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Kayak Fishing For Trophy Fish & Where to Catch Them

Dreaming of rods, reels, and really big fish? If you are longing for the chance to match wits and strength with a monster fish, then check out some great locations for a trophy catch.

Why fish from your kayak?

It’s been said a time or two, but kayak fishing has exploded in popularity. There are so many reasons why anglers are turning to the kayak. And being up close and personal with that trophy catch is just one of the reasons.

Kayak fishing is a great way to get on the water without the cost, maintenance, and storage of a motorized boat. Kayaks are cheaper to buy and maintain than a bass boat, they are easier to store, and a a breeze to launch (comparatively). 

Kayaks can get just about anywhere a boat can and many places that a boat can’t. Because of their low profile and size, kayaks can let you access ‘skinny water’, inlets, small ponds and streams, and more. This also means that you are right in the middle of the fight when you get fish on the line. 

You can also use your kayak to your advantage, slipping silently over your catch. The stealth of a kayak is a great advantage when fishing.  

Where to catch trophy fish from your kayak

Want to know where to throw your line? Want to find the best location to catch trophy fish from your ‘yak? Here is our list of the top 10 locations across the United States for you to catch the most amazing fish.

  • Largemouth Bass: Castaic Lake, California

Castaic Lake wins out for largemouth bass fishing areas just because of the sheer size of largies that have been caught in this location. No other lake can boast the amount of 20-pound+ fish that have been recorded like in Castaic. Catching a bass that large is a rare feat, but anything in the 12-15 pound range is not.

  • Tarpon: Boca Grande, Florida

Tarpon are one of the most exciting game fish out there, and nowhere can you catch as many big species as you can at Boca Grande, Florida. They can reach weights over 230 pounds, and you’ll feel every ounce of that. Boca Grande embraces its tarpon fishing tradition. This is a challenge for a kayak fisher, but tarpon provides some exciting rides if you are up for it. 

  • Sheefish: Selawik Valley, Alaska

The Tarpon of the North, these similar-looking species grow to weights of 60 pounds in northwest Alaska. Getting to the big sheefish of the Selawik Valley requires you to fly in to this location. These gorgeous fish can be caught almost all year-round, though summer offers the best results. The coldwater fish can be taken with spoons or even with a fly when they come to the surface.

  • Red Drum: Pamlico Sound, North Carolina 

Catching red drums in the 30-60 pound range is pretty common, and there's also a chance to catch a channel bass over 80 pounds. Be aware that red drums are primarily a catch-and-release type of fish across the North Carolina coast due to strict regulations.

  • Muskie: Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Nestled in between Lake Erie and Lake Huron along the Michigan-Ontario border, Lake St. Clair boasts a tremendous fishery for many species in addition to muskie, despite having an average depth of only 11 feet. With all the species available, muskies get overlooked.

  • Mako Shark: Massachusetts Bay

Some of the best shark fishing in North America comes straight out of Boston. Massachusetts Bay contains several species of quality shark to catch, but mako is the prime target here. Catching a mako shark over 1000 pounds is possible in Massachusetts Bay. Be careful when fishing for makos, however, as they have been known to turn and attack anglers. And be super careful if you are attempting it from a kayak. 

  • Walleye: Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

Another lake that borders Canada, Lake of the Woods, sits on the very northern tip of Minnesota. Trophy walleye is commonplace on this lake. However, if you’re looking for the ultimate Lake of the Woods experience, the best time to go is during the winter time. When the ice sets in, the most comfortable ice shanties you can imagine are sprinkled along the shoreline, and there are dozens of quality resorts to stay in as well.

  • Golden Rainbow Trout: Mahoning Creek, Pennsylvania 

For anglers who enjoy river and fly fishing, there are few targets as elusive and colorful as the golden rainbow trout, found exclusively in a select few locations in the eastern United States. The best water system for golden rainbows is Mahoning Creek, Pennsylvania, where the biggest ones can be found. These golden rainbow trout can grow to weigh over 13 pounds. 

  • Striped Bass: Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Chesapeake Bay is as good a fishery as you can find in the United States, especially for its striped bass. Spring and late summer-early fall are the best seasons for fishing as that's when fish move through the area.

  • White Sturgeon: Sacramento River 

The biggest freshwater fish in all of North America can be found along the Sacramento River and into the San Francisco Bay Area. It is known to reach weights of over 1500 pounds and lengths of over 20 feet. White sturgeon are governed under strict guidelines in California, so be sure to follow all regulations when tackling a monster fish this size and magnitude.

Fishing Kayaks for Your Angler Adventures

Need a kayak for your fishing adventures? Whether a traditional paddle kayak, single, pedal kayak, or tandem kayak fishing adventure, Brooklyn Kayak Company has you covered. See all our kayak inventory to find out what is best for you.


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