Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners from Experienced Kayak Angler
Hi there. Rob here. Most landlubbers I know are shocked when they find out I’m fishing from a kayak and could never imagine life on the waters in anything else than a boat. They don’t know what they’re missing out on.
What excitement does the tiring old boat bring? None! Time to add adventure to your life and take your fishing game to the next level by upgrading to a fishing kayak.
Imagine this: paddling the waters on a beautiful day in a quiet, sturdy kayak. Suddenly you feel a tug in your line, and before you know it, you’re reeling in a monster bass.
You don’t need to be an expert to start kayak fishing, and this article is the ultimate beginner’s guide to kayak fishing so you can let go of your doubts and join the fun. Let’s go.
Quick Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners
- Choose a wide-bottomed kayak for stability and control, with a seat on top and extra storage space and cleats
- Set up an elevated seat in the middle of the kayak for comfort and ease of fishing
- Choose an affordable, easy-to-set-up spinning reel rod, preferably lightweight and detachable
- Bring a small, foldable anchor and nylon rope to keep the kayak from drifting
- Please bring a small tackle box with bait and other essential supplies, and tie it securely in the kayak.
Quick Tips for Paddling a Fishing Kayak Safely
- Always wear a brightly colored personal flotation device (PFD) when kayaking, and consider bringing additional safety gear like a whistle and repair kit.
- Center the heaviest items in the middle of the kayak for stability and balance
- Turn the kayak sideways when getting into it, and step onto it from solid land.
- Paddle using vertical strokes to move the kayak quickly and efficiently
- Use a sweep stroke to turn the kayak by dragging the paddle behind it, and cast the rod to fine-tune positioning.
- Climb back into the kayak if you fall out, and don’t panic.
- Practice kayaking and safety techniques in calm water before heading out to rough waters.
Quick Tips for Fishing from a Kayak
- Research the type of fish you want to catch and pack the necessary lures and bait.
- Use short, gentle paddle strokes, and glide into position to avoid splashing and scaring away fish.
- Cast the anchor by dropping it into the water and holding the line to settle the kayak.
- Sit straight, cast the line with a horizontal rod, wait for the fish to bite, and reel it with a vertical rod.
- Use a landing net to catch the fish once it gets close to the kayak, and remove the hook before storing it in ice.
What is kayak fishing?
Kayak fishing is my favorite way to experience the great outdoors. The advantage of the kayak over traditional boats is that they are much more accessible and versatile, and you can use them for more activities outside of fishing. They glide nicely through the water and are lightweight and sturdy if you get a proper one. If you are a beginner or an experienced fisherman, you can learn the fundamentals of paddling a kayak (you’ll be an expert kayak angler in no time)
There are many types of kayaks, and you want to buy a proper fishing kayak, not a speed-rowing kayak, as you won’t be competing in the Olympics any time soon (But hey, if that’s your dream, don’t let me
discourage you, get one of those kayaks in addition if you like)
Sit-inside kayaks, or sit-in kayaks, are suitable for colder weather as they protect you more from the wind, rain, hail, and snow. But some enclose your lower body inside, which requires you to practice getting out of the kayak in case it tips over—doing this with a certified kayak instructor under safe and controlled conditions. If the kayak turns or tips over, you don’t want to panic while stuck in an upside-down submerged kayak.
Sit-on-top kayaks are much more versatile and more suitable for warmer weather. You can also wear them in colder weather if you dress for the weather. They are also good if you want to swim or get onto and out of the kayak more easily. It’s also easier to have storage space and a bucket to put your fish in. Where do you put your fish inside the kayak on the sit-in? I need to find out.
However, before you start loading your kayak and getting reading for fishing, you should have the proper equipment. Essential kayak fishing gear should include a PFD (personal flotation device), your fishing rod, a tackle box, and a landing net, at the least.
If you are a beginner, you may need help getting into and out of a kayak. The best technique is to face the kayak and slowly lower yourself while holding onto the sides. When you are getting out, do it in reverse.
Kayak fishing techniques
When fishing from a kayak, the technique is different. Be careful when casting, so you don’t tip the balance and fall into the waters. Since you are sitting very low, you don’t have much vertical space for casts, so avoid underhand casts and do the overhead casting technique while facing forward. Hold the rod pointing at a 45-degree angle when you reel in the line.
If you are bass fishing from a kayak, it’s best to use a shorter rod and gently reel it to help you keep the center of gravity in the kayak.
Safety is paramount when fishing from a kayak. You should constantly watch your surroundings and look for water obstacles, such as floating debris, boats, skerries, moraines, or other rock ridges.
To summarize, fishing from a kayak can be an exciting activity for beginners but requires some practice before starting. Remember to be careful and aware of your surroundings, and have fun catching fish on your next fishing trip.