Top 11 Kayak Fishing Tips That Every Beginner Should Know

Kristian Ole



As you glide across the water on your kayak, you will feel liberated and exhilarated. You can easily paddle to a secluded spot and enjoy the peace and quiet, far away from the crowd and the hustle and bustle of daily life. You can easily look for a ripple on the surface of the water that will give you a hint that fish is present. That is exactly what you can do when you go kayak fishing.

That is one of the main reasons kayak fishing is so popular. Anglers can access fishing spots that they cannot reach on motorboats and also enjoy the great outdoors. Furthermore, buying a kayak is more affordable than a sailboat. However, kayak fishing will have a learning curve that you will have to master if you are a beginner. Thankfully, you will be able to use these 10 kayak fishing tips to get you started.

good tips for fishing from a kayak

10 tips for kayak fishing

1. Select the Right Kayak

When you want to use a kayak for fishing, pay attention to the length and width of the kayak. Usually, kayaks designed for fishing are between 10 feet and 14 feet. These kayaks are easier to maneuver. The width determines the stability. You need a stable kayak so that you can stand up and cast your fishing line. Wider kayaks are more stable. Make sure that it comes with a rigid floor and has adequate space to store your fishing gear.

2. Practice Your Paddling

This is perhaps one of the most important kayak fishing tips. Learn to paddle and navigate your kayak before you head out to fish. It is best to try it on a water body you are familiar with. That way, you will learn to handle your kayak and gain the confidence you require to head out begin fishing.

3. Don’t Forget the Paddle Leash

If the kayak you buy does not come with a paddle leash, buy one. That will ensure that you do not lose the paddle when fighting with a fish as you try and reel it in. You can secure the paddle to an eyelet, and you can focus on fishing rather than worrying about losing your paddle.

See more useful fishing kayak upgrades here

4. Learn How to Cast Your Fishing Line from a Kayak

Even if the kayak has a rigid floor, it will still wobble a bit when you cast the line. This will make you feel unsteady, and you may believe that the kayak will flip over. This can affect your line casting ability.

It is prudent to remember that your kayak comes with initial and secondary stability. The former occurs when you are paddling, and the kayak is flat on the water. The latter occurs when the kayak leans to one side because of a shift in weight or sudden movement. Do not let the tilting make you nervous. Instead, learn to relax your body, especially the lower half. If your body is loose, you will be able to cast the line with ease. That is why it is necessary to practice how to cast your fishing line from a kayak.

Once you master the paddling in your local water body, practice the line casting. You can do this while sitting, as standing and casting require more practice, experience, and confidence, which you will gain with time.

5. Choose Your Lure with Care

When you go kayak fishing, you should know the kind of fish you want to catch. Select the lure based on the fish you want to catch. If you do not know how to select the lure, check with someone well-versed in this. Learn how to use different types of lures. You may want to ensure that your tackle box has all the kinds of lures that you may need while you are out fishing on your kayak.

6. Rig Multiple Rods at the Same Time

how to cast from a fishing kayak

Most anglers, who enjoy kayak fishing, opt for a 7-foot long fishing rod. You may want to carry two or three rods when you decide to go kayak fishing. To save yourself time, rig all the rods simultaneously. That way, you will not have to waste time getting your rods ready. Ensure that the fishing rods have spinning reels rather than baitcasting reels, as you will get the hang of handling the reels quicker.

7. Choose Your Fishing Spot with Care

One of the biggest attractions of kayak fishing is that you can reach fishing spots that otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to reach. You can easily stay close to the bank, paddle through lily pads, or get between tree stumps. Select a spot where there are submerged objects or aquatic vegetation. The chances of striking luck will be higher as fish often like to hang around these areas.

8. Opt to Invest in Affordable Rods

When you start kayak fishing, be prepared to flip over or turn turtle a few times before you get the hang of it. The last thing you need is to lose expensive fishing rods or even break them. Hence, when you first start kayak fishing, it is best to bring along cheap rods as you will not feel bad if you lose or break them.

9. Keep Yourself Safe

tips for kayak fishing

You may not think about it, but kayak fishermen have drowned due to a lack of flotation devices. Be sure to carry a personal flotation device. The good news is that you can easily get life vests or belt-style PFDs that will not hamper your paddling. Wear the PFD each time you head out to fish on your kayak. It is better to be safe than sorry.

10. Reeling in Your Catch

It can be a satisfying experience when you see the line leaving the reel in a sizzle. You will get excited, and that is where many kayak fishermen make a mistake. Learn to use the drag and reel in the fish until about an arm’s length of the line in the water. Hold the fishing rod in the hand away from the fish and maintain the line tension. Draw the fishing rod at an angle across your body as you lift the rod. Use the other hand to catch the fish in a net or using your hand.

11. Bringing Your Dog Along

Bring them along on your kayak fishing trip if you’re an avid dog lover and can’t bear to leave your furry friend behind. However, safety should always be the top priority.

Make sure to secure your dog with a life jacket or a harness that has a handle. This will make lifting them into the boat easier in case of an emergency.

Place your dog on the bow or stern of the kayak, away from your fishing gear, to avoid getting entangled in the lines.

Additionally, make sure to bring plenty of water and food for them, and ensure that they are acclimated to the water. Following these safety tips will ensure that you and your dog have a fun and safe kayak fishing trip.

Also, we recommend this resource from PetKeen if you’re looking for more information about the topic.

In Conclusion

These are some of the overlooked kayak fishing tips. However, as a beginner, if you follow these tips, you will enjoy your experience and get the rewards you anticipate.


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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