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A Beginner's Guide to Kayak Fishing: Tips and Essentials

May 16, 2024
Jake Smith

So, you want to start kayak fishing? Well, you have come to the right place then. Kayak fishing combines the thrill of fishing, offering an immersive experience for anglers. Fishing from a kayak can be an advantage because you can access more water and spook fewer fish in a kayak compared to a bigger boat with a motor. Whether you're a seasoned angler looking to try something new or a beginner eager to explore the waters, kayak fishing can be an exciting adventure. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to start kayak fishing, from choosing the right kayak to essential gear and safety tips.

Choosing the Right Fishing Kayak

The first step in starting kayak fishing is selecting the right fishing kayak for your needs. Various types of kayaks are available, each designed with different features and functionalities. Sit-on-top kayaks are popular among anglers for their extra stability and ease of use. They offer ample space for storing fishing gear and provide better accessibility for casting lines. We recommend starting with a sit-on-top kayak for your first fishing kayak. 

Sit-On-Top fishing kayak

Feelfree Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayaks come in a variety of different sizes, propulsion options, and are extremely stable and versatile.

Paddle Vs Pedal Drive Fishing Kayaks

You also need to consider whether a pedal kayak or a traditional paddle kayak is best for what type of water you will be fishing. Pedal-drive kayaks allow you to propel the kayak with your feet and ultimately free your hands to fish. On the contrary, pedal kayaks need more clearance because the drive is below the kayak. We recommend sticking with a paddle kayak if you plan to fish in shallow areas. In addition to clearance, the paddle kayak is much simpler and weighs less. 

Paddle fishing kayak

Shallow area fishing from a paddle kayak

pedal drive fishing kayak

Pedal drive fishing kayaks let your feet control your position while your hands are free to fish.

Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak

The Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 OD is a great pedal drive fishing kayak and has become a staple among anglers of all skill levels. This kayak is paired with the Overdrive Pedal unit and is compatible with the Motor drive. We recommend this kayak as you can grow into the system for many years to come. 

Paddle Fishing Kayak

The Feelfree Moken 12.5 is a great paddle fishing kayak and has been a quiver killer for many years. The Moken 12.5 can handle everything from rivers, lakes, and coastal fishing experiences. We recommend this kayak for the true outdoorsman looking to get off the beaten path. 

Pedal fishing kayak

Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 OD

paddle fishing kayak

Feelfree Moken 12.5

Essential Kayak Fishing Gear

  • Fishing Rod and Reel: Invest in a quality fishing rod and reel suitable for kayak fishing. We prefer a 7ft rod paired with a 2500 series reel for bass fishing when fishing from a kayak. 
  • Tackle Storage: Most kayak anglers use a crate to store their tackle. We recommend the Feelfree crate bag for all your storage needs. 
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD): Safety should always be prioritized when kayak fishing. Brands, including Astral Designs and NRS, make fishing-specific PFDs that keep you safe and looking good on the water. 
  • Paddle: This may be less important of a purchase for someone using a pedal-drive kayak. However, if you are a paddler, consider the Feelfree Camo Series Angler Paddle since it is much lighter and stiffer than a standard paddle. 
  • Safety Gear: Pack essentials such as a first aid kit, hook cutters, safety flag, PFD, sunscreen, and plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Tips for Kayak Fishing Success

  • Practice Paddling or Pedaling: Before hitting the water for fishing, get familiar with your kayak before you decide to take it out fishing. Familiarize yourself with all the functions, such as rudder deployment, rudder steering, seat adjustments, and how to use your pedal drive if applicable. 
  • Learn Casting Techniques: Mastering casting techniques from a seated position in a kayak can take some practice. Experiment with different casting angles and techniques to find what works best.
  • Choose the Right Spot: Research potential fishing spots beforehand and consider factors such as water depth, current, and nearby structures. Look for areas with underwater vegetation or structures where fish are likely to gather.
  • Respect Waterways: Remember, kayak fishing is a privilege, and so is public water access. Remember to be good stewards of your local kayak landing by packing in and out your trash. 

Safety Precautions

Always prioritize safety when kayak fishing. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Always wear your PFD.
  • Check weather conditions before heading out.
  • Tell someone your fishing plans and expected return time.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings and watch out for other watercrafts.
  • Practice self-rescue techniques in case of capsizing.

Kayak fishing offers a unique and rewarding way to connect with nature and enjoy the thrill of angling. By choosing the right kayak, gathering essential gear, and following safety precautions, you can embark on memorable fishing adventures on the water. Remember to respect your local fishery by practicing responsible fishing to ensure a sustainable future for kayak fishing enthusiasts everywhere. So, grab your gear, paddle out, and experience the joy of kayak fishing firsthand!

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