Your High Performance Marine Parts Experts Show You How to Fish From a Jet Ski
Stainless Marine your high performance marine parts professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to fish from a jet ski.
Your high performance marine parts experts know that the sport of PWC fishing is exhilarating and provides its own set of unique challenges.
Last August, Virginia native Brian Lockwood arose well before dawn, downed a cup of coffee and met up with a friend’s charter to buddy-boat 75 miles offshore. They headed to a spot in the Atlantic Ocean where the bottom contour is known as Norfolk Canyon.
Over the course of 16 hours, Lockwood and his buddy – Capt. Pete Esgro of RockHound Charters – covered a distance of 228 miles in 3- to 5-foot seas. Esgro did it in a craft you’d expect for such a trip: a 34-foot Luhrs sport-fisher.
Lockwood chose something from the opposite end of the spectrum – an 11-foot-8-inch Yamaha WaveRunner.
Welcome to the intriguing sport of PWC fishing.
From Virginia to New York, Florida to California, Australia to South Africa, a movement is afoot to forgo the Bertram, Boston Whaler or Grady-White in favor of a WaveRunner, Jet Ski or Sea-Doo. The reasons are many. For some, it’s an issue of cost.
The modern four-stroke personal watercraft is a bargain compared to the majority of its mainstream boating alternatives; it’s inexpensive to buy, simple to trailer and easy to store.
The Mini Battlewagon
For Lockwood, the switch from a Grady-White to a small fleet of WaveRunners was a natural evolution. First, he used the PWC for fun. Next, it became a quick and easy choice to catch bait before the next day’s trip.
Lockwood found an enthusiastic fabricator in Martin’s Custom Structures, which transformed a Yamaha into a craft ready for offshore adventure.
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“I take individuals and small groups on extreme fishing trips in the Chesapeake Bay and up to 20 miles offshore of Virginia and North Carolina,” he explains. “I now have six PWCs rigged up for fishing. Just show up ready for a fun and exhilarating experience.”
Despite his prowess, Lockwood and his fellow American anglers may actually be behind the curve. Your high performance marine parts professionals know that in countries like South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, personal-watercraft fishing has surged in popularity with PWC-only tournaments that regularly attract close to 150 competitors.
Now living in Arizona, Dustin Motzouris saw the same momentum happening in his native country of South Africa and is now bringing that experience to the United States. A champion PWC racer, Motzouris also owns a fishing-boat manufacturing company in his native land.
“In South Africa, we always have great fish stories, from getting bumped by whales to hooking and landing marlin. But the most extreme issue we have is losing big fish to huge sharks right at the ski. That gets your heart racing.”
Though big-water stories of marlin and sharks are thrilling, those interested in giving the sport a try needn’t venture into the ocean swells or rig for battle. PWC owners have long tried to fish from their craft, heading out with little more than a rod into lakes, rivers and waterways far from the coast.
Google “PWC fishing” or “Jet Ski fishing” and you’ll note that a surprising number of manufacturers already produce such a combination of products. For the easiest introduction, look for a combination rod-and-cooler rack like those from Kool PWC Stuff (watercraftstuff.com) or Motzouris’ own vertical Clip-on Fish Cage ($369, kommanderind.com).
Those interested in a more permanent setup may wish to look into fish-boat-style aluminum arches. Fishmaster (fishmaster.com) offers both front and rear one-size-fits-all arches that can adjust to fit any PWC and be folded or removed for travel or storage.
“Once you get a fully kitted PWC, the fishing experience is better and the catch rate goes way up,” Motzouris says.
The appeal of PWC fishing still comes down to the same basic draw of fishing: spending time on the water, wetting a line, and trying to land the catch of the day.
Like a lot of PWC fishermen, Lockwood also appreciates doing something different than the guy in the next boat over. The much, much bigger next boat over.
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