As kayak fishing grew in popularity in recent years, it was only a matter of time before kayak companies started designing kayaks that anglers could stand on and cast from.

Learning how to stand up on a kayak is one step in the process, though, as casting a lure from that position is another skill entirely. Not to worry; today we’ve got a few tips to help you master this process in no time.

Why Should I Stand Up?

One important reason anglers have for standing up to fish from a kayak is to improve to better locate fish. When sight fishing is the name of the game, doing so is much easier while standing and it gives you a higher angle of vision into the surrounding water. Furthermore, you may want to stand up just to get a better view of where you’re drifting, look for a way into that pond on the other side of the cattails or even to stretch your legs during a long day on the water.

How Do I Stand Up?

If you’ve ever played a sport like football or basketball, odds are your coach taught you that spreading your feet and keeping your knees bent will make you more stable. Standing up on your ‘yak is the same thing. Keep your head up and your eyes scanning the water ahead of you. Your paddle will be your main source of stability, too. Hold the blade of your paddle with one hand and the shaft with the other to maneuver your kayak and brace yourself off the bottom if needed. You’ll find that if your paddle is in the water or touching the bottom, you’ll feel much more stable.

Practice Makes Perfect

Raising your center of gravity on the water—especially in a kayak—can take some time getting used to. To level up your stand-up skills, bring your kayak to a small local pond, preferably without your fishing tackle. I can’t tell you how surprised you’ll be with your progress after only a short period of practice. Go back to the pond several more times in order to get comfortable moving across the water in a standing position.

Will My Kayak Do the Job?

Like anything else, having the right tools helps tremendously and in this case, having the right kayak can make all the difference. Some sit-on-top models are wide enough for you to stand on, but a kayak specifically designed for stand-up fishing will have several very important design characteristics. You’ll first want to look for a wide enough ‘yak—30 inches wide or more is ideal. Also, the floor of the kayak should be flat and wide. This allows you to stand comfortably and to be able spread your feet as wide as possible. Finally, look for a kayak with a flat bottom, or even better, a tunnel hull design, as these will further improve stability. Solid stand-up ‘yaks options include Pelican’s Catch 120, the Wilderness Systems Ride and the Hobie Pro Angler 12.