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Top Kayak Fishing Tips – Angler Basics

Fishing can be traced as far back as the prehistoric period. Our ancestors started fishing from the shore and soon they learned how to fish from a boat. Back then, fishing was a necessity but now it has become more of a pastime, a hobby, or a recreation.

If you are curious about this activity, below are kayak fishing tips for beginner anglers. Kayak fishing is a bit more different than regular fishing where you just stay on the shore. For some, it’s more exciting while for others it’s simply more peaceful. Kayak fishing presents opportunities that regular fishing doesn’t, from better fishing positions to access to more fish species and more.

Before Your Fishing Trip

One of the most important kayak fishing tips you can learn is kayak fishing starts way before you hit the water. You will need a lot of preparation, especially if it is your first time to go kayak fishing. Here are some things you need to do:

Get a License

First things first, you need a license for your fishing trip and the price and requirements will depend highly on your location. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, a fishing license is a must. You will also need to get a license for your fishing kayak with motor. However, if your kayak doesn’t have one, a license isn’t necessary.

Prepare Your Gear

Once you have the appropriate licenses for your trip, it’s time to prepare your gear.

Fishing Gear

As a beginner angler, it will be highly suitable to get your hands on a multi-purpose fishing set. This typically includes a spinning reel and both fishing sets with lure and with bait. After rods and reels, you’ll also need landing nets, long-nose pliers, a bucket, and a toolbox.


Even if you are inside a kayak, there is still a high chance that you will get wet during your fishing trip. It’s best to opt for clothes with moisture-wicking fabric. Don’t forget that you will also need a personal flotation device. Yes, even if you know how to swim! Do wear a life vest.

First Aid

Apart from your fishing gear, you should always have a first aid kit handy in your kayak. Even if you keep safe during your fishing trip, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for anything that may occur.

Choose the Right Kayak

Remember that a regular kayak is different from a fishing kayak. For starters, fishing kayaks are way more stable and as a result, are wider than regular kayaks. Fishing kayaks usually have a sit-on-top design, are slower, and have more space for an angler’s gear.

The right kayak is the one that will meet your needs. Do you need more space? Will you be fishing alone or with a fellow angler? What kind of waters will you usually go fishing in? Be sure to practice paddling (with both arms and one arm) on your kayak before you go on your fishing trip. Don’t forget to pick up a paddle leash!

During Your Fishing Trip

Now that you are all prepped for your fishing trip, it’s time to hit the water. Here are some kayak fishing tips to help you out:

Learn to “Read”

If you don’t know how to read water, you’ll end up doing more kayaking than fishing. You can’t just plop your kayak anywhere and expect there would be fish to be caught. You are going to need an in-depth water reading if you want to catch something. Fish have different behavior or hiding places depending on where you are, such as a lake, ocean, sean, pond, or river.

Mind Your Manners

You won’t be the only one who is on a kayak fishing trip, chances are there will be other anglers in the waters. Although there might not be any rules on what to do when there are other fellow kayak fishers in the area, there are certain rules that you should follow.

For example, if there are already kayaks in one fishing spot, don’t crowd the area. You can always go to another fishing spot or maintain a distance of at least 10 to 20 meters from the other anglers. Always be respectful of other people fishing in the area.

After Your Fishing Trip

You finally got your fish and it’s time to call it a day, don’t head home just yet. These are the kayak fishing tips for after your trip:

Keep It Clean

Aside from being respectful of other fishers, you need to be respectful of the environment too. Never leave any trash behind, take them back with you and throw them away or recycle them properly. As much as possible, don’t move anything around the water, such as rocks and pebbles.

Know the Proper Storage

If you have fish that you will take home, know how to properly clean and store them. Be sure you have a cooler and a lot of ice to keep your fish fresh throughout the trip.

Final Tips

Just like with anything else, when you are a beginner, it always helps to have outside help. For starters, you might consider getting a guide for your fishing trips. A guide can give you an in-depth understanding of the fish living in the waters, how to properly catch them, and more.

You can also get kayak fishing tips from fellow fishers. Why not join a local fishing group or find other kayak fishing enthusiasts in your area? You can get a wealth of knowledge from people who have first-hand experience in kayak-fishing. Who knows? They might become your fishing buddies in the future.