The Mothership

  • Posted On: 27th May 2014
Rob Alderman with a nice dolphin caught while mother shipping.

Rob Alderman with a nice dolphin caught while mother shipping.

As kayak fishing has grown in popularity around the world, so has the angler’s need for pushing the limits.-Rob Alderman

How big and how tough of a fish can one put down from a small piece of plastic? Obviously, chasing pelagic fish like marlin, wahoo or tuna would be the “go-to” monsters for the extreme kayaker.

By simply tossing some kayaks on the back of one of the area’s charter boats, a whole new world of adventure can be opened up for the kayak angler.

You may be asking yourself why anyone would want to do this, but the answer is simple—to fight a monster in a whole new manner.

In some places around the world, including the United States, hardcore kayak anglers can paddle just off the beach and be in a pelagic playground.

But, on the Outer Banks, it is just not a reality. One must incorporate a “mothership” in order to get to the prime pelagic fishing grounds in the Gulf Stream.

Any offshore fish fight from a kayak is going to be extremely different than anything an angler has experienced during traditional fishing or even traditional kayak fishing.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, New England whalers would climb down from their large sailboats (their motherships) into wooden rowboats and then proceed to harpoon a whale.

The ensuing ride was referred to as a “Nantucket Sleigh Ride”, reportedly reaching speeds up to 37 knots.

This ride will change you and everything you know about hardcore fishing.

Whether it is mahi-mahi, tuna, amberjack or any other pelagic fish that you might hang into from a kayak—you better believe you’ll be going for a Nantucket Sleigh Ride. Your rod will pin into the side of the kayak and the boat will leave a wake behind it. Most times all one can do is simply hold on and wait for the fish to give up.

Over and above the thrill of the fight, there is the thrill of sitting inches off the water in the Gulf Stream.

The Gulf Stream off the Outer Banks is home to tiger sharks, mako sharks, great Atlantic hammerheads, great whites and a plethora of other interesting creatures.

There is never a dull moment sitting on a kayak in the deep blue. If you ever wanted to get your blood and adrenaline flowing, there is no better way to do it.

Rob Alderman is a professional kayak fishing guide and the owner of Outer Banks Kayak Fishing. He is also a ProStaff member of Wilderness Systems Kayaks, Bending Branches, YakAttack, Ugly Stik and Release Reels. You can see more at

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