Photo of Kayaks courtesy of Capt. Gus

There was a time when only the adventurous ones owned a kayak. Its primary function was to explore and be used in the sport of running the white water rapids of fast moving river gorges. Today’s kayaks are used not only for pleasure and exercise, but to enjoy nature, to sight-see and to fish.

Kayaks are used to catch everything from “sunfish in freshwater ponds to sailfish in oceans. They are not only a less expensive alternative to buying a boat, but they also allow an angler to reach “hard-to-get” places where fish are likely to be. New kayaks, designed especially for fishing, can be purchased for as
little as $500.00. As with anything else, the price increases as accessories are added. A 12’fishing kayak, equipped with back rest, paddle, rod holders, fish finder and a remote anchoring system will cost $1,000.00 or so. Better yet, a used one can be purchased for less than half the price of a new one.

Fishing kayaks range in length from 10’-14’ or more. Stability and storage space improves with length and width. A 12’ kayak is lightweight, easy to transport and serves most purposes for the occasional angler.
Specialty kayaks and accessories are available for all types of fishing. High bow models with outriggers are perfect for open water use. The sleeker, low profile versions are best for sneaking up on big bass in farm ponds and slow moving rivers. Popular accessories include short shaft trolling motors, lightweight twelve volt batteries, special designed fish finder transducer mounts, small live bait wells and side rails for mounting optional equipment.

Fishing from a kayak is a different experience than fishing from a boat. Not only are you eye-to-eye with the fish, but a big one can pull the kayak a considerable distance before being landed. Since you are seated in a confined area, a short rod is easier to cast. Begin with a 5’-51/2’ spinning rod and a lightweight lure. Remember, when a fish hits, don’t set the hook too hard, or you’ll tip the kayak!

If you’re considering buying a kayak, rent one first, and talk to as many knowledgeable people as you can before making a purchase decision. Points to consider should be the weight, length, stability, storage space and portability. Always remember when fishing alone to wear a personal floatation device.

Tips from Capt. Gus:

Kayaks are great for getting close-up photos of wildlife. The low profile and quiet
maneuverability allows the photographer to sneak up on unsuspecting subjects.

November Fishing Tips

Look for surface feeding hybrid striped bass at dawn in Mountain, Stumpy and Hicks Creeks. During the day target creek runs and the old river channel for hybrids striped bass, spotted bass and perch. Crappie fishing picks up in November with the majority of the catches coming from manmade brush piles and other fish attractors. Largemouth bass can be tempted on soft plastics fished around laydowns, docks and boat ramps.

Sea birds make their annual return to Lake Norman in November. The white terns and gulls are invaluable when it comes to locating hybrids and bass surface feeding. When they are diving into the water they are feeding on bait chased to the surface by predator fish. Cast into the fray, that is where the fish are.

The surface water temperature varies by location, but is mainly in the high sixties and low seventies in open waters not affected by power generation. The water level is about 2’ below full pond on Lake Norman…

Capt. Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures, Inc. is an Outdoor Columnist and a full time Professional Fishing Guide on Lake Norman, NC. Visit his website at or call 704-617-6812.