Kayak Fishing 101: The Gear Essentials

As human beings, we could all use a hobby or two to keep things balanced between work, family, and social lives.

Some people take up the arts, like music, painting and creative writing.

Some people teach themselves new skills to master.

And some people, like you since you're reading this, find themselves delving into the depths of fishing.

But wait, fishing is such a broad term! You're here for information pertaining to kayak fishing, and that's not a problem at all.

Really, it's not, because I've compiled a list of some essentials that you'll need to start enjoying the wonders of kayak fishing!

1. Secure Yourself A Kayak

If you want to fish, you'll need two important things.

  • A body of water with fish in it
  • Something to catch said fish

Now some people have it made, and they can just mosey on down to the nearest pond, lake, river, stream, or beach and stand right there on the bank and cast away.

For those who want the fish that aren't accessible from land, they grab a watercraft, get out there on the water, and make it happen.

For you, since you want to go fishing in a kayak, you'd obviously need a kayak, especially one that was created with the sole purpose of fishing in mind.

2. Don’t Get Yourself Up That Creek Without A Paddle

All right, we’re getting the ball rolling here.

In order to go kayak fishing, you'll need one of the best fishing kayaks as the most important ingredient in the recipe.

You've already gotten one and scratched it off the list. Great, what's the next step?

A paddle.

Kayaks, unlike the kind of boats we all think of when you hear fishing, or the word ”boat” for that matter, are not motorized. That's right, you're not going to be giving it some gas and going 50 knots an hour…

… Unless you're superhuman and can paddle that fast.

Nope, you'll be propelling your kayak all by yourself, and the way to do that is through a good paddle. Be sure to keep these tips in mind as you look for the right one:

  • The wider your kayak, the longer your paddle should be
  • The taller you are, the longer it should be
  • Plastic/nylon is cheap, but not that durable
  • Fiberglass is the midrange material
  • Carbon fiber is the top tier

3. How To Stay Afloat When The Waters Get Rough

We as humans are equipped to live on land by default. That's why we can walk, run, climb, jump, and all of those other fun landlubber activities.

Since that is true, we are not equipped to live in the water. And everybody who likes to go in water may not be the best swimmer since Michael Phelps, or Shamu.

So in order to ensure your safety in case something bad happens and you're flailing around in the water, panting and grasping for a way out of watery death, you'd be perfectly fine with getting yourself a PFD (Personal Floating Device).

Just like the cute little floaties that keep the kiddies from sinking like deadweight to the bottom of the pool, a PFD will be key in keeping you from drowning as well. We're not going out on the waters expecting to test that bad boy out and see if it's as good at floating as it claims to be every time, but we're always being mindful of the fact that accidents can happen.

4. How Are You Going To Catch Those Fish? With Your Mind?

If you're going to fish, unless you have some otherworldly abilities and speed to just snatch fish out of the water barehanded, you're definitely going to need a rod at the very least.

Usually, there would be plenty of options to catch the fish with, but since we're on a kayak with limited space, it's best to just pack light and stick with the essentials.

A fishing rod, the line, and a couple of good hooks and some know-how regarding the most efficient knots can take you a long way out there.

5. How To Hold Your Rods Without Holding Them

Now things are coming along.

You're taking note of all the goods you have to go and grab, and the day before you finally set out, you're faced with a dilemma.

The pro prepares for any problem that may pop up.

But how are you going to hold that rod all day while trying to paddle and use your hands for other things?

Rod holders. Trust me.

They’re there to take a load off for you and allow you to multitask. It’s a lot easier to complete a two-handed task such as tying a knot, opening a toolbox, or paddling the kayak when you have two hands-free versus trying to do all of these without dropping the rod, swinging the line and sharp, pointy hook, or getting it tangled up with another rod.

5. Visibility Is So Important

Unlike a regular boat, kayaks are the stealthy kinds of watercraft.

They’re super low to the water, a paddle cutting through the water makes a lot less noise than a motor, and they’re smaller than boats in general.

Great for catching fish when you don’t want to spook them, but tell me, how good would be blending in be in the early mornings or at night time?

Like I said, great regarding catching the fish.

But for other boats and large watercraft, not so much. The last thing you would want to happen is to get rammed by a larger boat speeding right past you because you weren’t visible to them.

Getting a visibility light, as well as an easily visible flag, is all it takes to ensure that you’re seen and less likely to not be seen when it matters the most!

6. Keep The Dry Stuff Dry

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching your expensive phone fall into the water.

Wait, there is. You and your phone can go for a swim if things go south.

Now you’re soaked, pissed, and hurt that your brand new iPhone isn’t working anymore.

So how would you keep your things dry if you’re going to be mere inches away from millions of gallons of water for an extended period of time?

Simple, a few dry bags could do the trick! Being pretty self-explanatory, dry bags are there to keep everything that should be dry, dry.

You’ll thank yourself for bringing a pair of dry clothes to change into… and keeping them dry via the dry bag.

Well, those are some essentials you’ll definitely need when diving into kayak fishing. With these key items, you'll have bases covered and you'll be ready to fish in no time!