I haven’t been kayak fishing in quite a while, and today was lined up to be an excellent Solunar day, beautiful weather, I figured why not? It’s a weekend, no other plans. Let’s go fishing!
I borrowed my daughter’s fishing kayak as it’s shorter than mine (10′ vs. 12′), lighter than mine (75lb vs 85lb) and has an integrated rod holder on the starboard rail. I brought along my usual bottom fishing gear, thinking the water’s probably still too cold for catfish to have woken up from the winter, it’s still fun just to get out on the water, be around nature and take a chance! Her kayak doesn’t have a place to mount the sonar transducer rod without modifications, so instead I took my FishDeeper castable sonar and tied it off to the bow and slightly port. I made sure to bring along all of my usual gear just in case. I made it to the marina by around 10:15 and was in the water by 10:45.
The lake was pretty quiet, a few rowing teams practicing and an occasional rented boat with a family having fun on the water. I paddled slowly, watching the sonar on my phone and stopping when I saw a school of fish nearby. Unsure of what they are I figured it’s worth a try. I tried both raw shrimp and little smokies today. I dropped anchor, mounted the raw shrimp line on the rod holder and held onto the little smokies line. After around 5-10 minutes at that spot, suddenly overhead five fighter jets took off from Sky Harbor airport, one after another in tight formation, banking slightly to the Northeast. About 5 minutes later a sixth fighter jet took off, immediately hit the afterburners and raced to the Southeast. No idea what’s going on, it could be training, interception or monitoring of that Chinese spy balloon (a little far IMO, that’s a lot of jet fuel to get from here to Missouri or North Carolina), too early for Super Bowl LVII flyovers or patrolling. Regardless, it was still cool to watch.
I gave up on this spot and moved on towards the Mill Avenue bridges, looking for more fish on the sonar. I ran across another school and gave it a try. Not dropping anchor this time, just a quick check to see if they’d bite. After roughly 10 minutes I gave up and kept moving west, stopping a few more times when I saw fish but no luck.
I finally made it to the Northbound bridge, saw fish on the sonar, dropped anchor and both lines. This time I gave it about an hour, watching the fish on sonar run around and under my kayak, occasionally tugging on a line, but no bites. I moved on to the Southbound bridge and as I approached it I suddenly noticed a large school of fish running deep, creating a disturbance in the water at the bottom. I dropped anchor and set my lines up and waited. After a few minutes I noticed a school of very large fish show up on the sonar! More and more fish kept running about 4 feet above the bottom, right under my kayak, sometimes the force of the movement causing my boat to turn left or right gently. I could see movement on the surface from their activity below. I chummed the water a little with some little smokies fragments and watched the sonar light up with fish of all sizes.
For some reason the little buggers didn’t want what was on the end of my lines! I sat there for another hour or so, finally gave up and paddled back to the boat ramp and went home.
So, another fun time kayaking on Tempe Town Lake! Unfortunately no fish today, but a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work! Glad I went, and I’ll do it again! Next time I’ll find a way to more permanently mount the main transducer rod for the sonar and find a way to velcro the other sonar receiver screen to the interior of her kayak. Having a second rod holder on the port side would be nice also, but that’s down the road.