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Jon Shein's New Book 'Kayak Fishing' Covers it All

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August 01, 2011

Jon Shein's New Book 'Kayak Fishing' Covers it All

By John Merwin

About 10 years ago, when I wrote what were apparently some of the first national articles about fishing kayaks, one of the people who helped was Jon Shein. (You can read those articles here and here.) Jon was, even back then, an avid kayak angler. Now he’s evolved as a genuine expert, which is happily reflected in his new book, “Kayak Fishing.”

I know many readers here go kayak fishing at least occasionally, and just as many have at least thought about it. Shein’s book covers all the basics and then some -- from how to choose a kayak suited to your own fishing needs to all the details of rigging these small boats once you get one.

Need to install rod holders? Add electronics? Want to rig an anchor or modify a hatch cover? Happily, this is the kayak-fishing answer book. Yes, you could surf the Web and eventually find most of these details, but that would take weeks of sorting wheat from the abundant chaff. In 210 large-format pages, Shein makes it easy. At $29.99, I think it’s a bargain.

Shein used to be one of the principals of a website called Kayak Fishing Stuff, where I used to buy accessories and glean information. He and his partners sold that site a few years ago and have started another: www.kayakfishingmagazine.net. It’s a great place for both novice and experienced kayakers to get the latest skinny on kayak fishing. For the meat of the matter, though, you’ll still need the book, which is available through the same website. Happy paddling!

Comments (9)

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Kayak fishing is addictive. Purchased my first kayak 5-6 years ago and since my boat, canoe and belly boats and seen little time on the water.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I don't need a book to get in a kayak and fish. People over-think this too much. It's just like any other fishing, but in a kayak. Maybe I'm just annoyed because I went fishing in a kayak long before anyone started labeling themselves kayak fishermen. I don't like labels. Just fish. It's all good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnmerwin wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

shane:
I agree with you to a point. Like you apparently, years ago I just hopped in a kayak and went fishing. No book needed. But eventually there are detail things--how to rig this or that, one kayak model versus another, questions about distant destinations--where educated and experienced opinions are helpful. That's why I like this book.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

just jumping in a kayak and going fishing can get you in trouble. you kind of have to know what you are doing. i think i'll check out the book. might be some very handy info in there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I was told 80,000 kayaks were sold in the state of Ohio alone last year. That makes 80,000 newbies who could use a good book.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnmerwin wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Yes, buckhunter, I'm always amazed at how popular kayaking has become here in the Northeast, too. The little plastic boats are literally everywhere, even among people I wouldn't consider to be outdoor types. Pretty incredible.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JonS wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

If you’re going to your local pond or something similar I can certainly understand not needing to understand much about the sport. That’s pretty simple stuff but kayak fishing can be very diverse. Kayaks are so versatile and the environments they can effectively and safely fish covers the entire spectrum. I wish there was a book like this available when I got started. It would have saved me a fortune in time and money by pointing me to the right gear and how to fish for species in places unfamiliar to me. I’m constantly being contacted by people who buy the wrong kayak or make major mistakes and get into trouble on the water. On the front page of our site right now is just such a situation where two experienced kayak fisherman got into trouble. Luckily they made it back safely but it could have been easily prevented if they prepared for the unexpected. Kayaks are fantastic but should things go awry you are very vulnerable. While I haven’t done it all I’ve learned quite a bit in my 1,000 plus days on the water from Alaska to Baja to the Caribbean up to New England. In my dozen years I’ve caught the usual suspects like bass, trout, panfish, striped bass, bluefish, redfish, snook, but in my almost 100 species of fish species from the kayak I’ve also had the opportunity to tangle with billfish, bull sharks, bonefish, tuna, halibut and dorado. I’ve done so from 60 different kayak models. When I was a retailer I carried all the gear and outfitted and shipped kayaks all over the world. I did my best to take all of those experiences and put them into the book to help shave some time off of the learning curve of this great sport.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tkbone wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Part of the fun of kayak fishing is using the web to research the yaks suited to your style of fishing, coming up with your own DIY ways to rig your yak and searching the web for fishing tips and techniques unique or best suited to plastic. The book may be useful for some and I'll probably flip through it at the bookstore or library but the cheapskate MacGyver in me who was first compelled to buy a piece of plastic to get my $%^ off the bank and into some fish has no use for it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Point taken. I didn't necessarily mean to poo-poo the book, I'm just a bit weary of the kayak craze.

