Kayak fishing can be a great way to unwind after a hard week at work. Spending some time away from everything is relaxing.
Not only that, but fishing from a kayak gives you the opportunity to get near the fish where you could have an advantage.
If you are looking at fishing for beginners, you may have concerns on what gear you need to start.
There are plenty of fishing kayaks available, but if you don’t want to splash out on loads of fishing gear, to begin with.
You can use some simple kayak modifications that many experienced kayak anglers use when they go bass fishing.
1. Choosing the right fishing kayak
You may already have a kayak, or you may be looking at purchasing one. Either way, rather than spending on a fishing kayak immediately, you can make a beginner fishing kayak easily.
A sit-on-top kayak is the best to make a DIY fishing kayak. These allow you to cast easier as you are sat on top rather than inside.
If you choose one, which is wide enough, these will be stable enough for you to stand.
If you are sight fishing, this is easier in the standing position rather than sitting. Although, these sit on kayaks do offer a higher field of view.
2. Customize your kayak
If you have or purchase a regular sit-on-top kayak, you will find you have no space for your gear or rod holders.
Kayak anglers have come up with a way to deck out a kayak with an all in one solution. Rather than spending top dollar for a tackle box, you can adapt a humble milk crate.
With a bit of creative thinking, all you need is a large milk crate, some various sized PVC tubing, foam insulation tubes, and zip ties.
You can cut the tubing to make feet on the crate, this means it can fit better, and it will remain dry.
Larger tubes can be cut to the size of your rod handle and zip-tied to the sides to hold your rods. All your other gear can sit securely inside the crate.
You can then use strong bungee cords to hold these on the deck of your kayak. However, if you do tip over, the foam helps keep your gear afloat.
3. Make use of a kayak anchor
When you are on your fishing trips, rarely will you find you stay in one position before you drift off in the current.
While a claw anchor is advisable, you may not have access to one of these, so you can improvise. Anything that weighs between 2-4 pounds should be ideal for holding you in position on shallow rivers or lakes.
Adding to keeping you in position, they are vital for giving your kayak some balance when the water is a little on the bouncy side because of the wind.
Depending on where you are fishing, you may find it surprising kayak fishermen use their feet quite often.
If your kayak is narrow, you can use your feet as a rudder as you drift on a river. Alternatively, if you are in shallow water, you can use your foot to latch onto a log or low branch while fishing that area.
4. Learn to use one hand
There are a few reasons kayak anglers learn to fish with one hand some of the time. It can be a hard adjustment if you are used to casting from solid ground. Kayak bass fishing pros cast one-handed the most of the time.
This will mean you may need to adjust your rod and gear accordingly. It doesn’t matter if you are baitcasting or spinning; you are better choosing lighter and smaller gear that allows you to become adept at this skill.
One other tip is to make sure your fishing line is a suitable length for the depth of water where you are fishing. If it is too long, it can be hard to reel the fish in.
Paddling with one hand is another reason to learn this skill. If you have hooked a fish, you may need to get on the opposite side of a laydown. Learning how to hold your paddle in one hand allows you to do this.
5. Kayak safety when fishing
There is no fishing that is safe due to the use of hooks and lures. When you fish from your kayak, this is emphasized.
For this reason, there are things you need to do, and to take with you because fishing this way is not like fishing from the shore or off a pier.
You should always wear a life vest or PFD (personal flotation device). In some areas, it may be legislation you do need to wear one, regardless of how good you can swim.
Kayak fishing safety means checking the weather forecast where you are heading. You will also need to make sure you have sun cream no matter on the time of year.
Water reflects sunlight, and you can find you get a sunburn on even overcast days.
A wide-brimmed hat will come in handy because it keeps the sun off your head and can help shield your eyes if you are watching where your line is in the water.
Rain clothing is a necessity in a sudden downpour. This is another advantage of sit-on-top kayaks, as they won’t fill with water.
Lastly, you need a good first aid kit with pliers. If you find yourself with a hook in your hand, you need a way to remove it.