Kayaks for Fishing
Kayaks are a great choice for fishing. For stability, maneuverability, convenience, and comfort, kayaks are hard to beat.
Kayaks are evolving into a variety of specialized craft to meet specific needs. New fishing kayaks are on the market, complete with carefully thought-out features just for anglers.
New Kayak Models Are Designed for Fishing
Kayak manufacturers are offering wider, more stable designs that come equipped for fishing. Rod holders are molded right into the hulls. Additional rod holders and consoles for depth finders and other equipment are available to mount on these specialized kayaks. Waterproof compartments allow for storage of cameras, food, and rain suits.
Types of Kayaks
There are two primary types of kayaks, the sit-inside kayak, or SINK, and the sit on top kayak, or SOT. The traditional kayak is a SINK model. These are great for rough water. They are typically longer and heavier than SOT types, and they usually have a “loose hull,” meaning the boat is easier to throw around in a fast river current. SOT models are shorter, wider, and usually lighter than SINK kayaks. They are designed for stability and are less likely to tip than a canoe. Agile anglers can even stand and cast from these kayaks.
Glide into the Shallows
A fully loaded fishing kayak with a 200-pound man aboard will only draw about six inches of water. This allows angler access into even the shallowest coves. In contrast, a belly boat requires the angler’s legs to dangle below. Narrower than small pontoons, kayaks are easier to guide in and out of tight places.
Kayaks use Paddle Power, not Fuel
No stop at a fuel station is necessary for a kayak expedition. These small, light, environmentally friendly craft are clean, easy to paddle, and quiet. Even battery-powered motors emit a low hum, but careful paddling technique renders the kayak nearly silent. This is a real bonus for birdwatchers and nature photographers.
Portable Kayaks Make Travel Easy
A SOT fishing kayak weighs from 40 to 60 pounds, depending on the model. These lightweight boats are easy to lift on and off a roof rack or in and out of a pickup bed. At home, they can be stored in a garage or basement, and special lifts are available to hang kayaks from the ceiling. Easy transport and storage make kayaks an excellent choice for apartment or condominium dwellers who don’t have a lot of storage space.
Kayak Fishing Is Gaining Popularity
More and more anglers are finding kayaks the way to go for personal watercraft. Outdoor equippers offer a wide range of fishing kayaks from which to choose, and outdoor journals are publishing reviews of this new craft. By checking out a few of these options, an angler can find the perfect kayak for countless hours of fishing fun.
Lake Fishing from a SOT Kayak
Getting away from the bank in a fishing kayak allows anglers quiet, stable maneuverability, and access to great spots for fly fishing or baitcasting.
SOT (Sit On Top) kayaks are well-suited to fishing on lakes and ponds. These small, light, maneuverable craft can be launched wherever there is access to water. Boat motors are frequently forbidden or limited on recreational lakes, but kayakers can leave highly-pressured bank areas and paddle to the best fishing spots.
Kayak Fishing Technique
Anglers can bait cast or spin-cast from a kayak with ease. Fly fishing requires a bit more practice as the fisherman must become accustomed to casting from a sitting position. Care must be taken to prevent the line from tangling or the lure from catching in overhanging trees or weeds. It is very difficult to reach the end of a nine-foot fly rod while sitting in a kayak.
For agile fishermen who want to stand, outriggers can be added to give the kayak even greater stability. However, in the limited space of a kayak, it is important to secure equipment that is not in use so that nothing is lost overboard. When fishing buddies are in separate kayaks, they can paddle along together or move apart to prevent fishhook accidents that can occur when casting in close proximity to another angler.
Anglers Can Go Where the Fish Are
Kayaks allow fishermen to glide quietly into the most narrow and shallow of coves, but the boats are sturdy enough to cross choppy water on windy days. Dropping an anchor or slipping a cord over a protruding branch keeps the craft in one place. However, drifting along a bank requires only occasional dips of the paddle to stay on course.
Where the Bass and Bluegill Lurk
The most likely place to catch bass and bluegill on lakes and ponds is in quiet water near some kind of structure. Casting around sunken stumps and trees, near rocky banks, and near weed beds is most productive. An empty spot in a dense mat of floating vegetation is a sign that an underwater structure lies hidden there. Fish will often strike a lure cast into such a spot as soon as it hits the water.
Kayaks Versatile as Fishing Boats
In general, any type of lake fishing that can be done from a larger boat can be done from a kayak. Casting bass bugs, surface flies, or other lures works fine. A fisherman can use live bait and a bobber just as comfortably from a kayak as from a lawn chair on the bank. The big difference is that the lawn chair stays in one place, where the fish may or may not be biting. The kayaker can move freely about the lake. Anglers looking for the convenient, effective, economical fishing craft will find kayaks meet their needs.
- Kayaks for Fishing
- New Kayak Models Are Designed for Fishing
- Types of Kayaks
- Glide into the Shallows
- Kayaks use Paddle Power, not Fuel
- Portable Kayaks Make Travel Easy
- Kayak Fishing Is Gaining Popularity
- Lake Fishing from a SOT Kayak
- Kayak Fishing Technique
- Anglers Can Go Where the Fish Are
- Where the Bass and Bluegill Lurk
- Kayaks Versatile as Fishing Boats