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Kayak Fishing Setup For Beginners: Step-by-Step Instructions

Kayak Fishing Setup For Beginners: Step-by-Step Instructions

Kayak Fishing Setup For Beginners: Step-by-Step Instructions

Updated on 5/20/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott

Kayak Fishing Setup For Beginners is a great topic to consider, So let us take a deeper look at it. That day, fishing was slow on the lake. Due to the hot weather, the bass was lethargic and ignored anything in my tackle box. I knew another lake was south of me, connected by a shallow, narrow creek. The water was deeper there, and it had good shade. The lake was not accessible by boat and was several miles from a road, so the only fishers had to cross a tiny creek to reach the lake. 

Towards the end of the day, I began to paddle down the creek. In some places, the creek was dry; in others, it was only 7" deep and 5' wide. My kayak had to be pulled through shallow water and a dry bed before reaching the creek's end, where the water covered my knees. After drifting down into a small lake no bigger than 50 acres, I cast a line to the pads and slowly retrieved the frog back to me.  

Kayak Fishing

Kayak Fishing

After catching a few small fish in deep water, I began to look for lily pads in the far corner as the sunset. In the hope of catching a few on a frog, I paddled over. I continued to cast the places hoping they would take, but nothing happened. As the sun disappeared behind the trees, I threw the pads. Since night fishing was not an option, I'll need to do it soon if I want to catch anything.  

I drifted down the pad line quietly to avoid spooking any fish. I landed an inch up on the muddy bank with a lofting cast. Before it sank, I gave it a few pops, and I hooked it quickly. My braid began whining as soon as it started taking a drag. A tree fell and became tangled in the branches. To free the line, I applied pressure, but to no avail. 

While paddling over, the line shot straight down into the pad; I was unaware it was still attached. Hopping into the water, I saw a frog's yellow belly, which indicated where it was stuck. At least I got my lure back, even if I lost the fish. As I reached for the interest, a branch moved, signaling that the fish was still there; as soon as I lifted my head from the water, a 4.2-pound bass bit into the frog. Despite not being a trophy, it was decent.  

Fishing In Kayaks

Fishing In Kayaks

Why Should You Start Kayak Fishing?

You will have better chances of catching fish if you have something that can Follow a path in shallow water, such as a kayak. You might consider a kayak if you have limited storage space or a limited budget. Garage sales or flea markets are good places to find them, and their size makes them much easier to store than a large bass kayak. If you have limited storage space, you may even want to consider inflatable kayaks, and they deflate and can be stored almost anywhere. 

Kayak Fishing Benefits: A great guide

Kayak Fishing Benefits: A great guide

Kayak Fishing Benefits: A great guide

Kayaks come in a variety of styles. If you like fishing saltwater or in the great lakes, you can find kayaks designed for rougher waters. Also, You can paddle around on a farm pond or a small lake nearby. Even if you buy a larger kayak for fishing on big lakes or saltwater, know that those are typically more expensive options than the smaller 9' kayak you can take out on skinny water.  

You'll most likely fish local rivers and lakes with more expensive kayaks if you're like most anglers. You can successfully fish these waters with kayaks and use kayaks on a wide range of waters. A low river doesn't require you to turn around and return home if you get to a dry spot before the water gets deep again, So get out of the kayak, get into the water, and pull until you reach a depth where you can swim.  

Fishing while Kayaking

Fishing while Kayaking

Connecting lakes and rivers via small waterways is the same. If I were in a bass boat, there wouldn't be a story about me diving in to grab a fish. However, I opted to navigate the skinny shallow water and ended up in a lovely deep lake. Kayaks can also hold any equipment you might need during the day. Aside from large areas to store coolers and tackle boxes, there are many nooks and crannies to put the gear on.

Kayak Fishing: Where Can You Go?

Crabs in the Bering Sea are pretty much the only exception!

Saltwater kayaks are designed to handle the strong currents and surf of the ocean, rivers, and lakes. Based on the type of kayak you choose, REI kayak Coupons & Rebates page only limits you to where you can go. In shallow and calm waters, a shorter, cheaper kayak would do well, but in waves, they would struggle. There are a variety of uses for kayaks, and they are excellent fishing tools.  

Getting Started

fishing kayak

fishing kayak

You will need a few things to get started on your trip to the lake.

Choosing A Fishing Kayak

The gear you need will vary according to where you fish, what type of fish you're after, and how many rods you have. It's also important to consider your budget and whether you have any storage restrictions.

Saltwater

Saltwater kayaks will be the most expensive and most extensive kayaks you can purchase. However, these are built to withstand rough ocean waters and have incredible balance. Additionally, their larger bodies have enough room to add accessories such as rod holders, sonar units, and everything in between. Along with large lakes and rivers, kayaks are also suitable for waterways. It is possible to use them on smaller bodies of water, but navigating small creeks could be challenging.

Freshwater

Freshwater Kayak Fishing

Freshwater Kayak Fishing

In shallow waters, such as creeks, they are more potent than their saltwater counterparts. The large capacity of these bags is perfect for storing fishing essentials and smaller items. Although smaller, they have enough space to hold rod holders, wade sticks, or other accessories.  

Gear Storage

It all depends on what you're hoping to bring along.

