A Complete Guide to Kayak Fishing Like a Pro

By Kevin Arnold | Fishing

Jan 01
how to kayak fishing

Fishing is probably the best way to disconnect, relax and maximize your opportunities for adventure away from the chores of daily life. Over the past few years, kayak fishing has gained popularity due to the fact that it is far less expensive than motorboat fishing and the kayak is easier to transport so it has been established as a new fishing way. Travelling back in time, indigenous people, from many parts over the globe, fished with handcrafted kayaks constructed from tree trunks. Today, manufacturers have created special fishing kayak models. This sport is both adrenalin-inducing and interesting as it combines action and fishing. It is massively popular throughout the world.

This article will discuss some useful information about this topic whether you are a dedicated fisher or a newbie. Concretely, there are some questions to ask yourself when choosing your fishing kayak.

Additionally, some safety precautions will be also analyzed

Choosing a fishing kayak

Most kayaks on the market can be categorized in 2 types: Hard-shell and inflatable kayaks.

Inflatable kayak

The great advantage of an inflatable fishing kayak is that it is very portable. The cost of course is another major factor when considering the purchase of a fishing kayak. Inflatable kayaks are cheaper than plastic. Although, the idea of an inflatable fishing kayak sounds appealing, we should be really careful. While we are fishing we almost use lures, hooks, knives and other sharp items, so there is a great danger to puncture the kayak accidentally.


The inflatable kayak ideal length is 3m- 5,5m and width 0,7m- 1,2m. The width of a kayak can make a big impact on its performance.


Inflatable kayaks are made out of several materials like PVC or Hypalon Neopren. The first material gives the kayak maximum durability and is cheaper whereas hypalon neopren will extend our kayak’s life. PVC is highly recommended for those who are seeking something ‘’low-cost’’ and lightweight. Besides these beneficial aspects, there are a few drawbacks of PVC as well. PVC is not sunlight resistant and you have to be more carefully with the maintenance. Conversely, Hypalon Neopren is developed to be the best for our intended use. The benefits of this material are that it provides UV rays protection, excellent air holding capabilities and they are extremely durable. This is the most innovative, long lasting and tough material that was ever made.

Storage Pockets

Another thing that we should take into consideration is the storage as we need big space for our fishing gear. Rods, fishing reels, hooks and anchor should be well organized. Inflatable kayaks have a lack of space and may not be able to keep our gear dry and safe.


This type of kayak is extremely lightweight. That means that deflated or not you can travel anywhere and anytime. Once deflated, the kayak can easily fit in small bag or on the car seat. Most people can admit that it is the great benefit of an inflatable kayak.

inflatable kayak

Hard-shell kayak

Here, we will talk about a classic design of a kayak. It is much less long but it has gained in width.

Dimensions and Seat

When it comes to kayak fishing there is no doubt that the perfect length of a fishing kayak should be between 3m - 5m and the width 0.7m – 1.2 m. This will make you feel free to move and able to withstand the abuse of being dropped. Awesome maneuverability is the key for any adventure. Fishing is a sport that requires much effort and action so it is scientifically proven that a ‘’sit-on-top’’ kayak is the most appropriate design. Every fishing friend will understand that you have to feel stable when sitting on the kayak. This is also great for people who have difficulty getting in and out of an enclosed shell and for those in warmer climates.


When considering fishing kayak construction, it is of vital importance to select a material that is durable and abrasion-resistant. You have a lot of choices when it comes to the material. We can sum up our expectations of a kayak in two words. STABILITY AND DURABILITY. Most fishing kayaks are crafted of polyethylene (polyethene) which is known as the most common plastic and it is defined by high density and durability. Polyethylene is a tough and flexible material that does not easily crack. Emphasis should be laid on the fact that it is unsinkable and it is perfect for all paddlers as it provides a high degree of initial stability and you do not have to sacrifice maneuverability when you fish. If you want to keep your kayak in tip-top condition you only have to wash and rinse it regularly. This will help you keep it clean, and will also make sure that you can check if there is anything on the kayak that could cause problems later, like a hole or a crack. This is especially important if you are fishing in saltwater in order to prevent saltwater corrosion. Drain holes in the bilge are also necessary in order to let the water escape.

