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The bass start hitting pretty good when the water temps aproach 50. I usualy start around 45 degees but dont seem to do very good until 48 or 49 degrees. It can be dangerous because of the frigid waters. Begginners should be carefull.
 

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why stop?? get yourself a dry suit and come out to play.

I'll be amazed how your fav. spot changes as the weather turns, LMB and pike are still avaiable and in the salt, if you look hard , you'll find the Stripers.

Or if you lucky to live in an area where the Stripers winter over
 

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why stop?? get yourself a dry suit and come out to play.

I'll be amazed how your fav. spot changes as the weather turns, LMB and pike are still avaiable and in the salt, if you look hard , you'll find the Stripers.

Or if you lucky to live in an area where the Stripers winter over
Its illegal to target stripers in NJ from Jan 1st until March 1st inside the inlets.
 

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Barrell I'm a beginner but have a new craft and I am ITCHING. When is a good time to hit the saltwater? I am thinking mid-April. I will hit safer freshwater earlier - hopefully TOMORROW.
You need to learn how to handle yourself on the yak first. You need to learn how to paddle and get in shape. Most begginers will flip a few times in their first couple weeks. When im doing a demo and a paddler flips on me its always due to lack of paddling experience. Flipping in water near 50 degrees in areas of strong tides and at night when the bite is best can be deadly.
 

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I plan on going the next 40-45 degree weekend. I just got neoprene chest waders, will be wearing PFD and sitting on a PFD under my seat. I will either be in the ditches or tridutary of the river.

The only time I flipped was in moving water in the pine barrens when caught on a log.

I usually have a paddle leash.
 

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I have a wet suit but its only what they call a farmer John wetsuit.
Its like your waders but tight. Its for spring, i still have to go out and get myself another pair of wetsuit booties for my feet.

My first launch will most likely spring break for flounder in the bay.
 

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There are two reasons I have seen guys flip. The first is an improper paddling stroke. The paddler actualy pulls themselves into the water by paddling incorrectly. Practicing for a few weeks in a shallow pond is a great idea. The water will be warmer, no chop or current. And if you do flip, you just stand up and walk the kayak back into shore. Until you can paddle in a pefectly straight line you should stay out of waterover your head. The pond is also the place to practice reentrys. You dont want to realize late at night in deep water that you have no clue how to climb back onto your kayak or that you are physicaly unable.
The second cause of all the flips ive witnessed has been high wind. An experienced kayaker is loose. Especialy in the hips. They go with the flow without thinking about the boat wake and waves that are rocking them side to side. It becomes instinctive like riding a bike. A begginer however is stiff and constantly trying to adjust for the rocking so he doesnt capsize. So a gust of wind gets under one side of the yak and lifts it up. The begginer gets all nervous and leans into the wind to try to push the upwind rail back down. The wind gust dies and the begginer goes swimming on the upwind side of the yak.
 

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A technique I have used in wakes in the river is to straddle the kayak, by putting my feet in the water. This helps lower the center of gravity to prevent flipping. Also be aware of any items you put on your kayak that raise the center of gravity like a cooler.

The width of the kayak also plays a huge role. As example a OK Scrambler XT has a beam of 32-33" I beleive, whereas my OK Scupper classic is 29", that does not sound like much but is huge when talking about stability in unceratain times.

Like Barrel said, practice alot, spend alot of time in shallow water.
 

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All good advice. As I'm reading you I'm realizing I need to spend a lot of time ALONE in this kayak before bringing a passenger (my boy). I have to know what I"m doing before he climbs in and complicates matters. Thanks as usual.
 

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Always remove your scuppers when you are paddling home and there is boat traffic. I took a wave one time and i took a lot of water on.
Also it is good practice to take a kayak class even if you have been kayaking for a long time. I took it even after i had been kayaking for 2 yrs. Its good what to know to do incase you flip.

My instructor had be do it incase i had my life vest on
Didn't have it on
If i flipped in water i could stand in
If i flipped in water over my head.
 

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I dont, I wear sweatpants as I never flip and I have a Hobie so I dont get wet. Paddling drips water all over you when you lift the blade over your head. When I used to paddle in the old days I wore gortex rainpants over my sweatpants. Now I always wear a life jacket in cold water, and I only fish under bridges so I am very close to the truck and my towel and dry set of clothes I bring with me in the spring. Im not recomending any begginers do what I do. I cant stress how important it is to know how to, and have practiced getting back into your kayak in cold weather. Practicing in a bathing suit in the summer is not the same as falling into ice cold water fully clothed with footwear on. The heavy cold weather clothes will get wet and add 50-60 pounds of wheight to you instantly. What you could do in a swimsuit is now impossible with all the wet clothing on. Cold water is not for begginers who just got a kayak for christmass and have not gained any experience yet. Be patient and wait for warmer water. If you have a gut try to get rid of it. I have never seen a guy with a gut able to do a reentry. The gut acts like a fishook catching the rail evertime he tries to climb back on the yak.
 

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Hi Barrell: Yes the posts on this thread have persuaded me to spend this spring in my county pond where I can walk to shore if need be. I don't intend to hit the back bays until May (I know I will have a lot of free time then, and until then I can practice around the corner in my pond).

Nonetheless, I wonder if neoprene waders help, even in a county pond. I can imagine water dripping all over my lap from paddles, a flopping fish (hopefully) etc. Is neoprene a good way to stay comfortable in such a wet environment in chilly weather?
 

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Hi Barrell: Yes the posts on this thread have persuaded me to spend this spring in my county pond where I can walk to shore if need be. I don't intend to hit the back bays until May (I know I will have a lot of free time then, and until then I can practice around the corner in my pond).

Nonetheless, I wonder if neoprene waders help, even in a county pond. I can imagine water dripping all over my lap from paddles, a flopping fish (hopefully) etc. Is neoprene a good way to stay comfortable in such a wet environment in chilly weather?
Ive never used them but there are a lot of guys that swear by chest waders with a chest belt. They however recomend the lighter breathable type fabric. I have gone out with guys who use Neoprene however. When the fish start to bit in the spring you can come out with me under the bridges at night. I will take you to some mellower locations where the tides are gentler and the risks are much lower.
 

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I'm surprised to hear so many guys wear waders on a yak, even with a tight belt waders can still take on water, if you flip and fill your wader, or even just take a little water your in trouble
 

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My first launch is going to be determined by the recovery time for my surgery at the end of March. I've been told that recovery time will be 2-3 months. I'm hoping that I can do some easy paddling by early June.

Once I'm fully recovered, I'm planning on meeting up with you guys and fishing different bridges with a vengance. Until then, I'll paddle vicariously thru your reports.
 
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