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It was quite a few years ago when I first realized that you could seriously use your PWC for fishing. I was out on a lake with a buddy of mine. We were in a small boat with an even smaller motor, trying to locate some of the bass the lake was known for. The older 4hp outboard couldn’t move us very fast at all, so we slowly worked a weed line near the boat launch, hoping nobody else came along and blasted us with wake. Then a guy pulled up at the launch and dropped in a Kawasaki Jet Ski. I’ll admit, it didn’t make me very happy. This was a small lake, and while it wasn’t like I owned the lake or anything, the thought of sharing the water with someone ripping around on a PWC wasn’t that appealing. To my surprise, the was ready to do some Jet Ski fishing, as he was carrying a fishing pole and small tackle box. He scooted across the lake to the lily pads at the far end and started working a crankbait. It didn’t take long for him to hook into his first bass. I was a touch jealous and very intrigued.
Using your PWC for fishing is another fun activity you can add to the list. After all, it is basically a boat… albeit a small one. That doesn’t mean you can’t go Jet Ski fishing, it just means you need to prepare for it. Now, I will say up front that fishing from a stand-up PWC isn’t something I would try, but the sit-down models make for a pretty good platform for an angling adventure.
The biggest challenge when doing a little Jet Ski fishing is carrying your gear to the spot you want to fish safely and securely. This can get a little tricky, but it gets much easier if you start out with the right kind of equipment.
Fishing rods can be tricky, but they are essential for any fishing trip, let alone a Jet Ski fishing adventure. They are just long and awkward to maneuver, so carrying them on a PWC can become a distraction, and that is not good. There are some answers for this, however, that work quite well. One way to go around this problem is a travel rod. Travel rods are just like your regular fishing poles with the exception that they break down into multiple sections and can be packed in a smaller space. My advice here is to buy a decent rod, too. Having a rod that is in multiple pieces inherently makes it weaker, so a cheaper rod can fail and leave you frustrated and fish-less. My favorite is the Cabela’s Fish Eagle II Travel Rod.
These rods come in both spinning and casting configurations and are quite well made. I took a 7ft medium-action spinning rod with me to Alaska and caught salmon with no troubles. Best of all, it breaks down into four sections, each only 21 inches long, making it much easier to transport on a PWC.
What may be the best solution, however, is adding a Jet Ski Fishing Rod Rack to your PWC. These racks mount on the back of your PWC and can hold up to six rods, along with a cooler or tackle box, and even a couple extra gas cans for when you really want to adventure far. This puts all of your gear behind you on your PWC, allowing you to focus on riding and not where your gear is.
Ever have one of those bad days fishing where the fish just aren’t biting? We all have had at least one (or 100). It’s one thing to get out on the water after them; it’s another to get them to bite. While there isn’t much that can be done to cure a serious case of piscatorial lockjaw, you can at least have a good idea that there are fish down there with the use of a fish finder.
Fish finders are basically sonar units that transmit a signal through a transducer placed under the waterline on a boat. This signal is read by a screen and shows you the depth, bottom structure and, of course, fish. For Jet Ski fishing, a portable system would be the cat’s pajamas and while there are several systems on the market, one of the coolest is the Deeper Pro Plus Smart Sonar, a system designed to work with your smartphone. The entire unit is built into a floating device that can be cast with a fishing pole, or simply lowered over the side of your PWC. It sends a signal to your smartphone that is read by an app, and gives you a display just like a screen on a regular sonar unit. The kit is priced competitively and comes with a floating, waterproof case for your phone.
Another cool way to see what’s going on under the water is to have a look with an underwater camera. Aqua-Vu makes sweet little fully-compact cameras that you can drop down the side and see what’s really going on under the water through the monitor.
Now that you have the things you need to safely and easily to go fishing from your Jet Ski, the next step is to go fishing. Wear your PFD and keep your head about you and you’ll have a good time, catch some fish and find a whole new way to enjoy your PWC. Just be careful what you fish for. Latch onto something too big and you could be going for a Nantucket Sleigh Ride, PWC style!
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