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2024 Beginners Guide: 7 Tips to Combine Your Kayak and Fishing

Blog banner for the 2024 Beginners Guide: 7 Tips to combine your kayak and fishingAre you a fishing enthusiast looking to explore fishing spots that aren't accessible by boat? Maybe you are keen to save some cash instead of paying for boat and trailer rego? If so, then kayak fishing might be just the thing you are looking for! Combining your kayak and fishing gives you the ability to enjoy a calm and peaceful paddle with the added benefit of targeting fish in remote areas of your fishing spot. It offers a unique and thrilling experience for both beginners and seasoned anglers. In this article we will cover:

  1. Choosing the Right Kayak for Fishing
  2. Essential Kayak Fishing Gear and Equipment
  3. Safety Tips for Kayak Fishing
  4. Finding the Best Spots for Kayaking and Fishing
  5. Techniques for Successful Kayak Fishing
  6. Maintenance and Care for Your Kayak Fishing Gear
  7. Get social! Attend Kayak Fishing Events

Firstly, we will discuss the importance of selecting the right kayak for your fishing needs, highlighting some of the features and considerations to keep in mind. We will then dive into the art of paddle control, providing valuable tips on how to manoeuvre your kayak efficiently and silently on the water. Additionally, we'll explore the significance of choosing the appropriate gear, such as fishing rods, tackle, and safety equipment, ensuring you have everything you need for a successful fishing trip.

Whether you're targeting freshwater species or battling the waves for saltwater monsters, our expert tips will give you the confidence and knowledge to get out and enjoy your time on the water. 

Tip #1: Choosing the Right Kayak for Fishing

When it comes to kayak fishing, selecting the right kayak is crucial. The type of kayak you choose will depend on various factors such as your fishing style, the water conditions you'll be fishing in, and your personal preferences. There are different types of kayaks available, including sit-on-top kayaks, sit-inside kayaks, pedal-powered and inflatable kayaks. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. In fact, we have done an entire article on this one! If you want all of the info, check out our 2024 Complete Guide on Different Types of Kayaks.

an image of the Mission Catch 290 beginner fishing kayak

Image 📷: The Mission Catch 290 is a stable fishing kayak, with a low price-point, great for the beginner. 

Almost all dedicated fishing kayaks are Sit-on-top kayaks. Popular among anglers due to their stability and ease of use. They provide ample space for gear and some are designed to allow anglers to fish in a standing position. Sit-inside kayaks, on the other hand, provide better protection from the elements and are a great choice for fishing in colder climates. Pedal-powered kayaks offer hands-free propulsion, allowing anglers to focus on fishing without having to paddle. Lastly, inflatable kayaks and their compact nature allow you to venture to fishing spots that others may not be able to get to. 

When choosing a kayak for fishing, the most important factors to consider factors are stability, storage space, manoeuvrability, and comfort so you can find the right option for you. Remember, a well-equipped kayak will enhance your fishing experience and make your time on the water more enjoyable.

Tip #2: Essential Kayak Fishing Gear and Equipment

To have a successful kayak fishing trip, it's important to have the right gear and equipment. Let's get into some of the essential items you should consider:image of a tackle box with fishing lures

Fishing Rods:

Choose a fishing rod that is suitable for the type of fish you're targeting. Opt for a lightweight, durable, and medium to heavy action rod for kayak fishing. Fishing reel type is a personal preference.

Tackle:

Carry a variety of lures, hooks, and baits to increase your chances of attracting fish. It's a good idea to build a couple of tackle boxes over time to cater to different types of fishing so you can simply grab-and-go for the type of fishing you are doing.

Safety Equipment:

Safety should be your top priority when kayak fishing. While there is a dedicated section below, its worth flagging it here as an essential item too. Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) / life jacket. Carry a whistle, a signalling device, and a first aid kit in case of emergencies. Fishing kayaks are stable and it's easy to get into the mindset of "it won't happen" but it's great to get into the habit of occasionally asking your self "what if my kayak tipped right now?" just to bring your preparation to the front of mind.

Anchors and Anchor Trolleys:

To stay in one spot while fishing, consider using an anchor or an anchor trolley system. Kayak trolleys are great as they allow you to keep your kayak stationary while dealing with current and precisely controlling the direction your kayak is facing. They are essentially a pully system that runs down the  side of the kayak that allows you to control the anchor point of the kayak. It is an essential item for many that fish bay and beach areas and will allow you to focus on fishing instead of your positioning.

