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Hey guys so now that I have my skiff im trying to perfect my poling technique...needless to say I suck, I struggle to keep it on a straight line but my biggest issue is it feels as if my pole floats idk if it does or if its the pressure of the water pushing it up. any tips or techniques for poling? its a 22ft moonlighter carbon fiber
 

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Those lovely lightweight and stiff graphite poles... Are like corks when you're poling. My best advice is to drive it down to the bottom -hard and fast to set then move your skiff as far as you can on each push... As you can guess, the good side is that it will be relatively easy to pick up the pole at the end of each stroke... Remember as well - not to be in a hurry since pushing a skiff hard lets everyone ahead of you know you're coming (they can feel, transmitted through the water that something big, and maybe dangerous... is headed their way if you push hard....). Just one of those "ask me how I know" proposition....

Lastly to get in tune with poling in a straight line... That comes with practice until you do it without thinking about it.. Now all you need is a fishing partner that doesn't mind doing his (or her) share of the poling...

Aren't skiffs fun?
 

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A big thing to keep in mind is planting the pole with the center line of the skiff will move you forward and also keep you straight. When you plant right or left of the center line, it won’t actually move you forward to the right or left a whole lot (it will a little bit), it’ll really just kick the stern right or left and then you plant back in the center line to actually move forward. So this takes practice obviously but some anticipation and “feel” for how the boat is turning or tracking straight. Also, if you plant the pole more starboard to start making a right turn but you don’t want to over commit, you can lean the pole on your leg or hip in the opposite direction (left) to straighten out and correct the overcompensation, all without removing the pole out of the water.
 

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Hey guys so now that I have my skiff im trying to perfect my poling technique...needless to say I suck, I struggle to keep it on a straight line but my biggest issue is it feels as if my pole floats idk if it does or if its the pressure of the water pushing it up. any tips or techniques for poling? its a 22ft moonlighter carbon fiber
I made my moonlighter to the same length you have. I will agree about it wanting to float. If you pole regularly in deep water you need to drive the pointed end down quickly for it to bite, if on hard bottom. If you are in muck...good luck!

Poling straight just requires time on your skiff to get better. Shallower water helps significantly and I would say do one push at a time instead of walking/pushing the entire length of the pole.
 

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It was a huge struggle for me in the beginning, especially since my Hells Bay naturally wants to turn its bow to the wind. One of the things I learned that helped was poling isn’t a muscular thing, it’s more of a finesse thing, at least in mud bottoms. I was constantly driving the pole down deep in the mud as I was trying to muscle it forward, when I learned that smooth pressure worked better it helped me move in the direction I wanted to go. Side note, driving your push pole 2’ into the mud is a great way to be surprised and throw yourself off balance when you attempt to bring it back in and it doesn’t move while the boat is going forward. Ask me how I know lol
 

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also leverage the pole on your hip to make slight adjustments and corrections while pushing
This ^^^^^ and no metallic grommets on your jeans / shorts unless you like making noise.
 
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For getting the pole to the bottom try to get it pointed almost vertically and shoot it down like you're throwing a gig. Keep your adjustments in direction as close to the center line as possible (like a foot or less from the center) until you get the hang of it, otherwise you'll just be zig zagging across the flat. It may be worth spending a little time in a protected shallow area with a sand bottom to get things figured out. Soft bottom, wind, current, waves, etc. all make it more complicated. It's fairly intuitive once you spend some time up there. Then you can start working on stopping the boat, spinning it on the rail, holding, etc.
 

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Objective #1 is to remain on the platform, or at least on the boat. Falling off is never fun, and can be quite dangerous if you hit the prop on the way down or land on an oyster reef. So be careful about ever letting much of your upper body or your hips out beyond the edge of the platform. This can happen easily if the pole gets stuck in some mud and you pull too hard. If the pole doesn’t come out, you might pull yourself toward the pole just enough to go for a swim.
 
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