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Kayak Fishing

Updated on October 28, 2014
kayak fishing
kayak fishing

Kayaks for Fishing

This page has information related to kayaks that are suitable for fishing.

Popular designs include sit in kayaks (SIK) sit ON kayaks (SOK), stand up kayaks, motorized models, and other styles.

Also featured is kayaking gear, safety tips, books, artwork and other information.

Best Kayak Designs for Fishing

Several factors influence how effective a kayak will be for fishing.

An important factor is tracking, which is a measure of how a vessel reacts under power. A good fishing kayak will move in a straight line and resist swaying back and forth as the kayaker paddles the craft. Tracking is important, especially for applications where fishermen will be traveling long distances.

Stability is another key factor. A fishing kayak must be stable enough to allow anglers to cast lines and catch fish. A few models are stable enough to allow limited standing.

Agility is another important characteristic of a good fishing kayak. Anglers often fish around pilings, rocks and other obstructions which demand the ability to steer and maneuver quickly.

Most double-bladed paddles are feathered: the blades are offset by an angle between 45 and 90 degrees. This is done in order that the upper blade will cut cleanly through the air during the forward stroke and offer minimum wind resistance. Typically, double paddles break-down for storage and transport. A two piece paddle can usually be set to feathered or un-feathered.

Kayaking Safety

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in the USA an average of 700 people die every year in boating and paddling accidents. Close to 70 percent drown, and of that 70 percent, almost 90 percent were not wearing a life jacket.

"The single most important piece of survival equipment on the water is your life jacket," said Al Johnson, the recreational boating safety specialist for the First Coast Guard District.

"Should a crisis occur and you find yourself in the water, your chances of surviving are better if you're wearing a life jacket, especially in the cold waters of the Northeast. The immediate, debilitating effect of the shock from cold water, coupled with the involuntary aspiration of water, commences the drowning process.

Even the strongest swimmers need a life jacket while their bodies stabilize. It's plain and simple, when you need your life jacket, you need it on."

fishing kayak
fishing kayak

Kayak Fishing Outfits

Kayak anglers usually need to pack light, taking only essential equipment. For many anglers, this amounts to one or two versatile outfits. The smallest of spinning outfits are called ultralights. These featherweights are engineered for use with 2-4 lb line.

The next class of equipment is engineered for mostly freshwater fishing with 6-12 lb lines. For basic fishing needs in both fresh and saltwater, medium spinning outfits with 15-20 lb line work well.

Kayak fishing often occurs in heavy cover or around other structure that requires heavier than normal line or rod stiffness. In addition to the size of fish being caught, the ability to pull free from weeds, brush or other tangles may dictate the class of line and tackle.

2-person fishing-kayak
2-person fishing-kayak

2 Person Kayaks

Two person kayaks have a variety of advantages. They allow a pair of anglers to work in tandem, sharing paddling and other activities. When fishing this can be a huge advantage as one person can control the craft while the other fishes.

Two person kayaks usually perform poorly with only one occupant.

Kayak Fishing Poll

What came first; kayaking or fishing?

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Stand Up Kayaks

Among the most specialized of all kayaks are stand up kayaks. These unique watercraft feature a special SOK hull with pontoons that swing out when fishing. When deployed, the rear mounted pontoons give the kayak enough stability to allow an angler to stand and fish. On most models, a leaning post is used to provide extra stability while fishing.

Stand up kayaks are useful for applications such as sight casting in clear shallow areas or as a fly fishing platform.

Kayak Fishing - Tips and Techniques

The following are tips and techniques to help kayakers catch more fish:

- Prepare tackle before leaving the dock. Cut and store baits to save time on the water.

- Take a small tub or bucket, containing only essential tackle. Most kayaks have a small void in the bow that is shielded from spray where you can slide a small container while underway, yet still reach it while fishing.

- Keep everything within reach including line clippers, pliers, tackle, rods, camera, water and a rag.

- When fishing in a current, turn towards shore and cast inward. in many cases the kayak and bait or lure will drift along at roughly the same speed. This allows each cast to spend more time in the water.

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