Water sports are a favorite summertime activity enjoyed by many. Kayaking is a great sport that can be practiced solo or with groups and many have turned to kayaks for use while fishing. This is because they are lightweight, easy to use and small enough to fit just about anywhere. Not many outfitted for fishing which can easily be fixed with the best kayak fishing accessories.
A day out fishing is great but any good fisherman knows that having the right tools will make the day even more enjoyable. We have done the research and made a list of the best accessories for kayak fishing. Now all you have to do is grab your kayak and head out to the lake.
How To Choose A Kayak Fishing Accessory – Buying Guide
There are many things you need to consider before purchasing all your kayak fishing accessories.
Fish Finders and Gps
Fish finders will help you determine where to fish. They will be able to not only show you where the fish are but also the depth at which they’re sitting. Fish finders can also show you the size of the fish. With this information, you can adjust your technique to better get you that fish.
Some fishing finders also come with GPS systems built in. This will give you the ability to not only track your position but also remember where the fish are from the last time you were there. You can input waypoints with specific information (and even photos with some models) about the fish and location.
The GPS system can also be a great safety measure as well. If you are in a place that you don’t know well it can help you from getting lost. This is especially true when you’re trolling. It doesn’t take much for you to get turned around and lose your bearings.
Develop Multiple Species Versatility
There are many different aspects of fishing you should consider before jumping in head first. This can include the weather, moon phases, season and size of fish in the area. Keeping track of what type of fish you find in certain areas will help you determine where you want to fish. You can then tailor your gear to that fish size and taste of lure.
Before you purchase your fishing kayak, you will want to consider a few items and ask yourself some important questions. The first is to question the type of water you are likely to fish in. Fishing in calmer freshwater will look quite a lot different than the kayak needed for fishing in large bodies of saltwater. You will also want to consider your port of entry into your kayak. Are you taking off from a shore or jumping in from a peer?
You will also want to consider the type of kayak fishing you are going to be doing. When you are deep sea fishing or fly fishing you will require different features from your boat. Fishing for big game fish will mean that you require a kayak with more stability than smaller fish.
When making your selection you will want to specifically look for a couple main features. These include the seating area of your kayak. Fishing requires long hours of sitting. Having a quality seat that will allow you to sit comfortably will go a long way in keeping you comfortable and happy.
You will also want to ensure that your boat is equipped with plenty of storage. Both internal storage as well as on deck bungee systems will be needed when kayak fishing. Fishing requires a lot of gear. For this reason, having a lot of storage on board with you will ensure that you can bring everything you need along for a long day on the water.
Planning for storage and transportation of your kayak is also important. While you will ideally spend a full day fishing on the water, sometimes you will only get a few hours to enjoy the open water. Being able to easily transport your kayak from your house to the water is crucial for getting the most use out of your kayak.
Fighting Fish From a Kayak
Depending on where you fish you will encounter different size fish. Obviously, you’re not going to be able to fish large game in the ocean from a kayak as it will put too much strain on your kayak and cause it to tip over. You will need to know the type and size fish you’ll encounter in the area you’re fishing. Lake and river fishing catches will look vastly different from those close to shore ocean fishing days.
With this information, you can adjust the type of line you use for the day of fishing. You won’t need the same strength of line for a 5 lb fish as you would a 20 pounder. It’s the worst feeling when you have a fish on your line and all of a sudden it snaps in two. Don’t let this happen to you – do some research before getting onto the water.
Kayak Fishing Safety
When you go out for a day spent kayaking on the water, you may be enticed to pack light. A lighter kayak will make it easier to paddle through the water and when you are only spending a couple of hours in the water you don’t need too many supplies.
The truth is, you never know when disaster will strike. Accidents happen and when spending time in the outdoors you are much more vulnerable than when comfortably inside. Being prepared for all conditions and emergencies will help to keep you safe and make you a better kayaker. This becomes even more important when paddling solo or when out with young kids.
There are many safety precautions you should take. The biggest of which is to always wear a life vest. You will also want to pack appropriately as to bring a dry bag with a change of clothes on board. It is also important to pack along a first aid kit.
There are many pre-packaged first aid kits you can buy. While these work well you will need to add a few items. Creating your own works just as well. Be sure to pack your safety gear in an easy to access dry bag to ensure that they do not get wet. Including sanitizer and big gauze pads in your safety kit is important, especially when kayak fishing. This will allow you to sanitize your wounds and will also give you something clean and sterile to apply pressure with if you get cut in the water. While this may seem unnecessary it could mean the difference between life and death.