Angling gear is a significant obsession for many anglers—a lure, paddle, sonar, tackle box, more excellent, and so on. However, there are also some minimalist designs. When choosing your kayak, you need to consider what kind of angler you are. Few anglers carry more than what they need. Could I use just a few lures, pliers, and a rod? Do I need to bring everything I own for fishing? Kayaks come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Shopping around and finding the best one for you is just a matter of shopping around.

Price

  • Your budget will determine how much you spend.
  • Garage sales usually offer cheap used kayaks for about $50 or less.
  • Around $150-200 is a reasonable price for a cheap new one.

These are usually bare-bones and don't have a lot of space for storing gear. Kayaks of this type are traditionally sit-in models. Fishing from them is still possible, but they won't have the same stability as a sit-on-top kayak, which you can stand on. A new sit-on-top kayak can cost anywhere from $400 to more than $2,000. The most expensive ones will be bigger and have better stability and more storage.

Kayak Setup: How To Do It

Kayak Setup: How To Do It

Kayak Setup: How To Do It

It is simple enough to take it straight to the water from the store if you are a bare-bones angler, and it takes just a few minutes. You can customize kayaks as well, and changing the seats to higher ones provides a better vantage point and makes it stand easier. The seats also come with backrests to make them more comfortable.

Kayaks do not always come with rod holders, so you might have to install them yourself. Alternatively, you could use rod holders as spider rigs for crappie fishing.

Most rod holders have a clip on the side. However, some may require drilling into the kayak. When casting, you should also have something to hold in your kayak. You don't have to worry about your kayak banging around in your lap if you want to drift along and release.

By wrapping some paracord around, you can attach your kayak to a handle or anywhere else on your kayak that has a loop. As soon as you cast, you can let your kayak float in the water, and when you want to move again, you can grab it. You can also set up sonar on your kayak. You will need to drill a hole for the mounting bracket, but you will soon be using sonar in your kayak after a bit of rigging.

kayak fishing23

kayak fishing23

Things You Must Have For Kayak Fishing

fishing kayak

fishing kayak

Paddles, rods, and reels are all you need. It is possible to make kayak fishing easier with several different items. You can store tackle in the front or back of the kayak with great success. To be ready for anything, you can keep anything you want in there if you organize it properly. At least two-rod holders can be helpful.

It is simple to hold two rods and tie two different lures to each while kayaking to your spot. You can do this when you have a fish hit your first lure and miss, and then you can grab your second rod and cast out to the same spot again. Sonar is also a fantastic tool for learning the structure of a lake or river when fishing. When you don't know much about a particular body of water, it can be a great help. Sonar can help you stay on top of fish all day long to see precisely where structure and baitfish are.

Here Are Some Tips For Kayak Fishing

Here Are Some Tips For Kayak Fishing

Here Are Some Tips For Kayak Fishing

You can do Kayak fishing in several ways.

  • You can troll for crappie or other panfish with a spider rig system.
  • You can quickly fly fish from a sit-on-top if it allows you to stand up.
  • It's possible to fly fish from a sit-in, but it's usually difficult.
  • As well as using a spinning rod or a bait caster, you can also use the traditional cast and retrieve method.
  • You can also sight fish, especially during the bass spawn. A kayak with good stability would be helpful. You'll be able to easily spot the bass beds as you drift along the banks.

Kayak anglers will find that a rod holder and a paddle holder are great.

You are leaning your kayak paddle on your paddle while casting could result in the paddle falling into the water or banging around and spooking fish in the area. If you attempt to kayak with rods on your lap, they will end up at the bottom of the lake.

A rod holder and paddle holder are preferable, but a rod holder should be the first thing you add to your fishing kayak.

rod holder

rod holder

Last Thoughts

Kayak fishing is a great way to get out on the water and enjoy nature. It's not only a fun and relaxing way to get outdoors but also a good experience and exercise. If you paddle around a lake all day, you will see results if you do it consistently.

Kayaking is a hobby you can pursue throughout the rest of your life. You can quickly start and continue to do so when you're young.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Choose A Fishing Kayak?

Your budget and personal needs will determine what you buy. It is essential to consider the type of water you're going to fish, your price range, and how much storage space you have at home. You might be able to use an inflatable kayak if you live in a small apartment in the city. You can read the article I wrote here to help you make a decision https://www.boardandkayak.com/article/best-fishing-kayaks-under-1000-1651347591173

How Should I Dress For Kayak Fishing?

It's beginning to sound like a broken record, but again, it depends. When will you be fishing? If you enjoy fishing in cold weather, then something waterproof and warm would be the best choice. Bring a light jacket, and if you're feeling in the spring on a chilly morning. By midday, shorts and a t-shirt can replace long pants. Any sun shirt or lightweight pants will do if it's summertime and you want to keep calm and protect yourself from the sun. As a rule of thumb, don't wear anything too cumbersome as you need to be able to move around while paddling your kayak. Wear something waterproof or something you don't mind getting wet.

Kayak Fishing Is Dangerous?

The water can be dangerous for any activity done there, and it is possible to hurt yourself or worse if you are not careful seriously. When you take the proper precautions, such as not fishing during inclement weather or rough water and wearing your PFD, it is a completely safe and enjoyable activity.

What Is The Best Rod And Reel For Kayak Fishing?

It doesn't matter what you use as long as you're out on the water and enjoying yourself. I wouldn't recommend using a heavy surf rod to catch crappie, but whatever works for you.