June 10, 2022
By George LaBonte
For some time now, anglers have realized the appeal of slipping around quietly in the skinniest of water and sight fishing for tailing fish such as redfish and snook. The building tension as you get within casting range expecting the fish to blow out adds an element of drama that can be addictive. In recent years, shallow water enthusiasts have learned that approaching these belly crawlers is far less likely to result in a cloud of mud appearing where you’re about to cast when you’re casting from a kayak or paddle board. These small craft displace so little water that you can easily blend in with your surroundings on one.
Herein lies the rub. When fishing on paddlecraft, your options are typically restricted by the available launch access points on any given body of water, along with how far you’re inclined to paddle each day. Clever anglers who own both power boats and paddle craft have come up with a solution that opens up a world of possible fishing locations by using your boat as a transport vessel and a mobile launch site.
Loading a couple of SUP’s or kayaks into your center console could be awkward and certainly uncomfortable since the boards would occupy most of the onboard space meant for human passengers. By adding a rack system that mounts into your rod holders and allows you to place the paddle craft securely in place for transport and out of your way while getting there, any distant flat or estuary within reach of your boat becomes open for business. The Manta Racks S1 or S2 and L2K systems accommodate SUPs individually or in pairs and single Kayaks for transport to and from productive fishing flats that may be inaccessible to your power boat but offer abundant chances to sight fish. This added mobility allows you the option of checking multiple flats in a day without the inconvenience of loading in and out of a vehicle and driving to multiple land points. It also provides access to locations that simply aren’t accessible by land.
If you’ve ever been enjoying a day fishing adjacent to a shallow area in your boat only to realize you’ve reached the limits of your boats shallow draft capability while admiring a feeding frenzy unfold in the distant shallows, you’ll understand how useful this tactic can be to open doors to opportunity.
These made in the U.S.A. racks are easy to assemble and come in models angled for 0, 15, and 30-degree rod holder angles. Manta Racks also offers racks for wakeboards, kneeboards, and Floating Mats up to 18’ long.