First things first: Know your kayak, and how to maneuver it. Know the body of water you are fishing and any obstacles that may be in it. It is extremely important, as kayaking alone can be dangerous to an inexperienced person. Learn how to paddle and control it before trying to fish in it. One of the most common problems faced by many kayak fishermen is that they know a lot about fishing, but very little about kayaking.
Choosing the right kayak is very important. There are many brands and models on the market that cater towards different types of kayaking and types of waters. A good fishing kayak is outfitted with the right equipment to achieve a good balance between comfort and being functional, while keeping it as simple as possible. A good fishing kayak has a comfortable back rest, mounted rod holders, a paddle leash, and front and back decks with bungees for securing your gear. Test a few out, and see if sit ON or sit IN fits you best. Also, make sure you choose a length you are comfortable with. Renting a couple before you buy is the best way to figure this out.
In this blog entry, we will start with gear. I could write an entire book on gear you could take and possible use. But since it varies so much depending on the style, season, body of water, and region, I’ll keep it simple and stick to the essentials. You’ll find less is better when, not if, you flip.
- A good rod and reel, but not an expensive one-
Things happen. Kayaks flip. Your gear isn’t always going to be secured to our kayak, so get a good pole that you won’t be upset about losing if it happens.
- A small, essential Tacklebox-
You don’t need your bass boat rig out with you. If you’re planning on keeping any fish at all, you won’t keep many. Don’t overload and bring what you don’t need and won’t use. A cheap portable Tacklebox with hooks, weights, a small float, a stringer, and some top lures will be just fine.
- A net-
A small fishing net aids in the retrieval of fish. Since you can’t maneuver your body any way to want, the net will become very helpful to you. Keep it handy, but out of the way. I keep mine secured to the back deck under the bungee.
- A multi-tool-
A knife and pliers are always needed while fishing, so I suggest carrying a multi-tool. It combines the two for less gear and will come in handy, especially when fishing in creeks and near banks with brush.
There are many advantages to kayak fishing. It’s easy to transport, easy to get in small areas that bigger boats can’t fit, and it’s very affordable vs a bass boat. I love tossing it on the top of the jeep, strapping it down, and heading to the river. In the next blog, we will go over the best lures, bait, and casting techniques, as well as the best areas to fish in a kayak.