In my quest to catch big fish from the kayak, my attention had turned towards the magnificent Blue Shark. An iconic summertime species, these sharks follow warm water currents up to the British Isles in late Spring and stay in our waters until late Autumn as the water cools. I’m lucky enough to live right on the doorstep of some of the most productive shark fishing grounds in the country. I just needed a little help in getting out to them....
The shark grounds can be found far offshore, much further than is realistically possible to access with a fishing kayak from the shore. Most boats steam 20+ miles out to find these fish, and whilst the sharks do come closer to shore even a 10-mile offshore trip on a kayak is pushing the limits of safety. Not impossible, but such a trip requires a perfect set of conditions that are rare to come by. I have put in several exploratory offshore trips of up to 8 miles from land but it is the several miles of tidal drift away from land at up to 2 knots that can potentially cause issues for the return trip. Ending up 10-20 miles offshore after a long days fishing is not going to make things easy for the journey back to land, especially if the weather suddenly turns against you. There was an easy way though... we could get a lift!
Now before I go any further I must say that Kieren does not offer these trips in any form. Ben had booked out the boat with some friends and a last minute idea escalated into the kayaks being involved. I have good experience with shark handling, having caught many Blues from the boat and having had several Tope and one Porbeagle from the kayak. Kieren knew the task was in good hands and as a result allowed us to take the kayaks. Other than the lift out, we would be doing this all ourselves. We had our own rods and reels, we made our own rigs, we would make our own chum and fight and unhook the fish ourselves if we caught. A few lads have now caught Blues from mother-shipped kayaks here in the UK so we weren’t breaking boundaries here but we wanted to make sure we were doing as much of the effort as we could.
Effort Reaps Rewards
The boat was away at 7am so we had to be there an hour early to load on the kayaks and gear. We had to be prepared to be on our own in case we drifted in a different direction or at a different pace to the boat. We strategically loaded the kayaks and then our gear onto the boat so that minimal effort would be needed when it was time to get them into the water. We began the steam out, giving us plenty of time to get our rods rigged up and ready. You could almost taste the anticipation in the air... or was that the chum?