Discover Kayak Fishing

fishing from your Sit-on-top kayak
discover_kayakfishingX
BY: Andy Benham
ISBN: 9781906095222
EDITION: first
PUBLICATION DATE: 2010
FORMAT: 144pp in full colour, 210x160mm, paperback / section sewn
AVAILABILITY: in print

£11.99

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For the angler who has taken up or is curious about kayak fishing. Experienced kayakers will also benefit from Andy’s kayak fishing wisdom.

Topics include:
Choosing your fishing kayak and equipment.
Practical tips on modifying your kayak and installing a fish finder.
Kayaking with confidence and staying safe at sea.
Seamanship; tides, weather and charts for anglers and kayakers.
Using handheld GPS and VHF radios.
Fishing skills; top tips on anchoring and ‘downtiding’ from your kayak.
What to fish for; Andy’s tips for catching your favourite fish.
And more, including freshwater fish and wreck fishing.

Andy Benham

Andy has been a sea angler for as long as he can remember, growing up on Brighton beach with a fishing rod in his hands and owning a variety of small boats through his teens.

He became a journalist, working on a number of magazines including Angling Times, Sea Angler, Trout & Salmon, Boat Angler and Improve Your Coarse Fishing. During his time working on the angling magazines he was able to fish with some of the UK’s best anglers, and was lucky enough to fish in some amazing locations, including making a Nile Perch video with TV legend John Wilson. He then moved on to spend a spell at the BBC, and worked for magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Countryfile.

More recently Andy has quit the rat race and moved to a house overlooking the sea in South Devon, so he can spend more time afloat in his kayak and fishing from the shore. He can also paddle to his favourite pub, on the other side of the estuary. He became Sea Angler’s regular kayak fishing correspondent in 2009 and has written a series of articles on the subject for the magazine. His latest project is Devonkayakfishing.com

1 review for Discover Kayak Fishing

  1. 5 out of 5

    :

    Discover Kayak Fishing

    Following on from the previous Pesda Press titles I have reviewed in the past comes the title for which us kayak anglers have been waiting for; Andy Benham’s ‘Discover Kayak Fishing’. For those of us who like to have a rod in our hands and the paddle stowed this promises to be the ideal bookshelf companion for ‘Sit-on-top Kayak: A Beginner’s Manual’ by Derek Hairon, ‘Sea Kayak’ by Gordon Brown and ‘Sea Kayak Navigation: A Practical Manual’ by Franco Ferrero. The book itself is written by a lifetime angler and writer with a decent amount of time on the water under his belt and contains a wealth of knowledge useful to those looking to take up kayak angling. Written as a checklist and beginners guide it is a book to both pick up and read or dip into for ideas. I shall start this review with the details and the publisher’s synopsis:

    “This is the first book on the subject published on this side of the Atlantic, with our different fish species, techniques and approach. The book is aimed at the angler who has taken up or is curious about kayak fishing. Experienced kayakers will also benefit from Andy’s kayak fishing wisdom. Topics include: Choosing your fishing kayak and equipment. Practical tips on modifying your kayak and installing a fish finder. Kayaking with confidence and staying safe at sea. Seamanship; tides, weather and charts for anglers and kayakers. Using handheld GPS and VHF radios. Fishing skills; top tips on anchoring and ‘downtiding’ from your kayak. What to fish for; Andy’s tips for catching your favourite fish. And more, including freshwater fish and wreck fishing.

    Paperback: 144 pages
    Publisher: Pesda Press (16 Aug 2010)
    ISBN-10: 1906095221
    ISBN-13: 978-1906095222

    This book consists of thin card covers printed in full colour; the front and rear carry photographs and the inner covers and some rear pages carry advertisements from relevant companies. The inner pages are printed onto high-quality matte paper and the full-colour printing throughout does justice to the photography within and gives a crisp and very readable text. In height and width it matches the other Pesda titles; this is an irrelevance for a review but it does turn the Pesda books into a set on my shelf which is important to me as I’m a book lover and acquire books not just for the information contained within one title.

    The layout of the book is very clear. A sharp, clear font with easy-to-read line-spacing and a large amount of clear, well-exposed and colourful photographs gives a feeling of brightness to each page. The graphics are simple and well suited – sharp edged photographs occasionally faded into the page or cut out. They each come with their own descriptive captions printed in blue italics so that they can be easily distinguished. Some illustration is also to be found amongst the pages and again this is clear and concise. The text itself is broken up into easily-digestible paragraphs with line breaks between each paragraph and good use of headings and sub headings is made. Additionally, the front features a full contents page and the back a comprehensive index. Overall, it’s a very nicely produced book that feels like a quality product. Thumbs up so far!

    Now for the content, the important part.

