Friday, May 24, 2013

Jet Ski Fishing

Extreme sports are usually thought of as snowboarding, motocross racing, or skydiving.  They are hardly ever mentioned with hunting or fishing.  There are plenty of subcultures within the outdoors community such as kayak angling and traditional bow hunting however.

My new 'fishing boat'
One subculture sprung up in New Zealand and Australia a few decades ago that just in the past few years caught any type of following here in the United States.

Jet skis have only been taken seriously as a recreational type of vehicle.  Even though they are basically a small version of a boat, the laws are considerably different regarding their use.  The small following taking place for their use as a viable means of fishing knows exactly what they are.

Brian Lockwood with a cobia at sea.
Brian Lockwood, also known as ‘Jet ski Brian’, began using his jet ski to catch bait fish for offshore fishing a while back.  He began in the sounds off the North Carolina and Virginia coasts as well as some of the tributaries.  As he continued this practice he realized the fuel was cheaper, it was easier to take out than a large offshore boat, and if properly equipped, he believed he could possibly use it for even larger trips.

And large trips could be considered an understatement.  Brian has taken his jet ski as far as 100 miles offshore.  Just last year, he caught 120 cobia, with one weighing in excess of 77 pounds.  A vessel he once considered a play toy became his primary means of his pursuit for water based big game and popular near shore and inshore fish as well.

Properly equipped also became a phrase to live by.  Safety would have to be the number 1 priority.  Items ranging from SPOT locators to GPS devices to VHF radios had to be integrated onto the jet ski in order to take the passion to the next level.  He wired in back up batteries to control both the electronics and provide a second source of energy for the starting system.  Emergency flares, water dyes, mirrors, whistles and even navigation lights, even though it is unlawful to use a jet ski at night, became the norm.

Brian primarily fishes the Chesapeake Bay area and routinely heads out to sea off of Cape Hatteras for everything from cobia to stripers.  He has fished for sailfish, dolphin and tuna, and will scuba and free dive to spearfish from the Jet Ski.

I first heard of Brian a couple of years ago.  Last year he was featured in a segment on Animal Planet’s Off the Hook: Extreme Catches television series.  His passion and love for Jet Ski angling has driven him to share everything he knows and has learned over the years.  He will hold seminars and speaking engagements and bring along his ski and gear to show any that are interested.

I have long wondered why a jet ski has not been used for this purpose.  Now I know it has.  I now daydream about trips down many of the rivers throughout North Carolina.  My thoughts encompass how to properly rig the ski in pursuit of largemouth, smallmouth, and catfish.  I look at jet skis in a different way thanks to Brian.  I cannot wait to head out with him myself later this summer.  Brian, myself, ocean as far we can see and a few rods as we try for Wahoo, amberjack, and anything else that will take the bait.

Then, maybe a day trip down the French Broad or Yadkin.  Maybe even the Cape Fear or a trip up north to the Potomac.  Just like with opening the mind to using jet skis for fishing, the imagination is the only limit.

If you would like a little something different on your next trip, contact Brian Lockwood at and click the contact button.



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