In addition to packing extra gear along with you, it is important to note the weather conditions before going out. While paddling in overcast conditions is desirable for temperature regulation it can quickly turn into undesirable storm conditions.
As you are so vulnerable to the elements when in a kayak it is crucial to know what weather you are going into. Further, it is important to know how to handle different weather conditions in order to stay safe on the water. The weather can also cause the water to act differently. For example, wind can cause spray while fog can reduce your visibility.
While your initial concern may be chillier weather, there are bigger concerns to focus on. Windy conditions are important to prepare for one main reason: currents and drifts. This becomes even more crucial when paddling in larger bodies of water such as big lakes and the ocean.
Windy conditions cause waves which puts you at a greater risk for tipping your kayak. It also causes a current that, if not in your favor, can make it much more difficult to get to the shore. Knowing how to properly paddle and get yourself to safety is important. It is also important to know what to do in the event that your boat does capsize.
If you are struggling to paddle against really strong currents, do not waste your energy to do so. Instead paddle diagonally towards the shore. A diagonal paddle will help to get you further and move your boat away from any riptides or other external forces.
As you are likely well aware, electricity and water do not mix. For this reason, it is important to get out of the water at the first sign of lightning. Ideally, you will want to leave your kayak even before this happens but as a worst case, it is crucial to make this your sign to head back to shore.
If you are not near your desired port of entry you will want to turn your kayak to the closest land and wait for the storm to pass. While you may think you have time, in the flat water you will be the tallest point putting you at an extraordinary risk for a strike.
As soon as you see the fog start to roll in, you should know it is time to leave the water. This is because you will not be able to see but more importantly you will not be able to be seen. When you are on the water you will likely be the smallest watercraft. For this reason, it is so important to ensure that you are able to be seen on the water. While the ideal is to always leave the water before that may not always be the case.
Having a signaling kit on board is important and will help to keep you seen. This will show other boats, and even the coast guard if needed, where you are. This has endless benefits and should be included in every kayaks safety kit. Having a whistle on board as well is also important. This will help you be heard even when you cannot be seen.
When you are looking for the best kayak fishing accessories there are some key things you will want to ensure you have on board. Having the right accessories will help to make your day more enjoyable and give you the best opportunity to get quality catches on the water.
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
Kayak fishing accessories can be rated on a list of countless features. We narrowed it down to a few to make it easier to pick your favorite. We also used these features to come up with our list of the best kayak fishing accessories.
Durability is one of the key features. We know you don’t mean to be hard on your gear but sometimes bad things do happen. Your kayak fishing accessories should be able to take a few dings and dents and still work the way you expect it to. It will need to be able to stand up to a sudden rainstorm if you’re in the Pacific Northwest or humid days in the South East. No matter where you find your favorite campsite your gear needs to be dependable.
There are many aspects and keywords you should look for when it comes to finding durable kayak fishing accessories. It a manufacturer takes the time to include words like military or marine grade you know their machine is durable. Other minute details such as the materials used to make it will also indicate it’s durability. High quality materials can range from stainless steel to abrasion resistant plastic in strategic places (like the corners).
Being water and weather resistant is a huge thing to consider. If your gear gets affected by moisture you should seriously consider it’s importance. After all, you are about to take it on a lake or river. If you absolutely need a certain piece of gear and it isn’t water resistant consider getting waterproof backpack to house it. If it’s small, like a cell phone, you can even use Ziplock bags to keep it dry.
The size of the accessories was another key consideration. Let’s take a fishfinder for example. The size includes not only the size of the screen but the entire body of the device. A happy medium between size and portability is key. Too small and you won’t be able to see the screen and too large and it loses its portability. You should also think about the kayak you’re using the fish finder in. A small one person kayak will necessitate a smaller fish finder than a larger sit on top would. Keep in mind that a larger screen will also need a larger battery to power it.
The best kayak gear will be small and compact without losing its ultimate function. Multi tools are also great for the small spaces of a kayak. Anything that can do more than one thing gets a huge thumbs up in our eyes.