    Beginning with a brief introduction of the author and an acknowledgements page the book leads into a foreword explaining the purpose of the book and the attractions of kayak angling. The author then goes on to tell how and why he started out and this is something that will likely strike a chord with most of the current kayak anglers who moved from shore fishing to kayaks in search of fish. Then it’s onto the meat of the text.

    .

    The ‘Getting Started’ section starts with the assumption that sit on top kayaks are the preferred craft for dedicated fishing platforms; a safe assumption as almost all regular kayak anglers are indeed using these due to their eminent suitability in terms of balancing stability, working space and adaptability. This is followed by a description of construction methods before moving onto the advice to ‘try before you buy’. A run-down of what to look for in a sit on top is combined with the considerations of the kayaker to think about intended uses and physical build. There follows advice on how to handle the kayak safely off the water before moving onto some examples of leading models and their particular strengths. Paddle choice comes next and covers materials, length and weight issues before the author takes a look at alternative methods of propulsion including both motorised and pedal kayaks. Transportation by land leads on from this with advice on trolleys and straps.

    The next section deals with clothing. The question of what to wear is one often discussed on internet forums and the author goes through the various options of both wet and dry clothing, footwear, gloves and the all-important care and maintenance of this equipment. The author follows this with a section on advised safety equipment covering such items as buoyancy aids, equipment leashes, rescue knives, flares, VHF radio and other items along with RNLI recommendations.

    The following section deals with fitting out the kayak. This is something missing from other UK kayaking books as anglers have different requirements and the author covers the all-important rod holders and storage crates along with a look at rudders. With almost all sit on tops being devoid of skegs and having different hull shapes whilst also being wider and higher than dedicated sea kayaks weathercocking can be an issue at times and these are therefore a more important consideration than in other branches of kayaking.

    The following section is a look at paddling and other training, the most important aspect of which is self-rescue. The methods and need for this are covered in depth before moving onto the notion of paddle plans and informing the coastguard of your intentions. The temptation to cover general kayaking skills is avoided here as other titles cover this in more and greater depth than would be suitable in the remit of this book. Naturally this leads onto seamanship where the author looks at weather and tides before leading into navigational chart usage and subsequently GPS. This continues on towards other marine electronics with emphasis on fishfinders and how to fit, power and maintain them. VHF radio is covered in greater detail here and was correct at the time of going to press although Ofcom have subsequently approved handheld DSC units.

    Then comes the diversion from the general kayaking information to more specific information. The major difference that kayak anglers have to normal kayakers other than aroma is in the requirement to stay static at times and the section on safe anchoring goes into some detail on this, dedicating over ten pages to it. It is often said that this can be the most dangerous thing kayak anglers do on the water – hopefully this will alleviate most of the issues that can arise.

    Tackle is covered next with a brief look at rods and reels before taking a look at some of the species and methods most likely to be encountered. Lures, bait and fly fishing are all covered along with an advisory paragraph regarding bass nursery areas. There follows a short section on freshwater kayak angling before briefly looking at taking things further with night fishing and wreck fishing before mentioning sustainable fishing and a word or two about being responsible anglers.

    So, having had a brief tour and description of the book it is time to provide a personal opinion. Content and style are both well-suited to the title of ‘Discover Kayak Fishing’ and this is what the book is about. It is not an encyclopaedic reference manual covering everything from how to tie on a hook through to landing everything from a stickleback to a porbeagle anywhere from ponds to Dogger Bank (there are countless general angling books around to fulfil that role at all levels, so vast is the subject). Instead it assumes an interest in bridging the gap between other angling disciplines to starting out as a kayak angler and as such dedicates most of its space to the aspects which are not present in these other branches. It is also more relevant to UK fishing than those books already available on the subject written from the other side of the Atlantic where both methods and conditions differ greatly. The content covers everything the reader would need to know in order to get on the water and begin fishing in a safe and responsible manner from a kayak and although a reference book as such the writing is engaging and therefore easy to absorb and keep reading. Reading through is pleasant, dipping in couldn’t be easier and the author’s passion shines throughout; I was thoroughly absorbed.

    So, is it a worthwhile purchase?

    Of course! For the price of a bit of bait you are getting all the necessary information you’ll need to get started and that alone is worth the money. With quality production on top as a bonus it’s a cheap purchase. Is it an enjoyable book? Certainly – it’s a pleasant way to learn the basic knowledge and has lots of inspiration amongst its pages both for mainstream anglers looking to begin fishing from kayaks and for existing kayak owners wishing to take the step into fishing from them. Would I recommend it to those starting out in kayak fishing? I wouldn’t hesitate to and there is something of interest to intermediate and advanced kayak anglers too; even to a squid-fingered heretic like myself!

    Mark Crame
    September 2010

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