For many of my early years, I would fish the coastal bend as a landlocked angler. Jetty’s, boat launches,
side of the road access points. Anywhere my pata mobile could take me to a waters edge. I found
myself spending an exuberant amount of energy trying to cast my lure, or, live and dead bait as far from the shoreline as possible. The farther the cast, the bigger the fish, right?

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Before long, my gear consisted of oversized fast tip rods and heavier weights. Heck, I even found myself
wading into chest deep water just to maximize my casting distance. My thought was, the fish hide in
deeper water; I need to get away from this shoreline. The problem was the limited real estate I could access that was fishable. Don’t get me wrong, fish were caught, and celebrations happened. I even
recall a shirtless chest bump a time or two. Rumor also has it that those celebrations may have been
recorded and posted to the social media mecca at the time, Myspace. Post, update song of the week,
and done. I’m officially a fishing badass.

To this day, that style of fishing is still enjoyable. Yes, the gear has changed dramatically; but
nonetheless the excitement is still very much alive. Without those roots, I would have never of had my
“ah-ha” moment. The moment that everything changed for me as an angler.

That moment occurred to me during one of those chest deep wades back to the shoreline. My rod held
high above my head; the bail open as I hand lined mono fishing string behind me to keep the tension.
The first battle of the day had already been won. Which was me aggressively beating my makeshift PVC rod holder into the mud-shell mixture. Now on to my second goal; place the rod in the homemade pipe without stepping on a stingray. You always count the small victories. It was on that walk back to the shoreline where I saw my first ever school of redfish working bait in a meager six inches to one foot of water. Why had I been spending all this time trying to Apollo launch my bait to infinity and beyond, when the fish I was after were still at the launch pad? That was the “ah-ha” moment.

I needed to change my tactics. I needed to seek out the fish, and not wait till the fish came to me. How
could an angler stay shallow enough, yet quick enough to cover all the water I wanted to fish. I sure as heck didn’t want to walk it. More importantly, how could I take enough gear with me so that if I was broken off by a fish, I didn’t have to go back to the truck. At that moment, it was clear I needed a kayak.

My current kayak is a Hobie Outback, but out of the gate, I didn’t start off that way. My need was
simple, get away from the bank and explore shorelines. I figured a kayak would also be a good tool to run large bait beyond the breakers in the surf. Multipurpose, hmmm? I chose a boat that was cost effective for my budget at the time. And, a price point that allowed me to still have a few dollars left
over for the required safety equipment, like a lifejacket and whistle.

Fast forward 15 years, multiple brands of kayak in my fleet and many hours on the water; the vision and excitement of escaping the shoreline is the same. I’ve come to realize that ACK does more then just sell kayaks to paddlers and anglers alike. What they really sell is freedom and a glimpse of the unknown adventure. So, if you’re ready to start your own journey and push away from the shoreline to explore new water. Be sure to trust in the outfitter that keeps me searching uncharted shorelines; Austin Canoe and Kayak.

 

Matt Murphy

ACK Kayak Fishing Team

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