Kayak has been a means of transportation and a method of accessing fishing ground for so long. In the last decade, it has gained a lot of popularity worldwide. The fact that one can venture into quality fishing with a kayak that goes for about $1,000 to $3,000 has made it an attractive choice for serious anglers.
Compared to bigger boats, kayaks are portable, letting anglers enter to water they were otherwise blocked from fishing. These reasons alone are enough for anglers to consider kayak fishing as it can be done almost in all water bodies.
Kayaks are better suited for fishing when compared to boats because they’re lighter and easier to maneuver in shallow waters that would be inaccessible for bigger boats. Kayaks also have greater stability which means they’re able to create a longer-lasting drift on big or fast-moving fish in open water.
Step-By-Step Guide To Kayak Fishing
Well, in this article, we will learn about the step-by-step guide to fish with a kayak along with other safety tips and ways to manage outriggers while fishing later. Let’s dive into the steps now –
1. Pick a lighter fishing rod and cast one-handed: At the beginning, it is vital to choose a fishing kayak that is more stable and pick a fishing rod and line that are easy to maintain (we suggest you to pick the lightest one you have). Mount a good fishing rod holders on your kayak for better controlling.
2. Control your paddles like a pro: While fishing, your kayak will move a lot and without having good paddling power, you may be flipped down with your kayak. As you have to fish with one hand, use another hand to paddle your kayak at the right place and moves anywhere that the fishing requires you to. Use a fishing grip or gloves so that you can move on comfortably.
3. Use a Kayak anchor most of the time: Stability is important while kayaking and use your feet to locate your kayak accordingly and balance your body as you have to control your fishing rod, paddles, and (catching big fish) everything simultaneously. Adjusting your boat position is too much important in kayak fishing. If you pick a wavy river to fish; you may have to face a hard time in the beginning to find a good fishing spot and this is how you will gain experience. So go on.
4. Use a Fishfinder & other fishing gears: Pick a good fishfinder before going kayak fishing and mount necessary gears like a rod holder, gloves, Life jackets, and so on for boosting up your confidence. The more confident you are – the better chances you will have to catch fish and manage your tiny kayaks professionally.
5. Go to calm lakes & rivers first: At the beginning, never go fishing in the windy lakes and rives where you see heavy current, all the time. Start fishing in calm lakes and rivers (for better paddling efficiency and control) and once you manage some fishes, go to big fishing spots at big rivers or lakes later.
6. Use required tools: Keep important items within easy reach, like fishing gear. Mount rod holders on kayaks for trolling and carrying spare combos. Install a sonar/GPS unit. The T&R System allows you to stay fishing even if you change bait types and other such things.
Here is a video to follow –
Things To Keep In Mind While Fishing With a Kayak or Canoe
Safety Is The First Priority
In any recreational activity, safety should be your first concern. It is very important to ensure that the life of a person is safeguarded, and there is no chance of any damage or accident. Kayaking, along with fishing, especially needs care. The kayaks can run out of stability as fishing needs the kayak to stop at one place, which can cause the person to fall and can be dangerous. So such a condition needs to be prevented in the first place. There are outriggers available to prevent the kayak from getting imbalanced and causing harm to the person or people sitting on it.
Role of Outriggers in Fishing
The outrigger is a combination of a stabilizer and a pole. It is attached to the kayak for providing a wider stance so that the kayak becomes more stable and doesn’t get imbalanced. The outriggers are a very important tool for providing stability to the kayak and play a very important role in activities like fishing. The outriggers, due to the wider stance, can facilitate a person to stand in one place without getting imbalanced, which can be ideal for fishing situations.
Inflatable outriggers are the best in business as they can be carried easily by everyone due to various features it has like lightweight, easy to fill the air and then release, easy to install, and very easy to handle. The outriggers are very durable and can be the best thing to make the stance wide enough to facilitate fishing activities. The height of the outriggers can also be adjusted easily by simply twisting the sail.
