Kayak Fishing Tips
If you want to fish remote waters or target skittish fish species in shallow water, then you should learn how to fish from a kayak. Kayaks are quiet, easy to transport, simple to use, and can help you get plenty of upper-body exercise while on the water. By learning some basic kayak fishing tips, you can start fishing from a kayak in freshwater lakes and rivers to target species like largemouth bass or in saltwater estuaries for species like red drum and spotted seatrout.
How To Kayak Fish
Kayak fishing is a fun and adventurous sport that offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature. If you are new to kayak angling, don't worry; you can be out on the water catching fish in no time. However, it is important to remember that because kayaks are paddle-powered, you will need a certain amount of strength in order to safely paddle your vessel over the waves.
- Select the right type of kayak. When selecting a kayak for fishing, you'll need to think about size and width. Most fishing kayaks are between 10 and 14 feet. Shorter kayaks are easier to maneuver, but are made for just a single passenger. When it comes to width, wider kayaks offer more stability on the water while narrower kayaks allow you to paddle faster. Stability is an important factor to consider if you are new to the experience of fishing from a kayak. You should also make sure that there is enough room on the kayak to mount fishing rod holders and store tackle.
- Wear moisture-wicking clothes. You are much closer to the water in a kayak, so be prepared to get wet every once and awhile. It's a good idea to wear moisture-wicking clothing that dries quickly and have a dry change of clothes stored in a waterproof bag or box.
- Practice just paddling. If you haven't used a kayak before, practice paddling and navigating your kayak on a familiar waterway near your home. This way, you can gain experience and confidence before bringing your fishing rods aboard.
- Use a paddle leash. Check to see if your kayak comes with a paddle leash. If not, may want to consider buying one so that your paddle stays secured to a cleat or eyelet while you are fighting a fish.
Kayak Navigation Tips
Many anglers feel that the best kayak for fishing is a sit-on-top kayak because when you are elevated, it's easier to spot fish while navigating through the water. Regardless of the type of kayak you use, these kayak fishing tips can come in handy as you plan your first few trips.
- Plan out your route in advance. Use a circle or oval pattern for your route if possible. This will prevent you from losing track of how far you've paddled, and becoming tired on the way back.
- Using a fishing rod that is at least 6'6" or longer can help you control a fish and maneuver it around your kayak. Also, don't reel your fishing line in too far when landing a fish from your kayak -- always leave at least one rod length of line from your tip to the fish.
- Practice paddling with just one arm. If you can paddle with one arm, this will help you steer your kayak away from obstacles or prevent a large fish from taking you out into the current. Position the oar handle along your forearm and steer using the paddle.
- Keep your head inside the boat and centered in the kayak. The general rule of thumb to follow is that where your head goes, your body will follow. To stay in the boat, keep your head centered inside of the kayak.
- In windy conditions or in areas of stronger current, remember to stay close to the shoreline. Since kayaks have very little draft, you can head towards the skinny water and it will be much easier for you to navigate.
Remember these helpful tips when you are fishing from your kayak and you'll have a much smoother experience.