Kayak fishing is a hybrid sport has taken people by storm lately. Kayaks can be more accessible and easier to transport than a traditional fishing boat, plus you can take a fishing kayak out without the gear if you want diversity in your water activities. In this respect, kayak fishing allows the best of both worlds!
If you’re looking for a new water sport to take up, or you’re wanting to take your kayak experience up a notch, kayak fishing is for you! There are a couple things to consider before you hit the water, so read on to learn more.
Kayak Fishing Boat Recommendations
Experienced anglers say that the best fishing kayak is the one you already have. This holds true in most respects, as most sporting kayaks will allow you to get out on the water more easily than traditional fishing boats. There are modifications and add-on rigs that you can purchase or DIY as you go, in order to have an easier time out on the water. So, if you already own a boat, you don’t need to worry about having to find a new one.
If you don’t have a boat already, and you’re particularly looking to get into kayak fishing, it’s helpful to look for a boat with features pre-installed. Regardless of where you’re starting from, here are some things to keep an eye out for:
- Rod Holders. Mounted rod holders are a kayak angler’s best friend. These allow you to have both hands free while paddling between fishing spots and gives you the ability to pack multiple rods with you for your trip. You can DIY them from a milk crate or find a professional mount that you’d like installed.
- Sit-On-Top Kayak Design. For fishing, sit-on-top kayaks allow you more mobility, comfort, stability, and storage space than a sit-in kayak. With a sit-on-top fishing kayak, your legs are free to stabilize the vessel while casting off or reeling in.
- Comfy Kayak Seat. Planning to be out fishing on the water all day? Then consider the comfort of a padded, adjustable kayak seat to save the wear-and-tear on your back! Find an ergonomic kayak seat design that supports your back--proper posture and form will aid your cast-off technique.
- Fish Finding Device. Whether it’s Sonar or GPS, most find it helpful to have a navigation system aboard. This is particularly nice when exploring new areas, so be sure it’s mounted in a place that’s easily- accessible and visible while paddling.
- Rudder and Anchor. These two pieces are optional, but helpful depending on your style of fishing. If you’re more of a troller who casts while moving, a rudder can allow you to better follow biting fish. If you prefer to stop moving and see what comes your way, an anchor can help avoid unwanted drifting and further stabilize your vessel.
How to Get the Hang of Kayak Fishing
Whether you’re an experienced kayaker, angler, neither, or both, it will take a bit of adjustment to get the hang of fishing from a kayak as opposed to a regular boat. The learning curve is half the fun when taking on a new challenge, though. Here are some tips to flatten the curve and help you hone your kayak fishing technique:
- Invest in a fishing paddle. Kayak fishing paddles tend to be wider and lighter than traditional paddles. You’ll be out fishing for a while and the structure of the paddle can help prevent fatigue. Finding one with a tether helps keep track of it while using your rod, and if you can find one with a measurement guide on it as well, that’s even better.
- Find longer fishing poles. Due to the width of a fishing kayak and the mild waves that any balance shifts can cause, it’s helpful to be able to cast further out so fish won’t be wary or sense anything disturbing.
- Organize & Optimize storage space. A kayak is a smaller boat than you might be used to, but particularly sit-on kayaks can allow for a decent amount of storage space. You want to be prepared with a variety of gear while you’re out, so keep it organized so you won’t lose time scrambling to find what you need.
- Come prepared with versatile lures. It’s less time- consuming to stick to single-hook baits, easy-to-fish lures, especially as a beginner. Chances are you won’t come across just one type of fish, though, so keep in mind the diversity of your bait, as well.