Kayak Fishing is catching fish from a small, sit-on top boat. It allows the fisherman to get into small areas that other boaters can’t. It also helps you become more intimate with the area and be able to study it in detail. You can cover a large area of water by paddling or using a trolling motor.
You can fish from kayaks that are fitted with rod holders, live well or bait tank, GPS, camera mounts, etc. They can be used for saltwater fishing just as easily as freshwater. Kayak fishing is not only great fun but it’s a very effective way to fish and there are countless species of fish that can be caught from kayaks.
There are some people who consider kayak fishing to be more of a contest, but I just love catching fish! It’s amazing how many different species of fish call the oceans and lakes home. You have fish that are designed for speed, built for endurance, or equipped with advanced weapons. Having the right type of kayak for your fishing style is important. Here are some kayak fishing tips for beginners:
1. Choose the right kayak
There are a few different types of kayaks designed for fishing.
You have your sit-on-top kayak, which more often than not you will see people using for fishing. They are very stable and would be great for beginners to use.
A sit-on-top kayak is going to be easier for anyone who is new to this activity as they are more stable and less bulky than the other types. The inflatable kayaks are good for beginners too, but they can be harder to use in windy conditions.
There are also different styles of sit-on-top kayaks which you might want to consider before buying one. You have your recreational model with a wide beam to make it stable and provide lots of room in the cockpit.
Then you have inflatable kayaks, they can be deflated and carried in a bag, making them very portable.
Then you have the regular type of kayaks with a big open cockpit so you can get in and out of it easily.
2. Kayak Fishing Rigging
Kayaks can be rigged with rod holders and live wells etc. as mentioned earlier. You’ll need to decide on your preferred kayak fishing rig before you even start looking at which kayak you should buy.
3. Get a fishing crate
A crate is essential to transport your fishing gear, it is very useful for storing rods, reels, and other equipment. You can fit a crate into most kayaks no problem, just be sure it can hold all of your equipment before buying one.
4. Take a fish finder
A fish finder or fish location device is a handheld piece of equipment used to locate fish underwater. It uses sonar signals to locate fish and show their location on a display screen.
There are touchpad fishfinders, hand-held units that have a small LCD screen and you can attach them to the kayak if you wish. They work well and are not that expensive.
The other type is the fishfinder that sits on top of your kayak and transmits signals to a separate receiver unit which you can use to monitor where fish are located. The price for these types of units is quite high but they do give accurate results.
5. Bring an anchor trolley
It’s usually best to bring an anchor trolley with you, especially if fishing in open water. You can easily attach it to the kayak and adjust it so that you can remain stationary even in windy conditions.
6. Fishing lures
When you are fishing, it’s always best to have a good kayak storage box that can store your fishing lures. Fishing lures can come in many different styles and types, so make sure you bring the right equipment depending on where you are fishing.
7. Bait for fishing
If you are using live bait for fishing then you will need a good cooler box to keep the bait that you catch in, this is important as it can help retain freshness and stop other fish from eating your bait.
8. Fish Holder
A fish holder is a great piece of equipment for holding your catch. You can attach it to the bow or stern of the kayak and use it to hold the fish in place while you check them over, unhook them, etc.
9. A fishing knife
You’re going to need a good quality fishing knife for cutting your line and unhooking fish. Make sure you get one with a good design and is not too bulky, the knife should be small enough for storage when not in use.
You can buy a kayak with a motor on it to help you cover the water quicker. Or, attach an electric trolling motor to your kayak so that you have more control over where you are going and how fast you travel.
11. Pedal drive
A pedal drive can be attached to the kayak for extra control over the boat. They are great for anglers who need a bit more finesse when hovering or fishing in tight spaces, especially if you have a fish holder to use as well.
12. Personal safety device
It is very important to wear a personal safety device whilst kayak fishing. It is vital that you are wearing it correctly and that it will offer enough buoyancy in the water if something were to happen to you.
13. Kayak fishing rod holder
A great piece of equipment for holding your rods when they are not being used, it helps you to be more efficient when fishing.
14. Make sure everything is tied down properly
It’s very important that anything that is not being used while kayak fishing is securely fastened down so it doesn’t get in the way of other anglers or just cause any unnecessary damage to your kayak.
15. Get a dry bag
You will want to buy a dry bag for keeping your belongings in, this is important as you never know what the weather will be like. A dry bag can help keep your things safe, dry, and clean whatever happens outside.
16. Time of year
The time of year does affect your kayak fishing experience. If you are planning an expedition it is best to go in the summer months when the fish are more likely to be active and therefore easier to catch.
17. Waterproof sunscreen
You will want some sun protection for kayak fishing, especially if you are out on the water all day, make sure you have some waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF factor.
18. Waterproof clothing
It’s important that you wear appropriate clothing for kayak fishing as the weather can be unpredictable and change very quickly. You will need a good quality waterproof jacket and trousers along with a good set of footwear which should be comfortable to walk in and allow you to stand up in your kayak with ease.
19. Bring some food and water
If you are planning on kayak fishing for an extended period of time then it’s important that you bring some food and water supplies along with you, especially if the weather looks like it will turn bad or if there is no shelter nearby.
20. Mud/Mashroom boots
You will need a good quality pair of boots for kayak fishing as they can get wet and muddy very quickly, so make sure you have some mud or mushroom boots that will stop the water from getting into your shoes and socks and causing you to be uncomfortable and cold.
21. A map and compass
It is essential if you kayak fish that you have a map and compass with you for emergencies. If something does happen, these are both important pieces of equipment that could potentially save your life or the life of someone else.
22. Have fun!
Kayak fishing can be great fun so make sure you enjoy yourself while you are out on the water!
23. Leave No Trace
It is important that you leave no trace while kayak fishing, so make sure you take any rubbish/fishing equipment with you after your trip so other people can enjoy their time on the water too.
24. Bring Lights
If you are planning on kayaking just before or just after it gets dark then it’s important that you bring some lights along with you, especially if you are out of your depth.
25. Never go kayak fishing alone
It is important never to go kayak fishing alone as there is often no mobile phone service where many people fish so if you run into trouble there is no one around to help.
26. Mobile phone
It is very important that you have a mobile phone with you when kayak fishing especially in case of emergencies, it could potentially save your life or someone else’s life.
27. Bring communication equipment
If you are planning on going kayak fishing with other people it is important to bring some communication equipment on the trip, this will enable you all to communicate with each other in case of emergencies or if one of you gets into any kind of trouble.
28. Notepad and pen
It’s important to note down your catch while kayak fishing so that you can remember how many fish you caught and what species they were. It can be hard to keep track when you are out on the water, so bring a notepad and pen along with you, and make sure you take some photos of your catch too!
29. Bring Binoculars
A set of binoculars can be extremely useful while kayak fishing as you never know what wildlife will be around!
30. A flag/whistle
It is important that the people inside the kayaks wear some form of identification so that if something happens and they need help, then other people can see them and help. You can use a flag or whistle to do this, add some reflective tape to the kayak too so it is easy to spot.
31. Know your limits!
You should know your limits when you go out kayak fishing and make sure you don’t take risks that could potentially be dangerous, always plan ahead and tell people where you are going and how long for.
Kayak fishing can be a very fun pastime if you know what to bring with you, so make sure you follow these kayak fishing tips for beginners!
These are my recommendations based on experience and research, but you don’t have to take my word for it, go ahead and experiment! Just make sure that if you do buy a kayak or fishing gear then test it all first before heading off into the open waters. Good luck!