Image of how an anchor trolley system works on a kayak

Storage and Organisation:

Grab yourself a few different sized dry bags or waterproof containers to keep your gear and personal belongings safe and dry. A simple milk crate or a gear track system can also provide additional storage options.

Remember to check local regulations and obtain the necessary fishing licenses before heading out on the water. If you plan on attaching a motor to your kayak, most states have restrictions on the size of the motor. If you go over a certain size motor they ask that you register your kayak as a boat. Check in with the relevant state department's website for the most up to date info before you purchase anything. 

Tip #3: Safety Tips for Kayak Fishing

Safety should always be a top priority when kayak fishing. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

Learn to Swim:

It sounds like a simple one but before venturing into kayak fishing, make sure you are a competent swimmer. You can never assume that you won't end up in the water and being comfortable in the water is essential for your safety.

A couple and their dog enjoying a paddle in the Advanced Elements Convertible Elite Inflatable Tandem KayakImage 📷: There are life jackets for everyone, even the pup!  

Wear a Life Jacket / Personal Flotation Device (PFD):

Always wear a properly fitted PFD or life jacket when kayak fishing. It should have an be aligned with the Australian standard and designed specifically for kayaking.

Check Weather Conditions:

Before heading out on the water, check the weather forecast and tides. Avoid fishing in rough or stormy conditions that can make kayaking dangerous.

Buddy Up:

Whenever possible, fish with a buddy. Having someone with you can provide an extra layer of safety and assistance in case of emergencies.

Practice Self-Rescue Techniques:

Learn and practice self-rescue techniques such as re-entering your kayak from the water and flipping your kayak back upright. These skills can be invaluable in case of capsizing. There are many ways to do this but the belly button method is the one that we like best. 

Be Mindful of Boat Traffic:

Be aware of other boats and watercraft in your fishing area. Maintain a safe distance and always yield to larger vessels.

Stay Hydrated and Sun Protected:

Kayak fishing can be physically demanding, so stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen or sun protection such as light-weight long sleeved clothing a hat.

By following these safety tips, you can minimise risks and enjoy a safe and memorable kayak fishing experience.

Tip #4: Finding the Best Spots for Kayaking and Fishing 

One of the advantages of kayak fishing is the ability to access remote and hard-to-reach fishing spots. Here's how you can find the best fishing spots for kayak fishing:

A man fishing in a remote location from the StraitEdge Angler Pro Inflatable Fishing KayakImage 📷: A man fishing in a remote location from the StraitEdge Angler Pro Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Research Local Fishing Regulations:

First and foremost, before exploring new fishing spots, familiarise yourself with local fishing rules and regulations as well as any restrictions that may apply. This will ensure you fish legally and responsibly. Check out the links below for your relevant state. 

State Body Website
QLD QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
NSW NSW Dep of Primary Industries
VIC Victorian Fisheries Authority
SA SA Department of Primary Industries
WA WA Department of Primary Industries
NT NT Recreational Fishing Peak Body
ACT ACT Envio Planning and Sustainable Development

Check out Google Maps:

Use Google Maps and satellite imagery to identify potential fishing spots in the area you are wanting to fish. Look for areas with structure, such as rocks, reefs, submerged vegetation, or drop-offs, as these are likely to attract fish. Also use this time to scope out potential launch sites and confirm that they are accessible using google street view.

Talk to Local Anglers:

Seek advice from local anglers, tackle shops or join online fishing communities to gather information about productive fishing spots in your area. Facebook is a fantastic tool to find like minded anglers in your area and they are more than happy to provide valuable insights and tips based on their experiences.

Explore New Areas:

Don't be afraid to venture into new areas and try different fishing spots. Kayaks allow you to navigate shallow waters and explore hidden gems that may be inaccessible to larger boats. Many inflatable kayaks including the StraightEdge Angler Pro come in a backpack so you can venture to locations that may be difficult for many.

Observe Nature:

When on the water, pay attention to signs of fish activity, such as jumping fish, diving birds, or baitfish schools. These indicators can lead you to productive fishing areas.

Remember to respect the environment and practice catch-and-release whenever possible. By exploring new fishing spots, you'll expand your angling horizons and increase your chances of landing fish.

