Getting Started with Kayak Fishing
The only thing you need to get started is a kayak rental, a PFD (personal flotation device), and some good advice, all of which you can get for cheap or for free at a local kayak rental shop.
A local kayak rental place can give you all the necessary gear, and tell you about the fish species that inhabit the water and the best places to find them. Ask about the kinds of insects and small animals around the lake, and choose a lure to match what the fish are eating.
Buying Your First Kayak
Buy or rent a sit-on-top kayak. This is a kayak in which you are seated on top of the kayak and your legs are visible, rather than hidden inside the body of the kayak.
Before you purchase a kayak, rent one out over the weekend and see if you are comfortable fishing in a kayak. When you are ready to purchase a kayak, choose the best kayak within your budget. A starting kayak usually starts at $500.
If you have a higher budget, Hobie makes an excellent line of kayaks that range from $1,400 to $4,500. Their higher-end kayaks are usually pedal-powered, so you never have to put down your fishing rod, or pick up a paddle.
Pedal-powered kayaks can usually be steered with one hand. If you are able to rent or purchase or pedal-powered kayak for fishing, do so. It will make your fishing experience much more enjoyable, and free your hands and mind so you can focus solely on fishing and the beautiful scenery.
If you are determined to own a kayak, but $500 is outside your budget, consider purchasing a used kayak.
How to Maintain Your Balance While Kayak Fishing
Maintaining your balance while kayak fishing is just a matter of practice. It is possible to cast and reel in fish while standing up on a sturdy kayak. If you are still anxious about tipping over, ride on a wider kayak or a two-person kayak instead. This will give you extra stability and more space to hold your tackle.
Where to Go Kayak Fishing
Small, backroad lakes often provide some of the best kayak fishing experiences. There’s no competition, the water is pristine, and the fish aren’t suspicious of anglers or lures.
While you can look up top local fishing spots easily on Google Maps, Google Earth is an incredible and underutilized resource for finding untouched fishing spots.
Look for large bodies of running or still water with easy access from roads and freeways. Remember that you’ll have to cart your kayak to the edge of the water from your vehicle.
Another excellent resource is to go on Yelp and call your local bait and tackle or watersport shop, and ask them where the best local fishing spots are.
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