Storage Pockets

The kayak should have some bow and stern storage areas to keep our fishing tackle, anchor and rope safe. Multiple storage compartments, hatches and holders for items like our fishing rod or our depth finder are of high importance. Flush mount rod holders are a standard feature on all fishing kayaks and a hull storage area for our catch is also useful. Every kayak fishing enthusiast will understand the importance of large storage area.


Polyethylene kayaks are the heaviest type of kayaks. The weight should be almost 50kg in order to move easily. Despite the fact that it is a little heavy, it gains in speed especially in crosswinds or adverse conditions.

Kayak parts

How to drive a Kayak

Electric Motor

motorized kayak

The ‘’lazy’’ way! A new feature in kayak fishing is customizing a motor to fit on the kayak’s stern in order to have some extra hands to fish freely without paddling. They are mounted on the stern and can be easily removed. Although this comes in controversy with people who typically consider kayak fishing as a sport.


Kayak Paddles

There are many different paddles on the market. There are some things that should be taken into consideration before purchasing a kayak paddle. As mentioned above a ‘’sit on top’’ fishing kayak is more suitable for that purpose. As you sit higher up, you should prefer a high angle blade on the paddle to move more effective without putting much effort. Additionally, it should be unsinkable if it falls accidentally in the water.

Fishing from Kayak

Kayak fishing is an inexpensive and interesting sport where you set your own pace and also catch fish. Choose a place and you are ready to start fishing. You can fish with every fishing technique you like.


Trolling with lures is one of the most popular fishing methods while kayaking. The motion of the boat imparts action on the lures. The fishing tackle we will need: A fishing rod, fishing reel, lures and a depth finder which has a fish alert option and a GPS. Our speed should be between 2 and 3.5 miles per hour but this also depends on sea conditions. A great advantage of kayak fishing is the absence of a motor. Motorboats can scare the fish to their deaths. Do not forget to have a fishing net in order to land the fish. Start to paddle alongside the shore and let the lure 25m behind the kayak. Paddle at a leisurely pace, taking frequent pauses. When you get a bit, you have to turn the kayak around to face the fish. The fishing net will help you to land the fish. While the fish fights you have to remain calm and concentrated.

Jigging-Spinning and Vertical

These are some bottom fishing techniques. For these techniques we will require an anchor 3kg or less. A chain (5m) should also be attached. For slow movements you have to use a floating anchor. Throw it in the water. As soon as the rope is stretched, the floating anchor begins to function restricting the movement of the boat to the minimum. When being bottom fishing, it is sometimes preferable to fish when the kayak is slowly carried away by the weather in order to fish in larger areas of the sea or lake bed or to locate the places where fish are. Once you found the right fishing location, throw the anchor and start fishing.


One of the most environmental friendly ways of getting to a dive spot is on a kayak. Set up your kayak for spearfishing, locate the spot and you are ready to fish. Do not forget the anchor which is of high importance when you are diving. The anchor should be almost 5kgs and make sure that it is well attached to the kayak. Other benefits include unlimited freedom to launch at almost any location for instance from one side of the shore to another. Little islands are also easy to access.


Safety must be your primary consideration when kayak fishing, especially if there is no one to assist you on another kayak.

Final thoughts

There are a plenty of reasons why you should consider kayak fishing. It boosts your brainpower, health and happiness. Our lives become more over-scheduled every year and this is a good chance to escape from the daily routine. Not to mention that you have not to use fuel. You can fish wherever you want and almost any type of water. This magnificent and rapidly growing sport has only benefits. Summarizing, when it comes to kayak fishing, it is not all about the gear. Coming close to nature is more valuable than you can ever imagine.