kayak fishing tips

You can join in on the action when you fish from a kayak, which makes it entertaining and thrilling. Kayaks are often used by anglers. The best way to navigate rivers and lakes when fishing is in a fishing kayak. It’s normal to feel a bit frightened while preparing for the first kayak fishing excursion if you’re new to fishing.

We’ve rounded up 10 Essential Kayak Bass Fishing Tips for Beginners to improve or begin kayak fishing in this article. You can enjoy the fishing experience & catch some great fish by using the following crucial kayak fishing guidelines.

Important Kayak Fishing 101 Tips

There are many things to consider when you go kayak fishing. Here are the expert tips for kayak fishing.

1. How to Choose a Fishing Kayak

Fishing kayaks are now offered in probably hundreds of different models. Try before you purchase is the greatest tip I can give you here. The majority of retailers have demo days, or perhaps you have access to a friend’s extra kayak. It’s a good idea to start your search with our Fishing Kayak Buyer’s Guide so that you are at least aware of the option.

Just make sure the kayak fits you well enough and conforms to the requirements for height and weight. It is harder to follow a kayak in water that is shorter than 10 feet. The stability & efficiency of the kayak will increase with its length. Many people can get along just well in a 10 – 12 foot kayak.

2. Laws for Kayak Fishing

You might not be able to simply go into any river, lake, ocean, or other bodies of water & start fishing based on where you reside. Fishing may be prohibited in some regions to conserve animals, and you may need to get a fishing license.

If you’re over a particular age, every state mandates that you obtain a fishing license. The majority of states, however, make it quite simple to get a fishing license in person, over the phone, and online.

The government utilizes the money you pay for your fishing license to maintain wildlife, pay for the upkeep of parks & rivers, and is the principal beneficiary of the requirement that you purchase a fishing license.

Don’t worry; all of the money you spend on a fishing license goes toward protecting and conserving the environment. Additionally, certain regions may have restrictions on kayaking, particularly motorized kayaking. In light of the wakes that motorized boats create, states frequently have specialized rules governing their usage.

States have different laws about fishing without a license, as well. In some places, you can also require a specific kind of fishing permission.

If you want to learn how to get a fishing license, visit the US Fish &  Wildlife Service website then choose the state. You must complete it in order to fish legally, although it is often a short and simple process.

3. Kayak Fishing for Beginners: Safety Tips & Equipment

Kayak Fishing Safety Tips
Photo by Brett Sayles

When kayak fishing, it’s essential to wear a kayak life jacket, popularly called a personal flotation device. Even if you have strong swimming skills or are going fishing in generally calm and stable waters, you must wear a PFD since you never know when anything may happen.

Compared to recreational kayaking, kayak life vests are really more important when fishing. It’s simple to fall into the water when you hook a large fish that is having trouble.

An excellent PFD that is comfortable and long-lasting is worth the extra money. Choosing a personal flotation device that is overly tight or bulky can prevent you from moving about while you’re wearing it.

Look through our ranking of the top PFDs for fishing. Because the US Coast Guard gave each life jacket its seal of approval, you may use them with confidence. Be aware that the law can compel you to wear a life jacket.

You should consider the state and waterway you’re on, as well as the potential consequences of not wearing one. To learn more about the safety of paddling without a PFD, go here.

There is additional safety equipment at your disposal, albeit a PFD is an absolute minimum. It’s a good idea to keep a whistle on your person so you may use it to summon assistance if necessary.

Another useful item is a waterproof phone cover that you can wear as a necktie and armband.

While a traditional compass should be carried with you at all times to aid with orientation, your phone’s GPS can also be useful and enable you to contact ambulances and a friend in case you need assistance.

Another important piece of safety gear is a waterproof first-aid kit. If you want to kayak at night, you might also want to get a kayak light.

Additionally, look at our advice for novice kayakers on how to be safe. You may discover life-saving information there, as well as some crucial kayak safety techniques that you should practice.

