Trophy Fishing

in the Mono Lake, Lee Vining area, October, 2009

A touring kayak is the best kayak for people who enjoy taking extending trips that may expose them to unpredictable environmental conditions. Touring kayaks are built with higher quality materials and provide additional waterproof storage spaces for gear. The best ocean or touring kayak should have a tri-form hull. This type of hull has a larger V-shape cross section in the center, for better straight line tracking and a smaller secondary V-shape on each side, providing resistance to capsizing.

Another common type of kayak that is best for safety and stability is molded into a hollow shape that you sit on top of to paddle. This type of kayak won’t fill up with water if capsized, which is a positive safety feature. However, you and your gear are more exposed to the negative effects of weather and water since you are not protected by a hull. Some models are wider than others, making them best for stability, but slower. Some are longer than others, making them faster, but harder to maneuver. Models are also available with a molded middle seat that can be used for solo paddling.

For people who have difficulties storing or transporting a fixed-size tandem kayak, an inflatable kayak may be best. It takes additional time to inflate and deflate it, but it can be transported in a confined space and easily stored. Models are available for under $500, which can be used on flat water and calm ocean; others are available for over $2000, which can be used for touring, rougher water and scuba diving. Inflatable kayaks may be the best option for a kayaker who desires portability.

This top water bait was developed in 1939 (although it has a wooden forefather called the Zarragossa). Its side-to-side action inspired the phrase “walk the dog,” which is how most describe the technique of twitching it across the water. Thousands of lures are now built to imitate this action.

Construction: The Spook’s hard-plastic body allows for terrific consistency in action. That said, be sure to check its buoyancy after each tuna or muskie you catch—­giant fish can crack it.

Fish-fooling Feature: Although it’s a very small part of the design of this lure, the line-tie is very important. Positioned beneath the nose, a twitch on slack line makes it dart to the side, which has proved irresistible to any fish that will eat bait on the surface, from large and smallmouth bass to tarpon. Size: For speckled trout, opt for the 3-inch Zara Puppy. This dainty walker perfectly mimics fleeing bait. For yellowfin tuna, toss the 5-inch Super Spook and work it as fast as you can. Make sure you upgrade hooks, though.