Nature's Anchor: What I Learned About Kayaking Fishing on the Pacific Ocean.
Growing up in the Midwest, I spent much of my first 10 years in, on and around the water on Snow Lake, which is part of a chain of lakes in northeast Indiana. By age three I was a strong swimmer and by age five I was teaching my male teenage cousins who were visiting from out of state how to bait a hook.
My family fished in nearly every mode: from boats (motorized Jon boat, little Sunfish sailboat, speed boat and canoe), the dock, the shoreline -- even ice fishing with tip-ups in the winter. I guess fishing and boating is in our blood. When my Dad passed away in 2019, I found this photo of him with a handwritten tucked behind the frame explaining he had built the row boat himself in his late teens.
Our catches ranged from perch, blue gills and bass to catfish and crappie. One of my fondest memories was nighttime spearfishing. We quietly motored along the shoreline shining a big light a few feet in front of the boat. When a big fish would wander into the glow of the light, one of my brothers would throw a spear with a rope attached to it through the fish. On more than one occasion, we landed huge 3- to 5-foot long gar.
Fast forward about 35 years, and I now live on the beautiful Central Coast of California. It took me a full five years after moving here before I finally managed to get out on the Pacific and do some ocean kayaking, let alone ocean kayak fishing. One Friday morning that all changed. My friend, Tom Reilly, took me out about three-quarters of a mile to try my hand at catching lingcod. Tom is an ACA-certified kayak instructor who I've collaborated with on adaptive paddling workshops that use our mounted Versa Paddle and Gamut Paddle Holder. Tom owns a kayak fishing tour and rental business in Pismo Beach call