Sometimes the fishing experience is not so much about what you catch but more about the method you choose to target a species. Some people prefer fly fishing while others stick with more conventional methods. The same goes for the type of vessel you use to put you on the fish. Having fished offshore most of my life I have now decided to try something a bit different. I have joined the ranks of those fishermen who have taken to kayak fishing to pursue man’s favorite sport.
Although you could just look on Craig’s list or the Classified ads in a local paper for a good deal on a used Kayak, you need to take certain things into consideration when looking for a good fit on a Kayak Fishing vessel. Some stores may have demo models that you can try out different shapes, styles and lengths to determine which Kayak fits you best. Best fit for Kayak fishing includes understanding where you will be fishing and the most common species you will target. How you will get there should also be a concern. Getting a Kayak that is too big for your car or storage area is a waste of money. Will you trailer the Kayak? Take via roof top? What type of water will you have to paddle in and how far before actually kayak fishing?
The paddle is you primary means of propulsion when Kayak fishing, however it is not the only method. Using the current and wind properly can save a lot of energy and should always be given consideration when in your kayak, but many anglers have grown to like pedal kayaks. Paddles always seem to get in the way and novices seem to watch them float away after not securing them to the kayak properly. If you have strong legs then those kayaks with pedals might be the way to go for you. Kayak fishing is as much about comfort as it is about functionality. Enjoyable kayak fishing is about finding the balance.
As much as kayak paddles should be considered when purchasing a Fishing Kayak the decision of whether or not to buy a Kayak with a rudder is also very important. The need for a rudder is basically about the need for control, whether using the wind, current or paddling. It’s not practical to be fighting a fish or drifting up on your favorite spot or schooling fish with a paddle and proper use of a rudder makes all the difference. Some people have asked me if the rudder will catch on the bottom when fishing very shallow water and my answer is that many rudders will lift when hitting bottom but the truth of the matter is that if the rudder is hitting bottom it’s probably more a result of you hitting too many happy meals than rudder depth.
Wind and current can push a kayak all over the place so there are times that you want to find a method to anchor yourself in one spot. The method by which you anchor the kayak will depend mostly on the depth of the water you are fishing. In shallow water you may want to use an anchoring or stake out pole to keep you in one spot. If you are fishing deeper you may use the type of anchor that is not only size and weight proportioned to your Kayak but also shaped properly for the bottom on tour and structures you are fishing. Also keep in mind that if you fishing for bigger fish you may have to use a quick release mechanism with a float attached to your anchor line and have a bit of fun being towed around by your trophy.
Kayak Fishing can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be. Your target species, physical abilities and determination are all factors to consider but whichever way you decide to go, picking the right kayak for you is the place to start.