Thinking about giving kayak fishing a try? It is almost impossible to go anywhere today without seeing a kayak. Whether in the bed of pickup trucks rolling down the highway or a group of kayak anglers showing up at your favorite fishing spot, the sport is here to stay and continues to grow.
“Try it before you buy it” certainly applies to kayak fishing, and taking a charter kayak trip is a great way to see if it really is for you.
Relative to powerboat fishing, kayak fishing is less expensive — but it’s not cheap. Quality kayaks and gear make the experience more enjoyable and successful. The last thing you want to do is blindly jump into the sport only to find out that it is not your cup of tea.
Kayak anglers come and go from the sport for a variety of reasons, but there is a pretty good chance that if you try it, you’ll like it. Kayak fishing offers a level of excitement that can’t be found fishing from conventional powerboats and a thrill factor that hooks new anglers every day.
For those who do not have a friend with a spare kayak, hiring a professional kayak fishing guide is the best way to go. Capt. Eric Muhoberac of The Louisiana Kayak Company (504-313-8292) supplies all of the necessary kayaks, gear and knowledge for a successful adventure in the Louisiana marsh.
Muhoberac has guided anglers across Southeast Louisiana for nearly 20 years. As a powerboat captain, he has an intimate knowledge of the marsh and a knack for catching fish.
Like many others, he was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, and was faced with the loss of a home and livelihood. Wanting to get back to fishing, he turned to kayaks.
Muhoberac concentrates his kayak guiding efforts in his old stomping grounds from Myrtle Grove to Venice on the west side of the Mississippi River and Pointe a la Hache on the east side.
“I grew up fishing these areas and know them like the back of my hand,” he said. “I enjoy taking clients out to enjoy all that coastal Louisiana has to offer — at a much slower pace than when using a powerboat.
“Trips to other Louisiana waters may be arranged by special request.
Muhoberac breaks down his kayak charter clients into three groups: those curious about kayak fishing, tourists looking for a real Louisiana experience and beginning kayak anglers wanting to learn more about an area or hone their fishing skills.
The Louisiana Kayak Company makes it easy. As a turn-key operation, they have a fleet of Hobie Outback kayaks, a custom-built trailer for transport and quality fishing reels from Penn and Abu Garcia paired with TFO rods.
“All our clients need to bring are a few drinks and a sandwich,” Muhoberac said. “We provide everything necessary to enjoy an exciting and productive day of kayak fishing.”
The Outbacks are pedal kayaks utilizing Hobie’s Mirage Drive system of propulsion. There is no learning curve or lack of efficiency inexperienced paddlers would face. Using leg muscles to work the drive and a single hand to steer, even first-time kayakers are completely at ease in these stable fishing platforms.
And Muhoberac is right there to assist and explain every nuance of the fishing trip to help ensure the angler’s success.
“The majority of our customers want to catch redfish,” he said. “They are not as concerned about where or how, as long as they have the opportunity to catch a red.”
Muhoberac supplies dead bait and artificial lures, with Berkley Gulp being one of his go-to baits.
“Gulp is my friend,” he said. “I set up my clients with a Gulp under a popping cork, and they have an excellent chance of catching a nice red.”
Although fishing is the main objective, the knowledge that can be obtained on such a trip is invaluable. Muhoberac does not fish when taking out customers.
“I spend my time taking care of the clients and explaining everything they want to know,” he said.
With no motor noise or need for concentration at high speeds, charter clients can talk to the guide throughout the trip to get all their questions answered. Muhoberac encourages them to soak up as much information as they can; learning about kayak fishing, and how and why they are fishing a particular area or method is something they can take with them to employ in their own future fishing activities.
All trips are customized to the client’s physical abilities and what they want to experience. Locations and range are selected by the captain based on the current conditions and time of the year.
“We catch fish year round, but the techniques and locations frequently change,” Muhoberac said.
Customers have the option to catch and release or catch and keep in accordance with Louisiana’s regulations.
Based on customer demand, the primary target is usually redfish, but good catches of speckled trout, sheepshead and drum are also regularly encountered.
There is a lot more to successful kayak fishing than meets the eye. Learning from a charter captain with years of kayak fishing experience puts you ahead of the game.