Once you are used to Kayak Fishing and become skilled in paddling (read our beginner’s kayak guide), there are some next-level adventures, you must experience.
These are the experiences that rival a sense of smoothly flowing across the water to some unseen spot a few others frequently, as you see any disturbance on a surface to hint at the existence of a big fish. Such scenes have made kayak fishing an extremely popular sport especially among skilled kayak enthusiasts. It has grown as popular water sports for several reasons.
Through kayaking, the kayakers can move easily quietly through the water and get into narrower and smaller inlets than conventional motorboats. If you love fishing and want to explore the new ways for this activity, it’s high time to get ready for kayak fishing and give it a go this summer.
Kayak Fishing – The Basics
Before diving straight into fishing, you must familiarize yourself with the kayaking. Usually, the skilled kayakers are familiar with the basic paddling techniques like paddle strokes and bracing, getting back to the kayak in case of a fall, and capsizing the kayak, controlling the kayak in a surf and kayak emergency procedures.
- Choosing the Kayak
Skilled kayakers are confident to ride a kayak and thus they adopt kayaking as their all-time favorite activity. That’s why also, they tend to buy their kayak instead of getting a rental one and plan their trips frequently.
While choosing a fishing kayak, it is advised to opt for sit on top kayaks as these are less restrictive and usually let you bring more kit besides standard sit-ins. The standard fishing kayaks usually include spots for the rod holders, lots of storage space (dry hatch), and comfortable backrests to ensure that you get the most enjoyable experience.
Some of the other fishing kayak features that are beneficial on the water include:
- Higher seat position for enhanced field of vision and comfort
- Paddle holders
- Deck storage with a bungee to securely keep the items
- GPS/fishfinder mount
- Retractable pedal power propeller (optional)
2. Choosing the paddle
Selecting the right proper paddle is almost as integral as selecting your kayak. When looking at various kinds of paddles, you must examine an overall length that lets you reach the water easily but not so long as to be awkward. The suggested length is based on your height, paddling style, and boat width, but a good starting position for most people is about 250 centimeters (or about 8’ 2”).
3. Choosing a PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
Kayak fishing is the water sports activity on, near, and maybe, if things don’t go as per the plan, in the water. You must always keep wearing a personal floatation device (PFD), also called a life jacket (explore the best life jacket range here).
However, there are a lot of advantages of PFDs other than keeping you safe and afloat. PFDs developed for kayak fishing are specially sewn with spacious compartments that flawlessly fit minor tackle boxes for your go-to hooks, lures, and leaders. Decreasing the level of need to pull to shore, unstrap, and comb through a large tackle box.
4. Choosing the Dress Proper
One of the most appealing elements of kayak fishing is how close it gets you to the elements. This experience also requires you to be watchful of dressing properly.
If you in wide-open areas for fishing, which are exposed to heat and sun, wear a lightweight hat, long-sleeve shirt, and sunglasses to diminish exposure to the harsh rays. Lightweight shell pants, gloves, and neck gaiters are also advised for increased protection. Dipping your items in the water and putting them back on is a smart way to keep those cool. Don’t forget water and sunscreen to keep.
Many of the kayakers are out roaming in chilly water or air temperatures. Even if the outdoor temp is mild, a lengthy plunge in chilly water may cause hypothermia. A wetsuit is an inexpensive and sturdy option to keep the kayaker warm and may also be paired with a shell jacket for more wind protection. At least, wear proper layers like wool or an artificial material like polypropylene, besides water-repellent shell.
Kayak Bass Fishing – What to Look for?
- Lure Selection
Bass is one of the most popular types of kayak fishing. To target bass, you should put together a tackle box consisting of the lures they cannot resist. Begin with a few lures that will give you different presentations and let you reach various water sections.
Use a topwater lure to skitter along the surface; spinner or crankbaits to pull across desired water column; and a bag of wormlike soft baits that can be rigged in a range of ways, from jigging, to diving and even just suspending. Start learning using various kinds of lures and keep in your toolbox from there.
- Make your rod quiver
It can be hard to determine what bass are up to each day. Instead of wasting time in changing your lures back and forth, keep a couple of rods rigged up and set to fly. Rods in the seven-foot range are good for kayak fishing. For beginners, a spinning reel serves as an easier and quicker way to get the hang.
- Use the aquatic terrain
A fishing kayak offers an exclusive benefit to go just about anywhere on the water. You may hug the banks, slide between the tree stumps, or cruise across the lily pads. You will significantly increase your success leveraging on this benefit and by understanding where the bass is going to most likely be. Changes in the depth, land that tweaks the water body, partly submerged objects, and the boundaries of aquatic vegetation, are all amazing places to start.
Fishing from the kayak
For the first time, you may feel casting from a kayak bit awkward. The boat wobbles around which may make it seem unstable and about to flip. It may sound easier said than done, but you must be relaxed and rely on your boat for what it was made for. Your kayak design has initial and secondary stability. Initial stability is a boat sitting flat in the water when you paddle around. Secondary stability happens when the boat leans, like when you make a significant movement.
When we talk about being relaxed, it means loosening up the lower half of your body and let the boat roll side to side below the waist. Ease up on casts while being comfortable with this. Make nice relaxed lobs. Practice staying loose in the boat and getting your lure to land softly in the water.
If your fishing kayak is built with a broad platform design, you would one day feel confident to make the standing casts; a great means to enhance your line of sight and casting distance. However, always stand with feet wide apart, bend the knees, and stay loose below the waist for the same reasons as above.
Paddling is an important aspect of kayak fishing. Proper strokes let you move effectively toward the intended destinations, particularly during times of strong wind or current. Correct paddle strokes save your energy for the fight at the end of your line. The forward stroke you would use more than any other. It drives the motor to take you where you want to go. We present some tips for the forward stroke:
- See where you want to go.
- Place paddle blade in the water near toes, or as far as comfortable without over-extending yourself.
- Let the blade submerged into the water before pulling back on it.
- When pulling a paddle blade through the water, use large muscle groups in your torso instead of your smaller muscle groups in arms.
- Unless you will use a stroke to steer, you should cut the blade out of the water around your hip to avoid carrying it too far.
Landing a Fish
It’s a great feeling when you see a sporty fish with your lure and your line sizzles off a reel as it takes off. With the right kayak fishing skill and of course some luck, the great moment comes when you are all set to land your fish. That’s typically when you realize this last part is tricky in a kayak. So, reel until you have the arm span or less of line out from the tip of the rod to the fish.
Put the rod in hand furthest from the fish. While putting tension on the line, draw your rod across your body, away, and somewhat up from the fish. Your free hand must be able to net or cradle the fish in a suitable manner. You got fish!
Keep in mind that kayak fishing is a fantastic water activity as well as a personal experience that gives you a lot of lessons every time. We hope this guide would help you enhance your kayak fishing skills for an amazing experience next time.