Kayak fishing is both difficult and fun and many anglers are beginning to go with it as it’s cheaper than buying a powered boat. Don’t let the overall appearance of a fishing kayak fool you as it’s able to target even the biggest game fish. However, they make the best impression when you go fishing some popular species (panfish and bass).
Why choose the kayak fishing?
Fishing kayaks aren’t just a cheaper alternative to the powered boat as it’s their mobility that helps them stand out. We all know that the best fishing spots are the ones that are difficult to get to. A fishing kayak is going to be able to get in the areas where you cannot typically reach with any other traditional option. The right kayak fishing is going to help you get to the small ponds, river stretches and shallow lake flats where the big fish are plenty. Isn’t this enough of a reason for you to get one?
What types of kayak is going to be good for your fishing?
Despite what one may think, you’re not going to be able to go fishing with the first kayak you see. Only some of the kayaks out there are actually made for fishing.
A fishing kayak has features that help the angler while fishing and performs well in a specific type of water. Just to give you an example, any good fishing kayak is going to feature rod holders and gear compartments that ensure your success while on the water (or, at least, improve your chances).
Most of the time, there are no mandatory rules to follow when choosing your fishing kayak. As long as it’s comfortable for you and matches your personal needs, any fishing kayak is going to do it. Any type of fishing kayak may be actually outfitted with specific kayak fishing accessories, helping you not to come back home empty-handed (again!).
Having said that, let’s see which are the main types of fishing kayaks:
The sit-in fishing kayaks
The name is quite explanatory and sit-in kayaks are the models that provide partial/total space for your legs inside the kayak. This type of fishing kayak is great for moving faster in the water and it comes with both ups and lows.
Here are the main good things:
- They provide better efficiency for paddling, which means less strain for you
- They ensure amazing control during paddling. This is why they make a great choice for fishing rivers, streams or larger lakes.
- They come with enclosed compartments so that you may easily store and organize your fishing gear. They’re a solid option for all day and overnight fishing experiences, no matter the species.
Let’s take a look at the downsides as well:
- In case of capsize, they can get dangerous as you do need to know how to go on a wet exit
- They may take on water and require draining in difficult conditions.
If you’re planning to fish in calm following rivers or lakes, the sit-on kayaks are the best option. The name says it all and with this type of kayak your body is going to sit on top of the kayak, so you are left entirely exposed.
This type of kayaks is very popular for fishing, and it comes with both good and not-so-good parts.
Here are the advantages when using a sit-on fishing kayak:
- It’s really comfortable and accessible for fishing
- It’s easy to launch and get on fast when getting in/out of fishing spots
- It’s self-draining
There are some things to consider when getting a sit-on kayak:
- It’s heavier than a sit-in kayak
- It doesn’t come with many storage compartments for your fishing tackle or other fishing gear
What to keep in mind when selecting your fishing kayak?
If you’re an entry-level kayak fisherman or you’re thinking about upgrading your current one, there are some aspects to take under consideration before actually buying.
- Where are you going to fish in your kayak? Most kayaks out there may be used in several types of water. Nevertheless, some are going to perform better in rivers vs lakes. You should go with a shorter, sit-in/sit-on kayak if you’re going to fish in moving waters (rivers and streams). A longer sit-on kayak is going to perform better on calm waters (ponds and lakes). Stability is more important than maneuverability in this last case.
- Composition– there are several materials used for kayaks (plastics, composites and so on). Not only that the material is going to give the final price of your kayak, but it also counts for the weight. You need to get one that matches your needs in terms of weight, cost and durability and the type of kayak fishing that you’re planning to do most of the time.
- Length– the rule of thumb is that the longer the kayak is; the more stable is going to be. A longer kayak is going to provide more storage space and even be more comfortable. A medium length kayak is going to work for some freshwater kayak fishing. If you’d like to get a longer fishing kayak, don’t forget to tackle the transportation and storage matter. Is it going to fit in your truck? Does it have enough space in your garage?
The essentials you need for kayak fishing
If you’re planning some fishing out, you’re going to have to get specific fishing accessories. Here are the mandatory kayak fishing accessories that are going to provide you both comfort and a higher rate for success:
- Seat – If you’re going to fish for more than one hour, chances are that you’re going to get tired. In order to spend more time on the water, you should get a seat that comes with adjustable back support. Look for one that is made with high-quality foam or gel. It’s better that you don’t get cheap with it, as you want your fishing to be as nice as you can.
- PFD (personal floatation devices)– they’re going to save your life in case of capsize. You need to look for a fishing PFD that is specially made for kayak fishing, allowing you a good range of motions while paddling and fishing. You should also take a look at the local laws on which types of PFDs are mandatory when kayak fishing.
- Fishfinder– this is a must-have when you’re looking for suspended bass or crappies schools. Go with a model that is both subtle and easy to mount on your kayak. It’s better that you pay the extra-buck for a fishfinder and a GPS combo unit so that you may mark the fishing hotspots. This is also going to make the navigation on larger rivers a lot easier.
- Rod holders– many fishing kayaks come with some sort of rod holder/holders. You can go with vertical, adjustable or flush mounted rod holders. The adjustable rod holder is the most versatile option as it’s easy to adjust to carry rods while you’re paddling. You may also change it for fishing. If you also want to add some rod holders, it’s best that they’re easy to use when fishing and also don’t interfere with paddling.
- Paddle– if you’re getting cheap paddles, you shouldn’t expect much. Paddles are essential for kayak fishing and a good pair is going to last for quite some time. Look for paddles that are made of carbon fiber with comfy grips as they’re lightweight and long-lasting.
The final take
Kayak fishing may come overwhelming for a newbie, but if you put some effort and will into it, you’re going to learn to appreciate this amazing and rewarding type of fishing.