Kayak fishing has grown in popularity so much so that there’s even competitive kayak fishing tournaments just like the various high-powered bass boat bass fishing tournaments where big bucks are at stake for the winners with the heaviest amount of bass in their boats live-wells.
The advantages of kayak fishing is that allows anglers to fish from a boat that costs less than most bass boats and allows anglers to fish shallow waters where bigger boats can’t reach. And since kayaks are quiet running, they also spook less fish.
Avid kayak angler Derek Sigler from Outdoor Hub site, says probably the first question prospective kayak anglers ask how do I cast from a shaky kayak. “When you try to cast for the first time you’re most likely to feel like the craft is going to tip over on you and it may just freak you out. When it gets wobbly just try to remember that the kayak was designed for this. It will get a little squirrely but you’ll be fine,’’ he admits.
He goes on to say “If you want to build up your trust factor, take the kayak and get in on some calm water. This can serve as a practice run. Start wiggling your hips so the boat starts bouncing from side to side, just like when you’re going to cast. Feel how the boat reacts to the motion. That should help build your confidence in the boat’s ability to stay upright. Remember to just flow with the boat. And when you decide to take a standing cast, and if you have a wide enough fishing kayak to do so, the same principle applies. Practice your standing balance and learn to move with the kayak before you try it when having all your gear onboard too.”
As for landing a fish, Sigler says this is the tricky part. “The best practice is to get the fish close to the kayak and then place your rod in the hand opposite of the side the fish is on. Use the rod hand to pull the fish toward the kayak, while also helping to balance the kayak while you land the fish. It’ll feel awkward at first, but will get better with practice.”
If you’re still nervous about standing in a kayak while fishing, there’s one company who make a set of clamp-on outrigger-type pontoons that add stability.
Even more effective is Freedom Kayak company’s Hawk model where the stern splits open by pulling a cord thereby adding substantial stability.
Some months ago, in an issue of On the Water Magazine, I recall reading where a saltwater angler fishing from a saltwater-type kayak managed to catch a sizable striper that pulled him around for about an hour until it tired and he could eventually land it.
Today’s kayaks come in several forms and lengths and some are offered with paddles to propel them instead of paddling. The latter gives more versatility when fishing, but because of the fins underneath the kayak, they can’t quite reach the very shallowest of water.
All in all, kayak fishing is a relaxing way to fish large or small bodies of water. Just don’t forget to wear a life jacket, at least one of the suspender type models that are less cumbersome.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.