water and that relax it provides but at the same time I need to drive 80 miles to get to LJ so not seeing anyone having success might be little discouraging at times.

I like your one-bite philosophy but at the same time I would welcome more details about what has been working for you and others, and any other details you would like to share.
Has it been more of a fly line sardine bite on the surface or dropping yoyo jigs on any marks?

Thanks
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:39 PM   #16
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The first problem is “targeting trophy fish in LJ”.... you’ll go mad. Target trophy fish where trophy fish are. Yes, sometimes that’s La Jolla but often it’s not.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by chris138 View Post
You fish whenever you have time because you know you can catch something great on every trip. And you have awesome results because you have the confidence to dedicate your time 100% to your chosen technique. Only a few others around who consistently slay huge halibut like you do!


ooooh.................stop it.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:15 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Uncle_Tomas View Post
Thanks for posting this Chris. I personally just started fishing La Jolla not too long ago and I am still figuring that fishery out. I have not caught YT or WSB yet nor I have seen anyone from all the kayakers that I have met when launching or coming back in so reading this gives me hope, lol. I also enjoy the time on water and that relax it provides but at the same time I need to drive 80 miles to get to LJ so not seeing anyone having success might be little discouraging at times.

I like your one-bite philosophy but at the same time I would welcome more details about what has been working for you and others, and any other details you would like to share.
Has it been more of a fly line sardine bite on the surface or dropping yoyo jigs on any marks?

Thanks
Recently the bite has been on heavy iron and dropper loop mackerel. But that doesn't mean a flylined greenback wont get smashed when they come through! Look deeper... 120-160'.

Don't drop on any marks, drop on the right marks. Check out the Sonar Discussion thread I started to learn more from many of the best anglers on here.

Also keep in mind that experienced guys get off the beach quick and don't always go showing off their catch at the launch. We get real good at hiding them from hungry seagulls, tourists and lurkers

Make that 80 mile drive with confidence my friend, because any day you launch at LJ you could get the fish of a lifetime.

Last edited by chris138; 01-22-2020 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:30 AM   #19
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The first problem is “targeting trophy fish in LJ”.... you’ll go mad. Target trophy fish where trophy fish are. Yes, sometimes that’s La Jolla but often it’s not.
Thanks for commenting and reading along, but I have to disagree. Maybe we need a more clear definition of "trophy", but I truly believe YT WSB and Halibut are here in La Jolla 365 days a year. Not saying there's a 90 pound WSB there everyday haha.

The reason I say that is from personal experience, catching them when everyone says "its so dead no bait no current no fish etc". They might not be in the zones that people are traditionally targeting, but they are there. They might be in 15' of water up at blacks, or in 300' of water west of NWC, or in 1500' of water over the canyon. But there's target-able gamefish in La Jolla everyday you paddle out, even if nobody is catching them. This mentality is why I keep grinding all winter long. It's the reason I get out of bed at 4:00am when its 40 degrees and fish LJ all alone. If people knew the fish that are being caught there in the last 2 weeks (or 2 months for that matter), I probably wouldn't be so lonely hahaha.

I never let "there's no fish here" be an excuse why I didn't catch, even if it's true. Then you have taken no accountability for your lack of success, and wont be motivated to improve or try harder. Does that mean I have gone mad? Perhaps....

Last edited by chris138; 01-22-2020 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:49 AM   #20
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The first problem is “targeting trophy fish in LJ”.... you’ll go mad. Target trophy fish where trophy fish are. Yes, sometimes that’s La Jolla but often it’s not.
And if you're simply saying for people to seek out new spots and try targeting different areas, then I agree 100%!
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