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How To Get Started in Kayak Fishing

Ready to know how to get started in Kayak Fishing? The sport of kayak fishing has been growing immensely. Why is it growing? Shore anglers are looking for ways to get off the banks, and we all don’t have the money to invest in a boat with the additional costs of a vehicle to pull the boat, a trailer, registration, gas, repairs, maintenance, etc.

Kayak fishing is a great alternative for the angler on a budget. In a kayak you can cover water quickly enough to allow you to fish multiple areas on larger bodies of water where in a float tube, for example, it might take you all day to reach your first and only spot. You can also take kayaks on smaller lakes and ponds where boats aren’t allowed which is one of my favorite things about owning a kayak. Long story short, kayaks are awesome!

How to Get Started in Kayak Fishing

Pedal or paddle? Not sure you need that many rods your first outing.

Basic Safety

As someone who jumped in to buying a kayak without doing a whole ton of research first, there are a few things I wish I knew before I made the plunge. First things first are the safety requirements. There’s a few things you need to make sure you do before you take that kayak to the lake for the first time. To make things simple:

  1. Get a life jacket (and wear it on the water)
  2. Get a whistle
  3. Have your contact information on your kayak somewhere.
  4. Even if you have a pedal kayak. Buy, and bring a paddle.

Those are the basic safety requirements but you will want to read through the boating safety regulations for your state as there are additional rules when taking other things into consideration.

How to Get Started in Kayak Fishing

Get places that the big boats can’t

Kayak Fishing Basic Tips

Now that you’re all set for safety here are some other things wish I knew. These basic how-to’s will give you a head start in kayak fishing.

  1. Do not make any modifications to your kayak before testing It out first. I made this mistake thinking I wanted my kayak to have certain features, but then after using it on the water it turned out that I wasted time and money investing in things I didn’t need or want.
  2. Take it easy your first time out. Go to a small pond until you feel comfortable on the kayak and you know how well it handles. My first trip was out on a big reservoir and I quickly knew I was in over my head once the wind picked up, and I was facing those waves and fighting the current. Fortunately there weren’t many boats out that day but that would have been another thing to worry about.
  3. Go in the summertime when the water temperature is warmer. The last thing you want to do is to flip your kayak in 50 degree water temps. Some people even advocate for purposely flipping your kayak the first time out so that you can learn how to get back in to the kayak in case you are ever faced with that situation.
  4. When transporting the kayak make sure it is safely secured to your vehicle. I throw my kayak in the back of my pickup and use cam straps to tighten it down. Strap off the front, middle, and back of the kayak to ensure a stress free drive.
  5. Shop around. Kayaks come in all forms of shapes, sizes, and prices. Which kayak is best for you depends on your budget, the bodies of water you fish, your fishing style, what features are important to you, etc. In the kayak world we are lucky to have a wealth of knowledgeable kayak anglers very willing to help you make this decision. Your local kayak fishing Facebook groups are a great place to start if you want to ask about testing different types of kayaks. Looking for a great beginner kayak? Check out the Jackson Kayak Bite Angler

I hope this helps out all the beginners or those interested how to get started in kayak fishing. If I left anything out go ahead and add it to the comments. Tight Lines!

Written by Scott Brands