WHAT IS KAYAK FISHING?
Kayak fishing has grown in popularity in recent years, thanks not only to better boat designs, but also because of the fun and adventurous spirit that goes along with the sport. No matter where it is done, this is a style of fishing that puts you in very close proximity with nature and the fish you’re after – and if you’re on the ocean, sometimes encountering fish you weren’t going after, such as sharks.
The excitement factor of fishing in kayak gives the sport a very man (or woman) versus nature kind of feel. Thankfully, fishing kayaks are built to withstand just about anything that nature can throw your way these days. That being said, when in a kayak and fishing, you definitely need to be a strong swimmer because the chances of turning your boat over or falling in the water are much higher when aboard a ship or larger water vessel.
Yes, for the freshwater fishing kayak fans, there are lakes and rivers to explore all around the world, but there are also saltwater fishing kayak fanatics who take to the sea on their personal quest to catch the biggest and the best.
WHAT MAKES KAYAK FISHING FUN?
Kayak sport fishing boasts some of the most passionate, rabid anglers around and are therefore often considered to be more ‘extreme’ in their approach to fishing. There are those fishing from kayaks that will go after 40 lb halibut right out in the open sea, having no fear about reeling in such a large fish with even bigger sea creatures swimming around in the depths. To these folks, kayak fishing has its dangers, but is more rewarding than any other sport they could possibly pursue.
Many times, even at sea, they will go out in an inflatable fishing kayak that allows them to traverse the waves and be up close and personal with the fish. Since a kayak is man powered and does not feature a motor, it is important to have a considerable level of both strength and physical fitness because paddling yourself across the waves can get tiring after a while if you’re not prepared.
For those who want to fish as a team, such as a husband and wife pair, tandem kayak fishing is a great way to be together and share a passion for the sport. Sharing a boat in such a way bonds couples together – After all, a romantic fishing trip is not going to work for every couple.
When fishing on a river, drifting along in a kayak can be a truly unique experience that helps one appreciate the beauty of the water. A sit on top fishing kayak can work better in a lake environment where the water is much calmer. For a more stable fishing kayak, there are boats made with cockpits that offer more room than a typical kayak, but they are harder to step out of if you wish to wade in the water. Kayak fly fishing is slowly becoming a more popular style, but is best suited for those comfortable enough standing and casting on their boat.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET STARTED KAYAK FISHING?
If you are on the path to get started fishing from a kayak, the most important step is getting the right boat. There are many brands out there today, but the Hobie fishing kayak is one of the top choices. Those who choose Hobie kayak fishing say these boats can definitely be put to the test by any angler – a crucial factor for this type of fishing, as being able to rely on one’s craft makes for a better fishing trip. Some of the best fishing kayaks include the brands Pelican, Wilderness Systems, Ocean, Malibu, and Cobra.
There are many factors to consider when buying the proper kayak for fishing. When looking at different sizes, the rule of thumb is that the longer and narrower the kayak, the faster you can paddle. However, a wider boat offers more stability, which is an essential component when fishing on large bodies of water with waves. The size and shape of your boat has a lot to do with where you will be fishing: is it freshwater, ocean, river, rapids, still water, or ponds? Will you be launching from a dock exclusively, or would you be portaging often enough that a lighter boat might be better? Finding the right boat for your needs will go a long way in making your kayak fishing experience more enjoyable. Consult your local kayaking outfitter to get the best results.
Getting the proper life vest is another important component for kayak fishing. As you will be in such close proximity with the water, it’s best to always have your flotation device on, since even the best kayak fishing pros will fall in from time to time. To make your fishing trip even safer, it is always a good idea to tell at least one person not only where you will be – providing maps when possible – but also give them check-in times so that if you are not back on schedule, you will be searched for if needed. This is not the easiest form of sport fishing around, so be sure to take extra precautions to ensure your own safety.
The amount of gear and bait you take with you is much smaller than what you may be accustomed to on a regular fishing boat. The more you wan to take, the more your boat will need the proper rigging to keep everything in place.
WHERE CAN YOU GO KAYAK FISHING?
There are many spots around the world where you might want to set out your kayak and enjoy some waves, sun, and fish. Whether it’s flat-water, rapids, or ocean, you will find that you have plenty of different avenues for kayak fishing.
Fans of big game fish would do well to try sea kayak fishing. In the Catalina Islands, for example, you can test your fishing ability and go after yellow-tail tuna, marlin, or sea bass. Sea kayak fishing definitely takes a high degree of hardiness, skill, and strength, due to the size and fight of the fish you may hook onto. A sail-fin, rock-fish, or even a shark if you’re willing, is not going to get hauled in without a good fight, so be prepared to test your body to the limits when saltwater kayak fishing. It is not as easy as it might look in the nature shows on TV and the amount ocean fishing kayaks tip over is far more likely than on a lake.
Any lake or any small stream that is full of fish is kayak ready, it’s just a matter of taking your fishing skills and applying them with your new vessel. Even fly fishing is an option, granting opportunities for those not content with hiking the river’s banks.
TIPS FOR KAYAK FISHING BEGINNERS
Those just starting out are advised to read all the fishing kayak reviews they can in order to best decide the ideal fishing kayaks before arriving at a dealership. Your own personal choice of boat should definitely be checked out against the opinions of other seasoned kayakers, but ultimately the decision is yours, which makes kayak fishing the ultimate individualist experience. A kayak for fishing is your foundation tool so choose wisely.
To actually catch fish, you need to become a master jigger. Trolling at high speeds for great lengths of time is not likely, though certain fish can be caught at lower speeds. Instead of making more work on yourself though, get used to casting and jigging for optimal results.