Beginners Guide To Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing has been around for a while, and only recently is it gaining traction. From a recreational sport to an active lifestyle essential for some, kayak fishing truly has its perks. 

Many beginners are joining in on this venture, and we see them every day asking around for the basic details. 

So, we’ve gathered our best points to answer some of your most asked questions. 

Here is our beginner’s guide to kayak fishing that comprises everything you will ever need to know before getting into this sport. 

Read on ahead to get the entire info on it! 

What Do You Need For Kayak Fishing

Essentially, all you need is a reel, a sturdy rod, and of course, a paddle. But, there are multiple elements on the market now that you can incorporate into your kayak fishing starter kit. 

We suggest that you utilize the kayak’s storage properties to their full potential. You can easily organize it and all your basic equipment in it for handy usage. 

Now, if you don’t own a kayak or maybe a PFD, then owning these items is essential. These are our top equipment pieces that help you through any situation when it comes to kayak fishing. 

You shouldn’t leave your house without:

  • A handy water bottle
  • A sharpened up knife
  • Two rods at least (Four would be better)
  • High visibility flag 
  • Flashlight 
  • Some sunblock 
  • An extra case or storage box 
  • Leashes or tethers
  • First aid kit 
  • A pair of polarized sunglasses 

These pieces will help to ensure that you have a safe and problem free trip. You can easily gather these from any store and make up your very own emergency kit as well. 

Other than these items, the fishing equipment is to be kept with all the spare parts just in case anything goes wrong. 

What Type Of Kayak Is Best For Fishing

Another question newbies often ask is what type of kayak is suitable for this sport. 

Well, while a specific kind doesn’t have any overarching benefit, here are a few rules you can use to determine what type of kayak you should be investing in. 

1. Look at the type of the kayak

It is important to note that a good kayak is cheaper than a motorboat itself. Obviously, the more advanced models can get pricier as you go. 

You need to see which type you prefer; either it’s a sit inside the kayak or a sit-on-top kayak. 

Traditionally, sit-in kayaks are a bad choice if you’re going fishing as the water piles inside until you’ve emptied it out. 

It can be incredibly hard to recover them if they’ve been flipped over, and the space for storage is limited as well. 

A sit-on-top kayak offers the best choice on the market. 

You can easily drain out any accumulated water thanks to the built-in water drainage system. 

Additionally, catching fish is incredibly easy in this kayak, and the extended storage and cargo space really does wonders if you’re someone who’s looking to stack up on all extra goodies. 

2. Find one perfect for your body type 

If possible, do attend a demo session where you can paddle or peddle multiple types of kayaks to find the perfect fit for your body weight and shape. 

Be sure to check the legroom, adjust the seat and figure out if it’s suitable for long hours of sitting. 

Make sure that the seat is relatively high so that the water doesn’t touch your lower half and stays around the feet only. 

3. Check the stability level of the kayak 

Stability is a critical aspect of choosing a kayak, and even more so when you’re someone who doesn’t know how to swim. 

Be sure to check that if you make any vigorous movements such as turning, steering away, turning to land a fish, or simply bending over, it doesn’t topple or waver the slightest. Try to look for kayaks that have a flat or tunnel bottom to ensure maximum stability. 

4. Consider the transportability aspects 

If you add more features to your fishing kayaks, you will observe that they become heavier and will require more strength to be moved around. 

This is something to factor in before making the purchase. 

Take a look at how you will transport it around and will it be feasible for you. Will it require a car? A truck? 

Factor in all these options before choosing the kayak for yourself. 

5. Always go for second-hand kayaks when buying for the first time

The best way to get into kayak fishing is by getting a taster for it by fishing for one season. 

For this experimental trial, you need not invest a thousand dollars into a brand new kayak that ranks on top of the line. 

Instead, it is best to get them used or second-hand, which will save you money and also give you a brief insight on what awaits you in the world of kayak fishing. 

Kayak Fishing Peddle Vs Paddle

Peddle kayak
Peddle kayak

The kayak community has this debate on an annual basis, to choose the peddle or the paddle?

While purchasing the right kayak is an important decision to make, making the decision between a peddle and the paddle is just as important. 

You will see that many professional anglers would prefer choosing to peddle with their legs and feet rather than opting for a hand-powered. 

The choice ultimately ends up on the user themselves. Do you enjoy cycling through with a leg workout? Then opting for a peddling system would be better. 

However, if you enjoy rowing or love to get in an arm workout with the fishing venture, then investing in a paddle system would be a better choice. 

There are multiple varieties of paddles on the market, so you can easily choose and customize for yourself and what works best for you. 

It’s always a trial and error situation when choosing between the two. It’s best that you experience both of these individually to get a feel of the experience and an understanding of what will work better for you. 

Kayak Fishing Setup

Having the right fishing setup is essential to make sure that your kayaking experience goes by effortlessly. You can easily customize the kayak according to your needs. This includes the chairs to even the finish itself. 

So, finding the perfect setup is up to you. 

Always check if the seat is comfortable, as that is the most important part of the kayak. You can check by sitting on it and taking it for a drive. 

Check the height and level of the seat and even the hardness of the seat itself. If you feel like it’s too rigid, then go for a padded material instead. 

You can also install equipment holding elements themselves, such as a rod holder that will help to keep the rods in place, ready for easy access. 

You can easily customize the storage compartment of the kayak as well to get the maximum benefit out for your fishing setup. 

We recommend a loaded stock of minnows and other bait to be kept in the storage box alongside extra reels, rods, strings, and bait casters. 

Again, this is a method of trial and error so take your setup out for a spin to determine what’s lacking and gradually build upon your perfect fishing setup. 

What To Wear Kayak Fishing

what to wear kayak fishing

Kayak fishing is a water sport, so dressing appropriately becomes necessary. 

