Kayak Fishing in Michigan
Customer name: Roger Beukema
City/State: Davisburg, Michigan
Where do you fish/launch? Sometimes the Great Lakes, various river systems and any number of several hundred inland lakes found here in Oakland County. Usually launches are public and on the lakes.
What kind of fish do you catch or target? From panfish to bass, pike, salmon, steelhead and anything else that happens to hit.
What kind of lures, jigs or live bait do you use? I don't use live bait. Instead I like the Berkley Gulp products. I use various crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigstipped with Gulp.
What kind of kayak do you have? I have three. This year I'm on the fishing team for Hobie so I have a 12-foot Outback. Along with that I have two Wilderness Tarpons, a 12-footer and a 10-footer.
Rigging Tips? I would suggest paddling a kayak and fishing from it a few times before doing any riging. Next, arm yourself with a copy of Jon Shein's book, "Kayak Fishing." It offers more suggestions along with pictures than you could think of. I tend to try to go as minimally as possible. I use a milk crate like a lot of others do and I have variations of that. i.e. a crate cover made commercially, and a bag made for Kayak fishing. I'm in the process of changing over to a small plastic box that has a watertight seal. It will hold three tackle trays along with some small stuff in the box top. These are made by Plano and other tackle box manufacturers. I'm using one rod holder at the moment but may include another. It's easy to do with Wilderness' track system. You can add, delete and not worry about punching holes. And Hook 1 carries components you can add to your boat like sonar mounts, or a work station that attaches to both tracks. The neat thing about kayak fishing is that you get a chance to set your boat up the way you want it, not the manufacturer. After you have used your boat a few times and been around others to see what they are doing, park your yak in the garage on a couple of saw horses and look it over. That could be the beginning. The fun of setting it up yourself is the ability you have to improvise and customize to fit you. And some of the things you will employ can be home built by you with a little imagination. Hook 1 is your source for all of the fittings, and other parts you'll need. Don't cut corners and use drywall screwws to attack a rod mount. Get stainless- it won't rust - and do it right.
Customer name: Tim Amey
City/State: Burton, Michigan
Where do you fish/launch? Mostly in the Holly Recreation Area on Wildwood Lake in Oakland Co., MI.
What kind of fish do you catch or target? Panfish, Bass, and Pike.
What kind of lures, jigs or live bait do you use? All types.
What kind of kayak do you have? Future Beach Angler 160.
Rigging Tips? Add a nylon strap to your kayak to free up your belt of knives and other tools. Simply put a ladder lock between the mounted straps and us it as a kayak belt.
Customer name: Nick Halmond
City/State: Spring Lake, Michigan
Where do you fish/launch? Mostly Spring Lake and Lake Michigan.
What kind of fish do you catch or target? Bass, Walleye, Steelhead, Musky. I also bottom fish for Catfish, Carp and Sheephead just for fun.
What kind of lures, jigs or live bait do you use? Floating Rapalas, Crankbait, Bomber and Crawler Harnesses.
What kind of kayak do you have? I have a Malibu X-13 and a Perception 9.6.
Rigging Tips? If you are planning on fishing in a big lake like Lake Michigan, I would seal any install that requires making a hole with marine GOOP, so the inside of your kayak doesn't fill up. If you are planning on doing any wiring, make sure to keep all of the connectors as high as you can. I would also only use shrink wrap connectors and die electric grease on the fittings or connectors.
Customer name: Rick Ruth
City/State: Buchanan, Michigan
Where do you fish/launch? I fish all of the small lakes here in Berrien County. I also fish the St. Joe river and Lake Michigan.
What kind of fish do you catch or target? Panfish, Perch, Steelhead, and Walleye.
What kind of lures, jigs or live bait do you use? Jigs, Spoons, Crawlers, Redworms, Minnows.
What kind of kayak do you have? I just got started. I modified a Mainstream Streak, but will be purchasing a Malibu Kayak for the big lake.
Rigging Tips? No original tips. Rigged my yak with ideas from this site and Yakdawgs.com on the other side of the country from you.
Comments: I ordered a rod holder from Bass Pro before I found you guys, took 2 weeks to get. Ordered an anchor from you and got it 3 days later! That is why you are my new store to buy gear! (Thanks!)