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So, you want to fish from a kayak, there’s several things you can consider to make your adventures safe and successful. Choose the best kayak for your style, experience level and types of water you will frequent. As is often the case you will develop your own style and add customizations that best suit you.

Kayak Considerations - Let's Go Fishin'

Safety First –

Starting with the safety features, they include a quality life jacket, items that add visibility and accessories that help you be heard as well as seen. The PFD (personal floatation device), life jacket should be comfortable and allow for ease of casting and paddling. I choose a bright orange model for added visibility. In the pockets are a hook sharpener, a small multi-tool and a whistle. We’re fans of attaching flags to the back of our boats for added visibility.

Security –

Anything important in your kayak should be tethered or float. I attach my dry box close to my seat for easy access. In my dry box are my keys, cell phone and small first aid kit. Also, of note carabiners are your friends. I use several with cords attached to hold various items securely in and along my kayak. I even have a single stringer clip to hold any part of my catch, I carry a floating landing net and store it up against the back of my seat for easy reach. Each of my kayaks has a stout nylon rope front and back for pulling through shallows or in the event I need a tow. I use the space along and under the seats to stow tackle boxes.

Kayak Considerations - Let's Go Fishin'
Kayak Choices-

Because I prefer to stand and fish, I look closely at the width of the kayak. Width = stability. Once I hook a big fish I immediately sit down. A genuine concern also is the weight of your kayak. This comes into play in your handling, transporting and storing you boat. My preference is to haul my kayaks in the bed of a truck. My logic is each time you add a variable (in this case a trailer) you increase the possibility of a problem. Simplicity is the key to reducing confusion. *this is also a factor in fishing tackle. Paddle or pedal, we have both, I want to be comfortable on any type of water. Not always nimble the bigger boats handle differently. I like deck space, room for my feet, staging rods, my dry box and my most often used soft plastic baits. Kayak color is a matter if personal preference. I love my custom red, white and blue which I affectionately refer to a s flag-o-flage but in smaller waters I also like the color patterns of forest and earth. I stay away from any type anchoring systems because I try to cover a lot of water and rarely see the need for anchoring. If you choose a pedal model, Debbie loves her BITE FD, don’t forego the carrying of a paddle, her choice is the Bending Branches Angler Pro carbon model. Part of the fun of kayaking is personal preference, whatever is best for you is right.

Electronics and Accessories –

In an age that embraces all types of battery-operated electronics I personally prefer a low-tech intuitive approach to fishing. I use an aquarium thermometer to determine water temperature, if I want to know the depth of the water I’m in, I lower my line until it curls indicating it’s reached the bottom, raise it and estimate the number of rod lengths to get an estimate of the depth. I use a polarized sunglass for safety and to spot underwater cover and lean on reading natural signs and the moon phases. Simple, inexpensive and available all the time. I am a fan of adding the casting brace to each of my kayaks. In my system no batteries needed. If you want to go “gearhead” there’s a bunch out possibilities, there. Choose what you want but keep in mind that each takes up space, battery juice and cash. You may also opt to motorize your kayak. Regardless of the level of electronic aids you pick don’t let them sperate you from your senses.

Kayak Considerations - Let's Go Fishin'
Tackling the Question of Tackle –

We’re rigged and ready now it’s fun time! Again, think budget, space and needs (okay, and wants). My primary goal is to catch fish, I’m not in it for pictures of the sunset or butterflies, I want to set the hook as many times as I can. My tackle changes by location, species and with the season. I decide by previous success, and the targets in the water I’m kayaking. For what I refer to as junk fishing, just whatever is biting I carry a variety of tackle and various rod and reel combos. Realistically most of us already know what we’re to use, we carry the rest a s security blanket. Got that expensive crankbait that’s never been tied on or gotten wet? Come on, you know you do. Just for fun sometimes I go “bare bones” slimming down to one tiny tackle box and bag of soft plastics. During the peak of fly rod season (bluegill spawn in the summer) it’s one rod and tiny plastic box of Tony Evans sponge spiders. (On Facebook visit Evans Custom, email . ) The small tackle box is your friend, less to carry, most likely the baits you’re comfortable with and have “earned their way into your tackle box. * There’s that simplicity thing again. I have species specific boxes, seasonal boxes and just a collection of “can’t miss” tackle containers. I move things in and out based off conditions and past experiences. As far as rods it could be one to five sitting at the ready in my kayak. Bait casters for bigger baits and jigging duties, a spinning rod for light lures and long casts especially on windy days and I’ve embraced the ultra-light spinning rods, with a tiny open face reels the whole outfit weighs mere ounces. Little rods big fun hook a giant catfish. Braided line, a sharp hook and the reel drag set correctly and you get to go for a kayak ride. Different lures and techniques often call for certain rod and reel selections, but again fewer choice creates less confusion. Most kayaks offer rod storage options located along the seats, behind the seats or staged at the front.

Kayak Considerations - Let's Go Fishin'

Lots of kayak considerations, see you on the water.