4. What to Wear Kayaking

Going on a paddling & fishing expedition requires an appropriate kayaking outfit or kayaking attire, so be prepared. If the climate is cold, a kayak wetsuit will make you feel comfortable. You have to additionally put on a windproof & life jacket, based on how cold it is outside. Additionally, wearing kayaking gloves can keep you warm.

Remember that you should always prepare to get wet because this is a water activity. You will be splashed by water regardless of whether you roll over or enter the water. On windy days, this is especially true. Therefore, it is preferable to stay away from cumbersome cotton clothing & thick layers. Be prepared for cooler conditions than you would anticipate by dressing in moisture-wicking gear, bringing windproof layers, or bringing waterproof layers. Hypothermic conditions can develop even in unexpectedly warm weather when wind and water are combined.

Depending on the conditions, this can need the use of a dry suit and a wet suit.

The second key factor to consider when kayaking is sunscreen. As a result of the intense sun exposure that kayakers experience, you should always wear sunscreen, clothing that is rated for sun protection, sunglasses, and a cap when going on an expedition on the water. In fact, wearing long sleeves is advised as they will aid in shielding the skin from the sun’s rays or any UV exposure and resulting damage.

5. Flip Expected

It’s a good idea to set up the kayak to flip as a fishing tip. In other words, be prepared to be soaked! You will undoubtedly tumble in the water a few times or at the very least get wet if you have little expertise in kayak fishing. Even while it will occur less frequently as you progress and develop your skills, it is a necessary component of the game.

What impact does this have on you? Firstly, you have to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing cotton or other slow-drying fabrics, as I have said earlier.

Making sure there are no loose items in your kayak is also important. Keep your personal belongings and equipment secured.

You run the danger of losing your gear if the kayak flips over or just tips to one side. Additionally, store any objects that could be harmed by water in waterproof bags. They could be put away in the kayak’s hatch.

6. Learn to Self-Stabilize

Maintaining balance during kayak fishing is one of the most difficult tasks. It’s effortless to get off balance when moving about and attempting to capture a fish.

By paddling across the center of the kayak, you can keep stability. Learning to locate the kayak’s midline and maintain your head position there could take some practice. It’ll get simpler with time.

7. Be Aware of the Weather

Before setting out on a kayak fishing expedition, always check the weather. Even if the seas you want to fish in are often rather tranquil, think about canceling your trip if bad weather is expected.

Look into the wind speed as well. Fishing may be challenging on days with high winds.

Keep in mind that you may always swim to the coast, where the current won’t be as strong and you will be safer if it suddenly begins to wind up.

Before you go, use the weather forecast to examine the forecast. If you’re an Australian, like the Bay Sports team, we suggest using WillyWeather to assess the wind and the Bureau of Meteorology to review the rain prediction and real-time rain radars.

8. Acquire a Kayak Anchor

Photo by  Harrison Fitts

Having an anchor can help you remain put and fish even in strong winds, which is a fantastic idea for kayak fishing. Usually, a couple-pound claw anchor will be adequate. To avoid having your kayak pushed beneath the sea, avoid anchoring in a strong current.

Since your kayak is significantly lighter than the majority of (if not all) boats, you must find a technique to keep it still once you have located a good fishing spot. It will keep you safe and sensible while you’re out there and will be crucial to locate bass.

Additionally, you must anchor in order to be able to retain your position and stop paddling while pursuing fish. Putting the paddle in the sea will just cause more disruption, which will lessen the attention the lure is intended to attract & frighten the fish.

9. Learn to Paddle with One Hand

One-handed casting instruction goes hand in hand with learning to paddle one-handed. The ability to control the paddle only with one hand while casting and fishing with the other is a must for effective kayak anglers. Your kayak will probably drift if you’re in seas with strong currents, and paddling with one hand can be quite difficult.

To get better, try locking the paddle’s shaft along the arm you aren’t using for fishing. You may use it as a canoe paddle after doing this.

10. Make Use of a Stringer

The use of a stringer, which is just a string that you tie fish on, is an alternative to utilizing a hard and soft cooler. To keep the fish fresh and immersed in water, you thread the string through its gills and hang it from the side of the boat.

