A great way to combine your water sports is to take up kayak fishing. With the benefits of these combined activities, you’re able to get the most out of your time on the water. Even if you’re an experienced fisher or kayaker independently, it requires a different set of skills to be skilled at kayak fishing. Read on for some tips & tricks to improve or cultivate this sport!
Boating & Gear Recommendations for Kayak Fishing
To have the most successful kayak fishing adventure, being equipped with the proper gear and vessel are important to bring along. You don’t want to worry about where to fit your rods and bait once you’re out on the water, or struggle to balance your kayaking gear when actively reeling in a fish.
In terms of kayak features, here are some helpful ones to consider:
- Sit-on-top design. This allows you a better vantage point, and easier re-positioning as you pivot cast-off angles or have to quickly stand to reel-in a fish.
- Multiple rod holders. Come prepared for reeling in any sized fish! These are handy for organizing and storing any extra rods you bring along on your trip, saving you the trouble of being under-equipped.
- Dry-Hatch or enclosed storage. This is helpful to keep extras of any materials or gear you have on hand, as well as keep safe the items you don’t want getting wet or damaged while out on the water.
- Secured deck storage. For the items that you need to have easily at your disposal, such as your tackle box, it’s important to have this storage area tied down with something like a bungee cord. This prevents any risk of losing or ruining those items if they fall off while kayaking.
- Proper paddle or retractable pedal propeller. You want to be able to maneuver efficiently and comfortably, so choosing a paddle that is proportional to the size of your boat, accommodates for your paddling style, and reaches the water is key. 250 cm is a recommended starting point, or finding a kayak with a hands-free propulsion device, like the pedal propeller, so you don’t have to worry about storing the paddle once you’ve found a good fishing spot.
Don’t forget to dress for the occasion! Whether you’re on the water in the winter, summer, or both, make sure you’re dressed for success. Sunscreen, water, a personal flotation device (life jackets & vests) for safety, and either lightweight or thermal waterproof gaiters are must-haves for any kayak-fishing outing.
Kayak Fishing Navigation & Positioning Tricks
Whether you’re a new or seasoned angler, there’s always more to learn about how to have a successful kayak-fishing outing. Here are some general aspects of the sport to consider while you’re out on the water.
- Some find it helpful to bring along a GPS or fish-finder tool to help streamline and organize their trips. There are mounts for either of these that allow you to customize your vessel, but knowing what kind of trip you’re looking for and how much time you want to spend on the water is helpful to plan out before-hand.
- It will be to your advantage to learn to paddle and cast one-handed. This may take some getting used to, especially if you’re more familiar with casting from the bank, but starting out by anchoring or keeping close to the shoreline at first can help. It’s also good to understand that casting and reeling in your line can effectively steer for you in certain situations--you’ll naturally be pulled slightly in the direction from which you cast, so keep that in mind when you’re doing so.
- What some new anglers don’t realize is that your feet can be helpful assets while kayak fishing. Some use them as rudders to steer and drift on the water, others anchor with them, and you can also navigate with them by pushing off of stumps or other obstacles while your hands are busy getting your catch. This can be a full body activity, so make sure your kayak allows you the freedom to reposition easily.
At the end of the day, make sure you’re getting what you want out of your angling expedition. Whether it’s relaxation or a new challenge, you should be set with the kayak, tools, and knowledge to enjoy nature your way. Happy fishing!