Many beginner kayakers take up the sport for one fun reason: so they can go fishing from a kayak! While fishing from a kayak is quite fun and can let you explore spots you could never on shore, you want to make sure you’re setup for success. Here are our top 10 tips for getting started with fishing from your new kayak:
1. Choose And Scout Out Your Location
Scouting out your fishing area in advance can be extremely useful in helping you prepare for fishing from a kayak. Depending on the location, you may find that you need to use specific techniques for catching the fish. Also, if it is an area that is not well-known to you, then it might be a good idea to take a GPS so that you won’t have trouble finding your way back. Search here to find the best kayaking spots near you.
2. Gather Your Safety Gear
This tip is the most important. You must always have a personal flotation device on hand. This is to prevent you from drowning in the case of an accident. It is also advisable that you take a whistle and maybe even some type of flag to wave down others if they can’t hear you. Other types of safety gear may include a flashlight, a knife, and some rope. You never know when you will need them!
3. Choose The Proper Rod and Reel
Depending on your decision to fish in fresh or salt water, you may need a different rod and reel. If fishing in salt water, it is important to have a rod and reel that are anodized so that your rod and reel will resist corroding and have a longer lifespan. The capacity of the reel also needs to be properly matched with the rod in order to prevent any snapping for occurring.
4. Make A Tackle Box Checklist
The last thing you want to do is have to turn back or be missing critical gear! To make sure your tackle box has everything you need in it, make a checklist. A checklist might include some of the following items:
- Fishing Line
- A Pair of Needle Nose Pliers
- Line Clippers
Other various items can be added to this such as bug spray or your filet knife if you’ll be catching the fish to cook while you are camping. Don’t forget to include your first aid kit and cell phone in the case of an emergency. While we want you to pack everything you need, we also encourage you to review your tackle box every 5-10 trips and remove items you don’t need as well.
5. Don’t Forget Your Other Gear & Some Food
While much of your gear may be in your tackle box since you are fishing from a kayak, there are other important pieces that you may need to bring. Your paddle is essential to getting you where you need to go. Another important piece of gear may be an anchor. This can help stabilize you in the water if the current isn’t exactly steady. A paddle clip can also be nice. Rather than having to hold the paddle yourself, it will for you. This helps give you the opportunity to focus on catching your fish. As for food, a cooler full of your favorite food and snacks is a great way to assure you stay hydrated and keep yourself energized so that you can catch more fish! It can also double as a place to keep your fish once you’ve eaten all the snacks!
6. Keep The Weather & Wind In Mind
Do some research ahead of time, and check on what the weather forecast will be. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of a terrible storm because your kayak could potentially flip. If high winds and thunderstorms are expected, play it safe and stay at home until there is a clearer day.
7. Wear The Right Clothing
You don’t want to be uncomfortable while fishing in your kayak, so it is important to wear the right clothes. If you are fishing during the summer, then you might consider wearing a breathable, polyester shirt that has moisture wicking technology. Cotton is not an ideal choice as it will begin to absorb your sweat rather than wicking it away. In other words, you will get kind of stinky!
If layers are desired, a nice nylon shirt would be great as it will help prevent any removal of stains later on when it is time to do the laundry. When choosing the right pants to wear, you want to keep in mind that the longer the pants, the hotter you will probably be. However, it can help to protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. Plenty of pockets are also nice to have to help you carry all your essentials that just won’t fit in your tackle box. As for shoes, it is usually a good idea to wear something that is easy to clean and waterproof. Most sandals can accommodate this and are usually quite comfortable too!
Don’t forget the gloves, hat, and sunglasses! These additional accessories are a must. The gloves will help protect your hands from getting sun burnt. After all, you will be using your hands nearly the whole time, so you want to protect them as much as possible. The hat and sunglasses will also protect you from harmful U.V. rays. Not to mention, everybody looks cooler with sunglasses! Some people even wear a polyester face mask so that they have an extra layer protecting their face.
8. Bring Your Camera
This tip might seem sort of useless, but bringing your camera will help you document all the fish you and your friends catch! A waterproof bag for your camera is good to take with you as well just in case your kayak gets tipped over.
9. Fish With A Friend Or Tell A Friend Where You’ll Be
It’s always good to have someone with you that knows what they are doing if you aren’t exactly an expert kayak fisher just yet. They can help teach you valuable information, and it can save you a lot of time in the long run. Having a friend around will also help you pass the time because fishing usually includes a whole lot of waiting! However, even if you are fishing with a friend, always let someone know where you will be and when you expect to be back that way if something goes wrong, there will be someone that will be able to come help you. As many have learned from our kayaking at night guide, knowing where to go and how to stay safe is a key element to kayaking success.
10. Mind Your Surroundings
Don’t forget that you are in water! Whether you are in fresh or salt water, your kayak will have a decent amount of gear in it, so it is important to make sure that all the weight is in or near the center. Because of the extra weight, the kayak can be easier to flip when casting, so it is important to be careful when casting. If you are fishing in the ocean, also be mindful of any unwanted fish that could be lurking near by.