How to Store a Kayak in a Garage – Easy and Effective

I have a double garage with 8 ft ceiling maximum and I wanted to store my Pelican Unison 136T tandem kayak in my garage for the winter season, without taking up too much space. Lying it down on the ground or hanging it on the wall horizontally at a height that is easily accessible would make my garage a bit too narrow for two vehicles. Lifting and suspending it overhead would be a solution that won’t take any space on the ground, but I kind of feel uncomfortable with hanging it overhead above my vehicle for a long time (what if it falls!). In addition, this kayak is 67 lbs and would take quite a bit of effort to lift it and secure it onto the ceiling. Yes, you always use fancy gears and/or pulley designs to save your efforts, but I just wanted an easy and effective enough solution to store it for the season.

So, here comes my compromised idea: what about lifting just one end of the kayak? In this way, it saves a significant amount of space compared to just simply lying it on the ground. And it looks less crowded and kind of neat. I have tested parking one full size car and a SUV in my garage without any issue.

Enough said, here are some pictures that would help you get the idea quikly:

Store a Kayak in a Garage
How to Store a Kayak in a Garage
Kayak Storage Idea_Easy Solution_closeup_pulley_hook
Closeup of the pulley and hook configuration
Kayak Storage Pulley and Hook
One end of the kayak lifted to the ceiling by a pulley attached to the overhead door mounting hardware.
Kayak Storage - Pulley Rope Anchor
A slotted metal bar was fixed onto the stud of the garage door frame to secure the rope.

Moose Lake Fishing Hot Spots and Tips

Moose Lake is a popular recreational area for local residents and a great fishing destination for all anglers. It’s a relatively small lake with a surface area of 40.8 km2. The average and maximum depths are 5.6 m and 19.8 m, respectively. It offers excellent fishing opportunities for people using power boats, kayaks or canoes because of the narrows, bays, points, dropoffs, and other structures present. Please read my post about how to catch fish successfully and consistently: 6 factors every fisherman needs to know.

Moose Lake Depth Chart helps you find fishing hot spots
Moose Lake Depth Chart helps you find fishing hot spots. Source: Angler’s Atlas

Before your fishing trip to Moose Lake, make sure you read the depth chart and Google Map to give you an idea what specific areas may hold the specific fish species you want to fish for. A PDF version of the Moose Lake Depth Chart can be found here. I am gonna focus on Franchere Bay fishing hot spots and tips in this article, because that’s where I enjoyed fishing every time I went there in the past two years.

Below is a map of Franchere Bay of Moose Lake with markers on it. Marker A (GPS location coordinates: 54.256789,-111.004129) indicates a beach; Marker B (54.253329,-111.003805) a boat launch; Marker C (54.253209, -110.996430) a good hot spot for Walleye fishing; Marker D (54.261490,-110.991267) a deep hole 14 to 15 meters; Marker E (54.261933, -110.997890) a great Pike fishing hot spot; and Marker F (54.261833, -111.004842) also a great Pike fishing hot spot with good shore fishing opportunities. I like Franchere Bay exactly because of these structures which may hold a variety of fish species.

Moose Lake Franchere Bay Fishing Spots
Moose Lake Franchere Bay Fishing Spots. Great Pike and Walleye Fishing.

We started kayaking in a tandem kayak at about 8:30 pm in mid-July, right after a storm. The moment we reached Marker C from B, I saw a fish mark on my fish finder at about 4 meter (13 feet) depth on 6 meter (20 feet) deep water and asked my wife to drop her fishing lure to about 4 meters deep immediately. She caught a 53 cm (21 inches) Walleye with fat belly at Marker C right after she dropped her soft plastic lure (Powerbait minnow) in the water. The surface water temperature was around 21 degree C (70 degree F). We had a great time kayak fishing with beautiful sunset lake scene around us. Ha, I can’t wait to do that again.

Read my post about the 7 great soft plastic lures for fishing for Pike, Walleye, Trout, and more. And also how to use and choose fish finders.

Fishing Sunset Lake Scene (Moose Lake Alberta)
Fishing Sunset Lake Scene (Moose Lake Alberta)

The second day, we launched our kayak again at the boat launch (Marker B). This time we wanted to target Lake Whitefish. Knowing that Lake Whitefish is a cold water fish and often goes deep in summers, we headed directly to the deep hole at Marker D. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any bites. So we headed toward the outflow mouth at Marker F. Before we reached Marker F, we stopped by Marker E as I saw fish signal on my fish finder. I then put down my anchor and started jigging there. Bang, game on! We then enjoyed catching Pike one after another. The size ranged from 50 cm (20 inches) to 67 cm (26 inches). In the end we didn’t go to Marker F at all because we were tired of catching Pike and Pike only. Nevertheless, I did catch a 82 cm (32 inches) Pike a year ago fishing on shore near the bridge at Marker F.

