If you’re looking for a new way to go fishing, you might want to try fishing with kayaks. A kayak provides a personal and exciting way to navigate waterways and reach areas not accessible to larger boats. This article will review the basics of how to go fishing with a kayak, including fishing kayak safety, types, features, navigation, and basic techniques.
What Do I Need To Know About Safety?
Kayaks are small watercraft. For this reason, safety should be of utmost importance. Collisions or accidents could result in damage, serious injury, or even death. So please be aware of the following:
- it while on the water.
- Outriggers are extra hulls that “jut out” from your watercraft. They can be fitted to existing kayaks to provide stability.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This way, you will avoid collisions, damage, and injury to yourself and others.
What Kind Of Fishing Kayak Is Right For Me?
To choose the right fishing kayak for you, keep in mind your:
- Fishing Locations,
- Kayak Dimensions,
- Kayak Set-ups, and
- Weight Considerations.
If you are going fishing on a calm lake or pond, you will most likely need a different kayak than if you were going fishing in a river, in a harbor, or off a beach. Wider kayaks generally provide more stability, so bear that in mind.
Shorter kayaks are good for maneuvering in close areas or fishing spots. You’ll also be able to carry your kayak to boat launches with greater ease. Longer kayaks are better for covering more water quickly. Typical fishing kayak lengths can be below 11 feet (for shorter kayaks) to over 12 feet (for longer kayaks). If you are a heavier person, opt for a longer kayak in general.
Kayaks can be either sit-on-top or sit-inside. Sit-on-top kayaks are popular for fishing because of their safety (as they do not fill with water if tipped over), and their raised seats allow for greater in-boat mobility. Sit-inside kayaks are generally lighter weight and good for faster-moving waters, but they do fill with water when tipped over — and require knowledge of paddle float and bilge pump usage.
The combined weight of you and your equipment should be 65 percent of the manufacturer’s maximum weight capacity. This is performance capacity weight, the best weight that will allow you to operate your kayak effectively. Fishing kayaks can weigh from 35 to over 120 pounds, and in some cases, over 200 pounds.
What Kinds Of Features Do Fishing Kayaks Have?
Fishing kayaks can include carrying handles, holds for keeping fishing equipment, mounting gears, a seat with a back (for sit-on-top kayaks), and rod holders. More advanced features can include pedals, motors, “sacrificial” keels, and fittings for depth-finders.
How Do I Launch A Fishing Kayak?
To launch a fishing kayak, find a relatively flat area near the water and put the kayak parallel to the shore. The kayak should be half-in the water, and half on-land. Step onto the kayak and maintain your balance. Sit down, take up your paddle and push away from the shore with it. You have now launched.
How Do I Navigate In A Fishing Kayak?
Navigating in a fishing kayak requires some basic knowledge of kayaking strokes. They are detailed below.
The forward stroke is used to propel the craft forward while sitting. Beginners tend to use short paddling strokes with a horizontal double-headed paddle. It is more efficient, however, to use each paddle-head like an oar — turning the paddle nearly vertical on every stroke. Put the paddle forward and pull it back along the length of the kayak. Then do the same on the other side.
Use these strokes to turn your craft:
- Put one paddle head out on the side of the bow (front) in front of your feet, and stroke in a semi-circle from the bow of the kayak to the stern (back). Repeat as necessary to turn towards port (left) or starboard (right).
- Paddle towards the bow. Repeat as necessary to turn your craft.
The draw stroke can help you move your kayak strictly to port or starboard. Put one end of the paddle out over the side and draw the paddle towards yourself in short strokes. You will move laterally; this can be good for adjusting to close places.
You can also perform the same above strokes while standing in your kayak. Make sure you have enough balance and practice as necessary before you start fishing.
How Do I Start Fishing With A Kayak?
Stabilization is the key to start fishing in a kayak. Try to be able to:
- – As you may need to paddle at any time, make sure you can at least cast with one hand.
- – The same idea as casting, but this is to stabilize your kayak.
- – If you have a rod holder, use it while paddling to a more stable position.
- – Being close to the edges of a river, pond, or lake will give you greater stability and control than being in the middle.
- – Even your appendages can help you stabilize the kayak while reeling in your next big catch.
Fishing with kayaks can be a fun and challenging hobby. But as long as you keep your safety and environment in mind, you can make it an entertaining experience. Getting into close fishing spots and being one-on-one with nature has never been easier — so give fishing with kayaks a try.