Monday, April 8, 2013

From The Outside Looking In: Questions Answered

     I have a co-worker that is always asking me about the Texas Fishing Forum, kayak fishing, and kayaks in general. After a while I got to think about what my hobby/obsession must look like to someone that has never been in a kayak, never been fishing, and doesn't even eat fish. I asked three of my co-workers to write down five questions each about kayaking and kayak fishing. I wanted to get a general idea of what the masses that are the farthest on the outside think about our passion and how that gap might be bridged to welcome more people in. Below are the questions that were turned into me, there were a few repeating questions so those aren't listed.

  • Where do you buy kayaks in Dallas
  • Do DFW lakes even have healthy fish that are edible?
    • Most DFW do contain edible fish, check with Texas Parks & Wildlife for more info.
  • Aren't kayaks death traps if you turn them over? (referring to whitewater kayaks) 
    • I do not know of any kayak angler that uses a white water kayak, flipping over can happen but there are ways to prepare yourself for re-entry.
  • How do you transport a kayak without a truck?
    • I have seen large trucks carry kayaks and I have seen kayaks strapped on the top of Smart Cars. Multiple roof racks are available for what ever vehicle you have.
  • When do you have time to go fishing?
    • Weekends and holidays mostly.
  • Are kayaks popular in Texas?
    • Kayak fishing is growing very fast and new people are encouraged to join TFF and ask as many questions as they want.
  • Can you rent kayaks anywhere to see if you even like it?
    • There are kayak rentals at White Rock Lake and stores like Mariner-Sails offer frequent kayak demo days for any interested kayakers.
  • I know you can bass fish from kayaks, but can you catfish from them?
    • Kayak fishing is a multi-species sport because kayaks are so versatile that they can be fished from virtually anywhere. 
  • Do you have to register kayaks like boats?
    • Not at this time.
  • Is a little plastic boat safe to be on in the middle of a lake?
    • Under the right weather conditions and with proper safety equipment, yes.
  • Are there safety laws for kayaks like power boats?
    • Kayakers are required to have a PFD within arms reach, safety whistle, and 360 degree light when on the water within an hour of sun up or sun down.
  • Do girls go kayak fishing?
    • I am seeing more and more females on the water and Chad Hoover from Hook1 recently started a new line of female specific kayaks.
     Some of these questions will sound a bit silly to a seasoned kayak angler, but these are real questions from people with absolutely zero prior knowledge of the sport. I think that there are some very irrational fears and common misconceptions that could be holding a lot of people from jumping feet first into kayak fishing. Most of the guys that I fish with are great ambassadors of the sport and reach out to welcome any and all newcomers. I think that we can grow even more by inviting the most unlikely of friends to share the water with us in an attempt to negate any fears or doubts that they may have.


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