In addition to fishing, we saw people power boating, water skiing and sailing there. Furthermore, a little bit about the campsite. There were lots of RVs and tents there at the Franchere Bay campground, though it was not one of the long weekends. Many of the campers were families with small children. The water there was a little bit eutrophic with green and blue algae. No big waves there under about 20 km/h wind, which is good news for paddlers with kayaks or canoes.

Related information:

You can reserve a campsite here at AlbertaParks.ca

Alberta Fishing Regulations can be found here. Below is a quotation for Moose Lake:

The portion south of a line from the easternmost point of land in
NW2-61-7-W4 (locally known as Pelican Point) to the southernmost
point of land in E2-61-7-W4 (locally known as Deadman’s Point)
and southeast to the northernmost point of land in SW31-60-6-W4
(locally known as Ferbey Subdivision).
l June 1 to Mar. 1 – Walleye limit 1 over 50 cm; Pike limit 1 over
63 cm; Perch limit 15; Lake Whitefish limit 10; Burbot limit 10.
l Mar. 2 to May 31 – CLOSED

The remainder of the lake
l June 1 to Mar. 31 – Walleye limit 1 over 50 cm; Pike limit 1 over
63 cm; Perch limit 15; Lake Whitefish limit 10; Burbot limit 10.
l Apr. 1 to May 31 – CLOSED

A Review of Pelican Unison 136T Kayak

Kayaking on Cameron Lake
Kayaking on Cameron Lake May 2015

I had a few kayaking and fishing trips to lakes including Cameron Lake, Upper Waterton Lake, Pigeon Lake, and Lesser Slave Lake in the past couple of months. So far, I am very happy with my Pelican Unison 136T Kayak. Below are some pros and cons I found with the tandem kayak.

Pros:
Great product for the price. We got it at Costco.ca with $150 off the $949.99 regular price. The package comes with 2 paddles, which may worth more than $100.

It tracks (moves in straight line) well with two people on board. Paddling with this tandem kayak with one person (solo kayaking) sitting in the front cockpit was acceptable as well.

The speed could go up to 1.5 m/s (5.4 km/hr or 3.4 mile/hr) on calm water with payload (two people and some gears) of about 280 lbs. We were actually faster than the speed of average hikers.

The kayak is fairly stable. We had no problem kayaking on Lesser Slave Lake (1,168 km2), known as the fresh water ocean in Alberta, Canada, on a windy (>20 km/hr) day with big waves.

Cons:
The 60 L Quick Lock hatch was not water-tight. It was more than half-full with water after kayaking for about an hour in waves.

The kayak has no bulkhead. One may want to use inflation bags or equivalents so that it will be easier to re-enter in case of flipping over. Inflation bags provide buoyancy and take space in a kayak so that less water can fill in the kayak, which means the kayak may still be afloat filled with water and there will be less work to do to drain the kayak.

Read the specifications here.

Camping Kayaking
Camping with a kayak (Pelican Unison 136T) on a car (Waterton Lakes National Park Townsite Campground May 2015)

Read more:

How to mount/put/carry a kayak on a car roof: 6 easy steps with pictures.

Interested in highly portable inflatable kayaks instead? No kayak carriers needed! Check the products below. They are from reputable companies (Intex and Coleman) having great track records in making a variety of outdoor products.

Lesser Slave Lake fishing spots

If you want to catch walleye, northern pike, burbot/ling, perch, or lake whitefish successfully and consistently, you should definitely pay a visit to Lesser Slave Lake, the 2nd largest lake and the largest lake with easy access by vehicle in Alberta, Canada.

According to Alberta Conservation Association, in 2005, the estimated total angler catch of walleye was 870,000 fish while the mean weight of harvested walleye was 0.92 kg/fish. And the estimated number of anglers that fished the lake in 2005 was 115,000. What does that mean? It means that each angler could catch about 8 fish on average in 2005. In addition, anglers on ifishalberta.ca are saying that they are catching dozens of fish per day. Sounds exiting, doesn’t it?

Located about 3 hours driving north of Edmonton, Lesser Slave Lake has an area of 1,168 km², close to twice the size of Edmonton (684.4 km²). The Lake is a popular destination for fishing, boating, camping, hiking, birding and other activities. Here is an overview of what to do or where to go in Slave Lake area.

Below is a map and depth chart of Lesser Slave Lake that I think everyone who goes there for fun may want to keep a copy. It marks the locations of campsites, boat launches, beaches, river/creek mouths, and more.

