How to fish out of a kayak is almost as easy as fishing off the bank, however, there are a few differences. You’ll need to outfit your kayak with plenty of gear, learn how to secure it correctly and follow important safety tips that can make your experience safer and more enjoyable.
Gearing up for Your Fishing Adventure
How much gear you outfit your kayak with can be more a matter of preference. But narrowing down your list of must-have gear and supplies can be a challenge considering the massive selection of products available.
Of course, you’ll want to start off with rod holders, if the kayak you purchase doesn’t already come equipped with one or two. Rod holders will keep your reel combo and rods safe and secure whether your rod gets hung up on a tree or the kayak tips over. A rod holder is usually made of plastic and can be installed using rivets and bolts.
There are a few main types of rod holders including flush mounted, secure mounted, and a rod holder/tackle box combo.
The flush mounted option consists of a tube that’s inserted into the kayak. The end of the pole is placed inside the tube and secured with a leash. This type of rod holder is usually installed behind the seat.
Secure rod holders offer a better hold compared to a flush mounted model. The secure rod holder grasps both the reel and rod. This type of rod holder is often installed on the deck’s center, between the angler’s legs or behind the seat. These rod holders are also a popular choice because they’re highly adjustable.
The rod holder/tackle box combo is another popular option. This design features a boxed-in area that you can use to store gear and a tube-like rod holder.
When you find a honey hole, you’ll want to stay put, just like when you’re fishing from a motorboat. You can secure the kayak in a particular location using a line and small anchor. Since you’ll be limited on capacity and space, don’t purchase an anchor that’s heavier than four pounds. As far as design goes, you’ll have a couple of options: claw or folding.
The folding anchor is the more popular option because they can provide a secure hold in pretty much any environment, plus, they’re highly portable.
If you need an anchor that can hold the kayak in place, even in the softest bottoms, then the claw anchor is a great choice. While it’s not quite as portable as a folding anchor, the claw anchor does a great job of keeping a kayak securely in place.
Securing Your Paddle
When you’ve found the perfect hot fishing spot, the last thing you want to worry about is your paddle. Install a simple device called a paddle leash. The leash will secure the paddle to the kayak so you won’t have to worry about losing your paddle as you’re fighting to haul in a large fish. The paddle leash consists of the leash, which is then tied to a piece of hardware on the kayak. The leash often features a coiled design and is made from a type of bungee cord material.
Your Kayak Fishing Trip
Fishing in a kayak is not only a popular choice because kayaks are so affordable. They’re also a great choice for fishing because fish are extremely skittish and the kayak is very stealthy. As you approach a hot spot the kayak can easily glide into position with just a few strokes.
For many anglers, the idea of casting off a kayak can be tricky, not to mention awkward. If your kayak seems to be prone to tipping, this can be an even bigger problem. Before you launch into deeper waters try practicing your cast. One-handed casting is all about using more arm than body. The same amount of care also applies to casting while standing.
Many anglers also choose to side straddle their kayaks. This involves sitting sideways while their legs are in the water. This sitting position will keep the angler cool and also works to improve balance.
While there are some anglers out there that always take a ton of gear, others prefer to keep their setup simple and organized. Remember, the kayak’s deck is very limited on space, so plan on taking only a small tackle box and keep it in an area that’s easily accessible.
Securing your gear is the best way to avoid losing it. This includes your tackle box, anchor, and paddle. If you don’t have many lash points you can always get some extra deck line and install simple pad eyes. While using bungee cords is a great solution for securing light large items, it probably won’t be able to secure heavier gear such as a cooler or larger tackle box.
Going with a Pro
Most anglers who have turned to fishing out of a kayak are introduced to it by experienced anglers. Fishing is one thing but fishing out of a kayak is a whole other ballgame. If you don’t know any kayak anglers try visiting a fishing forum and find experienced anglers in your area.
An experienced kayaker will teach you how to maneuver, paddle, and handle fishing on currents. They can also teach you how to get back in the kayak in the event it tips over.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
It may sound silly, but you also have to take into consideration the type of clothing you’ll wear when you’re fishing out of a kayak.
In warmer weather, you’ll want to wear loose-fitting, light clothing that will dry quickly. Because you sit lower in the water in a kayak, you can be sure that you’ll end up in wet clothes at some point.
Because of this, during the colder months of the year, you’ll want to layer up. Begin with a base layer of synthetic material, a layer of fleece on top of that, and an outer layer of splash wear. The idea behind this layering is that as the day becomes warmer you’ll be able to shed one or two layers.