A Beginner’s Guide To Saltwater Kayak Fishing

The Inuit created the sleek hunting boats called Kayaks to hunt for seals, walruses and even whales. Kayaks have now been improved and developed with modern designs and materials to perform as the perfect craft to angle for saltwater as well as freshwater fish.
Kayaks have been admired by fishermen all over the world for their portability, ability to reach remote locations where a large never could and its relatively cheap cost encourages fishing enthusiasts to try out this effective and challenging way of fishing. For people living in the coastal region, kayak fishing can be a refreshing and rewarding experience.

Saltwater / Freshwater Kayak Fishing?

Don’t be confused by saltwater / freshwater. Basically if you are thinking of kayaking in oceans / seas then it would be saltwater. For rivers it is freshwater. The Kayaks used on open oceans and seas are larger from freshwater kayaks as they need to be more durable and less susceptible to saltwater corrosion. The oceans and seas (obviously) have a lot more aquatic life, providing an opportunity to make a greater catch. But with thousands of miles long coastlines, you need more mapping than  freshwater kayak fishing.

The fishing rods used in saltwater fishing are usually longer and heavier. Additionally, the baits required for freshwater and saltwater fishing are not the same. The lines used for freshwater fishing are lower in density and larger in diameter, however saltwater fishing lines are lower in diameter, but have higher density.

Things to keep in mind before starting

Testing Out The Kayak: In open waters, you need a kayak that is longer than the ones you would use on rivers. With a larger kayak, you get more stability on open waters and more space to store your accessories and equipment. Also you need to consider a sit in vs sit on top fishing kayak. Trying out a kayak before you purchase is advisable as it would save you further headaches :).

The Right Paddle: Out of the several types of paddles available for kayaking, go for the one which is light weight so that you do not fatigue on the open waters. It is advised that you select a bent shaft paddle so that it rests on your lap comfortably and its blades don’t get in the way when you are casting.

Knowing Your Fishing Ground: Kayaking in the open waters is exhilarating, but losing your sense of direction is quite easy. As you plan your fishing trip, make sure you know carry navigation equipment with you. A GPS marked with your desired fishing location and your location back to the coast can make all the difference.

Floatable Storage: The blade-like structure of the kayak makes it easy to flip sideways, so beginners must know how to roll it over. In such instance, all your equipment and accessories can sink down into the waters and retrieving them may not always be possible. With floatable plastic storage for the food, baits, reels, and other accessories, you lose nothing even if the kayak rolls over.

Basic Items Checklist

  • A kayak that is larger in size.
  • Bent shaft paddles which are light weight.
  • Fishing rods and reels that provide the right amount of strength without added weight.
  • High density mono fishing lines (for beginners) that can hold the weight of larger fishes.
  • Hooks and lures such as bucktail jigs, Needlefish, soft plastics, casting swimmers and pencil poppers.
  • Pliers for cutting fishing lines and removing the hooks.
  • Waterproof footwear and a Life Vest.
  • Some Communication device (In Case of emergencies)
  • Lights (if fishing during the evening or at night).

Useful Kayak Fishing Tips For Beginners

  • It is important to make sure that you buy (or make) a leash for the paddle so that you don’t lose it by accident.
  • If your kayak did not come with a deck rigging, make one with cords and hooks. You can use the rigging to fasten your equipment and accessories, giving you more room to fish.
  • With some hard foam cushion, deck the kayak so that you not only get additional floatation if the kayak flips over, but also avoid making noise that could scare the fish away.
  • Do let us know if we missed out on anything 🙂

Common Mistakes Beginners Make

Most beginners make the mistake of not reviewing the weather forecast and end up with a dreadful fishing trip. Always carry a weather radio to avoid being caught in the middle of a storm.

Falling short of equipment can be a problem, especially in the case of water and food. Always carry more food than you would usually need.

Many amateur kayak fishers end up losing a catch as their lines entangle with the paddles. Make sure you have enough room to angle your lines and move about without any obstruction.

That said, do try out kayaking if you haven’t. It’s fun and gives you the chance to be one with nature.

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  1. Hunt Man

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