Finder/SONAR One of the neat things about entering the sport of kayak fishing is that you have
the option to accessorize your kayak any way you want to. You don't need a fish finder to catch fish. Though the fish finder is a very useful tool
in locating and identifying structure and depth. With a little general knowledge of fish
habitat, the fish finder can really be an asset. It's one of those things that you don't absolutely
need in order to catch fish. Though once you have used one from a kayak, you don't want to be caught on the water
without one. Some kayak anglers use a portable fish finder, some use a detachable unit
with a permanent base, and some use a permanent console-style mount. The portable units
commonly use a suction cup to mount the transducer. The other units transducers can be
epoxy glued to the inside bottom of the kayak. There are a few other mounting options but
they usually aren't as effective as the two mentioned. When installing the
transducer puck inside the kayak, first prepare the surface by lightly sanding the area.
Mix your 2-part slow cure epoxy. Apply a large glob to the sanded area and to the bottom
of the transducer puck. As you are pressing the puck down to be mounted, twist the
puck back and forth (20 degrees in each direction). The action will help get any trapped air
bubbles out. Trapped air bubbles can adversely affect your sonar readings. After the
puck has been pressed down all of the way, you can put a weight or weighted object on top
to ensure a solid cure. I usually find something flat like a small piece of wood to lay
on top. I then put the weighted object on top of the piece of wood.
VHF Handheld Radios If you are serious about safety and don't want to take any chances while you're out on the water, you'll carry a VHF handheld marine radio. These are the most effective devices for communication while out on the water. A cellular phone isn't as reliable when calling from open water. A marine VHF can be transmitted and received from a very good distance (range can vary depending on area). The Coast Guard monitors the emergency channels 24 hours a day. If you were to get into any kind of trouble, a VHF handheld can bail you out, possibly saving your life. VHF radios have rules and protocol that must be followed when using them. They aren't FRS talk-about radios where anything goes. Only certain channels may be used by kayak anglers & private boaters. Read your manual regarding proper operation. The VHF handheld radios range in price from $80 up to $400. Since you'll be using it from your kayak, you want one that is completely waterproof or submersible. For a VHF radio to be classified as submersible, it has to pass extensive underwater testing. A good submersible can be purchased for about $200. The black one shown above is made my Standard Horizon. It also came with a 3 year warranty.