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How to Find the Best Kayak Fishing Spots in Your Area

Feeling that tug on the line and knowing you’ve hooked a good one can get your heart racing. But how do you find the spots to drop a line and pull up a doozy? You might know and love fishing from your kayak, but you still need to know where to put it.

Here are a few thoughts on finding the best kayak fishing spots in your area. With a little bit of research and a good eye, you will be catching fish in no time.

Before You Go Kayak Fishing:

Google Maps or Satellite Views

Lean into technology and use your resources to get the lay of the land (or water). You can learn so much by getting a bird’s eye view of where you are looking to fish. 

  • Pinch points - Check for areas where waterways constrict. This might be a bridge or a narrowing point. 
  • Creek heads and forks - Check for spots where waterways start or fork.
  • Accessibility - Paradoxically you are looking for areas that ARE accessible and AREN’T accessible. What that means is you need places to launch your kayak (accessible) but you also want to find spots that are hard to get to or hidden to fish (not accessible). 

Online groups or forums

Search for groups online that have tips and tricks for the area that you are looking to fish or the species you want to target. Search for the city+kayak+fishing+forum or something similar and see what pops up. 

  • Hot spots & what’s biting - This can be a forum for asking your questions about likely waterways and what fish are biting.
  • Filter for past answers - Look up past discussions and see where people had success in the past. It might spark new questions and you will get answers faster than waiting for a response. 
  • Find a fishing buddy - These online communities can be a good way to find others who may want to fish together.

State Department of Natural Resources websites

States sites are often overlooked resources, but these sites report on all kinds of conditions including when and where they stock certain kinds of fish.

Local bait shops

Another great resource for locating likely kayak fishing spots is a local bait shop or friend. If you are fishing in an area you’ve never been to, it doesn’t hurt to give the shop a call. Reputable bait shops will be inclined to point you in the right direction since they will want your repeat business.

On the Water with Your Kayak:

Even if you’ve done your research, there are tips for finding fish once you are on the water – or even just before you get on the water. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to scout out the water way before you launch. Have a bit of a walk along the shore or bank. You might be surprised how much you learn before you even get in your kayak.

When you are looking to drop your line in a likely spot, here are a few tips:

  • Watch the birds - If you see birds feeding on the water, then you will likely find fish there as well.
  • Seasons / Conditions - be aware of the season and how that impacts the fish. Are they deep seeker cool temps? Are they in the shallows warming up? Is the water high covering likely spots? Is the water low revealing prime spots?
  • Vegetation -  Many fish love the cover and feeding found around plants. So look for areas of growth. Drop your line there. 
  • Laydowns - logs and other items laying in the water provide prime spots for fish. 
  • Ledges / structures - Areas where water pushes up can be spots where fish hide. 
  • Shade vs sun - Look for shady banks in the middle of summer (even the littlest bit of shade from a pole or tree truck can be enough to attract fish). In cooler temps, check for fish in areas of sun warmed water. 

Having a favorite, reliable fishing spot can make your kayak fishing adventures so much more fun. Take the time to research and you will have many likely options as you narrow down your search. And once you’ve had some success in a spot, it is likely to yield many more seasons of enjoyment. Happy Fishing!

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