Kayak Gear and Accessories

Cape May County Kayak GearNeed to gear up for the next paddling season?  We decided to put together an assortment of simple Cape May County Kayak Gear tips to extend your kayaking enjoyment.  If you need to purchase top quality Ocean City kayak accessories, click here.  The following Cape May County Kayak tips will keep you safe on the water.

Cape May County Kayak Gear Tips

Get some good reflecting tape

Reflecting tape is a must if you plan to spend entire days kayaking.  It not only increases the visibility of your kayak and paddles, but it makes it easy for your paddling partners to spot you from far away during dusk.  You can apply the tape to the back of paddles, along the extrusion line, on the bow/stern or anywhere else anywhere you feel is necessary.

Always paddle with signal whistles

You never know when you might find yourself in a position when you need to get somebody’s attention! To ensure that you don’t lose or injure your voice, carry a whistle with you at all times.  Paddle with a few whistles and keep them in various places in your gear, in your clothing, etc…  Whistles make paddling safer and more enjoyable.

Bring Seat Pads

Long periods of sitting in a kayak can get uncomfortable.  It helps to bring a seat pad so you can enjoy long periods of paddling without having your entire lower body fall asleep.  There’s nothing enjoyable about being out on the water with a bad case of pins and needles.

Use safety flags

Safety flags are a great idea if you are paddling with a group of people.  Flags make kayaks easy to spot from far distances and can help a group stay together.

Repair Adhesive

Sometimes you need to repair a leak or a hole at an unexpected time.  Having some repair adhesive really comes in handy when your spending the day on the water.  You never know when you might need it.

Click here to view our entire selection of kayak gear and kayak accessories.  Fin-atics Home Page

Choosing the Right Fishing Line Strength

Ocean City NJ Fishing GearDifferent fishing line strengths serve different purposes. Ideal strength depends on you rod, reel, and the fish you are trying to catch. Wrong strength can cause difficulty with casting and landing a hooked fish, so choosing the right one is important. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Find out the line capacity of your reel. if you can’t find it on your reel, just google the model. it’ll be marked with the amount of yards your reel can hold and the lbs test line. 

 

  • 2-4lb test is good for fishing off the shore or a dock.  The fish you catch from these areas are generally smaller, and you will need a light line to be able to see their nibbles. A 2- to 4-lb. line will almost always be strong enough to land these smaller fish.

 

  • 12lb test line works for most freshwater species in larger rivers or lakes. Line of this strength is small enough to notice an 8lb fish nibbling at his bait, but is also strong enough to reel in a 15- or 16-lb. fish that puts up a decent fight.

 

  • 15lb test line is usually good for species like largemouth bass, which you may have to drag out of thick aquatic plants. A weaker fishing line could probably land one in open water, but you need extra strength in case the line gets caught in plants.

 

  • Very strong 30lb test or stronger fishing line is good for ice or deep-sea fishing. The majority of fish caught in those areas are much larger than those caught in freshwater. 

Fin-atics offers a wide assortment of fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing line, and any other fishing accessory you may need both in store and online. Come check out the best Jersey Shore bait and tackle shop.

Choosing Your Fishing Reel

Ocean City NJ Fishing ReelsWith all of the different kinds of fishing reels out there, it may seem like choosing the one for you is impossible. Below is some helpful information on types and uses of fishing reels:

Types of fishing reels:

There are two main types of fishing reals. The spin real, also known as a threadline, eggbeater or coffee-grinder reel. An ‘overhead reel’ refers to a collective including several types of reels that might otherwise be known as a conventional, game, trolling, barrel, baitcaster and low-profile reels.

Strength, maximum drag capacity and line capacity were once the determining factors that made overhead reels the choice of ‘serious’ anglers, simply because early spin reel designs couldn’t match the overhead designs. Modern spin reels can now equal—and in some cases exceed—the capabilities of overhead reels. This makes the choice of which reel is better for you less clear, so we’ll take a look at the options relative to the intended purpose:

Bait Fishing:

Either a spin or overhead reel is fine for everyday bait fishing, where you’re casting your baits from shore or a boat, so let your personal preference decide. It is recommended for beginners start with a spin reel because they are simple to use and will do everything you need. As you develop more specific fishing styles that might benefit from an overhead reel, then you can add to your tackle then.

