Tips for Fishing From Your Kayak
Many anglers can catch a variety of sport fish from their kayaks on inland streams, lakes and saltwater coastlines. Ready to see what all the hype is about? The following tips will help you achieve success while staying safe if you’re new to fishing while in your kayak.
How to Fish From a Kayak
Safety and preparation are paramount when getting ready for a fishing excursion on a kayak. When preparing for and embarking on a kayak fishing trip, remember to:
- Look for oncoming vessels.
- Bring safety gear and fish handling gear.
- Wear skin protection such as sunscreen.
- Pack plenty of food and water.
- Carry an anchor.
- Be aware of the weather.
The Best Ways to Kayak Fish
You’re prepared for a legendary fishing trip on your kayak. Now what? Follow these tips for the best ways to kayak fish:
- Master the one-handed paddle: You may find yourself fighting a fish with one hand while using the other to steer your kayak upstream. Practice anchoring the shaft of your paddle along your arm by locking it along your forearm.
- Be cautious of the anchor: For most kayaks, a 2 to 4-pound claw anchor is sufficient. However, it’s important to exercise caution when anchoring in a current, as some currents can push a kayak underwater. Use a quick-release clevis on your anchor.
- Learn to cast one-handed: Try using finesse tactics and fishing with lighter combos to master the one-handed cast. Many experienced kayak anglers use spinning tackle or baitcasting to cast one-handed.
- Use eddies for kayak fishing: Most kayaks are light enough to sit entirely in an eddy, giving you plenty of time to fish the corresponding current seam without moving downstream. Try going a little beyond the spot you want to fish and tucking into the eddy behind it. You won’t have to paddle and can fish for hours on end.
- Cast to steer: Use baits that offer resistance — like spinnerbaits and crankbaits — to help you steer the kayak. The resistance of reeling in the bait will pull your kayak in the direction you’re casting. Use this to your advantage and purposefully make casts to adjust your boat’s position on the water.
- Locate fish like a pro: Search baits like crankbaits, swimbaits and spinnerbaits can help you locate fish with ease from your kayak. After catching active fish, coax more bites from the less active ones using a drop-shot, small jig or other finesse bait.
- Use easy-to-fish lures: Easy-to-fish lures reduce re-rigging and retying, which means you’ll make more casts in a day and catch more fish.
- Hug the shoreline: When paddling up-current or against the wind, it takes more effort to get a bite. Instead of trekking down the center of a river, paddle down shallow areas — the current will have significantly less pull.
- Target different species: Before leaving an area, change up your tactics to target different species. Try carrying three to five rod and reel combos for fast and efficient change-ups.
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Kayaks are portable and easy to launch, making them ideal vessels for accessing a variety of waterways. Want to make launching your kayak easier than ever? The kayak and canoe launch from EZ Dock lets you get in and out of the water seamlessly.
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