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My first SIB trip

Thought I would offer up a little insight into my first trip out on the water on my new Quicksilver SIB with it's Suzuki 4.2HP engine.

First a little bit of background. I'm a 46 (overweight) software IT solutions business manager that between work and family doesn't get a lot of time to carry out an old passion for fishing. As a kid, we were taken to Anglesey on our summer holidays and the passion for sea fishing grew from there where I leant all about beach/rock casting around Porth Dafarch beach.

A few years back, I decided I wanted to take it up again and I did a little googling to see what the latest trends were. Low and behold I saw something that hit two birds with one stone, sea fishing from a kayak. Holy cow, on the water and fishing at the same time I had to get a bit of that.

I googled more and discovered NWKF and after joining to read up more about sea kayak fishing on the forums I got a PM from a guy call Terry. Well, this was the start and Terry (the kayak whisperer) took me under his wing (helps only being 20 mins from his house) and I bought 2 kayaks; a Moken 12' fishing kayak and smaller one for my daughter to use.

All seemed to go well with the Kayaking but I never felt 100% comfortable on the water. I assumed it was me not the kayak and when fishing I was conscious of every detail of the surrounding environment. Were the swells to big? Which way was the wind blowing? Is that damn Jet Ski and power boat heading my way? Is my daughter or friend who was with me out at sea coping ok, are we safe etc. Oh and somewhere in there find time to fish.

Now as mentioned earlier, limited time means limited windows of opportunity for traveling to the water, my place of choice is Anglesey (love it around there) and that's a 2 hour journey. With the bloomin British weather we have, I found it very very limiting for kayak fishing, either I was away for that good weekend or there were other family commitments restricting me.

The revelation

I recently got a call from Terry, and I could tell from his excited voice that he had something very interesting to share with me. He explained that he was looking into trying out fishing from a SIB. After a short explanation what a SIB is and how it could work I realised quite quickly that this could be the answer to my problems.

After a short visit to the one man "A team", Terry, I hook myself up with a SIB and an engine and made a date with Terry to go try out the boat.

Moelfre

Moelfre, Anglesey was the chosen venue for the inaugural trip out on the boats. Terry turned up Saturday with both boats, yes we wanted each to try out our own, the engines, fuel and a big smile. Two hours later we were both stood on the pebbly beach of Moelfre. Of course typically the sea was flat as a mill pond and ideal for kayaking but hey ho we were there to SIB fish.

Terry (the SIB whisperer) explained the what not and what to do's and within 40 minutes we were on the sea. I fired up the Suzuki engine and it purred away beautifully and I gentley opened it up and set a course for my fishing spot.

The difference was immediately noticeable and the pleasure this brought helped to make that wonderful sunny day even better. Instability, are you kidding you can stand up in the darn thing, sea swells not even a concern. I even waved at the pillocks on the Jet Ski’s as they buzzed by (idiots) :)

My boat is a 2.8m SIB with a central seating position, it had plenty of room for me and I would say one more for fishing. It will hold 4 people but that’s more for transporting rather than using for fishing. It was a good job it had the space because even though the SIB whisperer told me I wouldn't need much I took all but the kitchen sink including three rods reels and line, two tackle boxes, otter box to keep things dry. Waste of time used one rod and reel and a set of feathers the only other thing used was the butty box and flask.

The ability to power out at a reasonable pace to a fishing mark and then fish with no worries was a wonderful experience. To be able to reach around and move about, a bonus, and to top it all sharing the sea with the dolphins and the seal with the local sea birds made for the perfect day out. Oh yeah by the way I caught fish too :)

I didn't get wet, I felt extremely safe, the fishing was ok, the pleasure of driving around (is that the right word) was fun and it made me realise that I will have a lot more options to go out on the sea even if the weather is a little choppy. Of course I know common sense still applies that you still have to be vigilant when out on the water as tides and winds can be treacherous.

So what are the negatives, not many to be honest. The biggest one the speed that we drifted in the strong(ish) wind. It blew us along like a tumbleweed in the desert. The simple solution, an anchor, something I will be purchasing soon. Another small issue for me and it probably only applied to me on the day was the seat positioning, it meant if I sat on the middle seat I would have to twist my body in two ways, one to guide the engine from the back and twist to look forward made it slightly uncomfortable. Simple answer is sit on the side, which I will do the next time. Last one was the cleaning of the engine but after seeing how Terry, sorry SIB whisperer, had a Heath Robinson method I adapted it and with the use of a wheelie bin, a small stool and an old kitchen bin I had enough depth to run the engine Sunday morning (bet the neighbours loved that)

So would I recommend it? YES. Would I say it's better than kayak fishing? I would say that the answer for me is yes but if you still prefer the adventure of man Vs Sea and the exercise, closeness to the water a kayak brings then you may need to try it before you decide.

I would like to say, to anyone that's made it this far that I owe a massive thanks to Terry for all his help, firstly with the kayaks and now with the SIB you are a wonderful kind man that I am glad to call a friend.


Thanks all


Neil (Beeman)

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