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Using kayaks to fish gives us access to every kind of water and game fish imaginable, but most of us tend to focus on only one. When we get involved in chasing big fish on deep lakes, going beyond the breakers in the ocean, or when we are constantly focusing on pre-fishing and fishing that next big tournament, we can loose sight of some of the most rewarding experiences kayak fishing has to offer. One way I like to break the habit is to explore small ponds and creeks that are off the beaten path. Many of the best places to fish may be hard to access by boat, but that is a different story in a kayak.

Finding secluded water may be easier than you think. There are many tools available to help you find these secluded waters. Browsing your target area on Google Maps using the satellite view can be very productive in identifying secluded waters. State run wildlife management areas often have secluded waters that are open to the public, but not open to motorboats. Remember to get permission if the backwater you find is not public. Backwoods fishing can be very rewarding, but it takes a little planning. I will often visit my target area on foot before I bring a kayak with me. This helps me plan the best way to get to the water and identify any obstacles that may be in the way. Kayak carts with large pneumatic wheels can help with the task of pulling your kayak through the woods, but they raise the center of gravity and are prone to tipping on uneven terrain. When there are no rocks or sharp objects on the trail I often op for pulling my kayak flat on its bottom. Keeping it flat on its bottom evenly distributes the weight and reduces scratches to the bottom of the kayak. A painter line or bow rope is critical when you have to drag or portage your kayak.

The Jackson Kayak Kilroy is my go to kayak for backwater paddling. It’s rod tubes and hybrid design makes protecting your fishing rods from low hanging trees and bushes easy. The Kilroy is lightweight and able to handle almost any type of water you can find.

Get out and find some secluded backwaters. You may be surprised what kind of fish you may find. Enjoy the sights and sounds of being away from the boats and jet skis. Bring a camera; you never know what kind of wildlife you may see. Remember to leave the area cleaner than you found it. Have fun and Tight Lines!