Trolling:

Overhead reels are the best choice for trolling, whether you’re targeting marlin offshore with game reels or seeking barra or cod in rivers using baitcaster reels. This is simply because the shapes and designs better suit being left in rod holders.

Casting:

There are good casting reel options in both spin and overhead reels. Spin reels are easier to cast with. However, casting with an overhead reel can be mastered, it just takes a bit more practice at the start. Spin reels are better at casting lighter weights. An overhead reel generally requires more momentum so heavier weights make in easier to cast. The spin reel’s ‘freer line’ advantage diminishes as the lure or sinker weights increase because with more weight comes more momentum, regardless of which reel type is used.

Bottom fishing and jigging:

Overhead reels are a better option for boat fishing scenarios such as when you’re dropping baits or heavy lures to the bottom and fishing vertically. The immediate line contact and spool control are advantageous when your lure or bait hooks a fish on the drop. Line capacities are usually ample for fishing deep water. More robust parts and fewer small parts are better for longevity in a harsh saltwater environment and bigger gears designed for more torque tend to last longer as well. The line running over the top of the rod is also useful during fights with big fish because it reduces the chance of the line accidentally coming in to contact with the gunwales when a fish has you bending over the side in a rough sea, which could cost you a fish in a moment of distraction.

All that said, strong modern spin reels now hold their own offshore. Some offshore anglers prefer this style because of the extra lure speed they can make when needed, and because a big spin reel offers more versatility should the angler encounter a scenario where a long cast could secure a bonus fish spotted feeding on the surface.

Extra Tips:

If you intend fishing saltwater, check that the reel is suitable for this purpose. Some reels imported into Australia are specialist reels developed for freshwater-centric markets in other countries.If you intend fishing with a heavy drag setting, check the body, reel seat, handle and bail arm assembly for flex by gently squeezing and moving the parts with your hands. Too much flex might cost you a fish and might be an indication the reel is not up to the torture you have planned for it.It’s worth checking that the reel you’re planning to purchase will actually fit into the reel seat fitting on the rod you plan to match it with. It’s only rare that they won’t fit together, but check, just in case. Whichever reel you choose, remember it has a lot of interconnecting moving parts that operate in harsh conditions and at times under extreme pressure. The more you look after it, the better its chance of having a long and reliable life.

Fin-atics carries a wide assortment of fishing reels and any other fishing accessory both in store and online.

Choosing Waders

Ocean City NJ WadersAre you searching for a new pair of waders? Maybe yours don’t fit, are leaking at the seams, or aren’t keeping you warm enough. Or maybe you don’t even have a pair yet. Regardless, here are some things you should consider when buying waders:

 

  • What are you going to use the waders for?

Are you buying the waders just for fishing or do you plan to wear them when you hunt ducks and geese?  If you fish more than you hunt, then the type, thickness and color of the wader should be considered when compared with the type of fishing you normally do. The same is true if you hunt more days than you fish.

 

  • What water temperatures will you be fishing in?

Colder temperatures mean thicker and insulated waders to keep you warm, which generally cost more.

 

  • What kind of material should You choose?

There are several different types of materials that you can select from when choosing your waders. This is the time that you really want to consider what you will be using the waders for and how often.

  1. Neoprene is probably the most popular wader material and for many good reasons. It is very durable and you get to chooses the thickness. In colder temperatures, thicker waders are recommended.
  2.  There are also breathable waders that are constructed from a permeable membrane such as Gore-Tex®, which allows moisture to escape through the wader even while in the water. They are versatile and can be used in both summer and winter months.
  3. Canvas waders are another choice. Although you lose more flexibility and they are heavier, the less expensive price can make them good for beginners.
  4. Nylon waders are also great choice for beginner fly fishermen. They’re a slight step up from the rubber waders that most beginners start out with, are lightweight, and will keep you dry and warm. One disadvantage of nylon waders is that they can be hot, and because they are not breathable, it can cause a problem in the colder months when sweat builds up causing the fisherman’s clothes to become damp or wet. Not only will this cause discomfort, it could lead to hypothermia if the angler should become too cold.

A wading belt is always recommended.

