Kayak Fishing Basics for Beginners
From the moment I tried kayak fishing, I was hooked! Well, not literally, thank goodness, that would have hurt.
I knew I had just begun a hobby that would soon consume hours of my weeks and many dollars of my paychecks. Currently, one of my kayaks is worth more than my truck, but I didn’t start there.
In fact, I wouldn’t recommend anyone starting where it’s taken me years to get to.
So where should you start? Great question! It all begins with picking the right yak.
Choosing the Right Kayak
There is not a single greatest fishing kayak, I’ve tried to find it, and there always seems to be one better for a different situation.
This is why I recommend buying the best fishing kayak for your situation. You can purchase a larger yak if you have a truck to haul it. If you’re like my friend Grant, who drives a car, you might have to get creative hauling a smaller yak.
Where you fish matters too, as there are kayaks designed for rivers or flat water (lakes and ponds).
Your local kayak shop can help you choose the right one for you.
Now that you’ve chosen a fishing kayak, you might think it’s time to hit the water, but not exactly.
You still need to get a PFD and a quality paddle.
Never, and I mean never, leave the shore without both items (it’ll be challenging without a paddle for most of us).
Living by a lake for the entirety of my life, I’ve heard too many stories of people drowning because they weren’t wearing a life jacket; please don’t become one of those stories!
Keep It Simple
You can search fishing kayak rigs on Google and YouTube and be overwhelmed entirely because there are yaks loaded with fish finders, trolling motors, anchors, and anything else they can cram on a tiny plastic boat.
While my kayak fishing setup has all that gear, that’s not where I started. I began with a simple setup and slowly added what I needed to my rig.
On your first few outings, only take the bare minimum, a PFD, paddle, one fishing rod, and a small tackle box.
I’ve been the guy who loads every piece of fishing equipment they own into the kayak, only to discover that it makes fishing and paddling much more difficult.
Stick to the KISS method!
Where to Start Fishing
Now that we have a yak and gear, we must know where to go. The great thing about kayaks is that you don’t have to put in at a boat ramp, but it does need to be a public access area unless you’ve gotten permission from the landowner.
I recommend fishing near the shoreline until you get very comfortable in your kayak and then venturing out as you gain confidence.
One of my favorite places to fish in a kayak are creeks and rivers. They’re usually exciting paddling and hold a lot of fish.
We’ve only scratched the surface of kayak fishing! However, by implementing these beginner kayak fishing tips, you’ll stay safe and have a wonderful time on the water during your visit to East Tennessee!
Kayak fishing is one of the best ways to get a family to connect! It sure works with my family.
Wesley Littlefield lives in Northeast Oklahoma, he’s a contributing author of Anglers. Growing up he was introduced to several different styles of fishing by his dad and discovered how much he simply loved being on the water. He has followed in his father’s footsteps, introducing his wife and daughter to the incredible adventures the great outdoors offers!