A Beginner's Guide to Kayak Fishing

Thursday, 08 May 2014

Every once in a while I find a friend to write a guest piece about a topic I know nothing about. For a while now I’ve had an interest in kayak fishing but to honest I’ve never had the time and/or patience to really get into it. I decided to ask Joseph Dowdy from Austin Canoe & Kayak to give us some pointers on how to get into the hugely growing sport of kayak fishing.


by: Joseph Dowdy

Kayak fishing is becoming increasingly popular in the kayaking world because it incorporates two popular sports into one: fishing and kayaking. Both of these activities are inexpensive and allow you to set your own leisurely pace. That said, doing both at once can be tricky if you’ve never done it before and don’t have the right equipment on hand. Below are some tips for beginner’s to ease into the world of kayak fishing.


1. Consult a local kayak shop

While you are able to fish from a regular sit on top or inflatable kayak, more and more angler kayaks are appearing on the market, making it easier to pack more equipment and fish comfortably. Your local kayak shop will have information on the best deals for fishing kayaks, as well as equipment you can purchase to bring along on your trip. They will also be able to offer insight on kayak fishing techniques and popular fishing spots in the area.


2. Practice both sports separately

The key to being a good kayak fisherman is to be a good kayaker, as well as a good fisherman. Both sports take quite a bit of practice. If you’re a novice at one, taking on the other simultaneously could be quite the challenge. Practice fishing off land and practice kayaking in the area you plan on kayak fishing in. Once you’ve mastered the two, doing them concurrently will be much easier.


3. Pay attention to water conditions, weather, and seasons

Do research on the environment you plan on kayak fishing in. Fish are attuned to weather patterns. The ideal times for fish are on windy, rainy, cloudy, or front moving days. Wind often brings bait closer to shore, storm fronts make fish feed, cloudy skies make fish cruise for food, and rain helps hide your boat from fish. When you are saltwater fishing, it’s important to pay attention to the tides. Normal running tides are best because they cause bait to move. During colder weather, fish will be closer to the surface, whereas during warmer weather, fish prefer the cooler, deep waters.


4. Have the right equipment

Any fisherman knows that there’s no such thing as a “quick” fishing trip. Be sure to prepare a tackle box with everything you may need for your excursion. That includes bait, pliers, scissors, hooks, lines, etc. It is also recommended that you bring along a pair of dry clothes, a first aid kit, a map, and a means of communication. Since you’ll be traveling with more equipment than you would on a normal kayaking trip, bungee lanyards and leashes are needed. A good rule of thumb is that if it isn’t connected to the kayak, tie it down. You never know when a rollover or rough waters can happen. It is also important to buy a rod holder if your kayak does not come with one. This makes transporting your rod while paddling much easier.

About the Author:
Joseph Dowdy is an avid kayaker based out of the central Texas area. He has spent many a weekend and holiday on the Texas coast attending sea kayaking events or just having some fun with a kayak or paddleboard. He’s currently employed at Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK.com) and loves that he gets to spend time working with his favorite toys.


David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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