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Why you’ve got to try fishing from a personal watercraft

How to fish from a personal watercraft

With the right gear and know-how, the PWC can be a fish machine

If you own a personal watercraft, considering turning it into a fishing machine. So suggests Troy Isaac, who first started fishing from a PWC two years ago while on an extended business trip to Florida. The lifelong angler was instantly hooked, and now fishes from a PVC back home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. While popular in New Zealand and Australia, fishing from a PWC has so far not caught on in North America—and that’s something Isaac wants to change. He’s even launched a line of PWC fishing accessories through his fledgling company, Maverick Fish Hunter. Why fish from a PWC? Read on as Isaac explains.

Speed

You can get to fishing spots at 80 kilometres an hour, Isaac says, and once you arrive, the PWC can run at the perfect trolling speed. “When you turn a jet ski on, it’s in gear,” he says. “I troll at one to two miles per hour.”

Versatility

“I can get to places that other boats just cannot,” Isaac says. For example, at Sault Ste. Marie’s St. Marys rapids—world famous for salmon and trout—many boats are just too big or don’t have the power to handle the current. “I don’t have a propeller, I’m small, and I’ve got the power.”

Troy Issac
Troy Issac

Price

Isaac argues it’s more economical to fish from a PWC than a full-sized boat. “A bass boat will run you $40,000,” he says. “You can be into a jet ski for a quarter of the price, and have pretty much everything that a bass boat has, except maybe walk-around room.” Isaac paid $6,000 for his machine (pictured above); his accessory brackets cost between $100 and $200.

Simplicity

An engineer by trade, Isaac was unimpressed with the heavy, bulky and unsafe accessory mounts currently available for PWCs. The solution? Design his own. “We mount our bracket into the waterski hook that’s on the back of the PWC,” he says. “We don’t require any holes be drilled.” With Isaac’s system, the waterski hook comes out, the aft bracket easily clips on and you’re ready to go fishing. The bracket accepts everything from rod holders to bait trays to electronics.

Efficiency

Isaac uses a three-bracket system: a bow bracket to protect the front of the PWC; a console bracket for electronics and lights; and the aft bracket where the running lights and rod holders are mounted. Isaac also mounts a fishing rod on the console bracket. “When you get a strike, it happens right in front of you,” he says. “There’s something thrilling about that.”

Learn more about Maverick Fish Hunter’s brackets and line of lures, at www.maverickfishhunter.com.

Bob Sexton

Bob Sexton

Growing up in Gander, Newfoundland, and Peterborough, Ontario, Outdoor Canada's managing editor Bob Sexton jumped at every chance to wet a line and head afield. After spending half of the 1990s working as a tour guide in Latin America, he completed a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in 2001 and was hired on as Outdoor Canada's assistant editor. Since joining the magazine, he has won two Outdoor Writers of Canada awards, in 2008 and 2011, and contributed to numerous National Magazine Award winning or nominated stories. Sexton is the past president of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors.

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