All of this is great, but if it’s not easy to use it’s not worthwhile. The easier your gear is the more you will want to use it. If you have to spend the time to read the instructions every time you’re on the water you will simply stop using that piece of kit. Every piece of your gear should also be easy to set up. Being able to simply strap it to, or in, your kayak and be ready to go will be key to getting you on the water.
You should also consider if you actually need the item. No matter what size your kayak is you will have limited space. This means every single item you bring with you should have a use. If you find that you’ve gone on a few trips and haven’t used the item consider leaving it behind (unless it’s a piece of first aid or safety gear).
The installation will also determine if you need the gear. If it takes a long time to attach to your kayak you may not actually use it. We hate seeing great gear that has a long set of installation instructions. Keep it simple and straightforward.
Kayak Fishing Safety
No matter how long your trip is you should always have a First Aid Kit on hand at all times. You never know when you’ll need it and can face serious consequences if you don’t have one. You can buy one at your local outdoor store or buy all the contents and make your own. We like to make our own, but if you don’t know what you should get purchasing a complete set is likely the best bet.
Whether you choose to make your own or opt for purchasing a premade kit there are some things you will want to make sure you include.Hand sanitizer is one of these items. It can clean small wounds that you may get through being in the wilderness.
Another key safety item is a signaling kit. This is especially necessary if you are in a remote location or in the ocean. If you do happen to get lost this key piece of gear will alert search teams to your location. There are also other GPS systems that have emergency buttons if you happen to get yourself lost.
Personal safety items are also important such as life vests. Sunscreen and a hat are important as the glare from the water will make the effects of the sun much harsher. No matter what the weather, we always recommend bringing along a full change of dry clothes in a dry bag. This will help to keep you safe and dry in the event of a capsize. Bringing along bug repellent is also a very good idea for keeping those pesky mosquitos at bay.
Get To Know The Area
You shouldn’t go to a place without at least knowing the terrain and landscape. Understanding where the nearest town is will also ease your mind. Even knowing the shape of the lake or shoreline will also help with guiding your trip.
If you have to drive to your spot you can also ask the locals about any secret spots around your destination. They will also know where the best fishing spots are. Locals will also know if a road is washed out or a faster way of traveling to your ideal spot.
You should also consider what wildlife are in the area. It will help to be prepared if there are bears, for example, in the area. Knowing what to expect can also help you pack accordingly. Instead of packing bear mace you can grab an air horn to scare away the potential wildlife.
Even if you have a GPS system you should bring a waterproof paper map of the area. If you rely on a GPS and it runs out of battery or malfunctions you can find yourself lost. It’s best to be double covered instead of relying on one piece of gear.
A personal floatation device should also be on you at all times. We don’t mean in the storage of your kayak, we mean actually wear it. If an emergency happens you won’t have time to sift through your gear and put on your PFD. By wearing it you ensure that you can float even if you hit your head. It is said that if you don’t wear a floatation device your risk of drowning increases by 85%.
There are low profile vests you can get that don’t even feel like you’re wearing one. These don’t restrict your movement or cause any pressure points or discomfort. You also may not be aware of the laws where you’re boating. Some places actually require you to wear PFDs in any vessel they deem to be a “boat”. Kayaks are part of this group.
Outfitting Your Kayak
Building a gear list can get overwhelming especially if you visit an outdoor shop or do research online. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task to outfit your kayak with the right gear. Just remember that this shouldn’t be a difficult task. While your options are plentiful, relax and remember to have fun. Ideally, you may want to go out on the water with just the basics first and build your amount of equipment from there. This way you won’t over pay on useless items.
The first thing we recommend is a rod holder. We know that you don’t want to have to constantly hold your fishing rod for the entire day. These will give your arms a break and make your day on the water truly relaxing.
There are two basic types of these holders. One type you will need to drill into your kayak to get it perfectly setup. These can take between 2 and 4 holes depending on your kayak. The other style will clamp to the side of your boat. These are great but can be unsteady depending on your setup. Both of these should be adjustable and be able to lock in place. This will give you the best setup for even long extended fishing weekends. You may also want to bring a little piece of string to tie to your rod in case it ends up in the water. This will give you an extra second to grab it if it ends up in the water.
Something most people don’t think of is an extra bag or crate. You can strap this to the bungee system found on most kayaks. This will give you the ability to pack even more gear. A waterproof bag will not only give you more storage but keep your gear dry. A milk crate doesn’t have a dry storage system but won’t retain water if it gets wet.
