Kayak fishing is the most amazing leisure time activity for recreation. For making your fishing trip more exciting and memorable you need the right kayak and proper fishing gear and equipment.
If you’re an expert kayak angler, you only need to check that your boat and gears are working properly before starting. Specially, if you have a motorized boat, check your battery and its charger is also in good condition.
But if you’re a beginner, you have to learn a lot of important things before starting, like kayaking, fishing, fishing gears and accessories, choosing the right kayak and its accessories like- paddle, seat, battery.
Relax, you can get all necessary information from an expert near you or you can try on the internet.
Also, this ultimate guide will help you to know the basics of kayak fishing.
Kayaking and fishing both are enough difficult on their own. So if you’re planning to do both of them at a time, you need operating skills of expert level, which includes- awareness, preparedness and presence of mind with the higher level skill for reacting properly in any sort of emergency.
You must have the strength to paddle confidently in water before starting fishing, because, it the most important requirement for kayak fishing. In short, you need to be an expert in kayaking for enjoying kayak fishing.
And if you don’t have kayaking experience, the first thing to do is get some training and practice properly.
Advantages of Kayak Fishing:
Most interesting thing about kayak fishing is it put you close to mother nature. To me, this is the main reason I love kayak fishing. But if you want to know the exact reasons or advantages of choosing kayak fishing, here are some to the point advantages-
While kayak fishing, you can have access where most of the boats don’t have. Few waters may off limit in your kayak. You can escape the pressure and find more fish.
2. Minimum Maintenance:
Kayak fishing requires minimum maintenance. So you can save that money and can refill your car’s gas tank for future fishing trips.
3. Stealth Factor:
In kayak fishing, you can cast the range with very careful paddle strokes so that the fish won’t come to know that you are there.
Kayak fishing allows you to fish different types of water from a large lake to tidal estuaries.
No matter you are the fly- caster or a lure slinger, kayak fishing can be customized according to your own fishing style.
6. Eco Friendly:
Kayak fishing is eco- friendly in comparison with a motorized boat as they use fuel to sail the boat.
Choose the Best Kayak for Fishing:
One of the most important facts of having an amazing kayak fishing experience is to select the perfect kayak. And for choosing the right one, you need to consider some basic things. Like-
1. Sit on Top or Sit Inside:
These days you’ll find mostly two types of kayaks, such as:
a. Sit on Top Kayaks-
These kayaks are like the best choice for fishing for a lot of reasons. Like, this type of kayaks are designed to be stable and easy to hop in & out, even you’ll be able to stand up and fish easily on some kayak. Some sit on tops have enough space on deck to keep your fishing gears and accessories easily. Moreover, sit on top kayaks are designed hollow so that they are unsinkable.
b. Sit Inside Kayaks-
They are suitable for fishing in some certain conditions, like, windy or extremely cold weather. Sit inside kayaks come with better protection options for these type of situations. For sitting low in the water, they are so much stable. But their biggest drawback is they don’t have enough space on deck to put your necessary gears and accessories. But if you carry a few accessories, this won’t bother you.
2. Check the Length, Width & Hull:
Generally, long kayaks are more stable and faster than short ones. For example, sea kayaks are designed longer to go for long distance, they are also skinny to have more speed and tracking.
On the other hand, short kayaks are swift, they can turn on a dime and can be navigated through rough quarters. But the thing is, as the length is reduced the kayak becomes less stable and speedy.
For having the combination of best speed, you can choose a kayak in the range of 10- 13 feet long.
For the best stability, choose a kayak of 31- 33 inch width. In this size, you’ll be able to enjoy fishing by standing.
Besides length and width, you need to check the shape of the kayak’s hull or the side & boat of it, is it round or V- shaped or pontoon shaped hull. Because the shape and width of the hull affect the performance of the kayak.
