Kayaks are great for fishing for several reasons. They’re portable, lightweight—most adults can lift a one without assistance—and there’s no fuel or parts to maintain. Furthermore, in a kayak, you can silently navigate waters less than a foot deep, which will let you reach far into coves and flats without spooking fish. Finally, paddling a kayak is great exercise for improving upper-body strength, so you can get a nice workout in while you fish.
One helpful tip for kayak fishing is to prepare your tackle. You don’t need five rod and reel setups like you would on a boat, but you should at least have two—one rigged with a soft plastic rig like a Texas rigged plastic or a weightless Stik-O, and the other rigged with a shallow hardbait like a crankbait or a spinnerbait. Often, if a bass doesn’t strike one lure, it’ll for sure pounce on something that’s completely different. Since you’ll be cruising around in shallower waters, you won’t need to bring any deeper lures with you.
Try to get shallow in the shade with a kayak. Bass will stay very shallow in warmer weather when shade is available, and if you creep up on the backs of coves, you’ll discover active feeding grounds. Cast into these secluded havens and you’re likely to land a trophy.
If you can, cast onto the bank and drag your lure into the water. You can also cast past target cover and work your lure past it. This tactic will boost your stealth, and creates a more natural presentation. Furthermore, it reduces the splash of your bait, which keeps it from scaring off any relaxed, hungry bass.
There are times when I like to land my kayak on a shoreline that may not normally be accessible to shore anglers. That way I can walk around and fish for a while on a spot where little no anglers ever get to fish. Plus, it also gives me a chance to get out of the kayak and stretch my legs.
Aside from fishing tackle, there are a few extra items to keep on hand when kayak fishing. For instance, it’s smart to keep a sponge nearby, just in case you need to bail any excess water. Also, you can use paracord to tether tackle boxes, coolers, and bags to the craft in the case of an accidental capsizing. Lastly, I like to wear a good pair of polarized glasses so I can clearly see the fish and offer a precise presentation.
Kayak fishing can be a great way to enjoy the serenity of the outdoors, get some exercise, and experience a new perspective on fishing that large boats or shorelines just can’t offer. They’re portable, lightweight, and won’t break your bank, so if you’re looking for a different way to fish this season, it might pay off to look into picking up a kayak.