Kayak Fishing for Beginners: A Fun and Adventurous Way to Catch Fish!
Introduction: Are you a fishing enthusiast looking for a thrilling and unique experience? Look no further than kayak fishing for beginners! Combining the tranquility of kayaking with the excitement of fishing, kayak fishing has become increasingly popular among outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, this blog post will guide you through the essentials of kayak fishing, ensuring you have a fantastic time on the water.
Choose the Right Kayak: Selecting the appropriate kayak is crucial for a successful fishing trip. Sit-on-top kayaks are the most popular choice for anglers due to their stability, maneuverability, and ease of use. Look for a kayak designed specifically for fishing, as they often come equipped with features like rod holders, storage compartments, and comfortable seating arrangements. One of the biggest mistakes a Beginner makes is when they settle for the cheapest used kayak they can find. Sure its good enough to get you water but often times most beginners realize their bargain buy doesn’t meet the requirements to enjoy an entire day kayak fishing.
Safety First: Before embarking on any kayak fishing adventure, prioritize your safety. Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket and familiarize yourself with basic water safety techniques. It’s also essential to check the weather forecast, let someone know about your plans, and carry essential safety equipment such as a whistle, signaling devices, and a first aid kit. Not having a float plan and doing your pre-trip checklist often gets beginner kayakers in trouble.
Master Basic Kayaking Skills: While you don’t need to be an expert kayaker to enjoy fishing, as a beginner it’s essential to learn some basic kayak paddling techniques. Practice paddling, turning, and stopping your kayak to ensure you feel comfortable and confident while kayak fishing. Familiarize yourself with different types of strokes and learn how to efficiently maneuver your kayak, especially when fighting a fish. It is important to learn how your kayak and paddle work together before you start fighting fish. Even more so it you are in the salt water where fish are big, strong and sometimes toothy. I have been spun around, dragged, and almost flipped more than once during a hook up. So you just need enough skill to counter anything the fight can dish out.
Gather the Necessary Gear: To make the most of your kayak fishing experience, gather the essential fishing gear. Invest in a quality fishing rod and reel suitable for the type of fish you plan to target. You’ll also need fishing tackle, such as hooks, sinkers, and lures. Don’t forget to bring a fish net, a stringer or livewell to keep your catch, and a small cooler with refreshments and snacks. As a beginner to kayak fishing the one rule you need to perfect is “less is more”. Kayaking Fishing is a minimalists approach to catching fish from a vessel and even though the internet is full of kayaks loaded with all kinds of gear doesn’t mean its a good idea. Most of those kayaker are bass tournament fishers and are on the extreme side of the sport. As a beginner to kayak fishing, one rod and a handful of tackle will be more than you need. I have been doing this for 20yrs and I will usually bring two rods, a small box for lures, a small box for jigs and twistlocks and two ziplocks of plastics (one for dark colors one for light colors). I also bring a spool of leader, an anchor, a stakeout pole, drinking water, snack and sometimes a net.
Choose the Right Fishing Spot: Research and choose your fishing spot wisely. Consider factors such as the type of fish you want to catch, local regulations, and the accessibility of the area. Start with calm, shallow waters, like lakes, ponds, or slow-moving rivers, as they provide a more stable and comfortable environment for beginners. Use google earth to prospect the water looking for deep and shallow water, points, coves and other structure. Take note of wind and currents as they both push the food around effecting where the fish are going to hang out.
Practice Casting and Reeling Techniques: Casting and reeling are fundamental skills in fishing. Spend some time practicing your casting technique, aiming for accuracy and distance. Learn how to properly handle your fishing rod and reel, and practice reeling in fish to avoid losing them during the excitement of the catch. Most people that give kayak fishing a go are already experienced fishing from shore but all beginners to kayak fishing should take some time to figure out how to do everything from a seated position just inches above the water. You will find there is a learning curve and if you want to be accurate you need to practice. I like to use a 7.5″ rod for casting in open areas and pair it with the lightest pound test I can for long smooth casts. Fishing around structure like docks, trees, brush etc I use a shorter 6ft rod and up to 20lb test. The shorter rod makes for more accurate casts and the stronger line help me keep tackle that gets hung up in the structure. You should practice all your setups until you can get your bait in a 2ft circle every cast.
Be Patient and Observe: Patience is key in fishing. Take your time, observe the water, and pay attention to any signs of fish activity, such as jumping or splashing. Use your kayak’s maneuverability to explore different areas and experiment with different bait and lures until you find the right combination to entice the fish. As a kayak fishing beginner you want to set the right expectations. Be ready to enjoy the day on the water even if you don’t catch anything. Kayak Fishing immerses you into the ecosystem and you become part of nature. So make sure you take it all in and just enjoy being on the water. Once you become one with the water and perfect your stealth, finding and catching fish will become easier and repeatable. (Note: On flat clear water; If you can see them, they can see you!)
Conclusion: Kayak fishing offers an incredible opportunity to connect with nature, enjoy solitude, and experience the thrill of reeling in a big catch. With the right equipment, basic skills, and a sense of adventure, beginners can dive into kayak fishing and create lasting memories. Remember to prioritize safety, practice patience, and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. So, grab your fishing gear, hop on a kayak, and embark on an unforgettable kayak fishing journey!