I mean, you’re already aware that you’re going to be drenched, so you might as well wear the right clothing for it. It’s best to dress up to keep yourself warm as well as ward off the uncomfortable feeling of soaked clothing on your skin. 

You can easily check the local weather and the general water temperature to better prepare yourself for the kind of water you will be interacting with. Chances are that the water temperature will help you understand what you should be wearing to the lake. 

Also, be sure to check the weather beforehand to make sure it doesn’t get too chilly in the middle of the lake. 

Neoprene clothes and wetsuits suitable for kayak fishing 

If you’re a first-time angler going kayak fishing, neoprene clothing is the lifesaver you need. They are incredibly inexpensive, and they do an amazing job in keeping your body temperature leveled out. 

You can even opt for the standard wetsuit that surfers use that will provide you with the right amount of protection if you do happen to get into the water. 

You should also opt for a sleeveless wetsuit to save yourself from the chafing caused by wetsuits with sleeves. They work even better if you’re a kayak angler that prefers to paddle. They leave room for arm movement and allow you to elongate your wingspan as you go. It is comfortable and breezy, all that you need. 

You can wear the neoprene shorts with a plain old shirt and maybe a neoprene vest if you feel the weather calls for it. 

How Dangerous Is Kayak Fishing

Naturally, any activity that takes place in water has its hazards and can be dangerous. Therefore it’s best to stay safe and take care of every single safety measure. 

You should always be aware of the condition of your kayak and how it is performing in the water. 

One factor that greatly determines the danger levels is how the weather is for the particular day. If you see that there are winds and storms, that’s your sign to not partake in that activity. It can be very hazardous, and the potential of drowning increases by a margin. 

Similarly, the creatures in the specific water body may serve to be a hazard as well. It’s best to do your research on the lake that you’ve chosen for your kayaking venture and thoroughly understand the potential hazards that may come your way. 

Is It Worth Buying A Kayak For Fishing

So, is the kayak worth buying when you’re venturing into kayak fishing for the first time? 

Well, our answer is yes. Even if it is second-hand, the benefits of buying a kayak for your new venture beats any other excuse. 

Kayak fishing in itself is an excellent water sport that will ensure you are enjoying the art of angling even more. You can easily pick up more than one benefit from kayak fishing. 

Here are a few reasons why buying a kayak is worth it:

You can easily access deep waters 

Kayaks enable fishers to go into the deeper ends of the water body and access a richer part of the waterway than you could with shore fishing

This feature is what attracts most people to kayak fishing. 

It can help you make massive catches and move on from the daily small ones. While shore fishing has its perks, you can’t deny the type of big fish that you will get on the deeper ends. 

Versatility in its usage 

Kayaks are incredibly versatile when it comes to using them in any type of water body. You can find an extensive variety of fish and other types of water creatures, from ocean fish to lakes, pools, rivers, ponds, literally anywhere. 

You can easily catch great fish like pike, bass, walleye, muskie, trout, and even the great striped bass itself. You only get yourself to a certain variety when you’re shore fishing, and kayak fishing can help that. 

Easy to carry around 

Kayaks are incredibly easy to lug around and change positions of. You can move them from one place to another without any problem. 

Whether it is near the shore or deep in the waters, the possibilities are endless. You are not limited by the thought of transportation when it comes to kayak fishing. 

Explore the water body as you like 

When kayaking, you can easily move across from one end to the other to continue your search of fish and catching them. 

The water exploration becomes more fun with the kayak on hand. All you have to do is pedal through, enjoy the water, and hook fish. 

You can travel anywhere with no boundary across the water body, which would be incredibly difficult when restricted to shore fishing.

Major advantages over a fishing boat

Kayak fishing wildlife watching

Kayaks are easier to handle and move around than boats, and that is an evident fact. Not only are they lightweight and transportable, but most anglers prefer them over boats in general. 

You can have unlimited access all across the water network and not have to worry about the monetary aspect of fishing itself. 

Here are a few reasons why kayaks are superior to boats:

  • You get increased access to water itself. When launching a boat into the water body, you require a boat ramp. On the other hand, kayaks can easily be pulled into the water from any point of access without any worries. They can easily launch into the water even if the launching surface is rough. 
  • Boats will need a specific depth and spread of water for them to be launched perfectly. This does not hold true kayaks as they can fit into any network of water no matter how big or small it is. 
  • Boats require fuel, and of course, the purchasing price isn’t low, to begin with. So, naturally, the kayak is a more economical option in comparison. Kayaks do not even require the hefty maintenance as the boating facilities. 
  • Kayaks don’t require registration in numerous countries, hence saving you more money. 
  • You can easily improve your angling skills by using kayaks as your vehicle for fishing. They will allow you to move around and camp in areas for as long as you desire, which will increase the chance of you making big catches. Thus, improving the angling skills overall. 
  • Kayaks give you that moment of quietness and silence we all crave so dearly. You can easily move them to connect with Mother Nature in the middle of a random lake just trying to land fish. It is incredibly therapeutic and rejuvenates your soul from the inside. 
  • No matter what kind of kayak you own, you can easily customize it in any aspect without having to pay for it too much. From the rod holders to excess storage, the perfect setup is in your hands only. 
  • You can find the replacement for damaged kayak parts easier than you can for any other boating equipment. In fact, the replacement or fixing for a kayak costs less than what you would have to face with a boat repairing receipt. 


Kayak fishing can be a fun sport if you give it your all and thoroughly invest your time in it. From physical exertion to mental peace, this sport truly rejuvenates your body. 

We hope that our beginner’s guide was helpful in teaching you all the essential information for kayak fishing and answered all your queries. It is never too late to try something new. Good luck!

Scroll to Top