Kayaking is a simple, exciting and inexpensive sport that is usually played as a one-man show. Since it is played on water, why not combine it with the sport of fishing. The result of that is kayak fishing, which is considered to still be in its infancy. However, this sport actually utilizes kayaks for what they were invented to do by the early dwellers of the North American region. It was used for fish hunting in the early days but was not a very efficient vessel by then. Modern kayak designs make it more practical for fishing in all kinds of waters while the modern fishing gear (reels, professional bait, premium LED lights, etc )makes it easier to catch fish, making the combination ideal for angling. However, for kayak fishing to work for you, especially as a beginner, you must do everything right. Below are some kayak fishing tips for beginners that will help you fish the right way.
Select the best kayak
Before going kayak fishing, you must find the right tools for the job and this includes the right kayak. In order to get the right vessel, you need to ask yourself where you are most likely going to fish. The options are majorly categorized as fresh water or salt water fishing. From this, determine if you are going on a pond, a fresh or salt lake, a large river or a small stream.
The main purpose of considering your angling location is to consider the kayak’s stability and size. Casting on a small stream for instance, requires a small kayak that is navigable on the small water surface, and also stable enough to handle white waters, which are common on the shallow waters of small rivers. Other factors to consider before selecting your kayak include comfortable seating and storage compartments to store your fish.
The good thing, however, is that most kayak stores rent out kayaks, which is good for testing purposes so that you can determine which one suits you most before you buy.
Do some sight fishing
Sight fishing is basically the act of looking into the water from a raised platform so that you can spot the fish with your eyes first. Kayaks are usually low and therefore sight fishing from kayaks is done by observing for “nervous” waters. Sometimes fish, usually in schools, move abruptly in water, causing the water surface to bubble, and this should be a good indicator to the location of fish in the water.
Master one hand paddling
Kayaking as a sport on its own is done best using two hands. However, when angling, you have to at least fight the fish resistance with one hand and paddle the kayak using the other hand so as to steer away from obstacles.
Anchor your kayak
When angling on lakes, rivers or offshore areas, strong winds and currents might push your boat away from the spot that you have identified plenty of fish. To avoid this, carry an anchor and anchor the kayak once you have identified your fishing spot. One important thing to note when using the anchor is that you should tie it to either the bow or stern of your kayak so that it does not topple you when you are hit by strong currents.
Learn how to drift
Drifting is a technique used to cover a longer distance with minimal paddling in the search for casting grounds. You basically move using the wind or water currents, while the kayak is oriented at an angle for control. This way, you can easily orient the boat either to port or starboard by thrusting the paddle on the respective side of the boat.
Learn how to fish upwind
Sometimes you might need to move up current or upwind in search of fish. In such a case, paddling might be very tiring, sometimes even useless because the currents might overpower you. However, you can paddle into matted vegetation (which will provide some form of anchor) as you wait for the wind to subside, then continue upwind. Riverbanks can be used in the case of strong currents as the temporary anchorage as you advance upstream to your casting spot.
Carry safety gear
Whether you are an experienced or beginner kayak angler, safety is of paramount importance. The most basic emergency gear you should have on board include a life jacket, an emergency kayak repair kit and a first aid kit.
Kayak fishing is rapidly growing in popularity and this is due to the excitement and calmness it offers the anglers on board. It is also very environmentally friendly, making it the ideal activity for the outdoor person, especially during summer. As a beginner though, it might be very daunting at first because fishing from such a vessel is not easy. However, following the tips given above will help you improve drastically to land some big catch in your small vessel.