Best Fishing Kayaks for Beginners
Kayak fishing can be a truly awesome way of getting at one with nature. You really can’t get much closer to the fish while trying to catch them. There is something magical about gliding through the water taking in all the stunning surroundings. So what are the best fishing kayaks for beginners?
Let’s take a look at some tips and advice on choosing your first kayak. Then we shall have a look at 5 kayaks suited for beginners.
How do you Pick a Fishing Kayak for Beginners?
As a general rule to follow there are 3 types of kayaks for fishing. These are an inflatable kayak, a sit-on-top kayak, and a sit-in kayak. All of which are suited for fishing and is just down to your personal preference and where you plan on taking them. I prefer a sit-on-top type, but each to their own.
The sit-on-top yak is probably the most popular among anglers. These usually have better stability than the other two and are a lot easier for accessibility. It is also easier to access all your tackle and bits when you are sitting on top. The main problem with this type is that you do tend to get wetter due to no protection from the water. Not ideal in the colder months.
I don’t really like fishing from inflatables myself. They are prone to get punctured if you’re not careful and they certainly aren’t as rigid as the other two options. For this reason, they are extremely hard to stand up in. You will also need to pump it up which can be a real pain. On the plus side, they are very light to carry and can be stored easily once they are deflated.
In colder conditions, a traditional sit-in kayak will keep you slightly drier than the other two which is a bit of a bonus. But for me, that isn’t a good enough reason to get one. I find them a bit harder to fish from than a sit-on-top kayak because you are more enclosed. This makes it harder to turn around and grab bits and bobs that you need. For this type of kayak, you will also need to take a pump with you because they are not self-bailing.
Paddle Power or Pedal Power
Firstly kayaks can be powered by using built-in pedals or good old-fashioned paddles.
Yaks with pedals built-in usually cost a bit more than the standard paddle type. These pedals will also need maintaining to be kept in good order. You will also find the pedals tend to hang a bit lower than the bottom of the kayak. Not so good in shallower waters.
To me, there is a touch of elegance and simplicity in using paddles. Because there is no pedal system weighing you down the action of the yak is a lot smoother. Accessing shallower water isn’t much of a problem either. And the yak is generally quite a bit lighter.
What is a Good Size Kayak for Fishing?
Kayaks for fishing generally range in size from 8 ft to 15 ft in length.
The shorter the length the easier they are to maneuver. For this reason stick to the smaller yaks for rivers, streams, and creeks. They may be a bit harder to steer but that will come with time.
If you are planning on using the yak for sea fishing then a slightly longer vessel may be called for. A lot of anglers find 13 ft to be their perfect size.
The Difference Between a Normal Kayak and a Fishing Kayak
When choosing a kayak for fishing there are certainly a few things to look out for that normal kayaks don’t have. The main thing you tend to notice about a fishing kayak is the shape. A kayak designed with fishing in mind will generally be a bit shorter and wider than a conventional kayak. There are two main reasons for this, stability and maneuvering.
The wider the kayak the more stable it will be on the water. For obvious reasons, this is important while fishing on the water. You will also find a slightly shorter kayak is a lot easier to maneuver around than the longer type. The slim longer models are more built for speed rather than the maneuverability. Speed is not really a major plus point for most kayak anglers.
Kayak Fishing Accessories
There are several accessories you will need that will improve your fishing adventures no end.
First on the list is rod holders. Rods are literally impossible to transport in a kayak safely and effectively without them. So be sure to get yourself some rod holders.
Never go out on a kayak without a life vest. It doesn’t matter how good you are at swimming you really do need to take a life vest. A whistle or loud horn is also good to have and required by law in some places.
A dry pack is another item that is well worth investing in. Things like phones etc really don’t want to be getting wet while you’re out on the water. Especially if you need to make an emergency phone call.
When fishing there are always those occasions when you will want to stay in one place. For this reason, you are going to need to take a small anchor with you. There are some really neat ones available nowadays.
If you are going out onto waters you are unfamiliar with a GPS device such as a watch is a great addition to your kit. Getting your position out to people in an emergency could be the difference between life and death.
A good knife is also a must while out kayaking. You never know when you may need it. Keep the knife safely attached to your body via a strap. If you are unfortunate enough to tip your kayak, you may well misplace your knife. If you manage to get tangled up in doing so, this would be the time you would most need it.
Is Kayaking Hard for Beginners?
As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. The more you go out fishing on your yak the better you will become. It’s not the hardest thing to master but I would strongly suggest going out with someone experienced for your first few outings. Listen to what tips they share with you and the advice that they have. Kayaking can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions and use them sensibly. One thing I can’t emphasize enough is to ALWAYS wear a life vest. Even the most experienced of anglers can get into difficulty when out on open water. So is kayaking hard for beginners? Not really as long as you follow professional experienced advice.
Is Kayak Fishing Dangerous?
Of course, it can be dangerous if not done properly. Follow the local health and safety rules, they are there for a reason. Be alert to your surroundings. In some countries, you encounter there will be dangerous wildlife to contend with. Find out what animals you are up against and how to deal with them. Always wear a life vest and carry something that can alert passers-by in case you get into trouble such as a whistle or a horn.
Be familiar with your kayak and make sure you have practiced getting out of it in an emergency before you hit the water.
The Top 5 Fishing Kayaks for Beginners
Here is a small list of some good beginner kayaks for fishing that are available on Amazon.
The Sun Dolphin Journey (opens an Amazon affiliate link)
The Pelican Kayak (opens an Amazon affiliate link)
Lifetime Pro Angler Kayak (opens an Amazon affiliate link)
Lifetime Hydros Angler kayak (opens up an Amazon affiliate link)
Elkton Fishing Kayak Opens up an Amazon affiliate link)
All the above fishing kayaks are well worth a look if you are a beginner at kayak fishing. Obviously, there are plenty more to choose from other retailers. I’ve just picked the ones on Amazon because they are a trusted company, generally have a good rapid delivery time and most people I know have an Amazon account.
If you are new to fishing in kayaks and are looking to find the best fishing kayaks for beginners, then the 5 kayaks listed above are well worth a look. All 5 are durable, affordable to most, and perfect for fishing from. Kayak fishing can be a truly awesome way of fishing in the sea, rivers, and lakes and can be a start to a really good adventure.
Before you go out for the first time, seek some advice from an expert and some local knowledge on the area. Above all else be safe and sensible and enjoy your fishing. Tight lines and have fun.