Wader Fitting

If your waders do not fit right not only will you be uncomfortable, but also you will find that you will tire much easier, which could lead to a potential wading mishap. Improper fitting waders can also restrict your range of motion while climbing over rocks or getting in and out of a boat, all of which could also contribute to a wading mishap or fall that could cause personal or equipment damage. If you’re ordering online, email the owner of the site and give them your height, weight and shoe size and they should be able to fit you that way. If you purchase from a fly shop or sporting goods store, take the time to try them on. Do a couple of knee bends and walk around a little bit. See if you can put a foot up on a stool. This way you will know for sure that they are the right fit.

Fin-atics offers waders and accessories both online and in store as well as anything else for your fishing needs.

 

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Chunking Bunker for Striped Bass

Author with 36" Striped Bass
Author with 36″ Striped Bass

Chunking Bunker for Striped Bass can be a very productive method for catching that trophy linesider. It is a very simple method that will produce bites in a variety of conditions and different areas of the bay or ocean.  Most often this fishing technique is used from an anchored boat but it also can work from areas such as a pier, dock or bridge.  Take a Bunker (Menhaden), cut it up into pieces about 2 inches long and throw a few at time into the water, chunking is just as it sounds.

The trick is not to chunk too many at a time, get the Stripers feeding on them but not enough to satisfy their hunger.  I find that a dozen bunker will last for about 2 hours of slow and steady chunking, of course if the bite is on it will go much faster.  Use a larger piece of Bunker, usually a head or mid-section 4-5 inches wide as a bait with a large 8/0 to 10/0 hook (circle hook or J-hook based on your personal preference) .  Drift or cast the baited hook, using a fish finder style rig out behind the boat or away a bit from the pier.  Use of a Baitrunner or conventional reel with a clicker is important here so you may leave the reel in free-spool, the fish can pick the bait up and not feel the sinker or drag of the reel.

Find a place to anchor or a spot on a pier where your bait will drift into a hole, the edge of a drop off or a nice rip current and fish it a couple hours before or after the change of a tide. The current slows a bit and your chunks won’t be carried away as fast during this time.  I have found that there is no set tide, high or low that will produce all the time, the time of day and season will dictate when they bite.  Striped Bass are the most unpredictable of fish when it comes to their behavior, they may bite on the top of the incoming tide one week and the bottom of the outgoing another.  Put the time in and you will eventually learn their patterns for the area you are fishing at the time of year you choose to fish it.  This will help narrow down the when and where to fish and increase your chances of landing that once in a lifetime Striped Bass.

Picking Terminal Tackle

Ocean City NJ Fishing TackleHooks, jig heads, weights, floats, and leader materials make up terminal tackle. It is highly recommended to carry a wide variety of hooks in your tackle box for any kind of catch. Multiple sizes of circle and “j” hooks from #1 through 8/0 will do the trick. Go with some smaller sizes i.e. #1 or 1/0 or sheepshead and snapper and then change to 2/0 – 4/0 for larger species like snook and redfish. When chasing tarpon I use 7/0 or 8/0. Using mostly circle hooks for most of your fishing needs is helpful because of the ease on the fish and the angler. They take all the guesswork from the hook set. It’s also good to use weighted screw in type hooks for my soft plastics, so you will want some of those as well. 1/16 oz-3/8 oz will be fine. Switching to jig heads again variety seems to be best. 1/16 oz – 1 oz depending on the application will cover all your bases. Don’t get too caught up in colors, but some variation may be beneficial. Weights come in all shapes and sizes and a little of each would suit your needs. Some pinch on’s for easy on and easy off are great. Egg sinkers work best for deeper water and knocker rig application and therefore should be a part of your tackle. You can sometimes use worm weights for soft plastics, so add a few sizes. Floats are used for many applications, but a few need mentioned. Popping corks should be a staple item in every tackle bag, just make sure and get the ones with the titanium shaft; they won’t get all bent up after a few fish. Also go with the ones that have a concave front as opposed to oval, they make more noise in the water which will lead to more strikes. It’s good to have a variety of other common floats when using live bait around mangroves or over the grass flats. Use the weighted floats, you will get further casts. Finally, let’s take a look at leader material. Fluorocarbon has been the big deal for quite some time and is recommended by many avid anglers. Have a few different strengths; 15lb-30 for smaller species and 70-100 for larger. You can cut pre-length leaders and put them in zip lock bags, it will save you time later.

Fin-Atics.com offers a huge variety of terminal tackle both in store and online in the Jersey Shore area. Feel free to contact us regarding any questions you may have.

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