If you find a great fishing spot you may want to use an anchor to keep your boat still. You can find one that has a long rope or chain to ensure you stay put even in the deepest waters. After all, waves can make it hard to stay in one position, especially if you have to deal with throwing casts as well.
You can connect this line to your boat in a number of different ways. One way is to attach a carabiner to the end of the anchor’s rope and the other end to your bungee system. Just be careful as this can accidentally break the line. Some kayaks even have a designated anchor holder for just this purpose.
If you find your paddle constantly floating away you can invest in a paddle clip. This attaches to your kayak and allows you to have a safe place to put your paddle. You won’t have to worry about holding your paddle while throwing casts. We find the ideal place for this is within arms reach but out of the way. This can be across your lap or sideways along the length of the kayak. This is a relatively affordable accessory that really can improve your experience.
Other Things to Consider
The gear you buy isn’t always standard. As kayaks allow your free reign for traveling between the ocean, rivers and lakes the gear you need to bring will change as well. There are many things to consider when deciding on what you should accessorize your boat with.
Type of Water
Your accessories will look different depending on if you are fishing in the ocean, river or lake. The fish can be significantly bigger in certain areas and even demand different lures and bait. The weather can also vary drastically from the ocean to a lake. The water conditions themself can also change the way you setup your looks, specifically based on currents. You may opt for a watertight canvas that keeps the inside of your traditional kayak dry. If you tend to stick with one body of water, buying your gear will be a lot more straightforward. If you like to travel between, you may want to put more thought into it.
There is a steep learning curve when fishing from a kayak. It takes some coordination to get paddling, throwing casts and maintaining your location down perfectly. We strongly suggest learning on a smooth lake rather than the large swells of an ocean. This will allow you to increase not only your skill level but also your confidence. When first starting out on the water, it is wise to try it out first to ensure you like it and get an idea of what you will need before suiting your boat.
Even if you are an experienced kayak fisher before you start fishing in your kayak you should spend some time to get used to it. Learn how your kayak maneuvers through the water and get comfortable with it before adding the extra moves kayak fishing needs. Take the time to also focus on attaching your kayak to your car. This will make the journey to the water less stressful and time consuming.
As you get more comfortable in the water you can start to take your kayak on more adventurous trips and even turn them into weekend excursions. Once you gain some experience you can even up your game and take your kayak fishing to the ocean.
Check the seat of your kayak. If you are planning on spending the entire weekend fishing in your kayak you will want to ensure you have extra padding. After a few hours, even the most comfortably designed seat can start to feel uncomfortable.
Nearly every single state in the USA requires you to have a fishing license. These are inexpensive and can be bought at almost any gas station near your lake. If you don’t spend the time to get one you can face steep fines and penalties.
Don’t forget to stock your tackle box with everything you’ll need for your fishing. This can range from lures to live bait and even pliers and paper clips. A multi tool screwdriver set can also come in handy for not only your fishing rod but also your kayak.
If it is a cooler weekend you may also want to pack a blanket or some warm clothing. This will go a long way in keeping your body warm and cozy even during the start and end of the season. This can also include some warm shoes. Once your feet get cold or wet your entire body will soon follow suit. There is nothing better than sitting there with warm feet when you know it’s a chilly day.
A light is another good idea to bring with you. This can be a waterproof flashlight or a spotlight which will allow you to see when it gets dark. They will also make packing and unpacking your gear much easier for those who start fishing early and end late.
Bug spray. Do we need to say more? There is nothing worse than sitting in the middle of the lake being eaten alive. Having your own can of bug spray is a simple way of combating this issue.
Styling your kayak to have all your favorite fishing kayak accessories will add functionality to your boat and create a personalized experience. Rod and paddle holders will be of the most important accessories to buy for your kayak. This will free up your hands and allow you to fish more comfortably. Kayak accessories for fishing range from nets to coolers to assure that you have the best fishing trip with your kayak.
Q: Why kayak fishing?
A: Fishing from a kayak allows you to get to places you wouldn’t normally reach in a traditional boat. The hulls of kayaks don’t sit in the water as deep as other vessels meaning you will be able to get to the shallows where fish like to hide. Kayaks also don’t use a motor. Even battery powered engines create vibrations in the water which can alert fish of your location. Kayaking on the other hand creates very little noise or vibrations. This allows you to have the upper hand when in the water and have the best luck fishing.
