Detailed 14 Guide Essential Kayak Fishing Tips For Beginners

Kayak fishing has been rampant in recent years. It is barely surprising since it offers several extraordinary benefits, such as the ability to reach fishing spots inaccessible by any other means. At the same time, it merges two enjoyable outdoor activities into one. 

Beginners might face a little challenge because of the baffling quantity of gear choices for kayak fishing and the initial learning curve related to this kind of fishing.

However, we believe that you will quickly realize this to be one of the simplest and most fantastic fishing styles ever.

These are 14 essential tips to help launch your kayak fishing career if you feel interested.

Kayak Fishing Tips For Beginners To Choose The Right Gear

What features do you need to look for in a fishing kayak?

Fishing kayaks have undergone many changes in design and functionality over the past few decades. As a result, we propose purchasing a kayak intended for fishing rather than customizing a conventional kayak for your fishing needs.

The following are some of the essential features to look for in a fishing kayak:

  • Ample fishing tackle storage within easy reach of your seat
  • Bungee cords for securing fishing gear to the kayak
  • Holders for rods
  • Tethers for attaching your rods and other equipment
  • A mount for holding a fish finder and a transducer.
  • Casting is made easier with the adjustable seat.
  • Deck storage for dry hatches (enclosed storage unit)

Optional: a kayak with a pedal-powered propeller can assist you in moving the kayak forward without using a paddle, leaving your hands free to hold a rod.

Choosing the right clothes

When fishing from a kayak, you’re completely exposed to the elements of nature, which is part of the sport’s attraction. However, you must be proactive and dress appropriately to minimize uncomfortable situations.

Wearing a thin long-sleeved shirt or hoodie combined with high-SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun during the summer is best. Search for thin, comfy pants and water shoes to finish your outfit. All of these should be made of a quick-drying material if they become wet, which is inevitable.

Submerging your garments in water and then putting them back on is terrific for cooling down on hot days.

Kayak fishers face the opposite problem in the spring and autumn, rather than the heat. Even if the air temperature is not particularly cold, capsizing might expose you to extremely cold water, resulting in hypothermia far from home. Wearing a wetsuit, which will protect you if you capsize, is an excellent method to prepare for this. Additionally, dress in numerous layers to keep warm and a waterproof outer layer in case of rain.

Choosing the right life vest

It’s critical to emphasize that kayak fishing is completely safe. However, capsizing a kayak happens quite easily, especially for beginners. It is also true if you’re a fishing expert rather than a kayaking expert, as most kayak anglers are beginners.

 As a result, fishing from a kayak constantly puts you at risk of capsizing, necessitating the use of a personal floatation device, commonly known as a life vest, which is a must-have for every kayak angler. In addition to preventing you from drowning, life vests designed for fishing have extra benefits, including many spacious pockets for storing minor items of your tackle.

When selecting a life jacket, ensure that it allows enough arm and shoulder movement. It won’t interfere with your paddling.

Choosing the right paddle

Look for a paddle with a length that allows you to easily dip it into the water while not being overly lengthy, making it difficult to control. A length of about 230cm to 270cm (8-9 feet) is ideal for most people.

Safety Tips For Kayak Fishing

While kayaking is a relatively safe activity, all paddlers should be aware of possible accidents. Even experienced kayak anglers might face unfortunate circumstances and should be prepared to cope. Capsizing is the most common kayaking accident, but it’s, fortunately, something you can learn how to control effectively.

Check your kayak before setting out

Although most kayaks are extremely durable, you should always inspect your kayak before taking it out on the water. This is especially true with inflatable kayaks, which can quickly lose air due to a single puncture.

If you find a hole in your inflatable kayak while out on the water, get back to land as soon as possible. Fortunately, most inflatable kayaks have two or three independent air chambers for safety, so losing one should not sink the kayak. The remaining air chambers have enough air to paddle to the following bank.

Always wear a life jacket

Even if it seems uncomfortable and you think you’re a great swimmer, every kayak angler should wear a life jacket. A good life jacket keeps you warm and protects you from splashing water while you’re on the kayak, and keeps you afloat in case of capsizing.

Choose the right route that matches your skill level

Because you’ve seen others accomplish it on YouTube. You shouldn’t go into advanced ocean kayaking or attempt to manage white water as a beginner.

