The popularity of kayaking has constantly increased over the last ten years. With that increased popularity, it is no surprise that fishing kayaks have gained some very devoted fans. One of the main reasons people love their kayak is the fact that they can get into areas that typical motor boats are unable to go. For the angler, this also means that they can find fishing holes and know exactly where to go for their catch when they venture out into the water again. Fishing from a kayak adds more of a thrill to catching a fish. However, it is not something that most people can simply go out and do. There are tricks to it and a lot of tips on doing it successfully. For that reason, here are our top 10 kayak fishing tips.
Always Be Prepared
A kayak is a stable boat for the most part, but this does not mean you should let your guard down at any time. You should always be prepared for it to flip over. This means that when you venture out, you should wear clothing that can get wet and still allow you to move freely. You should always wear your personal flotation device (PFD) and all of your gear should be secured to the kayak. Your cell phone and items that you do not want to get wet should be encased in a sealed dry bag.
Avoid Leaning, Even When You Have a Fish Hooked
One of the biggest challenges a kayaker may deal with is the fact that a kayak is able to flip. Fishing from it increases this risk. Therefore, even when you have a fish on the line, you should always keep your head up high and straight. If you lean forward or backward when trying to reel your fish in, there is a good chance that you will end up going overboard and your kayak will end up upside down.
Use Your Smart Phone’s Abilities to the Fullest
Not only is your smartphone a great way to keep in touch with friends or family when you are out in a kayak and something goes wrong, but there are apps that you can install on it to make a fishing trip better as well. Some apps are able to provide you with tide charts, weather forecasts and alerts, navigation maps, and more. By using the apps that you can get on your smartphone, you can find out when the weather takes a turn for the worst and get yourself back to shore before it does.
Always Carry Snacks and First Aid Kit
When you are in a kayak, anything can happen. If a storm rolls in you may have to get to the closest shore, whether you are near your vehicle or not. Water is also a great thing to have on board your kayak. By taking along snacks and a first aid kit, you know ahead of time that you are set in the event you do have to camp out and wait for a sudden summer storm to pass by.
Stay Alert at All Times
When kayaking, you always have a few things to worry about. If you are in a river where there are low-hanging tree limbs, you have to watch out for them. If you shake the branches, snakes and other critters may end up in the boat with you. Rocks and debris in the water can cause your kayak to tip over. Out in the oceans you have to stay alert for sharks that may be in the area. Especially if you are fishing with live bait. A shark or alligator can easily tip a kayak over. Other boats can also cause trouble if they cannot see you on the water. This risk is very real during the evening hours. A bright light on board your kayak can help.
Follow the Fish
In a kayak, even a small fish can pull you around. You should let them pull you a little while you are trying to reel them in. If you struggle to reel them in, you could end up going into the water with them. Then you will have more to worry about than your catch. However, this does mean that your fishing line should be a little stronger. You do not want your line to snap after a couple of minutes being towed by the same fish.
Leave Some Slack
When fishing in a kayak, you have to forget the things you know about fishing. If your fishing line is taut and you are reeling in a fish, you could easily end up with your rod on one side of the kayak and the fish up to the top of the water on the other side. It is best to leave some slack in your line, at least a rod’s length, then if you find yourself in this position, you have the ability to get the fish from the wrong side of the boat without fighting to hold onto both the rod and the fish.
Learn to Kayak
It is rare to find someone who wants to immediately jump into a kayak and go fishing, but there are a few out there. This is a huge mistake. You must first learn the kayaking basics. This means learning how to paddle effectively and discovering how a kayak will move based on certain things. If you are fishing off the coast, you will need to know how to handle the waves to ensure you do not flip. You need to know how to position your body to avoid flipping. Therefore, it is recommended that before you pack the rod and reel into your kayak, you first take a kayaking course to learn what you are doing and how to handle the kayak.
Have Fish Finders with GPS
A lot of kayak fish finders on the market today can be used on a kayak. Most of them have smaller, brighter LCD screens. They run off rechargeable batteries and can be very useful when it comes to helping you see what is beneath your kayak. Most fish finders that you will find also include a GPS and many have maps that allow you to “mark” your favorite fishing spots. GPS is very useful, because a kayak can only go as fast as you are able to paddle. Therefore, if you are out on the water and fog rolls in quickly, you can still find your way back to shore. Your smartphone may also have GPS. If your fish finder does not have it at least you can use your smartphone (if you have one) as a backup. You can then use your fish finder for its main purpose, which is locating fish.
Take Care of Your Equipment
If you are in a salt water environment, rinsing off your gear when you are done fishing will do a lot to keep your gear in great working order. There are inflatable kayaks that need more care than others. But as a general rule you should rinse off and dry your kayak before you get in the car or once yo arrive home. Even if you are not in salt water, you should still clean up a little at the end of the day to get rid of the grass that may have become tangled in your fishing line and mud that may have ended up in your kayak. In most cases, you should only have to do a little rinsing, but occasionally, it would not hurt for you to take a little extra time to clean everything thoroughly. As an added bonus, it will keep your kayak and all of your gear looking great and it will always be ready to go out on the water when you are.
Kayak Fishing Tips Conclusion
We really hope you consider all of these tips especially if you are new to fishing for a kayak. This information should ensure you remain safe out on the water. It should also makes sure you have a fun an enjoyable time. If you have any other kayak fishing tips please feel free to leave them in the comments.