What Type of Kayak is best for fishing?
Kayaks are broadly categorized into the sit-in and sit-on-top types. Both can be used for angling; however, the best option that has fishing-friendly features are the sit-on-top kayaks. They are steady and effortless to get in and out of, and there is no feeling of imprisonment on them. Also, they are self-bailing, which means water drain via small holes known as scupper holes. They go via the bottom of the kayak. This indicates that you can’t swamp a sit-on-top kayak.
Another outstanding safety feature is that sit-on-tops are quite more comfortable than sit-insides to get back on from water if at all you fall off. The one drawback to a sit-on-top kayak is that you are almost assured of getting wet while paddling, while sit-inside lets you stay dry all day.
Sit-inside kayaks can be an ideal choice for anglers who will be in colder water, who need to stay dry while paddling, and desire a faster-moving kayak. The one downside in a sit-inside kayak is that if you flip, recovery won’t be a simple process, you know, since kayak might swamp. So, if you are a learner, try to stay close to shore or in sheltered water so you can swim in if you want to. Choosing the best type will, therefore, scale down to experience and personal preference.
Once you have chosen your preferred type of kayak, you will need to select a length for your fishing kayak. Typically, a long and narrow kayak is faster, while a short and extensive kayak is slower but a bit steady. If you are going to participate in sight casting and fly fishing, then a short, wide, and stable boat will be an excellent option for you, because standing will be comfortable.
The trade-off means that kayak will be slower and not perfect for paddling any real distance. On the flip side, if you desire to troll maybe offshore or cover more grounds, you may be required to select a longer, narrower kayak that travels via the water more efficiently.
There are different types of kayaks available in the market, which can be ideal for fishing activities, whether it is an occasional recreational fishing or regular fishing activity. Nowadays, kayaks are specially designed for fishing, sports, or just for recreational purposes. It is effortless to learn how to fish with a kayak with rising innovations in kayaks.
Here is a list of 5 kayaks you can choose while you are just starting out –
So with some safety precautions and the right choice of kayak, one can have exceptional fishing experience. If everything is done in the right way, one could end up having a very good experience with fishing along with kayaking.
Kayak Fishing FAQs
Is Kayak Fishing Worth It?
Yes. With its latest generation offering better angling efficiency and versatility than their predecessors, there is no doubt kayak fishing is worth it.
Whether you have a boat or you are looking forward to getting off the bank, here are numerous reasons to consider kayak fishing:
- More affordable compared to a powerboat
A completely rigged kayak is cheaper than a primary fishing motor and boat. Apart from the lower cost upfront, kayak anglers spend less on insurance, maintenance, towing fuel, and launch fees.
So, if you have to plan your budget, a kayak’s is the best fishing platform to get you away without breaking the bank. You should know that not all kayaks are created equal. Adding accessories, electronics, and going for a propulsion system beyond a paddle raises the price.
- Easy water access
There is no doubt everyone can’t pass a waterbody without thinking about what fish they would catch in it. A powerboat needs a launch ramp. As for the kayak, anglers access waterways off-limit to powerboats.
- Versatile fishing
With a kayak, you can fish a wide range of bodies and catch several species—many like kayaking into sloughs and backwaters where largemouth bass lurk. But the good thing will use a similar rig to hoop pools in small first rivers. Apart from bass, kayak catches comprise pike, panfish, muskie, walleye, and striped bass.
Many fishing kayaks are extensive and steady enough to stand in and fish. This is ideal when executing underhand casts to target. Access to small lakes gives you more options to catch from.
Kayak is considerably easy to transport to and from the water. Besides, there are inflatable kayaks that are designed for fishing that make them convenient to get them to the shore. You will not need a trailer or a cart as the inflatables can be put in a backpack and pumped once it is time to fish.
- Travel on a dime
Once you have understood how to fish from a kayak and you are a proficient paddler, new angling will automatically arise. No matter the place you will be, if you can get access to a kayak when you are far from your leading boat, you will wet a line.
