Take a look at this kayak that’s “fully rigged” for kayak fishing. What’s your initial response?
Some might say “Awesome, everything you could possibly need.” Fair enough. But to me, this looks like utter chaos, stress, and an OCD nightmare. This is called a “garbage barge”. Not only is it anxiety-inducing, but what happens when you fall in and need to remount? Good luck with that.
Personally, I first got into kayak fishing for the simplicity. After owning a fishing boat for many years, constantly fretting over maintenance, and always having-to-have the latest gadgets and toys, the whole setup became extremely distracting. It nearly ruined what should be the primary focuses: fishing, enjoying the outdoors, relaxing, and camaraderie. And early on, the community was full of just that: guys/gals that simply wanted to enjoy the sport and each other’s company, ignoring the pull of commercialism and materialism that had long since invaded fishing.
Of course, that still exists to a certain degree. Kayak and canoe fishing’s benefits remain, and its participants tend to be the polar opposites of our glitter-boat brethren. However, I’d argue that the commercialism has started to take over some kayak anglers’ mindsets. We’re bombarded with ICAST this and YakAngler-says-I-can’t-fish-without-it that. Rigs start looking like the above photo, drowning the owner in gadgets. Further, some anglers will only fish with their prostaff teammates or owners of the same brand of equipment. Someone fishing from a simplistic kayak, bought from a big-box store, with a minimal amount of gear can be looked down upon as inferior. Absurd.
In the end, I guess it doesn’t really affect each of us — personally, we can still enjoy the sport however we want. However, I can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed and sad that others can’t simply enjoy the sport for what it is.
Any thoughts? Comment below!