Many of the techniques used in kayak fishing are essentially the same as those used on other fishing boats. The difference is in the set-up, how each piece of equipment is fitted to the kayak, and how each activity is carried out on such a small craft.
Contemporary kayaks can be equipped with after-market fishing accessories such as anchor trolleys, rod holders, electronic fish-finders and live-bait containers. Kayak anglers target highly prized gamefish like snook, red drum, seatrout, tarpon, halibut and cod and also pelagics like amberjacks, tuna, sailfish, wahoo, king mackerel, and even marlin.
While bottom fishing or jigging can be done from small boats, it was long thought that effective trolling required speeds of five to ten knots, a speed well out of the range of someone paddling. However, the discovery that fish could be taken at much lesser speeds has increased the popularity of kayak fishing.
Another popular method of fishing from kayaks which has emerged is that of softbaiting. This involves weighted jigheads and rubber or plastic soft lures in the shapes of baitfish. This method is the predominant method now used, particularly in the Southern hemisphere, as it reduces the need to take messy livebaits on board the kayak.
Some anglers launch kayaks from larger boats well offshore so they can fish from the kayak. They find much excitement fighting a game fish as it pulls the kayak through the water.
Recently kayak fishing has started to move inland to freshwater lakes and rivers, where anglers target gamefish like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, muskellunge, and salmon.
Some of the biggest benefits of kayak fishing are in the ease of use and transportation, the affordability of the equipment compared to motorized boats, they’re an eco-friendly watercraft, and they provide fun and exercise.