Tip #5: Techniques for Successful Kayak Fishing

Now that you've chosen the right kayak, gathered the necessary gear, and found the perfect fishing spot, it's time to focus on the techniques that will help you get to where you need to be. Here are some tips to improve your kayak fishing skills:

A man paddling through the water fishing in his kayak

Take a Stealthy Approach:

Approach your fishing spot quietly and avoid making unnecessary noise that could scare away fish. Some species are particularly skittish so use your paddle or pedal drive system as quietly as you can to minimise disturbance.

Cast and Retrieve Technique:

Mastering the cast and retrieve technique is essential for kayak fishing. Practice different casting techniques and experiment with retrieval speeds to find what works best for the fish species you're targeting. Practise also makes perfect. Casting into structure is part of the job here so practicing your accuracy is something to prioritise.

Slow Drift Fishing:

Take advantage of the kayak's natural drift to cover a larger area while fishing. Use your paddle or a drift chute to control your drift speed and direction. Many anglers will have one rod flicking lures and another out trolling whilst they drift to maximise their efforts.

Vertical Jigging:

Vertical jigging is an effective technique for targeting deep-water species. Drop your lure vertically and jig it up and down to attract fish.

Topwater Fishing:

Topwater lures can be highly effective for attracting predatory fish. Use popping or walking-the-dog style lures to mimic injured prey on the water's surface.

Stay Balanced:

Don't make sudden movements that could compromise your balance. Use your body weight to stay stable and prevent your kayak from tipping over. While tipping your kayak over may not be a life-threatening situation, losing gear is not a great way to remember your trip.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Experiment with different techniques and adapt them to suit your fishing conditions and target species. The more you fish from your kayak, the more you'll develop your own unique style and strategies.

Tip #6: Maintenance and Care for Your Kayak Fishing Gear

To prolong the lifespan of your kayak fishing gear and ensure it performs optimally, regular maintenance and care are essential. Here are some tips to keep your gear in top shape:

Rinse and Dry:

After each fishing trip, rinse your kayak, fishing rods, and tackle with freshwater to remove salt, sand, and debris. Dry them thoroughly before storing to prevent corrosion and mold growth.

Lubricate Moving Parts:

Apply lubricant occasionally to moving parts such as pedal drives, rudders, and reel mechanisms to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.

Check and Replace:

Regularly inspect your gear for signs of wear and tear. Replace damaged or worn-out components such as fishing line, hooks, and rod guides to maintain peak performance. Pay particular attention to fishing line in this instance as. over time, line can become brittle and weak. See if you can snap the line with your hands or the next big fish could simply break off!

Store Properly:

Store your kayak and gear in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use protective covers or bags to shield them from dust and UV rays.

Maintain Safety Equipment:

Check and replace expired or damaged safety equipment such as PFDs, flares, and signaling devices. Ensure they are in good working condition before each fishing trip.

It's easy to say "Take care of your gear" but it's something that we all overlook after we come back from a long and hot day out but regular maintenance will ensure your kayak and fishing equipment are always ready for your next adventure.

Tip #7: Get social! Attend Kayak Fishing Events

If you're looking to meet other anglers and learn more, participating in events can be a great experience to increase knowledge and skill on both kayaking and fishing. The biggest downside is that you almost always see some gear that you want (usually its out of your budget 😂).

Attending kayaking events is a great way to learn and meet people.Image 📷: Attending kayak events are great ways to learn more and meet others

When it comes to finding these groups, Facebook is your go-to here. There are many local Facebook groups that you can join to meet others and many have events like carp musters and social events. They are fantastic ways to meet new people and learn things from others.

Many fishing events even have a competitive element too. Over the years I have found these events to be very casual and always very welcoming. If you are new to the sport, don't be shy in signing up. Be honest and mention that it's your first event and others will be very welcoming. 

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Kayak fishing offers a unique and rewarding way to connect with nature and fish parts of our waterways rarely experienced by others. Remember to always prioritise safety, respect the environment, and practice responsible fishing.

We are here to help!

When it comes to choosing your kayak, we are here to assist. Kayaks for Fishing offer 90 day returns and a Price Match Guarantee. We also offer free shipping on inflatable kayaks and best price shipping on all bulky items.

Browse through our range and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need help with a recommendation. If you found this article useful or have a question, leave a comment below.

Happy fishing from us here at Kayaks for Fishing!

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