Pages Navigation Menu

Kayak Fishing

Kayak FishingKayak Fishing is a method of fishing from a kayak. It is a favourite of many anglers, especially in coastal areas. Many kayak fishermen enjoy the freedom that fishing from a kayak provides them, as these craft are very adaptable and are equally effective in shallow water, on the open sea, and in lakes and rivers.

When purchasing equipment for kayak fishing, there is no need to invest in expensive items. A standard plastic sport kayak with a carbon paddle should be used, with or without a spray sheet. Long fishing rods are unnecessary when fishing from a kayak. A 6 foot rod should be sufficient, and spinning reels are recommended. You should also bring a net to help you bring your catch aboard or to help hold it if you are practising catch and release. One of the most important skills to learn when kayak fishing is the proper stowing and management of equipment. There should never be any loose items in your kayak that could potentially fall out if the boat rolls. Bags and miscellaneous items should be properly stowed or tied down.In order to successfully fish from your kayak, you will need to work your way out past the surf to the calmer waters. This is a basic coastal kayaking skill, where you wait for a break in the waves and then paddle out past the surf line. However some experience is required here, as sudden currents of changes in swell can capsize an unwary angler. The same applies when you are returning to the beach. When working your way out towards your fishing spot you may want to troll some bait behind you, as there is a chance you might attract fish when the lure or bait passes overhead.  In order to find fish when kayak fishing, you can look for areas of kelp and fish around the edges. As with surf fishing, you can keep an eye out for schools of bait fish. These are usually indicated by the presence of hunting sea birds. When you find a school of bait fish, follow it for a while until you see that larger predator fish are starting to feed. This is a good time to drop your lure or bait.

Another option is to fish directly down through the top of the kelp, to hunt for fish sheltering within the fronds. There are often very large fish to be found within kelp fields, such as kelp bass and halibut, depending on what part of the world you are in. In order to fish a kelp field you will need to drop a line straight down with a sinker chosen for the depth of the water at that point. You can also tie your kayak to the fringes of a kelp field, allowing the current to pull your boat away from the kelp. Then cast your line out into the open water, and jig or troll it back towards your kayak.

When kayaking on the sea or inland there are certain safety features that should always be considered. Lifejackets should be worn at all times and appropriate clothing is essential. Depending on the time of year and water temperatures a wetsuit and booties may be necessary, otherwise warm comfortable clothing should be worn beneath your wetsuit. Always carry a waterproof bag with a dry change of clothing inside. If you capsize in very cold water a set of warm clothes will prevent you from developing an illness on the trip home. Always carry a compass, especially if you are kayaking off the coast or kayaking at night. If you are still getting used to kayaking you should avoid bad weather or strong waves until your skills have improved.

You should always be aware of your surroundings and the prevailing weather conditions. Fog in particular can be a big problem when fishing from a kayak. Visibility is greatly reduced and you can lose your bearings. Again a compass is essential , and many kayak fishermen also carry whistles to help avoid collisions with larger boats. In general if you see fog appearing on the water when kayak fishing it is best to stow your rods and make for the shore.