You can transport a large quantity of fish on a stringer, and it won’t take up much room. In contrast to a cooler, it doesn’t increase weight before you even catch a fish.

Utilizing a stringer does have a few drawbacks, though.

One factor is the kind of fish that are captured; toothy fish or little fish may be difficult to put on a stringer. They might also add a lot of weight if you’re capturing large fish.

It’s true that certain enormous fish might not fit in a cooler. Another drawback of stringer use is that it is only appropriate for freshwater fishing. Sharks could be drawn to people using stringers in the water, which is both frightening and hazardous.

In addition, a stringer is not as useful for longer voyages or in warmer climates, mainly whenever the water is warm. In spite of remaining immersed in water, keep in mind that the fish won’t be alive.

5 Kayak Bass Fishing Tips and Techniques

Photo by Jason Coleman

Bass is by far the most sought-after freshwater species, while many seasoned kayak fishermen also pursue trout & crappie. Here are some recommendations made particularly for kayak bass fishing.

1. Stay Stealthy

The goal is to remain undetectable. Considering that you are so near to the bass, there are many activities you could do to produce noise & create disruptions in the water.

If you’re attempting to maneuver your kayak while your lure is in the water, be cautious with the paddle strokes and try not to move too much if you’re warm on the trail of an approaching bass. Also, be aware not to swing the lure around and strike the side of the kayak. You may scare them away by making even a small scrape with your shoe on the kayak’s bottom.

Most fishermen keep rugs or some other kind of cloth in their boats for this purpose. Even with your lure in the water, you can still move freely around the boat because of the fabric’s noise-dampening properties.

The fact that traction pads are a wonderful safety element to avoid skidding as well as reducing noise pollution makes them a popular purchase.

2. Keep Things Organized

Even locations to store your fishing rod if you need to paddle or do anything else while fishing is included in many of the finest kayaks’ generously sized, conveniently accessible storage compartments, tackle management sections, or other features.

Kayak anglers sometimes disregard storage & organizing because they believe that any kayak will work. This is untrue. The reason I advise choosing a kayak specifically designed for “fishing” is that they have fishing-related elements to assist make the experience better, simpler, and also more structured.

3. Using the Proper Reel and Rod

We need to match them with the greatest rod and reel set now that you have a basic understanding of picking the proper lures. In all honesty, there aren’t any right or wrong responses here; it all comes down to personal choice.

Whatever method you generally employ, keep in mind the length of the fish you’re aiming for and the kind of lures you’re employing.

You should use an ultralight, rapid-action rod with a full gear ratio if you’re using finesse techniques to catch tiny bass and panfish because you want to feel every bite but don’t have to bother about them breaking the line like a huge fish.

The rod & reel that can withstand the stress a large bass will put on the setup is essential if you’re looking to catch the personal best fish.

4. Pick The “Paddle” Smartly

Photo by Shivkumar Sd

In kayak fishing, paddling has two sides. Up until you spend a few hours outside and discover you’re elderly and out of shape, it seems like joy when you think about it.

Consequently, a lot of individuals, including myself, have equipped our fishing kayak with a trolling motor. I still paddle quite a bit, but when I need it, the trolling motor provides me with a little more speed and control.

Because they can offer the necessary control & speed with little effort than paddling, peddle kayaks have become extremely popular.

Make sure the paddle you select is durable yet lightweight. Although they’re heavier than I’d want, I’ve always used sealed wood paddles.

There are several materials available for paddle manufacture, including composite, wood, plastic, and many others. Experiment & put them to the test to see which one you choose.

5. Shoreline Fishing

Strong currents can make it challenging to cast a line when you’re moving ahead, especially if you’re a novice to kayak fishing. There are times when you won’t always find an eddy that you’re able to exploit, but staying in eddy currents is a possibility.

But you may also go fishing along the coast. Fishing will be simpler there because of the weaker stream.


Q1. What Time of Day Is Best for Kayak Fishing?

