The Best Tips For Kayak Fishing
A lot of anglers like to take to the water in pursuit of their favored catch. One way of doing this is by means of a kayak. Kayak fishing isn’t quite as straight forward as fishing from a boat. There are a few tips for kayak fishing and techniques you will need to think about to make your experience more enjoyable.
While fishing from kayaks you will find yourself having to keep your wits about you and concentrate on what you are doing and what’s happening around you. This is fairly easy to master and will eventually come as second nature to you while out on the water. But all beginners should take their time in getting used to things, good things come to those who wait.
In this post, I will cover what I think are the best tips for kayak fishing. As you get more experienced at fishing from your kayak you will no doubt naturally start doing these anyway. Being out on the water so close to nature is by far one of the best ways of fishing there is. Just be sure to remain safe whilst doing so.
Practise Getting In and Out Your Kayak
Even the most experienced kayak anglers can find themselves with an upturned yak. This is a situation none of us want to find ourselves in, but it can happen fairly easily if you are a beginner. I strongly suggest finding a kayak club near you and do a little course on kayaking before setting out on your first trip. They will teach you how to deal with an upturned kayak and the procedures you should take to get yourself back in it safely.
If this is not possible then see if there is an experienced kayaker in your area who could talk you through it and show you a few things. Youtube will have videos for you to watch on the basics of kayak safety. But watching it on video and actually doing it in real life are two different things altogether. It is easier said than done, but if you do find yourself in trouble, the first thing to try and do is not panic. Panicking just makes things a whole lot worse.
Spend as Much as you Can on Gear
Like with most sports kayaking accessories vary from very cheap to extremely expensive. Usually, you will find that you get what you pay for. Meaning the cheapest gear out there isn’t going to be all that good. For kayak fishing you want your kit to be durable, as light as possible, and long-lasting. For this reason, I would suggest spending as much as your budget allows you to. The chances are if you buy cheap you will more than likely have to replace it in the near future. Buy smart and buy once.
Check The Weather
Checking the local weather forecast before going out on your yak fishing is always a good idea.
If there’s torrential rain forecast it really won’t be an enjoyable experience out on the water.
If there are high winds or storms coming I wouldn’t advise going on the water at all. The wind makes it very hard to manage the kayak in choppy water, plus casting isn’t that easy either.
Make a Check List
There’s nothing more annoying than setting off on your adventure, getting to your venue, setting off in your yak then realizing you have left a vital bit of kit at home.
I have myself a checklist that I have pinned to the side in my kitchen. This is a great help in not forgetting items such as my phone, lunch, whistle, or compass.
Use a Paddle Leash
A paddle leash is a very simple accessory that could save you a whole lot of messing around. The last thing you want to do is end up dropping your paddle in the water.
A paddle leash basically gets attached to you or the kayak at one end and the paddle at the other end. So if you do happen to drop it in it isn’t going to go floating off downstream.
Learn to Cast One Handed
Next on my list is learn to cast one-handed. This will aid you in keeping balance in the kayak. Depending on what fish species you are targeting, keep your setup as light as you can get away with. This will help you when casting out and stop your arm from aching halfway through the day. You wouldn’t believe what difference a lighter setup makes.
Don’t Forget Your Shades
The glare of the sun reflecting off the water’s surface can be a right pain while fishing from a kayak. Get yourself some polarized glasses with some decent lenses.
Not only will they stop your eyes from hurting they will also stop the glare of the sun off the water. This helps you see below the water in the right conditions, helping you to spot any fish down there.
Another bonus of wearing glasses is that they keep bugs and fly’s from getting in your eyes.
Always Wear a PDF
This is just common sense and shouldn’t even really have to be mentioned. But there are still so many people who don’t wear a PDF (personal flotation device). Otherwise known as a life jacket, live vest, or flotation suit.
There really are no excuses, there are some really good lightweight ones to choose from on the market today.
Carry a Spare Paddle
Hopefully, your main paddle will have a leash attached to it so you don’t lose it.
But Always carry a spare just in case. It is all about being prepared for any situation. I once came across someone who had dropped theirs in, so I was able to lend them mine. It would have been a nightmare for them if I wasn’t carrying a spare at the time.
Learn to relax
Going fishing for the first time in a kayak can be a bit of a worrying experience. Before going out properly on your own get plenty of practice in your kayak. It can feel very unstable when you first venture out. Learn the limitations of the kayak and learn to relax whilst in it. Rock it about a bit in safe surroundings and learn how buoyant the vessel really is. You don’t want to be all tensed up and worried about tipping it when you are out on the water.
Go With Someone Experienced
An experienced kayak angler will already know all the best tips for kayak fishing. This is the type of person you need to be talking to. If at all possible ask them if they can take you out on the water and teach you a few tips and techniques. The chances are they will be happy and willing to share their knowledge with you.
Tell Someone Where You Are
It is always worth telling someone where you are going to go fishing. You never know when you may be unfortunate enough to have an emergency situation.
If you can’t make contact with anyone for whatever reason, at least the emergency services will know where to start looking for you.
Be Careful When Anchoring Up
Think carefully before throwing your anchor overboard. Take into consideration how rough the water is and how strong the current.
The last thing you want is for water to start filling up your kayak due to high waves or a strong current. Be extra vigilant on tidal waters as well they can be unpredictable.
Learn How to Land the Fish
Get some experience in handling the fish onto the kayak. Sometimes it is better to unhook in the water, again this comes with practice. Knowing the limits of your kayak’s buoyancy will help with this due to having to lean over to unhook the fish. If a landing net is needed be sure to get one with a very small handle. This will make it a lot easier to use while in the kayak.
There are many different ways of fishing. Kayaking for me is certainly one of the most enjoyable ways out there. By following these best tips for kayak fishing there’s no reason why it can’t be as enjoyable for you as it is for me.
More than anything use your common sense and follow all precautions to stay safe while on the water. Once you get the hang of this the rest of it will come naturally. So stay safe and enjoy your kayaking adventures.