- Improved perspectives
Fishing from a kayak offers unique angling benefits than being in bank fishing or when in a powerboat.
Here are a few examples:
- Low angles- kayaks are usually low to the water line and therefore make it quite effortless for an angler to skip soft plastic bait up between the limbs of downed timber or under a dock. Also, being low to water place you closer to the action
- Slow and relaxing- fishing from a kayak is slower compared to fishing in a powerboat. Due to that, many folks enjoy kayak fishing. The silent paddle strokes and downtempo pace are relaxing.
- Fishing right where you are with what you have– numerous anglers praise a kayak for assisting them to boost angling skills. Since mobility is limited, you tend to spend a lot of time on a spot attempting to figure fish out.
- Change is good- kayak fishing provides a refreshing modification from the casting deck or the bank. As anglers, it is crucial to mix things up now and then, but why? Because it challenges us to learn new ways of catching fish. Also, it assists reconnect with one’s passion for fishing.
- Fitness advantage– kayak fishing with no doubt mix a work out time on the water and provides you a break from walking, biking, and running while permitting time to stop and fish at a go.
Is it hard to Fish from a Kayak?
No. Kayak fishing isn’t hard, as many people may think. However, a kayak can’t move faster or cover as much water as a powerboat. So, successful anglers use the following kayak fishing tips:
- Use multipurpose, effortless-to-fish lures. This minimizes re-rigging and retying; hence you will make more casts in the day and catch more fish.
- Locate fish using swimbaits, crankbaits, like spinnerbaits, and search baits. After catching active fish, do a U-turn with a small jig, drop-shot bait to coax bites from less active ones.
- Change tactics to target various species before leaving an area.
- Troll from a kayak as an alternative to casting or cover water.
How dangerous is Kayak Fishing?
Typically, kayaking fishing is safe, but various immediate risks cannot come directly in your mind when you are ready to hit the lake. So, kayaking can be deadly sometimes. Here is what you should keep in mind:
- What kind of insect/animals will you encounter?
Nothing hurts than a few bug bites. Insects like mosquitoes carry all kinds of nasty diseases and can easily transmit. So, bug spray is essential for kayakers to combat such insects. There are other dangerous animals you can come across, such as sharks, snakes, alligators, and beavers. So, you must know how to avoid and defend yourself against these creatures. For example, you can prevent encounter a shark by beating it with your paddle.
- Will there be any large boats there?
Large water bodies such as lakes and seas tend to attract boaters. Mostly, boaters aren’t directly worried about your capability to handle the waves their vessels create. It is, therefore, paramount to learn to handle all kinds of waves. If you fail to do that, you will end up swimming, and your gear is likely to sink.
When you begin kayak fishing, it is vital to get used to your kayak and learn how to handle it because each one is different. So, do your trials in small lakes until you are ready to move up.
- Will you have to go through rapids or around rocks?
If you neglect to sturdy the river you are fishing, you are likely to face rough rapids, which are terrifying. Small rapids are controllable and fun if you are experienced. However, if you are inexperienced, then even small rapids can be dangerous. These patches of swift water sometimes place you up against the rock or dump you out of your kayak. So, ensure you stay away from rapids when you begin kayak fishing and move into slow rapids as you gain experience.
How to Anchor a Fishing Kayak
Kayak fishing is fun, and everyone angler would appreciate partaking in the activity. So, learn all about kayaking, and you will gain a lot of experience needed to fish with it. The article has answered most of your concern, and there is no doubt kayaking fishing is beneficial and can be done with ease. So, get your fishing kayak and fish with no limit!
NUS is a kayaking enthusiast who has been kayaking with a local group for the last five years. He loves using kayaks while out on outings on the water or camping when the friends want to have a BBQ party somewhere on the bank of a local lake.
Based on his experiences with the different types of kayaks, he is sharing his opinion about kayaking tricks and required gears so that a beginner can get started right away.
Find his team on Twitter here. Happy reading!
Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API