Beginners should begin training on a protected body of water in wind-free conditions to feel for the kayak and improve their paddling technique. At the start, try to stay close to the shore, so you can easily swim back if something goes wrong. Before starting on an ambitious fishing excursion, learn how to master your kayak under diverse conditions.

Don’t take too much equipment

While most kayaks can carry much weight, that doesn’t mean you should load it up with unnecessary gear. An overloaded kayak makes the speed and maneuverability will significantly reduce. Furthermore, it is less stable in water, making it capsize more quickly.

Avoid kayaking alone

Make an effort to find a friend with whom you can go on kayaking tours. By far the safest option is to travel with a companion. If one of them is having difficulty, the second rower can quickly and effectively assist.

What to do if your kayak capsizes

Fortunately, getting out of an overturned kayak takes a few seconds and almost always happens automatically. However, you should practice consistently to become accustomed to it and learn how to avoid losing the paddle during manipulation. If it happens on your fishing trip, you’ll be prepared and know what to do.

It would help if you practiced flipping and returning to the top of a flipped kayak. Even in deep and unsupported water, many strategies can do this. Also, learn how to use a second rower to aid you in this motion without risking tipping over.

Keep your valuables tethered to avoid losing them. Put your smartphone in a waterproof bag to prevent it from becoming wet. Finally, bring a second pair of dry clothes ashore so you can change when you get back.

Getting practice your paddling

For many beginners, paddling a kayak is a surprising difficulty. To properly propel yourself to your target point, you’ll need a vigorous rowing action, which can be tough if you’re traveling against strong currents. A good rowing technique can also save you energy when you get to the fishing grounds.

Here are some suggestions for improving your rowing technique:

  • Point your kayak in the desired direction.
  • Place the paddle blade forward in the water to be comfortable without being restricted. 
  • Before bringing the blade back, submerge it completely in water.
  • The most energy-efficient kayak technique is to use the large muscles in the shoulders and back instead of the smaller muscles in the arms. You can do this by rotating your torso and slightly bending your arms to drive the blade. Please take a peek at some seasoned kayakers and give it a shot.
  • You can also use your paddle as a rudder to quickly change the direction of your kayak.

Practice casting from a kayak

Casting from your kayak for the first time can be challenging. Your kayak will wobble and feel quite unstable, possibly even about to capsize. This is entirely typical and occurs to all newcomers.

It means you’ll need to learn how to keep your center of gravity aligned on the top of the kayak while doing other things like fishing or baiting.

This will take much effort at first, and you will feel exceedingly ungainly. However, with little experience, you’ll be able to do this without even thinking about it. When your kayak wobbles, your immediate reaction could be worry, but achieving balance and stability in a kayak is simpler when attempting to relax.

It would help if you tried to discover how much the kayak can tilt to the sides without tipping over. In addition, to learning how to balance your center of gravity on top of the kayak. Once you’ve gotten used to dropping your rod while sitting, you’re ready to try stand-up fishing, which is a great method to extend your range and spot fish near the surface.

Related post: Best Baitcasting Reel Under $100 (Top Best Baitcasters For You)

What to do when you hook a fish

Every angler dreams of landing a trophy fish as their bait. However, battling and catching a large fish from a kayak presents its own set of difficulties. Large fish, in particular, might throw the kayak off balance when you try to land them, so be sure they don’t fight when you get them close to the kayak.

Hold your fishing rod in one hand while hitting the net or grabbing the fish. You may want to invest in a fish tong to catch species with teeth.

Tip: Make sure you have all of the tools you’ll need to release the fish pliers, pliers, and nets.

Related post: What Lures To Throw On A Baitcaster? (Beginner’s Guide For You)

Navigating on a kayak

While this falls under the more advanced kayaking skills category, it’s worth discussing because it’s especially vital for ocean kayaking. If you’re going sea kayaking, bring a map showing the underwater rocks and nearby landmarks you can use to navigate.

Additionally, learn to avoid shipping lanes by studying maps or monitoring them while on the water. Small kayaks have difficulty avoiding big boats, so be sure you get out of the path at the correct time.


I hope the tips in the article have provided you with helpful information. Now be confident, get out, and start your journey. Having learned all of this, you will have much fun exploring the world of kayak fishing.