Most kayak enthusiasts started as recreational paddlers, and many of them eventually ended up as kayak anglers. And why not? If kayaking is fun and fishing is great, then combining the two must be pretty awesome, right? Besides, fishing from a kayak, whether for relaxation or sport, is one activity that anyone can enjoy.
If you’re interested in giving kayak fishing a shot, then you must arm yourself with the right tools and skills. And in the spirit of equipping you with the requisite knowledge and making your first-time fun, we share a few kayak fishing tips, including some of the things you need to consider when choosing the day’s equipment. Let’s get started!
Select The Right Fishing Gear and Equipment
While there are many different types of fishing gear and equipment that can make your kayak fishing experience memorable, if you’re just getting started, you may just want to stick with the basic fishing gear first. Besides, you can (and most likely will) always add to your collection of fishing equipment as you progress into the sport. Below are some of the items you need in addition to your fishing kayak:
1. Fishing Rods
Kayak fishing rods come in various lengths, but as a general rule, you’ll want to avoid excessively long rods since they can be difficult to cast from a kayak. A fishing rod between six to eight feet should be capable of doing the job.
Fishing rods also come in different types, the most commonly used being the casting rod (which uses a spin-casting reel and has a short handle with a pistol grip style) and the spinning rod (which uses a spinning reel and sports a longer handle). Whichever type you choose will depend on your personal preference.
Like rods, fishing reels come in different types, the most common being the spin-casting reels and spinning reels. A spin-casting reel is a simple, close-faced reel that is easy to operate, which makes it a perfect choice for beginner yak anglers. Spinning reels, however, are more popular, as they don’t run into kinks as much as spin-casting reels do.
3. Tackle Boxes
Tackle boxes are among the most vital kayak fishing essentials since this is where you’ll be keeping your tackles, lures, and extra lines, among other things. They come in different sizes and can have a varying number of compartments. What’s important though is that you choose a tackle box made from hard and robust plastic and has strong and sturdy handles and hinges.
4. Storage Boxes
You can strap your storage boxes onto the kayak or tie them to a leash on the side of the yak and leave them to float on the water. Most kayak anglers prefer to have theirs floating on water to save space inside the kayak.
5. Fishing Nets
Fishing nets are often necessary for landing fish, and when buying one, it is recommended that you choose a fishing net with a long handle. The longer handle gives you more leverage to hoist the fish into the boat.
Most fishing nets in the market have nylon netting. However, if you are into catch and release fishing style, then it is best to choose a fishnet with rubberized netting. This will cause less harm to the fish.
A multi-tool is very useful when it comes to detangling lines and removing hooks. Along with a pair of pliers, which you can use to remove hooks, this handy tool has full and serrated blades, a fish scale, a file for sharpening hooks, and many other fishing essentials.
7. First-Aid Kit
Kayak fishing is one of those activities that you need a first-aid kit. We have heard cases of anglers being bitten by fish while trying to remove the hook from its mouth. Others have had puncture wounds caused by the fish’s spines. These and similar not-so-likable situations warrant a first-aid kit to help clean and treat the wounds to avoid infections.
Beware Of Kayak Fishing Hazards
Although kayak fishing can be fun, it does come with some risks and hazards that can quickly turn a relaxing fishing trip into a disaster. Here are some problems you are likely to face when you are out in the water, and some foolproof tips for kayak fishing to help you avoid or deal with these mishaps.
1. Turning Over and Capsizing
Fishing kayaks can take a bit of rough water, but this doesn’t mean that they’re invincible. Kayaks can and will turn over when they’re hit by strong, rolling waves on their broadside.
Tip: Keep your kayak’s bow or stern directed at an angle to the waves to protect your broadside. Also, be sure that all your fishing gear and equipment are leashed to the kayak so you don’t lose them in case a huge wave topples you over.
2. Getting Lost
It can be very easy to get lost when you are fishing offshore or in branching rivers and wide mangrove forests. This is especially true if you’re not familiar with the area and are fishing alone. That is why when you are just learning how to kayak fish, it is recommended that you stay as close to the shoreline as possible.
Tip: Before heading out for your kayak fishing trip, be sure to let someone know about your plans. That includes where you’ll be fishing, the route you will be taking, and what time they should expect you back. Don’t forget to bring a kayak GPS; it will help you navigate back to shore.
3. Heat Exhaustion and Sunburn
Hot, sunny days coupled with paddling long-distances can cause beginner paddlers to suffer from heat exhaustion, which at worst can lead to heatstroke. Besides, long-term exposure to the sun can result in a painful sunburn or even skin cancer.
Tip: To avoid heat exhaustion, be sure to bring lots of drinking water on board. Wearing sunscreen and sun-protective clothing will also help protect your skin from the harmful UV rays.
4. Extreme Weather Conditions
Out in the open waters, the weather can quickly turn from good to bad. It is quite common for wind conditions to change in a matter of minutes, turning what was once a tranquil waterscape into a sea of rolling waves.
Tip: Always check the weather when planning a kayak fishing trip. Also, bring a VHF marine radio so you can stay alert of upcoming weather disturbances while you are at sea. And if there’s any chance of the weather getting ugly, avoid fishing in deep, open waters. You should avoid going out at all. There is plenty of fish in the sea and they will still be there once the weather clears. Until then, your main concern should be to keep yourself safe until the weather’s right for fishing again.
5. Scary Critters
Aside from fish, many other creatures inhabit the waters and the surrounding landscape. For instance, there is a likelihood of a snake falling into your kayak when you’re fishing in rivers with low-hanging branches. Alligators, though not very active in daylight, can still be an issue.
Sharks are less likely to be a problem considering that more people die of bee stings than shark attacks. However, if you do come across any of these creatures, one of the most effective fishing from kayak tips for safety would be to steer your yak away from them.
Tip: To avoid being harassed by alligators or sharks, do not leave blood trails in the water or use a stringer to hold your fish. If you must use one, choose a stringer with a quick-release trigger so you can detach it quickly should the alligator or shark decide to take your catch away from you.
6. Speeding Powerboats
Speeding powerboats are some of the biggest threats to kayak anglers. That’s why you should avoid angling in boating channels and high-traffic areas. Besides, with all the disturbance in the water, it is less likely that there will be any fish lingering around for you to catch.
Tip: Choose a brightly colored kayak like red, orange, or yellow to make you more visible amidst rolling waves. Other kayak fishing gear tips like displaying a bright visibility flag high above your kayak will make it easier to spot and avoid being run over by a speeding powerboat.
If you are a novice kayak angler, it is recommended that you take a course on kayaking before testing your capabilities in the water. Aside from paddling skills, you need to learn certain safety and survival techniques like self-rescue or getting back to your kayak if you fall off. You should also be familiar with standard emergency procedures just in case something goes wrong while you’re out there paddling and fishing in the water.
Globo Surf Overview
Kayak fishing as a hobby and as a sport is quickly gaining popularity all around the globe. If you are planning to join in on the fun, there is no better time to do that than now. But as mentioned, there are certain things you need to take into consideration before committing yourself to this activity.
You will need a reliable set of fishing gear and equipment. You will also need to be know how to deal with the different hazards that you may encounter while kayak fishing. With the right equipment and knowledge, fishing from a kayak can be a worthwhile activity that can be enjoyed by anyone and have a memorable first experience.
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- Hypothermia, mayoclinic.org