3. Paddle, Pedal or Motor-
driven Kayak: Nowadays, kayaking is not an upper body workout as you'll find pedal and motor driven kayaks with the traditional paddle kayaks. You need to know about all of them for choosing the right one for you.
a. Paddle Kayaks:
The main problem of paddle kayak fishing is you have to get puzzled between your paddle and fishing gears in windy weather. But these traditional kayaks are comparatively less expensive. You can get one in less than $500!
b. Pedal Kayaks:
These kayaks come with foot pedals which power up the propeller of the kayak. With them, you’ll be able to scoot around in the water like riding a bike. Most importantly, as your hands are free from paddling, you can cast reels and catch easily. The only drawback of these kayaks is they are a little bit expensive than paddle kayaks.
Driven Kayaks: These kayaks use trolling motors for running the propulsion. They are a great choice for cruising in proper speed or when you need an extra push to fight with the strong tide or current. Motor-driven kayaks are heavy and expensive than the other two types of kayaks.
Get Proper Outfit and Accessories:
After choosing the right kayak, you need to equipped with proper outfit and accessories for an amazing fishing trip. When you’re about to get all necessary things, considers following list-
1. Right Paddle:
If you choose the paddle kayak, you should get a pair of the perfect paddle. You’ll find them in almost all price point. But for kayak fishing, you must get a high-quality carbon fiber paddle with adjustable feathering.
Though most kayaks come with installed seats, you may need or want to upgrade. And for fishing, choose a better seat with an elevated, non-skid bottom, adjustable straps, built-in gutters to flush out water seats.
3. Rod Holders:
For a productive kayak fishing experience, you need to have your fishing rods within arm- reach. You need a rod holder in the cockpit to hold you active rod and one or two other rod holders to hold your extra rods. For choosing the rod holders, you should consider the type of fishing you have planned for the trip.
4. Tackle box:
To get all of your fishing gears, like- lures, hooks, leaders, flies and other tackle, within your reach, you can organize them in a tackle box. By doing this you’ll find the right fishing tackle at the right time.
5. Dry Bags:
If you’re planning to spend a long time on kayak fishing, you must spill sometimes. So it’d be better to secure your electronic gadgets and devices in dry bags.
6. Kayak Cart:
To carry your kayak from your vehicle to the shore, kayak cart is the best option. With them, you’ll be able to take the kayak in any distance.
7. Fish Finder:
Having a fish finder with built-in GPS will allow you to navigate easily and find fish. With a compact fish finder you’ll never experience having no fish.
8. Safety Gears for Kayak Fishing:
For experiencing a successful fishing trip, you need to pack up some safety gears. Like- personal flotation device, knife, whistle, dry suit/ wet suit, VHF marine radio, sun protection clothing, 360-degree visibility flag and light, tow rope & throw bag, flares, first aid kit, sunglasses.
Choose the Spot:
Kayak fishing gives you endless fishing opportunities. Kayak allows you to explore any type of fishable water. You only need to pack your necessary gears and accessories and go for either freshwater or saltwater fishing.
1. Freshwater Fishing Opportunities:
Many kayak angler, especially beginners prefer freshwater fishing like- in lakes or man-made reservoirs. You’ll find bass, walleye, trout, musky, catfish and pike in freshwater lakes in North America.
On the other hand, river fishing can be a challenge to test your paddling and angling skills, the best option for kayaking in these areas is to go with the flow. Salmon, steelhead and trout are the most common species in rivers.
2. Saltwater Fishing:
Saltwater fishing can be shocking if you’re going for the first time as the water, the sun even the fish are bigger & more powerful. The best way to get used to the situation is to take it easy. Species like speckled trout, flounder, redfish are found for inshore saltwater fishing.
For offshore saltwater fishing, you need to be more experienced. You can easily get tuna, marlin, wahoo and other large fish.
Actually, there are so many things you need to know before starting kayak fishing. But the facts I’ve mentioned in this guideline will help you to get the basic idea about it.
If you’re totally new at this, try to meet with your local community and gather everything they have experienced in their trips. Then get proper training for kayaking and practice more, you’ll learn kayaking and kayak fishing gradually.
But no matter what, you need to be very careful while kayak fishing as you have to control the boat and your fishing rod at the same time.
So get started and start enjoying...