With spring tides, kayak fishing & paddling may be more difficult because of increased tidal ranges, higher tidal flows, and other factors. Neap tides, on the other hand, are frequently considerably better for paddling and fishing.

Q2. How Long Should a Kayak Fishing Pole Be?

Kayak fishing rods should be between 6 1/2 – 8 feet long. The ideal rod length will vary depending on whether you are casting toward dense cover, where accuracy is crucial, or out in the open when casting distance is the most crucial element.

Q3. What Do You Do with Fish When You’re Kayaking?

An ice-filled, watertight cooler bag is the ideal container for keeping fish chilled and confined in a fishing kayak. Stringers are effective, but they create certain challenges when fishing in warm water or when there are predators around. Although it is possible to utilize hard-sided coolers in kayaks, space restrictions sometimes make this difficult.

Q4. How Many Rods Will You Take When Kayaking Fishing?

Three fishing rods are the ideal amount to have on a kayak. First off, adding more than three rods results in excessive weight. Furthermore, each fishing rod functions as a little sail, collecting the wind & slowing the boat. Furthermore, kayaking and fishing will be hindered by a quiver full of rods.

Q5. Can a Fish Turn a Kayak Around?

Despite the possibility of a huge fish tipping a kayak, many modern versions are built for stand-up fishing and are thus difficult to flip.

Q6. Does a Longer Kayak Make for Better Fishing?

Below 11 ft long, or shorter kayaks, are often easier to maneuver, whereas more than 12 feet long, or longer kayaks, are typically significantly quicker. Consider maneuverability above speed if the majority of the local waterways are tiny ponds, streams, and backwaters.

Q7. What Kind of Fishing Is the Worst?

The most frequent and harmful fishing methods used in the commercial fishing sector are these:
Using a long line. A single, extremely long fishing line is pulled behind a boat and is known as a long line.
Drift nets.
Nets for purses.

Q8. How Is Fishing Done Illegally?

Fishing in regions that are off-limits to fishing, such as seasonal breeding grounds, using illegal gear, and capturing more fish than is allowed are a few examples of unlawful fishing. Other illegal fishing practices include engaging in the activity without a license and catching fish that are too tiny or from waters under the sovereignty of another nation.

Q9. Is It Unlawful to Tickle Fish?

Since it’s against the law to tickle trout in public areas, make sure you have permission from the river’s landowner. Be aware of the following rules: “All hell will break loose” if you are seen tickling trout while it is “dry-fly fishing only,” according to Daunt. “Fish usually face upstream,” explains Daunt.

Q10. Can Fishing Kayaks Flip Over Easily?

Flat-bottomed and broader than typical kayaks, fishing kayaks are less prone to tip over than non-fishing kayaks. but they are less prone to flip, it is still possible, so see if you are wearing a life vest and have all the necessary safety gear.

Q11. Are Kayaks Preferable to Boats for Fishing?

Kayak fishermen like the sport over traditional boat fishermen for a variety of reasons. Because a kayak is so much quieter than a boat, you can sneak up on fish while using it.
Kayaks offer entertainment in addition to fishing. Your kayak may be used for leisure activities and as a form of fitness.
Kayak fishing is a great introduction to fishing for novices since it is reasonably inexpensive, as a kayak in general.
You may bring your kayak to regions that a standard boat cannot reach and you can quickly visit remote locations.
You can now spend hours fishing thanks to the improved comfort of kayak chairs.

Conclusion – Kayak Bass Fishing Tips for Beginners

Fishing from a kayak is fun and peaceful, and it also works out your body well. Prior to starting the upcoming kayak fishing adventure, It’s vital to conduct research. The most satisfying fishing experience a nature lover can have maybe had after you have the right equipment and learn kayak fishing tips and tricks. The appropriate kayak for your unique kayak fishing demands must be determined. Since everyone’s demands and environments are different, take your time to choose which option is the best fit for you. 

Please let a friend know if you enjoyed reading essential kayak bass fishing tips! Also, save it as a bookmark so you may come back to it later when you go kayak fishing. be sure to give our advice a try. 

Have a nice kayak fishing and paddling!

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