By Richard Yvon, Registered Maine Guide, Twin Maple Outdoors
Open water is here. Time to enjoy on Maine’s rivers, lakes, and ponds. And what better way to enjoy the solitude, scenery, and natural splendor of the outdoors than to paddle along with the returning loons, eagles, and a possible moose!
Maine wildlife centers on many bodies of water that covers the landscape. To quietly paddle down a river to see a feeding deer or a mother goose with its young is truly a treasure to behold. A quiet approach with a paddle increases your chances to glimpse into the life of a wild creature.
Canoes are certainly a traditional Maine watercraft. There are many styles, lengths, and uses for this type of boat. The state of Maine embraces the canoes rich history and its traditional use in its waterways from our indigenous people to today’s explorers.
Kayaks are a bit less traditional but offer a great ride and vehicle for most of Maine’s waters. There are several types of boats for many types of uses. To simplify the topic we will address Sea Kayaks, Recreational Kayaks, and Fishing Kayaks. Within these types of boats the choices are endless, so a bit of research is in order to find out what is good for you and your use.
Sea Kayaks are generally designed for rough seas and trekking over wide-open stretches of water where tracking straight is needed. Two or more bulkheads are built into them for watertight storage and floatation in rescue situations.
The more popular all around Recreational sit-on-top kayak puts an emphasis on comfort and user friendly qualities. They are easy to get in and out and offer quick access to storage.
Fishing Kayaks can offer many options such as in-board motors, rudder control, rod holders, stand bars, GPS, and Fish Finder electronics. Fishers often customize their boats as they see fit to serve their needs.
First time on the water? It’s best to buddy up with an experienced paddler. It may look simple, but there are many safety concerns as well as logistics to consider. The environment in Maine can always create exposure to hypothermia. The proper gear, knowing its use, and knowing your limitations is a must to keep safe and enjoy the sport.
Here are some things to think about for keeping safe in Maine’s unforgiving environment:
• Put together a must have list.
• Let your people know where you are camping and fishing.
• Have a means for outside contact in case of emergency.
• Get a weather report. Always be prepared for bad weather.
• Buddy up with someone experienced, or hire a Maine Professional Registered Guide.
• Remember that in Maine, hyperthermia is a possibility year round.