Kayak Fishing for Beginners – Beginner Kayak Fishing Guide


Kayak Fishing for Beginners 

Fishing is a profession for some and a recreation for many; people love the sport for its versatility and the bonus it offers along with the fun. Kayak fishing is becoming popular in recent times owing to its benefits over conventional boats with motors. Kayak fishing is eco-friendly and is an excellent leisure activity for nature lovers. It is easy to learn and thus attracts a number of novice fishers into the sport; we have tried out best in simplifying this learning process for amateurs in our guide. Read through on how to prepare, what to pack and how to stay safe in kayak fishing endeavors.


Preparation for kayak fishing:

Kayak fishing is the best combination of fun and tranquillity and is an activity with a purpose. Is it not thrilling to pack some juicy fish for dinner back from a water trip? There are some pre preparations before heading to the fishing trip and those are,

  • Checking the local fishing reports and taking permission from concerned authorities
  • Beware of the weather and acquire the ability to spot dangers of fast forming systems in the water
  • Even fog can help lose track of the directions in the water, allowing the person to get lost
  • Fishing on extremely windy days is not good as strong winds can cause choppy waves. Small kayak boats can capsize in such winds.
  • Make sure to have a rain jacket to avoid drenching while fishing, in the event of sudden a downpour.
  • In the event of thunderstorm, the fishing rods should lie flat in the kayak and the kayaker should head back to the shore as soon as possible.
  • Speculate for other oncoming vessels in the large water ways. Vessels moving at high speeds will approach quickly and could pass the kayak quickly than one can anticipate.
  • Kayak fishers should learn to paddle directly towards the wave with momentum to clearly punch through. Parallel waves pose the threat of capsizing.
  • It’s best to paddle directly toward the waves, with as much momentum as possible to punch cleanly through. Traveling parallel to waves puts you at risk of capsizing.


Safety mechanism in Kayak Fishing:

Kayak fishers both beginners and experienced should have their PFD irrespective of their proficiency in swimming. Unexpected flip into the water could be life threatening. Paddle specific floating devices offer comfort while sitting in a kayak seat and ventilate appropriately.

The kayak boat should not be anchored in a swift current as there are chances for the kayak to turn the wrong way and flip. A knife or a blade should be available near the seat or in the floating device. This is to enhance safety when the anchor or fishing line gets fussy with the weeds in the water.

Choose kayaks with bright colors so that they are visible in the water even at a far off distance. Reflective tapes can help enhance visibility in the paddles. Novice kayak fishers should take safety whistle and air horns with them while kayaking.


Things to pack for kayak fishing:

1. Safety gear: A personal floatation device is the first gear to pack for kayak fishing. Other safety gear includes a whistle, gloves, headlamp, paddle leash, repair kit and first aid kit.

2. Skin Protection: Sun screens and other skin protection lotions avoid a tan. Sun protective clothing, hats and sunglasses also helps to stay comfortable during the trip.

3. Food and water: Plenty of food and water should be packed as extra calories are burned during fishing activity. Food is the fuel that brings happiness to the body and mind during outdoor activities. Foods rich in water and lean proteins are ideal for fishing.

4. Anchor: Anchors are an important safety gear for first time Kayakers. Folding anchors are easy to carry and use as they weigh less than four pounds. Anchors are to tether on the bow or stern of the kayak boat for stability when fixing the boat in the waters.

5. Fish handling gear: Some gears that are useful to handle fish are pliers, cutters, gloves, nets, line cutters and stringers. Gloves protect hands when handling fishes with sharp fins and teeth. Novice fishers should learn the skills of unhooking a fish as well with pliers. Nets can be used to scoop up a large volume of fish without straining much.


Tips for Novice Kayak fishers:

Kayak fishing is a skill and an art that involves tremendous practice and skills to acquire before heading to the waters. Kayak fishers should gain hands on practice from an expert before testing their skills alone. Some useful tips for novice fishers are listed here.


1.  Setting the Location:

Deciding a suitable location is mandatory for novice fishers to save time, ensure results and also to stay safe. New fishers should not have the misconception that paddling far away would fetch results. They should keep a watch on the route and the distance they paddle. Novice kayakers should start fishing in a circular route than to paddle too far and get tired with paddling.


2. Choosing a fishing kayak:

Novice kayak fishers should choose their boar carefully. There are different types of kayaks that suits different water bodies. For those fishing in a steady lake in calm waters a regular kayak is sufficient. For those wanting to fish in waters with tough waves then bigger and heavier kayaks are required to enhance sturdiness and stability. Those planning to hunt big fishes should choose kayaks with ample storage space. Irrespective of the type of kayak, a light weight and a paddle with concave shape should be used to ease the process.


3. Fishing:

The duration of the fishing line should be equal to the length of the rod for beginners. Reeling off the line after fish gets caught in the hook is tiring if the length is too much. For those who want to spice up the fishing activity, then they can do sight fishing. This demands looking into the water by standing up or by enhancing the height of the kayak seat. New fishers should do sight fishing with adequate supervision, but is highly beneficial in packing some great fish home.


4. Using Anchors:

Beginners should learn the art of anchoring their fishing boat even when they are fishing in the open lake. Open areas are sometimes winds and the anchor helps in positioning the boat in a particular spot and carryout the fishing activity. An easy release claw anchor is sufficient for most kayaks to avoid drowning of the boat.


5. Learning when to fish:

Novice kayak fishers should be proficient with the life cycle of the fishes. With some little research, they can figure out which species live in their locality. Keep a log of their reproductive cycles and when the water will flourish with fishes, helps in catching more fish in less time. Beginners should however not target on catching one particular type of fish and expand their focus in taking home whatever falls in their net.


6. Learning one handed paddling:

For beginners, this technique is the hardest but is highly beneficial.  Mastering this skill helps in handling the fish in one hand and steering the kayak in position with the other. It is important to learn the trick of anchoring the handle with the forearm and steering with the paddle in the water.


7. Safety:

Novice kayak fishers should never try to kayak alone in the beginning; it is always good to hit the water with proper supervision. As discussed above, PFD, first aid kit, repair tools, sun protection, goggles and caps are a must at every trip, even after gaining proficiency in fishing.



Kayak fishing has become a popular activity at recent times as it is the perfect balance of excitement and versatility. Also, the activity is completely eco-friendly which makes it a favorite sport among nature enthusiasts. Again, kayak fishing has no age restrictions and does not require any preparation. With little ground knowledge and lots of practice, anybody can hit the waters for fishing.  Good fishing gear is however important to master the art. We hope out guide helps you in equipping yourself with the art and provoke people to start learning the activity.

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