The world of kayak fishing has absolutely exploded over the past few years. In 2020 and most of 2021 Kayaks were sold out everywhere from big box stores to brick-and-mortar retail locations. Is Kayak fishing right for you? Well, let’s look at why the sport has grown and what draws people to get out and paddle.
Minimalist Approach to Fishing
Fishing off the banks is something that most of us start out doing. It’s an easy way to go fishing when hitting a small farm or city pond. When approaching a larger body of water, it is hard to get around and hit the spots where the fish are located. Of course, we all would like a big boat to get out there but that requires a lot of things. Not just the purchase of a boat, but the ability to haul, store and maintain a boat can be a daunting task for some people including myself. Kayak fishing allows you to get out on the water with nothing more than a kayak, paddle, and fishing gear. Storing a Kayak takes little room, maintenance is nothing more than keeping it clean and a kayak can be transported by almost any vehicle. I personally know a local angler that has been all over the state catching trophy bass from a cheap big box store kayak with no electronics and only using one rod and reel.
Go Where the Boats Can’t Go
Being in a Kayak allows accessibility to waters that most boats cannot even attempt. Last year I was able to kayak through a wildlife refuge on the hunt for fish. The river went from 20ft to 2 ft of water many different times. We even launched from the side of the trail where there wasn’t a boat ramp in sight. Many City lakes and reservoirs are no wake or electric motor only. This opens the ability get out to places that aren’t normally pressured.
What to Consider When Looking for a Kayak
Sometimes anglers want the “BEST”. Honestly there is no “BEST” and it all comes down to the user. Budget has a lot to do with the equation as kayaks can cost between $200 and $5000 brand new. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when looking for a rig. Where are you fishing and what are you fishing for? A kayak made for the open ocean will be designed much different than one designed for bass fishing in rivers and creeks. Do you like paddling, pedaling or want a small electrical motor? Some enjoy paddling but when fishing hard it can be difficult to paddle with one hand while reeling in a fish or making continuous cast towards a target. Peddle drive kayaks are available in so many different options now. They can steer and propel the rig hands free. A lot of fishermen lean towards this option as it is the most efficient configuration. Over the past few years, the addition of motors to kayaks has become even more popular and even the standard for serious tournament anglers. They come at a price though, not only hitting the pocketbook hard but the added weight from the motor and batteries change your ability to transport the kayak in a lot of cases.
Kayaks Have Endless Configurations
One of the best parts about owning a kayak is the ability to rig it the way you seem fit. Everything from electronics, to gear mounts to cup holders are available for customization. Anglers can go out and purchase just about anything they want for their kayaks. Many now are running multiple screens with the addition of Livescope on one and the other as your normal depth finder. Some are running a motor on the stern and one on the bow for certain situation. It might be overkill but that’s the beauty of it. You can rig a kayak as you please. Power Pole even offers a Micro anchor system for shallow fishing. It’s a way of anchoring the kayak with a push of a button and it won’t scare the fish.
How Will I Know What I like?
That is the golden question right there. Locally we have a few paddle sports locations that will let you demo some of their kayaks. That is a great way to get out on the water and see if you even like being on a kayak. Some anglers do not like being that low in the water. That’s why some are sit in, some have molded seats and high-end fishing rig have a stadium style seat that adds extra comfort and back support. Another test is the stand-up test. I have a larger kayak as I am a heavier person, but I choose a kayak that I can stand up and fish on with ease. Some kayaks are impossible for some people to stand on and that can be disastrous on the water. If you aren’t near any paddle sports stores, then try reaching out on local Facebook Groups to see if anyone will let you try theirs out. I had a few friends that were already into kayaks and one of them let me take his out on the pond next to his house. That’s when I knew I wanted a kayak.
Make the Right Decision
Investing in a nice kayak can be a huge financial decision. If you are really on the fence, then I recommend purchasing one used. That’s what I did, and I was able to purchase my Kayak for less than half of the retail price. Consider all the things we’ve discussed in this post. What are you fishing for? Where are you fishing? What is your budget? They are all very important questions to ask yourself. If you plan on doing tournaments, then make sure you get a rig that can be easily modified to fit your style of fishing or modified as you get more experience and time on the water. It can take a long time to get a kayak configured just the way you like. I have had mine for almost two years now and the modifications are nonstop. I am currently tearing it all apart to add more electronics and a motor. It can be intimidating at first but kayak fishing has opened up a world of fishing to anglers that normally wouldn’t have the ability to get out on the water.
Hopefully this article will help you answer the question, should I get into kayak fishing?
Jose Cinco -- In addition to being an accomplished bass fishing angler, Jose fishes for multi species by kayak. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife and sons. He is a US Army Veteran and is a KastKing Brand Ambassador Manager.