I'm sure I could learn a lot from it, as I'm no expert -

I like to get in a kayak and silently sneak into secret spots that would be hard to access otherwise so I can cast to the larger, smarter bass and pickerel hanging in there that like to break me off on the pads.

I also could use an anchor system. I'm sure the book could remedy all of my troubles, but I think being the screw-up simpleton is part of the fun.

I'm also witness to the yuppie/otherwise non-outdoors types kayak explosion in New England. If they only knew what sort of jumbo pike, perch, pickerel and in some spots bass they were paddling over. I guess they probably wouldn't care.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Kayak fishing is addictive. Purchased my first kayak 5-6 years ago and since my boat, canoe and belly boats and seen little time on the water.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnmerwin wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

shane:
I agree with you to a point. Like you apparently, years ago I just hopped in a kayak and went fishing. No book needed. But eventually there are detail things--how to rig this or that, one kayak model versus another, questions about distant destinations--where educated and experienced opinions are helpful. That's why I like this book.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I was told 80,000 kayaks were sold in the state of Ohio alone last year. That makes 80,000 newbies who could use a good book.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnmerwin wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Yes, buckhunter, I'm always amazed at how popular kayaking has become here in the Northeast, too. The little plastic boats are literally everywhere, even among people I wouldn't consider to be outdoor types. Pretty incredible.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I don't need a book to get in a kayak and fish. People over-think this too much. It's just like any other fishing, but in a kayak. Maybe I'm just annoyed because I went fishing in a kayak long before anyone started labeling themselves kayak fishermen. I don't like labels. Just fish. It's all good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

just jumping in a kayak and going fishing can get you in trouble. you kind of have to know what you are doing. i think i'll check out the book. might be some very handy info in there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JonS wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

If you’re going to your local pond or something similar I can certainly understand not needing to understand much about the sport. That’s pretty simple stuff but kayak fishing can be very diverse. Kayaks are so versatile and the environments they can effectively and safely fish covers the entire spectrum. I wish there was a book like this available when I got started. It would have saved me a fortune in time and money by pointing me to the right gear and how to fish for species in places unfamiliar to me. I’m constantly being contacted by people who buy the wrong kayak or make major mistakes and get into trouble on the water. On the front page of our site right now is just such a situation where two experienced kayak fisherman got into trouble. Luckily they made it back safely but it could have been easily prevented if they prepared for the unexpected. Kayaks are fantastic but should things go awry you are very vulnerable. While I haven’t done it all I’ve learned quite a bit in my 1,000 plus days on the water from Alaska to Baja to the Caribbean up to New England. In my dozen years I’ve caught the usual suspects like bass, trout, panfish, striped bass, bluefish, redfish, snook, but in my almost 100 species of fish species from the kayak I’ve also had the opportunity to tangle with billfish, bull sharks, bonefish, tuna, halibut and dorado. I’ve done so from 60 different kayak models. When I was a retailer I carried all the gear and outfitted and shipped kayaks all over the world. I did my best to take all of those experiences and put them into the book to help shave some time off of the learning curve of this great sport.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tkbone wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Part of the fun of kayak fishing is using the web to research the yaks suited to your style of fishing, coming up with your own DIY ways to rig your yak and searching the web for fishing tips and techniques unique or best suited to plastic. The book may be useful for some and I'll probably flip through it at the bookstore or library but the cheapskate MacGyver in me who was first compelled to buy a piece of plastic to get my $%^ off the bank and into some fish has no use for it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Point taken. I didn't necessarily mean to poo-poo the book, I'm just a bit weary of the kayak craze.

I'm sure I could learn a lot from it, as I'm no expert -

I like to get in a kayak and silently sneak into secret spots that would be hard to access otherwise so I can cast to the larger, smarter bass and pickerel hanging in there that like to break me off on the pads.

I also could use an anchor system. I'm sure the book could remedy all of my troubles, but I think being the screw-up simpleton is part of the fun.

I'm also witness to the yuppie/otherwise non-outdoors types kayak explosion in New England. If they only knew what sort of jumbo pike, perch, pickerel and in some spots bass they were paddling over. I guess they probably wouldn't care.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment