Yesterday I was out in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, not too far from Howes Creek where I saw an older man fishing out on Lake Eildon on his pedal kayak.
It had been quite a while since I had seen someone with a pedal kayak, and even longer since I had seen someone fishing from a kayak.
It seemed like there was a marked difference in results between where he was fishing from compared to where I was fishing from.
I don’t simply mean exclusively from a comparative catch perspective, but also taking into account the combination of the peace, serenity, and health that this appeared to offer.
Sure, he was catching more fish than me from what I could see at the time, but his vantage point appeared so much more appealing than mine, and that’s gotta count for something.
After a couple of hours, he eventually made his way back to the bank, a little way up from where I was, so I wandered over to have a chat.
I was curious to know a bit more about his experience with pedal kayak fishing, and what he thought the benefits were. The air coming off the lake’s waters was cool, with the distinctive feel you get in this area during the early winter months.
As I got to where this man was with his pedal kayak he was about to take care of the final stages of his pack up.
His rods were stowed away, the pedal kayak was mounted on his trailer, and his catch was neatly tucked away in his esky. I introduced myself and commented on how enjoyable his morning had looked from where I was fishing.
As we got talking about his years of kayaking and fishing, he shared with me the reasons why he moved to a pedal kayak over a conventional padel kayak for his fishing.
Being in his late 60s, he spent more time explaining the health benefits to me, compared to the practicality of using a pedal kayak for fishing.
His doctor had told him a few years back that if he didn’t do something to be more active that he would face some serious health complications, and sitting on the riverbank fishing was what he loved.
The benefits of pedal kayak fishing for him were found in the increased, yet moderate physical activity, being marginally lower impact than conventional pedal kayak fishing.
With the right kind of equipment, pedal kayaking provides for more of a lower body workout and is less stressful as an outdoor water sports activity.
He explained that his upper body strength was not what it used to be, and he needed to improve his core strength also. Pedal kayak fishing brought the activity into the sport he truly loved; fishing.
Since he had been active with his pedal kayak, he said that his Doctor had seen an improved cardiovascular fitness in as little as six months.
He admittedly has been out for three to five hours on his pedal kayak at least three times a week he told me, but this was not the improvement in his health that he was most proud of.
Since he had been more regular in using his pedal kayak he no longer needed to ask for help in getting his kayak down off the trailer or putting it back up.
He felt that he was much stronger than he had been in a long while, and the associated activity in the logistics of his past time was bringing more health benefits than he had first thought possible.
He also told me about how the low impact activity had helped ease the pain of arthritis in his wrists and ankles.
Previously, his levels of flexibility were much lower than now, and he was again able to twist and bend without it feeling like he was pushing his capabilities as he had previously.
I was a little surprised when he pointed out that I could do with getting more active, and that I should start looking into getting a pedal kayak myself.
From what I’ve also found through discussions with others in a number of forums around canoeing and kayaking is that the majority of these outdoors enthusiasts find their time on the water to be almost a spiritual experience, where they liken it to meditation.
Anything that helps improve mental and emotional well-being is a good thing in my book, and if I can fish at the same time, well, it’s a win-win!
Since that humbling discussion, I have been doing my research, and since found a comprehensive comparison of a wide range of models that I’m looking at choosing from.
As far as outdoor water sports go, and fishing at the same time, he’s obviously on a good thing so I’m going to follow through on this one.