Far superior to shore fishing, kayaks allow you to explore the depths of the water as well as the shallows giving you full control of your day. Kayaks are also ideal in that they allow you to travel through every body of water. Whether you are looking to paddle through a lake, take to the ocean waves or rough the currents of a river, kayaking allows you to go where your heart desires.
Q: What items do I need to bring kayak fishing?
A: When using your kayak for fishing, you will obviously require more gear than you would for a simple paddle. Of course, you will need your fishing rod and some tackle to make your catch. Bringing along an anchor to hold you still in the water will make your day much easier and more relaxed. Having a net will also help you to be more organized during your fishing trip. If you have the room in your kayak, bringing along a small cooler will allow you to store your fish and bring along some cold drinks for the ride.
If you are a more advanced fisher you may want to bring a fishfinder as well. Some of these even have GPS built in that allows you to see your exact location and track where you caught your fish. This is a cool feature that you can look back on to ensure you remember the best spots. Fish finders will also help you know how well the lake or river is stocked.
Fishing often ends up being a full day sport so being conscious of the amount of time you spend in the sun is important. This is especially true if you are bringing dogs or children along for the day. Having sunscreen, lots of water and a hat is always a good idea.
Q: Where do you put fish that are caught?
A: Some people like to bring a separate bucket or container for their catches while others leave room in coolers for them. You can even throw a garbage bag in your kayak storage compartments and load your fish in there. Regardless of how you choose to stow your catch, you have many options. To minimize your cleanup you can bring a small garbage bag and use it to line you cooler or bucket. This way you simply have to grab your bag and you’re ready for dinner.
Q: How Do You Keep Your Catch Fresh Until I Get Back To Shore?
A: There are many ways to keep your catch fresh until you get back to your vehicle. Many people bring coolers along for their trips that they line with a garbage bag. Other people will bring a bucket that they use to keep their catch fresh.
Q: Where Do You Keep All Your Accessories?
A: You have a few options when it comes to accessories. There are waterproof duffel bags that are ideal storage containers. Not only do these attach to your boat easily but can also be sinched into a smaller package so they don’t take up too much room. All of these will have multiple pockets allowing you to keep your gear sorted and secure during rough waters.
Lots of others like a more open solution. Milk crates actually make great storage options for fishing on your kayak. They can store small items that would normally roll around on the deck of your boat. Having a place to put these will not only make it easy to sort but also give you an easy and quick way of grabbing what you need.
Q: How Many Rods Should I Bring?
A: Most kayak fishermen bring at least two fishing rods. This way they’re able to throw casts and have one sitting in the lake with a float. If you have more than one type of fishing rod you can also bring it along and use it if you need a change. For example, you can use a fly fishing rod in the morning and then switch to a casting rod in the afternoon. If you like to use different lures you can even have a rod dedicated to trolling.
The final decision on how many rods you bring is up to you. If you are more comfortable switching your lures every time you want to switch your style, go for it. You are in complete control. If you like to switch your style quicker you will want to bring along a rod for each activity. This will mean you need more than one rod holder to ensure your rods stay on your boat.
Q: Can I Put A Fish Finder On My Kayak?
A: We definitely recommend attaching a kayak fish finder to your lake kayak. This will make your kayaking experience much more enjoyable. These devices are designed to showcase where the fish are in perspective to your boat and afford you the most success out of your kayaking experience.
There are many of different fish finders on today’s market which will help you get a clear picture as to what is happening in the water under you. You will want to have some skill handling your boat if you do decide to accessorize with a fish finder. This is because these devices cannot handle being completely submerged in the water.
Globo Surf Overview
Kayaks are a great way to take you fishing just about anywhere. Their long sleek design allows them to be great for rivers, lakes and oceans. A lightweight construction makes them easy to transport and allows you to be able to carry them on the roof of your car. It is important to remember that kayaks are typically not equipped with fishing tools. This is why adding kayak fishing gear and accessories to your boat will make your kayak into the ultimate fishing boat.
More Kayak Reviews:
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- Paddle Kayak
- Kids Kayak
- 2 Person Kayak
- Ocean Kayak
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Love taking your kayak out for a day of fishing? Have you ever tried one of these accessories to take it one step further? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Globo Surf Kayak Fishing Accessories Review