Your paddles slip effortlessly into the water as you begin each stroke. Or perhaps you watch vigilantly and listen to the quiet purr of your trolling motor while your kayak glides towards destination. Either way you’re nothing more than a shadow on the surface water. Hold on to your rods and reels as we explore the advantages, gear, tips, and techniques of kayak fishing.
At first sight the kayak might not seem like it has any real advantages over larger boats when it comes to fishing. It’s hard to bash the value of fishing boats with all their different sizes and forms, and that’s surely not my intention. For any fisherman who has yet to take his tackle to the kayak, it’s worth noting that these sleek vessels have capabilities that go beyond the realm of boating.
The Main Advantages Of Kayak Fishing:
- Price – Kayaks cost a fraction of what most boats would run you. Then there’s the maintenance. Any boat owner knows about ongoing costs. What about fuel? No need for that with a kayak. A garden hose is likely all you’ll need to complete your cleanup.
- Access To The Water – You’ll find a lot more places to launch your kayak. Places a boat couldn’t launch!
- Access ON The Water – Get to the places holding fish that haven’t been fished! The low lying kayak can fish shallow water, navigate rivers, and get into tight places that boats simply can’t access.
- A Natural Drag – Fishing boats are usually too heavy to provide this attribute. The lighter kayak will be pulled through the water by larger fighting fish. Ocean kayakers can get by with lighter reels because the kayak itself helps wear out game fish.
- Water Disturbance – The kayak is a true stealth machine. The noise and sheer size of a boat can often scare off fish. The silent application and low profile of the kayak is more acceptable to nature. You’ll join the environment instead of clashing against it.
Creating A Fishing Kayak – Essential And Unessential Gear
You may have noticed that holding the #1 spot on my list of advantages is price. Fishing Kayaks bought brand new with all the current gadgets can get expensive. The good news is they don’t have to be. The beginner can start with a decent base model, then add on accessories as needed. For this reason I’ve broken up kayak gear into two categories. One for the gear needed immediately upon startup. Another for gear not initially required to have success on the water.
Essential Starting Kayak Gear:
- Kayak and 1 Paddle – A spare paddle is a good idea. Paddle float and leash are also a good idea.
- Personal Flotation Device and Emergency Kit – Safety must come first on the water. Every kayaker’s first goal must be to make it home safe and sound.
- Water Tight Bags – Dry bags are a must to carry any gear that can’t get wet.
- Tie Downs – Bungee cords work well. Your choice here! Just make sure it works to secure your storage needs.
- Storage – It doesn’t have to be fancy at first. A milk crate would do. Use your tie downs and secure it well.
- Leashes – You will absolutely want to have anything of value attached to your kayak by a leash.
- Your Fishing Gear – If you’ve been creative with your storage then you are all set. The add ons can come later!
Helpful Yet Unessential Starting Kayak Gear:
- GPS and Fish Finder – The market is full of these devices. They will definitely assist with your fishing success.
- Holders and Fasteners – Again there’s tons of models available. Made for rods, GPS units, paddles, trolling motors, you name it. Many of these devices come along with your purchase. Others such as rod holders do not.
- Trolling Motor – Helpful for sure but not needed. This will also require the addition of deep cycle batteries and some wiring.
- Anchor – Another item that might be more or less necessary for your needs.
- Padded Seating – The hard seat of a kayak gets quickly uncomfortable without one.
- Miscellaneous Accessories – Car racks, trailers, clothing, and contraptions for all purposes are out there for the dedicated kayak angler.
Expert Tips And Techniques For Kayak Fishing
A bit of forward knowledge goes a long way when it comes to kayak fishing. Here are a few strategies and tricks from the experts to help facilitate your adventure.
- Be prepared to get wet. A wetsuit may be a bit extreme depending on the conditions. It’s a good practice to wear water friendly clothing while kayaking.
- Try to keep your head in the center of the kayak. This will immediately help your balance. It’ll take concentration at first, but will be second nature in no time.
- Keep you gear fastened. It’s not worth losing precious commodities like expensive rod and reels. Accidental and unavoidable rolls do occur on a kayak.
- Use Your Advantages. The stealth of a kayak won’t help if you splash and holler. The weight of the kayak won’t help fight a large fish if you force it. It’s low profile won’t help if you always fish deep, never trying the shallows. Remember to leverage the special qualities inherent in every kayak.
The Fishing Kayak Landing And Conclusion
The wheels of your vehicle finally hit the drive way. You spray down your kayak with a freshwater rinse after storing all your gear. Bone weary and tired, you enter your house and head towards the shower. The smile never leaves your face though as your thoughts linger on hard fought fish, and a fresh catch waiting to take its place on the dinner table. You’re set now in your decision to turn to a fishing kayak. You only wonder why you never tried it sooner. What are your thoughts about joining the world of kayak fishing? Have you ever considered trying it?