Lesser Slave Lake map and depth chart
Lesser Slave Lake map and depth chart (source: sunsite.ualberta.ca)

Great fishing spots at Lesser Slave Lake
I remember someone says “90% of fish are in 10% of water”. In other words, fish prefer some parts of a lake to the rest of the lake. These preferred parts include:

Dropoffs, ledges, mid-lake humps, shoals, dips, rock outcroppings, outflow/inflow river/creek mouths, sunken trees, lily pads, reeds, etc. These areas provide fish with forage, oxygen, shelter, and easy access to different water depths to adjust to changes of temperature, air pressure, and light conditions.

Dropoffs and humps provide ample forage for fish
Structures like dropoffs and humps provide ample forage for fish

So, here are some easily accessible hot fishing spots on Lesser Slave Lake:
(1) Shaw’s Point and Buffalo Bay west to Shaw’s Point.
(2) Lakeshore Campground.
(3) Spruce Point.
(4) Canyon Creek.
(5) Slave River outflow mouth and Dog Island.
(6) Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park area.
(7) Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park area.

To find dropoffs, you may want to mark those areas with dense isobath lines on the map above. A sonar fish finder will definitely help you locate structures and fish.

Read my post: how to use fish finders to help you catch more fish

Tips:
Wear PFDs/life jackets while fishing on the lake, especially if you are kayaking/canoeing. Waves can get big on this lake. The lake can be calm and quiet in the morning. But it can get windy and noisy toward the end of the day as well.

Check the weather forecast before you head out. Storms and windy conditions are not unusual in summers.

Further readings:
Walleye fishing tournament: Golden Walleye Classic.

How to mount a sonar fish finder on a kayak: a simple and easy way

Savvy fishermen / fisherwomen often use sonar fish finders to help them locate fish, structure (e.g., humps, drop offs, ledges, shoals, and dips). DIYers have come up with innovative ways to mount sonar transducer and fish finder itself. For example, some may use a suction plate to mount the transducer while others enjoy using PVC pipes for supporting the transducer and also the fish finder.

Read my post: how to use fish finders to help you catch more fish

Here, I am going to talk about a different method of mounting sonar transducers onto kayaks.

Materials you’ll need:
(1) 1/4 inch by 1 1/4 inch flat head stove bolts and nuts.
(2) brass washers with sunken design, which can provide an increased bearing surface (to reduce stress at the holes you’ll drill on the kayak).
(3) a drill or a Swiss army multi-tool knife.
(4) a slotted flat steel bar (1-3/8 in. x 36 in. Zinc Steel Punched Flat Bar with 1/16 in. Thick from The Home Depot).
(5) a saw for cutting the slotted flat steel bar.

Steps:
(1) at one end of your slotted metal bar, cut off the excessive metal bar so that the edge near the first slot will not touch the top of the transducer and prevent you from mounting the transducer onto the first slot of the metal bar.

(2) secure the transducer onto the first slot of the metal bar using a bolt, nut, and washer, as shown in the picture below.

Mounting a sonar transducer
Close-up of sonar transducer mounted on a slotted metal bar

(3) shape the other end of the slotted metal bar so that the slots on the metal bar will touch the surface of the top of the cockpit area of the kayak.

Tips: You may want to secure the transducer near your cockpit so that it’s easily accessible for mounting and dismantling. Typically, sonar transducers work best when you place it slightly (say, 2 inches or 5 cm) below the bottom of your vessel. So, you may want to take a measurement and mark where you want to bend the slotted metal bar.

Sonar transducer mounted on a slotted metal bar
Sonar transducer mounted on a slotted metal bar. The metal bar has been bent to follow the shape of the kayak.

(4) after you have the slotted metal bar bent nicely, fit the metal bar on the kayak nicely and choose two slots and drill holes on the kayak for the two chosen slots, through which two bolts will be installed.

(5) put a washer on the flat-head end of a bolt, slide the bolt through one of the two holes on the kayak from bottom to top. Put a second washer and then a nut on the bolt. Tighten the nut. Do the same thing for the second hole you drilled. Now you have installed on the kayak two bolts (with 4 washers and 2 nuts in total) with room for a metal bar and one more nut on each bolt. Each hole on the kayak will be in-between the two washers shown in the picture below.

Bolt, nut, and washer
The way you use bolt, nut, and washer for securing the slotted metal bar and the transducer of sonar fish finder onto your kayak
Mounting fish finder transducer
Bolts on a kayak for mounting fish finder transducer

(6) now you can fit the slotted metal bar onto the two bolts you just installed on the kayak. Put nuts on top of the slotted metal bar and tighten them. I usually won’t mount the metal bar and transducer until I am on more than 30 inches (75 cm) of water so that the transducer won’t touch the lake bottom.

Sonar fish finder transducer mounted on a kayak
Sonar fish finder transducer mounted on a kayak
Kayak Fishing
Kayak Fishing on Pigeon Lake, Alberta May 2015. A sonar fish finder was mounted on the bow using the bungee cords.

Thank you for reading. Happy kayaking and fishing!