Cruising along in a fishing kayak makes for one of the most exciting ways to catch fish. Not only are travelling the water under your own steam, but by gliding silently along the surface of the water, you can get up close to natural structures where fish like to feed, and in some cases, greatly increase your chances of catching fish.
Sneaking up on fish is no easy feat. They are highly sensitive to sounds and vibrations through the water. Often when using an outboard motor on your boat, the fish become startled and it takes a fair while for them to return to the spot where your anchor dropped. With a fishing kayak, you can easily glide across the water to the perfect spot without frightening the fish, that is, as long as you don’t splash around too much getting there.
Along with being silent, fishing kayaks boast a range of benefits over a boat. Typically, fishing kayaks are made from plastic or fibreglass. This makes them light enough to carry by hand, while still being sturdy enough to handle rough ocean conditions. They are great for fishing in a number of different locales from shallow mangroves to deep sea fishing. Most fishing kayaks have been designed with special equipment pouches and hatches to store your gear while afloat. Their small profile compared to a boat also allows kayaks to venture places boats couldn’t reach, such as coral reefs and dense seaweed patches.
Fishing kayaks come in a wide range of styles, sizes and colours. Although you can take your fishing kayak to any body of water, certain aspects to a kayak make it better suited for particular environments over others.
Size: Most fishing kayaks range from 8ft to 12ft in length. A shorter vessel, such as a 9ft kayak, is better suited for calmer waters and is usually far more manoeuvrable than a longer model. Larger vessels, such as ocean fishing kayaks over 11ft long, are better suited to the open sea due to their increase stability and speed across the water.
Sit-in vs. sit-on seating: Sit-on kayaks feature an open cockpit with nothing covering the legs of the user. This leaves the angler with plenty of room for gear and their catches while in the boat. Sit-on kayaks tend to be wider, allowing for increased stability, so much so that some allow users to stand up in them too for greater flexibility. Sit-in kayaks feature a plastic shell that covers the user’s legs, allowing the angler to ‘sit inside’ the hull of the kayak. Sit-in fishing kayaks offer more control and are more streamlined, allowing for more speed when paddling but also takes a more time to enter and exit the kayak. Personal belongings can be stored safely in the hull of the kayak away from the elements too.
Equipment: Consider what equipment you will be taking with you when out on the water. If you love having all the latest fishing gadgets and tools such as a fish finder, a larger ocean fishing kayak would be better suited to house all your toys.
Once you have chosen your new or second hand fishing kayak, it is important to know how to store and clean it, as well as knowing how to keep your valuables dry when out on the water. You can find all this and more on our blog!